The Skokie Home Scoop - August 31, 2018 

Dear Skokie Families,

This was our very first full week of school, since the 2018/2019 school year began.  You may notice some very tired 5th and 6th graders this evening as you settle into the weekend.  Adjusting to the routine of the school year, higher expectations and a more packed schedule can be exhausting.  In addition, if there's one thing we know as middle school educators, it is that our 10-12 year old students are not always the very best communicators when it comes to articulating aspects of their day.  They will, however, give you many non-verbal cues about how they are feeling.  You may be surprised to know that the window of adolescence can begin as early as age 8 and last up until age 22!  As the parent of an adolescent, you are likely running into moments when you are confused by behaviors, concerned about heightened emotions, or frustrated by the communication between yourself and your 5th or 6th grader.  If this sounds familiar, or is something you may be anticipating in the future, we strongly encourage you to consider joining us on Friday, October 26 at 9:30am in the Community Room at Skokie for a Winnetka Parent Institute learning opportunity.  This session, titled "Not Quite Little Kid, Not Quite Teenager:  The Developmental Progression of the Adolescent Brain" is designed to prove you with the biological and neurological reasons why children in adolescence behave the way they do.  Additionally, you will learn about different strategies you can utilize as you go through these years as a family.  This particular session has been offered to parents five times in the last two years, and has been consistently highly attended. 

Finally, as mentioned in last week's newsletter, we are looking forward to parent-teacher conferences beginning on October 8.  As you plan for this time, it is helpful to reach out to teachers if there are any particular questions you'd like to address.  Our sixth graders participate in the conferences, so if there is a topic you'd rather cover without your child present, a heads up to the teacher is always helpful. 

Stay warm and dry on this fall-weather weekend.  Enjoy the time together with your families, and we'll look forward to seeing you 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.

Bonding Over Books

Are you looking for a way to spend some quality time with your child? There are many great novels to choose from that explore challenges that middle schoolers encounter. Reading together can be a great opportunity to explore some of these topics in a safe way, in the context of the story. It can also present opportunities to invite your child to make connections with their own experiences or develop empathy for those who have different backgrounds.

Here are some great titles to consider:

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Brown


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:

Blackboard Test

At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2, we will be conducting a test via Blackboard, our emergency call system. Please know this is only a test when you see the emergency test alert from The Winnetka Public Schools at 4:30 p.m. This test is to ensure that our emergency communications system, which is used to alert parents and staff of weather-related school closures and emergency situations, is working properly.

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 :

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:

The first Chorus rehearsal will be
Tuesday, September 18th  
at 7:30 a.m.

***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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