Principal's Message 4.9.21

Principal's Message 4.9.21

Dear Families,

The extra days this past weekend felt like a gift. We hope you were able to spend them as a family and enjoy your time together. With the nicer weather and flowers starting to bloom, spring is truly here! We are thrilled to have our in-person learners return full time next week. There is no better feeling than to walk the halls of our school and see the incredible faces and “smiling eyes” of our students! 

As always, our school team is here to support your family. If your child is struggling with the transition, please don’t hesitate to reach out and we will partner together to ensure a smooth welcome back to school. For our students that are remaining “zoomies” for the remainder of the year, we are here for you, too to support in any way needed.

Let’s make these last eight weeks of school the best yet!


Christine Pfaff


Principal for the Day - Miss Olivia

Hi!  I am Olivia.  I was mini principal for the day!  First, I did the announcments for the whole school! After that, I got a tour of all the hidden spots around the school.  Next, I delivered mail and supplies to the gym teachers.  Then I ate lunch.  Everything about this was amazing! Then I talked with Ms. Kelly, our library aide.  She told me about her job.  She helps kids check out books and finds interesting books to read.  At last, I drew two pictures and played hangman.  Today was the best day ever! I am so lucky I got an opportunity to be principal for the day!  I had a lot of fun!  I will always remember this day.


After successfully submitting your student’s 2021–22 registration, you will receive an itemized receipt by email promptly that lists the total charge, including required fees and optional donations, if any, that you chose to make.

Please do not refute the charge. It will result in a chargeback fee for your family.

If you select the credit card payment option when paying 2021–22 registration fees, look for either of the following identifying description labels on your credit card statement: POWERSCHOOL MD 512375–4514 or PB POWERSCHOOL. District 96 registration charges are not described with the District or school name.

Also, be advised that some banks code this transaction as a donation.

If you have questions, please refer to your registration receipt and/or contact the public info coordinator [email protected]


On Mar. 31, District 96 parents/guardians of returning and preregistered new students were again sent registration email(s) for the upcoming 2021–22 school year (From: [email protected] Subject Line: Register Your District 96 Student for the 2021–2022 School Year). All returning and new students must be registered. Each registration email (one per D96 student) will include a link and a unique “snapcode” needed to access that individual’s online form. Register by Apr. 15 to save. After Apr. 15, required registration fees increase by $20 per student for all returning students.

*NEW* Spring Assessments

The standardized assessment window is quickly approaching. Because many of the required assessments must be taken in-person, families who selected remote learning for the rest of the year received a survey earlier today to outline their options and determine if their children will come to the buildings to take the assessments. Students who are in-person will take the assessments with one of their teachers. 

Remote and in-person students will be kept separate during the administration of the assessments. Specific dates for each assessment will be determined once the results of the survey are collected, but you can find general time frames below.

NWEA MAP: Students at all grades participate in one assessment for English language arts and one assessment for math over two days.  The data we receive from the MAP assessments provides valuable information regarding intervention and acceleration needs. The window for the NWEA MAP assessment is May 3 - May 14 with more specific dates within the window to come. 

ACCESS: Students that are identified as not yet English proficient participate in four assessments in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The Illinois State Board of Education requires ACCESS to be administered in-person. Students who are in-person are being scheduled by building level personnel.

Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR): Students in grades 3-8 participate in assessments for both literacy and math over three days. The Illinois State Board of Education requires IAR to be administered in-person. The window for the IAR is May 17 - May 28 with more specific dates within the window to come. 

Illinois Science Assessment (ISA): Students in grades 5 and 8 participate in three assessments in science. The Illinois State Board of Education requires ISA to be administered in-person. ISA will be administered on Friday, June 11 for those families who wish to participate. We will be sending out a separate survey to fifth and eighth grade families later in May to find out who would like to participate in ISA.

*NEW* Return to Full In-Person Learning

As many of our students return to in-person learning five days a week, there may be an adjustment period for students. A few helpful hints are listed below to consider discussing with your child. 

Review expectations regarding mask wearing and social distancing with your child before he/she returns on Monday. 

Please ensure that your child’s mask fits his or her face, covering both the mouth and nose without sliding down for long periods of time. Practice wearing a mask for longer time chunks if your child is not used to wearing a mask for the school day. 

Review possible regulation strategies such as deep breathing or asking for a break.

Have a conversation with your child about change and feelings that can accompany change. Provide opportunities for your child to ask questions. 

Consider family adjustments to schedules that may take place with full in-person learning. 

We will have supports available in school for those who may need assistance. Your child’s classroom teacher will be checking in regularly with all students regularly. 

If you or your child have any questions or would like someone to speak to assist in the transition please reach out to the Miss Erin Sauer, Prairie's Social Worker, at [email protected] or Mrs. Christina Murray, Prairie's School Psychologist, at [email protected]

*NEW* Attendance Procedures for In-Person Students 

With the change to five days of in-person learning for all students beginning April 12th, the expectation is that students will attend in-person unless the student is under quarantine/isolation or is home ill. If for some reason your child needs to attend school remotely instead of in-person on a given day, a parent must call the office to report that the child will be attending remotely prior to the start of the school day.  It is important that we know which children are physically in the building and we appreciate your assistance in maintaining accurate attendance.  

*REPEAT* UPDATED 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. 

Country Meadows- Monday

Ivy Hall- Tuesday

Kildeer- Wednesday

Willow Grove- Wednesday

Prairie- Thursday

*REPEAT* Keeping Students (and siblings) Home Due to Symptoms

Per the IDPH COVID-19 School Exclusion Guidance, if any household member is showing any one of the symptoms listed below, all siblings must stay home from school. Please let the school office know when calling for attendance if your child is staying home due to illness, even if the student is participating remotely. 

The symptoms in which a student must stay home due to COVID-19 protocols are: fever (100.4°F or higher), new onset of moderate to severe headache, shortness of breath, new cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, new loss of sense of taste or smell, fatigue from unknown cause, muscle or body aches from unknown cause.

*REPEAT* 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.