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 9.18.20

Tips for Working Remotely (First Posting) 

Children learning from home while teachers instruct from school is a new concept for everyone.  It is essential to a child’s success that parents and teachers work collaboratively to help them during these brand-new times. It is also important to remember that children have not yet developed all of the executive functioning skills needed to manage the tasks that teachers would typically assist with at school. We will all be working on these concepts throughout the school year to help children with organizational strategies, work habits, and managing school during these unprecedented times. We continue to learn and grow together, and I wanted to share a few tips that parents might find helpful. 

  • Dedicate a space for your child to work when they are home. Open spaces in view of adults is ideal, when possible, so that a quick glance or reminder can be provided if and when necessary.  
  • Find a place to post the student’s schedule for the day in clear view.
  • Set out supplies like notebooks, pencils, computer, etc. in the sequence of the child’s daily schedule so that he/she knows what’s needed as the day progresses.
  • We would prefer that cameras remain on during instruction, unless the teacher directs the child to turn it off or if the child asks permission. This allows the teacher to monitor from school and engage with the child as needed. We understand that some students may be uncomfortable with having their camera on.  If that is the case, please have your child reach out to the teacher to explain.  Most students should have their cameras on for the duration of the lesson.
  • If you are a home that has multiple children/adults working remotely, it’s OK for the child to use headphones to login to the classroom. 
  • If multiple Wildcats are working from the same home, they should each have their own dedicated space.  Teachers are reporting that they are observing small groups of friends logging in from one home.  If this is arranged in order to streamline child care needs, please find ways for them to each have their own space. 

Understandably, every household is different with some parents working remotely, children having varied degrees of support, multiple children working remotely at home at the same time, etc.  We will continue to work through ways to assist families during what is becoming our new normal. 

Fall Parent Teacher Conferences (First Posting)

Fall Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held at the following times:

  • Wednesday, October 14, 5:00 – 8:15 pm
  • Thursday, October 15, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
  • Thursday, October 15, 5:00 – 8:15 pm
  • Friday, October 16, 8:15 – 11:30 am
  • Friday, October 16, 12:30 – 3:30 pm

Online registration for these important meetings will begin at 9 am on Tuesday, September 29 and is open through 4 pm on Friday, October 9.  You will be receiving your login information in your email in the coming days.  These conferences will be held using Zoom. Those links will be emailed to you in the days leading up to conferences and will also be available on each teacher’s Canvas page in the Announcements section.  As you will be directed into a waiting room until the teacher admits you at your conference time, it is crucial that you are readily identifiable via Zoom.  Please ensure your screen name is either your full name or your student’s full name as listed in the parent portal.

Picture Day (First Posting)

School Picture Day will be held on Wednesday, September 23 (A students) and Thursday, September 24 (B students).  Students who are fully remote will be receiving a separate communication about how they will be able to have their school picture taken as well.  This year, all picture orders must be completed either online or over the phone.  Click here to view a flyer with information on how to order pictures. 

Strep Throat (Only Posting)

We had a case of strep throat reported at Wood Oaks this week.  Please monitor your child for the signs of strep throat: sore throat, fever, headache and/or stomach ache.  If your child displays these symptoms, he/she should be seen by a physician and evaluated for a possible case of strep.  If there is a diagnosis of strep, once your child is on antibiotics and has been fever free for 24 hours, he/she may return to school.  Note: Sore throat is also a potential symptom of COVID-19.  If your child displays these symptoms, he/she should be seen by a physician and evaluated.  Please contact school nurse, Karen Kornick, at ext. 5536 if you have any questions.

Curriculum Night Videos (Updated Posting)

Based on our video analytics, it seems that many parents have chosen to wait before viewing the Curriculum Night videos teachers posted on Monday evening.  We did decide to leave them up through the end of the month to provide some flexibility for parents to view those videos as you are able.  This is just a friendly reminder that those are still up on teacher Canvas pages.  Here again are the directions on how to find those videos, and here is the Principal’s Welcome Video.

Fully Remote Instructional Materials (Only Posting)

On Thursday, September 24, parents of fully remote students will be able to come by Wood Oaks to pick up any instructional materials your student may need for the next couple of weeks.  This pickup will be located at the front entrance to the school from 4:00 – 5:30 pm. 

Morning Student Drop-Off (First Posting)

As we enter our fifth week of school our traffic routines are mostly going smoothly, and we thank all of you that are taking precautions to drive safely through our traffic lanes. With the change of entry doors for students, we are noticing that some parents are using the left lane to go around parents dropping off a student. Please stay to the right at all times for dropping off your child. During morning drop-off, the left lane is used only for our staff entering the parking area. Please be patient as it only takes a moment to wait for students exiting their car. We appreciate your assistance keeping our arrival area safe for everyone. 

Teacher Contact (Second Posting)

Please understand that teachers are directed 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 (Second 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 (Second 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 (Second 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. 

Canvas Support (Second 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: