Crow Island Parent Newsletter

January 30, 2023

Dear Crow Island Families,

We had a really busy week last week at Crow Island. We had a really wonderful time working with Chicago's Filament Theater! The theater group took over our Related Arts classes for the week and the students focused on creating a play and learning life lessons! We also had several teachers participate in in the Carlson Foundation event last week. Lillian Johnson highlighted our "Crows on Parade" which is funded by the foundation. In addition, Emily Anderson and Tammy Kerouac participated in a panel discussion around the reading work that is happening in 1st grade. We are so proud of our staff and their work to support students.

As a reminder, we have conference sign-up live and parents should pick a slot for conferences on February 9th and February 10th. Sign-up will close on Friday.

Stay well,


  • Friday, February 3rd: Conference Sign-Up Closes
  • Thursday, February 9th: No School Conferences
  • Friday, February 10th: No School Conferences
  • Monday, February 20th: Non-Attendance day for students

Phones/Smart Watches Reminders:

This is a reminder about smart phones and watches at school. While they are permitted to ensure students can safely walk or bike home after school, we also want to make sure we are adhering to the following guidelines:

  • Phones are to be kept on silent or off and put in student lockers during the day. They can come out of bags after dismissal as students leave school.

  • Watches can be worn for the purpose of telling time but should be put into airplane mode and the wifi access turned off while they are in school.

  • Students are not to call, text, or message their family members during the school day. If students need to reach a member of their family, they can use one of the phones in the main office.

If students have a hard time following these procedures the following will happen:

  • Students will be prompted to put the device away in their locker.

  • If it happens a second time, the student will be prompted to hand over the device to the staff member who will turn it into the main office. Parents will be called to come pick-up the device.

Composting in District 36

Composting is in full swing at Greeley, Hubbard Woods and Washburne Schools. A plan is underway to introduce composting at Crow Island and The Skokie School.

Please note that items that are not on the lists below are not eligible for composting. This includes dog waste, scrap wood, and yard waste. While leaves and other organics are compostable, this service is not intended to take the place of the current Winnetka community systems and home composting solutions. If you notice composting bins are full, the District is unable to accept the materials and kindly requests that you do not place items outside of the bins for health and safety reasons. We also ask that residents abide by the hours designated for our schools. Further information on hours and bin locations is available on the Village website.

Food Products:

• Baked goods

• Bones

• Breads

• Candy

• Cereal

• Coffee grounds

• Dairy products

• Egg shells

• Fish/seafood

• Flower/plant cuttings

• Fried food

• Fruits

• Grains and grain products

• Meats

• Vegetables

• Spices/herbs

• Sugars/syrups

Paper Products:

• Blue painters tape (it’s paper!)

• Cardboard (pizza boxes!)

• Coffee filters

• Sugar/salt/pepper packets

• Egg cartons (paper only)

• Microwave popcorn bags

• Napkins

• Newspaper

• Paper food packaging

• Paper towels and wrap

• Tea/tea bags (no staples)

• Untreated wood products/sawdust


  • READ: Alliance’s Fall/Winter Newsletter

  • REGISTER: Let’s Play! Let’s Play! Cardboard Design Experience on Saturday, January 28, 10:00am-12:00pm, Joseph Sears School, 542 Abbotsford Rd, Kenilworth, IL 60043

Join The Alliance for Early Childhood and partners Joseph Sears School, Kenilworth District 38 and Winnetka-Northfield Public Library to think outside of the box and get creative at our Cardboard Design Experience. Children will bring their own design ideas and we will provide the cardboard and tools for their creations to come to life. Intended Age Audience: All ages are welcome.

  • REGISTER: Virtual Parent Series: Using Connection, Compassion, and Co-Regulation to Address Challenging Behavior in Young Children with Cari Ebert, February 9, 7-8:30pm

Dealing with a child’s challenging behavior is one of the toughest parts of parenting. Traditional discipline techniques revolve around the use of punishments and rewards, which may be effective in the short term, but are often ineffective in the long run. Join Cari Ebert as she explores the power of using a relationship-based discipline approach based on connection, compassion, and co- regulation to support young children during times of distress. Facilitated by Cari Ebert, Pediatric Speech Pathologist, MS, CCC-SLP. More details here.

  • REGISTER: Let’s Play! Let’s Play! Winter Woods Exploration Saturday, February 11, 10:00am-12:00pm, Crow Island Woods, 1140 Willow Rd, Winnetka

Bundle-up and head outside to join The Alliance for Early Childhood and Community Partner BackYard Nature Center to engage in imaginative, child-directed, outdoor free-play in the woods. All ages are welcome.

  • REGISTER: Virtual Parent Series: Attachment and Your Young Child’s Mental Health: How You Can Make a Difference with Kate Blaker and Sarah Eastburg in Conversation with Carly Andrews, February 23, 7pm

From the moment children are born they seek a secure attachment with caregivers, and this attachment becomes the secure base for their future development. Renowned psychiatrist Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk writes that “children whose parents are reliable sources of comfort and strength have a lifetime advantage - a kind of buffer against the worst that fate can hand them.” Join Kate Blaker and Sarah Eastburg in conversation with Carly Andrews as they discuss the role of attachment between parent and child and explore what being "securely attached" means, how parents can support secure attachments with their children, and the effects of secure attachment on the family’s mental wellness. Facilitated by Kate Blaker, M.A.T, NBCC, LPC, and Sarah Eastburg, LSW. More details here.

January Winnetka Wire:
Check out our monthly newsletter here.

Winnetka Voices Podcast Episodes

Winnetka Voices is a podcast hosted by The Winnetka Public Schools, featuring candid conversations on issues relevant to education and shared resources to support our students and families.

NEW! Episode #3:

Supporting Literacy Needs & Fostering a Love of Reading

Dr. Kelly Tess, Superintendent, is joined by Dr. Becky Mathison, the District’s Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning, Ms. Missy Parks, second grade teacher at Crow Island School, and Anna Karwowska, Youth Services Manager of The Winnetka-Northfield Public Library. Topics addressed include how we've seen students' needs evolve following the result of the pandemic, how the District approaches supporting students in their reading skills, and tools that may help parents and caregivers support an interest in reading at home.

Listen here:

Apple Podcast



iHeart Radio

Episode #2:

Prioritizing Social Emotional Learning & RULER in our Schools

Dr. Kelly Tess, Superintendent, is joined by the District’s Social Emotional Learning coaches, Sachiko Kawata-Burke, Jennifer Knudson, Danielle Leitner, and Allison Szczecinski. The SEL coaches discuss the role they play in supporting students and teachers, particularly in the wake of the pandemic. The coaches also share the concept behind RULER, a research-based tool from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, that is currently being implemented in our schools.

Listen here:

Apple Podcast



iHeart Radio


Premiere Episode:

Fostering Post-Pandemic Growth & Resilience for our Children

Dr. Kelly Tess, Superintendent, speaks with Ms. Carly Andrews, Executive Director of The Alliance for Early Childhood, on how we can best support our childrens’ social and emotional needs, academic growth, and socialization in the wake of the pandemic.

Listen here:

Apple Podcast

iHeart Radio




Click here for resources and events from The Alliance for Early Childhood.

Winnetka Parents Institute

The District offers an array of upcoming educational sessions for families and community members. Click here for a complete list of session dates and more information.


From Washburne to New Trier: (Paul Waechtler, Principal)

A D36 Parent's Guide to the New Trier Transition

March 7, 2022 (confirmed)

9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

Carleton Washburne School, 515 Hibbard Rd.

Paul Waechtler, Principal at the New Trier High School Freshman

Campus, and Lori Worth, 8th Grade Transition Faculty, will discuss the New Trier freshman placement process and the efforts made to ensure a smooth transition to high school. A Q & A will provide an opportunity for parents to learn more about how to best support their child(ren) as they prepare for their New Trier experience.


RSVP here.

If you missed it:

View the Acceleration in Winnetka 36 Presentation here.

Director of Innovation, Teaching, and Learning Dr. Becky Mathison hosted this information session about the acceleration policy. The acceleration policy provides the opportunity for parents, students, and licensed educational professionals to request that accelerated programming be examined for an individual student. The policy identifies acceleration as: early entrance in Kindergarten, early entrance into 1st grade, single-subject acceleration (any subject), and grade-level acceleration. The content included a review of the purpose of the acceleration policy and a preview of updated procedures this year. Please note that the New Trier Math program and Washburne accelerated math are not a part of this policy. Thank you to the parents and community members that attended the WPI event about the acceleration policy on January 25.

Attendees were provided a draft copy of the acceleration request form in order to provide feedback before the form goes live on March 6. If you would like to provide feedback, please review the draft of the form here. Feedback that is specific and aligned to a particular question would be most helpful. Consider which items need to be changed, looked at further, or improvements. Please share your feedback with Dr. Becky Mathison at by Friday, February 10.

Adventures in Learning Summer 2023

The Winnetka Public Schools will offer its Adventures in Learning summer program from June 14th to July 19, 2023. There will be no classes on June 19th or July 4th. Our General Program is designed for students entering 2nd grade through 8th grade and will be held at Washburne School. Our Primary Program provides activities for children Pre-K (4 years old by June 1st, 2023) and K-1st grade (5 years old by September 1st, 2022) and will be held at Crow Island. Classes will be as varied as wilderness skills, archery, tennis, science, cooking, and many types of crafts​...along with the annual favorite, Animal Care. Registration will go live in March.

Online Registration Open for Incoming Kindergarteners & New Students for the 2023-2024 School Year

Registration for incoming kindergarteners and students new to The Winnetka Public Schools in 2023-2024 is now open on the District website and via Children who will be five-years-old on or before September 1, 2023, are eligible to enroll.

The new student registration process is completed in three steps:

  1. Complete new student pre-registration forms online beginning November 16, 2022.

  2. Provide the original or certified copy of your child(ren)'s birth certificate and a parent photo ID. The certified copy can be submitted in person at the District Office. If you have the original birth certificate, you may bring it to the District Office to be photocopied. The District Office is at 1235 Oak St., Winnetka.

  3. Provide proof of residency and paper registration forms. For your convenience, all required residency documents may be uploaded during online registration. Click here to view the list of documents that will meet these requirements as well as the other forms required for registration (Registration Forms & Information).

Children will not be considered enrolled until both the online and paper portion of registration has been completed and residency documentation is verified. If you have any questions, please contact the District Office at 847-446-9400.

Stay & Play Registration

Kindergarten students who are not currently enrolled in Stay & Play will have the opportunity to register for the 2nd half of the year after 8:00 am January 9th through this link. Please note that the registration period ends January 31, 2023 and will remain closed for the remainder of the year. The rates are prorated below. If you attempt to register before the 9th, you will receive an Item Unavailable message. After purchasing Kindergarten Stay & Play registration, your child will be able to begin their attendance in the program the following Monday so the schools can plan accordingly.

Parent Education Sessions from District Partner Family Action Network (FAN):

For upcoming events, access FAN’s website here. These noteworthy events are coming up this this week and next:

Jan. 24, 2023 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm:

The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness


Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, director of the Center for Psychodynamic Therapy and Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, co-director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, and co-founder of the Lifespan Research Foundation


William Henry Bloomberg Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School


Note: Event start time is Central Time (CT).


Jan. 26, 2023 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm:

Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life


Professor of Psychology, University of California at Berkeley, Faculty Director of the Greater Good Science Center, and bestselling author


Author of the #1 New York Times bestselling books Quiet and Bittersweet


Jan. 31, 2023 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm:

A Place Called Home: A Memoir of Deprivation and Hope


Head of Community Engagement (West) for Amazon and Author


Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services


Adventures in Learning Summer 2023

The Winnetka Public Schools will offer its Adventures in Learning summer program from June 14th to July 19, 2023. There will be no classes on June 19th or July 4th. Our General Program is designed for students entering 2nd grade through 8th grade and will be held at Washburne School. Our Primary Program provides activities for children Pre-K (4 years old by June 1st, 2023) and K-1st grade (5 years old by September 1st, 2022) and will be held at Crow Island. Classes will be as varied as wilderness skills, archery, tennis, science, cooking, and many types of crafts​...along with the annual favorite, Animal Care. Registration will go live in March.

Follow us on Social Media!

Please follow the District via the following social media platforms in order to see day-to-day happenings and more.

Facebook and Twitter: @Winnetka36

Instagram: @WinnetkaPublicSchools