Principal's Message 8.13.21

Principal's Message 8.13.21

Dear Parents,

I want to welcome all families, again, to a brand new school year. I hope that your families all had some time to relax and enjoy the warm summer weather. 

I want to thank the families for coming to the Prairie New Family Tour today. Our new families met and learned about our building operations and gained general curriculum information. Families had the opportunity to ask specific questions, and we all had a great time meeting and sharing Prairie with you. We look forward to this school year. Welcome to District 96!

This upcoming week we will have our “Meet the Teacher” event on Tuesday, August 17, 2021 from 8:30am-9:15am for families with a last name starting with the letter A-L and 9:15am-10:00am for families with a last name starting with the letter M-Z. We look forward to seeing you there. Please don’t forget the first day of school is Thursday, August 19, 2021 and is a half-day with dismissal at 11:45am. We are all excited to start the school year together!


Christine Pfaff, Principal

NEW *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.

NEW *Meet the Teacher*

Tuesday, August 17th is our Meet the Teacher Day.  Times are as follows:

  • Last Name A - L ~ 8:30am - 9:15am
  • Last Name M - Z ~ 9:15am - 10:00am
  • If you are unable to attend Meet the Teacher, your child will meet their teacher on the first day of school.
  • If you are a new family and were unable to attend the new family tour, you are welcome to tour our beautiful school on your own.
  • Our specials teachers will all be in their classrooms and are excited to meet you as well.  Please feel free to stop by Art, PE, Music, and Exploration Lab.  Any staff member can guide you to these classrooms.

Please bring your children's school supplies with you on this day if you have them.  This allows for your child to only need to bring their backpack on the first day of school and not have to carry heavy and large bags on their own.  This will also free up your hands too for those precious first day of school pictures.  If you cannot bring school supplies to Meet the Teacher, your child will bring them on the first day of school. 

NEW *August 19 ~ First Day of School* 

The first day of school is Thursday, August 19th. It is a half-day, from 8:25-11:45. On the first day of school, we will assemble as follows:

  • Students will line up on the blacktop behind the cone with their teacher's name
  • Cones will be in grade level order, within the grade level, cones will be alphabetized by teacher name
  • This is a great time to get those treasured first day of school photos with friends and teachers

NEW *August 20 ~ Second Day of School*

The second day of school is Friday, August 20th.  This is a full day of school from 8:25-3:00.  On this day of school, and for the remainder of the school year, students will come into the building at the front entrance (Door #1) and go to their pod hallway.  All staff will be on hand to help students navigate the school through next week.

New *General Communication Expectations for Teachers* 

Teachers will communicate with parents, at a minimum, twice a month. Staff use different forms of electronic communication. Some examples include emailed newsletters, blogs, email, and websites. You will learn this information at meet the teacher and/or curriculum night as well if you are in attendance.

New *Upcoming Dates of Note*

Curriculum Night - 6:30-8:00pm ~ more information coming next week.

Picture Day- September 10th

New *School Hours* 

Arrival time is between 8:10am and 8:25am

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.

You can view the school and District calenders HERE.

NEW * Arrival and Dismissal Procedures*


  • Students can arrive starting at 8:10am. Please do not come earlier because we do no have any supervision until 8:10am
  • All students enter through Door #1 - the main entrance.  Parents do not enter with students.
  • Parent Drop Off - This is a drop-and-go procedure.  Parents should not exit the vehicle.  Please pull all the way forward.
  • Bus students are dropped off on the Kingsbridge Way circle drive.  They walk to the front of the building and enter through Door #1 - the main entrance.
  • There will be many adults helping students the first several days of school until students get the hang of things.


  • All students except for bussers exit the building through Door #1.
  • For the first several days of school, staff will escort students outside and assist them with getting into vehicles and connecting with walking and biking parents.
  • If you are picking up your child by vehicle, please enter the Brandywyn Circle.  If the circle is full, vehicles line up down Brandywyn Lane toward Aptakisic Road.  Please pull all the way forward and follow staff directions.
  • Please stay in your vehicle.  Adults will be on hand to help students get into the car if necessary.
  • Please do not park in either parking lot when picking up your child.  Please use the parent pick up line.
  • For the first several days of school, bussers will be escorted by staff members to their bus.  Tags will be checked to ensure that students get on the correct bus.

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. Please notify the office in writing in accordance with the District Handbook.  Please see Section 9.4 in the Parent/Student Handbook regarding permission for students to ride other buses, as in most cases, this is not allowed 

NEW *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.

NEW *Prairie Yearbook*

Last year we collected student photos through our Prairie Yearbook email address at [email protected].  We will continue this helpful way to collect photos of students for our yearbook and the Principal's Message.  This month we are looking for submissions from the first day, or first few days, of school.