The Skokie Home Scoop

Dear Skokie Families,


Many of us commented today on it feeling as though we all crawled out of a cave this morning to seek interaction with other human beings and exposure to sunlight.  It just goes to show how hearty we've become when we see a 20 degree day as a heat wave.  Nevertheless, we still need to take care to encourage our students to dress appropriately, and keep an eye out for slick surfaces.  I hope you all stayed warm and safe in this dangerous weather, and are prepared for the inevitable snow melt that will happen this weekend.  Please continue to take care during drop-off and pick-up times as our snow banks have gotten quite high, making it difficult to see children as they exit cars and/or cross the street.  


When the weather makes it impossible to send your children out of the house to play, we often defer to entertainment in the house like technology.  This is a perfect opportunity to remind our families that while our school issued iPads are under strict content management while in our school buildings, this is based on the settings we have in place through our own wifi.  Once the iPads leave our schools and connect to your at-home wifi, it is possible that students are able to access a much wider band of content, unless you have put parent controls in place.  


Prior to issuing iPads to students, we ask all students and parents to sign off on a contract indicating the appropriate uses for this school-issued tool.  While it doesn't happen often, we do occasionally have to temporarily revoke iPad use for a student who has violated appropriated use of their device, treating this as a learning opportunity for building responsible use skills when accessing technology.  More often than not, students are savvy enough to keep questionable content off of their school iPads, but may experiment with using their own personal device (most likely a cell phone).  Our parents and schools become aware of this when content is shared amongst friends via group texts, Instagram, Snapchat,, etc.  Given the time our kids are spending indoors on days off/weekends, this may call for a little bit more vigilance in checking on devices use behind closed doors or late at night.  I am proud of our students for the responsible ways in which they make use of our school-issued resources, and equally proud of our staff for making the most of teachable moments for our students as we help them to navigate the digital world.  


Finally, as we head into the weekend, ask your 5th or 6th grader about today's all school assembly which was jointly attended by Washburne students.  We used this afternoon to kick off our March events (as seen in the Dates to Note in the right-hand column of this newsletter).  It was a fun, spirited event, and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to come together as two student bodies in the name of three fantastic upcoming events.


Stay warm and safe this weekend as the temperatures rise.  Enjoy the time together with your family, and we'll look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Monday!


Most Sincerely,


Kelly Tess




#beatree  #everybodyin




A Note from Science Olympiad
Science Olympiad - Session 2

The Skokie School is excited to offer the opportunity for both 5th and 6th graders to join a Division A Science Olympiad Team. This is a non-competitive format of the Science and Engineering based program. Skokie students participating in the program are then primed to participate in the competitive level at Washburne, should they continue to be interested. Registration is limited to the first 30 students to submit the online form.

Thursdays: FEB 14 - MAY 2 - 7:30 - 8:15 am
Meets in the Maker Space
Open to 5th and 6th Grade

Winnetka D36-- JUNGLE JOG--5k, Run/Walk:  Saturday, March 16

The Skokie School and Carleton Washburne School are thrilled to co-host this year's Jungle Jog on Saturday, March 16 at 8am.  This is the 5th year that Skokie has helped to organize this race, and now we look forward to expanding our invite to the Winnetka Public Schools Community at large.  The race begins at the Winnetka Train Station and runs a 5k loop along the Green Bay Trail.  Click here to register, and start planning your race costume!


Keeping A Sane Pace

For Christmas this year, my sister-in-law gave me a daily "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" calendar. The daily tips focus on cultivating mindfulness and kindness, among other things. Last  weekend's tip was:

Keeping a sane pace does more than keep us sane. It brings a richness to life that is impossible to experience when we are rushing around too quickly. There is something magical about having a little space between activities, a sense of calm, of having enough time.

This quote made me pause to reflect upon our pace here at Skokie, but also implored me to consider the pace I create for my own children at home.

When parenting,  I often find myself having an internal clock and deadlines that are obvious to me but are not so obvious to my three and a half year olds. For instance, my internal dialogue may be,  "Bath should not take longer than 5 minutes, because then we have to get dressed for bed and get to stories, so we can be asleep by 7:30 sharp." While my boys' internal dialogue might be, "We are having a ton of fun playing with these foam letters tonight, what's the rush??"

Having more awareness of the pace that I am setting for my children is something I would like to continue to reflect upon now, and as they grow into elementary school students and middle schoolers. When I think about our Skokie 5th and 6th graders' days, I know they are moving from one activity to the next and the school day is quite packed for them. Our teachers do a very nice job of building in moments of calm, whether it be through a read-aloud, a mindfulness activity, or movement breaks. I also know that many students have a number of hobbies and outside interests that they pursue after school hours. When paired with homework, social outlets, and family time, this can add up and make our middle schoolers' days quite full and void of calm.

Take a moment to reflect upon how you are incorporating calm moments into your child's days, and your own. Perhaps ask your child what he or she thinks about the pace of life. You might find some opportunities to build in some meditative, movement, or "free-from-a-schedule" breaks.

My new commitment is to take some more queues from my children when determining the pace of certain activities and routines, while at the same time providing structure. We'll see how it goes!

District News

Referendum Update
On December 18, 2018, the District 36 School Board prioritized the capital improvement projects embedded in our Educational Master Facility Plan.  To fund these priorities, the School Board unanimously approved a $90.6 million referendum for community vote on April 2, 2019. This reflects projects totaling $100.6 million, less $10 million of District reserves.
The priorities identified in the referendum are focused on addressing needs, such as providing ADA access, mitigating water pipes with elevated lead levels, enhancing safety and security to align with modern standards, and improving learning environments that have remained untouched for decades.  The plan also calls for operational efficiencies by consolidating from five schools to four.

To ensure that our community is well-informed on this topic, a Fact Sheet was mailed to all residents. This is the first of three informational mailings you can anticipate in the coming weeks.  Additionally, the District's Referendum 2019 webpage will be updated regularly and is dedicated to facts surrounding the referendum : .

Winnetka community members are invited to attend an upcoming informational session:
  • Wednesday, February 6, 9:15-10:45 a.m., Hubbard Woods
  • Monday, February 11, 1:00-2:30 p.m., The Skokie School  
  • Wednesday, February 20, 8:45-10:15 a.m., Crow Island
  • Monday, February 25, 9:15-10:45 a.m., Greeley
  • Monday, March 18, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Carleton Washburne
  • Thursday, March 21, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Crow Island
WPI Events

From our Partners at The Alliance for Early Childhood:

Play Time: How Prescribing Parks Has Changed the Lives of Children
Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 7:00-8:00pm
Little Theater, Washburne School, 515 Hibbard Rd, Winnetka
This event is free and open to the public

PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS are invited to an evening with Robert L. Zarr, MD, MPH a nationally recognized pediatrician recently featured in The New York Times and TIME Magazine . Dr. Zarr will share his personal experience as a pediatrician on the front lines of treating a growing epidemic of chronic disease in children.  Come hear the science and practice behind his innovative park prescription program. Click here to RSVP: .

For Parents: Managing Your Child's School Anxiety & School Refusal
Featuring Jacqueline A. Rhew, CADC, LCPC,
Co-author of Successful Parenting-Create Your Custom Plan for Raising Independent Children into Adulthood and Co-founder of Center for Emotional Wellness
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Skokie School Community Room
Childhood anxiety and school refusal is at an all-time high, and arming kids with healthy coping strategies is more important than ever. Are your children focused on avoiding failure or are they operating from a place of achieving to their greatest ability, based on their individual strengths and weaknesses?  This presentation will review specific interventions designed to assist children in managing their anxiety, as well as promoting increased motivation, healthy goal setting and active school engagement. Learn how to better develop parenting strategies to assist children with healthy coping responses and engage them in effective communication and language that promotes self-advocacy and independence. Ms. Rhew will provide essential tools for parents to assist their children in building resilience, navigating stressful situations, and increasing self-advocacy and problem solving abilities, thus leading to greater self-confidence and self-reliance.

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 .

A webpage dedicated to Redistricting will continue to be updated regularly: .

Dates to Note 

Winter Conference Window
January 28 - February 8

Thursday, February 7
Friday, February 8

Monday, February 18

Dance Marathon
Friday, March 1

St. Baldrick's/Wigs for Kids
Monday, March 11

Winnetka D36 Jungle Jog (5k)
Saturday, March 16

Spring Break
March 23-31
Replies to this email will be sent directly to Kelly Tess.
If you would like other family members to receive The Skokie School Home Scoop please hit reply.

Please note that by adding names to the The Skokie School Home Scoop  mailing list you are not updating any other mailing lists including your child's emergency contact information.  
If you unsubscribe from this email you will not receive important school information and your address will be deleted from all District electronic newsletter lists.

Please contact School Secretary, Rachel Owen, at 847-441-1750 to make changes to your child's records 
or if you have questions about other email lists.
 Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View on Instagram   View our videos on YouTube   Find us on Google+