Principal's Message 9.10.21

Principal's Message 9.10.21

Dear Families,

This was a very quick three-day week! Please take note of the following event reminders for the upcoming week.

  • On Tuesday evening, September 14, 2021 District 96 School Board will have a meeting.
  • There will be NO SCHOOL on Thursday, September 16, 2021.

In addition to the electronic calendars, District 96 also has an annual calendar for District dates of note.  If the calendar is updated it will be relinked with a revision date listed on the bottom of the document. This District calendar lists all days off, half-days, and early release days for the entire school year and is a great supplemental resource to your individual school calendar(s). Have a wonderful weekend!


Christine Pfaff, Principal

NEW *Fall Parent/Educator Conferences*

Fall Parent/Educator Conferences are right around the corner!  The conferences will take place on Thursday, October 7th from 5 PM to 8:30 PM and Friday, October 8th from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM.  These conferences will be 15 minutes in length. We will continue using Meet the Teacher as an electronic sign-up for conferences. A sign-up link will be shared via email on Monday, September 20th at 6:00 PM. Parents and guardians will be able to schedule an in-person or a remote conference with the classroom teacher, specials teachers, and any related service providers seen by your child.

NEW *Photography Club Sign-Up*

Be on the lookout for the Photography Club sign-up next Friday in the Principal’s Message.  Photography Club will be open to 3rd, 4th, and 5th-grade students.  We will meet from 7:30-8:15 on Friday mornings in the art room. Students in the Photography club will use their iPads to take pictures for the yearbook and to frame around the school.  If you have questions please email Christopher Morris and Christine Weede.  

NEW *Culture Crew is Coming!*

Within Culture Crew, we will share and celebrate the many cultures embedded into our Prairie community. 

Join Mrs. Himes and Dr. Yutakis on Wednesday afternoons to share traditions, music, and projects. 

We will meet in Room 15 (Yellow Pod)  from 3:00-3:45 beginning September 22 - May 25.

Please use this form to sign up.

NEW *PTO News*

Spirit Wear

Spirit wear is only available for purchase until September 24.

Plenty to pick from for your student or YOURSELF!! Head over to to start shopping!

Contact [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected] with any questions.

Room Parents

We are looking for Room Parents! Please head over to MyToolKit and sign up!

Signing up here DOES NOT guarantee that you will be the room parent. A lottery will be held on September 21st to choose room parents.

How the lottery works:

Each parent that is signed up on this form will be given a number. Numbers will be placed into a hat and picked randomly. Should the first choice no longer be able to volunteer another number will be picked.

Special Lunch

Head over to MTK and get your orders in for Special Lunch!

Last day to get your order in is September 16th!

Please note for the 2021-2022 school year the parent volunteers and PTO will be slowly releasing the monthly special lunch options.

We will be updating social media when the new options are available for you to order.


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-up HERE for an audition! The form will be open for one week.

  • 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.


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 Cub, sign-up HERE

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


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, sign-up HERE

Choir can only have 50 members and you will receive an email next week after the club is filled.  This club fills quickly! If you have any questions, please email Mrs. Muehling or Miss Heuer and they will be happy to help you!


The Positively Prairie Leadership Council is hosting a spirit week starting Monday, September 20th.  Don't miss out on the fun!!!

9/20: Pajama Day 

9/21: Unimaginable Day (wear something crazy)

9/22: Marvelous Prairie Day (wear prairie Colors)

9/23: Animal Day (bring a picture or stuffed animal to share)

9/24: Super Fancy Day

REPEAT *It’s not too late to join 5th Grade Band* 

Students can still sign up for band and learn an instrument this year. Our first lesson with instruments will be Friday, September 17. Come Join the 5th Grade Band. Beginning band is open to all 5th-grade students.  Band Registration and Information Link.

REPEAT *Contact Tracing Clarification*

Contact tracing is completed when a confirmed COVID-19 case is reported.  If a student is identified as a close contact, families will be notified.  Contact tracing in District 96 is based on the current IDPH definitions of close contact which are included at the bottom of the D96 Quarantine Decision Making Matrix that has previously been shared with families.  

● In classrooms, hallways, etc., close contacts are defined as being closer than 3 feet with inconsistent masking of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period.

● In the lunchroom, close contacts are defined as being closer than 6 feet with inconsistent masking of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes over a 24 hour period.

● In general, individuals who are solely exposed to a confirmed case while outdoors will not be considered close contacts.

As part of the contact tracing protocol, we check with the classroom teachers, specials teachers, and related services staff to ensure that no student was unmasked, for more than 15 minutes cumulatively, within a given setting.  If this is the case, additional close contacts would be identified and notified (i.e. snack, water, etc.).   Please note that this may mean a student who sits 3 feet away from a confirmed positive case in the classroom setting (consistently masked) IS NOT identified as a close contact, while a child who sits within 6 feet of a confirmed positive case at a lunch table (inconsistently masked) IS identified as a close contact.

District 96 does not define what a close contact is, rather follows the IDPH definition.  Likewise, District 96 does not alter contact tracing or notification protocols, rather strictly follows those provided by the IDPH.

REPEAT *Student Handbook Update - Change to Transportation *

Please note the following update to the Student Handbook.

Changes to Assigned Transportation

A change in a child's typical bus routine must be communicated through a written and signed parent note or email given to school office staff before noon on the morning the parent will be picking up the child after school ~ rather than having the child ride the bus. (Due to the young age of Willow Grove students, all Willow Grove parents must call the main office to make changes.). Otherwise, the child will follow his/her typical transportation routine.

REPEAT *MAP Reports*

While the bulk of MAP testing has been completed, the remainder of the window will be used for make-up testing. MAP reports will be sent to families on Friday, September 17th.

REPEATING *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. 

REPEATING *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 a building your child is not waiting outside with an adult, please park and come to the front office.  If you will be well after 3:15 to a specific location, please feel free to call and inform the office of your ETA.