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 9.11.20

Teacher Contact (First Posting)

You will likely hear more regarding preferred contact methods from your child’s specific teachers in Monday’s Curriculum Night videos, but I did want to make one request across the board.  Please understand that I direct teachers to not be checking emails outside of school hours.  While their contract day ends at 3:35 pm, they spend many hours outside of school developing lesson plans, grading assignments, populating Canvas, and this year, setting up Zoom links.  If you or your child reach out to them in the evening, please do not expect a reply until the next day.  Our guidance of teachers is to reply to emails within 24 hours, at least with an acknowledgement of receipt and a note that the content is being evaluated.  If your child has something come up with an assignment that is due the next day, they can still email the teacher that night, informing the teacher of the issue, but should not expect a response until the following day.  Thank you for your understanding.

Timeliness (First Posting)

Please impress upon your children the importance of timeliness when it comes to appointments.  I am receiving feedback from teachers that remote students are often several minutes late to joining class.  This will often hold up the process of starting class for the other students.  Certainly, we understand that while at home, things may come up that cause them to be late to a class here or there.  This should not be a frequent occurrence.  While learning at home, we do still expect that getting to class on time is a high priority.  Thank you for your assistance with this matter.

Afternoon Pickup (First Posting)

Now that the year is up and running well, it is time to work on some of the smaller details.  This is for those of you who pick up your child at Wood Oaks after school.  As you make your way to the front of the line, if you see your child on the sidewalk, but there is still open space in front of you, please continue to pull around until traffic in front of you stops.  Your son/daughter will be able to walk those extra few steps to catch up to you and this allows more cars at the back of the line to make it to the front that much quicker.  This will help all students get picked up in a more efficient manner.  Also, if you can try to not stop your vehicle in the yellow painted crosswalk, that will allow our staff members to get across the driveway more safely.  Thank you for your attention to these items.

Safety Drills (First Posting)

Each year we are required by the State of Illinois to conduct safety drills. We will practice at least one of each of the following drills: Bus Evacuation, Shelter in Place (Tornado), Evacuation (Fire), and Active Intruder. We will be practicing all of the exercises in the coming weeks.  We completed our first evacuation drill with our B students on Thursday and it went very well. 

Special Schedule (Only Posting)

On Monday, Wood Oaks will be operating on a modified bell schedule, found here.  If your child is logging in from home, they should be aware of these new times.

Canvas Support (First Posting)

I have received some communications that there is a segment of the parent population that is experiencing some challenges navigating Canvas.  In an attempt to provide some assistance, our wonderful technology department has created some resources that parents can access to help them with getting around Canvas.  This is something everyone will have to do on Monday as you access the teacher videos for our Virtual Curriculum Night.  The simple version of “Canvas Tips” is to be sure you are using the calendar function in Agenda View.  Then it is a matter of turning classes on and off in the menu to clean up how many items you are seeing at once.  That will get you most of what you need on a day to day basis.  Now, for the more detailed support, here is what tech asked me to share with you:

Curriculum Nights (Final Posting)

This year, our annual Curriculum Night event will be held virtually.  In lieu of an evening where everyone spends their time jumping in and out of seven different Zoom meetings, teachers will create videos of their classroom presentations.  This way, parents can view these videos at a time that is convenient for them, and even watch them over a couple different evenings if they so choose.  Teachers will post their Curriculum Night presentations to the Announcements section of their Canvas page at 6:30 pm on Monday, September 14.  The videos will remain posted through the month of September. Instructions for accessing Curriculum Night videos can be found here.  Our teachers will miss the opportunity to connect with you in person this year, but are excited to share with you all that they are doing in their classrooms as they work to educate your children in this ever-changing world!

STAR Testing (Updated Posting)

Every year we administer STAR assessments in September, January, and May. We give the math test to students in grades K-8, with the exception of students in our Algebra and Geometry courses.  Wood Oaks does not currently administer STAR for Reading.

Testing will begin the week of September 14. 

  • Tests will be administered through regularly scheduled math classes
  • 6th grade hybrid students will participate on Thursday, Sept. 17 (Group B) and Friday, Sept. 18 (Group A)
  • 7th and 8th grade hybrid students will participate on Monday, Sept. 21 (Group A) and Tuesday, Sept. 22 (Group B)
  • Students attending 100% remotely will participate remotely during their regularly scheduled math class time on Friday, September 18 (6th grade) and Monday, September 21 (7th & 8th grade).  You will receive more information about this next week from Mrs. Spak.

For additional information on STAR assessment, please consult the District 27 website.

Resources for 2020-21 School Year (Final Posting)

There has obviously been a great deal of communication over the past several weeks regarding the start of the school year.  If you find yourself in a position of not recalling one piece of information or another, there are a couple of things you can do.  First, you can look back at the previous issues of this newsletter and see if you can find it there.  You can also visit the “2020-2021 School Year” tab of the Wood Oaks website.  Many of the resources we have shared over the past few weeks are archived on that page. 

Health Certification (Final Posting)

Thank you to the vast majority of you who have been diligent this week about filling out the daily health certification form for your children.  Having that form completed each day makes our building entry procedures run very smoothly.  Things grind to a halt when we encounter a student that does not have a completed form on file.  While 6th and 8th grade parents seem to have this practice down, it is still a frequent delay at our 7th grade entrance.  Please consider putting a repeated reminder in your phone’s calendar program to alert you to fill out that form each in-person day.  Thank you.