The Skokie Home Scoop - March 3, 2017 

 
Dear Skokie Families,

It seems incredibly hard to believe, but today marked the final day of our second trimester.  Our third and final trimester will begin on Monday.  At this time of year, we begin thinking and planning for the coming school year.  Our fifth graders choose exploratory classes for next year, and our sixth graders visit Washburne (which they did today) to select their elective classes for next year.  

Certainly an aspect of our planning for next year is tied into our schedule pilot that has been ongoing this year.  In last week's newsletter I shared that we would be moving to a new iteration of the schedule for third trimester in response to feedback from staff following their lived experience these last two trimesters.  While we will adhere to this iteration for the entirety of third trimester, we will also take time in these final months of school to gather feedback from students, staff and parents in order to make a recommendation for how to move forward next year.  As you read through last week's newsletter, you may have had some questions regarding the "RISE" Schedule:

1) What does RISE stand for and does the RISE period replace the Student Skills period?

RISE stands for Resource Intervention Skills and Enrichment.  Currently our schedule has a period referred to as the Student Skills period in which students requiring an intervention receive that support from an interventionist, and students remaining in the classroom can benefit from review, reteaching or enrichment.  In addition to this period, our current schedule utilizes time during the extended afternoon advisory for enrichment and inquiry projects based on student interest.  The RISE schedule includes a shorter afternoon advisory to further expand the core curricular time, and collapses the skills period into one period for the team that incorporates a resource period for those within special education, an intervention period for those that require that level of support, and a skills and enrichment period for those remaining in the classroom.

2) Are there any other changes in timing or content of periods?

The morning and afternoon advisory periods are shorter, split into a 10 minute morning and 16 minute afternoon advisory time.  The core academic periods are consistently clustered in three period instructional blocks. The only change in the use of the periods will happen in the RISE period in which Resource, Intervention, Skills and Enrichment will happen at the same time for every student on a team.

3) Do you expect to change the schedule anymore this year?

This will be the final iteration of the schedule pilot this year, as well as a period for us to gather feedback based on our year of lived experience to best make a recommendation for the 2017/2018 school year.  

Finally, second trimester report cards will be mailed out to families the week of March 13.  You may or may not recall that The Skokie School formed a Report Card Committee this year to examine the effectiveness of our current report card format.   Last Trimester we solicited feedback from parents and staff regarding our current format.  Based on the feedback, we are committed to improving our current report card format and will begin work on that this summer.  We look forward to future communication about our work with the hope of presenting a new Report Card format some time during the 2017/2018 school year.  This is a large scale project that will require many hours of work and careful attention.  We appreciate your feedback, support and patience as we prepare for this important work.
 
Have a relaxing first weekend in March! Congrats to all you Wildcat fans out there (even an Illini fan like me has something to be happy about!). Enjoy the time together with your families. 
 
 
Most Sincerely,

Kelly Tess
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District News

Special Board Meeting at Crow Island School on March 7, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
The Special Board Meeting was called to continue the discussion regarding upcoming financial decisions that will be made at the regular meeting on March 21, 2017.  The agenda will be specific to debt restructuring, financial projections, and HVAC upgrade alternatives.  The public is welcome to attend the meeting.

Winter MAP Testing
We are approaching our second testing window for the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test which will take place between February 27 - March 10.  Similar to the fall, all students  in Grades 3 - 8 will take one Reading test and one Math test.  With this second testing, data concerning both your child's performance and growth will be measured. A report that details this information will be sent home prior to spring break. Additional information on the MAP assessment may be found on our District website at www.winnetka36.org/map .

Adventures in Learning
A decades-long tradition, this summer program includes classes as varied as Rocket Engineering, Camping Adventures and S'more Fun, Archery, Kitchen Magicians, Lacrosse, Computer Animation, Yoga for Kids, Animal Care, and the Wonders of Science. Students in grades 2-8 may choose up to four classes from over 100 options. Younger children (pre-Kindergarten through grade 1) will explore educational concepts through guided play and outdoor activities.

Adventures in Learning runs from June 12-July 14, 2017. Registration begins March 1 for Winnetka residents and is open to the general public on March 8. www.winnetka36.org/adventures 

Free Tickets for D36 Students to See Lion King Jr. at The Skokie School
Special Gifts Theatre, an educational theatre program for children with special needs and their mentors, is performing Lion King Jr. at The Skokie School on March 4, 5, 11 and 12 at 2 p.m.  Several students from Crow Island, Skokie and Washburne are in this program. Any D36 students who would like to see the production are free with a paying adult.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.  Purchase tickets at www.specialgiftstheatre.org. 
 
Skokie Calendar
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Monday, March 6
 
Begin Trimester 3

Monday, March 27
Spring Vacation Begins

Monday, April 3 
Schools Reopen 
 
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