The Skokie Home Scoop - April 21, 2017 

Dear Skokie Families,

This past Tuesday we welcomed our future 2017/2018 5th graders and their families into the building for our annual Orientation Night.  We were pleased to see such a strong turn-out and so many smiling faces as they walked through the door and headed out on a building tour.  We were incredibly proud of a group of our current 5th graders who volunteered to be available for the evening and serve as tour guides.  They showed a great balance of maturity and enthusiasm for their school as they ushered families through the halls to show off the many exciting things that happen in our classrooms on a daily basis.  It is always a pleasure to host this event as it serves as the first of several 'ice-breaker' events we have available to incoming 5th graders as they prepare for the transition to The Skokie School.  We all look forward to Shadow Day on May 26th (4th graders visit, paired with a 5th grade buddy and go through a mock schedule of a Skokie day), as well as 4th grade classroom visits later in May (I go on a bit of a road show to the elementary schools and spend a little bit of time in each classroom visiting with the kids).  

Speaking of transition, I wanted to re-highlight the Winnetka Parent Institute presentation that we will be reprising for a third time on Friday, April 28 at 9:30 in The Skokie School's Community Room.  It is titled, "Not Quite Little Kid, Not Quite Teenager:  The Developmental Progression of the Middle School Child" and will be given by myself, Joshua Swanner (Assistant Principal, Skokie) and Dave Kanne (Principal, Washburne).  If you have not had a chance to attend this presentation, please do mark the date and time on your calendar to join us.  It is a great opportunity to connect with fellow parents and your principals to learn a bit about the brain science behind adolescent behavior.  Parents who have previously attended this presentation have commented on the value of learning the reasons why adolescence can be so challenging and how to approach some of those challenges as a parent.  This time of year, and these middle school years in your child's life is a window of many transitions.  To top it off, transitions are hard.  Part of our responsibility as educators and parents is to support our children through transition with an equal balance of support and the fostering of independence.  We are each stronger and better equipped to do that with more information, so please join us!

I hope you enjoy this spring weekend, and the time together with your families.
Most Sincerely,
Kelly Tess

WANT A QUICK WAY TO GET PICTURES AND UPDATES FROM SKOKIE? FOLLOW SKOKIE ON TWITTER @skokie36  Use #lookforthes and tweet @skokie36 with pictures or messages of service!

Earth Week at Skokie School

Monday, April 24: Minimize Monday: reduce your ecological footprint.  
  • Encourage students to bring whole fruits and vegetables that don't require packaging for their snack.  For example: bananas, apples, oranges, onions ... just kidding about the onions :)
  • Turn off the lights in your classroom for part of the day.
  • Work without iPads for part of the day.
  • Utilize dry-erase boards instead of scratch paper.
  • Start a bin to save GOOS (good on one side) paper. 
Tuesday, April 25: Trash-Free Tuesday 
  • Remind students to bring lunches and snacks in reusable containers - or better yet - no man-made containers at all!
  • Remind students to bring reusable water bottles.
  • Snacks that are factory packaged can be donated to the New Trier Township Food Pantry instead of thrown out.
Wednesday, April 26: Walk-to-School Wednesday 
  • Use non-motorized transportation to get to school - walk, bike, scooter, or skateboard, but try not to drive! 
  • If walking or biking is unrealistic, consider carpooling.
Thursday, April 27: Think Before You Throw Thursday
  • Pause before you put anything in the garbage (landfill). Think before you throw something away because there is no "away." 
  • Make the extra effort to recycle paper, cardboard, aluminum, plastic, and glass in the blue bins around school or the Village of Winnetka bins at home.
Friday, April 28: Arbor Day 
  • Village Forester Jim Stier will plant trees at Washburne and Skokie.  Details TBD.
  • Instead of recess, take students on a walk around the perimeter of Skokie School.  Challenge students to identify different types of trees and follow up with research to learn more.  
  • Open up a conversation about how food is grown. 
  • Challenge students to identify fruits and natural resources that are the product of trees.
Fourth Grade Shadow Day
If you are the parent of a current fourth grader, mark your calendar for Friday, May 26th.  This is a half day of school attendance for students, but is one you won't want to miss.  All Winnetka Fourth Graders join us at The Skokie School for our annual Shadow Day.  It is an opportunity to be paired with a current fifth grade buddy, tour the building, meet our teachers and receive your very first Skokie Spirit Wear!  Fourth graders begin the day at their elementary school and are bussed (or walk over, if at Crow Island) over to Skokie at 9:00.  Fourth graders return on the bus before dismissal at their elementary school.  We look forward to a fun day with our future 5th graders!
St. Baldrick's and Wigs for Kids
Monday, May 1 st , from 2:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. in the Auditorium.
If you are interested in shaving your head or cutting your hair, please contact Mr. Hynes (,
Ms. Goldberg (, or Mr. Rowe ( for a registration form.  

You must be registered by Tuesday, April 25th.

Tech Corner
Student's in both 5th and 6th grade are given opportunities to use coding and create websites in a variety of projects that they work on across various subject areas.  Below is an example of a website that was created by a 5th grader to show what she learned about using the program Scratch to create an animation.
Request from Adventures In Learning
ATTENTION all rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, turtles, birds and other small animals!  Winnetka's Adventures in Learning/Animal Care Class is back this summer beginning Monday, June 12th.  If your son or daughter's small animal (or you) is due for a brief break this summer, please let us know.  We can also attempt to arrange for a permanent adoption if it is time to pass your pet on to another loving family. 
Please e-mail Anna at .
District News   
Winnetka Parents Institute Opportunities
The Transition to Kindergarten in D36
Thursday, April 27 at 9:30 a.m.
Greeley School Resource Center
Hosted in Partnership with The Alliance for Early Childhood
District 36 administrators and elementary principals will share the rich history of our nationally-recognized schools and how teachers effectively apply the Progressive philosophy in classrooms.  Find out how you can partner with our schools to support your child's educational journey.  Hear about the Extended Day Kindergarten program and ask questions about what to expect as your child enters school in the fall.

Not Quite Little Kid, Not Quite Teenager: The Developmental Progression of the Middle School Child
Friday, April 28 at 9:30 a.m.
The Skokie School Community Room
Join Principal Tess and Principal Kanne for an informational morning 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. To RSVP visit 

Earth Week in D36
Earth Day 2017 is Saturday, April 22.  District 36 will be recognizing this special day and what it represents in several ways during the week of April 22-28:

Monday, April 24
Minimize Monday
We are highlighting ways to reduce our ecological footprint (the measure of human demand on nature). Each school will turn off the lights/electricity during the school day for a designated period/length of time.

Tuesday, April 25
Trash-Free Tuesday
Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to bring all snacks and lunches in reusable packaging in order to avoid disposable plastics and single-use containers.

Wednesday, April 26
Walk to School Wednesday
Use non-motorized transportation to get to school. Walk, bike, scooter or skateboard, but try not to drive! If you have to drive, make the extra effort to carpool.

Thursday, April 27
Think Before You Throw Thursday
Think before you throw something away. Remember there is no "away." Make the extra effort to recycle paper, cardboard, aluminum, plastic, and glass in the blue bins around school (and your home, any activities you go to, and around Winnetka).

Friday, April 28
Arbor Day
Village Forester Jim Stier will facilitate tree-planting at Washburne and Skokie schools.

PARCC assessment
The PARCC assessment will be administered to students in grades 3 through 8 through April 28, 2017.   Grades 3 - 5 will complete 7 testing sessions (3 Language Arts and 4 math) and Grades 6 - 8 will complete 6 testing sessions (3 Language Arts and 3 Math).  Individual teachers or schools will be sending details concerning specific dates and times of testing sessions. In order to ensure that students feel comfortable in the testing environment and understand the nature of the questions that will be presented on the exam, teachers will be familiarizing students with the testing platform and expectations. Our approach holds that students are best prepared for PARCC exams by participating in learning activities that reflect current state standards throughout the year. The Illinois State Board of Education requires all public school districts to administer the PARCC exam. For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please visit .

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 to July 14, 2017.

Follow The Winnetka Public Schools on Social Media
To get a glimpse of the exciting school events and classroom activities taking place day-to-day in D36, read articles on topics of interest, and more, connect with us on social media by clicking on the icons at the bottom of the newsletter.
Skokie Calendar

Tuesday, April 25     
     School Board Meeting
     7:15 p.m.
- Crow Island

Thursday, April 27
    Class Picture Day

Monday, May 1 
St. Baldrick's Event
     2:45 p.m. - Skokie Audito
Thursday, May 4 
Skokie /Washburne  
Spring Band & Choir Concert 
7:30 p.m. - Washburne Gym 
Save the Date!
      For the 6th Grade Party 
Friday, May 12th
7:00 - 9:00 pm  
Washburne Gyms & Cafeteria
(Permission slips and more information will be sent home closer to the event).
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