Dear Skokie Families,
There is so much to share about this week at Skokie! Spring tends to be the busiest time in our school, with end of year projects and performances. This week alone there was a district wide choral concert on Wednesday evening followed by a jazz concert on Thursday. Wednesday's performance was both upbeat and moving, seeing all of our district choral students showcase songs that reflect their hard work and enthusiasm. We are so fortunate to have the dedication of our amazing choral directors: Betsy Balkin (Skokie), Hillary Schroer (Washburne), Alex Novello (Crow Island), Gary Wendt (Hubbard Woods) and Mary Ferneding (Greeley), who coordinated an awesome concert in which each school performed on their own, as well as together. Thank you to these teachers for what you bring to our schools! Likewise, Thursday evening's Jazz Band concert was the final of its kind for our retiring director (still one more band concert to go though!), Bob Rzeszutko. As always, it was an evening for students to showcase their practice as jazz musicians, which is always so impressive amongst our young instrumentalists. Mr. Rzeszutko and Mr. Vowles bring our students through an incredible musical journey of growth in such a short time, and we are grateful for their important role in our thriving instrumental music program!
I would be remiss if I didn't use some of this week's Home Scoop to give a huge shout out to our Assistant Principal, Ms. Betty Weir. This week is Assistant Principal's Week, and an opportunity to acknowledge the role this position plays in a school, and the special dynamic that Ms. Weir brings to it. Her compassionate heart and thoughtful consideration for all she does helps bolster our school community as a whole, and I couldn't be more grateful for her good work. Thank you, Ms Weir!
We also hosted our first "Skokiepalooza" today, planned by our students and Arts Team: Ms. Balkin, Ms. Antman and Mr. Greenman. Today's event was a showcase of all things creative; student work on display throughout the building; dance, music, and art activities, high engagement and celebration of the Arts. Thank you to our Arts Team (and the rest of our staff as well!) for supporting this day, which required a lot of planning and coordination!
Finally, if you hadn't heard the news, the first ever image of a black hole was captured this week, thanks to the work of a 29 year old MIT graduate student, Kathaerine Bouman. Take one look at her photo below, and you will notice the following: scrawling mathematical work on the boards behind her; another mathematician, head down, deep in work; an array of computers open; coffee cups poised to fuel the work. More than that though, look at that face. Look at her hands, held up in a balance of pride and surprise. Look at the smile in her eyes that is silently shouting, "It worked! I did it!" That's the face of a woman who was once a student who undoubtedly had a teacher, parent or mentor who dared her to ask big questions, challenged her to be curious, entertained skepticism and warned her never to settle for the first and fastest answer. That's the face of a once 6th grader who was excited in Science class, and felt emboldened by her math work. That's the face that we can only hope to see on those of our current students--the pay-off of years of being an inquirer, a pioneer in a world where it feels like there are few new frontiers. I thought of Katherine Bouman's face this week when one of our sixth grade teachers told me about the project she was working on with her students, integrating both math and science concepts into work to help understand the proportion of the sun to the other planets, which led to several students questioning how we define "life" on Earth, and whether that could be defined differently on other planets. That big question was nurtured by the teacher, and will be explored by the students in Inquiry when the project is complete. In most schools, there's no time for the big questions, but rather the push to get through the required curriculum, forgetting that so much can be learned if the curiosity is the driver for learning. In short, Winnetka continues to be a foundation for curious learners because our teachers work for the moment when that very look appears on their students' faces. Congratulations to Katharine Bouman on reaching that moment at a national, if not universal level! And congratulations to the educators along your path who are celebrating with you this week.
Enjoy the weekend and the time together with your families. The cold is creeping back in, so bundle up! We look forward to seeing everyone return on Monday for a short, four day week.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @skokie36
This afternoon, our students had the opportunity to participate in a festival-like experience during Skokiepalooza. Our arts teachers planned this rich experience for students, during which they had the chance to participate in drum circles, improv, virtual drawing, hip hop and breakdance lessons among other things. They also were able to watch performances by their peers and take in artwork students have created over the course of this school year. We are so proud of the work our students and teachers do in the area of arts education, and this event was a wonderful celebration of this work.
One of the highlights as I flitted in and out of the many artistic offerings today was the Caberet Stage in our Resource Center. Students had the opportunity to be a solo performer or perform with peers on a small stage that was set up in this intimate space. The talents that they brought forward were incredible. Some students sang, while others played instruments. Not only did they produce beautiful music, but they commanded the attention of their peers in the audience, who had a clear appreciation of their classmates' work.
At the end of Skokiepalooza, we had a surprise performance from an up and coming artist: Queeva. She sang two songs and invited students to attend a free performance she will be doing tonight at the Winnetka Chapel. The concert starts at 7 p.m. We hope some of the students are able to attend! Here is a link to the invitation and some of Queeva's videos.
In addition to her performance today, Queeva will be performing at the Children's Stage during the Winnetka Music Festival this summer. Some of our students are helping to organize an interactive activity booth that will be featured near the Children's Stage during the festival. We are excited about this partnership with Winnetka Music Festival and hope you'll be able to join us on the afternoon of June 22nd! Here is a link for more information:
Adventures in Learning 2019 runs from June 17th-July 19th, 2019
No camp on July 4th.
A decades-long tradition, this summer program includes classes as varied as Rock Guitar Band, Life Around the World, Zany Art Explosions, Drone Flight School, Camping Adventures, Make Your Own Music Video, Adventures in STEAM, Archery, The Wacky World of Water, Kitchen Magicians, Programming and Robotics, Tennis, Computer Animation, Improvisation, Yoga for Kids, Animal Care, Purposeful Repurposing and Spa-Liscious to name a few!
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.
This years program will be held at Washburne for the 2nd-8th graders and Hubbard Woods for the Pre-K (4 years old by June 1st, 2019)and K Primary program (5 years old by September 1st, 2019).
Winnetka Parents Institute Events
In partnership with the New Trier Township Schools, the Apple Store at Old Orchard is offering an exclusive event for our parents/guardians. Space is limited to 15 per session. Please sign up for only one session.
All sessions are from 10 am to 11 am. If you can't make one of the sessions, the Apple creatives are always willing to help, just schedule a time to meet with them one on one.
The Transition to Kindergarten in D36
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Greeley School Resource Center
Hosted in Partnership with The Alliance for Early Childhood
In partnership with the The Alliance for Early Childhood, the District invites incoming Kindergarten families to an annual informational session that introduces Kindergarten families to the research and philosophy behind our play-based instructional approach. This event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Greeley School.
Girls Coding Club starts the week of April 23, 2019. Space is limited, priority will be given to students in grades 3 and 4.
As you are likely aware, the referendum did not pass. Please know we recognize all who have stayed informed, engaged in planning, and provided important feedback to help shape solutions. Information and next steps will be shared in the coming weeks as we maintain our commitment to clear and consistent communication.
Over the past two years during this planning process and referendum outreach, we held firm to our commitment to community engagement, clear and transparent communication, a focus on teaching and learning, and fiscal responsibility.
Although the referendum did not pass, we are dedicated to moving forward in a civil, collaborative manner to determine next steps in how to manage aging facilities and best meet the educational needs of our students.
Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR)
Please read this letter from Barry Rodgers, Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning:
IAR will be administered to students in
3 through 8 from April 2-19, 2019
. Schools will be sending details concerning specific dates and times of testing sessions.
Kindergarten pre-registration for 2019-2020 is now open. Children who will be five-years-old on or before September 1, 2019, are eligible to enroll. The District's Kindergarten Committee and Central PTO unanimously approved shifting to an online process versus an on-site process. This shift minimizes the time needed to pre-register and respects the busy schedules of our families.
The Registration process is completed in two steps:
Complete an online pre-registration form
Provide proof of residency (documents can be uploaded online): child(ren)'s original birth certificate and a parent photo ID will need to be provided in person. Opportunities to do so will be made available in Spring 2019.
The list of documents that will meet these requirements is here:
If you have any questions, please contact the District Office at
Apple Pencil/Logitech Crayon- Available for Purchase
Great news! The Winnetka Public Schools Technology department is now able to offer discounted Apple Pencils and Logitech Crayons for sale via the newly launched web store. Schools and classrooms across the district have Apple Pencils and Logitech Crayons available for sharing, this offer is to purchase a personal pencil or crayon. The pencil is compatible with iPad (6th gen) and iPad Pros (not 3rd gen), the Logitech crayon is only compatible with the iPad (6th gen).
To purchase an Apple pencil or Logitech crayon, visit the
. You will need to set up an account to complete your order. Your account only needs to be created once and can be used for future purchases from the Winnetka Public Schools. Credit cards purchase only.
Webstore (RevTrak) FAQ
Dates to Note
5th Grade Orientation
(for incoming 5th graders)
Tuesday, April 16
NO SCHOOL--Good Friday
Friday, April 19
CLASS PICTURE DAY
Thursday, April 25