Woodlawn Principal's Blog 11/22/19

This will be the last blog for November because of conferences and Thanksgiving.  We had a good week at Woodlawn. I am seeing outstanding leadership from our students and great work being done by our teachers and instructional aides.  If I were to be completely honest, I am very thankful for this school, this community, our teachers, students and staff. 

 Conferences Next Week

We are looking forward to seeing you at conferences next week, sharing your child’s successes and partnering with you for continued growth.  

While you’re in please stop by our cafeteria for parent learning opportunities provided by our Woodlawn Instructional Coaching Team and Related Services. Please stop by our Technology Lab for 3D printing and virtual reality. Our social worker and school psychologist will be doing a Social Emotional Learning presentation in the Learning Center.  

 Signs Of Suicide Parent Letter 

Dear Parents/Guardians:

At Woodlawn, we believe it is important to focus on the whole student paying close attention to the emotions that are often associated with 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 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 www.elyssasmission.org.

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 depression screening tool that we are using addresses thoughts and feelings, which a parent may be unaware that their child is having. This tool does not provide a diagnosis of depression, but does give an indication of whether a young person should be referred for evaluation by a mental health professional.

In addition, if your son or daughter completes the questionnaire 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 written screening test, please contact Tammy Franks, Social Worker at (847) 353-8500. 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.


Greg Grana             Tammy Franks                Andrea Penepacker 

Principal                 Social Worker                  Health Teacher 

Student Report Card Access Today

Your student’s report card will be available for you to access online today 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. 


Acceso a las Boletas de Calificaciones de los Estudiantes Hoy después de las 3 PM

La boleta de calificaciones de su estudiante estará disponible en línea hoy DESPUÉS DE LAS 3 PM. Si necesita ayuda, por favor VER LAS INSTRUCCIONES PARA VER LA BOLETA DE CALIFICACIONES DE SU ESTUDIANTE, intercambiar entre boletas de calificaciones de sus hijos, y más. 

2020–2021 Calendar Change Notification

District 96 has made revisions to the published Quick List calendar for the upcoming 2020–2021 school year. 

The revisions made accommodate the alignment of the District 96 Spring Break 2021 with the recently published Stevenson students’ Spring Break 2021. 

Please see the Revised 2020–2021 Quick List School Year Calendar.  

Questions? Please contact the public information coordinator.


Notificación del Cambio en el Calendario 2020–2021

El Distrito 96 ha hecho cambios al calendario que se publicó en Quick List del próximo año escolar 2020–2021. 

Los cambios realizados se acomodan a las Vacaciones de Primavera 2021 del Distrito 96 con la reciente publicación de las Vacaciones de Primavera 2021 de los estudiantes de Stevenson. 

Por favor ver El Calendario Escolar Revisado de Quick List de 2020-2021

¿Alguna pregunta? Por favor contactar a la coordinadora de información pública.


This year, you will see social emotional learning targets on our student's report card. Please watch the attached video to learn more about social emotional instruction and reporting. There will also be parent sessions at family educator conferences next week if you are interested in learning more about social emotional learning. 

Social Emotional Learning Video

Visit the PTO Monthly Blog 

The 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. Their work defines four strands of mathematical proficiency to highlight attributes of a proficient mathematical thinker. Their criteria will serve to create a portrait of each student for use in recommending a Stevenson placement that matches a student's content knowledge as well as level of mathematics proficiency at this time. READ MORE regarding the Patriot Consortium Mathematics Placement Process

Stevenson invites students in Pre-K through Grade 8 to submit poster designs for Consortium Orchestra, Band, and Choir posters. Entries are due by Fri., Nov. 29.


Spanish AAPPL Assessment

Dear Families - 

In the month of 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.  

Your child’s Spanish Teacher will share the specific assessment schedule.  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 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. You can find the specific course sequence in this course book.  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.  

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 sign up for the corresponding language benchmark exam.

The dates these are held are:  

  • Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020

  • Saturday, April 25, 2020

  • Friday, July 10, 2020

  • Friday, July 24, 2020

You can register for testing through the World Languages Division by contacting Sylvia Lima at [email protected].  Use this link to access the information you may need.

Finally, Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday.  We gather with family, tell stories, enjoy our family traditions, watch football and eat.  My wife is the oldest girl of 9 children. It is a big show and we have officially acquired hosting the big day after much consternation.  With people coming into town from all over, both sides of our families, we also get to host everyone on the night before. When a huge crowd like this gathers, it never fails that I get the toughest job of the weekend...ordering pizza for 30 people.  This is an impossible job, especially when you start asking the big question, “What do you like on your pizza?” The answers range from:

  • Anything

  • I don’t care

  • Cheese

  • Veggie but no ________ (fill in the blank) It is different for each veggie person

  • Meat - but no  ________ (fill in the blank) It is different for each meat person

  • Sausage, green pepper, onion 

  • Ultimately, it is about 20 different combinations 

So, I handle this the way any Italian would, I order WAY more pizza than I need, ensuring that everyone has something they like.  I love family and I would not have it any other way. I hope you all get to enjoy your families in the upcoming weeks.