Dear Kildeer Families,
Just earlier this week we were eagerly preparing for students to share their learning for collaborative conferences. Our students came together with buddy classrooms to practice their presentations and give each other feedback. I was so impressed with the level of engagement and the amount of time our students put into this meaningful opportunity.
Clearly, things changed this week.
I want to thank you all for your flexibility and understanding during these unprecedented times. All decisions that have been made at the district level have been to ensure the health and safety of our students and school community.
I was so incredibly grateful to our staff for setting such a positive and calm tone throughout the week. They addressed student questions, made handwashing and hygiene a priority, and kept the focus on student learning. Our students are in the absolute best hands at Kildeer!.
I also need to celebrate our parent community and PTO. I've really appreciated the kind words and gestures to show support with all of the various decisions that have been made. It was about 6:00 last night when I chatted with a couple of parents that were cleaning up the dinner for teachers. They were so kind and encouraging after a long week!
Please spend a few minutes to read the informational items below. I will continue to do my best to make sure you have the information that you need!
Monday, March 16th - Pick Up Medication/Learning Materials
Any students or parents who believe they need materials they must have in order to complete academic tasks (i.e., iPads) may retrieve these items on Monday, March 16th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Parents can also retrieve medication from the Nurse’s Office during this time.
Students and parents must report to the Main Office. Designated staff members will retrieve materials for the students or parents.
Upcoming Building Level Communication
During the upcoming school closure, building principals will communicate using the Principal's Message periodically with pertinent information and updates.
During the week of Spring Break (March 23rd to March 27th), principals will not be sending any building level communication.
As you are aware, your child has his/her iPad to access for remote learning while we are closed. Here are steps to keep them clean:
-Power down the iPad
-Wipe with a lint-free dry cloth
-Never apply liquids or moisture into openings of the device
-Never use compressed air or cleaning products
-70% isopropyl alcohol + a microfiber cloth may be used to clean the surface of the device
For additional resources related to other devices (laptops, iPhones, etc) please refer to Apple’s official knowledge base article found at the URL below.
Remote Learning Plans
Remote learning plans for students will be shared in the near future. Clear communication and expectations will be sent out via email. As a reminder, remote learning days are on Tuesday, March 31st-Friday, April 3rd.
Superintendent's Message on March 12th-IMPORTANT INFORMATION
To safeguard the health and wellness of all students and staff, and after consultation with Area 125 superintendents and considering the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding limiting the gathering of large groups, we have decided to close District 96 schools to students beginning Monday, March 16th, in an abundance of caution and as a precautionary measure to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) illness in our community.
IMPORTANT: Any students who believe they need materials they must have in order to complete academic tasks (i.e., graphing calculators) may retrieve these items on Mon., Mar. 16, between 1 and 3 p.m.
Last fall, District 96 did have a remote learning plan approved. Last school year, we implemented the plan for an extreme weather day. We have been working diligently to update that plan to account for a potentially more extended closing. Early next week you will be receiving remote learning plans. These will be sent to your parent email addresses on file.
The dates identified below outline how days will be categorized. Spring Break days do not require a plan, as they were already built into our calendar as non-attendance days. In addition, Tuesday, March 17th, was already identified as a Teacher Institute day (non-attendance). We also have five Emergency Days built in to our calendar and those will be used first. These days are now built into our calendar and mean that the last day of student attendance will now likely be Friday, June 5.
Emergency Days that are already built into our calendar, extending the school year until Friday, June 5th:
-Monday, March 16
-Wednesday, March 18
-Thursday, March 19
-Friday, March 20
-Monday, March 30
Identified non-attendance day (Institute / Election Day), no make-up
-Tuesday, March 17
Spring Break non-attendance days, no make-up
-Monday, March 23
-Tuesday, March 24
-Wednesday, March 25
-Thursday, March 26
-Friday, March 27
Remote Learning Days
-Tuesday, March 31
-Wednesday, April 1
-Thursday, April 2
-Friday, April 3
Anticipated re-open if conditions allow
-Monday, April 6
The identified start date for remote learning is Tuesday, March 31. As you will be receiving remote plans early next week, students can certainly begin their remote learning plan. You or your student (depending on grade level) will receive a communication from the teacher(s) once per day on the four identified remote learning days. Work from remote learning will be due 5 days after school resumes in order for students to get additional teacher support if needed.
While we know this is an unprecedented decision, these are unprecedented times. We are committed to following CDC recommendations and to do our part in taking preventative measures to mitigate the impact of this pandemic. While we have not been notified of any staff or students being diagnosed with COVID-19 at this time, we believe the evidence that makes it increasingly clear that it is better for schools to close sooner rather than later to slow the spread of the disease. Although it seems that the coronavirus has primarily impacted people 60 and older, the reality is that even if our students are less likely to be adversely affected, they still could be carriers of the disease. Closing the school reduces the incubation effect that occurs when hundreds of students and adults gather in the school on a daily basis.
The decision to close school is not one we are making lightly. We are fully aware of the complications that this will cause in the lives of our students and their families — and for our faculty and staff, as well. Whatever the downsides of closing school may be, we believe that as a public school we have a shared responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff, and the larger District 96 community.
If conditions change as we approach April 6, official communication emails will be sent from the District level through our normal communication avenues.
Julie A. Schmidt, Superintendent of District 96 Schools
Creating Balanced Class Lists - Parent Input for Class Placement
Creating balanced class lists that meet the needs of all students is a tremendously difficult job that takes many hours of thoughtful dialogue between classroom teachers, administrators, and specialists. We at Kildeer School take this process very seriously. The process for class list creation is as follows:
-Teachers think about the social and academic needs of each of their current students while recording pertinent information to assist in the decision making process.
-Grade level teachers, the principal, specials area teachers, and specialists meet together to form class lists that are balanced in terms of academic, social, and emotional needs as well as considering friendships. This is no easy task and often takes several meetings. This team of educators considers each child’s personality, academic needs, friendship patterns, etc. as they make a match for each individual child.
-This team of educators creates a draft set of class lists taking into consideration parent input.
-Class lists are then revised in August with summer changes for students who move in or out of the district.
-Class rosters are never final until they are released to families in August.
This process happens at grades 2-5. Willow Grove creates the class lists for our incoming 1st graders. Our 5th-grade team provides data to Woodlawn related to placement decisions at the middle school level.
We strongly believe that this detailed and collaborative process creates learning environments that benefit all students. It is a delicate balancing act that takes much consideration and thought by professionals who know and care about your children. Our goal is to create balanced class lists that promote the success of each child. Please know that your child is placed in a classroom for very specific reasons. The process benefits all students. Because of the input and thought given by teachers, specialists, parents, and the principal, we are very reluctant to make changes once this process occurs, as removing or moving one child can disrupt the balance of an entire class, impacting all students.
I welcome any insight you wish to share about your child’s strengths, needs, and learning style. I will take into consideration pertinent information received on or before FRIDAY, APRIL 26th. Please remember, while we welcome your input, specific teacher requests will not be honored.
If you'd like to share your input, please take the following survey: Kildeer Class Placement Survey for 20-21.
The partnership with our PTO is extremely important at Kildeer. Please take a moment each week to review the information to learn how you can get involved, support Kildeer, and dates to mark your calendar!
- A BIG Thank You to everyone involved for helping Save Bingo Blast! The event was a huge success and it was wonderful to get together and connect as a community.
- Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Educators Spring Conference Dinner. Although Conferences were canceled, the teachers still stopped by for a fabulous dinner spread….so Thank You!! (Principal Kieser AGREES!)
- 1st and 2nd Grade Movie Night is OFF due to the school closing, more information will be available later so please stay tuned.
- New Vendor for School Supply Kits – SchoolKidz – Kits go on Sale April 1st and will be delivered to your home.
- Sip, Snack and Shop Night at Evereve in Deer Park Mall on Wednesday, April 15th from 6-9PM. 15% of your sales will be donated back to our PTO.
- The Next Special Lunch is Friday, April 17th – Real Urban BBQ
- SAVE THE DATE: Spring Book Fair April 22nd-April 25th
I think by now you know how much I value the various perspectives at Kildeer. Our students are on my mind because although this might seem "exciting", it's also a time of uncertainty. Our calming presence and reassurance really go a long way!
I'd recommend making sure to reserve some time to have your children still share their presentations with you. They worked really hard and have a lot to say! It might have been the best day ever for our 1st-3rd graders that were able to take iPads home!
Be on the lookout for more communication over the next few weeks. In the meantime, stay healthy and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions. I appreciate this community more than I can express in words!
Mrs. Vail Kieser