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Volunteer for the PTO, Family Movie Night, Strategic Plan Spotlight, Parent Education Opportunities, Notice to Parents, Medical Form Reminder, COVID-19 Update, Curriculum and Instruction Update, and Upcoming Events

September 24, 2021

Dear District 31 Families,

Fall is in the air! As the leaves and weather start to turn, and attention turns to apples and pumpkins, we continue to celebrate a full month of school! Although we recognize the challenges that COVID brings, we are appreciative of the sounds of students learning together every day. We also celebrate our staff that continues to navigate these unusual times and somehow manage to keep students safe while also making school a safe haven for learning.  

This last week I marveled at Field sports teams that are representing us well on the volleyball courts, soccer fields, and cross country course; Winkelman parents are excited to be in the building again serving as classroom mystery readers; and an opening PTO meeting that had over 75 participants (in-person and remote!). While everything still looks and feels different, I celebrate our community that is working hard to balance the safety of everyone with the excitement of being part of a thriving District.

Volunteer for the PTO!
The PTO is looking forward to an amazing school year. In order to make our awesome programs and events happen, we need YOU! Check out the SignupGenius link below which includes all of the Co-Chair and Committee volunteer opportunities. We’re hoping to have all volunteer slots filled by October 1st. Questions? Please reach out to Thank you!  Sign up at PTO Committees 2021-2022.

PTO Presents Family Movie Night

Strategic Plan Highlights
Last week we shared the portrait of a District 31 graduate. This week we begin sharing the first of our five goals that will help us meet the mission and vision of District 31. The first goal of our strategic plan is about student growth and achievement: District 31 students will demonstrate academic and social emotional growth supported by engaging, evidence-based learning strategies and equitable curriculum, instruction and assessment."  We are excited to grow and develop our programming to ensure that our students are engaged and utilizing strategies with a curriculum that is relevant and meets their needs.  We want to ensure District 31 students are prepared for high school and beyond. In order to meet that goal, the strategic plan includes three strategies.  

  • We will implement a consistent and universal system of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, across all grade levels and buildings, that promotes the development of every student academically, physically, and social-emotionally.
  • We will create and implement a standards-based and differentiated curriculum for all subject areas that is aligned vertically (across grade levels) and horizontally (within grade levels) to inform practices in grading and reporting.
  • We will hold every student to high expectations, increase growth, and close gaps by providing intervention, differentiation, and enrichment.

Connect 31 Parent Education Opportunities
This week, Erin Kranz, an instructional coach at True North, shared another Inclusion Practices video on Conversation Starters. View the helpful video here to learn how to better engage in conversations with your child about their school day.

Also, please save the dates for the 2021-2022 Parent Education Series featuring presentations designed to help our families thrive. Learn more about the education series and find other helpful resources at

English Learner Strategies with Sandra Luna 
Saturday, October 16 at 6 p.m. 

Social Emotional Learning with Doug Bolton
Tuesday, October 26 and Tuesday, April 26 at 6 p.m. 

504 Plan Accommodations with Jesse Menold 
Monday, November 1 at 6 p.m. 

Special Education Advisory Meetings with Dr. Janine Gruhn
Tuesday, December 14, Tuesday, March 8, and Tuesday, May 10 at 6 p.m.

Notice to Parents/ Guardians of Children with Disabilities
In accordance with Public Act 101—0515, the West Northfield District31 is providing notice to parents/guardians regarding their rights in relation to the provision of related services to students who are eligible for special education under IDEA. The West Northfield School District 31 will maintain related service logs that record the type and number of minutes of the related service(s) administered to your child. You may request a copy of the related service logs at any time. If you would like to receive copies of your child’s related service logs, please direct your request to your child’s IEP case manager and/or special education teacher.

View Special Education Procedure Manual

Medical Form Reminder
If you have not already, please turn in all medical forms as soon as possible. Students who have not turned in all required health records by the end of the school day on Friday, October 15 may not return to school beginning Monday, October 18 until all required forms have been received by the school nurse. Required forms are listed here.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Winkelman School Nurse Tania Gastelum at

COVID-19 Update
View the latest District 31 COVID-19 information here.  The health and safety dashboard is updated every Monday.

Curriculum and Instruction Update
Our fall benchmarking has just been completed.  We are so proud of the hard work of our students!  Teachers, administrators, and other staff will begin reviewing data to determine what adjustments need to be made to instruction and curriculum in order to support student achievement and growth.  Parents are important partners in this process so assessment results will also be mailed home before the end of the month.  District 31 is excited to share that assessment results will also be posted for parents to view on Skyward!  This will allow for results to be accessible more quickly while saving on resources used for the mailing.  Fall will be the last time results are mailed home.  More information will be included in the fall mailing about how to access results on Skyward.  This information will also be posted on the district website.

Important Dates and Upcoming Events
Ed Foundation and PTO Present Parents Night Out
Friday, September 24 from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Rocky’s in Prospect Heights
RSVP here

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

PTO Presents Family Movie Night
Friday, October 8 at 6 p.m.
Outdoor at Field

PTO Book Fair
October 12 - 26

Ed Foundation Meeting
October 12

Parent Education Opportunity - English Learner Strategies with Sandra Luna 
Saturday, October 16 at 6 p.m. 

Parent Education Opportunity - Social Emotional Learning with Doug Bolton
Tuesday, October 26 and Tuesday, April 26 at 6 p.m.

Community News and  Events
Northbrook Park District Events

Have a wonderful weekend!  I hope to connect with you at our Parent’s Night Out this evening!

Dr. Erin K. Murphy 
Superintendent of Schools