The Skokie Home Scoop - January 20, 2017 

Dear Skokie Families,

This Thursday evening, our Elementary Orchestra and Cadet Band members performed for family and friends in The Skokie Auditorium.  As usual, the evening was a success and the fruit of months of hard work on the part of our students and teachers, Ms. Terese Parisoli, Mr. Bob Rzeszutko and Mr. Steve Vowles.  We are fortunate, in Winnetka, to not only be in a community that values the benefit and impact of an Arts-inclusive education, but a community that has the resources to support such learning opportunities for our students.  So many public school districts across the country have been forced to eliminate the Arts for students when making budgetary decisions for schools.  As a result, the message sent is that the Arts are "extra," "supplemental" and "easily replaced outside of school." 

Winnetka has valued and supported the Arts since its earliest days, recognizing the many skill sets that are developed in children when they are exposed to learning opportunities that invite and inspire creative thought.  You might be interested to know the process of learning instrumental music develops the following skill sets:  enhanced coordination, perseverance (valued across all subject areas), sharpened concentration, self-expression, self-regulation, enhanced listening skills, reduces performance anxiety, self-discipline and stamina in areas like reading, mathematics and even physical exercise.  Certainly these skills translate across all areas of curriculum, in addition to the skill of mastering a musical instrument!

This week, we were also fortunate to see 35 parents join us on Thursday morning at Greeley School for a reprise of our Winnetka Parents Institute presentation entitled, "Not Quite Little Kid, Not Quite Teenager:  The Developmental Progression of The Middle School Child."  Dave Kanne and I have already discussed additional opportunities to provide this presentation at opportune times in the school year when we are preparing for new families to join our schools.  As always, we appreciate the chance to meet and connect with our Winnetka families, as well as connect you with each other.  Partnership amongst administrators, teachers, parents and students is what makes for the greatest success amongst our children.

Enjoy the unusually warm weather this weekend, and prepare to enter back into winter temperatures next week.  And as always, enjoy the time together with your family.

Most Sincerely,

Kelly Tess


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February Parent/Teacher Conferences
Parent/Teacher Conferences will be hosted at The Skokie School in the window between February 6th and February 17th.  Your child's team of teachers has a specific schedule based on their availability to conference with families in that window.  Below is a list of links to sign up for a 20 minute period of time to conference with your child's advisor (please only sign up for a time slot with your child's advisor, as you will have an opportunity to shift to their team teacher during your 20 minutes)  If you do not see your child's team listed below, your child's teacher will contact you directly to schedule your conference time.

5th Grade

6th Grade

Students Involved With Technology Conference
Does your child have an interest in technology?  This day long Students Involved With Technology (SIT) conference offers an opportunity for her/him to learn from other students. Students are also invited to present a topic. Skokie 6th grade student Matthew Greenstein will be presenting Drones at the conference. The event is on Saturday, February 11, in Arlington Heights. Information and registration is provided on their website .

Also feel free to contact Kathy McDonough if you would like more details. Skokie students who have attended in previous years had a great day and learned a lot! This conference fills up quickly on a first come-first serve basis.
District News
Enrollment Balancing Project News
A recap from the January 17, 2017, Board Advisory Committee Meeting is now available on the Enrollment Balancing Project website:

The Board Advisory Committee voted to recommend Model 1 (All Crow Island Kindergarten students attend another District school) to the School Board for approval. The Committee will share this recommendation with the School Board at a 5:00 p.m. Work Session at its Meeting on January 24, 2017, at Hubbard Woods School. The Board will vote on this recommendation at its February 21, 2017, Regular Meeting.

If this option is approved by the School Board, Crow Island Kindergarteners will be welcomed at Hubbard Woods and Greeley Schools for the 2017-2018 school year. This short-term option is expected to be in place for one or two years while the long-term enrollment balancing solution is being addressed.

MLK Day Recap
The Winnetka Public Schools participated in the National Day of Service on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Our students made a meaningful difference in our community by working with over 15 non-profit organizations. It was a day to serve others in the spirit of Dr. King. Thank you to our staff, students, and families who organized this learning-focused tribute to the civil rights leader. Enjoy this brief video of the day's activities.

Winnetka Parents Institute Opportunities

New Trier Township Family Engagement Night
Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
7:00 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.
Misner Auditorium, Central School, 620 Greenwood Avenue, Glenco e
New Trier Township schools invite parents AND students grades 5 - 12 to join in a Family Engagement Night
to view clips from "Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age." This is the first feature documentary to explore the science behind screen-time, how it affects young people's development and offers practical ways to set boundaries and find balance. We will be sharing clips from this film, listening to a panel of local teens, parents, and a social worker from Glencoe Family Services as they talk about the ups and downs of their digital lives, and engaging with our children on the challenges we face in our own lives with technology.

Parents as First Teachers: How to Cultivate the Whole Child
Thursday, February 9, 2017
7:00 p.m.
Carleton Washburne School, Little Theater
Family Action Network presents Parents as First Teachers: How to Cultivate the Whole Child
, an opportunity to learn about best practices for supporting your child's creativity, persistence, resilience, and emotional engagement. The discussion is moderated by Superintendent Trisha Kocanda and Liza Sullivan, Executive Director of The Alliance for Early Childhood and FAN's Early Childhood Chair Panelists including Judy Harris Helm, Founder of Best Practices, Inc.; Amanda Moreno, Assistant Professor at Erikson Institute; Laura Reischel, Arts and Cultural Engagement Specialist at Chicago Children's Museum; Jennifer Rosina, President of Kid Links Unlimited, Inc.; and Hedda Sharapan, PNC Senior Fellow at The Fred Rogers Center.

Reading: The Home-School Connection for Younger Readers
Featuring Emily Butler Smith Teachers College, Columbia University
Friday, March 3, 2017
9:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m.
Hubbard Woods School
Targeted for parents of students in grades three through five.
How do I know if my child is 'getting it?' How can I support upper grade reading development at home? This workshop will help you to consider the books your children are reading and the ways you can support their comprehension of these texts. You will learn about the typical ways that texts become more complicated and the ways that readers' thinking needs to become increasingly sophisticated, as well. You'll also learn about ways you can support your child's progress through authentic conversations at home. The event is facilitated by District 36 staff and features guest speaker Emily Butler Smith, Associate Director for Professional Development , at the Teachers College, Columbia University.
To RSVP, visit

Students Involved in Technology Conference (SIT)
The Students Involved with Technology Conference (SIT) is an annual conference for 3rd through 12th grade students. What makes the conference unique is that it is completely presented by students for students with adult volunteers from local schools and the community to help the day run smoothly.  

SIT is a great opportunity for your child to learn from their peers or to step into a leadership role by sharing their expertise.  Space is limited and registration is accepted on a first come, first served basis.  
For more information visit

Skokie Calendar
  February 9 & 10
      NO SCHOOL 
Conference & Reportin g
Dear Skokie School Families,

The Kinetic Wellness staff is in need of Speed Stack cups, mats and timers.  If your family has old stack cups or timers that you are no longer using, the Skokie School Kinetic Wellness staff can put them to good use.  Please just drop them off to Mrs. Zalinski at the front desk and she will make sure that we get them. 
Thank you in advance,

Skokie Kinetic Wellness Staff

Skokie Climbing Club 
Climbing Club registration is now open for January, February, March, April and May.   
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