Principal's Message November 20, 2020

TGIF…Twin Groves it’s Friday!

Please note that there is no school from Wednesday, November 25th through Friday, November 27th.
There will be no Principal’s Message on Friday, November 27th.
The next Principal’s Message will be sent out on Friday, December 4th.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday! Stay safe and be well!



In an effort to spread positivity, Twin Groves uses our 5 Traits to recognize exemplars of the following qualities: Responsible, Accountable, Respectful, Safe, and a Community. In addition to the 5 Traits, we are also recognizing students for being leaders, role models, supportive peers, brave, and positive.

As part of this focus, the Twin Groves Staff would like to recognize the following students who consistently demonstrate these qualities. 

Joelle Chong
Lauren Karp 
Kavin Patel
Sydney Shifrin
Dan Toperman



Trimester 2 - Exploratory Classes
Trimester 2 begins on Monday, November 23rd.
Students who were in Art for Trimester 1 will now start attending Music.
Students who were in Music for Trimester 1 will now start attending TASOL.
Students who were in TASOL for Trimester 1 will now start attending Art.


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

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and many families use this holiday to take time to think about what they are thankful for.  Though this is a holiday tradition for families, it does not have to be limited to the holidays as research has indicated it can be beneficial to a person’s happiness.

The most recent research on happiness indicates that the biggest impact can be gained in a practice that takes less than 3 minutes a day. Taking time to reflect on 3 good things from your day, or that you feel grateful for each day, has a stronger influence on overall life satisfaction and happiness than literally any other intervention designed to boost happiness. Many people use a quick bullet journal to list their “3 good things” each day. To take this happiness-boost potential to the next level, research suggests we stretch out the savoring experience by sharing our “ 3 good things” with someone else.
Work this quick 3-minute question into your daily conversations and get ready to see the benefits over time - in both your teens’ and your own sense of happiness. In the car, at the dinner table, or right before bed, share out your own “3 good things” and then ask your teen:
“Hey - what were three things that were really good about your day?”
“What were you really grateful for today?”

Here are some additional timely resources from the Child Mind Institute:
10 tips for raising grateful kids: HERE
Tips for reducing stress, helping kids cope, and making new traditions during the pandemic holiday season: HERE


Access report cards online on December 3
Your student’s report card will be available for you to access online on December 3rd AFTER 3 PM. If you need assistance, please CLICK HERE for instructions to view your student’s report card, to switch between your children’s report cards, and more.



Winter MAP Testing
Twin Groves will be Winter MAP testing on December 3rd and December 4th. 



Free meals for pick-up for all D96 students
D96 is pleased to offer free meals for pick-up for ALL students (age 18 and younger), thanks to the Summer Food Service Program from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
All District 96 families were sent an email on Monday, November, 16 (Subject Line: Fr Sch Dist 96: Free Meal Pre ordering and Pickup) with information about pre ordering free breakfast and lunch meals for their students.

Parents/guardians of all District 96 families may preorder and pick up meals at Twin Groves or Woodlawn Middle Schools for their children through age 18 on designated weekdays from 11 AM–2 PM.

The first step is for families to create an account online and add each child receiving meals to the account. Please see this webpage for details and brief instructional videos of the account set-up and pre ordering process. Link:

Please direct questions to the public information coordinator [email protected]



Signs of Suicide Program in Health
Dear Parents/Guardians:

At Twin Groves, we believe it is important to focus on the whole student, paying close attention to the emotions that are often associated with the teen years.  These years are marked by a roller coaster of emotions which may be difficult for teens.  It is easy to misread depression as normal adolescent turmoil; however, depression appears to be occurring at a much earlier age, and the past decade has seen teen suicide rates double. We have implemented a variety of programs on mental health education and suicide prevention for students, faculty and staff.  

Next week we will begin implementing the Signs of Suicide (SOS) Prevention Program to the current 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Health groups.  This is the only school-based suicide prevention program selected by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for its National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices that addresses suicide risk and depression, while reducing suicide attempts.  The SOS program is presented to us through Elyssa’s Mission, a nonprofit organization dedicated to suicide prevention.  Elyssa’s Mission is the only organization in the state of Illinois to fund, distribute and implement SOS.  To get more information on suicide prevention, visit their website at

Our goals in participating in this program are straightforward:
To help our students understand that depression is a treatable illness, and help them assess whether or not they may have symptoms consistent with depression
To impress upon teens that they can help themselves or a friend by taking the simple step of talking to a responsible adult about their concerns
To explain that suicide is a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated depression

The survey that we are using asks students to identify an adult that a student would turn to if they wanted to talk.   
In addition, if your son or daughter completes the survey and there is concern, please know that Counselors and Social Workers will be available to meet with students and then follow up with a phone call to you regarding a next step, if necessary.

If you do not wish your son or daughter to participate in the Signs of Suicide program, please contact Jessica Barnes, Principal at [email protected]  If we do not hear from you, we will assume your child has permission to participate in this program.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.   


Jessica Barnes            Mary McDevitt         Danielle Baker        Ben Leven
Principal                      Social Worker           Social Worker        Health Teacher




Materials Pick Up (Information was sent out on 11/18 at 5PM)
If you were unable to pick up your materials today, Friday, November 20th, the required materials will be available for pick up at Twin Groves from 7:30AM to 2:30PM on Monday, November 23rd and Tuesday, November 24th.

Science Materials
6th Grade - Science Kit for Trimester 2
7th Grade - Science Kit for Trimester 2
8th Grade - Science Kit for Trimester 2

TASOL Materials - 6th Grade ONLY 
6th Grade ONLY - TASOL kit for students who will have TASOL during Trimester 2 or Trimester 3

Pick Up Details and Information:
Students do not need to be present during pick up.
Parents or guardians may send a friend or family member to pick up the materials.
There will be tables set up outside the main entrance. This is the same entrance as the main office at Twin Groves.
All tables will be clearly marked - 6th Grade Science, 7th Grade Science, 8th Grade Science, and 6th Grade TASOL.
Please wear a mask when picking up materials. 
There is no need to enter the building for anything.
Please find the appropriate grade level table and take one science kit.

If you have a 6th grade child who will have TASOL for Trimester 2 or Trimester 3, please take a TASOL kit from the TASOL table. Please check the list on the table to confirm that your child is in need of a TASOL kit.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call the office at Twin Groves. 847-821-8946



Current Patriot Consortium Mathematics Placement Process

Over the last few years, Stevenson High School and the feeder middle schools have created a scope and sequence and aligned the curriculum to the Common Core Standards for Mathematics, as well as created common benchmarks for the end of each unit for both the Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 courses. The consortium has created criteria that defines the four strands of mathematical proficiency to highlight the attributes of a proficient mathematical thinker. The criteria are grouped into three categories (See chart on second page):

-Procedural Skills & Fluency (How well you can correctly use mathematics.)
-Conceptual Understanding (How well you utilize mathematical ideas, transfer your knowledge into new situations, and apply it to new contexts.)
-Problem Solving with Adaptive Reasoning and Strategic Competence (How well you can apply strategies and sound reasoning.)

Over the course of the year, the mathematics teachers will be discussing these criteria with the students in class to create a portrait of each student. This portrait will be used to recommend the students into the mathematics course at Stevenson High School that matches their content knowledge as well as level of mathematics proficiency at this time.

As a district and consortium, it is our vision that each student move on to the next course in the sequence providing that there are no significant gaps in content knowledge. If there are significant gaps in content knowledge and a change in recommendation occurs, we will contact you. We feel that this process allows a mathematical picture of the student to develop over time, which will provide a more informed recommendation.

Procedural Skills & Fluency
How well you can correctly use mathematics.
(skill in carrying out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently, and appropriately)

I can identify and use the most efficient method for the problem. (MP7)
I can use mathematical computations, terms, symbols, formulas, and language appropriately. (MP5, 6)
I can recognize the algebraic structure in problems and use rules or procedures to solve or simplify. (MP7)
I can solve problems with accuracy. (MP6)

Conceptual Understanding
How well you utilize mathematical ideas, transfer your knowledge into new situations, and apply it to new contexts.

(comprehension of mathematical concepts, operations, and relations)

I can use diagrams, pictures, and symbols to justify my work. (MP4)
I can understand and justify the “why” of the procedure. (MP3)
I can justify solutions algebraically, graphically, and numerically. (MP3)
I can explain my solution with sound mathematical reasoning using precise mathematics vocabulary and terminology. (MP3, 8)
I can determine the reasonableness of my answer.  (MP2)

Problem Solving with  Adaptive Reasoning and Strategic Competence
How well you can apply strategies and sound reasoning.

(capacity for logical thought, reflection, explanation, and justification and ability to formulate, represent, and solve mathematical problems)

I can select and use all the pertinent information to solve the problem. (MP2)
I can determine a solving strategy by forming logical relationships among concepts and situations. (MP7, 8)
I can represent a situation mathematically using modeling. (MP4)
I can retain and apply information and skills from previous units to solve problems alongside new concepts. (MP7,8)
I can make connections between multiple mathematical concepts to solve problems in unfamiliar situations. (MP7,8)
I can persevere when encountering new and difficult concepts.(MP1)



Parent Opportunity
Has your family recently moved to the United States or are you and your student(s) new to this area?
On Thursday, December 3rd at 10:30 am parents that are new to our area and have students at Twin Groves and Woodlawn Middle Schools are invited to a casual conversation.
This is an opportunity for parents to meet some D96 staff, ask questions, share their thoughts, and also to meet parents that may have had similar experiences or have been in the district for a long time.
This is an informal opportunity for parents who–like their students–are experiencing our social customs and practices of teaching and learning for the first time.
Twin Groves and Woodlawn Newcomer Conversation
Lubna A is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 860 5980 6634
Passcode: 298685




8th Grade Spanish Placement Process
Dear Families - 
At the end of November and into December, 8th grade students will participate in the AAPPL (The ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages) assessment to assess their communicative competency with the Spanish language.  The purpose of this assessment is three-fold: 
1- D96 will collect valuable data that will inform our instruction to continue to enhance our Spanish curriculum and instruction. 
2- Stevenson High School will use this proficiency data to make initial recommendations for Spanish coursework when your student is in high school. 
3- Students will have the opportunity to have experience with an assessment that can lead them to earning the Seal of Biliteracy on their High School diploma when they are in high school.  
Tell me more about the assessment
Students will be offered time in class to complete this exam. The specific schedule for your student will be communicated by the classroom teacher.  The exam is not timed, though we estimate it will take approximately one hour outside of class time in total to complete.  If your student chooses to use more time, they can complete the assessment outside of the time given in class as long as the assessment is finished on or before December 14th. We will monitor the collected data as it compares to classwork/assessments to ensure the fidelity of the results and to confirm that students are not using outside supports.  
Key Dates:  
November 16th-17th - Your child’s Spanish teacher will offer a demo for the listening and reading portions of the assessment.
November 18th through the 30th - The AAPPL portion of the assessment for the listening and reading and in-class interpersonal speaking assessment will be hosted in class.
December 1st-8th - The writing portion will be practiced in class 
December 9th-10th - The writing portion of the assessment will take place in class.  
December 14th - The total assessment will be completed by the end of the day.
The tasks included in this assessment are similar to tasks we use during our regular instruction and assessment cycle in Spanish classes.  The students are asked to engage in interpretive listening and reading tasks.  This includes listening or reading authentic Spanish pieces and answering questions, in English, about those pieces based on language the students already know or context given.  Additionally, the students will respond to a writing prompt in Spanish utilizing learned language skills.  The final piece of the assessment is an interpersonal speaking opportunity in which your child will perform for the classroom teacher and will be scored based on a rubric co-constructed with all Spanish teachers across the consortium (D96, D102, D103, and D125) for consistency of expectations.  
How will this information be used to make course recommendations?   
Your student’s level of proficiency (interpretive listening and reading as well as writing) as indicated by this assessment combined with an analysis of their interpersonal speaking skills and teacher input will be used to make an initial course recommendation that is optimal for your student.  You will receive this information in the mail late January/early February prior to needing to select courses at Stevenson. In general, recommendations will be made for the following courses based on this assessment:  
Spanish 2
Spanish 2-3 Accelerated
Spanish 3-4 Accelerated
As this is a recommendation, your family will have the opportunity to provide input as you make the final selection for a course should your child choose to continue studying the Spanish language.  
For more information about courses, use this link and click on the Courses Tab. 
What is the Seal of Biliteracy?
The Seal of Biliteracy is intended to recognize students for multilingual skills and is indicated on a student’s high school diploma.  Additionally, Illinois universities are obligated to offer college credit to students that have earned the Seal of Biliteracy through meeting the requirements.
For more information about this opportunity, use this link and click on the Seal of Biliteracy Tab.  
What if my child would like to participate in a benchmark or placement assessment for a language other than Spanish?  
Students who have prior coursework or experience in Chinese, French, German, Hebrew or Latin, and are interested in potential placement in one of these language programs beyond the introductory level, may also participate in the corresponding language benchmark exam.  For the January 2021 benchmark date, we anticipate that assessments will be completed remotely through at-home proctoring. More information will be made available via Stevenson High School.



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.