Principal's Message 8.7.20

Principal's Message 8.7.20

Dear Parents,

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year.  The Prairie staff is very excited to be working with you and your child(ren) this year.  If this is your first experience as a Prairie family, I know that you will be pleased with our school and staff.  We have a positive and vibrant community that makes us all - staff, students, and parents - proud to be Pumas!  It has been my honor to be Prairie’s Principal since 2010 and it is my true joy to serve this community.

Traditionally, each year in my first Principal’s Message, I have shared highlights from my own summer adventures with my family.  This year we simply stayed home, got back in touch with each other, and did many around-the-house projects.  I’m certain that many of you did the same.  I have also shone a small light on my own daughter, who was in 2nd grade when I began in District 96, and where she is in her educational journey.  This year, like your child(ren), she is missing the socialization that school provides and is sad about potentially missing out on the many rites of passage that come with being a senior in high school. So, what I am saying is that I understand the emotions that we are all experiencing during this most unusual time.  We need to be supportive of one another.  This is where we are right now and I ask for a positive approach that will rub off on your child(ren).  Please avoid the unsupportive talk and come directly to me with any questions.  We will get through this. 

Though this is not the start of the school year that we had anticipated, we are going to make this a positive and growth-producing year.  Our Positively Prairie Leadership Council (PPLC) sponsors are already planning for student leadership opportunities that will foster social-emotional learning and cross-grade level activities for the remote learning environment.  Naturally, teachers are planning for these SEL supports for the remote classroom as well.  Teachers and administrators have been working tirelessly over the summer months to prepare for this school year participating in curriculum development, technology tools workshops, social-emotional learning workshops, professional book studies, and so much more.  I could not be prouder of our staff for their dedication in preparing for this school year.   

The staff and I are looking forward to navigating this year with you and are so appreciative of your support.  Please know that our partnership with you is very important to us and do not hesitate to reach out to us with your questions. 

Kind Regards,

Christine Pfaff

NEW *First Day of School*

Our first half-day of remote learning will be Monday, August 24th.

Willow Grove Hours

AM - 8:30-11:00 AM

PM - 12:30-3:00 PM

Elementary Schools (Country Meadows, Ivy Hall, Kildeer, Prairie)


NEW *Beginning of Year Events*

As an administrative team, we are working to reschedule and adjust our beginning of the year events to adhere by safety and social distance guidelines.  These events include Meet the Teacher, Curriculum Night, and New Family tours.  Details will be forthcoming as they are determined.

NEW *Technology News*

On August 12th, our technology department will begin syncing student data across our systems in preparation for the start of the 20-21 school year. When this sync begins, your student(s) may lose access to some services or applications that are currently on their iPads. This is by design as we prepare to make all of the 20-21 resources available to students for the start of the school year. 

Please know that if you request a replacement iPad, Crayon, or accessory while picking up your resources, we will need a broken iPad, Crayon, or accessory from you in order to begin processing replacements. Any requests will also need to be fully documented before a replacement can be processed.

NEW *Health Form Deadline Extension*

The health form deadline has been extended to October 15th.  All immunizations should be completed by this date to avoid school exclusion.  Please refer to the D96 Student Health website for more information.

NEW *Supporting Our D96 Community Families*

The pandemic is creating challenging situations for many families in our community.

Community members who are able to are invited to donate these items: macaroni & cheese (cups or boxes), canned foods (veggies/fruits/tuna/chicken/beans), granola bars, tortillas, cheese (shredded/sliced), eggs, deli meats, frozen ground beef/chicken.

Please deliver to collection boxes outside the Exceptional Learners Collaborative (ELC) front entrance, 990 Corporate Woods Parkway, Vernon Hills, from 8 AM–3 PM. Please observe social distancing when delivering donations and ring the doorbell when delivering perishable foods and/or gift cards.

If you'd like to deliver your donation to your student's school on the designated Materials Pick-Up Day, please place it in the donation box (non-perishable/non-refrigerated items only, please) in front of the school entrance.

Questions? Contact [email protected]

NEW *Class Assignment Communication*

Student’s classroom teacher assignments will be finalized and emailed to you at approximately 9:00 AM on Wednesday, August 12th.  Please know that teacher teams have shifted this year, and information regarding these changes will be included in a future Principal's Message.  I am unable to communicate this specific information at this time as continual enrollment will affect teacher teams until early next week.  If you do not receive a notification, please email our administrative assistant, Mrs. Michele Demas, at [email protected], or give us a call in the office.

NEW *Supply Pick Up*

Instructional materials will be provided by the district to facilitate remote learning.  Some items will be available during initial student materials pick-up and others will be available once the school year has begun via deliveries to neighborhoods (more information coming soon).  Materials will include math manipulatives kits, workbooks, art and music supplies, etc.  Information is forthcoming related to technology workshops and sessions that will be available the week of August 17th in the evening.

NEW *Student Attendance Date Changes*

Given the switch to half-day for kindergarten until phase 5, we needed to change the school calendar for student attendance, specifically related to district half-days and early release days.  It is important to us that we welcome all students on our first day of attendance, which is a District Half-Day to allow for teachers to engage in professional learning the other half of the day.  We also need to provide equitable access for AM and PM on those half-days across the school year.  Finally, early release hours needed to be addressed for a half-day format.  

If and when we resume to full-day, this will be addressed again.  Also, in the near future I’ll provide a link to the district calendar so you can print it out and throw it on your fridge in a nicer format!  It’s currently being revised and I wanted to get this information to you as soon as possible.

Daily Student Hours: Kindergarten/Blended AM 8:30-11:00; Kindergarten/Blended PM 12:30-3:00; Structured 8:45-2:45

District Half-Days

Aug 24, First Day of School - ALL students will attend during their assigned session (both AM and PM).  Structured also attends regular hours, 8:45-2:45.

November 13 District Half-Day - NO Willow Grove students will attend, including structured.

Feb 25 District Half-Day  - AM ONLY attend (teachers collaborate in the PM).  Structured 8:45-11:00.

April 30 District Half-Day - PM ONLY attend (teachers collaborate in the AM).  Structured 8:45-11:00.

May 28 District Half-Day - AM ONLY attend (teachers collaborate in the PM).  Structured 8:45-11:00.

June 1 - Last day of school for AM

June 2 - District Half-Day - Last day of school for PM.  PM ONLY attend (teachers collaborate in the AM).  Structured 8:45-11:00.  

District Early Release Day Hours (Sept 15, Oct 8, Oct 20, Dec 15, Jan 26, March 11, March 16, May 11)

AM - 8:30-10:00

PM - 12:30-2:00

Structured - 8:45-2:00