Woodlawn Principal's Blog 11/13/20

Half way through November?  Thanksgiving is around the corner and we keep moving along with our learning.  I have been inspired this week as I spoke with teachers about the great things that students are doing and how they are connecting to other students, our teachers and the curriculum.  We need to continue working together in order to keep this success going.  


The PTO annual Book Fair is up and running virtually!  Woodlawn families have the opportunity to buy books that our students will enjoy-particularly during this home-centered time of living and remote learning.  The PTO’s Fall 2020 Virtual Book Fair continues to run through Nov 22nd.  The Scholastic Store Online has over 6000 items from which to choose from and orders will ship directly to your home.  Your purchases benefit our Woodlawn school community.  Check out the PTO blog and Social Media pages for more information.  To start shopping, please copy and paste the following link:  https://www.scholastic.com/bf/woodlawnmiddleschool1

Visit the PTO Monthly BLOG!

8th Grade- SHS Presents Disney’s  Newsies

On November 23rd, the 8th grade students will be viewing Stevenson High School’s production of Disney’s Newsies. The students will log on to their first period class zoom and watch the production. 

8th grade students will have a regular afternoon and report to lunch, Flex, and 7th and 8th period as usual.

Recognizing Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) Festival Qualifiers

As do many activities this pandemic year, ILMEA festival auditions for our middle school band and orchestra musicians looked different than in previous years.

We're so proud of our students for their dedicated practice to prepare and audition for ILMEA by video.

Congratulations to our 2020 ILMEA festival qualifiers. Rather than presenting a festival program, this year they will have the opportunity to participate in a virtual masterclass.

Thank you for participating in Woodlawn's Red Ribbon Week spirit events during the week of October 26th designed to raise awareness of the dangers of drug use.

The National Red Ribbon Week Campaign is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation. You may download and print the Drug Free Pledge, and discuss it with your child. You can also reference the other learning resources from the Red Ribbon Week website for additional information about the history of Red Ribbon Week and how to talk to your child about staying Drug Free!

Red Ribbon Week Winners Announced:

Thanks to everyone who participated in the week's events and submitted contest entries! 

Virtual Bookmark: Louis Epps - 6th Grade

Public Service Announcement: Shaur Sachdeva - 8th Grade

Original Project: Sofia Arriola - 6th Grade

Kahoot Quiz: Armeet Gill - 7th Grade

Spanish Placement Testing 

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: 

D96 will collect valuable data that will inform our instruction to continue to enhance our Spanish curriculum and instruction. 

Stevenson High School will use this proficiency data to make initial recommendations for Spanish coursework when your student is in high school. 

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. 

New to D96 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


If your child is in need of a keyboard, please feel free to pick one up at the Woodlawn office. The office will be open from 7:30a.m. to 2:30p.m. Monday, November 16th through Friday, November 20th.

To ensure someone is in the office, please call the office at 847-353-8500 prior to coming.

Click here for the Woodlawn Daily Announcements! 

Finally, It was just a matter of time.  I received a big time speaking engagement offer that I simply couldn’t refuse.  This Sunday, at 2p.m. I will be delivering a zoom speech to Barrington Brownie Troop #47 (not sure if that is their number) on the topic of being a person of authority.  Sure it took some time, but now you will all be able to say, “I knew him when he was just a principal.”  Receiving this prestigious honor brings me back to my childhood as a Cub Scout.  I wasn’t big on nature, citizenship or general responsibility, and it showed.  I remember giving my dad a block of wood for the Pinewood Derby two days before the event.  In true Grana male fashion, he outsourced the responsibility.  My father handed it over to my brother, the artist.  Before I knew it, I had the coolest looking car at the event.  It didn’t work well but it looked just like the Batmobile.  Now that I am recognized as a public speaker, my rates will probably increase for your corporate gatherings.  I promise not to change, I’ll still be the same old guy you all know.