Country Meadows Principal's Message - Sept 24th

Country Meadows Principal's Message - Sept 24th

Country Meadows Families,

It's been so refreshing to have a full week of school!  The crisp mornings are welcomed and certainly remind us that fall is here, and it's hard to believe this is the last Principal's Message of September!  This week Country Meadows successfully completed our first fire drill with Woodlawn, and students did a great job following adult directions to ensure they safely exited the building.  We are also looking forward to Family Educator Conferences that are right around the corner!  You should have received an email to sign up for conferences on Monday, and more specific details about these conferences can be found below.

Have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy the beautiful weather!


Meghan Bird - Principal

NEW *Upcoming Schedule Changes*

  • Tuesday, September 28 is an Early Release, and students will be dismissed at 2:00pm.
  • Friday, October 1is a Half Day and students will be dismissed at 11:45am.

NEW *Approved Snack List Reminder*

Please remember that ALL snacks consumed in the classroom MUST be from the D96 Approved Snack List (Daily Snack Page).  This list is free of the top 8 allergens/gluten and is used to ensure that all of our students, including those with severe food allergies, have access to learning environments that are safe.  Please pay special attention to the specific brand names of items you send to school with your child, and avoid items listed on the "PTO Parties Only" list.

Please know that there are no restrictions on what a student may bring to consume at lunch.

NEW *A Note from our School Nurse*

  • If your child has one or more COVID symptoms, they must stay home from school until the symptom resolves AND they have a negative COVID test.  Testing is available at school using the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test.  When your child is ready to return, please email Katie White at [email protected] and let her know your child is symptom free so that testing can be arranged. 
  • Students are not permitted to bring cough drops to school as this is considered a medication.  We also assume that if a child brings cough drops to school he/she is symtomatic with a cough/sore throat and should not be in attendance as both are COVID symptoms.
  • If you have extra shirts/pants at home that your child has outgrown, our nurse's office is in need of extra clothing.  This can be dropped off to the nurse whenever is convenient for you/your child!

NEW *Handicap Parking Spot*

Please avoid parking in the handicap parking spot in the Country Meadows parking lot unless you have the required documentation displayed.  We currently have families who need access to this parking spot and have been unable to utilize it when needed.  

NEW *Cub Crawl*

We are so excited to announce that our Country Meadows Cub Crawl will be held on October 1st (if the weather cooperates)! This is an event where each grade level will spend time running/walking outside on the track to music!  It's a fun school tradition that we are accommodating to ensure the health and safety of all of our students.  Please ensure that students wear appropriate clothing and shoes to be outside for an extended period of time. Students can also bring their water bottles with them.  We look forward to this fun day with students!

NEW *Volunteers & Vaccination Verification or Proof of a Negative Test

As you may or may not know, Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker held a COVID-19 press conference on August 26, 2021, where he issued new rules regarding indoor masking, and signed an Executive Order 2021-20, regarding educational employee vaccination and testing requirements. In the Executive Order which applies to all “school personnel,” volunteers are included in the definition unless they are present for only a short period of time and whose movements of close physical proximity are “fleeting”.   

Those who have been identified as a current or upcoming PTO volunteer recently received a survey asking that you provide proof of vaccination and notifying them that if unvaccinated they would need to provide proof of a negative Covid test within 48 hours of reporting to volunteer. 

 If you have already uploaded proof of vaccination, please disregard this information.


How do I provide proof of vaccination proactively should I choose to volunteer at my student(s) school this year?

By following this link, you may provide proof of vaccination to your school(s).  


What if I am unvaccinated but want to volunteer this year?

Unvaccinated volunteers must provide proof of a negative Covid test when you arrive at the school on the day you are scheduled to volunteer.  Negative test results are only good for the 48 hours prior to arrival.  For example, if an unvaccinated volunteer is scheduled to be in the school the next week, they would have to provide a new test result.


What type of Covid test qualifies?

You may present a negative antigen or PCR test.  Home testing kits do not qualify as the test must be observed and documentation of the result provided to you.


Why can’t unvaccinated volunteers take a Covid test at the school?

The BinaxNow test provided to schools is in short supply at this time.  As a result, schools have been notified that we cannot use the test for any screening purposes.  If we were to do so, they would no longer supply the test to us.  We are only allowed to use the test for symptomatic individuals on campus (students or staff) or when a person qualifies for test-to-stay.  If and when test supplies increase, those restrictions may be lifted.  If they are, we will be in a position to reconsider testing unvaccinated volunteers in our schools at that time.


What is the process for volunteers to either provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test?

  • Vaccinated volunteers may submit their proof of vaccination at any time by following the link provided and completing the survey and uploading proof of vaccination.  
  • The list of those who have done so will be made available to the school (principal, assistant principal, administrative assistant, and nurse) and updated periodically by Lubna Andrabi in our district office.
  • Unvaccinated volunteers must bring proof of a negative test to the main office on the day they are scheduled to volunteer.  
  • The main office will make a copy of your negative test.
  • The test result must be within the previous 48 hours.  The staff at the front desk in the main office will assist you.


What if I am fully vaccinated but forgot to upload my proof of vaccination?

If you have not uploaded your vaccination card, you may provide proof of vaccination when you arrive (vaccination card).  We strongly encourage you to upload your card so that you do not need to present it each time you report to volunteer.

NEW *Band/Orchestra Boosters Membership ToolKit*

Students in District 96 Band and Orchestra wear matching polo shirts to concerts. These polo shirts are paired with dark bottoms and dark shoes. Polo shirts can be ordered through our Boosters ToolKit and orders need to be placed by Friday, October 1st. Please see the directions below if you are unfamiliar with the Boosters ToolKit:

The Boosters Membership ToolKit is how the Boosters will communicate important information to the parents of students participating in the band or orchestra programs. The ToolKit gives you online access to forms for ordering your student's required concert polo shirt, forms to volunteer for various activities or serve on the Booster Board, and forms to register for events (i.e. the “End of the Year '' party). All purchases can be paid online with your credit or debit card! Please stay “in the know” and create an account in the Boosters Membership ToolKit today! To create an account and get started head to: follow the prompts. If you already have a Membership ToolKit account with the PTO at your school, you can use the same email and password to set up this account.

When you set up your account in the ToolKit, you must complete the student information page, where you will check the boxes for the program your student participates in – either band or orchestra or both. There are two separate polo shirt order forms, one for the BLUE BAND POLO SHIRT and one for the WHITE ORCHESTRA POLO SHIRT. You will only have access to the form that applies to your student(s). Shirts will be delivered to your student at school before their first concert.

NEW *Picture Retakes*

Picture retakes have been scheduled for Wednesday, October 20th.   If your child needs to retake his/her picture or was not present for our first picture day, please click here to order photos.

NEW *Thought Exchange Partnership*

The District 96 Thought Exchange Partnership (TEP) offers parents opportunities to give feedback and receive information about District instruction, programs, and initiatives. Understanding parent perceptions is helpful for planning and communicating. Contact District 96 Community Parent Liaison Lubna Andrabi, 847.459.4260, ext. 8136, with questions. In particular, the District invites parents who have students enrolled at Willow Grove Early Learning Center to consider joining the Thought Exchange Partnership. The first meeting is scheduled for October 21, 2021 from 7:00-8:30 via Zoom.

NEW *Fall Family Educator Conferences*

The conference dates are Thursday, October 7th from 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM and Friday, October 8th from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM.

We will be using Meet the Teacher as an electronic sign up for conferences. A School Messenger email will be sent to families on Monday September 20th at 6:00PM with a link to sign up for conferences.

Conferences will be held over zoom unless parents request an in-person conference using the instructions below. A document with all the staff zoom links will be sent out on Wednesday, October 6th at 2PM. 


After selecting the teachers you wish to meet with and choosing a time for each conference, Meet the Teacher will prompt you to save the appointment and ask if you want to add a message for the teacher. If you want to have an in-person conference with the teachers, you must notify the teachers via this messaging feature (see picture below).

Elementary parents will have the option to sign up with the classroom teacher, specials teachers and any related service providers their children sees.


New *PTO Update*

Please take a moment to read the PTO blog this week!

Today is the LAST DAY to order Spirit Wear.  Check out MTK to see the huge selection of available options!

We are in need of donations to support providing meals to the teachers during parent/teacher conferences as well as for the Silent Auction portion of our upcoming Fall Festival.  See our Facebook page for more information on both.

Upcoming events:

  • October 6th 5-8pm: Portillo's Night (Get a photo with the Courtesy Cub! 20% of sales are donated to the PTO)
  • October 20th: Fall Festival

REPEATING *Erin's Law Education*

An Illinois law known as Erin’s Law requires schools to implement an age-appropriate sexual assault and abuse awareness/prevention curriculum for Kindergarten through Grade 12.

Kildeer Countryside CCSD 96 researched and observed best practices and programs for delivering this instruction, selecting Victor Pacini to present Be Seen & Heard ©.

The focus of this developmentally appropriate and interactive program is to teach children skills to keep them safe from danger or abuse. Concepts discussed will include distinguishing safe from unsafe touches, safety rules at home and school, saying NO, safe/unsafe secrets, and telling a trusted adult, as well as reinforcing that an adult’s touching him or her is not the child’s fault. For more information about this presentation please go to

The presentation to Country Meadows students will be during the school day on Thursday, September 30th.

If you prefer that your child does not attend this prevention education session, please submit your written request - or your questions - to me at [email protected].

REPEATING *Virtual Author Visit*

Next week, Mo O'Hara (My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish) visits Chicago-area students "virtually" to celebrate her new graphic novel series for young readers, Agent Moose! Mo will be joined by illustrator Jess Bradley for a virtual presentation that incorporates Mo's signature humor and creativity,  and an original case to solve during the live broadcast.  They'll be coming to us live from the United Kingdom!  The new book in the series, Agent Moose: Moose on a Mission, has just been released.

You can learn more about the Agent Moose series here.  Please order books for this upcoming author visit using this form!

REPEATING *O’Hare PCR Results*

If you do not receive your child’s PCR results over the weekend, we apologize for the inconvenience.

Please feel free to contact O’Hare Labs by sending an email to [email protected]  This email is monitored frequently each day and is the preferred method of contact.  Please be sure to include your child’s First Name, Last Name, DOB, and test date in the email.

If preferred, you can also call the Call Center at (800) 604-0197 Monday-Saturday between the hours of 10am-5pm.

REPEATING *Covid Metrics*

To stay up-to-date this school year on local metrics, please visit the COVID DASHBOARD for District 96. Our priority remains to keep our students safe and follow guidance from the CDC. If your student is identified as a "close contact", you will be notified individually through the contact tracing process.