Country Meadows Principal's Message - October 1st

Country Meadows Principal's Message - October 1st

Country Meadows Families,

It’s hard to believe that it’s already October!  We are so excited for another month of learning and fun in addition to the school traditions and celebrations that this month brings.  To kick off the month of October, we enjoyed a whole school assembly outdoors introducing our word of the month - diversity.  After celebrating and recognizing our differences,  each grade level took part in our Cub Crawl, one of our favorite traditions here at Country Meadows.  Students enjoyed the fresh air and the company of peers as they ran/walked the Cub Crawl course.  There is a part of me that feels like this school year has just begun, while another part of me feels like our students and staff have established relationships and routines that make it seem like we’ve been in school a lot longer!  Next Thursday and Friday we are looking forward to hosting our Family Educator Conferences, so please make sure you sign up for a conference if you have not already.   Additional information can be found below!


Meghan Bird - Principal

NEW *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 are using Meet the Teacher as an electronic sign up for conferences. A School Messenger email was sent to families on Monday September 20th with a link to sign up for conferences. The conference sign up will close at 11:55 PM on Monday, October 4th. After that you must contact the building administrative assistant to schedule a conference or make a change.

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 as well as specials teachers and any related service providers their children see.

NEW *Schedule Changes*

  • Thursday, October 7th - Early Release with student dismissal at 2:00 (Family Educator Conferences)
  • Friday, October 8th - No School (Family Educator Conferences)

NEW *Superintendent Survey*

Parents, staff and community members: You have one more week to take the KCSD 96 Superintendent Search Survey and offer input on suggested priorities for the District and important characteristics for the next school leader. The Superintendent Search Survey closes next Friday, Oct. 8.

The Search consultants will use the results from this survey and the Focus Groups and Open Forums to create a New Superintendent Profile, to be shared with the Board of Education.

The Board plans to announce a successor to Supt. Julie Schmidt, who is retiring, at its Dec. 14 meeting.

To access the survey, click here.

NEW *Bus Route & Time Changes - Effective Monday,10/4*

Given the recent survey results and families that chose to opt-out of bus services, some bus routes have been reallocated. If you did not opt out of bus service, your child’s bus number & pick-up and drop-off times may have changed.  Please make sure that you received this bus communication on Thursday, 9/30, from the district with updated route numbers and times.  Due to these changes, all students will receive new assigned seats beginning next week. We appreciate your continued patience as we navigate these changes that go into effect on Monday, October 4.

NEW *Law Enforcement Safety Drill*

On Monday, October 4th, Country Meadows will be conducting a Law Enforcement Safety Drill. Students will be evacuating the building during the drill. If the weather does not cooperate, we will reschedule the drill and communicate the rescheduled drill date.

In compliance with the New Safety Drill Act, parents have the right to exempt their child from the Law Enforcement Drill.

If you do not wish your child to participate in the Law Enforcement Safety Drill, please contact Meghan Bird at [email protected].  If we do not hear from you, we will assume your child has permission to participate in the drill.

NEW *Erin's Law Education*

This week students at Country Meadows had the opportunity to see the Be Seen & Heard © presentation given by Victor Pacini.  As you know, 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 included 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 and for additinoal free resources please go to

NEW *PTO Update*

Join us for Country Meadows PTO Night at Portillo's in Vernon Hills on Wednesday, October 6 from 5-8:00pm.  Mention us at checkout and a portion of the proceeds will find all of the amazing events we have planned for this school year.  Join us and you may be in for a school spirit surprise!

Fall festival is fast approaching.  Join us at school on the evening of Wednesday, October 20th for an evening of food and fun, including games, raffle baskets, and some great items up for silent auction!  Stay tuned as all the details come together!

Upcoming Events:

  • October 6: PTO Night at Portillo's Vernon Hills
  • October 15: Special Lunch Day (Original Bagel)
  • October 20: Fall Festival
  • October 29: Classroom Halloween Parties

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

REPEATING *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.

REPEATING *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.

REPEATING *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.

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.