The Skokie Home Scoop  - December 22, 2017 

Dear Skokie Families,

It goes without saying that the kids were very excited today, both for the coming of winter break and the many fun and festive celebrations that went on in classrooms. Many parents were visiting in the building with an equal holiday spirit about them. There is always a buzz in the air this time of year, and the energy is palpable.

From the adult perspective, it can be easy to have that excitable energy turn into stress. Between the growing shopping lists, the visiting relatives, the food preparation, etc., it can be easy to lose sight of what matters most. Like many of you, I found myself in line at the post office a few weeks ago...a very long line. I had a list a mile long of errands I needed to accomplish and a long line at the post-office was not part of the plan. I heard a voice from the lady behind me ask, "Have you been to the new soup place in town?" At first, I ignored the question, not thinking it was meant for me, but as I turned slightly toward her, she asked again. I told her I hadn't, and expected the conversation to end there. I was surprised when she began to tell me that she had just been there and tasted their Italian wedding soup, just like the one her grandmother had made every Christmas when she was a little girl. Then the lady in front of me turned around, and said, "Oh, that's so funny, I was just thinking about missing my mother and her latkes....I just can't make them like her, and I'm craving them this time of year." Before I knew it, there were seven people in line, including myself, reminiscing about family recipes and traditions. What had been a quiet, slightly grumpy crowd, were now brief friends in happy conversation. Back in the car, I was already on to thinking about the next stop on my list of errands, when my daughter quietly said, "Wasn't that nice, how everyone was chatting?"

I share this anecdote, only to remind you that we each bring our lengthy list of to-dos and stressors to every situation we face. This time of year, remember the little ears and eyes around you, always watching and listening for models of how to face challenge. We all need a reminder to choose kind from time to time, and we certainly all benefit from the person who remembers to do it. Enjoy the time together over the break, and the opportunity to share in traditions and make new memories. I look forward to seeing you all back here in 2018! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Most Sincerely,  
Kelly Tess
Follow us on Twitter: @skokie36

District News 
Is Your Child Starting Kindergarten in 2018?
To pre-register your child for the 2018-2019 school year, please contact the District office at 847-446-9400 to begin the process. This early pre-registration process helps ensure that The Winnetka Public Schools have proper staffing and most accurate school assignments.  Children who will be five-years-old on or before September 1, 2018, are eligible to enroll.   Click here for documents required for new students.  Registration packets are available at the District Office ( 1235 Oak St .). Children will not be considered enrolled until residency documentation is verified and all forms are submitted. If you have any questions, please contact the District Office at 847-446-9400 .
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. As part of our research on how facilities and learning environments best meet the needs of students today and prepares them for the future, the Future Ready D36 Core Team has toured several schools in and around the North Shore as well as California, Minnesota, and Virginia. Student-centered design elements observed include...

  • Flexible furniture that is easy to move, comfortable, and a variety of heights and sizes to meet students' learning needs and enhance collaboration
  • Abundant natural light, which research says creates a more positive learning environment
  • Walls that move, allowing collaboration amongst classrooms as well as a multipurpose use
  • Innovative technology to support teaching and learning incorporated throughout classrooms, common areas, and libraries
  • Accessibility for ALL students, staff, and visitors
  • Modern safety technology to best protect students and staff in the event in an emergency
  • Access to green spaces for hands-on learning both outside (i.e. a rain garden and green roof) and inside (i.e. a hydroponics lab and greenhouse)  
  • Energy efficiency resulting in cost savings and positive stewardship of natural resources
  • Thermal comfort to support research on temperature conditions ideal for learning
  • The incorporation of historic elements into new or renovated buildings

The Future Ready D36 Core Team continues to research and explore solutions to best meet the needs of our students and school community. Upcoming community engagement opportunities will be announced after Winter Break. Meeting materials are available for Future Ready D36 at .

Winter MAP Testing
We are approaching our second testing window for the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test, which will take place between January 16 - 26, 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 .

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

Calling All Winnetka Public Schools Alumni!
The Winnetka Public Schools features a monthly "Alumni Spotlight" column to highlight how graduates are making a difference in the world. From entrepreneurial ventures, to helping others through charitable endeavors, to pursuing excellence in academia or the arts, the District wants to hear your story. Interested candidates should email Communications Coordinator Kate Hughes at .

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.

Special Opportunity to Help a Winnetka Family
3-year-old Winnetka resident Reese is the daughter of former Greeley teacher Jennifer (Latala) Felderman and she lives near Greeley school. Reese's oncologists have presented JMML, a very rare form of leukemia. The diagnosi s will not be complete without a molecular study that is being completed in Seattle. There is urgent need for Reese to have a bone marrow tran splant. There will be a donor drive on Thursday, December 28th from 3-6 p.m. at Sacred Heart Parish Center, Winnetka. Jennifer will be there to thank you as will Quinn (and Reese if she can.) Be the Match is sponsoring and the test is a cheek swab . Here is more information f rom Be the Match. For more details about this situation, please visit 

Pictured are Reese on the left and Quinn on the right.

Dates to Note 


December 23 - January 7 
Winter Vacation

January 8,  Monday 
Schools Reopen

Art Club Returns in January
Tuesday and Wednesday Art Clubs will start their second session when we return in January.
Art Club will have two independent sessions, students may enroll in only one.
Sessions start Jan 9th, 10th and run through
March 20th, 21st. 
Art Club will not meet
February 13th and 14th

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