Principal's Message 3.19.21

Principal's Message 3.19.21

Dear Families,

As we head into spring break, we look forward to the spring season of new beginnings, which officially starts on March 20th.  We will be hearing more birds singing as beautiful flowers come into bloom.  Spring will also bring a new beginning for students who plan to return to in-person learning after spring break.  We are very excited to welcome these additional student back to school.  If your child is returning to in-person learning the week of March 29th please read the “Return to In-Person Learning” section of today’s blog closely.  As always, we value your partnership.


Christine Pfaff, Principal

NEW *Parent Input for Class Placement Survey*

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 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, principals, 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 for grades 2-5. Willow Grove creates the class lists for our incoming 1st graders.  Our 5th-grade team actively works with Twin Groves to provide data and input 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 30th. Please remember, while we welcome your input, specific teacher or friend placement requests will not be honored.

I cannot express enough how important it is that your thoughts are provided through the Prairie-Parent Input for Class Placement 2021-2022 Survey.  As you can imagine, we receive a lot of parent input, and verbal information is impossible to track.  The information you provide in the survey will remain confidential between you and me.

NEW *5th Grade Party*

5th grade parents, we need your help! We would like to plan something special for our 5th graders and would like to have parents who have students in school and who have students that are remote to help plan an event that would be in line with the COVID guidelines that the school has in place. The party will take place in May near the end of the school year. You will work with the PTO and Principals during the initial planning process. Thank you in advance for your help in making this event special! Please head over to membershiptoolkit to sign up if you are interested ( 

NEW *Yearbook Pictures* 

Hi Parents! We have loved all the pictures you sent in so far, but we are still in need of some additional photos to help complete the yearbook. Please see below for the types of pictures we are looking for:

- First Day of School from August and when in person started for those families  

- Remote Learning Pictures 

- Favorite Mask 

- Fall Holidays 

- Fall Activities

- St. Patrick's Day 

- Talent Show  

- Early Spring Activities

- Puma Drawing Pictures 

NEW *PTO Open Board Positions*

Are you interested in volunteering for a position on the PTO board? There are a number of open positions for the next school year. Please note that these positions are two year positions. You can find out more information and sign up on membership toolkit ( 

Not interested in a board position, but still want to volunteer stay tuned for information on committee positions for next year! 

NEW *Population Screening Schedule Change*

Grades 1-2 will have a new drop off schedule for their population screening. Grades 3-5 will maintain their current schedule. 

Beginning April 12, the new schedule will be: 

Country Meadows Grades 1-2: Monday 

Ivy Hall Grades 1-2: Tuesday 

Kildeer Grades 1-2: Thursday

Prairie Grades 1-2: Thursday

NEW *Returning to In-Person Learning Information*

We are very excited to have additional students joining us in-person after spring break.  Below is some information you need to know for a successful transition from remote to in-person learning. 


If your child needs to take medication at school please bring the medication to the school nurse’s office in its original container along with this Medication Authorization Form.


Your child will be transporting their needed school supplies with them between home and school.  Please refer to the Classroom/Specials Classes Materials Needed that teachers update weekly for exact details.  If you have any specific questions about materials, please reach out to your child's classroom teacher.  If you have questions about the logistics of getting the supplies to us, please call the office.


  • Arrival - no earlier than 8:10am
  • Late Arrival - Parents must enter the building and sign students in
  • Dismissal - 
    • Parent Pick in the Brandywyn Circle drive.  Please drive slowly and follow the guidance of our staff members.


  • Bus routing information will come by email to families over spring break.
  • Please anticipate that busses may be running late. 
  • If you have any bus route questions, please call the office. 
  • For purposes of social distancing and to maintain order on the bus, all students will be directed to sit in an assigned seat separated from peers.  Siblings may sit together. 
  • Please prepare your child for this routine to sit where the driver or school assigns. 


If your child will not be taking the bus home after school, please send a handwritten note or call the office to let us know.  Please DO NOT send emails of this nature, as we cannot guarantee that an email will be seen prior to school dismissal.


  • It is still chilly!  We may go outside for short breaks so please ensure that your child has the proper outerwear. 
  • Children will be bringing iPads and Logitech iPad "crayons" between home and school daily.  Please develop a routine of charging both every night and putting them in their backpack each morning.  
  • Children may bring individual water bottles to school.  Water bottles should not be glass and should have a spill-proof top.  Please label your child's water bottle with his/her name.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: Parents must do the DAILY self-certification for their child.  Parents must submit a daily self-certification prior to their student being allowed to attend in person. Parents will need to download the TeacherEase app if they haven't already in order to access the daily self-certification form.  Please see this video for further instruction.


We are confident that the District 96 community will rise to the occasion and partner with us to ensure the safety and success of our hybrid learning plan. Please think carefully about your commitment to our partnership before sending your child to school and review our In-Person Learning Protocols.


Send your student to school with a comfortable mask that complies with CDC/ISBE guidelines, ensuring that the face-covering fully covers the mouth and nose and that the covering fits snugly against the sides of the face with no gaps.

NEW *Safety Drills* 

All schools are required to hold fire/evacuation, severe weather, and lockdown drills.  We recognize some content could potentially be frightening for students.  Please be assured that presentations to students are developmentally appropriate.  Teachers and support staff are attentive to students’ emotions during instruction and drills.  Specific drill dates are not shared with parents.  At school, we conduct drills at unknown times so that students and staff can respond authentically as would be needed in an actual emergency.  You can expect lockdown education to be provided to your child when we come back from break followed shortly after by a drill.  We will maintain our social distancing requirements throughout all drills.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

NEW *Calculators During Math*

Some teachers have noticed that students are using calculators to help complete math assignments and/or assessments. Please know that there is never a time when an elementary teacher will ask the students to use a calculator in math. Elementary math provides the critical foundation for math in both middle and high school. Using a calculator, even for simple computation, potentially creates skill and knowledge gaps that can hinder mathematical progress in the future.

*NEW*: Calendar Reminders

Spring Break: Students will not be in attendance March 22nd through March 26th.  Classes will resume the week of March, 29th.

Thursday, April 1st is a half day and students will be dismissed at 11:45.  Students will follow this schedule on 4/1/21.

Friday, April 2nd students are not in attendance.

Monday, April 5th students are not in attendance.

Tuesday, April 6th students are not in attendance.

Revised March–June 2021 Calendar

Please refer to this REVISED March–June 2021 Calendar, reflecting in-person learning schedule changes announced in Superintendent Julie Schmidt's Mar. 17 message.


Our District 96 nurses are closely following the Illinois Department of Public Health school exclusion decision tree to determine when students are eligible to return to turn school. Thank you for your patience with students who have had to isolate or quarantine due to illness, household, illness, positive COVID-19, and/or close contact status. The building nurse will request appropriate documentation for students to return to school. While you may receive this documentation outside of school hours, the nurse will contact families regarding a return date upon receipt during the next school day. 

If you would like to be in touch with one of the District 96 nurses, please note the hours that they are available. 

Country Meadows, Ivy Hall, Kildeer, Prairie, Willow Grove: 8:00-3:15 

Twin Groves, Woodlawn 7:30-2:45

REPEATING *2021–22 Registration Emails Were Sent Thurs., Mar. 4*

Please check for registration email(s) for the 2021–22 school year, sent Thurs., Mar. 4.

Each registration email includes a link and a unique “snapcode” needed for access to register your returning student for 2021–22. EVERY student returning to District 96 for the school year ahead must be registered.

Information you provided previously will appear in your student’s online registration record. Please check that information carefully and update it if it is not accurate.

Completing and submitting online registration and making payment no later than Apr. 15, 2021, will save families $20 in registration cost per student. Fees increase after Apr. 15.

Questions? Please send email to [email protected] or call 847.459.4260, ext. 8022.

REPEATING *Obtaining Free Meals*

Pre-order free meals for in-person students by 6 PM on Thursday for the week ahead. Order at only for your student's in-person days.

Pick up meal supplies for 5 days for remote students on Wednesdays from 11 AM– 2 PM at Twin Groves or Woodlawn. No pre-ordering needed.

Please direct questions to the public info coordinator [email protected].

REPEATING: Kindergarten and 2nd Grade Parents Dental Screening Reminder 

The Illinois School Code requires all children in kindergarten, second and sixth grades to have a dental examination by May 15th of each year in compliance with the rules adopted by the Illinois Department of Public Health.  If you have not already done so, please submit your 2nd-grade child’s dental exam form to our building nurse. To see a complete list of the health forms required for students, please visit our Student Health Section of our Web page.