The Skokie Home Scoop

Dear Skokie Families,

 

I write to you this week with sad news that has and will continue to touch our school community.  Ms. Rachel Owen, our beloved school secretary, passed away on Wednesday following a brave fight against cancer.  Rachel was an employee of the district for nearly twenty years, and whether you knew her for the entirety of that time or only met her once, you knew her to consistently be the kind of person we all hope to be on our best days:  warm, welcoming, kind, patient, and a model of grace.   Her smile and inviting nature will be missed tremendously by each and every member of our staff.  The powerful impact she had on the family that is our staff made it so that each of us felt we had a unique and individual friendship with her--she made everyone she interacted with feel special and that all of her attention was devoted to you in every conversation.  

 

As you enter The Skokie School, a banner hangs with the words, "Choose Kind."  Our school adopted those words as a motto of sorts, several years ago when the book, Wonder, was released.  We found it to be fitting as our Winnetka children enter into their middle school years once they are at Skokie--this is a window of years that presents challenges, both social and academic, making it the harder choice to be kind in the face of adversity.  We all struggle to do that at times.  Frustration, stress, peer pressure, or a skill deficit can quickly build a barrier between ourselves and kindness.  That was never true for Rachel.  She was human, no doubt, but her enormous heart and boundless patience pushed kindness to the surface every time.  We can hope for no greater model for our children, and no greater reminder amongst the adults that knew her to let kindness rise to the top.  It's a choice you'll never regret.

 

One thing is certain:  Rachel was loved, and Rachel loved us, her family, her friends, her work.  She was a faithful friend, a listening ear, and a guiding voice to so many.  We are better for having known her, and can honor her life by going forward in the way she would want us to.  Click here to view Rachel's obituary and information regarding a celebration of life.  

 

Having shared this news, take a moment this weekend to hug each other close.  Smile and say hello to a stranger.  Show an extra ounce of patience if you find yourself challenged in some way.  Enjoy the time together with your families.  That is just what Rachel did.

 

 

 

 

I will miss you, my sweet friend.

 

 

Most Sincerely,

 

Kelly Tess

 

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DANCE MARATHON--Now's the time to register!!  ALL 5th-8th Graders encouraged to join us on March 1 for a great cause!

Scan the QR code below to register for Skokie and Washburne's first ever Dance Marathon.  All proceeds will be donated to Lurie's Children's Hospital.  Plan for a night of games, prizes, a DJ, food and fun with your friends.  We hope to see you there!



PARENTS:  If you are interested in supporting this event by serving as a volunteer on March 1,  CLICK HERE  to provide us with your contact information.  We are looking for help with on-site registration, pizza service, raffle ticket sales and supervision.  We would greatly appreciate your help!
 
St. Baldrick's and Wigs for Kids Event

Dear Skokie / Washburne Students, Parents, and Staff - 

Save the date of  March 11, 2019, for the 16th annual St. Baldrick's, 7th annual Wigs for Kids, and 2nd annual Hair Extensions for a Cause event!  Skokie and Washburne will be coming together to support pediatric cancer awareness.  For more information on these organizations, please watch the short videos below:


There are lots of ways you can get involved! 
  1.  Shave your head for St. Baldrick's.  If you are interested in participating, sign up here .
  2.  Donate your hair to Wigs for Kids.  If you are interested in participating, please grab a form from the front lobby. 
  3. Receive a temporary green hair extension.  If you are interested in participating, please grab a form from the front lobby. 
  4. Cheer on participants on Monday, March 11th!
If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to Mike Hynes ( michaelhynes@winnetka36.org) or Marla Goldberg ( marlagoldberg@winnetka36.org)

Winnetka D36-- JUNGLE JOG--5k, Run/Walk:  Saturday, March 16
ALL WINNETKA FAMILIES WELCOME!

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!




AP Corner

A Ray of Sunshine

As you know after reading Kelly's message, we lost an important member of our Skokie Community this week: Rachel Owen. Rachel was one of those incredibly special souls who was beloved by everyone. She was truly "our Rachel," as each member of the staff shared a special connection with her. She took the time to get to know people, to share her beautiful smile and the sparkle in her eye with them, and to lend a helping hand with whatever it is they may need. She not only came to call when asked for help, but she anticipated what you might need and beat you to asking. Her goal seemed to be to make everybody's lives just a little easier, which she accomplished frequently through her thoughtful acts of kindness.

In this time of grieving for our staff, I know there will be a bittersweet combination of weakness and strength, of vulnerability and courage. While a deep sense of sadness permeates our hearts as we grieve, there are countless acts of kindness and compassion that emerge. Just as Rachel would have wanted, people are coming together to lift one another up. People are sharing stories, pictures, and memories that bring Rachel's spirit to life. I see colleagues exchanging hugs and quiet moments of togetherness. Words of encouragement and strength are being uttered when one notices a colleague in need of a pick-me-up. The staff is uniting around all of the love that they have for Rachel in order to nurture our school community. It is a beautiful thing.

Should you decide to talk to your child about our school community's loss, I encourage you to share the ways in which our staff is finding courage and strength in this time of sadness. Death is never an easy concept to wrap one's mind around, but I am always surprised by the beautiful moments of love that are inspired by the deepest losses. It's ironic that sadness is often the birthplace of love and belonging. We are seeing that play out in front of us right now at The Skokie School, as we hold Rachel, our ray of sunshine, in our hearts.




Adventures in Learning 2019 runs from June 17th-July 19th, 2019

No camp on July 4th.

A decades-long tradition, this summer program includes classes as varied as Rock Guitar Band, Life Around the World, Zany Art Explosions, 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, Purposeful Repurposing and Spa-Liscious to name a few!

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 Washburne for the 2nd-8th graders and Hubbard Woods for the Pre-K (4 years old by June 1st, 2019)and K Primary program (5 years old by September 1st, 2019). 

Registration begins March 1 for Winnetka residents and is open to the general public on March 8. www.winnetka36.org/adventures

LAST CHANCE GET YOUR SKOKIE MEMORY BOOK!

The Skokie School Memory Book distribution during the last week of school is a highlight for students. Memory Books need to be pre-ordered as they will not be available for sale on site.  The Skokie Memory Book can be ordered directly through jostensyearbook.com  -- it was not included in school or PTO fees. The deadline to order is 3/1/19. 
 
If you have any questions, or if your records show that you ordered a Memory Book, please reach out to Tip Walker (6th grade teacher).

Thanks!

From the Tech Department...
Apple Pencil/Logitech Crayon- Available for Purchase

Great news!  The Winnetka Public Schools Technology department is now able to offer discounted Apple Pencils and Logitech Crayons for sale via the newly launched web store.  Schools and classrooms across the district have Apple Pencils and Logitech Crayons available for sharing, this offer is to purchase a personal pencil or crayon.  The pencil is compatible with iPad (6th gen) and iPad Pros (not 3rd gen), the Logitech crayon is only compatible with the iPad (6th gen).

To purchase an Apple pencil or Logitech crayon, visit the web store.  You will need to set up an account to complete your order.  Your account only needs to be created once and can be used for future purchases from the Winnetka Public Schools.  Credit cards purchase only.  

Webstore (RevTrak) FAQ

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.
Winnetka community members are invited to attend an upcoming informational session:
  • 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
To further understand some of the more substantial proposed changes, school tours will be offered as well (please RSVP to 847.446.9400):
  • Tuesday, March 5, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Crow Island
  • Wednesday, March 6, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Carleton Washburne

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 is updated regularly and is dedicated to facts surrounding the referendum : https://www.winnetka36.org/ref2019 . On the website you will find FAQs (updated every 7-10 days) as well as Fact Sheets will school-specific details.
WPI Events

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.
 
 
Screening of the Documentary "Angst"
Thursday, March 7 at The Skokie School Auditorium
6-8pm, followed by panel discussion/questions

AND

Friday, March 8 at The Skokie School Auditorium
9:30-11:30am, followed by panel discussion/questions

Families and community members are invited to a special screening of Angst, a documentary designed to raise awareness around anxiety. The film includes interviews with kids, teens, educators, experts, and parents. The film centers around helping people identify and understand the symptoms of anxiety. It provides tools and hope for those in the midst of angst. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion and Q & A led by educators.

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: https://www.winnetka36.org/parents/prospectivefamilies
If you have any questions, please contact the District Office at 847-446-9400 .

Redistricting
A webpage dedicated to Redistricting will continue to be updated regularly: https://www.winnetka36.org/redistricting_in_D36 .

Erin's Law
In March, building social workers will implement state-mandated sexual abuse prevention education during one 20-30 minute session in each classroom. Parents have the option to opt their children out of the program as they deem appropriate, and must do so by March 1. For more detailed information about Erin's Law and curriculum content, or to find the opt-out form, please refer to the Erin's Law page of the District website or contact your school's social workers, Kelly Anderson and Lori Barsztaitis.

Adventures in Learning 2019 runs from June 17th-July 19th, 2019.  
No camp on July 4th.
A decades-long tradition, this summer program includes classes as varied as Rock Guitar Band, Life Around the World, Zany Art Explosions, 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, Purposeful Repurposing and Spa-Licious to name a few!
 
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 Washburne for the 2nd-8th graders and Hubbard Woods for the Pre-K (4 years old by June 1st, 2019), K Primary program (5 years old by September 1st, 2019) and first grade program.
 
Registration begins March 1 for Winnetka residents and is open to the general public on March 8.   www.winnetka36.org/adventures


A Note from The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation...

It's time to beat the call! 

The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation's Phone-A-Thon is coming up on Sunday, February 24. Beat the call by  donating now!  Dollars raised during the Phone-A-Thon fund teacher-driven grants that explore the newest ideas across all subject areas. Your donation helps to bring innovation to our schools. Join us and be a Catalyst of Innovation!

 
FAN EVENTS

 


Dates to Note 

************************************

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
---------------------------- 
 
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