April 24, 2020

Dear Parents, 

I hope this letter finds you safe at home. As you know, on April 17, 2020, Governor Pritzker mandated that all Illinois schools remain closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.  We recognize that our spring season is a time of celebration with many beloved traditions and transitions. We know there is a collective sense of disappointment that we are unable to move forward with events in person as we typically have in years past. Our educators and administration are committed to thinking creatively as we proceed, but we understand that this unexpected change is hard. 

Rather than sending multiple communications that could be overwhelming, we are sending you this single email with links to important activities that pertain to specific transitions and events. Many of our families have more than one child in our District, so you can access the information in a single letter.  Please note some school-specific events will be addressed directly at a later date. While we understand the desire for details to be finalized as quickly as possible, we want to be sure that each event is given thoughtful consideration and thorough planning. 

We are working on plans for students and staff to pick-up belongings from our schools in early May. Detailed information about a safe pick-up process will be shared soon. Please note that our last day of student attendance this year will be June 5, 2020.   The dates of June 8, 9, and 10 will be used as Teacher Planning Days to effectively close this school year and continue preparation for fall 2020, inclusive of curricular planning and program adjustments. We know that thorough planning for the transition to the fall is critically important. 

Finally, thank you to all who completed the Remote Learning Phase II survey this week.  We had nearly 1,000 parent responses.  The staff is analyzing the information and identifying strengths and areas for improvement in our remote learning plans.  We will share our findings and follow-up actions in a dedicated communication next week.

Sincerely,

The Winnetka Public Schools Administrative Team

DISTRICT TRANSITION LETTERS:
Click on the links to detailed letters below:



Your building principal and/or PTO will be sharing additional information on plans pertaining specifically to any special fourth grade traditions at your child's school.



SCHOOL EVENTS
Review updates about end-of-year school events below.

All Schools

Field Days:  A virtual version of this annual tradition will be embedded in our 
June 1 Grey Day focused on Health and Wellness.   

Yearbook Distribution:  Yearbooks will be completed this year and distributed safely to students.  Specific information regarding the timing and distribution will come from each school.

Middle School

Letter for 8th grade families regarding graduation:  The school closure announcement is specifically difficult for our graduating eighth graders.  We are planning to hold a "virtual" graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 4th and honor our graduates with some unique surprises in the coming weeks. Read the linked letter for more details! 

Elementary School

3rd Grade Pioneer Day:  Our current plan is that students will engage in a Pioneer Day experience with their 3rd grade teachers in the beginning of their 4th grade year.

Immigration Day:  These days are scheduled by schools as part of a specific unit of study.  Unfortunately, the timing of our school closures necessitates that we move forward in our curriculum and the students will not be participating in an Immigration Day this year.

MUSIC EVENTS
Please know our music teachers are developing rich, engaging remote activities in the weekly plans.  Please ensure your children are participating regularly!  

Spring Sings:  Based on the nature of these events and the process in which they are created, they cannot be replicated virtually.  Teachers are evaluating other creative opportunities to celebrate music remotely this spring.

Elementary String Recitals: Based on the nature of these events and the process in which they are created, they cannot be replicated virtually. Teachers are evaluating and implementing other creative opportunities for students to perform remotely this spring.

Chorus, Orchestra and Band Concerts: Based on the nature of these events and the process in which they are created, they cannot be replicated virtually. Teachers are evaluating and implementing other creative opportunities for students to perform remotely this spring.

Band Tour/Recruitment Instrument Visits: Our 5th grade band and orchestra teachers are collaborating to create a video and website that houses information they would usually share during their recruitment visits. These resources will be presented on the Arts/Music Grey Day on May 11 and will also be shared with incoming 4th Grade families via a Constant Contact message.

ADVENTURES IN LEARNING

For families registered for Adventures in Learning, we are reviewing this summer's program and the ability to hold in-person classes.  We are also evaluating remote learning opportunities. We will reach out to you with communication within the next two weeks with further information, including refunding registration fees should that be necessary.

REDISTRICTING UPDATE

In October 2019, the School Board approved a Redistricting Plan . As Greeley School prepares to welcome new families per the plan, the District continues to work with Village leadership to ensure that timelines remain on track for increased signage, improved bike ramps, and tunnel beautification.  To support safety, a crossing guard will oversee the Wilson Road Exit of the Willow Road Tunnel and new signage has been installed at New Trier High School. The District will publish safe Walking & Biking Routes to Greeley School prior to the start of the year.  

The Winnetka Public Schools community empowers every student to flourish in 
an innovative, experiential environment. We support and challenge all learners 
to actively engage in continual growth and achievement to make 
a meaningful difference in the world.  

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