The Skokie Home Scoop - November 18, 2016

 
Dear Skokie Families,

As we approach winter break in the coming weeks, I'd like to take the next few editions of our weekly newsletter to share out the details of some of the amazing work being done by students through use of our new Enrichment and Inquiry time during afternoon advisory.  This week, I'd like to highlight a large scale project taken on by Mr. Martinsen (5th grade Math/Science teacher and his advisory, along with the support of Mr. Hynes (Kinetic Wellness teacher) and Ms. Dolkart (Classroom associate).  This class of students has taken on the mighty task of revamping our south courtyard as well as approaching several large scale projects within it.  At the time of Skokie's groundbreaking in 1920, the north and south courtyards were incorporated into the building design, intended as outdoor classroom spaces in which students could regularly connect with the outdoors as a part of their progressive educational experience.  Over the years, the courtyards have been home to fruit and vegetable gardens, shrubbery nurseries (later sold to neighboring residences), beehives, rabbit and guinea pig farms (also sold to neighboring residences!) and more.  All of these efforts were led by students under the progressive tenet of exposing students to engaging, hands-on learning experiences that brought real-world meaning to the concepts learned in academics.  As Skokie aged, and even experienced a decade plus of being closed, the courtyards fell into disrepair and periods of neglect.  They have seen more recent attention thanks to a foundation of community members and our dedicated staff; however, they face a rebirth now with the careful attention of our students.

If you find yourself in our building, take a walk through the auditorium, and feel free to enter the south courtyard through the french doors on the left side coming in from our main entrance.  There you will notice several large wooden garden beds, designed and assembled by our students.  The boxes toward the back of the garden have been recent home to a variety of seasonal vegetables, the majority of which were donated throughout the summer and early fall to the New Trier Township food pantry.  The small table in our main entryway regularly hosts a colorful bouquet of flowers from the garden, all of which were planted by this year's fifth graders when they visited the building for Fourth Grade Shadow Day.  

 
 Photography by the Martinsen Advisory


Beyond our raised garden beds, there is a newly cleared area that will soon be home to a green roof prototype.  Mr. Martinsen's class will spend the winter months planning, designing and preparing for the build of a sheltered outdoor workspace with a green roof on top.  They have already spent time tracking shadow patterns, range of temperatures in the space and catalogued much of their work on a self-made website.  Click on the link below to see the amazing work they have done so far.  

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE GARDEN'S WEBSITE 

 
What began as a garden rehabilitation project has turned into hands-on lessons in Math, Science, engineering, journalistic writing, photography, video editing, web-design, collaboration and problem solving.  Better than that, this garden is certainly cultivating happy, curious and motivated young learners.  That is the purpose of Enrichment and Inquiry, and it is alive and well in this project.  I cannot wait to share more with you in these next few weeks as there are so many more examples of this type of learning happening in our building.  

Enjoy the weekend together as a family.  I hate to say it, but it may be time to pull out the warm winter clothes, and possibly even the boots.  Snow flurries are in the forecast for this weekend!

Most Sincerely,

Kelly Tess

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Skokie MakerNight!

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 6:30-7:30pm
Open to all Skokie students and their parents:  RSVP required

Please join us for the first ever Skokie MakerNight.  We will have our three MakerSpaces open for a night of exploration, creativity and hands-on learning.  Come learn how to build a 3-D model, sew a gift for the holidays, code a program for a robot and much more!  
 
SCIENCE OLYMPIAD

The Skokie School is excited to offer the opportunity for both 5th and 6th graders to join a Division A Science Olympiad Team.  This is a non-competitive format of the Science and Engineering based program.  Skokie students participating in the program are then primed to participate in the competitive level at Washburne, should they continue to be interested.  This program begins on Thursday, November 17th and runs Thursdays BEFORE school from 7:30-8:20 a.m. in the cafeteria until Thursday, May 25, 2017, led by Mrs. Ninorta Gabriel, our building Science Facilitator.  Registration is lim ited to the first 30 students to submit the online form.  It is not too late to sign up!

Click here to register for Science Olympiad.



MATH COUNTS TEAM
The Skokie School is excited to offer an after-school Math opportunity for 5th and 6th grade students: MathCounts.  It is important to fully understand the structure of the program before registering, as it has specific parameters that may or may not be appealing to all students in their after-school time.  
The Skokie MathCounts team is designed to engage students with a deep passion and motivation for Math.  A MathCounts member enjoys the challenge of complex problems, and has a natural curiosity and inquisitiveness for math.  The MathCounts experience helps to ensure that its members actively practice critical thinking and problem-solving skills.  Its members engage in the opportunity to compete on several levels (MathCounts teams exist in all 50 states); however, it is designed for 6-8 grade students.  Our participating 5th grade Skokie students will be as mathematically engaged as our 6th grade members, but will not be a competing member on the team until their 6th grade year.
It is incredibly important to keep in mind that MathCounts is not an acceleration
or an acceleration or  tutoring opportunity for students.  MathCounts resources are based on grade level appropriate material.  It is an additional opportunity for deep exposure to rich and challenging problems.  MathCounts should not be a frustrating or defeating experience for its members.  
Information on registering for this program will be emailed to families next week.
 
  SKOKIE AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS
   
CREATIVE WRITING
This club is for Skokie students who love to write and want to build their skills, share with others, and work towards publication. Club meets from 7:25 - 8:10 a.m. in Room 176, beginning November 30 and continuing through May 31, 2016. (Club meetings 11/30, 1/4 & 1/18, 2/1 & 2/15, 3/1 & 3/15, 4/5 & 4/19, 5/3, 5/17, and 5/31.
 
PLAY IT NOW MATH CLUB for 5th & 6th Grade Students
Now open to both 5th and 6th graders!
Play it Now Math Club is a new math and logic game club for
all Skokie students!  Whether your child can't get enough of all things math or wants to build math confidence and skill, this club is the perfect fit!  Each week, engaging new games are introduced that grow perseverance, logic, strategic thinking, and computational fluency.  Our club provides a relaxed environment for building both friendships and mathematical thinking! We have tons of great games like: Blockus, Krypto, Chess, Math Dice, Blink, Swish, Battleship, 24, Quirkle, Set and many, many more!  Club meets 7:30 - 8:25 a.m., October 27 - May 18
(not in session 11/17, 11/24, 12/22, 12/29, 2/9, and 3/30) in the Skokie School Loft. Come and join the fun!

ROBOTICS TEAM
Join this adventurous crew as we experience the challenges suggested for The First Lego League. We will determine if we are ready to compete or if we want to pilot the experience for next year's competition. The Team will meet on Wednesdays, from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. November 2 through December 14, 2016, in Room 142.

AFTER SCHOOL SPORTS/CLIMBING CLUB
We are pleased and excited to be offering, for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year, our After School Sports Clubfor fifth and sixth graders, and   Skokie Climbing Club . The Skokie Climbing club is for students who would like to climb the Skokie High Ropes Course after school. 6 - 8th grade students along with 5th grade Adventure Climbers are allowed to enroll during the first semester.

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DISTRICT NEWS

Enrollment Balancing Project - Update & Reminder
As the Enrollment Balancing Project (EBP) progresses, please visit the web page dedicated to the project: www.winnetka36.org/enrollment-balancing-project-overview .  Materials from the November 14, 2016, Board Advisory Committee Meeting are now available on the website.  Note that this Board Advisory Committee is in the midst of evaluating models addressing the enrollment imbalance. The next Board Advisory Committee Meeting is November 29, 2016, at 6 p.m. at Carleton Washburne School. The community is encouraged to engage in this process by attending meetings. No recommendations will be made to the School Board without additional input from staff and community members. Additionally, there is an opportunity to share your comments and suggestion at any time via enrollmentbalancingproject@winnetka36.org .
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Upcoming Winnetka Parents Institute Opportunities
 
A Parent's Guide to Social Media & Digital Literacy
Tuesday, November 29 at 9:30 a.m.
Washburne School Resource Center
Maureen Chertow Miller, Director of Technology, and Tony Venetico, Assistant Principal at Carleton Washburne School, will provide an overview on social media and share tips and tactics on fostering digital literacy with your child.
 
"Not Quite Little Kid, Not Quite Teenager: The Developmental Progression of the Middle School Child"
Thursday, December 1 at 9:30 a.m.
The Skokie School Community Room
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.
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Kindergarten Registration
Kindergarten registration for the 2017-2018 school year will be held on Friday, December 2, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Crow Island, Greeley, and Hubbard Woods Schools. Visitwww.winnetka36.org/parents/prospectivefamilies for documents required for all new students when you register your child on December 2. Children who will be five years old on or before September 1, 2017, are eligible to enroll. Online pre-registration is available at www.winnetka36.org. Registration packets will also be available at all elementary schools beginning November 14, 2016, should you wish to pick one up prior to Registration Day.
 
Children will not be considered enrolled until residency documentation is verified and all forms are submitted. If you have any questions, please contact the District Office at 847-446-9400.
 
For information regarding the Extended-Day Kindergarten program that is launching in 2017-2018, please visit www.winnetka36.org/parents/kindergartenregistration .
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Participate in the Trex Plastic Film Challenge
The TREX Plastic Film Challenge runs now through April 15, 2017. Each year all District 36 schools participate in this program, which enlists schools to collect plastic bags and wrap, which are then recycled and made into alternate wood products. During this time, collection bins are placed in our schools to collect the plastics* listed below that may be brought from home or collected during the school day. School communities that collect the most plastic will be announced on Earth Day, April 22.
●Grocery bags (including produce, bread, and ice bags)
●Case overwrap (e.g. water, soda and juice bottles)
●Dry cleaning bags
●Newspaper sleeves
●Wood pellet bags
●Ziplock and other reclosable bags
●Bubble wrap
 
*Please note, all plastics must be clean, dry, and free of food residue.
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2016 Tentative Levy
The 2016 Tentative Levy was approved by the Board at its November 15, 2016, Meeting. In this short video, Greg Kurr, CFO, provides clarity regarding the abatement process and its effect on the percentage changes in the property tax appearing in the public notice on the 2016 Levy and the December 13, 2016, Levy Hearing, which does not yet include an abatement. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlpekaonZTk 
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Thanksgiving Week Volunteer Opportunities
Winnetka's Volunteer Center has organized two opportunities to help those in need this Thanksgiving season. For more details click here www.volunteercenterhelps.org/featured/two-ways-your-family-can-share-its-bounty-this-thanksgiving-via-the-volunteer-center/ .

Skokie Calendar
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November 21, Monday
6th Grade - New Trier Math Test Make-up

November 23, 24, 25
 
        NO SCHOOL   Thanksgiving Holiday 
 
 
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