Woodlawn Principal's Blog 10/8/21

Fall conferences are in the books and we are looking at a three day weekend!  Woo hoo.  Thank you to everyone who participated in conferences and a special thank you to our amazing PTO who supplied us with a wonderful dinner on Thursday and snacks on Friday.  There are only a few items in the blog this week so go enjoy the sunshine as our days get shorter!  

No School this Monday, October 8th.  

White Sox

Game 1 was a disaster.  I think that we need to win the next 3 games in a row or it is lights out.  I worry about the Sox being able to beat McCullers in a game 5.  Today is a new day and hopefully a new result. 


NEW *Long Grove Fire Protection District Resources*

The Long Grove Fire Protection District has shared its first fire safety video with us, this one on Smoke Detectors.  Please check out this video in your Virtual BackPack.

Suicide Prevention Program - Woodlawn Health Teacher, Dr. Andrea Penepacker and School Social Worker, Tammy Franks-Cornwell

Dear Parents/Guardians:

At Woodlawn, we are committed to supporting the wellness of all students.  While the adolescent years are often characterized by a roller-coaster ride of emotions, it is important to identify students who may be experiencing more significant concerns that could be indicative of depression.  Depression is a mental illness which must be taken seriously as it is a risk factor for suicide; however, it is also the most treatable of all mental illnesses. 

To proactively address these concerns, all students will be participating in a depression awareness and suicide prevention program called Signs of Suicide (SOS).  This program educates students about the symptoms of depression and resources available for support.  It encourages students to seek help from adults if they are concerned about themselves or their peers.  Listed on SAMHSA's (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices, SOS showed a reduction in self-reported suicide attempts by 40-64% in randomized control studies (Aseltine et al., 2007 & Schilling et al., 2016).  The SOS Program is brought to us by Elyssa's Mission, a nonprofit organization dedicated to suicide prevention.  More information for parents on suicide prevention may be found on their website (www.elyssasmission.org).

Our goals in participating in this program are straightforward:

  • To help students understand that depression is a treatable illness
  • To explain that suicide is a preventable tragedy that may occur as a result of untreated depression
  • To provide students with information about the symptoms of serious depression and potential suicidality
  • To encourage students to seek the help of adults when concerned about themselves or a peer
  • To help students know the resources available for support at Woodlawn

SOS will be taught in health class.  The program will begin with a video followed by a class discussion facilitated by members of the counseling department and the health teacher.  Students will also complete a brief depression screener (survey) to assess their risk of depression.  The depression screening tool does not provide a diagnosis of depression, but rather alerts school staff to those students who may require further support.  Any student identified as potentially needing more support will meet with a counselor, social worker, or psychologist and parents will be contacted with any immediate safety concerns.

If you do not wish your son or daughter to participate in the Signs of Suicide program, please contact Tammy Franks, Social Worker 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                          Andrea Penepacker

Principal                          Social Worker                                         Health Teacher


*Aseltine, R. H., Jr., James, A., Schilling, E. A. (2016). The SOS prevention program: Further evidence of efficacy and effectiveness. Prevention Science, 17(2), 157-166.

*Aseltine, R. H., Jr., James, A., Schilling, E. A., & Glanovsky, J. (2007). Evaluating the SOS suicide prevention program: A replication and extension. BMC Public Health, 7, 161.

Estimados Padres/Tutores:

En Woodlawn, nos comprometemos a apoyar el bienestar de todos los estudiantes.  Aunque los años de la adolescencia se caracterizan a menudo por una montaña rusa de emociones, es importante identificar a los estudiantes que pueden estar experimentando preocupaciones más significativas que podrían ser indicativas de depresión.  La depresión es una enfermedad mental que debe tomarse en serio, ya que es un factor de riesgo de suicidio; sin embargo, también es la más tratable de todas las enfermedades mentales.

Para tratar estas preocupaciones de una manera proactiva, todos los estudiantes participarán en un programa de concientización sobre la depresión y la prevención del suicidio llamado Señales del Suicidio (SOS por sus siglas en inglés).  Este programa educa a los estudiantes sobre los síntomas de la depresión y los recursos disponibles para el apoyo.  Motiva a los estudiantes a buscar ayuda de los adultos si están preocupados por ellos mismos o por sus compañeros. Incluido en el Registro Nacional de Programas y Prácticas Basados en la Evidencia de la SAMHSA (Administración de Servicios de Salud Mental y Abuso de Sustancias), SOS mostró una reducción de los intentos de suicidio autodeclarados en un 40-64% en estudios de control aleatorios (Aseltine et al., 2007 y Schilling et al., 2016). El Programa SOS es traído a nosotros por la Misión de Elyssa, una organización no lucrativa dedicada a la prevención del suicidio.  Se puede encontrar más información para los padres sobre la prevención del suicidio en su sitio web (www.elyssasmission.org).

  • Nuestros objetivos al participar en este programa son sencillos:
  • Ayudar a los estudiantes a entender que la depresión es una enfermedad tratable
  • Explicar que el suicidio es una tragedia evitable que puede ocurrir como resultado de una depresión no tratada
  • Brindar a los estudiantes información sobre los síntomas de la depresión grave y el posible suicidio
  • Animar a los estudiantes a buscar la ayuda de los adultos cuando estén preocupados por ellos mismos o por un compañero
  • Ayudar a los estudiantes a conocer los recursos de apoyo disponibles en Woodlawn

SOS se impartirá en la clase de Salud.  El programa empieza con un vídeo seguido de un debate en clase facilitado por miembros del departamento de asesoramiento y la maestra de Salud.  Los estudiantes también completarán una breve evaluación sobre la depresión (encuesta) para valorar su riesgo de depresión.  La herramienta de detección de la depresión no proporciona un diagnóstico de la misma, sino que alerta al personal de la escuela sobre aquellos estudiantes que pueden necesitar más apoyo.  Cualquier estudiante que se identifique como potencialmente necesitado de más apoyo se reunirá con un consejero, un trabajador social o un psicólogo y se contactará a los padres con cualquier preocupación de seguridad inmediata.

Si no desea que su hijo participe en el programa de Señales del Suicidio, por favor contacte a Tammy Franks, trabajadora Social a [email protected]  Si no nos contacta, asumimos que su hijo tiene permiso de participar en este programa.

Por favor no dude en contactarnos si tiene alguna pregunta o inquietud.   


Greg Grana                         Tammy Franks Cornwell                   Andrea Penepacker

Director                                Trabajadora Social                            Maestra de Salud

*Aseltine, R. H., Jr., James, A., Schilling, E. A. (2016). The SOS prevention program: Further evidence of efficacy and effectiveness. Prevention Science, 17(2), 157-166.

*Aseltine, R. H., Jr., James, A., Schilling, E. A., & Glanovsky, J. (2007). Evaluating the SOS suicide prevention program: A replication and extension. BMC Public Health, 7, 161.

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. 

Superintendent Survey Closes Today

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

That's one more day 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).

Finally, short blog today, right?!?  Maybe you can use the extra time to clean out a cabinet or closet.  I have about five cabinets on my to-do list right now.  Once I make the mental commitment, I know that it has to be done and then it drives me crazy until I clean it.  Obviously, I haven’t done it yet.  I get this weird, extreme satisfaction when I tackle a bigger project like the garage.  My children are at ages where they are accumulating stuff, have started moving out but still using my garage as a free self storage unit.  Additionally, they really like my side of the garage, leaving very little room for error when pulling my car in and out.  I think back to many years ago when I did this to my parents and one day I pulled up to their house, just to see a pile of my stuff in the driveway.  My mom made it clear, “Take what you want, everything else is going in the garbage.”  Add to this a wife who didn’t want any of this in our new home and I had a problem.  Items like my ripped directors chair, boxes full of college essays, books and notes and a chest full of childhood memories that just may have included a Farrah Fawcett poster (really just showed my age) were in this pile.  I couldn’t believe that I had to get rid of these treasures.  I have learned through the years to just let go and don’t look back.  Looking forward and cleaning house is my new motto.  Sorry Farrah.

Have a great weekend.  Go Sox!