Principal's Message 8.27.21

Principal's Message 8.27.21

Dear Parents,

The first full week of school is in the books and it has been so wonderful to see Prairie students on a daily basis! Classroom routines are becoming more familiar, instruction of all content areas has filled the classrooms, and student smiles and conversations abound throughout the hallways. I know I speak for all of the Prairie staff by saying that it has been so great to welcome all students back to school.

It was great seeing you, whether in-person or virtually, at curriculum night! Classroom teachers also welcomed families in the hybrid format for the first time ever. I hope you were able to glean pertinent information regarding your child’s classroom and the upcoming school year. If you were unable to attend, please reach out to your child’s teacher to obtain a digital version of their presentation.

Next week we will have another full week of school and instruction before the long holiday weekend. We look forward to another great week of learning as we begin to settle into the new school year. 


Christine Pfaff, Principal

NEW *Early Release Reminder*

This is a friendly reminder that Tuesday, August 31st is an Early Release, and students will be dismissed at 2:00.  Please ensure students are picked up by this time.

NEW *Superintendent’s Message*

If you have not done so already, please take a moment to read Julie Schmidt’s Superintendent’s Message from Wednesday, August 25th.

NEW *Covid Metrics*

To stay up-to-date this school year on local metrics, please visit the COVID DASHBOARD for District 96. Our priority remains to keep our students safe and follow guidance from the CDC. If your student is identified as a "close contact", you will be notified individually through the contact tracing process. 

NEW *Simultaneous Student Pick-Up from Willow Grove & Elementary Schools*

Please know that we understand that some families may have concerns related to picking students up from Willow Grove and an elementary school building.  Please know that all principals are aware of this concern, and no child will ever be left unattended.  We appreciate your best effort in picking your children up in a timely manner, and we appreciate your adhering to our current dismissal times.  If, when you arrive at Prairie and your child is not waiting outside with an adult, please know that they are waiting inside the vestibule for you and watching for your car to pull up.  They will exit the building when you arrive.  If you will be well after 3:15 pm, please feel free to call and inform the office of your ETA.

NEW *2021 Talent Show - Audition Sign Up*

Attention all Prairie students!  Do you have a special talent you would like to share? Prairie School has a talent show every year! The talent show will be on Friday evening, December 3rd. Auditions will be held in October this year!

Sign-ups begin on Friday, September 10th and will run for a week! The form will be in the Principal’s Message!

Please read the specific information below:

  • All students are welcome to sign-up for an audition.
  • Each performance needs to be 2 minutes or less. (No exceptions)
  • Students can only perform once.
  • If you are performing with a group, only one parent should sign up for the group! Please coordinate this!
  • Results will be sent out by Friday, November 12th after all auditions are done.
  • Pictures of the sign-up form will be included in September 3rd Principal’s Message so you can plan accordingly. 

NEW *Choir Club - Seeking Members for the 21-22 School Year*

Attention all 3rd, 4th, & 5th graders!  Do you like to sing in music class?  Choir is an extracurricular club that will meet on Friday mornings from 7:30-8:15am.  If you are interested in signing up for choir, the sign-up form opens on  Friday, September 10th. The link to the sign-up form can be found on the Principal’s Message.

If you have any questions, please email Mrs. Muehling or Miss Heuer and they will be happy to help you!

NEW*World Music Club - Seeking Members for the 21-22 School Year*

Attention all 5th graders! Do you love learning songs in different languages, from different cultures, or different countries in music class? This club will be filled with songs to sing, cultural dances, and pieces to play on instruments! Mrs. Muehling has a lot of material, but also wants you to contribute and share your culture with the group! This extracurricular club will meet on Mondays from 3:00-3:45pm. If you are interested in signing up for the World Music Club, the sign-up form will open on September 10th. The link to the sign-up form can be found on the Principal’s Message.

World Music Club can only take 15 members and you will receive an email from Mrs. Muehling shortly after the club is filled. If you have any questions, please email Mrs. Muehling and she will be happy to help you!

NEW *NWEA MAP Assessment*

All students in grades K-8 will be participating in 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 on Monday, August 30th and Wednesday, September 1st. 

Students who are quarantined during those testing days will take the MAP assessment after they return to school.

NEW *Law Enforcement Safety Drill EDUCATION*

On Friday, September 3, 2021, Prairie Elementary School will be conducting the annual Law Enforcement Safety Drill EDUCATION. Students will be learning age-appropriate safety procedures. The enhanced lockdown drill will happen on a future date.

In compliance with the New Safety Drill Act, parents have the right to exempt their child from the Law Enforcement Drill EDUCATION.

If you do not wish your son or daughter to participate in the Law Enforcement Safety Drill, please contact Christine Pfaff, Principal. If I do not hear from you, I will assume your child has permission to participate in the drill.

NEW *Harry Potter Book Club*

Calling all 3rd-5th grade Muggles & Wizards!   Come join the wizarding world of Harry Potter book club with Ms. Sauer and Mrs. Weede on Mondays from 3-4pm. We will be reading the first (and perhaps second) Harry Potter book this year along with practicing our writing, creating spells, doing crafts and immersing ourselves in a world of imagination and honing our critical thinking skills. Please email Ms. Sauer at [email protected] or Mrs. Weede at [email protected]  Space is limited and the club will start the Monday after Labor Day*

NEW *Let Me Run Club* 

Looking for  4th and 5th grade boys to join the team!  Ms. Sauer & Mrs. Davis are looking for 4th and 5th grade boys to join the “Let Me Run” Running Club!  This is an 8 week program that combines social-emotional learning with training to run a 5K!  For those familiar with Girls on the Run, this is a program similar but tailored to specific issues boys face today.  Check out to learn about this program!  If you are interested in registering your son for this program, please email Erin Sauer at [email protected] for more details.   The program will run on Wednesdays AND Thursdays from 3-4:15pm from Sept. 9  through the week of October 25.  We will culminate with a fun Halloween Themed 5K on Saturday, October 30th in Palatine. Registration for LMR starts August 23rd and is limited to the first 14 boys to register. Please note that because this is a national program, there is a fee for participation. Please do not register without talking to Ms. Sauer or Mrs. Davis first. *

NEW *4th Grade Orchestra - It’s Not too Late!*

If your 4th Grade child is interested in joining the 4th Grade Orchestra this year and is not yet registered, please review the presentation below and complete the registration link below. The deadline to register is is Monday, August 30th.

Beginning Orchestra Parent Presentation

Beginning Orchestra Registration Form

REPEAT *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.