The Skokie Home Scoop - December 9, 2016

Dear Skokie Families,

This was the week to be at Skokie! Our school (and Washburne) hosted a number of exciting events, making our building an especially active place from early in the morning through the evening hours.  I want to take a moment to highlight each of this week's events as they are truly a shining example of the quality of programming we are able to offer thanks to our dedicated and talented staff, incredibly supportive parent community and the enthusiasm and energy that comes from our students.  

Orchestra and Band Concerts
Parents and Community members were treated to two concert events this weekend by our Orchestra, Concert and Symphonic Bands:  Orchestra on Tuesday evening and Band on Thursday evening.  These two holiday events are a highlight this time of year, and it is always a treat to see the pride on the faces of our students as they perform in what is the culmination of weeks of hard work and practice with their teachers.  The work done by our talented instrumental teachers (Thank you, Ms. Nussbaum, Ms. Parisoli, Mr. Rzeszutko and Mr. Vowles!) is one of dedication, and ultimately showcases itself in the form of music.  I am always so impressed by what our young musicians are capable of producing, and even more proud that we offer this valuable learning opportunity to our children.  

Skokie's First MakerNight
This Wednesday evening, our three Maker Classrooms were opened up to Skokie families to experience the many engaging resources we have available to our students.  Thanks to generous donations from our PTO and Winnetka Public Schools Foundation, (and the incredible dedication of our teachers-Mr. Weir, Ms. Wild and Ms. McDonough!) we have been able to expand to three separate Maker Classrooms:  the MakerStudio, MakerLab and MakerSpace.  Each offers its own unique spin on the STEAM movement, and engages students in all elements of design thinking.  

The MakerStudio is home to a large green screen and a padcaster system which functions much like a television studio.  Student iPads can be popped into a frame that turns the iPad into a high-level camera on a tripod.  Our MakerStudio also provides lighting, sound, and editing features so students are able to see through a project from recording to the editing phase.  This Wednesday, students interviewed parents and will have the opportunity to edit and insert a background using the green screen, to later be shared with their parents digitally.  

The MakerLab is our tech-focused space with everything from a virtually reality learning board to robotics, coding, 3-D printing, 3-D cutting (materials can be mechanically cut to make an object), and more.  

Finally, the MakerSpace (our original space and the birthplace of where our school's excitement around the Maker Movement began) is home to a woodworking wall, a cardboard/styrofoam cutter, welding materials, sewing machines, circuitry, a variety of crafting materials, and so much more. 

Thank you to those that were able to attend these events this week.  Our school community thrives when parents, teachers, and students come together.  I hope you all enjoy a wonderful weekend with your families.  Stay warm and safe in the predicted snow that is headed our way!

Most Sincerely,

Kelly Tess

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A Note to Students and Parents...
We have seen a tremendous increase in tardy arrivals in the last week with 50 tardy students on Wednesday and 41 on Friday.  With the cold weather settling in and snow on the way, we ask that families do what they can to make sure students are arriving to school on time.  When the temperatures fall below a windchill of 15 degrees, we make sure to open the building early so that no students are left waiting outside for the 8:10 bell to ring.  Thank you for your help with this matter.


Please Turn In Your Grand Receipts

This holiday give our school a gift that doesn't cost a thing! Please remember to turn in your  2016 Grand  Food Center  Receipts  to support the Skokie-Washburne PTO, as well as The  Grand , our fabulous local grocery store. We need to turn in all receipts for 2016 by January 6, 2017so please bring them in as soon as possible, so that we can total and submit them to The Grand.
Please drop off your Grand receipts in the colorfully wrapped boxes labeled "Grand receipts" located in lobby of each school.  The Grand generously donates 3% of the pre-tax amount to the PTO on each receipt collected from their Winnetka or Glencoe stores. Thank you!

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

You're invited to review models under consideration by the Board Advisory Committee for Phase I of the Enrollment Balancing Project on the following dates:

Wednesday, December 14, 2016
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Carleton Washburne School

Thursday, January 5, 2017
7:00-9:00 p.m.
Carleton Washburne School

Also note, a Board Advisory Committee Meeting has been added on:

Monday, December 12, 2016
7:00 p.m.
Carleton Washburne School

Click here for the Agenda

To monitor the progress of the Enrollment Balancing Project, visit the District's website:
Additionally, there is an opportunity to share your comments and suggestion at any time via

2016 Tentative Levy
The 2016 Tentative Levy was approved by the Board at its November 15, 2016, Meeting. In the short video below, the District 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 schools participate in this program to collect plastic bags and wrap, which are recycled and made into alternate wood products. Collection bins are now placed in our schools. School communities that collect the most plastic will be announced on Earth Day, April 22.

Skokie Calendar
December 19 - January 2 
Winter Break 
Tuesday, January 3 
School Resumes 
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