Willow Grove Principal's Message ~ January 12, 2024

Willow Grove Principal's Message ~ January 12, 2024

Dear Families,

Happy New Year! What fun weather we've seen come through this week. I hope you are all digging your way out of your driveways successfully and staying warm this weekend! The snow day we experienced today meant we weren't able to have our "Warm and Wooly Day" that was supposed to take place. We are moving that to next Friday. Details are included below if you need a refresher.

We loved welcoming students and staff back this week. This time of year always means plenty of snow and cold, so please help your child come prepared for outdoor recess with boots, coats, gloves, hats, and snow pants. Having these items will allow your child to play in the snow during recess and ensure they stay warm. Be sure to label everything with your child's name as our Lost and Found gets overwhelmingly full during this time and we love helping lost items find their way back to their owners. You are always welcome to leave a full set of winter gear in your child's cubby so you don't have to think about it daily for the next few months. Storing items in a tote or reusable shopping bag is helpful for organization purposes. 

As a reminder, there is no school on Monday.


Jenny Smith, Principal

January At-A-Glance

15 - NO SCHOOL - District Holiday


District 2023-2024 School Year Calendar

NEW *Parking at Drop-Off & Pick-Up*

During our high-traffic arrival and dismissal times, cars are being parked alongside the curbs in the small back parking lot. This is referring to the parking lot that is to the right of our building if you are on the street (Checker) facing the building. Cars should not be parked along any of the parking lot curbs. They are all bus and fire areas. It makes the space much too tight for buses coming in and out, as well as the plows during the snow season. We understand parking is limited, but parents have to park on the street and walk to the building. In addition, while parking on Checker, please make sure you aren't parking too close or into the entrances of our parking lots, including the small back lot drive (to the right of the building) or main lot (left of the building) as it blocks buses from being able to make safe turns in and out of our lots. Thank you!

NEW *Library Volunteers Needed*

Willow Grove's library is looking for weekly volunteers to shelve books.  If you are interested in volunteering please email Mrs. Martinez and let her know: [email protected].

NEW *Updated Approved Snack List*

As a reminder, all snacks sent to school must be on the Approved Snack List.  Our Approved Snack List is updated annually and was recently reviewed in December, carefully curated by staff and parent volunteers, taking into consideration your valuable feedback. We kindly ask that you review the snack list HERE to ensure you are sending appropriate choices with your child to school (our website link has also been updated). If an item is not on our list, it will be sent home. Our aim is to provide a wide variety of snacks that are safe for all students, eliminating the top 8 allergens and gluten, making it a "win" for everyone! For daily snacks, excluding fruits and vegetables, we kindly request that all items be pre-packaged and must be brand-specific. This helps teachers easily check the snacks and ensure they comply with our safety standards. 

Thank you for your support in creating a safe and inclusive environment for our students. Together, we can ensure that all our children enjoy their snacks while staying healthy and happy in our classrooms!

NEW *Valentine's Day*

Valentine's Day will be celebrated during PTO classroom parties at all elementary schools, including Willow Grove, on Wednesday, February 14th. Your child's teacher will send home any classroom-specific information related to Valentine's Day. Valentines are already popping up in stores. If you choose to send valentines to school and include an item with your child's valentines, please note for the safety of our students only non-food items are permissible. This practice is consistent for all classrooms in District 96 elementary schools and Willow Grove. 

NEW *24-25 Kindergarten Registration Open*

Are you the parent of a kindergarten student or friends with someone who is? Please help us get the word out! Kindergarten registration is now open for the 24-25 school year. Families who complete registration by April 30th may attend Kindergarten Kick-Off in May at Willow Grove Early Learning Center and receive a free t-shirt while at the event! Kindergarten Kick-Off is an exciting event designed to welcome and introduce incoming kindergarten students and their parents/guardians to Willow Grove, supporting a successful transition into school and kindergarten. Please follow this link to learn about the steps to register. Fully registered families will receive additional information about Kindergarten Kick-Off and more in early April. 

If your child is already attending Willow Grove in the early childhood program, you will automatically receive a registration link in March for kindergarten. Please wait until you receive that link to proceed with registration. You will still want to complete the registration process by April 30th to receive your child's free t-shirt and attend Kindergarten Kick-Off.

Please note that your child must be 5 years old by September 1st, 2024 to attend kindergarten for the 2024-25 school year.

NEW *PTO Updates*

In the latest edition of the PTO Blog, the Spirit Wear drive is coming back later this month, Valentine’s Day Party sign-up, and more.

UPDATED *Warm & Wooly Day! Friday, January 19 (revised due to Snow Day)*

Our students in Early Childhood and Kindergarten start back at Willow Grove with a math unit that incorporates a theme of sweaters, mittens, winter hats, etc. We thought it would be fun to have a day to make connections with what the whole school is wearing for a day. Friday, January 19, is "Warm & Wooly Day!" If you would like your child to participate, dress them in something warm and wooly! A sweater, sweater vest, winter hat, or just adding a scarf is perfect! If you want your child to participate specifically for their grade level (anything warm and wooly will make the connection), this is how it's broken down:

Early Childhood - Mittens and scarves

Kindergarten - Sweaters and vests

REPEAT *ACCESS Testing - Kindergarten/English Learners Only*

The State of Illinois requires identified English Learner (EL) students to annually participate in the ACCESS testing to determine current English language proficiency in Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. Our ACCESS testing window will occur from 1/17-2/22. Each school’s testing schedule is unique and will only impact students who take the ACCESS test. Students taking ACCESS do not need to prepare anything ahead of time.