The Skokie Home Scoop - March 23, 2018 

Dear Skokie Families,

Spring break is officially here!  As we head off for a week of rest and relaxation, I want to give you a few reminders of what's to come for Skokie in the weeks following spring break.

PARCC testing begins on Wednesday, April 4.  The entire building will be participating in testing from 8:30am-10:30am on April 4, 5, 6, 10, 12 and 13.  Students are encouraged to bring a set of their own headphones for the test as there are audio portions.  We do have some headphones available to borrow; however, given the number needed during the testing window and out of sensitivity for hygiene, we would love to see students keep a set of their own headphones at school during the testing period.  

As a public school, we are required to administer the PARCC assessment to all students according to the following provision from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE):

"State, local districts, and schools are required to administer the PARCC assessment to all students. Districts can develop a policy for those students who refuse to take assessments on testing days, but federal and state law does not provide for any opt-out provisions. Therefore, ISBE does not provide any guidance on how a district or school can provide an 'opt-out' because such an option would violate the law."
Therefore, we cannot accept a parent request for an opt-out. If a parent refuses the test on his or her student's behalf in writing prior to the test, or if a student refuses to take the test at the beginning of the testing session, the student will remain in the testing environment and will be allowed to read a book during testing.  
A few other dates to note in April:
Friday, Apri 6:  Coffee and Conversation, 9:30am, Curriculum Conference Room at Washburne
Tuesday, April 17th:  5th Grade Orientation, 6:30-8:00 
Wednesday, April 18th:  Informational Meeting on Placment Process for K-8 students, Skokie Community Room, 9:30am, Led by all Winnetka Principals
Thursday, April 26:  Class Pictures
Friday, April 27:  Sixth Grade Talent Show
I hope you enjoy a wonderful spring break.  If you are traveling, do so safely, and if you find yourself staying in town, enjoy the quiet and time away from the usual routine. 
Most Sincerely,
Kelly Tess
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
Approximately 450 community members have attended the recent Special Board Meeting and subsequent community engagement sessions. Thanks to all who have shared their time and input.
A continuum of current Future Ready D36 concepts with analysis were included as a handout at the March 12 meeting. Click here to view that information. Once you review, please   click here to complete a brief survey on to share your feedback on the concepts currently under consideration. The survey closes at noon on April 2.
Feedback from community members and staff will help us prioritize our values as the Future Ready D36 Core Team refines Future Ready D36 concepts over the course of spring 2018. The School Board is anticipated to approve a concept to serve as the District's long term Educational Master Facility Plan in June 2018.
If you have further feedback or ideas to share, you may email . Please note that the Core Team will review the emails received, but will not respond to each message.
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 details 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 .

The Skokie School, Orientation for 5th Grade

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
The Skokie School will host an orientation meeting for current fourth grade students and their parents, Tuesday, April 17th from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Families will receive an emailed invitation with more details.
Skokie students identified last year's orientation meeting as one of the most helpful components of their orientation activities. Students enjoyed the opportunity to tour the school, meet the staff, and have a conversation with current Skokie students.  Please mark your calendar.

Dates to Note 

March 24 - April 2          Spring Break
Tuesday, April 3 
School Reopens

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