The Skokie Home Scoop

Dear Skokie Families,


Winter break is finally upon us--no doubt you will welcome home some excited children today.  Many of you are preparing for travel, welcoming friends and relatives into your home, shopping for those last minute gifts, or stocking the fridge.  Although there is no snow falling, there is still something magic about this day when the school bell rings and there is promise of mornings to sleep in, special holiday treats in the house and time at home or traveling somewhere special.  Magic is something alive and well in our children, and something we can do well to take note from as adults.  For us, it would seem that the idea of magic is something we leave behind in our childhood and shift to a "seeing is believing" outlook.  Upon reflection, it occurred to me that there is magic in that too...if you take a moment to see, it is easy to believe in magic again.  In fact, we see it every day at The Skokie School. the child scurrying up to the building much earlier than school starts, with a smile on their face and an eagerness to see their teacher---we see you. the classroom who planned a winter carnival to raise money for victims of the wildfires in California---we see you. the parent who came to drop off a lunch or a forgotten item, but stays the extra moment to catch up with a teacher or Mrs. Zalinski--we see you. the PTO volunteer who secretly fills our planters with holiday branches each winter season--we see you. the child who dutifully totes an instrument case bigger than he is up the front steps each day--we see you. the teacher who stays late into the evening to make sure everything is set in the classroom for the next day's lesson--we see you. the parents smiles from the audience as they watch their children sing and play on stage---we see you.


So if seeing is believing, The Skokie School certainly does believe.  In our students.  In our teachers.  In our school community.  We believe.



I wish each of you a safe, happy, enjoyable winter break.  Enjoy the time together with your family, and we will look forward to seeing you all back at Skokie in 2019!


Most Sincerely,



Kelly Tess

#beatree  #everybodyin

Coffee and Conversation with your Middle School Principals--

We hope you will consider joining joining us on Friday, January 18 morning at 9:30am in the Curriculum Office Conference Room at Washburne for an informal, but guided conversation around social media and adolescents. This is a great opportunity to connect with your neighbors across the district and hear from your middle school administrators on a topic we all face in raising our middle school children. We hope to see you join us for a great conversation.

District News

Update on Educational Master Facility Plan (EMFP): Future Ready D36
On December 18, the District 36 School Board unanimously approved a $90.6 million referendum for community vote on April 2, 2019. With the total cost of the proposed facilities projects estimated at $100.6 million, the School Board committed $10 million from reserves to offset the cost of the referendum and lower the overall tax impact. If approved, the estimated tax increase over the current bond obligation-tax levy would be approximately $276 (annually) per $1 million of property value.

This plan was reviewed from a teaching and learning perspective, from a facilities perspective, and through the lens of what is fiscally responsible. It aligns with our community's value for neighborhood schools, our commitment to remain good stewards of taxpayer resources, and our community's high expectations for progressive schools. The final decision is now in our community's hands.

Please take a moment to read this letter, which went out to D36 families on Friday, Nov. 30. A webpage dedicated to Redistricting has been launched and will be updated regularly:

Winter MAP Testing
We are approaching our second testing window for the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test, which will take place between January 14 - 25, 2018.  Your child's school or teacher will inform you of his or her specific testing dates.

Similar to the fall, all students  in Grades 3 - 8 will take one Reading Test and one Math test.   MAP is a computer-adaptive test, which means every student receives a unique set of test questions based on responses to previous questions.  This provides a personalized assessment experience by adapting to each student's learning level.  The purpose of the second testing session is to provide teachers with midyear progress data that will help inform their instruction as they move forward into the school year. Student Reports are sent home at the end of the school year with fall to spring growth measures. Additional information on the MAP assessment may be found on our district website at

Kindergarten Registration
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:
  1. Complete an online pre-registration form
  2. 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 847-446-9400.

Winnetka Public Schools Foundation Annual Report
The District is incredibly grateful for the generosity of the Winnetka Public Schools Foundation. The Foundation's Board is committed to raising funds that enable District 36 to go above and beyond what is possible with tax dollars alone. Please review the 2017-2018 Annual Report to learn how Foundation grants support innovation in our schools:
Thank you, Winnetka Public Schools Foundation, for the incredible opportunities you continue to provide for our students!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!  Winnetka Public Schools Foundation--Annual Carlson Event

Thursday, January 17, 2019--7-9pm

Winnetka Community House, Garden Room                     


Dates to Note 

Winter Break Begins
Upon Dismissal--
Friday, December 21

Return from Winter Break
Monday, January 7
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