Woodlawn Principal's Blog 11/20/20

It is the last Friday before Thanksgiving!  Please note that there will not be a Principal’s Blog next Friday, November 27th.  I feel your sadness.  However you are going to celebrate this year, please know how thankful I am for this amazing school.  Between the community, students and staff, Woodlawn is a place that we can all be proud of and appreciate one another.  I am not saying that we are perfect, but we strive for respect at all times.  I thank you all for your continued support.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  


No School on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday next week. 

Visit the PTO Monthly Blog 



The Virtual Book Fair ends this Sunday - Nov 22nd!!!!!  Last chance to purchase books - books make great holiday gifts.  Your order ships directly to your home.  Book orders over $25 ship for free!!!  To start shopping, please copy and paste the following link:   https://www.scholastic.com/bf/woodlawnmiddleschool1

Time to Switch Exploratory Classes

Trimester 2 begins for Exploratory classes 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.

Our students have been told this and should know which class to be in on Monday.  


If your student needs to miss school for any reason, please call or email Susan Kazuk <[email protected]> .  Thank you.

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.

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 Mon., Nov. 16 (Subject Line: Fr Sch Dist 96: Free Meal Preordering and Pickup) with information about pre ordering free breakfast and lunch meals for their students.

Parents/guardians of all District 96 families may pre order 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. 

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

Signs of Suicide Program in Health

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 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 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 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 myself, Greg Grana 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.   


Greg Grana    Tammy Franks-Cornwell          Kylie Gember               Dr. Andrea Penepacker

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 Woodlawn 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 

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 Woodlawn.
  • 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, 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 Woodlawn 847-814-6172.

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.

Woodlawn & Twin Groves Newcomer Conversation

Lubna A is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 860 5980 6634

Passcode: 298685

8th Grade MATH

Parents of 8th grade students, please note these important links to the math programs at Stevenson High School.  

Math - English version

Math - Spanish version

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: 

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.

Click here to see the Woodlawn Daily Announcements

Finally, life is funny because you are sometimes thrust into relationships with people based upon circumstance.  In May of 1993, I scored an interview at Willow Grove Elementary School.  Little did I know that the first person that I met in District 96, Pam Kupsco, would become one of my most valued friends.  When I walked into Willow Grove, (and in 1993, you could literally walk into the school) I introduced myself to this kind lady behind a desk and told her that I was here for an interview.  She smiled and asked me to have a seat.  We then proceeded to have a 10 minute conversation while I waited for my interview.  I honestly felt that the interview started at that point.  After being hired, (thank you Dr. Jakicic) Pam and I had daily conversations throughout the course of that year.  At the end of that year, I went over to Ivy Hall school for the next 5 years but remained in touch with my friend Pam.  When the district added Woodlawn and Country Meadows, Dr. J, Pam and I all wound up together again.  Two year later, after being named Assistant Principal at Woodlawn, we were working in the same office together.  Three years after that, I was named principal of Woodlawn and I had no fear about coming here as the boss because I knew that the brains, heart and soul of this building would be sitting right next to my office.  For years we have heard about each other's families, the personalities, the successes and even the hardships.  Throughout it all, Pam remains my constant.  Pam’s husband Larry and I share the same interests, including golf, a fun card game and a lack of time management.  Her wonderful daughter Kristy, husband Paul and especially granddaughter Taylor is Pam's joy.  Pam’s average daughter Lindsey, who I had to fire for insubordination during her tenure here at Woodlawn was an aide in our Learning Center. Just kidding, Lindsey is a talented writer who has the sharpest wit of anyone I know. Lindsey married last summer.  I love hearing all the stories of how close they are as a family and the extended Kupsco family.   For many years I have referred to Pam as the franchise, (a sporting term that signifies the best player) and that continues to be true. 

Today, I wish my friend and the absolute heart of Woodlawn, Happy Birthday.  Thanks for being the best at what you do and for always looking out for the students at Woodlawn.