The Skokie Home Scoop - November 22, 2016

Dear Skokie Families,
A few years ago, I wrote the letter below to our school families in what was my first year serving as principal of The Skokie School.  Those of you that know me well, know that I am very passionate about the history of our school and the gifts it brings to our Winnetka community.  I have decide to repost it below (with a few edits in bold specific to this year) as its message of gratitudes strikes me again this Thanksgiving season.  I wish each of you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday together with your families...

November 2014

The approach of Thanksgiving combined with the close of one trimester, and the start of another, inspires me to take stock of the long list of that which I am grateful for. So in the spirit of the season, and for a school that was built in 1921, here are my top 21 Skokie gifts to be thankful for:
1.)   396 5th and 6th graders who love to explore and are never afraid to try something new
2.)   59 members of our teachers and staff who dedicate themselves to supporting our students each and every day
3.)   Countless parents who volunteer in all forms to make sure our Skokie students and staff have all the help they may need to accomplish the best in learning
4.)   A building rich in its history and alive with memories old and new
5.)   Founding community members who believed in the power of focused middle school education and gave of their own money to see that belief through
6.)   Students who arrive to our MakerSpaces and Enrichment/Inquiry periods each day ideas in mind and an eager look on their face, ready and excited to contribute new ideas to their school
7.)   Moments like yesterday when I saw a student struggling to open his locker and the three students who stopped to help him before moving on down the hall
8.)   Moments after school when I see students walking down Elm into town for a hot chocolate, and what it means to live and work in a community where "small town" and "simple pleasures" are still celebrated
9.)   A school district that invests in high quality professional development for its teachers because it values the investment and trust it places in its educators
10.)  Office staff that know our families by name, their stories, what makes them smile, and how to help them
11.)   Students who give of themselves and readily step up to service projects
12.)   Meetings between parents and teachers that end in a or tear or two when its evident how much every person around the table cares for a child
13.)   The Skokie School planters that are mysteriously filled with festive plants and seasonal flowers each turn of the season to brighten our entrance (still a mystery that makes me smile!)
14.)  Our incredibly generous PTO and the parents who give and give and plan and plan, and continue to ask, "What else can we do?"
15.)  The musical sounds coming from our auditorium each day during lessons and how our musicians have grown since the start of the school year
16.)  The community members and alumni that take the time to stop by Skokie and share their stories with me
17.)   Programs for middle school students that allow a place for everyone, and a chance to shine in the arts, athletics, science, engineering, math and technology
18.)   Days when the school is full, as parents visit their excited students to see the latest project they've been spending weeks working on 
19.)   The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation and the evidence of their support for 21st century learning in the resources given to our MakerSpace and Digital Literacy classrooms.
20.)   Teachers whose cars are parked in the wee hours of the morning and well after the sun goes down, planning for the next great thing they will explore with their students
21.)   And above all, an established, historic, generous community of parents, teachers, staff and students who work best as one whole; a whole that values and supports the importance of a progressive and thoughtful approach to educating the children that will one day be the alumni to share their stories.
My heart is full, Skokie School. Each and every one of you makes it the truly special place that it is. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families. I do hope Skokie is on your list too.
Most Sincerely,
Kelly Tess

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Dear Parents,

Winter is right around the corner, and now is a great time to review some safety points for students walking home, riding bikes, and getting dropped off/picked up by parents.
  • Students must walk their bikes, scooters, etc. when crossing the street.
  • Students must cross Oak, Elm, and Glendale at the corners, where a crossing guard is present for their safety.
  • Please adhere to signage on Oak, Elm, and Glendale, specifically relating to parking spots and parking times. This signage has been implemented in conjunction with the Winnetka Police and is requisite for proper traffic flow and safety.
  • If picking students up by car, please be mindful of families needing to enter/leave drive ways and alleys. 
  • Avoid dropping students off or picking them up in alleys. This is a safety concern and can potentially disrupt the flow of traffic.
  • Please adhere to school crossing guards when they are stopping traffic.
  • Autumn leaves are often pooled roadside at this time of year. Students should not play in these leaves, particularly during busy traffic times before and after school.
The Skokie School is committed to student safety and has worked closely with the Winnetka PD to ensure safe travel. We will be reviewing these points with students at school. Any assistance with implementing these safety procedures or additional discussions you can have at home would be most beneficial. Thank you for your partnership and cooperation in making students' travel to and from school as safe as possible.
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!  

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.

We apologize for the delay in offering registration to you. We have had some technical difficult in getting it ready for you, but can share that this club will meet on Wednesdays from 3:35-4:35 and be led by Mr. Brad Krupinski (6th Grade Math/Science Teacher). We expect that a registration link will be ready no later than early next week! Thank you for your patience!
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.  
Free Club Offerings...
Green Ribbon Sustainability Club
Students will learn about the Three Pillars of school sustainability that have been developed by the United States Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools. We will compare our habits to the USGBC-CGS's framework, determine strategies to increasing our energy efficiency, advocate for classroom implementation of these strategies, and quantify the amount of resource usage we are able to reduce. Club meets Tuesdays beginning November 8, 2016 at 7:30am in Room 174.
Happy Tillers
Students will collaborate with teachers to plan and carry out an extended season vegetable garden with the assistance of technology and organic farming methods. We will utilize our indoor plant nursery to raise seedlings from seeds, harden off plants using low tunnels and cold frames, fertilize them with compost, and learn about the benefits of irrigating with drip tubing and rain barrels.  Club meets Wednesdays from at 7:30am in the Auditorium

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!

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.

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.


Enrollment Balancing Project - Update & Reminder
As the Enrollment Balancing Project (EBP) progresses, please visit the web page dedicated to the project: .  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 .
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.
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. 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 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 .
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.
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. 
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 .

Skokie Calendar
November 23, 24, 25          NO SCHOOL   Thanksgiving Holiday

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