The Skokie Home Scoop - January 27, 2017 

Dear Skokie Families,

This week, I had the honor and pleasure of presenting to both our School Board and members of The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation respectively.  The presentation centered on the growing outcomes of our building-wide schedule pilot as well as our expanding MakerSpace and its influence on STEAM integration throughout our school.  I have written about our scheduling project several times this year; however, I've included a visual reference of the day at a glance below to get a sense of how the day is broken up given this current model.   The intent of taking on a schedule pilot was to experiment with ways in which we can afford our students more learning opportunities that incorporate service, social-emotional learning, inquiry and hands-on application of learned skills.  

Scanning the image above is a lot to digest upon first glance, but the key areas to point out are the RtI/Skills period and the additional use of the afternoon advisory period: Enrichment and Inquiry (or "Passion Period" as we initially called it last year when first floating the idea).  By adjusting our instructional periods by two minutes, we were able to gain an additional period of instruction in which all students requiring the intervention of a math or reading specialist could receive specialized support without forfeiting an arts class (Skills Period).  In addition, students remaining in the classroom at that time could benefit from their own specialized support form their teacher.  At this time, teachers are using this period for reteaching, small group support, executive function practice or extension of material.  Earlier this year, I shared the following data illustrating the number of students we are reaching in interventional support due to this new schedule model:


While there are still aspects of the current model that we are looking to make modifications to (the pilot continues through the remainder of this school year) in order to reach the most optimal model for all, we are seeing great benefit through the lived experience of thinking differently about how our day can be best utilized.  The Enrichment & Inquiry time during afternoon advisory has been used in a variety of different ways across the building in order to provide students with the opportunity to seek out learning based on their interests.  There is much I could say about this period, but as I pondered how to best capture the impact of this time and share it with our board members and foundation supporters, I thought the best picture could be painted through the lens of our students--please take a moment to view the video below that was previously shared at the presentations this week.

If you have a sixth grader, ask them about their thoughts on this year's schedule versus last year's--how has their experience felt different this year?  What do they like about being afforded the time to explore and inquire in a topic of their choice?  If you have a fifth grader, ask them about the ways in which their advisory has taken advantage of the Enrichment & Inquiry period.  Where do their learning interests fall?  How have they taken risks as a learner to find out more about a topic of their choosing?

As a school leader, I am grateful for the support of our community, and the investment that our staff has made in exploring new ways to best reach our students.  I look forward to continuing to share more with you as the year goes on.  Enjoy the time with your families this weekend!

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

District News

Enrollment Balancing Project News

At the January 24, 2017, Board Meeting, the School Board unanimously approved the Board Advisory Committee's recommendation that All Crow Island Kindergarten students attend another District school . This will be effective starting with the 2017-2018 school year. This Phase I solution for the Enrollment Balancing Project is expected to be in place for one to two years as the Board identifies a long-term Phase II solution to address imbalanced enrollment.

The District is working to provide logistical information to Kindergarten families, especially those who live in the Crow Island attendance area, by February 24, 2017. The District is dedicated to collaborating with all families to ensure that our youngest learners are familiar with their new school environments in preparation for a positive Kindergarten experience.

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.

Learning About Erin's Law : Sexual Abuse Prevention Education
Monday,  February 13, 2017
7:00 p.m.
Carleton Washburne Resource Center
This WPI event that will outline Erin's Law ; an Illinois law that mandates public schools to implement age appropriate sexual assault and abuse awareness and prevention curriculum for grades K-12 (School Board 6:60, Curricular Content). The District is partnering with the Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center to share information regarding Erin's Law and how best to provide age-appropriate curriculum to our students.  District school social workers will also be present at this event to provide samples of curricular materials and to address any questions that parents may have at this time. It is our intention to share the curriculum with students in March of this school year, where students will learn among their classmates in their classrooms.  Instruction will be provided by our school social workers.  It is anticipate that curricular sessions regarding Erin's Law will be offered once annually and will not exceed 30 minutes in length.   Please RSVP here: 

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 

Early Childhood Screening
The Department of Student Services will be holding early childhood screenings in March 2017, with registration on February 24, 2017. If you are a Winnetka resident and have any concerns about your child's development in the areas of speech, language, coordination, hearing, vision, learning readiness, or emotional maturity, you are encouraged to register your child for an early childhood screening. The intent of the screening is to identify children who may have delays in their development and may require specific supports to address these delays. To be eligible for this screening, your child must be at least three years old. Click for full information about the registration process and screening dates.

Students Involved in Technology Conference (SIT)
The Students Involved with Technology Conference (SIT) on February 11, 2017, 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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