Principal's Message 9.24.21

Principal's Message 9.24.21

Dear Families,

We’ve had a wonderful full week of school.  The crisp mornings are refreshing and remind us that fall is here.  It’s that time of year when we all enjoy cozying up in our sweaters with a hot cup of tea or cocoa.  I’m certain that many families have already gone apple picking or visited the pumpkin patch or perhaps have plans to do this soon.  

Family Educator Conferences will be occurring in less than two weeks. This past Monday you received an email to sign up for conferences.  The window to sign up for conferences closes on Monday, October 4th at 11:55 pm.  You can see all the details about conferences below.

Have a wonderful weekend. 


Christine Pfaff, Principal

NEW *Schedule Changes for the Week*

Tuesday, September 28- early release with student dismissal at 2:00 pm

Friday, October 1- half-day with student dismissal at 11:45 am

NEW *Volunteers & Vaccination Verification or Proof of a Negative Test

As you may or may not know, Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker held a COVID-19 press conference on August 26, 2021, where he issued new rules regarding indoor masking, and signed an Executive Order 2021-20, regarding educational employee vaccination and testing requirements. In the Executive Order which applies to all “school personnel,” volunteers are included in the definition unless they are present for only a short period of time and whose movements of close physical proximity are “fleeting”.   

Those who have been identified as a current or upcoming PTO volunteer recently received a survey asking that you provide proof of vaccination and notifying them that if unvaccinated they would need to provide proof of a negative Covid test within 48 hours of reporting to volunteer. 

 If you have already uploaded proof of vaccination, please disregard this information.

How do I provide proof of vaccination proactively should I choose to volunteer at my student(s) school this year?

By following this link, you may provide proof of vaccination to your school(s).  

What if I am unvaccinated but want to volunteer this year?

Unvaccinated volunteers must provide proof of a negative Covid test when you arrive at the school on the day you are scheduled to volunteer.  Negative test results are only good for the 48 hours prior to arrival.  For example, if an unvaccinated volunteer is scheduled to be in the school the next week, they would have to provide a new test result.

What type of Covid test qualifies?

You may present a negative antigen or PCR test.  Home testing kits do not qualify as the test must be observed and documentation of the result provided to you.

Why can’t unvaccinated volunteers take a Covid test at the school?

The BinaxNow test provided to schools is in short supply at this time.  As a result, schools have been notified that we cannot use the test for any screening purposes.  If we were to do so, they would no longer supply the test to us.  We are only allowed to use the test for symptomatic individuals on campus (students or staff) or when a person qualifies for test-to-stay.  If and when test supplies increase, those restrictions may be lifted.  If they are, we will be in a position to reconsider testing unvaccinated volunteers in our schools at that time.

What is the process for volunteers to either provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test?

Vaccinated volunteers may submit their proof of vaccination at any time by following the link provided and completing the survey and uploading proof of vaccination.  

The list of those who have done so will be made available to the school (principal, assistant principal, administrative assistant, and nurse) and updated periodically by Lubna Andrabi in our district office.

Unvaccinated volunteers must bring proof of a negative test to the main office on the day they are scheduled to volunteer.  

The main office will make a copy of your negative test.

The test result must be within the previous 48 hours.  The staff at the front desk in the main office will assist you.

What if I am fully vaccinated but forgot to upload my proof of vaccination?

If you have not uploaded your vaccination card, you may provide proof of vaccination when you arrive (vaccination card).  We strongly encourage you to upload your card so that you do not need to present it each time you report to volunteer. 

NEW *PTO News*

Spirit Wear

Show your Puma Pride and place your order today!! Spirit wear is only available for purchase until September 26th.  We have many new designs and options to choose from for your student or YOURSELF!! Head over to to start shopping!

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

Dessert Day

Prairie PTO is happy to introduce the new Dessert Day Club Membership for 2021-2022!

Pay only once this school year and get an ice cream dessert from Hershey's during a designated Dessert Day each month starting from October 2021 to May 2022.

Students will have a variety of frozen treats to choose from, and you won't need to remember to order each month. Once you purchase a membership, your child(ren) will be given a ticket on Dessert Day to use towards their favorite frozen treat, so you won't need to do anything else. No punch cards are necessary.

Join the Dessert Day Club for only $16 for the rest of the school year!  Visit Membership Toolkit to purchase.

PLEASE NOTE: Dessert Day Club Memberships are non-refundable and non-transferable. If a student is absent or chooses to not participate in Dessert Day, no refunds or credits will be given for the missed treat. Club Memberships have no cash value.

Room Parent Lottery

Room Parent 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.

NEW *Family Educator Conferences*

The conference dates are Thursday, October 7th from 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM and Friday, October 8th from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM.

We are using Meet the Teacher as an electronic sign-up for conferences. A School Messenger email was sent to families on Monday, September 20th with a link to sign up for conferences. The conference sign-up will close at 11:55 PM on Monday, October 4th. After that, you must contact the building administrative assistant to schedule a conference or make a change.

Conferences will be held over zoom unless parents request an in-person conference using the instructions below. A document with all the staff zoom links will be sent out on Wednesday, October 6th at 2 PM. 


After selecting the teachers you wish to meet with and choosing a time for each conference, Meet the Teacher will prompt you to save the appointment and ask if you want to add a message for the teacher. If you want to have an in-person conference with the teachers, you must notify the teachers via this messaging feature (see picture below).

Elementary parents will have the option to sign up with the classroom teacher as well as specials teachers and any related service providers their children see.

NEW *Cold Weather & Recess*

It’s hard to believe but it started to get a bit chilly this week! This is a friendly reminder to dress your children to go outside.  We go outside nearly every day.  We have indoor recess only in extreme cases (0-10 degrees; wind chill is considered).  Once we get enough snow to play in, children must be dressed properly to go into the snow.  This includes a coat, hat, snow pants, boots, and mittens/gloves.  If they have not dressed in the required snow garments, there is a large, plowed blacktop playspace for kids to play on.  My best parent advice...LABEL EVERYTHING with your child's name.  Our Lost & Found explodes with items in the winter, and if your child's name is on something, those items will make their way back to your child.

REPEAT *Morning Arrival Procedure Change Starting Monday, September 20th*

 Students will now gather on the blacktop when they arrive at school.  Upon arrival, students will put their backpacks in their classroom line.  They can then use the blacktop and playground areas for unstructured playtime.  Supervising staff members will signal to all students to line up at 8:18 am.  Teachers will greet students outside and bring them to class.  Bus students who arrive prior to 8:18 am will be directed to the blacktop/playground area by staff members.  Bus students who arrive after 8:18 am will enter the school through Door #1.  This new process was presented to students by their homeroom teachers this week. 

REPEAT *September Yearbook Photo Focus*

With sports and other activities in full swing this fall, September's yearbook photo focus will be athletics and activities.  Please submit photos of your child to [email protected] engaged in the activity s/he loves.  Thanks for your help in supporting the Prairie School Yearbook!