The Skokie Home Scoop

Dear Skokie Families,

It has been so nice to see you visiting in the building this week.  Fall Parent/Teacher conferences have concluded as of today.  We look forward to meeting with you again in late January/early February for another round of conferences to catch up on the growth and progress that your student has made as the year progresses.  In the meantime, we have all noticed the coming of Fall and the dropping of temperatures.  It is always a mystery to adults how some of our adolescent children are able to justify the choice of shorts and/or a t-shirt in 40 degree weather, and yet there is always a group of students who feel it makes sense!  Several years ago, journalist, Mike Leonard, put out a short film piece in which he approached groups of teens in downtown Winnetka and Glencoe who were walking around without any winter gear in frigid winter weather (I think it may have been featured on The Today Show--I wish I could have found it to share with you).  It is a hilarious snapshot, but leaves the adults (and Mike) just as confused as to how kids can do this!  Despite that, we do have some guidelines (and some rules) that we have put together to help keep our kids safe and healthy.  These will be shared in the student newsletter on Monday.  Any conversation you are able to facilitate at home about this topic is helpful as well.  We are grateful for your partnership!

Cold Weather Clothing Guidelines
As the weather gets chilly, we wanted to remind you of the following to help keep you safe and healthy when playing outside.  Please make responsible clothing choices for your time outside.

We  recommend the following given these weather conditions...
Below 48 degrees Sweatshirt/Jacket
Below 40 degrees pants/jacket/sweatshirt
Below 35 pants/coat/hat/gloves

We  require the following for play in the snow to avoid frostbite...
To walk around in the snow you need to have boots. 
To play in the snow you need to have snow pants. 

We follow state guidelines for outdoor play and will not go out for recess or KW when the "feels like" temperature is below 15 degrees.  This is the temperature at which frostbite is likely to occur.  

Fortunately, the weekend's forecast (and coming week) calls for temperatures in the 50s, so we're not in the thick of the cold weather yet.  Enjoy the time together with your family this weekend, and we look forward to seeing everyone back 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 Power of Peer Mentoring and Role Models

This week, I witnessed several notable interactions between older and younger students here at Skokie.

The first was today at recess; I noticed many of our fifth graders grouped over by the fence outside that connects to the Winnetka Public School Nursery. The young preschoolers were peeking over the fence, all bundled up in their wool hats and puffy coats. The fifth graders (some siblings of the young children, others friends with the  children's families) were finding such joy in interacting with the four year olds. It was so heartwarming to see the strong connection that the students had with each other. The were smiling, chatting, and had a hard time saying farewell to each other when it was time for the little ones to head inside.

Just yesterday, one of our sixth grade teams hosted Crow Island second grade buddies here at Skokie. During their visit, sixth graders gifted the elementary students with a book they had written about their buddies' favorite animal. Then the buddies made a bookmark together using a variety of art supplies. As I circulated the room, I saw so many lovely interactions between the sixth and second graders. The sixth graders were focused on their buddies and interacting with them in meaningful ways.

As I reflect on these observations, I can see the value of nourishing relationships between children of different ages. The older students get the opportunity to be role models and leaders, and the younger children have the chance to be inspired. They both get the chance to learn from each other.

While sometimes we can worry that older students might expose younger students to certain content or behaviors, I do believe they often rise to the occasion and are motivated to be their best selves when they have the opportunity to lead.
Skokie Memory Book

Every year, The Memory Book Club creates a keepsake for each Skokie School student. Unlike other schools in the District, the Memory Book is purchased separately. Orders are made online at and the cost is $20.00 per Memory Book (with additional charges for personalization). Currently, there is a limited time offer for free personalization icons. The deadline to order your yearbook with the free icon personalization is 10/26/18.  The final deadline to order yearbooks without the free personalization is not until the spring.  We will continue to remind you of this in coming newsletters.

Please direct any questions to Tip Walker, Memory Book Advisor.

Halloween is around the corner and the excitement is growing!  In order to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy their day at school, we are having the following rules in place to keep everyone safe:
  • We do not allow students to wear costumes until "party time," so plan to have your 5th or 6th grader bring their costume to school. 
  • No weapons or fake blood are allowed at school. 
  • Costumes including face masks or head coverings are allowed inside classrooms.
  • Any hair spray/color needs to be applied prior to coming to school as it has caused messes in our bathrooms and takes away from your celebration time in the classrooms.  
  • Allergy procedures still apply to any treats brought to school to share.  A clear, printed label must be on all treats indicating that the ingredients do not include tree or peanuts, and are not made in a facility that processes these.  See Carol Zalinski or Marianne Siegel for more information

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

Future Ready D36 Update

At the October 10, 2018 School Board Work Session, the Board committed to include the following components in the Educational Master Facility Plan (EMFP):
  • K-4; 5-8 Grade Level Configuration with consolidation to a single 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.  
It is anticipated that the EMFP will be approved at the October 23, 2018, School Board Meeting. The Board 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
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 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: .

D36 & Winnetka-Northfield Public Library: What Can We Do for You?
Friday, November 16 at 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Winnetka Library, 768 Oak Street
Our school and Village libraries aren't quite like the libraries many adults remember as children--they are dynamic learning environments that include opportunities for creating and collaborating--from exploring a vast collection of books and digital materials to experimenting with 3-D printing and embroidery. D36 Resource Directors and leaders at Winnetka-Northfield Public Library will share resources that are available to enhance reading and creating at home, school and the public library. All community members are welcome to attend! RSVP here:

Hour of Code
December 5, 2018
4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Crow Island School MakerSpace, 1112 Willow Road
December 3-9 is Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), an annual program dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science. CSEdWeek is held in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906).  Each year, millions of people participate in #HourofCode, the largest learning event in history, to promote the importance of Computer Science Education. We encourage families and community members of all ages to join us as our students guide various coding and technology activities as part of the international event #HourofCode.  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 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

October 31, Wednesday
Halloween!  See costume guidelines in this week's newsletter!
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