The Skokie Home Scoop - February 17, 2017 

Dear Skokie Families,

This past week, a group of our 5th grade instrumentalists participated in the Illinois Grade School Music Association competition at Caruso Middle School in Deerfield, Illinois.  All of our six competitors received Division 1 ratings.  Ms. Terry Parisoli, their proud teacher, shared "It is extremely rare for students as young as 5th grade to participate in this event.  The overwhelming majority of contestants are 6-8th graders.  However, these courageous students performed with the skill and determination of musicians beyond their years."  These students received the highest ratings possible, and one string quartet group received a perfect score.   Congratulations to Ms. Parisoli and her amazing students:  Michael Compton, Tolga Bozkurt, Maddie Boulos, Julia Hudson, Helena Dube and Sophia Puljic.  You are a shining example of the dynamic learning we offer our students in Winnetka!

In the vein of dynamic learning, a teacher passed along a TedX recording he had come across attached to an article based on Tony Wagner's work.  Tony is a renowned Harvard educator with significant research behind the importance of fostering innovative learning environments for students.  If you find yourself with fifteen minutes to spare this weekend, take the time to watch this video ( CLICK HERE TO VIEW )  Tony delivers a simple, but important message about how skills we once considered to be innate or gifted can actually be taught, and should.  These very skills are the ones we are taking the time as a team of educators to focus on and give time to in Winnetka; however, this is also a movement happening across the country.  Google phrases like "entrepreneurial learning," "genius hour" or "20% time" and you will find a plethora of references to the ways in which school districts are reframing instructional time to build in authentic learning experiences for students that foster grit, perseverance, collaboration and self-advocacy.

Enjoy the long weekend together and the spring-like temperatures.
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!

From the Skokie Nurse

Helpful Tips to Reduce the Potential for Head Lice
Head lice often come as a surprise, and being watchful is the best way to avoid the inconvenience associated with these unwelcome visitors. We are in the midst of a busy time with theater, teams, and social groups in full swing.   Head to head contact is the primary way lice is transferred from one head to another, and opportunities continue to occur for head lice to find new "hosts."

Try these tips:
  • Avoid sharing combs, brushes, wigs, hats, headbands or helmets.
  • Keep your head covered with a protective bandana or other head covering if "trying on" or sharing can't be avoided.
  • For sleepovers, try and keep enough personal distance to avoid head to head contact.
  • Check your child's scalp from time to time, when the light is good. Try this even when your concern is at a low level.
Both lice and their eggs or nits are very tiny, and are not obvious to
see. This makes it hard to find them, and in checking your child on a regular basis, early detection is more likely. Remember, lice themselves do not jump or fly. They are not found on cats or dogs. They are not an indication of lack of hygiene. We continue to find them from time to time.

Please notify your school nurse, coaches or theater staff, and friends so
they can be aware should you find head lice on a family member.
For any questions, please call Mrs. Siegel at 847-441-2194.

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 Opportunity

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 

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.

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 .

Adventures in Learning
A decades-long tradition, this summer program includes classes as varied as Rocket Engineering, Camping Adventures and S'more Fun, Archery, Kitchen Magicians, Lacrosse, Computer Animation, Yoga for Kids, Animal Care, and the Wonders of Science. Students in grades 2-8 may choose up to four classes from over 100 options. Younger children (pre-Kindergarten through grade 1) will explore educational concepts through guided play and outdoor activities.

Adventures in Learning runs from June 12-July 14, 2017. Registration begins March 1 for Winnetka residents and is open to the general public on March 8. 

Erin's Law Reminder
Winnetka Public Schools recently held a Winnetka Parents Institute event on February 13 regarding the upcoming implementation of Erin's Law curriculum. In March, building social workers will implement state-mandated sexual abuse prevention education during one 20-30 minute session in each classroom. Parents have the option to opt their children out of the program as they deem appropriate, and must do so by March 1. For more detailed information about Erin's Law and curriculum content, or to find the opt-out form, please refer to the Erin's Law page of the District website ( ) or contact your school's social workers, Lori Barsztaitis, Susan Johnson, and Kelly Keane.

Skokie Calendar
Monday, February 20
          NO SCHOOL 
Teacher Institute Day 
Wednesday, February 22 
 Skokie Career Day
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