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Shield Testing, Strategic Planning Spotlight, Travel Guidance, Curriculum and Instruction Update, Employment Opportunities, and Upcoming Events

September 3, 2021

Dear District 31 Families,

I hope you are all looking forward to a restful and safe long weekend!  It is hard to believe that we have already been in school for over two weeks.  Every day we are grateful to see our students and staff in our buildings collaborating and learning.

Something new for District 31 this year is participation in the weekly Shield Testing program.  Shield Illinois, and our test provider partner Visit Healthcare, were able to get us up and running this week, which makes us one of the first districts in the area to be able to use this mitigation strategy to help maintain a healthy and safe learning environment. Although we learned much during our initial launch week, what was exceedingly clear is what champions our students are as they continue to show their resilience to change.  We can also celebrate the fact that in our inaugural week, we only had one positive case identified by Shield testing. That is a 99.9% negativity rate! Information to set up a parent portal to review test results will be sent out next week.  Please note that although Shield says results are back in 11-24 hours, we found that with the volume of testing region wide, our results were delayed and it took 36-48 hours to receive results.

I will be updating a dashboard of health and safety information by no later than Monday of each week, including weekly negativity rates through Shield Illinois, as well as other important health and safety information. You can find the link to that information here.  And as a reminder, this information will be updated no later than Monday and reflect the current week’s data and information.

Strategic Planning Spotlight
A vision is an exciting part of our new strategic plan. Our team spent time wrestling with the question, “What must District 31 become as we move into the future.”  The answer to that question gives very inspiring insight into the future forward direction of District 31. 

Our Vision: 
Every student is empowered and prepared to make meaningful contributions through:

  • Equitable opportunities for ALL students

  • An environment that is culturally responsive and celebrates diversity

  • A focus on future-ready learning skills and high expectations

  • Authentic learning experiences and innovative resources designed to inspire and develop students’ passions

  • An enriching, creative, and collaborative environment

View the District 31 Strategic Plan here.

Travel Guidance

This weekend is a four day weekend in honor of Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah. Please remember  that the Cook County Department of Public Health has revised their recommended travel guidance. You can find that guidance here. While they are still using the City of Chicago map to determine travel hot spots (i.e. orange states), they have now adopted the CDC guidance for travel which says that if an unvaccinated individual (including adult or child) travel to an orange state, they should get a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after travel AND fully quarantine for seven days. Please notify the nurse/principal if a student must quarantine due to travel.

Curriculum and Instruction Update
District 31 participates in a comprehensive, local benchmark assessment program that measures student achievement and growth, as well as providing needed information for instruction and curricular efficacy. District 31 students will participate in NWEA MAP and aimswebPlus this fall. Please click here to see the district assessment plan and schedule. In order to assist students in completing NWEA MAP in a timely manner, the district will be providing additional support for students who take longer than 90 minutes on either or both of the MAP tests. Refer to the principal weekly messages for additional building-specific details.

District 31 Employment Opportunities
Substitute Teachers and Monitors
District 31 needs Regular Subs, Permanent Subs, Semi-Permanent Subs, and Monitors. Both stable and flexible roles are available. Parents are also encouraged to apply! Substitute salary begins at $130/Day. Visit or Contact Tina Nielsen at or 847-313-4417 to start your application process.

Instructional Assistants

District 31 is searching for energetic, caring, and professional Instructional Assistants to assist in creating a high-quality educational environment for students with and without disabilities. View the job description overview below or full job description here. Please share this wonderful opportunity with anyone who would like to join our District 31 family! 

Important Dates and Upcoming Events

Spirit Wear Sale
Now through August 30
Visit Online Store…

No School - Labor Day
Monday, September 6

No School - Recognition of Rosh Hashanah
Tuesday, September 7

Winkelman Virtual Curriculum Nights
Wednesday, September 8 from 6 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Student Support Team members and Accelerated Learning Program

Education Foundation Meeting
Monday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom
Zoom Link -

No School - Recognition of Yom Kippur
Thursday, September 16

Parents Night Out
Friday, September 24
7 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Board of Education Meeting 
Thursday, September 30 at 7 p.m.

Community News and  Events
CATCH Presents Parenting & Pivoting in a Pandemic
Monday, September 20
7 p.m.
Register here.

Northbrook Public Library Update
Prize Drawing: September is National Library Card Sign-up Month! Everyone who signs up for their first library card in September will be automatically entered into a prize drawing.

Food Drive: The library is collecting donations of non-perishable food throughout the month of September. A donation bin will be available in the lobby, and all donations will be brought to the Northbrook Township Food Pantry.
Used Book Sale: Find great bargains on books and media at the Friends of the Library's outdoor sidewalk sale on September 10 & 11 from 10am-4pm.

Northbrook Girls Softball and Northbrook Action Baseball
Learn more about community programs here.


Have a wonderful weekend! Please remember that there is no school on Monday in recognition of Labor Day and on Tuesday in recognition of Rosh Hashanah.


Dr. Erin K. Murphy 
Superintendent of Schools