The Skokie Home Scoop

Dear Skokie Families,

As soon as the month of October rolls around, the talk is all Halloween in my house amongst my own children and in the halls at Skokie amongst our 5th and 6th graders.  This is the age when the "trick" in "Trick-or-Treat" is a little more intriguing and the envelope is pushed a bit in how the costume is chosen.  Regardless, the interest is centered on socializing, connecting with a group and feeling accepted--like all things in this window of life.  As the mother of a fourth grade girl, I noticed that this year's costume selection centered as much on her interests as it did on how she looks and feels in the costume...exactly what I would expect at this age, but a shift nevertheless.  That led me to reflect on my role as a mother to a girl, and a principal to a school building full of young girls and female educators.  Women in leadership is still not the norm today in any line of work--even in education, and I am conscious of that when my daughter asks me about what I do.  I am also conscious of that when I see young girls or even adult women interact with each other.  Despite the set-backs our gender can have at times, we don't always do all we can to empower each other.  This is something that we, as parents, can help with, amongst our daughters and sons.  

All children seek approval in adolescence, but girls in particular seek approval around their physical appearance.  This also leads to a desire for perfectionism, and the ability to control one's own environment.  When girls seek this kind of approval, the natural instinct is to give it to them--; however, the more responsible move as a parent would be to encourage our children (daughters OR sons) to embrace mistakes, forgive the mess (within reason!) and roll with the punches, knowing that setbacks will happen and that is ok.  In an effort to control environments, sometimes girls seek the opportunity to be powerful.  Being powerful can sometimes lead to being mean.  This happens in youth and adulthood.  For some reason it is just not the norm for girls to empower each other, but rather pull down in order to rise up.  Granted, I know this is not true for all, but it does happen and tends to appear beginning in the middle school years.  

Whether the parent of a son or a daughter, I would encourage you to invite conversations at home around the importance of equity and empowerment.  These may seem like big words, but you will be surprised how much your 5th or 6th grader can connect to them.  In order for us to "Choose Kind" as a school, we need these conversations to happen in all environments. I would also invite you to check out this link, which will lead you to 9 Essential Ted Talks Every Girl Should Watch, and this link sent to me by a parent this morning about confidence in young girls.  One interesting theme pointed out in both resources is the importance of modeling risk taking for your children.  So go ahead--be a goofball in public, try taking a class you've never taken before, volunteer at an event, get out there and show your kids that it might not go well, but that you'd never know that without trying.  We calculate our risks so carefully as adults, but in doing so, often miss out on opportunity to learn; and even more, the opportunity to teach our children that risks are what makes life take unexpected, thrilling turns.

Enjoy this fall weekend together with your sons and daughters, and see if you can squeeze a little risk in there!

Most Sincerely,

Kelly Tess

#beatree  #everybodyin

Skokie School Spirit Wear 
is now on Sale!  
The Skokie School is pleased to offer it's first Spirit Wear Sale of the season.  The online sale window lasts from now through Friday, October 12.   Click here  to place your order now, and see below for further details regarding the sale!


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.

Seen In Skokie Classrooms

I wanted to highlight some of the exciting work students and teachers are doing in our classrooms at Skokie. Here are just a few of the wonderful things students are working on during their school day:
  • Students discussing the various ways a math problem can be solved and which is most efficient during a number talk.
  • Students working together to create beautiful pieces of artwork: signs that will adorn our hallways with powerful messages.
  • Students creating timelines accompanied by drawings to help increase their understanding of history.
  • Students enthusiastically singing a chant while dancing with huge smiles on their faces.
  • Students drawing a visual representation of what their Spanish teacher said aloud to check for understanding.
  • Students making observations about animal footprints and working together to infer what they can learn from the observations.
  • Students engaged in a social-emotional lesson and discussing strategies for what to do when encountering negative behaviors.

Our teachers create such meaningful lessons that connect students to powerful ideas and thought processes. We can't wait to share more about what the students have been learning at conferences in the coming weeks!


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

Educational Master Facility Plan (EMFP): Future Ready D36
The School Board commissioned a survey with Fallon Research & Communications, Inc. to affirm the community's priorities and values and understand their readiness to fund the Educational Master Facility Plan.  At the September 25 School Board Meeting, Paul Fallon presented the survey methodology, including controls for a balanced demographic representation, and results from the September community survey. The telephone survey of randomly selected 301 Winnetka residents provided feedback on community priorities, funding support, and readiness to address multiple aspects of the District's aging schools, infrastructure, and upgrades to learning environments.

Key survey results shared include:

  • 92% of respondents rate the quality of education provided by The Winnetka Public Schools as "excellent/good."
  • 82% of respondents think maintaining neighborhood schools is very or somewhat important even though this configuration is more expensive to operate than consolidation of schools.
  • 74% of respondents think it is a good idea to repair and upgrade Winnetka schools.
  • 88% of respondents support repairs and upgrades to Winnetka schools within the current bond obligation, so these taxes would not change; 43% support comprehensive upgrades that could potentially increase taxes by $1,000 (per $1 million of property value).

In addition, Mr. Fallon noted the strong indication and  "mandate to act" on school facilities repairs and upgrades despite sensitivity to "too high" taxes as well as the unique alignment of parent and non-parent responses on many key issues and general priorities.  The School Board will incorporate the survey-poll results into the Working Assumptions and comprehensive EMFP research conducted by the Core Team. This completes the work of the EMFP data gathering process.

Adoption of the long-range Educational Master Facilities Plan is anticipated at the October 23, 2018, School Board meeting followed by a work session in November to define the implementation plan and a Phase I facilities project to present to voters in April 2019. As previously noted, a redistricting plan to balance enrollment will be required and will occur in early spring 2019.

The presentation and other information regarding the EMFP is available here:

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: .

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 : .

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: .

From Washburne to New Trier:
A D36 Parent's Guide to the New Trier Transition
Thursday, November 15 at 9:30 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: .

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
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