Woodlawn Principal's Blog 4/3/20

Welcome to the first Friday in April Woodlawn!  The first full week of remote learning in our history is in the books!  We are learning and improving as we experience this type of environment, so as I have continued to say to students, teachers and parents, just do your best!  One of the highlights for me has been checking in with students and staff in live conferencing sessions. So much fun to see! I have a few more items for the blog this week.  

Schoology Interruptions

Do you best with Schoology right now.  They service 20 million students across the country and at peak times, it has slowed them down significantly.  Again, be patient and do your best!   


 Remote Learning Plan for the Middle School

Beginning with instruction for Monday, April 6th, we are moving to DAILY lesson delivery of material.

All communication from Middle School teachers will be coming from Schoology to the students.

Middle School teachers will share Schoology folders with students no later than 5 pm (ideally between 2-5 pm) the night before the instruction is to take place.

Learning plans will include:

-The learning target

-What items need to be submitted

-Clear directions for the daily lesson

Staff will be providing feedback on work by the end of each week.

Staff will be required to hold 1 synchronous (live) communication with students per course each week. These will be through Zoom. 

Students have directions to access Zoom in their Schoology lunch course.

Please click HERE for a Zoom Etiquette slideshow. This was shared with students this morning.

Breakfasts/Lunches Provided for Pick-Up Weekdays, 11 AM–1 PM

Families may pick up breakfast/lunch for their student(s) at the Exceptional Learners Collaborative (ELC) weekdays from 11 a.m.– 1 p.m. Meals are provided by Organic Life and Sodexo. This opportunity for meals at no cost is open to families served by D96, D102, D103, and Stevenson. There are no qualifying criteria to meet.

The ELC is located at 990 Corporate Woods Pkwy, Vernon Hills. To pick up meals, drive up behind the building and remain in your car.  Staff will deliver the meals to your vehicle.

Please direct questions to [email protected]


Ofrecemos Desayuno/Almuerzo Para Recoger entre Semana de 11 AM a 1 PM

Las familias pueden recoger los desayunos/almuerzos para su(s) estudiante(s) en el Exceptional Learners Collaborative (ELC) entre semana, de 11 a.m. a 1 p.m. Los alimentos son ofrecidos por Organic Life y Sodexo. Estos alimentos son sin costo alguno para cualquier familia de los distritos 96, 102, 103 y Stevenson. No hay ningún requisito para calificar.

El ELC está ubicado en 990 Corporate Woods Pkwy, Vernon Hills. Para recoger los alimentos, maneje hacia la parte trasera del edificio y manténgase en su carro. El personal se encargará de entregarle sus alimentos.

Para cualquier pregunta contacte a [email protected]

Band announcement  - This is fun

"Calling all music lovers! We are inviting you to participate in our District 96 Community Porch Concert! At 2pm on Tuesday, April 7th go to your front porch, front door, or nearest window and start performing! Go ahead and be loud! We want to hear you! Our performance piece will be Lean On Me by Bill Withers as a reminder that as a District 96 family, we are always here to support each other in a time of need. Play a band or orchestra instrument and need music to play along, or not familiar with the lyrics? Follow this link to our Community Porch Concert flyer with links to recordings, lyrics, and music! Feel free to share any picture or video you take with your music teacher, we miss seeing you perform!" 

Library Materials Access and Card Request Info

Books, audiobooks, movies, music, TV shows, magazines, newspapers and other online resources for all ages are available for free from your local public library, even though the building is closed. If your family does not have a library card right now, you can apply for one online by using the link for the library near you:

Vernon Area Library: https://vapld.info/card

Ela Area Library: https://www.eapl.org/temporary-library-card

Indian Trails Library: https://www.indiantrailslibrary.org/register-online-for-your-library-card/

Cook Memorial Library: https://www.cooklib.org/elibrary/

School Work - Do your best means DO YOUR BEST!

Parents, remember to encourage your student and have them show you their progress.  Do not accept that they are not required to do the work, there is way too much time where they can succeed in April!  I have the teachers communicating with me about students who are not turning in work and will be in contact with them.  Just saying, do your best!  

Just Some Thoughts

Parents here are some things that I have come across that are good advice:

You don’t have to homeschool your child.  I see how working parents are balancing this challenging time.  Have your child communicate with your teacher and we will do the same on our end.  

We are figuring this out.  If you need additional support, especially from an emotional point of view, we will be there for your child.  

The amount of online resources can be overwhelming.  

Some kids will struggle with online learning.  Talk this through with your child, the school and our professionals.  We will guide you in the right direction on who to talk with. Myself and Mrs. Garlick are two of those people.  

Now is the time to figure out what students like to do when they are not overbooked.  Work on passion projects like cooking, sewing, painting, building, playing an instrument, etc.  Get them hooked on a hobby and time will be there for you!  

Designate an area where they can do their work without the distraction of a TV or cell phone.  

Learning can happen in 2-4 hours in this type of environment.  Breaks are a good thing for everyone involved.  

I felt that this was important to read again.  So please take another look.  

Please see the SUPERINTENDENT'S MESSAGE from April 4, 2020

Dear District 96 Community,

We hope that you are well and developing ways to adjust to our new “normal.” Yesterday was the first day of full implementation of remote learning for our students. It warmed my heart to see examples of and hear about the connections our teachers and students were making. 

Each school and each district has had to navigate remote learning a bit differently. We were fortunate not to have to redesign our remote learning plan, while others had to make adjustments based on newly issued guidelines from the Illinois State Board of Education. Each district’s calendar is a bit different, which led to differences in initial implementation. As an Area 125 Consortium, we continue to communicate and collaborate daily. While we know that learning is a priority–connecting and maintaining relationships is just as important during this challenging time.  

Yesterday, Governor Pritzker announced the interruption of “in-person” learning would continue at least through Apr. 30th. While we are preparing for the possibility of a return to school on May 4th, we are also planning for the realistic possibility that we will have to finish the year teaching and learning remotely. Thus, we have been preparing for transition from a short-term plan to a long-term plan. As you can imagine, our teachers, coaches, and administrators have been working tirelessly to ensure that the plan is high quality, while at the same time making all of the necessary adjustments in their own personal lives.  

Please note the following, effective Monday, April 6th:

Learning plans will be pushed out DAILY (not in multiple-day “chunks”) and will be shared by 5:00 p.m. the evening before.

Learning plans will make clear what work should be turned in each day.

Feedback will be provided on work by the end of each week.

Face-to-face classroom meetings or sessions (Zoom, Seesaw, etc.) will be scheduled by individual teachers and communicated.

The state has allotted 5 “remote planning days” for teachers to plan upcoming learning for the duration of closures.

During “remote planning days,” teachers will not be available in real time; however, learning activities will be pushed out for these days by our instructional coaching teams. Dates for "remote planning days" for teachers are as follows:
  – Monday, April 13th
  – Friday, April 24th

Teachers will continue to prioritize making connections with kids and families and maintaining these critical relationships.

Please note that with the entire country moving to remote learning at the same time, there may be periodic disruptions of online platforms like Schoology. We have no control over these disruptions, but we will continue to communicate with these hosts and make any information available to you.

8th-Grade Graduation

Unfortunately, with the Governor’s announcement regarding the extended school closure dates and his statement regarding not knowing when it will be safe to congregate, our 8th-grade graduation ceremonies scheduled to take place at Stevenson High School on Tuesday, May 26th, must be postponed at this time out of an abundance of safety and concern for the well-being of our graduates and their families and guests. Stevenson High School announced the same today.

We understand that school is about more than just learning academic content. It also is about social connections and a sense of belonging. We recognize this is a disappointment for our students, families, and staff, as graduation is an important milestone in all our lives. I have my own 8th-grade daughter who is processing what all of this means for her, as well. As a mom, I am supporting her to the best of my ability by reinforcing that these measures are critical for the health and safety of all. Each of our schools will work to celebrate its graduates either on a different date or via other means, as circumstances allow. These circumstances will include not only facility availability, but up-to-date guidance regarding social distancing and large gatherings.

Lastly, if you or someone you know would benefit from receiving food from our daily distribution center, please know there are NO criteria for access to this service. This service is available Monday–Friday from 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. at the Exceptional Learners Collaborative (ELC) located at 990 Corporate Woods Parkway, Vernon Hills, Il. Drive-through pick-up is behind the building. Please email [email protected] for assistance.

Thank you for understanding that this is an unprecedented time for all of us. We all look forward to a time when we can celebrate together once again.

All the best,

Julie Schmidt, District 96 Superintendent of Schools

Graduation (Extension from the Superintendent Message) 

From a Mr. G- point of view, we have to see how this plays out.  Myself and the district will explore our options and see when we can recognize our amazing 8th graders.  Yes, they are amazing. This class has been through a lot. Graduation is my favorite moment for our students.  We have packed as many as 1,500 people in the gym at Stevenson, the band or orchestra plays and parents get to have a moment to just enjoy the accomplishment of their child.  To me, it is a great community celebration. Give me a little time on this one. We will figure something out. 

8th Grade Bowling Party and Great America

These events are also postponed at this time.  Please do not send money in for these events.  

Finally, having been on call for much of the past few weeks, I appreciate the overwhelming support of the community.  Like Woodlawn and D96 does with everything else, we examine what will be best and we implement our plan. I am so proud of our teachers and how they continue to ask if this is OK or that is OK to do with students.  Throughout the process, I have found that it is critical to have some time on your own to process your thoughts. For two hours a night, I stop looking at email and turn off the TV. After 20 minutes I start to get twitchy because that is the person I am. The good news is that I have reconnected with a dream.  As a golfer, I am now shooting par. The World Golf Tour (WGT) is allowing me to be the cyber golfer that I will never be in real life. For anyone looking for an escape, but especially if you like to golf, this is the escape for you. I am doing really well on the most difficult courses in the world! And then my 2 hours ends and it is back to reality.  If someone you know loves golf, it doesn’t take long to become an expert. Just don’t tell my wife I spent $6 on upgraded virtual golf balls. She would freak!