The Skokie Home Scoop - March 16, 2018 

Dear Skokie Families,

This was an eventful week in our school as well as our district.  On Monday, March 12 the Future Ready D36 Core Team presented some initial concepts to the school board with approximately 300 community members in attendance.  This was the first opportunity for the core team to unveil a continuum of potential solutions to three areas of focus:  enrollment, facilities and our vision for teaching and learning.  This continuum is the initial result of months of research, collaboration, gathering of feedback and assessment of our district's five buildings.  If you were not able to attend Monday evening's presentation (or the recap today at 9:30am), please click on the link below to access the Future Ready D36 site and view a video recording of it, as well as the slides that were utilized during the presentation.  It is essential that the community is actively engaged at this portion of the Future Ready planning process, as your input and ideas will be guiding forces as the board moves closer to selecting a Master Facility Plan.


This Wednesday, March 14 was publicized as a walk-out day for students across the country.  We anticipated this to have impact at both Skokie and Washburne schools, hence the letter you would have received from me and/or Dave Kanne on Monday, mid-day.  Here at Skokie, approximately 80 students assembled quietly in the auditorium at 10:00am, sitting for the full 17 minutes in silence.  With little to no prompting, the group stood and exited the auditorium at 10:18am.  The day continued on without incident.

Finally, we look forward to mailing our Trimester 2 progress reports next week.  This progress report is the result of a year of committee work by our staff, gathering feedback from teachers and parents to reformat the progress report to better communicate student growth over time.  You will receive a copy of your child's Trimester 1 progress report in the old format, as well as a newly formatted Trimester 2 progress report.  We have shifted from two descriptors with no definition (Developing and Demonstrating) to three descriptors with clear definitions of what they indicate visible at the top of every page, as shown below.  The progress report will include a letter from me clarifying the purpose of the document itself and what to look for as a parent over time.  We hope parents find this new format to be more visually organized and more communicative of your child's growth across all areas over time.

Beginning (Beg)
Progressing (Pro)
Demonstrating (Dem)
Maintaining a beginning level understanding of grade level concepts and skills, requires support
Developing an understanding of grade level concepts and skills, working toward independent practice
Applying grade level concepts and skills appropriately and independently with consistency

I hope you enjoy the St. Paddy's Day weekend and time together with your family.  We look forward to seeing everyone back on Monday for the final week before spring break!

Most Sincerely,

Kelly Tess
Follow us on Twitter: @skokie36

Track and Field 

Track and Field season is set to begin on  Tuesday, April 3rd and tentatively run through  Thursday, May 10th

Track and Field is available to any 6th, 7th, or 8th grade student in D36.  Practices are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 3:30-4:30

Registration is online at:
Students should plan to meet in the Washburne gym right after school, but be prepared to go outside for practice.  More information will be sent home after registration, but if you have any questions beforehand, please contact Andy Becker at 

District News

2018 PARCC Assessment
The PARCC assessment will be administered to students in grades 3 through 8 from April 4-20, 2018.   Grades 3 - 5 will complete 7 testing sessions (3 Language Arts and 4 math) and Grades 6 - 8 will complete 6 testing sessions (3 Language Arts and 3 Math).  Individual teachers or schools will be sending details concerning specific dates and times of testing sessions. In order to ensure that students feel comfortable in the testing environment and understand the nature of the questions that will be presented on the exam, teachers will be familiarizing students with the testing platform and expectations. The Illinois State Board of Education requires all public school districts to administer the PARCC exam. For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please visit .

Updates regarding the future of PARCC/State Assessment
In a letter dated February 9, 2018, Tony Smith, State Superintendent of Education, outlined details regarding changes to the State Assessment process that will begin in the 2018 - 2019 school year.  With continual growth and improvement of the statewide assessment process in mind, Illinois will no longer use PARCC in its current form. The state plans on developing a new Illinois Assessment of Readiness utilizing core features of PARCC in alignment with Illinois state standards.  The new assessments will continue to include complex tasks in reading and math that require strategic reasoning, extended investigation, and writing. As the assessments evolve over time, it is important to note that the standards and our high expectations for learning remain constant.
The specific improvements the State is working to make include:
  • Returning results more quickly, providing teachers with time to adjust instruction;
  • Building assessments from the ground up in more languages to increase accessibility and allow all students to demonstrate their true level of mastery;
  • Reporting results on a common scale across all assessments, including local assessments, so educators can engage in deeper dialogue with each other and with families and students;
  • Reaching full online assessment to support equity of access to rigorous instruction and return results faster; and
  • Transitioning to a computer-adaptive format, meaning the test items become more or less advanced depending on the student's performance as they progress through, so we know not just whether a student meets the standards for their grade level but the upper and lower bounds of their mastery.

Illinois will phase in changes slowly over time.  The ability to compare performance over time will remain intact during this transition. The timeline and specific detarils for all changes depend on the proposals potential vendors submit to the Illinois State Board of Education.

The announcement of future changes has not influenced the commitment District 36 has regarding our teaching and assessment practices.  We will approach the upcoming 2018 PARCC testing with the same integrity of past years. State testing is one of multiple important measures District 36 utilizes to monitor and support student learning.

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 .
Adventures in Learning 2018
Adventures in Learning 2018 runs from June 18th-July 20th, 2018. (There is 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, Tennis, Computer Animation, Improvisation, Yoga for Kids, Animal Care, and Spa-Licious. Students in grades 2-8 may choose up to four classes from over 100 options. Younger children (pre-K through grade 1) will explore educational concepts through guided play and outdoor activities.

This year's program will be held at The Skokie School for the 2-8th graders and Hubbard Woods School for the Pre-K (4 years old by June 1, 2018) and K-grade 1 Primary program (5 years old by September 1, 2018).

Registration is now open for Winnetka residents and is open to the general public on March 8 at .

Dates to Note 


Tuesday, March 20
School Board Meeting 
7:15 p.m.
Washburne RC 
March 24 - April 2 
Spring Break
Tuesday, April 3 
School Reopens

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