Woodlawn Principal's Blog 10/1/21

Welcome to October!  We are moving along in the school year and coming up on Parent/Teacher conferences next week.  This week, we went back to work and focused on our studies.  I had a “Mr. G- Chat” with the PE classes on Wednesday when word came my way that there was a new Tik Tok challenge coming out for each month of the school year.  It was encouraging to me that the students were shocked by what I shared with them.  You can see below what the upcoming challenges will look like.  Normally, I would dismiss this stuff as nonsense, but even I was surprised at the traction the last challenge received.   

Upcoming Social Media Challenges

It has been brought to our attention that there are possible Tik Tok Challenges on the horizon for each month. 

The challenge for October involves “slapping a teacher.” The acts involved in these monthly challenges would be considered physical/sexual assault and criminal destruction of property. Any students engaging in these challenges will receive disciplinary consequences and face potential police charges. 

Because of the vandalism and theft that happened in September, we have to take this threat seriously.  Anyone who engages in a physical act of aggression, aids, or records a physical act of aggression will be held equally responsible.  

Please take this time to talk to your child about the negative implications of these challenges.

We recommend that you check out the links below.

LINK for  more information.

LINK for more information.

 PE - The Mile

I hear there is a wave of chatter on Facebook about our students  running the mile recently.  Here is where I stand on this one.  Our students need physical activity and physical challenges now more than ever.  I cannot tell you how many students need to be challenged in order to stretch themselves and prove to themselves what they are capable of doing.  Just like the numbers show they are behind in the classroom, the vast majority of our students are behind in their physical conditioning.  Across the board, when we ask our students to run the mile, they improve greatly from week to week and they tell me how much they improved from week to week.  Yes, it is a challenge but guess what?  They can do it.  For those students who are anxious I understand.  Growing up, my youngest son threw up before he went to school regularly.  To this day he still cycles and talks about what assignments he has as a senior in college.  He needed and still needs his exercise.  Our PE teachers run a program where students cheer and encourage each other.  In fact, I would put my Wellness Team up against any PE department, anywhere.  They talk to students who are struggling, accommodate and work with them in order to give them options on how they want to finish this task.  I asked the PE teachers for a brief purpose and here are their responses.  

  • PE talked to the students before the first run about the mental and physical purpose of running: building confidence, supporting one another, focusing on their personal best and growth, and managing the anxiety that the mile run may cause.
  • We want the focus to be on health and personal best with the goal of getting to the healthy zone for their age and gender
  • We use FITNESSGRAM, which was developed by the Cooper Institute, to assess students.  The goal is to help students reach their healthy fitness zone for their age and gender.
  • As a parent, you might remember Presidential Fitness, which had the goal of identifying top athletes, but we now focus on individual health instead.
  • Set a goal and get better, trying to improve week to week, learning to become physically and mentally resilient
  • Students are not graded on their time. We are looking for their best effort.
  • You grow in the uncomfortable times and come out mentally and physically stronger
  • Talked to students about supporting each other
  • Started in 2008-2009 and have seen growth over time and sense of accomplishment
  • Want to build perseverance and sense of accomplishment as they realize that they can improve their time

Thank you for letting me share my point of view.  I have no idea who is on Facebook because I do not ask.  

Fall Conferences

The Family/Educator conference dates are Thursday, October 7th from 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM and Friday, October 8th from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM.

We are using Meet the Teacher as an electronic sign up for conferences. A School Messenger email was sent to families on Monday, September 20th with a link to sign up for conferences. The conference sign up will close at 11:55 PM on Monday, October 4th. After that you must contact the building administrative assistant to schedule a conference or make a change.

Conferences will be held over Zoom unless parents request an in-person conference using the instructions below. Principals will share a document containing all the staff Zoom links with parents on Wednesday, October 6th at 2PM. 



After selecting the teachers you want to conference with and choosing a time for the conference(s), Meet the Teacher will prompt you to save the appointment and ask if you want to add a message for the teacher. If you want to have an in-person conference with the teachers, you must notify the teachers via this messaging feature (see picture below).

6th Grade parents will sign up for one, 10 minute time slot with their child’s 2nd period teacher.

7th Grade parents will sign up for one, 10 minute time slot with their child’s 1st period teacher.

8th Grade parents will sign up for one, 10 minute time slot with their child’s 1st period teacher.

If parents would like, they will also be able to sign up for a conference with their child’s PE, Health, Exploratory, and Spanish teachers.

PLEASE NOTE...the electroic sign up will close on Monday the 4th. At that time, please call the office to schedule a conference.


School Schedule

Next Thursday, October 7th, is an Early Release. Students will be dismissed at 1:30PM.

Next Friday, October 8th, there is no school.

Bus Route Changes

The district sent out communication about bus route changes based on the recent Parent Transportation Survey. The email was sent on 9/30/21.


Parents, staff and community members: You have one more week!

That's one more week to take the KCSD 96 Superintendent Search Survey and offer input on suggested priorities for the District and important characteristics for the next school leader. The Superintendent Search Survey closes next Friday, Oct. 8.

The Search consultants will use the results from this survey and the Focus Groups and Open Forums to create a New Superintendent Profile, to be shared with the Board of Education.

The Board plans to announce a successor to Supt. Julie Schmidt, who is retiring, at its Dec. 14 meeting.

 To access the survey, visit the KCSD 96 website and click on the Superintendent Search Survey link or click here (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Kildeer96).

Spirit Wear

I am so inspired by all of the Woodlawn Spirit Wear I am seeing.  Go Wolves!  I have just been told that there is now free shipping with orders that are over $60.  Check out the PTO Blog for these cool Woodlawn fashions!  

Visit the PTO Blog!  Look for the Spirit Wear!  

NEW *Covid Metrics*

To stay up-to-date this school year on local metrics, please visit the COVID DASHBOARD for District 96. Our priority remains to keep our students safe and follow guidance from the CDC. If your student is identified as a "close contact", you will be notified individually through the contact tracing process. 

Click here for the Woodlawn Daily Announcements

Finally, I came across a meme that really hit me where it hurts.  "I used to be young and fun. Now I turn the radio down when I want to see better."  It hurts because it is so true.  If it is raining or snowing while I am driving, this is 100% true.  It seems to have happened to me quickly, yet at the same time, it has been a consistent decline.  As your kids age, if they are anything like my children, they have no problems pointing out my flaws.  They know my triggers and they clearly like to poke the bear.  Speaking of the Bears...I grew up in Arlington Heights.  We spent many days at Arlington Park having fun as a family.  This was a generational thing as we liked to hang out and watch the races, plus the 4th of July allowed us to enjoy an amazing fireworks show.  Now, my worst nightmare is coming to life.  One of my favorite places is going to be occupied by my greatest rival.  As a Packer fan, the thought of the Bears on that sacred ground is crushing.  It looks like I will have some time, especially since the Bears average moving 1.1 yards at a time.  (Sorry, that is the bitter talking).  Old Mayor Daley had some strong words for the Bears in the 70's. I am paraphrasing, but his message was, "If they want to move to the suburbs, let them call themselves the Arlington Heights Bears.  We will get another team in Chicago."  We will see.  I would be cool to have a state of the art stadium around here. Have a great weekend.