Country Meadows Principal's Message - Oct. 22nd

Country Meadows Principal's Message - Oct. 22nd

Country Meadows Families,

It was so great to see you all at our PTO sponsored Fall Festival this week.  I can speak for my own kids, Maisie & Waylon, when I say that all of the planned activities and amazing food options were a major hit, and Courtesy Cub and was the icing on the cake!  Thank you to everyone who generously donated silent auction items.  Our PTO also sponsored a two-day yoga event in our PE classes this Thursday and Friday so students were able to spend time practicing their mindfulness and yoga moves.  I am continually grateful for the support and wonderful opportunities our PTO provides for our school community!  Now we are eagerly awaiting the Halloween fun next week!


Meghan Bird - Principal

NEW *Scheduled Law Enforcement Drill*

On Tuesday, October 26th, 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 son or daughter 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 *Halloween Parade Information*

Weather permitting, we are excited to bring back our annual Country Meadows Halloween Parade next Friday, 10/29.  Prior to the PTO Halloween parties, all of our Country Meadows students are excited to show off their Halloween costumes beginning at 1:30pm.  Students will walk from the north end of the playground blacktop into the front doors of the school building.  We invite parents, family members, and anyone else who wants to join in on the fun to line our mini "parade" route and enjoy the Halloween costumes as we parade by.  If the parade begins a few minutes late, thank you for being patien and understanding that we are helping all of our students get into their Halloween costumes, but we will be outside as close to 1:30 as possible.  If the parade is cancelled we will inform families via School Messenger email and/or text message.

Please see below for specific information related to Halloween costumes guidelines and classroom parties/parent volunteer information.

NEW *Family Reading Night*

This year our annual Family Reading Night will take place on Thursday, 11/18 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Our goal is to provide families with a fun night out where you are able to experience two different rounds of literacy-related activities (i.e. flashlight reading, reading for two voices, Sora eBook app).  Families will also have access to our PTO sponsored Book Fair in the learning center to shop as a family!  Please use this Google Form to RSVP  if you plan on joining us, and indicate your ideal preferences for the evening activities. This information will help us plan for the event and do our best to make a match for your choices. We look forward to seeing you at the event!

NEW *Upcoming Calendar Reminders*

This is a friendly reminder that Tuesday, October 26th is an Early Release, and students will be dismissed at 2:00pm.

NEW *New Attendance Information*

​​Attendance is one of the most powerful predictors of academic achievement and having your student in their seat, ready to learn for the entire school day will benefit them, their classmates, and our whole school community. Let’s work together to make sure your child has great attendance and can get the most out of their learning opportunities this school year.


We know that there are a wide variety of reasons that students are absent from school, from health concerns to transportation challenges. There are many people in our building prepared to help you if you or your student face challenges in getting to school regularly or on time. We promise to track attendance daily, to notice when your student is missing from class, communicate with you to understand why they were absent, and to identify barriers and supports available to overcome challenges you may face in helping your student attend school. Our parent handbook reflects legislative updates from the state and is ready for you to review.


We miss your student when they are not at school as we value their contributions to our school community. If your student is going to be absent, please contact the school in advance. If an absence was unplanned, please contact the school please contact the school office as soon as possible.


  • Send your child to school unless they are truly sick, such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, contagious rash or showing any other COVID like symptoms.
  • Avoid appointments and travel when school is in session.
  • Keep track of your child’s attendance.
  • Set a regular bedtime and morning routine (including limiting how late your child may use any electronic devices) and finish homework and pack backpacks the night before.
  • Have a back-up plan for getting to school in case something comes up (this could be alternative bus routes, roads, or a plan with family members, neighbors, or other parents).
  • Communicate with the school about how we can work together to support your child’s attendance.


  • If your child has five unexcused absences we will reach out via phone and follow up with an email.
  • If your child has seven unexcused absences we will schedule a conference with you and your child to create a student success plan and help continued supports.
  • After 10 days of unexcused absences, and our supports and interventions haven’t helped get your student to school consistently, we are required to file a petition and you will be notified by formal letter that the case will be forwarded to the truancy department and the Lake County ROE, alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010, Illinois' mandatory attendance law.

Excused: Medical appointment, illness, quarantine, death in the family, mental health day, religious holiday

Unexcused: Most other reasons for absence including vacation, sporting event, missing the bus, sleeping in, day before a special individual occasion.

NEW *Golden Paws*

At Country Meadows we are working to be PROs (People Respecting Others) by being respectful, responsible, and creating peaceful community.  Staff members are able to award students with paper paws slips when students are exhibiting behaviors consisent with our building values (respectful, responsible, peaceful).  

New this year is the exciting GOLDEN PAW.  Golden paws are earned when an entire class is seen exhibiting PRO behavior that is respectful, responsible, or peaceful.  For example, a class may earn a Golden Paw for being respectful to a substitute the day a teacher is absent, listening and adhering to lunch room expectations, walking quietly/peacefully in the hallways.  Each week we will report to you the classes who have earned Golden Paws! 

This weeks Golden Paws winners include:

  • Abad - 5th Grade
  • Carley - 5th Grade
  • Matulef - 2nd Grade
  • Hyman - 1st Grade
  • Zimmerman - 1st Grade
  • Thompson - 1st Grade
  • Wooster - 4th Grade

Keep up the great work, Country Meadows PROs!

NEW *PTO Update*

Upcoming events:

  • 10/29: Classroom Halloween Parties
  • 11/12: Special Lunch (Real Urban BBQ)
  • 11/15-19: Scholastic Book Fair

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

REPEATING *Halloween Costumes*

We know some of you may have started planning student Halloween costumes, so we ask that you help us with the following costume procedures and guideline.  All costumes must be appropriate for school.

  • Students will change into their costumes after lunch
  • Please no costume masks, blood, or weapons
  • Please no cigars or cigarette items
  • Please no bare stomachs
  • Please keep hair coloring and make-up simple (and complete prior to sending your child to school)

REPEATING *Halloween Party Information*

  • Parents attending the parties may not bring additional family members, other children, etc.  We need everyone to abide by this and will have to ask you to leave if you come with other attendees.  
  • Every PTO volunteer approved to come into our school MUST have their license or ID scanned through our security system to enter.  You have to bring this with you or you will not be able to enter. There is always a very long line at this first party, so please anticipate this.  We highly encourage PTO room party volunteers to swing by the school sometime before the party to have their license scanned, which will speed up the process.  The more people who come in early to be scanned, the shorter the line! You may also come on the day of the Halloween party BEFORE THE PARADE to have your license scanned.  
  • All volunteers must have followed our procedures for verifying vaccination or have proof of a negative Covid test. Call the office with questions.
  • All volunteers must wear a mask at all times and remain socially distanced.

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 *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.