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Principal's Newsletter

Welcome to the Wood Oaks Newsletter.  This is my primary means of disseminating information to families, so please check back often.  I generally update this page once a week, usually on Fridays, but will occasionally put out a mid-week issue if there is information to share that cannot wait for the weekend.  To subscribe to this newsletter, click on the orange bell below, click on the newsletter, and fill out the pop-up form.

Newsletter Issue 10.11.19

Bullying Prevention and Awareness Month (First Posting)

October is recognized nationally as Bully Prevention and Awareness month. At Wood Oaks, we work to address student behavior continually throughout the school year. Students are reminded about our ROAR expectations throughout the year and have positive choices reinforced by being presented with paper “ROARs” they can use to enter monthly gift card drawings, purchase items at the weekly ROAR Store, or save up for the end of year ROAR auction.  Each grade level has specific areas of focus which are spearheaded by the work of their Advisory teacher.  We will highlight one grade level for each of the coming three weeks, starting with sixth grade this week.

In 6th grade students, students are asked to read the novel Restart  by Gordon Korman, even before getting to school through our summer reading program.  This is a story about learning from one’s past mistakes and the impact bullying has on the victims.  Just this week, sixth graders attended a presentation by Jim Jelinske that gives them strategies of how to deal with bullying and, more importantly, build empathy towards each other. Students learn of people that have been affected by bullying and develop a sense of understanding of their struggles and ways they also overcame the emotional or physical bullying. Through their Advisory classes they also learn the definitions of bullying, strategies to become upstanders instead of bystanders and how they can report bullying to trusted adults, using online reporting, and through Text-a-Tip.

D27 Schools Closed (Only Posting)

All District 27 schools will be closed on Monday, October 14 in observance of Columbus Day.  Schools will also be closed on Thursday, October 17 in order to hold Parent/Teacher Conferences. 

From the Library (First Posting)

Author K. A. Holt will visit Wood Oaks for three presentations on Tuesday, November 5th. We look forward to welcoming this author.

"Kari Anne Holt is the award-winning author of many middle-grade novels in verse including the #ownvoices Redwood & Ponytail (Chronicle, 2019),  KnockoutHouse Arrest, and Rhyme Schemer. She is also the author of From You to MeGnome-a-geddonRed Moon RisingBrains for Lunch: a zombie novel in haiku, and Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel."

Please note that no books will be sold at Wood Oaks. Students may bring in their own books for the author to autograph. All student books must be brought to the library by Monday, November 4, so we can arrange for them to be signed. Each book should include a sticky note that lists the student's first and last name. Thank you. 

Food Deliveries to the Office (Second Posting)

A reminder that the main office will not accept food deliveries from vendors for students.  There is a cart in the office for family members to deliver a forgotten lunch that can be picked up by the student at lunch time.  We will not accept deliveries from Jimmy John’s, Door Dash, etc. 

Attention 8th Grade Families (Second Posting)

At 6:30 pm on Monday, October 21, we will be hosting an informational session on the transition from Wood Oaks to Glenbrook North.  We will give parents an overview of the timeline and process, discuss our input into the class placements at GBN, and help families better understand the terminology used by GBN.  This event will be held in the stage area at Wood Oaks and should last about an hour, including some time for Q & A at the end.  Please come out and let us help you better understand this process.

Halloween Costume Guidelines (Second Posting)

Each year, having students (and staff) dress up for Halloween adds to the rich culture of school spirit we encourage at WO.  It is always fun to see the creative costumes that are worn by everyone who participates in this fun day.  With that being said, we do try to put some guidelines in place to help students navigate this day successfully. 

The number one issue which needs addressing, year in and year out, is when students create a group costume and, purposefully, exclude others from participating in their group.  This inevitably leads to hurt feelings, tears, and the need for our social workers to help students work through the conflict.  Please, if your child is thinking about participating in a group costume with friends, ensure they are allowing any others who want to be a part of the group costume to participate with them. 

Here are the general rules we share with the students regarding Halloween costumes:

1.      Students may wear Halloween costumes but must be recognizable, i.e. no masks or facial coverings.

2.      Any student wearing a costume must fully prepare before arriving to school. Spray cans, hair coloring, spray string, face painting, etc. will NOT be allowed at school.

3.      Face painting is allowed only if the student is recognizable and the painting applies to the costume being worn, i.e. whiskers for a cat.

4.      No toy (or real) weapons are allowed at school.

5.      Group costumes are discouraged when they involve the exclusion of other students.

6.      Parents are encouraged to supervise their child’s costume choice – keeping in mind that ultimately, Wood Oaks serves as a place of learning, safety, and appropriateness.

If a costume is determined by a staff member or administrator to be a disruption to the school environment, a possible safety hazard, or inappropriate, the student will be asked to change into different clothes or their gym uniform.  Thank you for your partnership in making sure that this fun holiday does not stand in the way of the important teaching and learning that must continue.

Word of the Week (Ongoing Posting)

Over the past five years, we have shared one vocabulary word per week with students on the morning broadcast to help increase vocabulary. This year, instead of learning new one word, we are focusing on learning the meanings of Latin roots and prefixes.

Research has shown that students who know the meaning of roots, prefixes, and suffixes know and learn more words more quickly than learning definitions of individual words. We want to continue to make Wood Oaks a vocabulary-rich school. Each week, the roots, prefixes, and focus words will be shared in my newsletter. You can help increase your child’s vocabulary by discussing the root, its meaning, and words that can be formed from the roots or prefixes.

For the next several weeks, we are focusing on the Latin root  con, meaning with or thoroughly together with.  The focus word for last week was convene, to come together in a group, usually for a purpose. This coming week’s highlighted word is congenial, meaning friendly, pleasant, or sociable.  We appreciate any reinforcement you can provide to your children to enhance their understanding of these roots and associated words.  Thank you for your partnership.