Willow Grove Principal's Message ~ March 1, 2024

Willow Grove Principal's Message ~ March 1, 2024

Dear Families,

Thank you so much to all those who participated in the 5Essentials survey! We reached the 20% goal which will allow us to receive that data. We will review your thoughts carefully and consider them as we believe in always striving for continuous improvement. Our goal is to have strong partnerships with you. We so appreciate you taking the time to give us your feedback through the 5Essentials survey. If you haven't taken it yet, there's still time!

Don't miss the PTO Pizza Bingo updates in this week's PTO message! This is always a fantastic family event and we hope to see you there.


Jenny Smith, Principal

March At-A-Glance

1 - Trimester 2 Report cards issued

4 - NO SCHOOL - District Holiday

13 - Pizza Bingo Night! See the PTO Blog for details!

19 - NO SCHOOL (Staff Institute Day)

21 - EARLY RELEASE DAY: Spring Family –Educator Conferences

22 - NO SCHOOL - Spring Family–Educator Conferences (Last day of school before Spring Break)

25-29 - SCHOOL CLOSED: Spring Break

District 2023-2024 School Year Calendar

NEW *Jim Gill Assembly Next Week!*

Next week on Thursday we have a special treat for all students! Our PTO has arranged for Jim Gill, a musical artist specializing in early childhood music play. One From the Left is a very fun finger-play song that your child will love. It'll surely be part of the concert and watching it with them will get them super excited for the show on Thursday. In addition, you can stream his songs on any of the streaming services (such as Pandora, Spotify, Amazon or Apple Music) if you'd like to hear a sample of the type of musical games that the children will be experiencing at the concert. Enjoy this playlist on Spotify with your child. Our PTO has brought us Jim Gill the past several years for our children to experience. We couldn't be more thankful as he is just perfect for this age of students. 

NEW *Spring Family/Educator Conferences*

Spring Family/Educator Conferences are right around the corner. The conference dates are Thursday, March 21st from 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM and Friday, March 22nd from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM.

We will be using Meet the Teacher as an electronic sign-up for conferences. A School Messenger email will be sent to families on Tuesday, March 5th at 5:00 PM with a link to sign up for conferences.

Conferences will be held virtually using Meet the Teacher’s video conferencing platform unless parents request an in-person conference using the instructions bolded at the end of this message. After you have scheduled your conferences, you will receive an email from Meet the Teacher with a link you will use to access the video conferences.

Elementary parents will have the option to sign up with the classroom teacher as well as select specials teachers and any related service providers their children see.

If you are unable to schedule a conference with a specific teacher, please remember that conferences are not the only time to communicate with teachers. Please feel free to reach out at any time.


If you want to have an in-person conference with the teachers, you must notify the teachers via email by the end of the day on Tuesday, March 19th.

NEW *Report Cards*

Trimester 2 report cards will be available online after 3 PM on Friday, March 1,  for students in Early Childhood through 8th Grade.

See instructions to access the report cards online HERE.  

Please contact the SCHOOL OFFICE with questions.

NEW *Proof of Dental Exam - Kindergarten Only* 

Dear Parents/Guardians of District 96 Kindergarteners, 2nd, and 6th Grade Students:

Please note that your child’s completed dental examination is now due, per Illinois school law. The deadline for the dental examination is due no later than May 15 of the current school year.  Proof of this required dental examination must have been completed within eighteen months prior to the May 15 deadline.

If you haven’t already done so, please make an appointment with your child’s dentist for a dental examination, have him and/or her complete the required form and return it to your child’s school nurse. 

State of Illinois Proof of Dental Examination Form - Click Here

In the event that you are unable to fulfill this requirement, the state of Illinois does permit a waiver of the examination - Click here

NEW *Sense of Belonging Survey*

In District 96, we believe that feedback from students regarding their perception of the school climate and teacher-student relationships provides valuable input about their sense of belonging. Our school district is committed to providing our students with every opportunity to succeed. Substantial research indicates that supporting students’ social-emotional development improves their readiness to learn, positive classroom engagement, and overall academic performance. As a result, District 96 will administer a student belonging survey to all students EC-8. These surveys are below for your review. A physical copy will be available from the district office upon request.

Surveys Below:

-Grades K, 1, and 2 

-Grades 3, 4, and 5

-Grades 6, 7 and 8 

With this information, the District can make thoughtful and informed decisions to support students' deeper sense of belonging at school. As always, student privacy and safety are of the utmost importance. This survey is FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act), and PPRA (The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment) certified. The collected data will improve our students’ sense of belonging and will only be used by our schools. Student responses will support group patterns so schools can provide support in those targeted areas. Thank you for supporting our school communities and their corresponding sense of belonging. 

If you would like to exclude your child from participating in the survey, please contact your child/children’s building principal.


 In the latest edition of the PTO blog, family meal deals now available to pre-order for Pizza Bingo Night on Wednesday, March 13 from 6pm - 8pm! 

REPEAT *Opening March 1:  Registration for 2024-25 School Year*

Registration for the 2024-25 school year opens on Friday, March 1. Parents and guardians of new Kindergarten students and returning District 96 students will be emailed a link to register their child for the 2024-25 school year.

Complete registration by April 15 to receive a $20 Early-Bird discount. Families with returning students who register after April 15 will pay the standard registration fee. Registering early helps us to plan for the upcoming school year.  

Registration fees paid by April 15 for the 2024-25 school year are:

Early Childhood Blended Tuition:  $2,870 (or $335.07 monthly)

Kindergarten:  $90

Grades 1-4:  $110

Grade 5:  $120

Grades 6-8:  $135 

NEW *Parking and Pick-up/Drop-Off Information*

If you are a regular drop-off and/or pick-up parent here at Willow Grove you may have noticed some additional cones were added at the Checker and Essington intersection. The Buffalo Grove Police Department put cones there because when people are coming out onto Checker from Essignton, their view is obscured by cars parking too close to the intersection. BGPD explained that cars should park at least a car's length away from the intersection so those pulling out can have a clear view.

In addition, we have noticed that many who park on Checker come through the bus traffic to drop-off/pick-up their child. Please cross our front circle drive where buses are located either by going behind the buses near the entrance, or at the crosswalk near the exit of the circle drive. This will ensure the safety of all. 

Lastly, I continue to see U-turns in front of the school during high levels of traffic. Police do regularly monitor and give tickets when they see this. For the safety of all, please refrain from this.

We appreciate everyone's kindness towards one another, patience, and safe decision-making when dropping off and picking up their children. Thank you, so much.

REPEAT *Dual Language: For Parents of Incoming 2024-25 Kindergartners*

Do you have an entering kindergartner or know of a D96 resident who does?  Are you interested in your child having a bilingual school experience?

The District 96 Spanish/English Dual Language Program was designed several years ago to implement instruction across the curriculum and provide an opportunity for students to develop a deep academic proficiency in two languages.  In the Dual Language Program, 50 percent of the academic curriculum is delivered in Spanish, and 50 percent of the academic curriculum is delivered in English.

Families interested in enrolling their incoming kindergartner in the Spanish/English Dual Language Program can indicate so on the registration form while completing the kindergarten registration process that begins March 1, 2024.  This process should be completed by April 15, 2024, to be entered into the Dual Language Lottery.  Please note that indicating interest in the Dual Language Program does not guarantee acceptance into the Dual Language program.  

Please visit our District 96 Website to learn more about the optional Spanish/English Dual Language Program and our Dual Language Lottery.

**District 96 will be hosting a Virtual Parent Night from 6 to 6:30 p.m. on March 12, 2024, for parents of incoming Kindergarten students who are interested in learning more about the Dual Language Program.**

REPEAT *5Essentials Survey for Parents/Guardians*

Update: We made it to 21% participation! Thank you! There is still time to give your input if you'd like.

Beginning January 30th through March 29th, District 96 invites you to share your thoughts on the inner workings of your child’s school. On behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois 5Essentials Survey will be administered online by UChicago Impact at the University of Chicago. 

As a parent, this opportunity will allow you to share your thoughts on the important elements of school effectiveness in a survey about your child’s school. Your participation will help us understand the conditions at your child’s school and guide our improvement. Parent identity and survey responses will be kept completely confidential and will never be connected to you or your child.

Please visit http://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/survey/parent/ to begin the parent survey. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact UChicago Impact Client Services at 1-866-440-1874 or [email protected].

REPEAT *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.