The Skokie Home Scoop - December 2, 2016

Dear Skokie Families,
It was my pleasure to co-host a Winnetka Parent Institute event with Mr. Dave Kanne and Mr. Joshua Swanner entitled "Not Quite Little Kid, Not Quite Teenager:  The Developmental Progression of the Middle School Child."  We were pleased to be joined by 46 Winnetka parents for this informative presentation on the impact that brain development has on the many challenges faced by children as they experience the onset and progression of adolescence.  We will be posting this presentation on our district website soon; however, we will also offer a reprise of the live presentation in January at Greeley School.  

The purpose of this presentation was to provide parents with some valuable and timely information on the neurological development of adolescents, and the impact that has on the many challenges that can be faced in grades 5-8 (and beyond).  In addition, a key message parents left with is that many of the most difficult moments that are faced as the parent of middle-school student can feel very isolating and often scary.  As a middle-school educator, we have the perspective of a body of students facing similar challenges with a breadth of very normal biological, neurological and behavioral reasons for why these things are happening.  It is key to partner with your child's teachers and administrators not only to best support both you and your child, but to view us as an educated ally with a shared interest in doing what is best for your child.  

If you attended yesterday's presentation, thank you for taking the time to spend your morning with us.  It is always a pleasure to meet with you, and see your interest in our schools.  If you did not have the opportunity to attend, look out for a second invitation to attend January's session at Greeley.  While the presentation will be viewable online, a large portion of the event involved discussion.  The connections made between parents during this time is as important to us as the information that you walk away with.

Stay warm this weekend, and enjoy the time together with your families.

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!  

MathCounts 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.  

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!

Enrollment Balancing Project - Update & Reminder
Opportunities to review the four models under consideration for Phase I (to provide relief to Crow Island School for fall 2017) of the Enrollment Balancing Project will be held at the at Carleton Washburne School on the following dates:

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
7:00-9:00 p.m.

Additionally, there is an opportunity to share your comments and suggestion at any time via . For more information on the EBP visit .

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.

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.

Hour of Code
The Winnetka Public Schools invites you to #HourofCode, hosted in the Carleton Washburne School  CoLab (N102) on Tuesday, December 6 from 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 pm.   We encourage families to join us as our students guide you through various coding activities.  All ages are welcome at #HourofCode, an engaging learning opportunity for the whole family.

December 5-11, 2016 is Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), an annual program dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science. CSEdWeek is held in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906).  Each year,  tens of millions of people participate in the largest learning event in history, #HourofCode, to promote the importance of Computer Science Education.

The Illinois 5Essentials Survey Given to Students in Grades 6-8 the week of Dec. 5-9
This is the fourth year the Illinois State Board of Education will implement this survey across the state. Based on 20 years of research at the University of Chicago, the Illinois 5Essentials Survey asks students about their experiences in school, giving school leaders an individualized report measuring important student input on five "essentials" critical for school success:
  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environment
  • Ambitious Instruction

Student participants will be required to log-in using their student ID and birthdate in order to complete the survey, which will take approximately 25 minutes. Students' identities will be completely confidential. Teachers or administrators will never see individual responses to survey questions and will only receive aggregated information, such as the total percentage of students who agree homework assignments help them learn the course material.
Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Act. 20 U.S.C. Section 1232(c) (1) (A), you have the right to review a copy of the questions asked of your student(s). Survey questions can be found on the Illinois 5Essentialswebsite ( If you would prefer your child does not participate in this survey, please contact your building Principal by December 4.

Skokie Calendar
Tuesday, December 6 
Orchestra Holiday Concert
(Grades 5, 6, 7, 8) 
   Washburne Gyms
7:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 8 
Band Holiday Concert
(Grades 6, 7, 8) 
   Washburne Gyms
7:30 p.m. 
December 19 - January 2
Winter Break 
Tuesday, January 3
School Resumes 
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