Country Meadows Principal's Message - December 4th

Country Meadows Principal's Message - December 4th

Country Meadows Families,

If you’re anything like me, you may be finding it hard to believe that the month of December is already upon us.  It was a great week back from our short break last week, and we hope everyone was able to find time for relaxation and rejuvenation.  You should have been able to access your child’s Trimester 1 report card beginning at 3pm yesterday, and if you have not yet done so, please CLICK HERE for instructions on how to access your child’s T1 report card.  We hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and we look forward to another great week of learning ahead!

Warm Regards,

Meghan Bird - Principal

NEW *Monthly Asynchronous Wednesdays *  

Once per month, beginning in December, students will participate in asynchronous activities for a portion of their school day.  The dates for each of these asynchronous Wednesdays are identified below.  You will notice that each date is identified as either AM or PM.  If for example, AM is indicated, this means that students will participate in the asynchronous activities during the morning or AM portion of the school day and then transition to their regularly scheduled school day in the afternoon or PM.  Specific times are indicated below with each identified date.  Teachers will communicate with students to be sure that they understand the expectations for each of these days.  

These monthly asynchronous days were created to give students the opportunity to participate in topics that will enhance our current curricular content, and so that teachers have time to collaborate and plan with each other to determine the best way to approach future instruction.  

Asynchronous Wednesdays will take place on the following dates.

  • December 16:  PM Asynchronous
  • January 13:  AM Asynchronous 
  • February 24:  PM Asynchronous 
  • March 17: AM Asynchronous 
  • April 21:  PM Asynchronous


The asynchronous portion of the day will take place in the afternoon or PM portion of the school day for all.  The asynchronous focus for this day is digital citizenship.  Students will be engaging in a variety of Digital Citizenship See specifics below for each grade. 

AM Kindergarten:  Students will engage in instruction with their teacher as they typically would in the morning from 8:30-11:00.  The afternoon optional specials will not take place on this day.  

PM Kindergarten:  Students will have the option to engage in their regular morning specials (PE and music) as they normally would from 8:30-11:00.  In the afternoon, from 12:30-3:00 students will participate in the asynchronous activities shared with them on SeeSaw.  Teachers will not be available for live instruction for the PM students as the asynchronous activities were created for students to work through without teacher support.  We recognize that these independent activities may require substantial parent guidance for kindergarteners, so please participate in the activities provided at the level that is comfortable for you and your child.  

1st-5th Grade:  Students will engage in instruction as they typically would until 12:45pm.  At 12:45pm, the asynchronous portion of the day will begin and continue through the end of the school day.  Students in grades 1-2 will access the asynchronous work in SeeSaw and students in grades 3-5 will access the asynchronous work in Schoology.  Teachers will communicate with students to be sure that they understand the expectations and communicate where they should access the asynchronous work for each of these days.  While we prefer that the asynchronous work is completed during this designated time, timing can be adjusted based on what works best for your family as long as the work is completed before the next school day begins.  


The Country Meadows PTO is sponsoring an after-school virtual live event with the Glen Echo Park Aquarium. Visit the aquarium virtually and learn about freshwater and sea animals and about caring for the environment. Children will have the opportunity to ask questions in the Live Chat–all from the comfort of home. The program will be at 2:05 PM on Tues., Dec. 15–a KCSD96 Early Release Day. The program is free; however, registration is required. To receive a program link, complete and submit this form. Include the name of EACH Country Meadows student in your family who will attend this free virtual program. Registration must be submitted by Dec. 12. REGISTER HERE

NEW *Yearbook Photo Submission*

Thank you for all of your help with gathering pictures for our yearbook this year!  We are looking for pictures of students remotely participating in their specials classes (PE, Music, EL, Art) as well as any pictures of students engaging in brain breaks as well!  If you have any photos to share, please follow the steps below.

Option 1:  Download the HJ eShare app, enter the school code: CM2021 tag and upload your pictures

Option 2: Go to, enter the school code: CM2021, tag and upload your pictures

Option 3: Go directly to tag and upload your pictures

NEW *December Artistic Contest*

The month of November did not disappoint, and we are incredibly impressed with the creativity students utilized to design their very own scarecrows!  Winners will be announced once staff have a chance to review the submissions and vote (which is super difficult given how wonderful each submission was!).

Our incredible PTO is sponsoring another fun challenge this month!  Please see this flyer for information regarding our December Artistic Contest!  We can't wait to see all of the student drawings and celebrate the cultural diversity in our Country Meadows community!

NEW *Specials Materials*

Here is the updated Specials Materials Schedule.  Please reach out to specific specials teachers with any questions.

NEW *PTO Blog*

After School Virtual Programs: Please fill out this quick two question survey regarding whether you're interested in your child attending a couple of free interactive after school virtual programs on early release days. (On early release days, school ends at 2:00 p.m. The after school virtual program would start at 2:05 p.m. and end by 3:00 p.m.)

Please take a moment to read the updated PTO blog this week.

REPEATING: Holiday Gifts for Staff

Gifts are never an expectation for our staff members, so it is with some humility that I broach this topic. Some families have started to inquire about delivering gifts for staff members.  Staff may or may not be working from the building, and we can not promise that anything dropped off to staff will make it to them in a timely manner if this is the case. If you make the decision to provide a gift, it recommended that you consider a virtual gift that can be delivered to their email. Thank you for your understanding!

REPEATING *MAP Testing Updates*

Given the pandemic and our current full remote setting, students in Kindergarten through Grade 2 will not participate in Winter MAP.  These students will participate in MAP testing in the Spring.  

Students in grades 3-8 will participate in remote MAP testing on the following dates: 

Grades 5-8 tested on December 3 & 4 

Grades 3-4 will test on December 8 & 9

REPEATING *Free Meals for Pick-Up for ALL D96 Students*

D96 is pleased to offer free meals for pick-up for ALL students (age 18 and younger), thanks to the Summer Food Service Program from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  

All District 96 families were sent an email on Mon., Nov. 16 (Subject Line: Fr Sch Dist 96: Free Meal Preordering and Pickup) with information about preordering free breakfast and lunch meals for their students.

Parents/guardians of all District 96 families may preorder and pick up meals at Twin Groves or Woodlawn Middle Schools for their children through age 18* on designated weekdays from 11 AM–2 PM. 

The first step is for families to create an account online and add each child receiving meals to the account. Please see this webpage for details and brief instructional videos of the account set-up and preordering process.

Please direct questions to the public information coordinator [email protected].

REPEATING *Yearbook Photo Submission*

Please upload your photos of your child(ren) engaging in Zoom sessions while learning remotely or in their remote learning environment.  We would love to add them to our yearbook this year! 

Option 1:  Download the HJ eShare app, enter the school code: CM2021 tag and upload your pictures

Option 2: Go to, enter the school code: CM2021, tag and upload your pictures

Option 3: Go directly to tag and upload your pictures

REPEATING *ComEd Bill Payment Assistance Options*

ComEd has provided bill payment assistance options for families experiencing financial hardship.

REPEATING *Updated COVID-19 Metrics*

This UPDATED COVID-19 METRICS is the information “dashboard” that maintains transparent and open communication around COVID-19 metrics. As a user of the dashboard, the District has access to COVID-19 data as recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Northern Illinois Public Health Consortium. We review this data daily, update the dashboard weekly, and consider this data in making many decisions.

REPEATING *Family Tradition Survey*

Last year, families filled out a form to share their family traditions with us. We shared those traditions in a daily slideshow for students and the kids absolutely loved reading about themselves and other students in the school. We would love for you to participate again this year!

Read more about how you can share your family traditions this year. It will show you a QR code and a link you can use to participate.