Kildeer Principal's Message- August 20th

first day of school

Dear Kildeer Families,

What an incredible return of our Kildeer staff and students! It brought all of us great joy to see our families and students in the hallways this past week. My favorite part was welcoming our Kildeer Cougars on the first day of school. Some students showed up with “smiling eyes” while others might have felt a little more anxious. Regardless of how they started their day, I am confident our students ended in a great way. 

This means our school year is officially off to a running start and we have a great adventure ahead of us. Thanks for your partnership to make this an incredible year ahead for all!

Next week we will have an opportunity to invite our parents to curriculum night where you can talk further with your child’s teacher and hear some updates from Mr. Higgins and me. Please see some information below for further details. 

One final shout out before we go....THANK YOU to our incredible PTO for providing lunch for the staff today! We are the absolute luckiest to have you!

NEW *Curriculum Night UPDATE*

Curriculum Night is scheduled for Wednesday, August 25th. This is a “parents only” meeting, and I hope you can attend. This year we will be offering a hybrid format. If you’d prefer to “zoom in” there will be a link for the principal presentation and a different link for the classroom teacher portion. These links will be sent out Tuesday evening.  If you would like to attend in person, please come directly to the large gym for the principal presentation followed by classroom visits. Please note due to safety and capacity, we are asking that only one parent per child attends in-person

  • Grades 1-2 @ 6:30 p.m.
  • Grades 3, 4 and 5 @ 7:00 p.m.

Times overlap for grade levels on curriculum night with the intention that you only need to hear/see the principal portion one time. We start as a large group in the big gym space/zoom and after a few messages from us,  you’ll go to your children’s classrooms/zoom link. 

NEW *Band for 5th-grade* 

5th Grade band is beginning very soon!  If you have a 5th grader who would like to sign up for band, please review the information on the band website and sign up by Monday, August 23.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the band teacher Chad Craw at [email protected]

 NEW *Bus Information*

PLEASE NOTE:  There continues to be a workforce shortage on a national and local level.  This is significantly impacting the ability of all transportation companies to fill driver openings.  First Student continues to have unfilled driver positions for District 96 bus routes.  They have been using substitute and "borrowed" drivers from other regions to fill our needs the last few days but the reality is that the positions remain unfilled and a "band-aid" plan is being created for each day.  Our Director of Transportation continues to meet with First Student multiple times per day to problem solve.  We will continue to keep you updated on what is likely to be an ongoing challenge.

NEW *NWEA MAP Assessment*

All students in grades K-8 will be participating in NWEA MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) assessment. The MAP assessment is a normed referenced, computerized adaptive test which helps teachers, parents, and administrators improve learning for all students and make informed decisions to promote a child's academic growth.  Like in previous years, all students will be taking the MAP test in reading and math during the school day. Testing will take place during the MAP window, August 30-September 10.  The specific dates of testing will be communicated in next week’s principal message.

Repeat *Upcoming Dates of Note*

  • Curriculum Night - August 25, 2021- 6:30-8:00pm @ Kildeer 
  • Cougar Fun Run- September 10, 2021
  • PTO Ice Cream Social- September 22, 2021
  • Picture Day- September 24, 2021 @ Kildeer

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.

FINAL DRIVE THROUGH MEAL HANDOUT: Now that all students will be in person, the final drive through meal handout will occur on Monday, August 16th and will contain four days of meals.

Repeat *School Hours* 

  • Arrival time is between 8:10am and 8:25am
  • The bell that starts the day rings at 8:25am. A parent/adult must accompany late arriving students into the foyer/office and sign them in using the iPad. You do this if you arrive after 8:25am. 
  • 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 foyer/front office.

Dismissal: 3:00 p.m.

Repeat *Three Types of School Days*

There are generally three different types of school days below. Each day begins at 8:25 am, but the end times based on the type of day, are listed below.

  • Regular Day School Hours:  8:25 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.                                                             
  • Half-Day School Hours: 8:25 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
  • Early Release Day School Hours: 8:25 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

NEW *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, developed in conjunction with our Facilities Director, Sam Miranda, have student safety as the driving factor. The first few dismissals can be slow due to staff and students learning their routines. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


  • Please follow the blue arrows for the flow of traffic. Hooray! We are using our front entrance again this school year!
  • Cars should pull up all the way to the "Stop Here" sign out the front of the school.
  • Students should not be dropped prior to 8:10 due to supervision coverage.
  • If you would like to walk your child up to the front door, please utilize the front row of parking spaces all the way to the left. This will allow you to safely walk with your child without crossing the parking lot.
  • NOTE: We will also leave the parking spaces in the front row directly in front of Kildeer open. PLEASE WAIT AT THE CROSSWALK UNTIL A STAFF MEMBER DIRECTS YOU TO CROSS! 
  • Thank you, as always, for utilizing the crosswalks whenever crossing in the parking lot. 


  • Like last year, please have a sign in your car with your child's full name and grade.
  • Cars should pull up all the way to the "Stop Here" sign in the front of the school.
  • Adults will be outside to help students get to their appropriate vehicles.
  • Thank you for being on time!
  • Thank you for being patient with other cars in the parking lot.

Changes to Dismissal Plans

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 otherwise. Please review the student handbook website for more specifics. 

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.

Repeat *Meet our office staff*

Please take a moment to meet our incredible office team! If you ever need anything this year, please don't hesitate to reach out. We are here for YOU! 

Mrs. Jennifer Hagen, Administrative Assistant, [email protected]

Mrs. Tracey Wright, Clerical Aide, [email protected]

Mrs. Alison Forsythe, School Nurse, [email protected]

Mr. Josh Higgins, Assistant Principal, [email protected]

Mrs. Vail Kieser, Principal, [email protected]

Repeat *Birthday Treats*

Our birthday treat policy has changed.  Please know that moving forward, only school-appropriate, non-food items such as pencils, stickers, crazy straws, etc. will be allowed.  If you are unsure whether the item is school-appropriate, please contact your child's classroom teacher for guidance.

Repeat *I AM ME...WE ARE KILDEER family celebration SAVE THE DATE*

Please mark your calendars for Thursday, January 13, 2022! We will be hosting our 4th annual family celebration. What makes this one special? It's an evening where we come together to learn from and about each other. It's that simple! Keep a lookout for more details in the upcoming months! 

Repeat *2021–22 School Supply Lists and Kits*

See Info to download grade-level school supply lists or order school supply kits to be delivered directly to your home. (Order kits by July 9 for home delivery by Aug. 13.)

*Tech Hub*

KCSD96 Family Technology Hub! The District 96 Family Technology Hub is designed to guide families through technology tools related to Enhanced Remote Learning. On this site, you can find links to the recordings and the corresponding Slides decks for the parent/family informational sessions from last week. You can also find tutorials on how to use  ZOOM, Schoology, Seesaw, Clever, Notability, and other iPad essential tools for student learning. Additionally, there is a link to email the technology support desk. Please save or bookmark this site. It will be updated with tools, resources, and tutorials through remote learning to better support your family.

Please email [email protected] with any tech-related support needed.

***  PTO News ***

  • *NEW* Follow our PTO on social media! Facbook: Kildeer pto, Instagram: @kildeerpto

Check out the blog! A new blog was posted on August 11th! 

At our first assembly yesterday, Mr. Higgins and I introduced our new book for the school year. I'm pleased to announce that we chose The World Needs More Purple People by Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart. It has a great theme and gives us a list of 5 things we need to do in order to be a "purple person":

  • Ask really great questions
  • Laugh...a lot
  • Use your voice all the time
  • Work really hard
  • Just be the REAL YOU! 

If you've been in our front foyer, you can see our book themes from the past four years proudly displayed and a quote that resonates with us from each. Feel free to take a peek the next time you are here!

One last about a little homework? Please take your children out for a treat this weekend. They absolutely deserve it for a great first week! 


Mrs. Vail Kieser