Principal's Message 10.22.21

Principal's Message 10.22.21

Dear Parents,

We are so proud to announce that Prairie has been ranked #23 in elementary level schools in the state of Illinois by U.S. News & World Report.  U.S. News & World Report has ranked high schools, colleges, and universities for many years, but this is the first time the organization has ranked elementary-level schools.  Six of the District's seven schools made the list.  There are no qualifying metrics for the early childhood level, therefore, our early learning center was not ranked.  

I could not be prouder of our entire Prairie School community.  With the strong support we receive from our families, we are able to teach to the highest levels of performance.  Thank you, parents, for partnering with us in your child's education.  Teachers, you do dedicated and remarkable work with our students every day, and this national recognition is well deserved.

It is my privilege to serve the Prairie School community as your Principal.  I see daily the strategic planning, mentoring of staff and students, high-leverage instructional practices, focus on relationships, and so much more that occurs every day in our school.  So far this year we have had over 80 new students register at Prairie.  Many parents have shared they researched the area and chose Prairie based on its excellent ratings and accolades shared our community members.


Christine Pfaff - Principal

NEW *Monster Bash Tonight*

Come on over to the Prairie Monster Bash TONIGHT from 6 pm - 7:30pm.  Students can wear a costume if they wish.  There will be games, a backdrop photo booth, and desserts.  There will also be Trunk-or-Treating.  

NEW *Home for Lunch Costume Change, Friday, 10/29* 

Students are able to be picked up to go home during their own grade level lunch period for our Halloween celebrations on Friday, October 29th.  Students will meet their parent(s)/family member(s) in the office foyer of the school. Please complete THIS SURVEY if you plan to pick up your child.  If you do not complete this survey, you will need to complete sign-out on the iPad, which may result in a long line and a delayed exit from school.  Students need to return to school by the end of their recess/lunch period.

Lunch/recess periods are as follows:

  • 1st grade: 10:40am -11:20am
  • 2nd grade: 11:30am -12:10am
  • 3rd grade: 11:50am -12:30pm
  • 4th grade: 11:00am - 11:40am
  • 5th grade: 12:10pm-12:50pm

NEW *Halloween Parade*

On Friday, October 29th, students and staff will participate in our annual Halloween parade, weather permitting.  The parade will start at approximately 1:10 pm.  Students will exit the Art/Music doors on the Kingsbridge Way side of the school.  We will walk down the sidewalk and return to the building via the gym doors.  Family members are welcome to line the sidewalks for those precious pictures.  If the weather is not conducive to a parade, students will parade inside the school.  Unfortunately, parents cannot attend an indoor parade.  A message will go out by 11:00 am on Friday, 10/29, informing of cancellation if needed.  

NEW *Family Name Cards for Parent Pick-Up*

Many families are using the family name card during parent pick-up... Thank you!  Since implementing this visual, we have shaved two minutes off the parent pick-up line.  We are asking that all families please use the name card on the passenger side dashboard.  The family name card helps Prairie staff members to notify students that their ride is here and to direct students to their car.  If you ever need more name cards please email our Clerical Aide, Mrs. Ann Glassgow, and she will make you a set.  

 NEW *Attendance at School*

​​Attendance is one of the most powerful predictors of academic achievement and having your student in his/her seat, ready to learn for the entire school day will benefit them, their classmates, and our whole school community. Let’s work together to make sure your child has great attendance and can get the most out of their learning opportunities this school year.


We know that there are a wide variety of reasons that students are absent from school, from health concerns to transportation challenges. There are many people in our building prepared to help you if you or your student face challenges in getting to school regularly or on time. We promise to track attendance daily, to notice when your student is missing from class, communicate with you to understand why they were absent and to identify barriers and supports available to overcome challenges you may face in helping your student attend school. Our parent handbook reflects legislative updates from the state and is ready for you to review.


We miss your student when they are not at school as we value their contributions to our school community. If your student is going to be absent, please contact the school in advance. If an absence was unplanned, please contact the school please contact the school office as soon as possible.


Send your child to school unless they are truly sick, such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, contagious rash or showing any other COVID-like symptoms.

Avoid appointments and travel when school is in session.

Keep track of your child’s attendance.

Set a regular bedtime and morning routine (including limiting how late your child may use any electronic devices) and finish homework and pack backpacks the night before.

Have a back-up plan for getting to school in case something comes up (this could be alternative bus routes, roads, or a plan with family members, neighbors, or other parents).

Communicate with the school about how we can work together to support your child’s attendance.


If your child has five unexcused absences we will reach out via phone and follow up with an email.

If your child has seven unexcused absences we will schedule a conference with you and your child to create a student success plan and help continued supports.

After 10 days of unexcused absences, and our supports and interventions haven’t helped get your student to school consistently, we are required to file a petition and you will be notified by formal letter that the case will be forwarded to the truancy department and the Lake County ROE, alleging a violation of RCW 28A.225.010, Illinois' mandatory attendance law.


Excused: Medical appointment, illness, quarantine, death in the family, mental health day, religious holiday

Unexcused: Most other reasons for absence including vacation, sporting event, missing the bus, sleeping in, the day before a special event.

NEW *PTO News*

Special Lunch

Head over to MTK and get your orders in for Papa John’s Pizza Special Lunch!  To ensure your student is able to enjoy a special lunch, get your orders in by November 12th.

Dessert Day

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 to sign up!

Spirit Wear

The PTO is excited to announce that for those that ordered Spirit Wear to expect classroom deliveries by no later than the end of the second week of November at the latest. 

REPEAT *Calling 4th & 5th Grade Leaders!*

Are you interested in an awesome leadership opportunity? If you are, PPLC (Positively Prairie Leadership Council) is for you! Come join us for an informational meeting Thursday, October 28th from 3:00-3:45 in Ms. Heuer’s classroom (red pod room 6). All are welcome to attend the meeting! 

If you are attending the meeting parent pick-up will be Kingsbridge Circle where the bus drop-off is.  Pick-up is at 3:45 pm.

We look forward to seeing you!

Dr. Yutakis, Mrs. Muehling, Mrs. Himes, and Ms. Heuer