Principal's Message August 27, 2020

TGIF…Twin Groves it’s Friday! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Counseling Corner
Ms. Baker and Ms. McDevitt, School Social Workers
Ms. Koulentes, School Counselor
Ms. Leverentz, School Psychologist

Starting the school year off on the right foot can help minimize a student’s stress level throughout the year.  It is no question that school in 2020 looks different than ever before, but many traditional strategies and routines remain relevant and will ease the transition back to school:
o   Encourage structured routines and be actively involved in your child’s education – establish bedtime, mealtime, reading, and homework routines. Even though students are not leaving home to attend school at this time, encourage them to get dressed and ready for the day as if they were. 
o   Designate a specific quiet place with no distractions for your child to complete their remote learning and homework. Be careful to monitor personal technology use (phones, games) during work times, as this can be the most dominant distraction available.
o   Talk to your child – get to know his or her fears or worries about the new school year.  This fall’s enhanced remote learning is a chance to ask them what they liked about the previous year’s experience and what did not work for them.  Try to find ways to incorporate what worked previously into this new year and new schedule.
o   Empathize with your child – let them know you are aware of what they are going through and that you are there to help them through the process.  Nerves are normal, emphasize that different/change isn’t always bad.
o   Develop relationships with your child’s teachers – Teachers can be the best source of information about your child’s performance and needs.
o   Emphasize the importance of organization and help your child become organized. Stress the use of an assignment notebook/homework tracking app, visual organizer, to-do lists, color-coded folders (digital/physical), etc.
o   Encourage learning at home – promoting learning outside of the classroom helps children perform better in the classroom. (Ex: 10-15 minutes of reading a day)
o   Set education goals.  Setting goals help to set the routine of the new year.

New to the Community?
o   Encourage your student to join clubs/activities to get to know kids with similar interests. Twin Groves will be offering remote clubs during our activity period this fall!
o   Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Meeting members of the community will lend support to both you and your child. Parents may consider joining the PTO or other parent volunteer opportunities in District 96.

Problems with Organization and Time Management?
o   Offer continuous support, encouragement, and assistance.
o   As much as possible, maintain a structured, orderly, predictable routine for homework
o   Monitor your student’s assignments.  Your student could identify a Study Buddy for each class, so that they have someone to call after school hours if they have questions about an assignment.
o   Maintain a monthly wall calendar and discuss the week’s upcoming events Sunday night.  This helps to reduce any “surprises” the child didn’t know about.
o   Post checklists in your child’s room that outline steps needed to take for certain tasks and routines

Here are some additional resources from Child Mind Institute to support your family’s transition into the ‘20-’21 school year: 

Preparing for Back-to-School Success: How to set kids up to thrive, despite the uncertainties

Strategies for Supporting Learning at Home (grade-specific, developmentally appropriate suggestions)


Substitute Teacher Plan
In the event that any of your child's teachers are absent, we have initiated a teaching partner system. Because our teachers plan instruction collaboratively as content-alike and specials teams, the teaching partner system will provide students the opportunity to learn grade-level material with students in another teacher's classroom in your child's home building or possibly from a teacher at the other middle school. We believe this provides the best possible scenario for our students.  In the event that partner teachers are unavailable, back-up plans have been put into place.  Teachers will post their absence in Schoology and provide directions for students regarding accessing appropriate Zoom sessions for synchronous learning. This will be in place beginning on Monday, August 31, 2020.  


Curriculum Night
Twin Groves will be having a virtual Curriculum Night on September 10th.
More details to come!


Attendance is required as we return to school this August. This is different from remote learning in the spring. Please contact the school office if your student will be absent from class at any time throughout the school day. Parents will be required to provide a reason for the absence. If your student is ill, symptoms will need to be provided to the school office. If your child will be absent for any portion of the day for any reason, please contact the office to let us know. 



MAP Testing
District 96 will be administering the NWEA MAP test remotely in September. Please be on the lookout for more information in my next Principal’s Message.



A Video From Our New School Resource Officer
Buffalo Grove School Resource Officer Greeting for Students (video: 30 sec.)
Buffalo Grove School Resource Officer Essig introduces himself and shares encouraging words for students starting this new school year.



Clubs/Study Halls/Activities    
Twin Groves is so excited to start our clubs, activities, and study halls. As the students and staff are acclimating to remote learning, we will be pushing back the start date of our clubs, activities, and study halls to 9/8.
Clubs, activities, and study halls will be available on the Daily Announcements starting at the end of the next week.
Students will have access to the Daily Announcements in their lunch course in Schoology.



Congratulations to these Twin Students
Twin Groves Girls Earn National Finalist Recognition in Tech Challenge


Materials Pick Up
At this time, the two middle schools do not have materials for the students to pick up for their classes. Materials for PE and Exploratory classes have been ordered. When materials are ready for pick up for PE and Exploratory Classes, communication will be sent out in the Principal’s Message.



Family Expectations in the Remote Learning Environment
Please see the Family Expectations in the Remote Learning Environment from the district.



Remote Learning Schedule
Please CLICK HERE to access the remote learning schedules.



Health form requirements vary by grade level and for new/returning students. New to District 96 (all grade levels)? See MORE INFO regarding grade-level specific health form requirements.
All students entering Grade 6 must have their CERTIFICATE OF CHILD HEALTH EXAMINATION/IMMUNIZATION FORM (signed by the physician) on file in the school office by October 15, 2020. 
Additional Grade 6 health form requirements include the DENTAL EXAMINATION FORM by May 15, 2021. 
Please reach out to Cindy Borzych at [email protected] with any questions.



Daily Announcements
Please see Twin Groves website for up to date school announcements. The announcements let you know what exciting activities and clubs are going on at Twin Groves. Please click HERE to access the Daily Announcements.