Country Meadows Principal's Message - December 11th

Country Meadows Principal's Message - December 11th

Country Meadows Families,

It’s hard to believe that there is only one more week of school for the 2020 calendar year, but the snow forecasted for this weekend may seem this more like a reality! For our last week of school prior to break, we are excited to host a fun Spirit Week for students!  We look forward to your child’s fun participation in this event (see below for details).

As a reminder, Superintendent Schmidt sent an email to all District 96 families on the evening of December 9th with metrics monitoring details.  Her next communication will be on December 16th.  

Warm Regards,

Meghan Bird - Principal

NEW *Spirit Week*

We are so excited to head into our winter break with a fun Spirit Week at Country Meadows next week!  See the fun we have planned for students

NEW *Calendar Reminders*

This is a friendly reminder that this upcoming:

  • Tuesday, 12/15, is an Early Release.  Elementary students will end their school day an hour early at 2:00 pm.
  • Wednesday, 12/16, is one of our newly designated asynchronous learning days.  Students will partake in synchronous instruction like normal until 12:45.  At 12:45, asynchronous instruction will begin.  Please see upcoming communication from your child’s classroom teacher for the Digital Citizenship assignment that will be worked on during this time.  Please note that students will not be penalized for not completing or submitting this work.

NEW *Specials Materials*

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

NEW *PTO Blog*

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


Families Can Preorder Free Meals for Pick-Up During Winter Break
NOTE: Preorders must be in by 10 AM on THURSDAY for pick-up in the week ahead.
Preorder by 10 AM on THURSDAY, Dec. 17, to pick up meals (meal packs for 5 days) on Mon., Dec. 21.
Preorder by 10 AM on THURSDAY, Dec. 24, to pick up meals (meal packs for 5 days) on Mon., Dec. 28.
Preordering Free Meals in 2021
IMPORTANT: The last day to preorder free meals for the week ahead is changing. You’ll need to preorder by 10 AM on Thursdays, rather than Fridays.
To preorder meals for the first week after Winter Break (Jan. 4–8)
Preorder by 10 AM on THURSDAY, Dec. 31, to pick up meals on Mon., Jan. 4 (meal packs for 3 days) and Thurs., Jan. 7 (meal packs for 2 days).

REPEATING *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

REPEATING *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

REPEATING *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!

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 *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.