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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 10.18.19

Vaping Presentation (First Posting)

Most of you have probably seen or read a news story about the dangerous adverse effects, up to and including death, of vaping.  It is certainly a topic on which all parents of adolescents should be educated.  The Glenview Northbrook Coalition for Youth (GNCY) is sponsoring a parent education night on the topic of JUULing and Vaping at GBN on October 28.  Click here for more information

After School Activities (Only Posting)

All after school sports, clubs, and activities are cancelled on Tuesday, October 22 so that all Wood Oaks staff members can attend important staff training.  This includes the homework hour session in the library.  All students should head for home at the 3:30 pm dismissal time.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. 

Bullying Prevention and Awareness Month (Second 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 during one of the weeks in October. Seventh grade is up this week.

Wood Oaks will again be featuring a special day for the 7th grade students known as “Accepting Other’s Differences day”.  The memorable day will focus on a program that features simulations designed to emulate specific learning challenges.  The ultimate goal of the program is to develop students who show empathy to their peers and recognize that all students are unique and being treated fairly doesn’t always mean being treated the same.   In 7th grade Advisory classes, students will spend the month of October and into November, preparing for this pinnacle event with weekly lessons related to the program.  Preparations include tasks and activities focused on unequal resources, racial and ethnic differences, and diverse learning styles and learning differences.  This annual event continues to be a highlight of the 7th grade curricular focus of accepting differences.

From the Library (Second 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. 

Attention 8th Grade Families (Final 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.  If you are unable to attend this event, we will post the slides used during the presentation on the school's website on Tuesday.  We will also be sending home some of the information in written form via a mailing later in October, too. 

Halloween Costume Guidelines (Third 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 continue to focus on the Latin root  con, meaning with or thoroughly together with.  The focus word for last week was congenial, meaning friendly, pleasant, or sociable. This coming week’s highlighted word is contingent, which means uncertain because of uncontrollable or unforeseen circumstances that occur; dependent on other conditions.  

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.