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 9.4.20

Curriculum Nights (New 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 instead 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 there 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 to succeed in this ever-changing world!

STAR Testing (First 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. The STAR Reading assessment is administered to students in grades 2-5. 

Testing will begin the week of September 14. 

  • Students attending in-person school: We will administer the assessments across two days per content area to ensure that students are able to take them in the classroom. I will publish the schedule next Friday in the Principal’s Newsletter.
  • Students attending 100% remotely: We are planning to administer the assessments remotely in small groups. You will receive more information at the end of next week from Mrs. Spak.

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

Backpacks (Second Posting)

I have received some questions this week about how parents can help their children limit the weight of their backpacks.  This is something we have been working on for the past couple years, well before the pandemic hit.  Certainly, with the removal of lockers as a resource, students are going to be carrying more materials with them.  I have asked the teachers to work with students to set clear expectations about what does, and does not, need to go back and forth to school each day.  What I have learned from past experience in this area is that many students, even when told that certain items will not be needed, end up carrying those things with them each day.  When asked about it, students will respond that they just don’t want to be caught unprepared.  I have also personally seen students carrying around graded quizzes that are multiple quarters old.  So, from the home front, if you can help your students purge older graded assignments, that will help.  Hopefully, between that and the teachers providing clarity on what is needed, we can make the packs somewhat lighter.

Resources for 2020-21 School Year (Second 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. 

Labor Day Weekend (Final Posting)

All District 27 schools will be closed on Monday, September 7 in observance of Labor Day.  All schools will reopen on Tuesday, September 8 under normal school hours for Hybrid Group B.

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 mostly 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.

Lunches (Final Posting)

There will be no hot lunch program at the start of the year.  We will continue to evaluate our environment and work with our PTA to determine when the time is right to restart that program.  So, all students should be bringing a sack lunch from home to school each day.  There will be a cart placed in the foyer near the main office for parents to drop off lunches that students forgot to pack.  We do ask that families do all they can to minimize the need to drop off lunches at school.  I do not want to cut off this service completely as mistakes do happen and children need to eat.  However, the lunch cart does create a space that has multiple touches by multiple people and it is in everyone’s best interest to limit that exposure to just emergency situations.  Please try to help your child to remember their lunch each day.