The Skokie Home Scoop - February 10, 2017 

Dear Skokie Families,

Our district's mission and vision speaks of reaching all learners, and it was the intent of this year's schedule pilot to do just that with the addition of the Student Skills Period in our day.  I have spoken before about how that period has allowed for students requiring an intervention in the area of Math or Reading to receive support during that period as opposed to forfeiting an Arts class.  Unless your student or their teacher has specifically shared with you, you may be wondering what students that do not require intervention gain during that period.  These students remain in the classroom, and while their daily schedule during this time varies by classroom it is an opportunity for these students to receive review, reteaching, individual attention from the teacher or extension.  

One growing example of extension for our students during the Skills period has arisen out of our building's involvement in a program called "Math Forum."  We made the connection to this program thanks to the careful attention and incredible network of our District Math Facilitator, Eileen Goodspeed.  She is always on the hunt for ways to improve and expand upon our math programming and came across this program through the National Council for Teachers in Mathematics.  The program uses the "Problem of the Week" format in which students are challenged to solve high level problems and receive timely online feedback from a mentor associated with program.  In addition, our school has been afforded the opportunity to have students demonstrating a strong understanding of these challenging problems to serve as mentors to other students involved in the program.  Eileen has been working closely with several student groups in 6th grade and has been amazed by the level of engagement, the intense problem-solving  and active questioning and collaboration taking place during their work on these problems.  Our students have also taken on the added challenge of creating their own videos to submit to the program that depict some of the problems shared on the website.  This has been an exciting and unique opportunity for those with a demonstrated passion and strength in Math that are looking for a deeper way to dive into mathematical thinking.  To learn more about this particular use of the Skills period in some of our classes, visit

I also wanted to take this week's newsletter to congratulate the members of our Math Counts team on their participation in this year's competition hosted at Oakton Community College last Saturday.  Thirty schools and twenty-nine individual teams were represented at the event, with a total of 105 individual "Mathletes" participating in this regional level of the competition.  Six of those teams moved on to the state level of the competition.  While our team was not one of the six, students involved shared that they were excited to be a part of the event and encouraged by their level of knowledge considering they were competing against 8th graders with several years of experience in the competition.  Thank you to Mr. Krupisnki, this year's Math Counts coach, and all members of the team for their enthusiasm, passion for the subject and dedication to practice!  We look forward to another great team next year!

It has been a pleasure to see so many families in the building this week for the start of conferences.  The conference window continues into next week as well.  Thank you for your partnership and support as we continue through the school year together.

Stay warm and enjoy the weekend with your families!
Most Sincerely,

Kelly Tess


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Information from Washburne for Sixth Grade Families

Dear Parents of Sixth Graders:
It is hard to believe, but it's time to begin thinking about your child's advisory placement and elective classes for next school year.
This may be your first introduction to Washburne. While we share a common philosophical approach with Skokie School, there are program, curricula, and logistic differences that set us apart. These differences help us address the unique needs your child presents as he/she continues his/her journey through adolescence. We have planned a series of meetings and visitations to help you and your child make informed decisions regarding elective choices and to share relevant information about academic/team placement. We look forward to seeing you on the evening of Thursday, March 2, for our annual Parent Orientation.
  Thursday, March 2
Meeting for parents of current 6 th graders with IEPs, 6:00-6:50pm,
in Washburne's Resource Center (see below)

Thursday, March 2
Orientation meeting for all parents of current 6th graders, 7:00pm, in Washburne's Little Theater

Friday, March 3
Sixth graders visit Washburne to learn about elective classes

Friday, March 3 
Elective classes description packets sent home with students     
Friday, March 17
Elective Classes Registration form must be completed online by this date

Friday, March 24  
  Parent Description/Information form to be completed online by this date  
Next Year's Elective Request Process
On April 6 th, your child will bring home a packet of materials containing elective course descriptions. Please read these materials carefully, and help your child complete the online registration prior to March 17. You will receive an email explaining how to log into the registration website on March 3. If you do not receive the email please contact the office at 847-446-5892.

Advisory/Team Placement Information

We are eager to learn as much as possible about your child so we can make the best placement for him/her. Your thoughts and observations regarding your child are important to us. Please use the link below to tell us about
                  *                  your child's learning style,
                  *                  the type of structure that works effectively for him/her,
                  *                  the type of teacher to whom your child best responds,
                  *                  your child's study/work habits,
                  *                  your child's peer relations,
                  *                  any other relevant information about him/her.
This information is invaluable to us in placing a student with an appropriate advisor and team.
The link to this form is
Many factors are considered when making placement decisions. These include the creation of heterogeneous groups of advisories and classes, individual student variables (learning styles and needs, appropriate classroom climate, peer relations), and the even distribution of math and foreign language students and students with special needs. In order for your submission to be considered for class and advisory placement you must complete the online form prior to Friday, March 24.      
Your understanding and consideration of our complex scheduling and placement process is much appreciated. We strive to meet the needs of each child as best we can, but we may not be able to make the specific placement you desire. Because we must consider the school as a whole, the building principal and assistant principal reserve the right to make all final decisions regarding placement decisions.
Parents of 6th Graders with IEPs (Individualized Education Plans)
On Thursday March 2, 6:00-6:50p.m. You are invited to join our special education teachers and me for an informal meeting in our Resource Center. We will present an overview of our Special Education Program here at Washburne, including a discussion of the similarities and differences between our program and the lower school program, how we integrate our special education program with our strong advisory/team philosophy, and other topics of interest. We will allow ample time for your questions.
We thank you for your thoughtful participation in this process.
Sincerely yours,
David Kanne                                 Tony Venetico
Principal                                        Assistant Principal

Thank you to all of our generous community members who have shown interest in supporting our first ever "Career Day."  At this time, we have confirmed with 43 presenters for February 22, and students spent this week selecting their preferred sessions.  Click on the link to view those who are confirmed to present.  If you volunteered, but we were unable to confirm your time with us, we hope we can call on you again in the future and are grateful for your support of our students!

Art Club 
The spring sessions of Skokie School's Art Club will be starting soon! The club will have two independent sessions, running Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:35-4:35pm for 12 weeks. There is the potential to run a 3rd session on Thursdays; that decision will be made after we collect data on student interest and availability. Sessions begin Tuesday, March 7th. Due to high demand and limited space, there are some steps we have taken to ensure fairness for all students. Please begin the registration process by completing this short  interest survey. 

District News 
Winnetka Parents Institute Opportunities

Learning About Erin's Law : Sexual Abuse Prevention Education
Monday,  February 13, 2017
7:00 p.m.
Carleton Washburne Resource Center
This WPI event that will outline Erin's Law ; an Illinois law that mandates public schools to implement age appropriate sexual assault and abuse awareness and prevention curriculum for grades K-12. The District is partnering with the Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center to share information regarding Erin's Law and how best to provide age-appropriate curriculum to our students. It is anticipated that curricular sessions regarding Erin's Law will be offered once annually and will not exceed 30 minutes in length.   Parents have the option to opt their children out of the program as they deem appropriate. Please RSVP to the WPI event here: 

Reading: The Home-School Connection for Younger Readers
Featuring Emily Butler Smith Teachers College, Columbia University
Friday, March 3, 2017
9:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m.
Hubbard Woods School
Targeted for parents of students in grades three through five.
How do I know if my child is 'getting it?' How can I support upper grade reading development at home? This workshop will help you to consider the books your children are reading and the ways you can support their 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 Emily Butler Smith, Associate Director for Professional Development , at the Teachers College, Columbia University. To RSVP, visit 

Winter MAP Testing
We are approaching our second testing window for the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test which will take place between February 27 - March 10.  Similar to the fall, all students  in Grades 3 - 8 will take one Reading Test and one Math test.  With this second testing, data concerning both your child's performance and growth will be measured. A report that details this information will be sent home prior to spring break. Additional information on the MAP assessment may be found on our district website at .

Early Childhood Screening
The Department of Student Services will be holding early childhood screenings in March 2017, with registration on February 24, 2017. If you are a Winnetka resident and have any concerns about your child's development in the areas of speech, language, coordination, hearing, vision, learning readiness, or emotional maturity, you are encouraged to register your child for an early childhood screening. The intent of the screening is to identify children who may have delays in their development and may require specific supports to address these delays. To be eligible for this screening, your child must be at least three years old. Click for full information about the registration process and screening dates.

Parent Resource on Teens and Technology
Whether or not you were able to attend the New Trier Township Family Engagement Night, Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age, on January 31, here is a resource from the creators of Screenagers intended to support families in finding balancing in their tech-filled worlds. 


Skokie Calendar
February 20
          NO SCHOOL 
Teacher Institute Day 
February 22 
 Skokie Career Day
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