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February District Newsletter

February District Newsletter

February 6, 2024

Dear District 31 Community, 

February is the perfect time to celebrate kindness and community! District 31 is a community that celebrates and supports all of our students, families, and staff. We focus on our students and make sure that every day in District 31 is a day of learning and community. 

Congratulations to Winkelman 4th Grader Zoey Patel for placing 3rd in the Village of Glenview Character Counts Art Contest! We are so proud of her creative poster and thoughtful theme. Zoey will be honored tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Glenview Village Board of Trustees Meeting.

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Congratulations to Phoenix Tagal, the winner of our first Field Middle School Spelling Bee, and the 12 other Field students who qualified for the Field Spelling Bee. Thank you to Mrs. Gandhi, Dr. Kazkondu, and Mrs. Kim for organizing the fantastic event. Phoenix will move on to the Regional Qualifier for the National Scripps Spelling Bee, which takes place March 13 at Lincoln Hall Middle School in Lincolnwood. Good luck to Phoenix! 

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I'm an image

Congratulations to Jesse Orozco for receiving the Council for Exceptional Children’s “Star Awards”.  Jesse was nominated by Mrs. Barker, Ms. Douglas, and Ms. Boie, for his hard work and kindness in class. We are proud of Jesse for his amazing work this year!  

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Registration is now open for incoming PreK and Kindergarten students. Please find registration information below or on our website at www.district31.net/registration

Spring conferences take place next week.  If you have not already, sign up for the upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences via Skyward. We are most successful when we partner together!

Thank you to our parents for sending us students ready to learn, make a positive impact, and spread kindness!


Warmly,

Dr. Erin Murphy
District 31 Superintendent 

2024-2025 Registration
Registration for PreK and Kindergarten for the 2024-2025 school year is now open! 1st grade - 8th grade registration opens March 4, 2024. Please plan to register early as this helps with school planning.  Learn more about registration at www.district31.net/registration.

Register for PreK or Kindergarten

Update on Snow Days/ New Last Day of School Information
In response to the weather related closings on Friday, January 12 and Tuesday, January 16, the following changes were made to the 2023-2024 school year calendar:

  • Friday, May 24 is now a Student Attendance Day
  • Thursday, June 6 is a full day of school 
  • Friday, June 7 is the last day of school (half day) 

Please Note:

  • 8th Grade Graduation will remain on Tuesday, June 4 (no change). 
  • If families had existing plans for Friday, May 24, the District will excuse students from school on this date. 
  • Additional weather-related school closures could further impact the calendar.

As always, the safety of our students and staff is our priority when making these decisions. 

Landwehr Road Project
The Cook County Department of Transportation & Highways Landwehr Road Project Public Meeting has been rescheduled for Wednesday, February 21, 2024 from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. in the Commons (Cafeteria) at Winkelman School, 1919 Landwehr Road, Glenview. The County encourages community members to attend the meeting to learn more about the project and to share comments and questions. The scope of the project and additional information is available here. The County recently updated the anticipated start date for the project to 2026.  

American Heart Association Heart Challenge
The American Heart Association Heart Challenge began February 1 and runs until February 23. The Kids Heart Challenge helps students develop ways to keep their hearts happy and healthy for their whole lives, raises money to fund important research, and spreads the mission and the message of the American Heart Association. This year the Heart Challenge is sponsored by the NFL, and for every 18 students that complete Finn's mission on the website our schools are entered into a national raffle to receive a gym makeover. Sign-ups are linked below by school. Thank you to everyone who participates in the challenge!

Winkelman Kids Heart Challenge

Field Kids Heart Challenge

Upcoming 2024 Parent University Series

Understanding Talent Development
Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 6 p.m. at Winkelman
Presented by Dr. Susan Corwith 
Students have a variety of interests, abilities, and learning needs. Talent development refers to the idea that talent is not a trait one is born with, but rather it is something that is developed and nurtured over time. Join Dr. Susan Corwith, the director of the Center for Talent Development (CTD) at Northwestern University, to gain a deeper understanding of what talent development entails, specifically sorting out giftedness and talent development, and the connections between talent development and the approach to programming parents are likely to see in schools.

Understanding Assessment in the Framework of Talent Development
Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at 6 p.m. at Winkelman

Presented by Melissa Hinshaw

When you hear the names of various assessment tools like NWEA, CogAT, and SIGS, do you know what they are and what information they give educators about your child? Join Melissa Hinshaw, Coordinator of Assessment for the Center for Talent Development (CTD) at Northwestern University, to learn more about the assessment tools the district uses to gain insight into students' academic abilities and cognitive skills. We will discuss how together, these assessments enable educators to identify and nurture the unique talents and potential of each student, guiding targeted interventions and personalized learning experiences within a talent development framework.

It Takes a Community: Working Together to Keep Our Kids Safe at Home, in School and Online
Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at 6 p.m. at Winkelman Prior to PTO Meeting
Presented by Northbrook & Glenview Police Departments

January Board of Education Recap
Board Meeting Highlights: 

  • Presentations and Discussion Items:
    • Dr. Erin Murphy, Superintendent reviewed Sectioning and Programming Assumptions for 2024-2024. 
    • The Board of Education reviewed the 2024-2025 Calendar Assumptions. They agreed to move forward with Dr. Murphy’s recommendation to adjust the school calendar to accommodate the recent school closures related to weather. The Board of Education has also asked the District Calendar Committee to reconvene to determine if any adjustments need to be made to the 2024-2025 school calendar to address the usage of possible emergency days. Any recommendations and decisions will be presented to the Board of Education for consideration and communicated to our community. In addition, the Board policy committee will review our current policy to determine if any adjustments are needed.
    • Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations Cathy Lauria reviewed the December Financial Reports.  Highlights included the district’s December cash balance increase of $4.1MM over last year due mainly to recent, though late,  property tax receipts.  Investments are earning an average rate of return of 5.4%.  Interest earnings through the end of December total $451k and have exceeded this year’s budget expectations as we end the 2nd Quarter for the fiscal year.  An additional report illustrated the revenues by source - Local, State, and Federal and the expenditures by object -  Salaries, Benefits, Purchased Services, Supplies, etc.   Local revenues reflect the earlier receipt of property taxes for the current year and the lesser amount of federal funds (grant dollars)  available to the district.  The expenditures reflect salaries and benefits at the typical rate of 65 to 70% of expenses for the operating funds.  Actual spending for the current year is higher in each object category.
    • The Board of Education reviewed proposed policy recommendations shared by the policy committee, as well as the proposed approval of the American Library Association Bill of Rights.  Policies and the Bill of Rights are up for approval at the February meeting. 
    • The Board of Education reviewed the Superintendent Report.  
  • The Board of Education made the following approvals:
    • The Board of Education approved the 2024-2025 School Fees (PreK, K-8 grades), including the activity and transportation fee. 
    • The Board of Education approved the 2024-2025 Building Rental Fees Schedule.
    • The Board of Education approved the 2024-2025 Annual Determination of Fee Subsidy for those families qualifying for reduced transportation waivers.
    • The Board of Education approved the consent agenda.

The Board of Education meets monthly, usually on the last Thursday of the month, at 7 p.m. in the Field Middle School Learning Center. We welcome any member of our community to attend in person or virtually via our live stream. Agendas, minutes, and the link to the live stream can be found here . The District 31 Board of Education is composed of seven elected representatives from the District 31 attendance area. Each is elected for a four year term. Meet the members of the District 31 Board of Education here.

February Board of Education Meeting 
The next regular Board of Education meeting is Thursday, February 22, 2024 in the Field Learning Center at 7 p.m. The agenda is posted two days prior to the meeting here. The Finance Committee Meeting will take place prior to the Board of Education Meeting at 6 p.m., also in the Field Learning Center.

Parent Engagement Committee 
The Parent Engagement Committee held its latest meeting on January 22. This year, the Committee is discussing how to better help parents become partners in their child’s learning and working on an implementation plan for the 2024-2025 school year. If you are interested in joining the Parent Engagement Committee, please reach out to Hayley Garard at hgarard@district31.net. A draft of the Committee’s mission, vision, values and goals is available here

Upcoming Parent Engagement Committee Meeting Dates

  • Monday, February 26
  • Monday, March 11
  • Monday, April 29 
  • Monday, May 20

5Essentials Survey
Parents, teachers, and students across Illinois have an opportunity to participate in the statewide Illinois 5Essentials Survey. Our District needs your participation! This survey is designed to generate a detailed picture of the inner workings of our schools. As a parent, this opportunity allows you to share your thoughts on the important elements of school effectiveness. Please complete the survey at http://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/survey/parent/* by March 29, 2024.

*Search “Field School” and “Henry Winkelman Elem School”

As an extra incentive, take a screenshot or photo of your completed survey and send it to tblankenheim@district31.net for a chance to win a gift card. Winners will be announced weekly! Congratulations to our first prize drawing winner Anetra Rodgers!

Learn more about the survey here

District 31 Emergency Closing Information
During the school year, there may be times one or both schools may be closed. The Northfield Township Superintendents have developed guidelines pertaining to these closures. Learn more about Emergency closing information here

PTO News
View the which includes information on important upcoming PTO events and programs.
February PTO Newsletter

Curriculum and Instruction Update
At the end of January, we completed our winter benchmarking data collection period. Students in grades 1 - 8 took the NWEA MAP Growth test for reading and mathematics, and student profile score reports were emailed home to families on January 29, 2024, via secure email send. If you need support accessing your electronic reports, please contact Annette Maloney amaloney@district31.net.

The NWEA MAP Growth assessment measures achievement in both reading and math.  MAP is unique in that it is an adaptive assessment. This means the test became more difficult when your student answered a question correctly.  When your student answered a question incorrectly, the test became easier.  Ultimately, your student took a test specifically targeting their current learning level which also measures growth in learning over time.  Teachers use results to tailor classroom lessons and to inform student goal setting. For more information about MAP Growth, feel free to visit NWEA.org/familytoolkit.

As an important reminder, growth in learning does not always happen in a linear fashion. Some students make more growth the first half of the school year, and some students make more growth the second half of the school year. Teachers and administrators are constantly collecting data on students’ academic skills as well as their development as learners. We do our best to review multiple sources of data when making decisions on how to best personalize instruction for each student.

For additional information about the assessments used in District 31, please visit the Curriculum, Programs, & Assessments page at District31.net.  If you have questions about your student’s results, please contact their teacher.

ESY-Extended School Year
District 31 is hosting an Extended School Year Program June 11 through July 3 from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Students in special education qualify for this program and are invited to participate based on their IEP needs. Summer School dates are based on the 2023-2024 school calendar. Adjustments will be made to the dates if needed. No school will take place on June 19. Transportation will be provided. 

Parent University Series: Understanding Talent Development
Tuesday, February 6 at 6 p.m.
Winkelman Elementary School

Devorah Heitner Presents Growing Up in Public: Coming of Age in a Digital World
Tuesday, February 6 at 7 p.m.
Highland Park High School 
RSVP

Virtual Adaptive Yoga
Sunday, February 11 at 10 a.m. via Zoom
Register

Messy Day at the J: Sensory Friendly Edition
Sunday, February 11 from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. 
Bernard Weinger JCC, 300 Revere Drive, Northbrook

Field Parent Teacher Conferences
Monday, February 12 and Thursday, February 15

Winkelman Parent Teacher Conferences
Tuesday, February 13 and Thursday, February 15

Ehlert Financial Group Proudly Presents "Learning to Save" Series
Tuesday, February 13 at 7 p.m. via Webinar 
Learn more and register

No School
Friday, February 16

President’s Day No School
Monday, February 19

Landwehr Road Project Public Meeting
Wednesday, February 21, 2024 from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. 
Winkelman Elementary School 

Finance Committee Meeting
Thursday, February 22 at 6 p.m.

Board of Education Meeting
Thursday, February 22 at 7 p.m.

PTO Glow Party
Friday, February 23 

Winkelman Battle of the Books
Friday, February 23

CATCH Presents: Become the Parent You Want to Be
Wednesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. 
The Book Bin, 1151 Church St. Northbrook

Parent University Series: It Takes a Community: Working Together to Keep Our Kids Safe at Home, in School, and Online
Tuesday, March 5 at 6 p.m.
Winkelman Elementary School 

PTO Board Meeting
Tuesday, March 5 at 7 p.m.
Winkelman Elementary School 

Teacher Institute Day/ No Student Attendance
Tuesday, March 19

Community Resources 
The Community Resources page on the District website has been updated to include several beneficial resources to help families on a variety of different topics. The page is divided into the District’s community partners, mental health and crisis resources, health and safety resources, and academic resources. Please take a few moments to explore the many resources available to our families and community! 

Caring Corner: Groceries and Personal Care Products Available 
The District 31 Caring Corner is open every school day from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.  in the District 31 Admin Office outer lobby, 3131 Techy (adjacent to Field Middle School). Groceries, staples, personal care products, and other items are available for the taking to any family who might need the items. No need to check in with the office.  Take what you need.

Homeless Information
If you or someone you know are experiencing homelessness or are a refugee, please contact Dr. Janine Gruhn, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, jgruhn@district31.net, or 847-313-4411 for assistance and information regarding District 31. The following links are resources and a McKinney Vento Fact Sheet that describes what homelessness is and the rights of these students.