The Skokie Home Scoop

Dear Skokie Families,

This week I came across some research that I found particularly compelling as both a parent and educator.  It is fairly commonplace to overhear someone making a dismissive comment about "the millenial generation" and their apparent lack of connection to values that an elder generation holds.  You may be surprised to know that members of the millenial generation have been a part of the work force for over 20 years, and were born between the years of 1982 and 2004.  Clearly those born in 2004 have had a different set of experiences than those born in 1982, but there are commonalities within that 22 years that are frequently commented on in the media or casual conversation.  As parents (and educators), we need to shift our attention to "Generation Z," those born between 1995 and 2012.  This is the population just now entering the work force or just entering their school age years.  The research I came across this week was both compelling and promising, and caused me to reflect on the nature of older generations to dismiss the younger ones.  

The children of Generation Z are among the most daily polled, statistically monitored generation of our time.  Their daily participation in social media has created a digital footprint unlike anything in previous generations, making it incredibly easy to gather information, trends, movements, predict likelihoods of this population.  This generation was only as old as five years old when the smart phone was invented, and has never lived a day as a student without technology playing a role in the classroom or their home life.  Sadly, this generation is accustomed to active shooter drills and news around terrorism.  They have witnessed incredible political and economic swings in our society, and the rise of a number of different large-scale movements in reaction to those swings. They are predicted to be motivated by environmental interests and are service oriented in their decision making.  They are likely to be entrepreneurs, driven from within more than by comparison to their peers, but still highly motivated to be a member of a community.  These are important qualities to be cognizant of as we raise our children in these times.  Rather than being dismissive, it may be most productive to understand their perspective, as the age gap is not so wide that we will not be working alongside them some day.  This is most relevant in our conversations as parents and educators around technology and connectivity.  We don't understand it because it wasn't our experience in our childhood years.  However, dismissing it is about as effective as it was for generations before us to dismiss the car, rock and roll, the cordless phone, etc.  To read more about Generation Z, click here.  This article highlights how Generation Z will differ from Millenials in the workplace.  Interesting stuff, and something I wanted to pass along!

Stay warm and dry this weekend, and enjoy the time together with your families.  We look forward to seeing everyone back for a short week on Monday!

Most Sincerely,

Kelly Tess

#beatree  #everybodyin

This year's Home Scoop will feature the "AP Corner," giving our Assistant Principal, Betty Weir, an opportunity to share information each week. You can follow Betty on Twitter at @BettyWeirEdu.

The Middle School Brain

I came across an interesting video on Twitter this week that illustrates  the inner workings of the middle school brain. The video ( ) highlights that the brain is growing at its fastest rate during the middle school years, which leads to a high fluctuation of emotions. While this can lead to an increase in intense moments, it also means that "tweens" are very receptive to reflection and learning from their experiences. By helping your child understanding the changes that are taking place in his or her brain, you can assist your child in coping with the peaks and valleys of middle school.

Interested in learning more about this topic? Consider joining us for a Winnetka Parents Institute on Friday, October 26 at 9:30 a.m. in The Skokie School Community Room. Click here ( to register or click here ( to learn more about the event.


We have had a bit of trouble with district registration for clubs, and a number of you have reached out afraid that you were too late to register.  Have no fear!  We are still accepting registrants for clubs.  If you do struggle with a registration link, please reach out to the district office so we can be sure to get your student connected to their club of choice!

Science Olympiad - Session 1
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: OCT 25 - JAN 24 - 7:30 - 8:20 am
Meets in the Skokie Cafeteria
Open to 5th and 6th Grade

District News

October 10 School Board Work Session Recap
Educational Master Facility Plan (EMFP): Future Ready D36
Kristen Hertel, School Board President, opened the Work Session with definition of the Board goal to confirm all components required of the Educational Master Facility Plan (EMFP) as a critical guide or "business plan" reflecting the long-range vision of the District and priorities defined by two years of research and broad community input.  Hertel reiterated information gathered from the recent survey-poll indicating a "clear mandate to act" and emphasized the need for the EMFP to provide maximum flexibility for future School Boards and economic realities.
Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, supported the Board discussion with evidence and key data from EMFP work over the past two years. The Board committed to include the following components in the EMFP (to be approved at the October 23, 2018 School Board Meeting):
  • K-4; 5-8 Grade Level Configuration with consolidation to a single (1) 5-8 grade campus at Carleton Washburne School and a 5-year utilization plan for The Skokie School. This model upholds the neighborhood schools configuration.
  • Baseline facility needs that recognize priorities for:
  • Health, Life Safety items/projects
  • Safety and security enhancements
  • ADA accessibility upgrades
  • HVAC upgrades with improved indoor air quality and temperature regulation
  • Domestic water pipe replacement
  • Electrical capacity upgrades
  • Update and modernize instructional spaces and common spaces to afford greatest flexibility in future planning. This includes multi-purpose cafeteria and gym space renovations or additions to serve District needs and community use.
  • Sustainability--Air Quality, Student-Centric Design, Sustainable Operations, and Energy Consumption are some of the high priority items among a range of important topics addressed in the EMFP.
  • Redistricting. The School Board, in consultation with District administrators, community leaders, and Village and safety officials, will determine changes to the elementary school attendance boundaries and the implementation timeline to achieve optimal enrollments and eliminate the short-term Kindergarten plan.  
Mr. Jason Lembke, DLR Group, provided a review of conceptual EMFP site plans demonstrating an allocation for key programs/space through multi-tiered modernization and options for renovation and additions. Although not intended to depict actual design, Lembke confirmed the high-level alignment to long-range goals to support flexibility, teaching and learning, and future enrollment (fluctuation or growth).

The outcome of the EMFP confirmation formed the basis for a brief review of emerging priorities and the preliminary framework for an implementation plan (Phase I Facilities Plan). The Board committed to adopting the EMFP on Tuesday, October 23. They will reconvene for a Work Session on November 12 to discuss scaling and funding sources for the Phase I Facilities Plan and corresponding Redistricting Plan.
For comprehensive planning information, upcoming meeting dates, and FAQ's please visit .
Winnetka Parents Institute Events
Navigating Your Child's IEP: A Parent's Role
Tuesday, October 16 at 9:30 a.m.
The Carleton Washburne School Green Room
Presented by Susan Hans, Northern Suburban Special Education District (NSSED) Parent Mentor, this session is intended for all parents - whether your child has just received their IEP or has had one in place for years. With years of both personal and professional experience, Ms. Hans will cover the basic components of the IEP process and plan, provide specific strategies on how to make the meeting more meaningful to you as a parent, and how you can effectively contribute to the process and outcomes. RSVP here: .

Why Learning Space Design Matters with Dr. Robert Dillon
Monday, October 22 at 6:30 p.m.
The Skokie School
Join Dr. Robert Dillon (author, educator and Director Director of  Innovation Learning at University City in St. Louis) and members of the Learning Space Design Team (a D36 and Winnetka Public Schools Foundation partnership) to learn more about the impact of learning space design to create brain-friendly, modern classrooms for active, collaborative, experiential learning. RSVP here: .

Not Quite Little Kid, Not Quite Teenager: The Developmental Progression of the Middle School Child
Friday, October 26 at 9:30 a.m.
The Skokie School Community Room
Join Principal Tess and Assistant Principal Weir (The Skokie School) and Principal Kanne and Assistant Principal Horwitz (Carleton Washburne School) for an informational session focusing on the ins and outs of the growing middle school child. We will spend time exploring both the academic and social-emotional needs appropriate to 5th-8th grade children, how they change over that four year span, as well as the neurological changes that contribute to these needs.  Parents with current middle schoolers, or soon-to-be middle schoolers, are encouraged to join us for an engaging, encouraging and educational hour together. RSVP here : .

From Washburne to New Trier:
A D36 Parent's Guide to the New Trier Transition
Thursday, November 15 at 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Carleton Washburne School, 515 Hibbard Rd .
Paul Waechtler, Principal at the New Trier High School Freshman
Campus, and Lori Worth, 8th Grade Transition Faculty, will discuss the New Trier freshman placement process and the efforts made to ensure a smooth transition to high school.  A Q & A will provide an opportunity for parents to learn more about how to best support their child(ren) as they prepare for their New Trier experience. RSVP here: .

National Bullying Prevention Month - Update to the District's Prevention Plan
The District's Bullying Prevention Plan, first piloted in 2015-2016, educates students on how to identify bullying behavior and how to report an incident. When the Plan was piloted, two mechanisms for reporting were provided. Paper forms were made available within classrooms and a collection box for those forms placed in a centralized location providing access for all students. Alternatively, an online communication form was placed on each school's website (Students/School Documents/Bullying Communication)  and accessible from the District's home page (Parents/Registration & School Forms/Bullying Communication)

Each year since the plan was piloted, an end-of-year review has been held to ensure that the objectives of the Plan are being met. Last year, we heard from students, staff and parents of middle school students that paper forms were not being utilized and that accessing the form from the website required too much intentionality.  To ensure that middle school students have a method of reporting bullying behavior, they will soon have access to the communication form via an "app" on their iPad.

And now, in conjunction with Bullying Prevention Month, students in grades 5-8 will be informed, in their advisories, of this new system. This information will be part of an ongoing conversation with students about bullying prevention, identification, reporting, and taking a stand to do their part to stomp out bullying.

Typing Club Keyboarding Program
The Winnetka Public Schools District 36 subscribes to a typing program, Typing Club . Our subscription is for students in grades K- 6.  Students can login with their District email address and password via the Typing Clu b link listed under "Students" on each school's website.  The Resource Center Directors will be introducing students to Typing Club and teaching students to login.  Typing Club is available at school and home. We are encouraging students to practice at home as keyboarding success requires regular practice.  Students can also access Typing Club via this link:

***A Note from KW for our 6th graders: 
As the weather cools down, please be sure to bring sweats for KW as we will still be outside for class.***

Dates to Note 


October 8-19
Fall Conference Window

October 26, Friday
WPI: "Not Quite Little Kid, Not Quite Teenager:  The Developmental Progression of the Adolescent Brain"  Hosted by the Washburne and Skokie Principals, 9:30am--Skokie Community Room
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+