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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 10.4.19

Student Emergency Preparedness Training (Only Posting)

Just to update all of you on the memo I sent out earlier this week.  Mrs. Beake, our social workers, and I had some wonderful conversations with students yesterday about the options they have, both in school and out, to keep themselves safe in the event they find themselves in a dangerous environment.  Students were attentive and asked some very thoughtful questions.  Our time included a visit to a couple places they can go if they are outside of the school and need to seek safety.  We do not want to advertise those locations, but definitely wanted the students to know exactly where those places are located.  We will be holding an announced lockdown drill next Thursday morning in order to practice some of the things we have been discussing these past couple of weeks.  As with all of our emergency drills, this drill will be closely monitored with safety of both students and staff as the primary focus. 

Food Deliveries to the Office (First 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 (First 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.

No School on Wednesday (Only Posting)

All District 27 schools will be closed for a District Holiday on Wednesday, October 9.  Schools will reopen under normal hours on Thursday, October 10.

Medical Appointments During the Day (Only Posting)

If you should need to pick-up your child for a medical appointment during the day, which we understand does happen sometimes, please ensure you build in enough time before the appointment for your child to make it from their classroom (or outside if they are in PE), to their locker, and to the office.  We do not pull a student out of class in advance of the parent/guardian arrival in the main office because sometimes that parent is running late and then the student is missing more instructional time than necessary.  Thank you.

Halloween Costume Guidelines (First 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  cept, meaning take or receive. The focus word for last week was suscpetible, from able to be taken under, meaning easily influenced or harmed by something taken under. This week’s highlighted word is conceptualize, thoroughly take an idea; to have an idea about something or how something should work.  Other words using cept include exception, deception, and reception.  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.