Country Meadows Principal's Message - August 5th

Country Meadows Principal's Message - August 5th

Dear Country Meadows Families,

Welcome Country Meadows families to the start of the 2022-2023 school year! The weekly Principal’s Message will serve as our primary communication for happenings in and around Country Meadows.  As the year progresses, I hope you find valuable information, celebrations, and connections in the weekly blog. The Country Meadow community is vibrant, engaged, compassionate, and deeply invested in shaping our young learners.  

This will be my 15th year in District 96 and I am honored to serve as the Principal at Country Meadows Elementary School.  During my time in District 96, I have been a teacher, instructional coach, and most recently Assistant Principal at Woodlawn Middle School.  As we prepare for the first day of school, I look forward to meeting new families and reconnecting with familiar Woodlawn families. For those families that I have not met, I wanted to share a little bit about myself.  I’ve grown to understand the impact my family has on my commitment to high quality teaching and learning in a safe environment.  My wonderful husband and I have two daughters who will be heading to kindergarten and second grade in a couple weeks.  As a family, summers are a special time spent exploring near and far.  My heart is full this summer seeing my daughters' wonder at the vast Yosemite valley, marvel at the hidden creatures of tide pools, experience in live theater, become chocolatiers, discover the beaches nearby, and run around catching fireflies.  I hope your family found moments together this summer and enjoyed the warm sunshine.

This school year, I eagerly anticipate seeing the joy and laughter of your child as they learn and have new experiences.  Teachers, administrators, office personnel, and custodians have been working hard over the summer to prepare for this school year.  The Country Meadows staff is dedicated to creating a rich, educational experience and ensuring each student reaches their maximum potential.  We will see you shortly on August 18th at Meet the Teacher.


Michelle Garlick, Principal


*Important August Dates*

  • August 12th from 2:00 pm - 2:45 pm - New Family Tour at Country Meadows, Ivy Hall, Kildeer, & Prairie
  • August 17th from 8:30 am - 9:30 am - Meet the Teacher at Country Meadows, Ivy Hall, Kildeer, & Prairie
  • August 18th - First day of school.  This is a half-day.  School starts at 8:25am and ends at 11:45am  Students may arrive at school at 8:10am, when adult supervision starts.
  • August 19th - Full day of school.  School starts at 8:25am and ends at 3:05pm.  Please note the new dismissal time.   Please see the Woodlawn and Willow Grove Principal’s Message for attendance times.
  • August 24th Curriculum Night at Country Meadows, Kildeer, & Prairie (parent/guardians only)
    • 6:30 pm - 7:15 pm (Grades 1 and 2)
    • 7:15 pm - 8:00 pm (Grades 3-5)
  • August 25th Picture Day at Country Meadows
  • August 25th Curriculum Night at Ivy Hall
    • 6:30 pm - 7:15 pm (Grades 1 and 2)
    • 7:15 pm - 8:00 pm (Grades 3-5)
  • Tuesday, August 30th - Early Release at 2:05 pm at Country Meadows, Ivy Hall, Kildeer, & Prairie

*August 18 ~ First Day of School* 

The first day of school is Thursday, August 18th. It is a half-day, from 8:25-11:45. On the first day of school, we will have extra staff inside and outside the building to support student arrival and dismissal.  Parents must remain in the vehicle during arrival and dismissal.

*Ongoing Communication Home for Teachers* 

Thank you for partnering with Country Meadows!  We know a strong connection between school and home fosters a supportive environment for learners.  Classroom teachers will communicate with parents/guardians, at a minimum, twice a month. Teachers use different forms of electronic communication to share what is happening in the classroom. Some examples include emailed newsletters, blogs, email, and websites. You will learn more about the teacher’s communication at Meet the Teacher and/or Curriculum Night. 

*Approved Snacks: What Parents Need to Know*

The District has revised the APPROVED SNACK LIST. The items on the list are free of the top 8 allergens: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.  This list includes the foods that are approved for students' daily snacks.  Daily snacks for your children must be from this list or they will be sent home.  

IMPORTANT: All items for daily snacks, with the exception of fruits and vegetables, MUST be prepackaged to allow staff to easily check that snacks meet the approved requirements.  

Director of Educational Services, Bob Hanrahan, also has provided responses to FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) about foods approved for daily snacks/special events.

For your convenience, find links to the District 96 Approved Snack List and Approved Snack List FAQs on the homepage of the District 96 website and the homepage of each school.

Lunches packed from home may contain any food items, and do not need to be from the Approved Snack List.  If your child is bringing in lunch, snacks must be packed separately from lunch. Please label lunch bags and snacks with your child’s name.

*School Lunch Programs*

The federal program that allowed school districts across the country to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students, regardless of income, expired on June 30, 2022.  As a result, schools across the nation will be reverting back to free and reduced-price meals based on income eligibility guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

During the 2022-23 school year, families who do not qualify for free or reduced lunch will have to pay for school meals. Students whose families are eligible for free or reduced price breakfast or lunch will be able to access meals at no cost or at a discounted rate.  Applications for free and reduced meals available on the District’s website.  Within this link, you will find menus and how to complete pre-payment for meals.  If you have any questions, please contact the Country Meadows office at 847.353.8600.

*Lost and Found*

Our lost and found accumulates items very quickly.  Items that remain when school goes into a break such as winter, spring, and summer breaks, these items are donated to local charities.  To avoid the loss of costly coats, lunch boxes, water bottles, you name it,  please label everything with your child’s name.  Labeled items are returned to students.  Thank you for your help!

*Arrival and Dismissal Procedures*

Morning Parent Vehicle Drop Off 

  • Earliest drop off is 8:10am when adult supervision starts
  • Pull up as far as you can along the painted curb in the third parking lot
  • Students exit vehicle on passenger side, if driver side exit is needed, call over a supervisor for assistance
  • Adults must stay in the vehicle and drop off only for the safety of the students and staff at Country Meadows
  • NO cell phone use in school zones - this is an Illinois State Law

After School Parent Vehicle Pick-Up

  • Pull up as far as you can along the curb in the third parking lot, students may only enter the vehicle at the green painted curb
  • Students will enter the vehicle on the passenger side,  supervisors will assist if driver side entry is needed
  • Drivers must stay in the car for the safety of the students and staff at Country Meadows

Your cooperation and patience with the protocol is greatly appreciated.  If drop off and pick up are new for your child, please practice having your child independently enter and exit the vehicle with their backpack.  Please be kind and safe in our parking lot.  Once our routine is established the system will run efficiently.

Bus Drop Off & After School Pick Up

  • Students who ride the bus will be dropped off and board the bus in the middle parking lot.
  • Upon arrival, students walk directly into Country Meadows with staff supervision inside and outside.
  • After school, students will board the bus.  Many supervisors are present to ensure students safely board the correct bus.

*Family Changes to Dismissal Plans*

Please contact the school office by noon in the event that your dismissal plans change. Your child will be at the designated dismissal location unless the school is notified in accordance with the above. Please notify the office in writing in accordance with the district handbook. Please see Section 9.4 in the Parent/Student Handbook regarding permission for students to ride other buses, as in most cases, this is not allowed.

*Student Picture Day*

Country Meadows student picture day is August 25th.  More information to come in an upcoming Principal’s Message. 

*Birthday Treats*

The Country Meadows staff does a wonderful job making your child feel extra special on their birthday.  Please know that only school appropriate, non-food items such as pencils, stickers, crazy straws, etc. will be allowed to be passed out to the class if you so choose to send in something.  If you are unsure whether the item is school appropriate, please contact your child's classroom teacher for guidance.  

*Health Form Deadline*

The district website lists today as the deadline for immunization forms. All immunizations should be completed to avoid school exclusion.  Please refer to the D96 Student Health website for more information.

*Class Placement Information & Bus Information*

Your child’s class placement and bus information, if applicable, will come to you electronically on Wednesday, August 10th.  A team of staff members worked diligently to make sure each child was placed in the classroom in which he or she will find continued success. We know you appreciate the fact that, with such careful thought and consideration put into these decisions, including your input, no changes will be made.  We thank you for your support. This year’s class lists were developed with the following teaching teams in place to ensure student success.

  • 1st: Ms. Alt, Ms. Dziadus, Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Hyman, Mrs. Zimmerman
  • 2nd: Ms. Levy, Ms. Matulef, Mrs. Adkins, Mrs. Fox (Widmaier), Ms. Morales
  • 3rd: Ms. Cannistra, Ms. McGowan, Ms. Charpentier, Mrs. Wooster, Ms. Montante
  • 4th: Miss Little, Mrs. Larson, Mrs. Yoo, Mr. Robertson
  • 5th: Mrs. Abad, Mr. Carley, Ms. Donegan, Ms. Piron, Mr. Robertson

If you do not receive a notification, please email our administrative assistant, Mrs. Cheryl Kelly, at [email protected], or give us a call in the office at 847.353.8600.

*Short Video Clip Invitation*

Dear Community Members,

Are you just as excited about returning to school as we are?  If so, District 96 wants to hear your story!

You are invited to submit short video clips encouraging and/or thanking our staff for the work they do with our students every day. The purpose is for us to use these thoughtful video clips of voices from our community members to create a montage for our staff, to continually remind them of the positive impact they make.  If you are interested in joining our efforts, please take a moment to review the specifics for recording and submission.

Recording Specifics:

  • Please use a personal phone, tablet, or camera that records video to record one child, multiple children, or your entire family sharing in the message. 
  • Shoot the videos horizontally (landscaped) so the videos we stitch together are all of the same orientation. 
  • Verify your settings are at least 720p when using your camera. (Please check your device's camera settings to verify this.)
  • Limit your message to 15-45 seconds each.


  • Once you have your videos recorded, please upload them to the Dropbox folder found at the URL below:
  • Dropbox File Request Link:
  • When submitting your video, please know you are giving us permission to play your recording at an Institute Day for our staff.  
  • District 96 will review the video clips and create a montage that will be shared with staff at different times of the year to celebrate our employees.

If you have any problems with this link or any of the processes listed above, please email us at [email protected], and we will help you.