The Skokie Home Scoop  - October 27, 2017 

Dear Skokie Families,

Two years ago, our school began a comprehensive study of the building schedule and ways in which we could better capture the portions of our District Mission and Vision that dedicates us to providing an "innovative, experiential learning environment" and  "supporting and challenging all learners."  After hundreds of hours of committee work, research, planning, data analysis and piloted scheduled models, we arrived at the schedule we currently have today.  This schedule includes the new "Skills Period" in which all students are afforded the opportunity to receive any level of support they may require, whether at the intervention level or an opportunity for challenge (without forfeiting instruction in another area).  Additionally, our schedule affords an "Inquiry Period" at the end of each trimester, in which all students are invited to incorporate their own interests, curiosities and talents into their learning experience at school.  This first Inquiry Period will fall in the final forty minutes of the last two weeks of the trimester, and will follow the theme of "Who are we?"--inviting students and staff to engage in activities, projects and experiences that showcase the multiple intelligences and gifts that we bring to our school community.  

If you follow anyone on Twitter or Facebook within the education world (might I suggest @skokie36), you know that the theme of inquiry is one talked about amongst early childhood educators up to post-graduate professors.  University Admissions Offices have noted in the last ten years the number of applicants that showcase lengthy resumes loaded with AP courses, volunteerism and high academic honors, but when faced with practical challenges, are unable to cope with the adversity.  There are also a number of organizations dedicated to the support of youth that speak of a rise in anxiety and other social-emotional health concerns nation-wide.  The idea here is that as our world has become more connected and accessible, our ability to instantly gratify and instantly achieve answers has allowed us to pack more into a day.  Unfortunately, the developmental readiness of young brains has not accelerated at the same rate, which could be the reason why universities are seeing highly accomplished young people with poor problem-solving skills and intense anxiety.  Hence, the shift in education---more and more schools across the country (and internationally) are looking for ways to provide students with opportunities to express their interests, explore their talents and connect with others.  The Winnetka Public Schools have long been a place that values this, and now The Skokie School's schedule is affording a time and space for this value to be acted upon.

To give you some context, I've provided links to two articles you might find interesting.  One comes out of Harvard's Graduate School of Education and speaks of the value of multiple intelligences, as well as ways that schools can cultivate them amongst students.  The second link will take you to the admissions page for Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, in which they specifically state that they seek out students who are capable of carving their own path, thinking critically, driven by inquiry and able to choose their own areas to investigate.  By creating these opportunities for our students today on a smaller scale, we are incorporating skills and practices that their future universities will undoubtedly be looking for.  


As we get closer to this period of inquiry (final two weeks before Thanskgiving), you will likely hear more from your children's teachers, but more importantly, from your 5th or 6th grader about how this time will be used.  We are excited about the possibilities and dedicated to providing our students with opportunities in which their voice and interests are valued as much as their academic contributions.

I hope you enjoy this final weekend of October together with your families.  See below for guidelines around Halloween as you plan costumes for the day.  We look forward to seeing everyone back on Monday!

Most Sincerely,
Kelly Tess

Follow us on Twitter: @skokie36

Dear Skokie Families,
Four years ago, our school began a new tradition of The Skokie Shuffle.  This year's 5k Fun Run/Walk  will benefit the Live Like Leah Foundation for pediatric brain cancer research and Hurricane Relief Efforts. The race will start promptly at 8:30 AM with registration opening at 6:30 AM race morning. There will be a pre-race day packet pick up on Thursday, November 2 at The Skokie School,  520 Glendale Avenue from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PMOnline registration closes 10/31.  
Click on the link below to register  
To Volunteer

We are hoping for sunny weather and as many Winnetka families to join us as possible.  Not only is this an event benefiting two fantastic causes, it is another opportunity to bring our school community together to connect, have fun and make new memories.  Many registrants choose to walk, so don't let the 'run' portion of the title deter you.  Leashed dogs and strollers are welcome as well!  Please consider adding this to your family calendar.  

NO After School Sports or  
Climbing Club
Tuesday, October 31st

From the Skokie Health Office
Helpful Tips to Reduce the Potential for Head Lice
       Head lice often come as a surprise, and being watchful is the best way to avoid the inconvenience associated with these unwelcome visitors. We are in the midst of a busy time with theater, teams, and social groups in full swing.   Head to head contact is the primary way lice is transferred from one head to another, and opportunities continue to occur for head lice to find new "hosts."
Try these tips:
  • Avoid sharing combs, brushes, wigs, hats, headbands or helmets.
  • Keep your head covered with a protective bandana or other head covering if "trying on" or sharing can't be avoided.
  • For sleepovers, try and keep enough personal distance to avoid head to head contact.
  • Check their child's scalp from time to time, when the light is good. Try this even when your concern is at a low level.
  • Details on what to look for can be found on our district website, the Internet, or by calling your school nurse.  
Both lice and their eggs or nits are very tiny, and are not obvious to see. This makes it hard to find them, and in checking your child on a regular basis, early detection is more likely. Remember, lice themselves do not jump or fly. They are not found on cats or dogs. They are not an indication of lack of hygiene. We continue to find them from time to time.
Please notify your school nurse, coaches or theater staff, and friends so they can be aware should you find head lice on a family member. For any questions, please call Mrs. Siegel at 847-441-2194.

For additional information about head lice click here.

The Skokie School Guidelines for HALLOWEEN
On Tuesday, October 31st we will have Halloween celebrations.   The students plan activities and share the responsibility for managing the event.  Below are guidelines for classrooms wearing costumes as part of the celebrations, and for classrooms celebrating with treats.  We greatly appreciate everyone's cooperation and hope all will have a fun day
  1. Please use common sense in selecting your costume and dress in an appropriate fashion. There are plenty of tasteful, fun, good-spirited, well-planned costumes that can be worn. Make good choices, for example, we prefer that no fake blood be included with costumes.
  2. Bring your costume in a bag at the beginning of the day. Safety is our main concern. Make sure that it is comfortable and that you will be able to sit down in it. It should not be so cumbersome that it becomes a serious distraction. Also, it must be a costume worn only by one individual. Please refrain from wearing distracting costume parts before classroom celebrations.
  3. Masks and hats may be worn but may not obscure the wearer's vision.
  4. Any face make-up worn must be of a type that does not smear.                         No colored hairspray is to be worn.  
  5. No potentially dangerous objects or items that might be considered weapons or "look a likes" such as toy guns, knives, sticks, swords, etc., may be brought to school.   Such items are not to be part of the costume.
  6. Any student wearing a costume or item that is deemed inappropriate by a staff member will be sent to the office for evaluation by the Great Pumpkin.
  7. You will be dressing in your classroom. Be sure you can put on your costume there. Do not bring complicated makeup or outfits that will require going places other than the classroom to get ready.
  8. Remember our classrooms are nut-free and all treats brought in for classroom celebrations should be commercially prepared, contain no nuts of any kind, and must have an attached ingredient label. Please bring all treats to our Entrance Monitor, Mrs. Zalinski, for approval. Thanks!


Dear Skokie School Families,

Make A Difference Day is tomorrow, October 28th all over the country. And each year The Volunteer Center hosts its Make A Difference Day for the entire North Shore and the N.E. Metropolitan Chicago - a one day collection drive that benefits 15 nonprofit organizations and their clients facing critical need. The event will be held at the Indian Hill Train Station in Winnetka from 9am to noon. The nonprofit representatives will be on hand to accept resident's gently used items ranging from food, clothing, infant formula, sports equipment, eyeglasses, household goods, warm weather wear, toys and games and many more.
For additional info go to
We are collecting just about EVERYTHING. See below. So please use this opportunity to clean out your closets, garages, cabinets and donate your gently used items. Of special note: If you have very young children in diapers and use formula, please consider donating either of those for low income families in Chicago via INFANT, Inc., who cannot obtain these from their local pantry or shelter. The nonprofit representatives will put them in their vans and trucks and deliver them directly to their clients. This is recycling with an immediate impact! 
We are also looking for volunteers to help distribute the items from the cars to the nonprofits. Anyone interested in helping (middle school through adults), we would welcome your time Saturday morning. Please contact Barb Tubekis at if you would like to help.

Drop by the Train Station and Make A Difference. Look for us in the Red Scarves - we can tell you more about the good work of The Volunteer Center.
-Barb Tubekis

Holiday Spirit Wear Sale at Skokie--Nov. 2-15
Skokie will be offering a re-run of our Spirit Wear Sale in anticipation of the holidays. The sale will take place November 2-15 and an email will be sent to Skokie staff and families the morning of November 2 to access the sale.  Consider adding to your Skokie Spirit Wear collection!


District News 
Future Ready D36 News
Thank you to the approximately 100 parents, staff, and community members who attended "Global Perspectives" sessions on October 24. This was an opportunity to learn more about trends in education and continue the discussion on the purpose of Future Ready D36 . This video was shared , highlighting how the recent renovation has impacted teaching and learning at New Trier, as well as this video about a school in New Zealand with progressive practices. If you were not able to attend a session, you are able to view both the video and presentation slides from DLR Group by visiting our website .

Over the next week , the Future Ready D36 Core Team (comprised of staff, administrators, parents, and community members) will tour several schools in the North Shore and Chicago areas, such as New Trier, North Shore Country Day, and Sunset Ridge. Seeing other learning spaces will provide us a valuable opportunity as we work with DLR Group and our staff and parent community to begin to develop possible iterations of Future Ready D36 .  You can access all Future Ready D36 information here:

Upcoming Winnetka Parents Institute Events

Tour Crow Island School: Honoring Our Past & Informing Our Future
Saturday, November 4 from 10 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Crow Island School, 1112 Willow Road
Join The Winnetka Historical Society and the Crow Island Stewardship Group for free, self-guided tours (iPads provided) of Crow Island School. This National Historic Landmark, which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2015, was designed by legendary architects Eliel and Eero Saarinen with the Chicago architectural firm of Perkins, Wheeler and Will. Explore the unique features of this internationally-recognized school, where its child-centered design exemplified the past and inspires the future of The Winnetka Public Schools. Please call The Winnetka Historical Society with any questions about this event: (847) 446-0001.

Progressive Education in The Winnetka Public Schools: Reflecting on our History, Planning for our Future
Thursday, November 9 at 9:30 a.m.
The Skokie School Community Room, 520 Glendale Ave.
Dr. Daniel Ryan, Assistant Superintendent for Professional Learning and Human Resources, will share an engaging look back on the history of Progressive Education in The Winnetka Public Schools. Learn about Carleton Washburne's vision for Winnetka, the international influence the District has had in education since its inception, and longstanding traditions of project-based learning.  This session will also discuss Future Ready D36 and how through this process we honor our past yet strive to innovate for the future. RSVP here: .

From Washburne to New Trier: A D36 Parent's Guide to the New Trier Transition
Tuesday, November 14 at 9:30 a.m.
Resource Center at Carleton Washburne School, 515 Hibbard Rd.
Paul Waechtler, Principal at the New Trier High School Freshman Campus, 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: .

Mathematical Mindsets: Unleashing Student Potential with Jo Boaler, Ph.D.*
Thursday, November 16 at 4:00 p.m. (geared toward educators but parents are welcome)
The Skokie School Auditorium, 520 Glendale Ave.
Thursday, November 16 at 7 p.m. (geared toward parents but educators are welcome)
North Shore Country Day School, 310 Green Bay Rd.
Family Action Network presents two opportunities to hear Dr. Jo Boaler speak in Winnetka on November 16. She is an esteemed professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University, co-founder of math resource YouCubed , and best-selling author. During the presentation, Dr. Boaler will...
  • Explain how the brain processes mathematics learning
  • Reveal how to turn mistakes and struggles into valuable learning experiences
  • Provide examples of rich mathematical activities to replace rote learning
  • Explain ways to give students a positive math mindset
Dr. Boaler will also conduct a Q & A and book signing.
*Special FAN event
Register for The Skokie Shuffle 5K

This year Skokie School will be hosting its fourth annual 5K, The Skokie Shuffle, on Saturday, November 4th.  We welcome all walkers and runners for a fun event and a great way to come together as a community! All proceeds will be donated to Live Like Leah Foundation for pediatric brain cancer research and Hurricane Relief Efforts. The race will start promptly at 8:30 AM with registration opening at 6:30 AM race morning. There will be a pre-race day packet pick up on Thursday, November 2 at The Skokie School, 520 Glendale Avenue from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM.  Online registration closes 10/31.  

Click on the link to register:

To volunteer:

Important Update Regarding Kindergarten Registration for 2018-2019

Due to the timeline of the Future Ready D36 Educational Master Facility Plan that extends to June 2018, it was determined that the Kindergarten program will remain at Greeley and Hubbard Woods Schools in 2018-2019.  This early announcement provides our incoming kindergarten families with clear information at the time of registration.

Kindergarten registration for 2018-2019 will open on Friday, December 1, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Carleton Washburne School. Children who will be five-years-old on or before September 1, 2018, are eligible to enroll.  More information about this registration process will be shared in November.

It's not too late to join MathCounts!

If you are a student with a passion for Math, you may be interested in joining Skokie's MathCounts team--a competitive team engaged in solving complex Math problems, coached by Mr. DeGiulio on Thursdays after school.  

Dates to Note 

Saturday, November 4
Skokie Shuffle
     5K Run/Walk    
Sunday, November 5 
Daylight Saving
Time Ends 
Friday, November 10
Teacher Institute Day 
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