The Skokie Home Scoop  -February 2, 2018 

Dear Skokie Families,

If you haven't already heard (on this below zero windchill day), the groundhog did see his shadow this morning, so those six additional weeks of winter are in our future.  Needless to say, this is a good time to remind everyone to make sure your 5th or 6th grader is coming to school with the proper winter gear.  It looks like we have some cold days ahead.

The parent-teacher conference period begins next week.  Links are still available below if you have not yet had a chance to sign up for a time.  We look forward to seeing you in the building over the next couple of weeks.

Finally, I was honored to speak at The Carlson Event last evening.  This event is hosted annually by the Winnetka Public Schools Foundation as an opportunity for parents to connect with each other and learn more about the ways that this generous foundation has supported various initiatives and resources in our five schools.  I spoke to the audience last night about the Foundation's gift of television studio equipment and the impact it has had on our students and staff.  Our television studio came to fruition after much consideration and brainstorming together with our tech team (Kathy McDonough, Jeff Weir, Gina Wild and Maureen Miller) and Todd Burlesson, RC Director at Hubbard Woods.  We wanted to create a television studio that was engaging enough for our students coming to us with extensive experience from Hubbard Woods, but also inviting to students with no exposure from the other schools.  We eventually committed to purchasing the PadCaster system, with the support of the WPSF.  This system is a serious of snap-on accessories compatible with an iPad, allowing a student to turn their device into a relatively sophisticated camera with lighting, sound and teleprompter capabilities.

Caden Greco, current sixth grade student at Skokie, joined me in the presentation last night, giving a live demonstration of the PadCaster and its many features.  The message I hope our audience members left with last night is how important it is for us to invest as much in student engagement as we do in quality of instruction.  Many of the standards that we are required to teach our students consist of content that they may not necessarily need in their future career; however, what does result from solid teaching of any content, is a confident student who can clearly articulate what they have learned.  That ability to communicate effectively is the prevailing skill that will serve them in interviews for college or interviews for a first job.  Providing our students with engaging resources to facilitate the application of learning is pivotal in our experiential approach, and made possible with the generosity of the WPSF.

Happy Friday, Happy Super Bowl!  Dress in layers, and be careful in the snow!   Have a great weekend, and enjoy the time together with your family.

Most Sincerely,

Kelly Tess
Follow us on Twitter: @skokie36
  Conference Links
If you have not had a chance to sign up for parent/teacher conferences, links are available below.  If you do not see your child's team listed, they will contact you individually to arrange a time.

Walker/Krupinski Nigliazzo     

Erickson/Goldberg Margolis/Anderson Hoyt Martinsen Williams/Skydell                
Adventures In Learning 2018

Adventures in Learning 2018 runs from
June 18th - July 20th, 2018
No camp on July 4th.
A decades-long tradition, this summer program includes classes as varied as 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, and Spa-Liscious.

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 Skokie School for the 2-8th graders and Hubbard Woods for the Pre-K (4 years old by June 1st, 2018) and K Primary program (5years old by September 1st, 2018). 
Registration begins March 1 for Winnetka residents and is open to the general public on March 
Elective Choices for Fall 2018 (Rising 6th Grade Students)

This is the time of year when we begin looking ahead to the following school year and begin planning for programming, student and staff needs.  If you are the parent of a 2018/2019 sixth grader, we need your help in this process.  Our sixth graders have the opportunity to make two elective choices given the following choices:  Orchestra, Band, Art/Music/Drama, Spanish or French.  Students with a resource period will utilize one of these elective periods for that purpose, and then select a second choice.  In order to best prepare for the coming year's needs, we ask that you complete this brief survey on elective choices by Friday, February 16th.  Read the detailed instructions carefully to help you and your sixth grader arrive at the chosen electives for the coming year.

Skokie Memory Book
Order Deadline Quickly Approaching
The deadline to order for your child is
February 28, 2018 .
The Memory Book Club, comprised of twelve fifth and sixth graders, has been hard at work gathering photos and laying out a 2017-2018 keepsake for each Skokie School student.  
The Skokie Memory Book is purchased separately from the school or PTO.  
Orders are made online at 
The cost is $20.00 per Memory Book.

Please direct questions to Tip Walker - Memory Book Advisor.

District News

Thank you to all who participated in the community survey this month. The Core Team will use the data collected in order to develop initial Future Ready D36 concepts for community review at a Special Board Meeting on Monday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m. This meeting will launch a highly iterative process that will engage the community in an effort to continuously refine the Future Ready D36 Educational Master Facility Plan over the course of March through June, 2018.  

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

Early Childhood Screenings
The Department of Student Services will be holding early childhood screenings on March 13, with registration on February 13. If you are a Winnetka resident and have any concerns about your child's development in the areas of speech, language, coordination, hearing, vision, learning readiness, or emotional maturity, you are encouraged to register your child for an early childhood screening. The intent of the screening is to identify children who may have delays in their development and may require specific supports to address these delays. To be eligible for this screening, your child must be at least three years old.

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


From The Alliance for Early Childhood:

Monday, February 19, 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Note: This course is for junior high school students who are at least 11 years old or who have completed 5th grade.
$125 per student (includes lunch and snacks)
Visit this link to register:
Would your child know what to do if a child choked when he or she was babysitting?  Would he or she know how to call 911 or how to handle a nosebleed?  American Red Cross teaches all these things...and more!  The ARC Certification course is designed to provide students who are planning to babysit with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and responsibly care for children and infants.  This training will help participants develop leadership skills, learn how to develop a babysitting business, keep themselves and others safe, and help children behave.  In addition, participants will learn about basic child care and basic first aid.
Dates to Note 

February 12 & 13
Conference Reporting 

Monday, February 19

President's Day

February 5 - 16 
Parent/Teacher Conferences 

Science Olympiad
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.
This program is led by  
Mrs. Ninorta Gabriel and  
Mrs. Danielle Kimak. Registration is limited to the first 30 students to submit the online form.

Science Olympiad meets on Thursdays
February 8 - April 26
7:30 - 8:20 a.m
NO Session: March 29
Skokie Cafeteria
Open to 5th and 6th Grade

Skokie Climbing Club
Climbing Club is a great opportunity for students who would like to climb the Skokie High Ropes course in an extended session after school. Sign up with a friend or come to meet new friends!
  • Climbing Club is conducted and supervised by the Skokie KW teachers.
  • 3:35-4:30pm. Personal nut free snacks are allowed.
  • Students are expected to stay until 4:30pm and will assist with clean up.
  • Each session is limited to 10 climbers.
  • Parents are invited to watch their children.
After School Sports  
We are pleased to offer a second semester of the After School Sports Program for our 5th and 6th graders. The second semester of this co-ed program will run for 14 weeks. Our 6th Grade program will start on Tuesday, January 23rd through Tuesday, May 15th. Our 5th Grade program will start on Wednesday, January 24th through Wednesday May 16th.

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