The Skokie Home Scoop  - December 1, 2017 

Dear Skokie Families,

Our much-anticipated school-wide viewing of the movie, "Wonder" will take place next Monday and Wednesday. Our students and staff are excited to be able to see how the story has been captured on film. Again, we are incredibly grateful to our PTO for sponsoring this trip, and for their continued support of a focus on the importance of choosing kind.

I had a chance to preview the film, and was very moved by the way the director and actors portrayed R.J. Palacio's story. Seeing a story like this depicted visually can be emotionally challenging as it forces the audience to witness unkind behavior and poor choices made by others. Even knowing it is a fictional story, all of us have witnessed moments like this in our lives, and that very real connection can bring about uncomfortable feelings. As your child anticipates next week's trip to the theater, you may take this weekend to ask them what they know about the story, and what they expect to see, learn, hear, wonder about.

As an educator and parent, I left this film feeling inspired. The message is simple: never underestimate anyone, especially a child, as their resilience and strength is often uncompromised by a life of negative experience as a result of their youth. And yet, it is in our youth that we are all capable of making poor choices, usually out of fear. Sometimes that fear is driven by the idea of being left out, or unappreciated. Sometimes that fear is driven by the idea that someone is better than you, or that you are somehow not good enough. As parents, we all want our children to be loved and accepted. It is heartbreaking when your child faces adversity and feels ill-equipped to defend against it. Likewise, it is heartbreaking when your child makes a choice to create that adversity for someone else. Both can be a powerful learning opportunity, though never easy.

The story of Auggie, "Wonder's" main character, is a moving, relatable one. Nevertheless, Auggie's biggest challenge is a physical one, obvious to anyone that sees him. Our purpose in viewing this film together as a school is not only to talk through the importance of accepting others with visible differences, but in continuing the conversation around acknowledgment that all of us come with our challenges, vices, weaknesses, and we all need someone to reach out and embrace us despite those things.

I look forward to this unique learning experience next week, and the discussion to follow as a school community. Enjoy the weekend together with your families.

Most Sincerely,  
Kelly Tess
Follow us on Twitter: @skokie36
Information for Wonder Field Trips 
  • The 6th Grade will see Wonder on Monday, December 4th
  • The 5th Grade will see Wonder on Wednesday, December 6th

--Students will need to bring a bag lunch on the day of their field trip as they will be eating lunch in the classroom upon their return from the movie.

--No money is necessary for the field trip.  Tickets and concessions are provided compliments of our PTO.  A big thank you to the PTO! 

--If your child did not bring home a permission slip then please let their Advisor know. 


District News

Upcoming Winnetka Parents Institute Events

Hour of Code
Monday, December 4 from 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.  
The Skokie School, MakerSpace*
*Please note, event location has changed!
We encourage families to join us as our students guide you through various coding and technology activities as part of the international event #HourofCode.  #HourofCode aligns with Computer Science Education Week from December 4-10, which is dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science. All ages are welcome at #HourofCode, an engaging learning opportunity for the whole family. RSVP to Hour of Code here: .

Tools for Math Success in College and Careers: Collaborative Problem Solving, Listening, and Communication
Tuesday, December 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
The Skokie School, Community Room

Join Max Ray-Riek of the Math Forum at NCTM for an interactive parents' workshop exploring how collaborative group problem-solving sets students up to be successful in math and in math-intensive careers. We'll discuss what it means to have rigorous standards for listening and communicating in math, how exposure to multiple approaches supports successful students to be sense-makers with deep understanding who never hit that "math wall," and how math-intensive careers require students to be able to problem-solve collaboratively and support their math skills with strong interpersonal skills. RSVP via this link: .

For those who are unable to attend Winnetka Parents Institute events in person, most sessions are recorded and shared on the District website at .

Future Ready D36
As is always our goal in Winnetka, keeping our students at the center of all that we do is vital to the Future Ready D36 process. The Future Ready D36 Core Team has toured several schools in and around the North Shore as part of their research on how facilities and learning environments best meet the needs of students today and prepares them for the future. Here is a glimpse into some of the spaces toured so far (including New Trier High School, Sunset Ridge, North Shore Country Day School, and Lane Tech College Prep).

As the District continues to research and explore solutions to best meet the needs of our students and school community, we will keep you informed. Our goal is to have a long-term plan that addresses our vision for teaching and learning, enrollment, and facility needs.

Visit for more information on Future Ready D36 .

Opportunity for Students
The Students Involved with Technology Conference (SIT), is an annual conference for 3rd through 12th grade students. The event will be held on February 10, 2018, from 8:30- 2:00 p.m. at Westgate Elementary School in Arlington Heights. What makes the conference unique is that it is completely presented by students for students with adult volunteers from local schools and the community to help the day run smoothly.  

SIT is a great opportunity for your child to learn from their peers or to step into a leadership role by sharing their expertise.  Space is limited and registration is accepted on a first come, first served basis.   For information and registration visit

Follow The Winnetka Public Schools on Social Media
To get a glimpse of the exciting school events and classroom activities taking place day-to-day in D36, read articles on topics of interest, and more, connect with us on social media by clicking on the icons at the bottom of the newsletter.

Dates to Note 

December 5, Tuesday 
Winter Orchestra Concert
Skokie Auditorium
7:30 p.m.
December 7, Thursday
Holiday Band Concert
Grades 6, 7, 8
Washburne Gymnasium
7:30 p.m. 
December 19, Tuesday
School Board Meeting
Washburne RC
7:15 p.m.
December 23 - January 7 
Winter Vacation
January 8,  Monday 
Schools Reopen
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