The Skokie Home Scoop - February 24, 2017 

Dear Skokie Families,

This week The Skokie School hosted its first ever Career Day.  We welcomed 43 unique presenters into the building to share their passions, interests and professional experience with us.  Thanks to the incredible efforts of members of our Career Day Committee, this large scale effort resulted in a fun and engaging day for our students to learn about careers they may never have been exposed to before.  Planning for this day began back in September of this school year, recruiting parents and community members to spend a day in February with us to share out what it is that makes them do what they do each day.  

Early in February, our students had an opportunity to spend an afternoon advisory period with a member of the Career Day committee to create a log-in for our registration forum and hear a description of each of the 43 sessions that were available.  They then spent a second session registering for classes via an online sign-up created by Mr. Weir.  Students used that schedule to navigate their way through 4 fifty minute sessions in the building on Wednesday, February 22.  The day began with an opening assembly from Mr. Mike Meiners (owner of HackStudio in Evanston) and ended with a closing assembly from Mr. Tony Venetico (Assistant Principal and Magician!).  Thank you to Mr. Hynes, Ms. Dolkart, Ms. Goldberg, Ms. Warner, Mr. Swanner, Ms. Owen, Ms. Zalinski, Mr. Weir, Ms. Wild and all of our generous presenters who helped to make this day a fantastic one for our kids!

On another note, as I have shared, our school is in the midst of a year-long schedule pilot.  We have spent first and second trimester following a schedule that incorporates a Skills Period as well as an additional use of the afternoon advisory period for Enrichment & Inquiry (some of you may have heard it referred to as the Passion Period).  Based on collected feedback from the staff, we will be shifting to another iteration of the schedule beginning Third Trimester.  This iteration is the result of much consideration and reflection from our teachers on ways that the schedule could be improved to both maximize our instructional blocks as well as allow time for intervention, enrichment and inquiry.  Please click here to view what we are referring to as the RISE schedule.

As we move into this next iteration of our pilot, we look forward to soliciting feedback from our parents and students as well.  Our lived experience and the feedback from our school community will ultimately guide how we proceed in the coming school year.  Above all, our goal is to settle on a schedule model that places value on high-quality, engaging instructional experiences while still fostering and encouraging student voice, opportunities to serve others and the importance of being a curious learner.  We look forward to learning more together through this next phase of the pilot.

I hope you all enjoy the weekend together with your families.  It appears the very warm temperatures are gone for now, but March does begin next week so Spring is on the horizon!

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

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

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.


Skokie Calendar
Friday, March 3 
6th Grade Shadow Day            at Washburne
Monday, March 6 
Begin Trimester 3
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