Woodlawn Principal's Blog 11/19/21

Happy Friday Woodlawn!  We are moving through November with Thanksgiving right around the corner.  Next Friday, there will not be a Principal’s Blog next Friday.  I will give you a moment to get over your disappointment....  OK, moving on...Things are going well here at Woodlawn and watching the students throughout the day looks, on the surface, very normal.  

Thanksgiving Spirit Week

Monday - Hat & Hoodie Day - Wear your favorite hat or hoodie.

Tuesday - PJ Day - Wear your pajamas to school!  

Mark Your Calendar

There is no school on Wednesday, November 24th through Friday the 26th.

We will have an early dismissal on Tuesday, November 30th. Students will be dismissed at 1:30PM.

Demonstrating the characteristics of responsibility, kindness, respect and perseverance, the Woodlawn staff is recognizing students for their positive contributions within the school. The first group of students recognized are: Eliana Rizman, Cate Taborek, Yun Dou, Rachel Lee, Sadie Alon & Sarah Bende.

Congratulations to these students and their families.  


All students in grades K-8 will be participating in NWEA MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) assessment. The MAP assessment is a normed referenced, computerized adaptive test that helps teachers, parents, and administrators improve learning for all students and make informed decisions to promote a child's academic growth.  Like in previous years, all students will be taking the MAP test in reading and math during the school day. Testing will take place on Monday, December 6th and Tuesday, December 7th. 

Students who are quarantined during those testing days will take the MAP assessment after they return to school.


Thank you to all that supported the PTO Scholastic Book Fair.  All purchases help to purchase books for our wonderful library.  You can still purchase books via the ONLINE SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR through Nov 28th. We still receive credit for these online purchases and all purchases will ship directly to your home.  Orders over $25 get free shipping.  If you have money left on your eWallet, you can shop online.  Please visit this link to placeyour online order:  https://bookfairs.scholastic.com/bookfairs/cptoolkit/homepage.do?

Revisiting Expectations

Earlier in the blog, we had a list of 6 students who were awarded with the recognition of positive expectations by the Woodlawn staff.  They were not the only students who were doing good things, however, we did a raffle and their names were chosen.  Too often, students who continually do the right thing like stand up for a classmate, a belief, themselves or others have not been recognized.  As a staff we thank them, but we have decided that step one is to really show our students that upstanders are appreciated and respected by the staff. We have discussed this with our students and it isn’t a game.  It isn’t picking up a piece of garbage off of the floor.  It is meaningful gestures of kindness that should permeate our culture.  It will lead to more and more acceptance of each other. 

Social Media 

We have seen a substantial rise in the number of social media issues since the beginning of the school year.  This is true in all grades, where students are saying things or causing issues for other people by contributing to an online disagreement.  My policy, one that is backed by court cases nationwide, is that outside of school is outside of school, until the issue impacts students in school.  I am sure that most things do not get reported, but currently, these social media reports are taking up large amounts of time for social workers, our counselor, Mrs. Garlick and myself.  Instead of helping our students cope with the impact of the pandemic, a new layer of stress is being added on which can be prevented.  On our end, we will continue to talk and work with our students through health class and in the classroom of the dangers of cyberbullying. At home, I ask you to talk with your child about the dangers of cell phone irresponsibility.  I used to do it to the point where all I had to say was the word “Digital” and my kids would respond, “Is forever.”  Thank you.  This is good for everyone.  

More Tik Tok Nonsense

Some of the chairs in our school have been damaged.  I am investigating and will be contacting parents if you are the proud owner of a damaged chair.  

Please look on YouTube for: CAN YOU CUT A CHAIR USING STRING?? 

Spanish Placement Tests- 8th Graders

Dear Families - 

In the month of 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.  

Your child’s Spanish Teacher will share the specific assessment schedule.  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 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.  

When will  the test be administered?

Listening and Reading- December 9th from 1:06-2:30

Writing- December 10th from 1:06-2:30

What do students need?

Please make sure your student has headphones.

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.  You can find the specific course sequence in this course book.  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.  

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 sign up for the corresponding language benchmark exam.

The date this will be held is:  

Saturday, January 8th.  

You can register for testing through the World Languages Division by contacting Sylvia Lima at [email protected] or 847-415-4700.

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

Visit the PTO Monthly Blog 

Finally, I am actually sad that we will not have a blog next week.  My true nerd is about to be visible to the world.  From December 1st through the 9th, again on the 11th, and 22nd, we will have a streak of palindrome dates.  I am sure this is ho hum to some of you, but to me, as small of a celebration as it is, this is cool stuff.  For example, December 1st will be:


December 9th will be


STOP!  We get this for 9 straight days? Too exciting.  It will be our last streak like that in our lifetimes.  What?!? Mind blown. 

Yes, we will still get 2-2-22 and 2-22-22 next year, but this is the last extended run of dates  in our lifetimes.  

I am not sure how to celebrate this other than to say, my next blog will be on 12-3-21 and I cannot wait!

Have a great Thanksgiving.