Kildeer Principal's Message- September 3rd

classroom routines

Dear Kildeer Families,

The first few weeks of a school year are incredibly important to laying the groundwork for a successful year. Our staff works diligently with students to set expectations, practice routines, and ensure we have a common understanding to follow the Cougar 5.

Throughout this past week, Mr. Higgins and I have had several opportunities to visit classrooms, recess, specials, the lunchroom, and of course our times before and after school. We've been actively involved in discussions and sometimes passive observers of what is going on around us. 

In third grade, I enjoyed playing an addition game with partner pairs. They worked to find a magic sum of three numbers closest to 20. What blew me away was the supportive conversation happening between the partners to encourage each other and discuss strategy.

In first grade, I experienced several examples of modeling expectations for students and working on stamina. It was hard to believe that these friends walked in our doors just a couple of weeks ago. They are off and running this year!

At home, I saw my daughter tie her shoes independently. Given her theatrical nature, she didn't just tie her shoes. She sang a song to narrate her shoe-tying experience at the same time. I see musical theatre in her future...

This past week has been all about the small moments for me that demonstrate growth and learning! I'm curious what has captured your attention lately? What are those small wins you've seen from your child(ren)?

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 *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. (Due to the young age of Willow Grove students, all Willow Grove parents must call the main office to make changes.). 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.

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*

Please know that we understand that some families may have concerns related to picking students up from Willow Grove and an elementary school building.  Please know that all principals are aware of this concern, and no child will ever be left unattended.  We appreciate your best effort in picking your children up in a timely manner, and we appreciate your adhering to our current dismissal times.  If when you arrive at a building your child is not waiting outside with an adult, please park and come to the front office.  If you will be well after 3:15 to a specific location, please feel free to call and inform the office of your ETA. 

Repeat *Creative Writing Club*

Note:  Due to the high student demand for this club, the meeting times will be adjusted so that all students will have an opportunity to participate throughout the year.  Meeting time will remain on Monday from 3-4pm, and you will receive an email the week of 9/7 with the start and end dates for your child’s session.  Thanks for understanding!

Attention all 3rd, 4th, and 5th-grade students!  Do you love to use your imagination?  Do you dream of one day seeing your own books in bookstores? Or maybe you enjoy writing poetry or song lyrics or even short stories? If so, please join Creative Writing Club this year where you’ll have the opportunity to hone your writing skills while also participating in some super fun activities.  The club will follow a workshop format with opportunities to learn new techniques, practice them, and share your masterpieces with your fellow authors.  This club will run in two sessions (join one or both!) on Mondays from 3:00pm-4:00pm.  The first session will run from September 13, 2021 until December 13, 2021,  and the second session (with different content) will run from January 10, 2022 -May 23, 2021. Sign up quickly as the first twenty students to register will be accepted. Prompt pick up in the front of the school at 4pm is required.  

Complete this google form to sign up!


Beginning the week of August 30th, After School Sports will be offered to all students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. Some of the activities included are general games, basketball and volleyball. The 3rd Graders will meet on Mondays, 4th Graders on Wednesdays and 5th Graders on Thursdays. There will be 20 sessions for each grade level and all sessions run from 3:00 - 4:00. Please make arrangements for your child to be picked up on time. (If your child is continually picked up late it may result in your child no longer being able to stay for the program.) Children will be picked up in front of the building, and we strongly urge families to carpool. HERE is a calendar with the scheduled dates for those who sign up to participate in the After School Sports Program. Students do not have to attend every session. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. In order for your child to participate, we will need the District 96 Parent Consent Form for Student Activity/Athletic Participation that can be found HERE!


We are offering a Before School Sports Program for all 2nd grade students which will meet on Tuesday mornings beginning August 31st. First grade Before School Sports Program will start on November 9th, and more information will be available soon . Your child will be welcome to attend 10 sessions between 7:45-8:15 where we will play favorite games in the big gym before school begins. HERE is a calendar of the meeting dates. Children do not have to attend every session that is offered. Children will be expected to find their own transportation (not on the school bus) and can be dropped off at the FRONT OF THE BUILDING AT 7:45. If your child attends the Club House program you will need to notify them about your child’s participation in our program. In order for your child to participate, we will need the District 96 Parent Consent Form for Student Activity/Athletic Participation that can be found HERE

Repeat *Coding Club*

Do you know the secret CODE???  Does your student love to use technology, solve puzzles and be creative?  Then Coding Club is for them!  

Please complete this form if you are planning to have your child sign up for Kildeer School's Coding Club for the 2021-2022 school year.

This club is offered to 1st – 5th graders and will meet in on WEDNESDAYS from the end of the school day until 4:00 p.m. and will be facilitated by Miss Koldon and Miss Rickel.

Coding Club will be held each WEDNESDAY from 3:00PM-4:00PM in Miss Rickel's classroom.
There will be 2 sessions held for this club.  

SESSION 1- - - 1st and 2nd Graders- OCTOBER 13TH- DECEMBER 1ST (Will not meet on November 25th)

SESSION 2- - - 3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders- DECEMBER 8TH-FEBRUARY 2ND (Will not meet on December 23rd or 30th)

There is NO FEE for this club.

Please complete this form by FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8TH.
QUESTIONS? Email Miss Koldon [email protected] or Miss Rickel [email protected]

Repeat *Reader's Theatre*

Let's get together and "ACT OUT".  Does your student love to use expression, be creative and perform for others?  Then Reader's Theater Club is for them!  

Please complete this form if you are planning to have your child sign up for Kildeer School's Reader's Theater Club for the 2021-2022 school year.

This club is offered to 3rd – 5th graders and will meet in Miss Rickel's ROOM on THURSDAYS from the end of the school day until 4:00 p.m. and will be facilitated by Miss Koldon and Miss Rickel.

Reader's Theater Club will be held each THURSDAY from
OCTOBER 14TH THROUGH FEBRUARY 3RD. (We will NOT meet on: Nov. 25th, Dec. 23rd, Dec. 30th)

There is NO FEE for this club.
Pick up from the club will be in the FRONT of the school building at the parent pick-up line.

Please complete this form by THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26TH. 

QUESTIONS? Email Miss Koldon [email protected] or Miss Rickel [email protected]

Repeat *Upcoming Dates of Note*

  • Cougar Fun Run- September 10, 2021
  • PTO Ice Cream Social- September 21, 2021 *UPDATED*
  • 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.

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.

*Tech Hub*

KCSD96 Family Technology Hub! The District 96 Family Technology Hub is designed to guide families through technology tools. 

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

***  PTO News ***

  • The Kildeer PTO is still looking for parents to volunteer as room parents or classroom party volunteers! Please log on to membership toolkit ( to sign up!

  • Mark your calendars for Ice Cream Social, which will be held Tuesday, September 21. We are asking families with last names A-L to attend between 5:30-6:30 and M-Z between 6:30-7:30. More information to follow! 

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

Check out the blog

Next week we return for a very short week. However, we are looking forward to one of our Kildeer traditions returning on Friday, September 10th. Our annual Kildeer Fun Run will take place in the morning for our students and staff (as well as a few PTO volunteers...thank you!). Although we are holding three smaller runs instead of our entire school at the same time, we are positive it will produce the same result in promoting our culture of community and the importance of staying active!

Wishing you an incredible and safe long weekend ahead!


Mrs. Vail Kieser