September 3, 2021

September 3, 2021

Dear Families,

Happy September!  We have had another great week at Ivy Hall Elementary School, and we’re ready to tackle the month ahead. Our students did a great job taking the NWEA MAP assessment, and results will be shared with families on September 17th. We would also like to thank our amazing PTO for hosting our very first Dessert Day at lunch on Wednesday.  If you are interested in signing your child up for this experience, please see the information below!  We hope everyone enjoys the long weekend ahead and finds time for relaxation and rejuvenation.


Principal Hanrahan

NEW *Upcoming Calendar Reminders*

This is a friendly reminder that there will be no school on Monday, September 6th, and Tuesday, September 7th.  We look forward to seeing students back at school on Wednesday, September 8th.

NEW *Information for parents that have opted out of bus transportation services*

As a reminder starting on Wednesday, September 8th, parents that opted their child(ren) out of bus transportation may drop off at the school at 8:00 instead of 8:10. This is ONLY for parents that opted out of bus transportation through January AND need to drop at an earlier time. We are asking that all other morning drop-offs respect the current time and wait until 8:10 to support traffic flow and ensure sufficient supervision for students. Thank you for your help with this.

NEW *5th Grade Band Begins Next week, Friday, September 10* 

Students can still sign up for band and learn an instrument this year. Come Join the 5th Grade Band. The beginning band is open to all 5th-grade students.  Band Registration and Information Link.

NEW *Picture Retake Day October 12, 2021*

Please mark your calendar for October 12, 2021, if you would like to retake pictures, or if you missed the original picture day in August.

NEW *Contact Tracing Clarification*

Contact tracing is completed when a confirmed COVID-19 case is reported.  If a student is identified as a close contact, families will be notified.  Contact tracing in District 96 is based on the current IDPH definitions of close contact which are included at the bottom of the D96 Quarantine Decision Making Matrix that has previously been shared with families.  

● In classrooms, hallways, etc., close contacts are defined as being closer than 3 feet with inconsistent masking of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period.

● In the lunchroom, close contacts are defined as being closer than 6 feet with inconsistent masking of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes over a 24 hour period.

● In general, individuals who are solely exposed to a confirmed case while outdoors will not be considered close contacts.

As part of the contact tracing protocol, we check with the classroom teachers, specials teachers, and related services staff to ensure that no student was unmasked, for more than 15 minutes cumulatively, within a given setting.  If this is the case, additional close contacts would be identified and notified (i.e. snack, water, etc.).   Please note that this may mean a student who sits 3 feet away from a confirmed positive case in the classroom setting (consistently masked) IS NOT identified as a close contact, while a child who sits within 6 feet of a confirmed positive case at a lunch table (inconsistently masked) IS identified as a close contact.

District 96 does not define what a close contact is, rather follows the IDPH definition.  Likewise, District 96 does not alter contact tracing or notification protocols, rather strictly follows those provided by the IDPH.

NEW *Student Handbook Update - Change to Transportation*

Please note the following update to the Student Handbook.

A change in a child's typical bus routine must be communicated through a written and signed parent note or email given to school office staff before noon on the morning the parent will be picking up the child after school (rather than having the child ride the bus). Otherwise, the child will follow his/her typical transportation routine.

NEW *Bus Survey Information*

As a reminder, the survey to opt-out for bus transportation through January is due on Wednesday, September 8th, 2021. 

NEW *O’Hare PCR Results*

If you do not receive your child’s PCR results over the weekend, we apologize for the inconvenience.  We understand that this was an issue across the district last week. 

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.


PTO BLOG Contents:

  • Please check out the: PTO Link Tree:

NEW *MAP Reports*

While the bulk of MAP testing has been completed, the remainder of the window will be used for make-up testing. MAP reports will be sent to families on Friday, September 17th.

REPEAT *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. 

REPEAT: Simultaneous Student Pick-Up from Willow Grove & Elementary Schools

If you have children at Willow Grove and one of our four elementary schools and would like to pick your children up at the end of the day instead of using district busing, you may have concerns about how to manage this with both schools releasing at 3:00 PM. Families may pick their children up from both schools. Country Meadows, Ivy Hall, Kildeer, Prairie, and Willow Grove all know families are juggling simultaneous dismissals and will never leave their children alone. Families should start at one school, arriving as early as possible to be towards the front of the line. Once you are done collecting your first child, go to the second school. If you arrive at the second school and the parent pick-up line is no longer operating, park and come into our main office where we will have your child. If you are later than 3:15 it is helpful to call, or the school may call you, as this can usually be completed within that time. With the current bus driver shortage leading to a higher number of parents potentially opting out of district transportation, we also realize our parent pick-up lines will take longer and will be patient with families, as well. Parents may not do an early dismissal just before the dismissal time, as this is not manageable for any of the schools. We will wait with your child until you arrive for pick-up. 

Repeat *Food Service*

FREE MEALS IN SCHOOL:  Under the waivers to USDA Nutrition Programs currently offered, the District is able to provide free meals to all students.  One reimbursable daily meal will be provided free of charge to each student that chooses to participate on school days.  

SNACKS FOR PURCHASE IN SEPTEMBER: Snacks will start being offered at the beginning of September.  If you wish your child to be able to purchase snacks at that time, please be sure to have their account prepaid on the K12PaymentCenter.  This site will allow you not only to monitor balances but also transaction history.  There are no transaction fees related to this account.  To create an account you will need your student's 7 digit ID number, which will be emailed to you this evening with the subject line of D96 Food Service Information.

ORDERING PROCESS:  Each morning, students will tell their teachers which entree they will order and those numbers will be shared with the food service staff.  Please encourage your students to take the entree they ordered to ensure that all students receive the desired meal.  Menus can be viewed on the District website.

Repeat *School Hours* 

  • Arrival time is between 8:10 am and 8:25 am

  • The bell that starts the day rings at 8:25 am. A parent/adult must accompany late-arriving students into the office and sign them in using the iPad. You do this if you arrive after 8:25 am.  Do not drop your child off at any door since all doors are locked and secured at this time. Please be aware that while we try to keep clocks on time, they can sometimes run a minute or two fast. If there are no adults outside, please bring your child into the front office.

  • Dismissal: 3:00 p.m.

Repeat *Arrival & Departure Procedures* 

There are many rules and procedures regarding arrival and dismissal. This can be challenging to get acquainted with and even frustrating. However, these procedures have been developed with student safety as the driving factor. These plans and procedures were developed in conjunction with our Facilities Director (Sam Miranda) and the Buffalo Grove Police Department. The Buffalo Grove police and District 96 appreciate your patience and understanding as we have established these routines in the interest of safety. The first few dismissals can be slow due to staff and students learning their routines. Please be patient. The picture below denotes all the forms of transportation that we have here at Ivy Hall. Please observe the picture and note areas where walkers, bussers, and private transportation arrival and depart from here at Ivy Hall.

Repeat *Changes to Dismissal*

Please contact the school office at least 1 hour prior to dismissal 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 REVIEW HANDBOOK LANGUAGE). 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 (PLEASE REVIEW HANDBOOK LANGUAGE).

Repeat *Daily Snack*

All students should bring an individual daily snack. It is required that snacks are only from our District Approved Snack List for the safety of students. Please label snacks with your child’s name.

Approved Snacks: What Parents Need to Know

The District has revised the APPROVED SNACK LIST. The items the list includes 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 Amy Gluck 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 anything 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.