The Skokie Home Scoop - January 6, 2017 

Dear Skokie Families,

It has been wonderful to see our students and staff back in the building this week following our winter break.  I hope that 2017 has started off well for you all, and look forward to what is to come in this second half of our school year.  Very often a new year brings with it the promise of resolutions--a fresh start, a clean slate.  As time and the responsibilities of daily life return us to routine following the holidays, those resolutions can easily become a distant, but well-intentioned memory.  In the spirit of a resolution, I invite you to take a slightly different spin on the notion and turn resolution into reflection.  Take a moment to reflect on the following questions.  Better yet, bring these questions to the dinner table and see what the children in your family have to say in response to them.  We can all be a source of reflection and inspiration to each other, and it is so often our reality as teachers that children are the greatest source of both.

What was one of your greatest successes in 2016?  Who was there to celebrate it with you?  Who helped you along the way to make that success possible?

What was one of the most challenging moments for you in 2016?  How did it impact you in such a way that you may do things differently in 2017?  Who were the key people who supported you through this challenge?

What surprised you in 2016?  In your personal the communities in which you learn and the world?  

What did you finally see happen in 2016?  Maybe a great success in school or work?  Maybe the Cubs win? ; )

What are you most looking forward to in 2017?  Who will be surrounding you to make this new year great?  Who will you be there for to make their year great?

Finally, what good can you do, however small, to shape this new year?  We are all capable of great things given the attention to that power.  Great does not mean extravagant, but impactful.  We work hard to focus on choosing kind at The Skokie School.  How can you live by that credo in your own daily life?

Reflection can be a difficult practice, and one that requires the ability to recognize room for growth and the best way to empower potential.  I wish you all health, happiness and plenty of moments to reflect and make new memories in 2017.  We look forward to this second half of the school year with you all.  Enjoy this very chilly weekend and time together with your families.

Most Sincerely,

Kelly Tess


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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 - Update & Reminder

To monitor the progress of the Enrollment Balancing Project, visit the District's website: . Note that the Board Advisory Committee will make a recommendation to the Board on a Phase I solution (for implementation in fall 2017) at the January 24, 2017 Board Meeting. There is an opportunity to share your comments and suggestion via

Winnetka Parents Institute Opportunities

How Kids Learn in an Interest-Driven STEAM Environment
Featuring Researchers & Educators from Northwestern University
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
9:30-10:30 a.m.
Carleton Washburne School, N102
Students in our Innovative Technology elective at Washburne will be using FUSE, an interest-driven STEAM learning environment designed by researchers and educators at Northwestern University. At this Winnetka Parents Institute talk, you'll have a chance to learn more about FUSE and the goals of the research from Dr. Reed Stevens, the principal investigator, and Peter Meyerhoff, the doctoral candidate who will be on site teaching and learning with us.  To RSVP visit

"Not Quite Little Kid, Not Quite Teenager: The Developmental Progression of the Middle School Child"
Thursday, January 19
9:30 a.m.
Greeley School Resource Center
Join us for an informational morning session focusing on the ins and outs of the growing middle school child.  We will spend time exploring both the academic and social-emotional needs appropriate to 5th-8th grade children, how they change over that four year span, as well as the neurological changes that contribute to these needs.  Parents with current middle schoolers, or soon-to-be middle schoolers, are encouraged to join us for an engaging, encouraging and educational hour together.  We were thrilled to host 50 interested parents for this presentation on December 1, and hope to see many more this month.  Grab a friend for coffee and valuable conversation with some of your children's school leaders. To RSVP, visit

Reading: The Home-School Connection for Younger Readers
Featuring Brianna Parlitsis Teachers College, Columbia University
Friday, January 20, 2017
1:00- 3:00 pm
Greeley School Auditorium
Targeted for parents of kindergarten, first, and second graders
How can I help support my child's reading at each level? How can I best help my students move up reading levels, with high comprehension? This workshop will help you to consider the books your children are reading and the ways you can support their decoding, fluency and 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 , Brianna Parlitsis, Staff Developer, at the Teachers College, Columbia University. To RSVP, please visit

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.

From our partner, The Alliance for Early Childhood:

5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do: Strategies to Empower and Authentically Engage Your Children
Friday, January 20, 2017
9:30-11:00 a.m.
Church of the Holy Comforter (222 Kenilworth Ave, Kenilworth
FREE EVENT | Open to the Public
Join Gever Tulley, founder of Tinkering School and Brightworks (San Francisco), and author of Fifty Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do) and Dangerism !   Gever will share 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do - and why a little danger is good for both kids and grownups.  Gever's work has shown that through play, risk-taking, tinkering, and solving real problems, children develop responsibility, and strengthen their innate curiosity and desire to learn.  Parents will come away with exciting and empowering ways that children can explore the world around them.  For more information about Gever Tulley, visit

Skokie Calendar
January 19, Thursday
5th Grade Cadet Band & Elementary Orchestra Concert - 7:30 p.m.
Skokie Auditorium  
February 9 & 10 
Conference & Reportin g
After School Sports
The second semester of After School Sports begins the week of January 16th.
Tuesday, January 17
For 6th Grade Students
Wednesday, January 18
For 5th Grade Students

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

Cardio Club
Cardio Club is open to all 5th and 6th graders. Students will be able to extend their KW time in the fitness center. We will learn how to use all the machines appropriately and all the functions that are available. Students will be able to have an opportunity to create their own fitness goals and plan. The Club will meet from January 10 to February 2, 2017 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
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