Principal's Message 8.20.21

Principal's Message 8.20.21

Dear Parents,

What an incredible return this week for our Prairie staff and students! It brought all of us great joy to see our families and students in the hallways this past week. My favorite part was welcoming our Prairie Pumas on the first day of school. Many students showed up with “smiling eyes” and they were so happy to be back together with their peers.  Our school year is officially off to a running start and we have a great adventure ahead of us. Thanks for your partnership to make this an incredible year ahead for all!

Next week we will have Curriculum Night when you will hear more details from your child's teacher about their grade-level curriculum and classroom community.  Please see the information below for further details. 


Christine Pfaff, Principal

NEW *Curriculum Night UPDATE*

Curriculum Night is scheduled for Wednesday, August 25th and is a “parent only” meeting. This year we will be offering a hybrid format. If you’d prefer to “zoom in” there will be a link for the Principal presentation and a different link for the teacher presentation. These links will be sent out Tuesday evening.  If you would like to attend in person, please come directly to the gym for the Principal presentation followed by classroom visits. Please note, due to social distancing requirements, we are asking that only one parent per child attends in-person with the other parent attending via Zoom.  All in-person attendees must be masked.  

Times overlap for grade levels on curriculum night with the intention that you only need to hear/see the Principal portion one time. We start as a large group in the gym/zoom and after a few messages,  you’ll go to your child(ren)’s classroom(s)/zoom link(s).

NEW *Bus Information*

PLEASE NOTE:  There continues to be a workforce shortage on a national and local level.  This is significantly impacting the ability of all transportation companies to fill driver openings.  First Student continues to have unfilled driver positions for District 96 bus routes.  They have been using substitute and "borrowed" drivers from other regions to fill our needs the last few days but the reality is that the positions remain unfilled and a "band-aid" plan is being created for each day.  Our Director of Transportation continues to meet with First Student multiple times per day to problem solve.  We will continue to keep you updated on what is likely to be an ongoing challenge.

NEW *NWEA MAP Assessment*

All students in grades K-8 will be participating in the NWEA MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) assessment. The MAP assessment is a normed referenced, computerized adaptive test that helps teachers, parents, and administrators improve learning for all students and make informed decisions to promote a child's academic growth.  Like in previous years, all students will be taking the MAP test in reading and math during the school day. Testing will take place during the MAP window, August 30-September 10.  The specific dates of testing will be communicated in next week’s Principal Message.

REPEAT *Prairie Yearbook Submissions*

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.  

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.

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.

REPEAT *School Hours* 

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

The bell that starts the day rings at 8:25am. A parent/adult must accompany late-arriving students into the office and sign them in using the iPad. You do this if you arrive after 8:25am.  

Dismissal: 3:00 p.m.

REPEAT *Three Types of School Days*

There are generally three different types of school days below. Each day begins at 8:25am, but the end times based on the type of day, are listed below.

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.

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.