It’s hard to believe that it’s already October! We are so excited for another month of learning and fun in addition to the school traditions and celebrations that this month brings. There is a part of me that feels like this school year has just begun, while another part of me feels like our students and staff have established relationships and routines that make it seem like we’ve been in school a lot longer! Next Thursday and Friday we are looking forward to hosting our Family Educator Conferences, so please make sure you sign up for a conference if you have not already. Additional information can be found below!
Christine Pfaff, Principal
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 2PM.
REQUESTING AN IN-PERSON CONFERENCE
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 *Schedule Changes for the Week*
Thursday, October 7th - Early Release with student dismissal at 2:00 (Family Educator Conferences)
Friday, October 8th - No School (Family Educator Conferences)
NEW *Superintendent Survey*
Parents, staff, and community members: You have one more week to take the KCSD 96 Superintendent Search Survey and offer input on suggested priorities for the District and important characteristics for the next school leader. The Superintendent Search Survey closes next Friday, Oct. 8.
The search consultants will use the results from this survey and the Focus Groups and Open Forums to create a New Superintendent Profile, to be shared with the Board of Education.
The Board plans to announce a successor to Supt. Julie Schmidt, who is retiring, at its Dec. 14th meeting.
To access the survey, visit the KCSD 96 website and click on the Superintendent Search Survey link.
NEW *Bus Route And Time Changes Effective Monday, October 4, 2021*
Given the recent survey results and families that chose to opt-out of bus services, some bus routes have been reallocated. If you are continuing to use the buses, your child’s pick-up and drop-off times will change, and in some cases, bus route numbers have changed as well. Please make sure that you received this bus communication on Thursday, 9/30, from the District with updated route numbers and times. Due to these changes, all students will receive new assigned seats. We appreciate your continued patience as we navigate these changes that go into effect on Monday, October 4th.
NEW *PTO News*
The 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! Join the Dessert Day Club for only $16 for the rest of the school year! Head over to MTK.
The PTO will be providing staff members boxed meals on October 7th and we need your help to provide drinks and snacks for the staff for both days of the conferences.
If you do not have time to shop the PTO can do it for you, head over to MTK and select a cash donation from the list below and we will use that money towards items needed for that night.
Please bring all donations on Wednesday, October 6th to school by 3 PM.
Please reach out to the PTO with any questions [email protected].
Book Fair will be open from October 4th thru October 8th! Be on the lookout for handouts in your child’s backpack for information on preview days from the 4th through the 6th.
Please send your student with some cash (small bills please) or use the E-wallet!
Please stay tuned for special lunch information for October and November.
Save the date for our Monster Bash on Oct. 22nd. The event will be designed with covid safety measures in place. There will be games, a photo backdrop, and other fun things to do! The event will be from 6:00 pm - 7:30pm. We look forward to seeing our Pumas in their costumes at this fun event.
REPEATING *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 they arrive at the school on the day they 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.
REPEAT *Thought Exchange Partnership*
The District 96 Thought Exchange Partnership (TEP) offers parents opportunities to give feedback and receive information about District instruction, programs, and initiatives. Understanding parent perceptions is helpful for planning and communicating. Contact District 96 Community Parent Liaison Lubna Andrabi, 847.459.4260, ext. 8136, with questions. In particular, the District invites parents who have students enrolled at Willow Grove Early Learning Center to consider joining the Thought Exchange Partnership. The first meeting is scheduled for October 21, 2021 from 7:00-8:30 via Zoom.