The Skokie Home Scoop - October 28, 2016

Dear Skokie Families,

Here we are at the end of October with 70 degree weather predicted for tomorrow, and the Chicago Cubs playing in the World Series.  At this point, I'm sure you've concluded that I am a loyal Cubs fan, but the excitement across the city is undeniable (regardless of what team or sport you cheer for).  I did want to take a moment to point out the way in which these past two series have been a living example of adults and athletes choosing kind.  You may know that Skokie has promoted the theme of "Choose Kind" over the last few years, emphasizing through our work in social-emotional learning the lasting impact of kindness and the powerful and sometimes difficult decision it can be to choose kind in adverse situations.  There is no more pivotal time in a child's life to choose kind than the pre-adolescent years as so much of a child's development between the ages of 10 and 18 is centered on the emotional response of being validated and recognized by those around you.  Throughout the last two series that the Cubs have played in, we have seen example after example of supportive teammates and solid sportsmanship.  In a competition as thick as those leading to the World Series, that is not necessarily expected.  A few of the televised moments--Anthony Rizzo apologized to the Umpire after making an assumptive head start to first base.  David Ross shared a friendly conversation and a compliment about the pitcher with the first baseman of the opposing team.  Teammates stood with arms around each other in the dugout as they fought through a losing game.  Joe Maddon approached all of his pitchers with words of encouragement and congratulations even when he was making the difficult choice to pull them from the mound.  Win or lose, these are undeniable moments of choosing the best response at moments of heightened intensity, when it can truly be the hardest to do so.  Chicago Cubs, The Skokie School salutes you for choosing kind!  Go Cubs Go!

Shifting topics, I wanted to invite any parents who did not have the opportunity to complete a survey based on your conference experience.  During the last two weeks, we had computer kiosks available in the lobby for parents to respond before leaving the building; however, we know that schedules do not always permit the extra time to do so.  If you have not already done so, please CLICK HERE the link to participate in our feedback survey regarding conferences.

Finally, we continue to move through our schedule pilot with many exciting projects and pursuits underway in advisories through our Enrichment and Inquiry Period.  As previously shared, we are also proud to be providing an increased number of our students with Math Intervention without asking them to sacrifice one of their Arts classes to do so.  The graphs below highlight our increased reach toward supporting our students.  As you can see from the data, we have made dramatic gains in reaching more students requiring support in the area of Math, which will ultimately have a positive impact in the classroom.  I look forward to sharing more about the academic impact we see this having, and the ways in which we continue to tweak our schedule to increase its benefits.

Have a wonderful weekend, enjoy watching those Cubbies, and savor the warm weather.  Word is, winter is going to own us this year!

Most Sincerely,

Kelly Tess



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Due to high demand, we are opening a Tuesday afternoon session for Art club! This year, the Skokie School Art Club will be working on a variety of projects, some independent and some collaborative, including the creation of our very own art history walk. We will meet in the Art Room on Tuesdays, from  3:45-4:45 pm.  There will be 10 available openings for this club. Our first session will meet on  October 25th and our final session will meet on January 24th (There will be 12 sessions in all).
This year, the Skokie School Art Club will be working on a variety of projects, some independent and some collaborative, including the creation of our very own art history walk. We will meet in the Art Room on Wednesdays, from 3:45-4:45 pm.  Our first session will meet on October 26th and our final session will meet on February 1st.  (There will be 12 sessions in all.)  There are 10 available spots for this club, but if interest exceeds the limit - a second day may be added.

A new math and logic game club for Skokie 5th graders. Whether your child can't get enough of all things math or wants to build math confidence and skill, this club is the perfect fit! Each week, engaging new games will be introduced that grow perseverance, strategic thinking, and computational fluency. Our club will provide a relaxed environment for building both friendships and mathematical thinking! Club meets 7:30 - 8:25 a.m., October 27 - May 18 (not in session 11/17, 11/24, 12/22, 12/29, 2/9, and 3/30) in the Skokie School Loft.

Join this adventurous crew as we experience the challenges suggested for The First Lego League. We will determine if we are ready to compete or if we want to pilot the experience for next year's competition. The Team will meet on Wednesdays, from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. November 2 through December 14, 2016, in Room 142.

We are pleased and excited to be offering, for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year, our After School Sports Clubfor fifth and sixth graders, and   Skokie Climbing Club . The Skokie Climbing club is for students who would like to climb the Skokie High Ropes Course after school. 6 - 8th grade students along with 5th grade Adventure Climbers are allowed to enroll during the first semester.

COMING SOON:  Cereal Club, Science Olympiad, and Math Counts (Science Olympiad and Math Counts are November/December through April Clubs)!


October 2016
Skokie Family,
This year, Skokie is again collecting tabs for the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) near Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago. Ronald McDonald House's mission " to care for families of children with complex medical needs by providing comfort, compassion and a sense of community... by keeping families of hospitalized children together in a 'home away from home'." For more information, visit
Why tabs? United Scrap Metal, a local recycling company picks them up from RMH. They recycle the metal and then pay them the market value, plus a charitable match on a percentage of their profit. United Scrap Metal recycles all types of metal; however, they focus mostly on pop tabs since they are clean, compact, easy to collect and the aluminum in the tab is a higher-grade so it has a higher recycling value.   All types of tabs are accepted - from juice cans, pop cans, to cat food cans. Last year Skokie collected over 50 pounds of was quite amazing.
This year, we are hosting a competition between the advisories. The advisory with the most tabs, as determined by the weight, will win a prize.
Thank you for your support of this program.
Marla Goldberg

Donate your Extra/Unwanted Halloween Candy
Skokie School will be hosting a Halloween Candy Drive!  Extra candy can be dropped off in the Skokie School foyer onTuesday, November 1st  through Thursday, November 3rd or directly at McClellan Orthodontics on Green Bay Road (just remember to tell them the donation is from Skokie School).  

Candy will be sold for $1/pound at McClellan Orthodontics.  Candy sale proceeds will be donated to Lurie Children's Hospital and Skokie School.  In addition, the top schools with the most candy contributed receive cash prizes.  And we won the GRAND PRIZE last year.  So let's do it again!  Spread the word and please help Skokie and Lurie Children's by donating your extra Halloween candy - THANK YOU!
Any questions, please email Karen Hawkins at

Breakfast With Friends, where you can start the day with  
conversation, cereal, and relaxation in a stress-free environment.  This club will meet Thursday mornings, November 3rd through December 15th from 7:40-8:10am in Room 159. The club will be free of charge, however, we will ask that the students bring in one box of cereal each. Students may sign up outside of Mrs. Martinsen's Room 159 or outside Ms. Keane's office Room 125. 
Cereal Club was originally established at New Trier in 2002.  Students at New Trier have said they enjoyed the departure from the busy and bustling atmosphere (experienced) during the rest of the school day, so we are hoping to create a similar environment at Skokie!
 If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:, or
Parent Education Opportunities

STEAM in District 36
Thursday, November 3 at 9:30 a.m.
Greeley School Resource Center
Learn more about the STEAM experience and the purpose behind the makerspace environments in District 36 with Maureen Chertow Miller, Director of Technology.

From Washburne to New Trier: A D36 Parent's Guide to the New Trier Transition
Tuesday, November 8 at 9:30 a.m.
Resource Center at Carleton Washburne School
Dave Kanne, Principal at Carleton Washburne School, and Paul Waechtler, Principal at the New Trier High School Freshman Campus, will discuss how D36 works with leaders at New Trier throughout the freshman placement process 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. To RSVP, click here.

Enrollment Balancing Project
On October 25, 2016, the School Board Advisory Committee met for a second time to discuss potential solutions to the imbalanced enrollment in the District. Revised Demographic and Capacity reports for District schools, as well as the five Guiding Principles that emerged from the recent staff and community surveys, were also approved by the Board on October 18.  The Guiding Principles are:
  1. Whenever possible, maintain current class size guidelines for the varying grade levels/programs rather than increasing class size guidelines at the elementary or middle school levels
  2. When possible, avoid moving students from their current school assignments (current students stay in their schools; new students are assigned to school(s) with available space)
  3. If school attendance boundaries are redrawn, younger siblings should be assigned to the same schools as their older sibling(s)
  4. Ensure that the elementary schools have equitable enrollments and building utilization for the next five years
  5. Adhere to optimal space use recommendations (which are defined by school facility studies as 70-80% of maximum capacity) to support current educational programs
For these documents and other information that pertains to this project, visit .

District 36 students take a stand to prevent bullying in their schools
October is National Bullying Prevention Month and District 36 student representatives at each school responded by developing a video presentation, to be shown to their fellow students, identifying bullying behaviors, talking about prevention, providing information on how to report, and challenging each other to Stand up and stop bullying.

Register for the Annual Skokie Shuffle 5K
Community members are invited to register for The Skokie School shuffle 5K run/walk, taking place on Saturday, Nov. 5. This is a fun event for the whole family, with proceeds benefitting two charities.

Skokie Calendar
October 31, Monday 
   Happy Halloween!
November 2, Wednesday 
    Vision & Hearing                   Rescreening
November 6, Sunday 
Daylight Savings Time Ends

November 5, Saturday
  Skokie Shuffle - 5K 
8:00 a.m.  
Erickson Woods 
( The forest preserve entrance located off Willow Road)
November 9, Wednesday
  Winter Chorus Concert
Grades 5, 6, 7, 8
Washburne Little Theater  7:00 p.m.

November 11, Friday 
       NO SCHOOL          T eacher Inservice
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