Message from the Principal

Week of September 13, 2021

Big picture

Message from the Principal

Dear Virginia Lake Families,

Please join us for our first PTA meeting of the school year on Monday, September 13th at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will be virtual only. This is a change from our original communication. Please see the information below for the link to our meeting. We hope to see you there!

ECDEC is conducting screening from children ages 3-5 for our early childhood program. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

The Virginia Lake staff is excited to be part of the PBIS network which is implemented in all District 15 schools and over 1500 schools in Illinois. It is also supported by the State Board of Education. The focus of our PBIS structure is to create a positive school climate that fosters respect, responsibility, and safety for all students.

What is PBIS?

PBIS (School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) is a proactive, team based framework for creating and sustaining safe and effective schools. Emphasis is

placed on prevention of problem behavior, development of prosocial skills, and the

use of data-based problem solving for addressing existing behavior concerns. School wide PBIS increases the capacity of our school to educate all students utilizing research-based school-wide, classroom, and individualized interventions. If warranted, some students may benefit from additional reteaching opportunities and natural consequences throughout the year.

There are 5 main components to our PBIS plan;

1. Define-clear and concise definition(s) of behavior expectations

2. Teach-direct teaching of behavior expectations

3. Remind/Reinforce-regular reminders & positive reinforcement for students meeting expectations

4. Celebrate-recognize and celebrate successes on a regular basis

5. Correct-reteach and redirect students when applicable

At the start of this school year, students viewed virtual videos that explained the expectations in the bathroom, playground, hallway, and during arrival and dismissal. Classroom teachers also spend time identifying key processes and systems within their rooms with their students. This allows students to clearly know and understand what is expected of them in all areas of our school setting and there are no surprises. School expectations are revisited throughout the year when needed. We focus on 3 three B’s-be respectful, be responsible, and be safe.

How do we recognize positive student behavior?

We are always trying to catch students making positive choices by rewarding students with “Dolphin Dollars.” Students are awarded “Dolphin Dollars” throughout the school day as a form of positive recognition for demonstrating any of our 3 B’s. Our regular celebrations vary throughout the year ranging from an extra recess to school wide bingo. We love celebrating our wonderful accomplishments!

Just like we teach academics, PBIS provides us a platform to also address the social/emotional needs of our students. On a regular basis, students with their classroom teachers, will participate in various lessons and role playing activities. They will proactively be taught ways to deal with various social situations that support our PBIS program using a social skills curriculum called Second Step.

During the 21-22 school year, the Expect Respect initiative will be implemented school wide. This effort focuses on empowering students in a consistent fashion to address and manage disrespectful behavior. It also focuses on improving peer relations by avoiding and discouraging bully-like behavior school wide.

What is a minor?

Minor means small. They are reminders/warnings for small misbehaviors. Making mistakes is part of being a child. A student will receive a minor after he/she has been redirected and an inappropriate behavior continues. If a student receives 3 minors within a calendar month, a major will be issued. If a student were to earn a minor, parents are informed by receiving a minor slip from their child’s classroom teacher. At the beginning of each trimester, each student has a fresh start.

What is a major?

Major behaviors demonstrate a purposeful or serious disregard for an expectation at Virginia Lake. For any major offense, students are seen by administration. Consequences may be issued. Parents are notified by a school administrator when a major offense has occurred.

Systems of Support

Within our PBIS system(s) of support, a multi-tiered approach is offered to our students to address any and all social-emotional needs. To achieve high rates of student success for all students, social-emotional instruction in our school must be differentiated in both nature and frequency. To effectively differentiate for all students, our PBIS system uses a tiered model of service delivery. All students at Virginia Lake participate in our PBIS Tier 1 supports. If moving into Tier 2 and/or Tier 3 supports, students at this level are recommended based on group and/or individual student need(s).

What does Tier 1 PBIS support look like at Virginia Lake School for all students?

Our Tier 1 supports consist of teaching school wide expectations, modeling and role playing them while also rewarding students for displaying respectful, responsible, and safe behaviors. Expectations are reviewed on an on-going basis throughout the school year through the use of mini lessons called cool tools. Expectations are also both orally discussed and visually displayed throughout our building. Students are able to earn “dolphin dollars”. Students also participate in regular school wide celebrations which are often tied to a school-based goal or incentive. Some celebrations in the past have included a movie, bingo and scavenger hunts. Students in grades K-6 are exposed to regular social-emotional lessons within the classroom environment using our research-based, Second Step curriculum. Using the Second Step curriculum has been shown to decrease problem behaviors, and it's designed to promote school success, self-regulation, and a sense of safety and support. Some sample lessons in the program cover topics like-coping strategies, building/maintaining friendships, and conflict resolution. During the 2021-22 school year, all students participated in our Expect Respect Program-a bully prevention initiative. This effort focused on removing the reinforcers that maintain socially inappropriate behavior, impacting bystander behavior, teaching all students to identify and label disrespectful behavior, and having a school-wide Stop Signal students can use to interrupt social aggression. This expect respect initiative will continue this year with opportunity for review of last year and reinforcement of upstanding behaviors. A student leadership team will continue to work to support our Expect Respect effort. Overall, we take great pride in not only teaching academics but also universally addressing and supporting the social-emotional needs of our students through our Tier 1 supports at Virginia Lake School.

What does Tier 2 PBIS support look like at Virginia Lake School for students who require more than Tier 1 support?

PBIS Tier 2 support(s) provide targeted intervention for some of our students who may need more or different support than is provided for all students within our Tier 1 model. A student may be recommended for our Check-In Check Out Program. This program is a positive, proactive approach to checking in with students as they arrive and before they leave school each day. It provides students with an opportunity to connect with an adult throughout the day who is able to frequently provide needed feedback on progress. Students in this intervention benefit from additional daily, positive adult interaction. Next, students selected for one of our SAIG Groups (Social Academic Instructional Groups) are ones who have participated in our CICO Program and require more explicit instruction of social-emotional skills. SAIG groups meet on a weekly basis for a total of 6 weeks. Various SAIG groups are offered at Virginia Lake and may focus on skills like- following expectations, staying organized, being an active learner, and/or coping skills.

In summary, our school’s PBIS multi-tiered approach is designed to meet the varying social-emotional needs of our students. Please know that your child’s classroom teacher will communicate any specific needs above and beyond our Tier 1 support directly with you. Social and emotional learning provides a foundation for safe and positive learning, and enhances students' ability to succeed in school, careers, and life.

As a parent, how can I support Virginia Lake’s PBIS program?

The routines that students learn at school can carry over to promote positive behavior outside of school. You, as parents, play an influential role within the PBIS framework by becoming involved within our school setting and supporting our 3 B’s-be respectful, be responsible, and be safe. Your continued support is greatly appreciated!

1. Encourage your child to earn as many “Dolphin Dollars” as possible.

2. Use any behavioral situation as a learning experience by discussing positive choices and natural consequences.

3. Help celebrate successes as we do in school on a daily/monthly basis

4. Keep lines of communication between school and home open. We are here to work together to provide the best learning environment for each child.

Let’s make it a great week!

With Kindest Regards,

Patti Van Winkle, Principal

Amy Timberlake, Virtual Author Visit

Amy Timberlake: Monday, September 27 at 10:00am CT. Grades 1-5. Roommates Skunk and Badger head out on a rock-finding expedition that becomes much more dangerous than they ever expected in Egg Marks the Spot, the second book in the Skunk and Badger series.

Big picture
We'd love for you to join the Virginia Lake PTA if you haven't already. Look for blue forms coming home in your students folders or download and print at home and send back to school- Just a reminder that joining the PTA does not obligate you to volunteer or attend meetings. However, if you'd like to get involved we would love to have you! Volunteering and participating in the PTA is a great way to connect with our Virginia Lake school community and families.

Our first PTA meeting will be held on Monday, September 13th. We will be meeting on the first Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. Our meeting will be virtual only. Below is the information to join us virtually.

Topic: PTA- September

Time: Sep 13, 2021 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 859 8067 8010

Passcode: 589367

One tap mobile

+13126266799,,85980678010# US (Chicago)

+13017158592,,85980678010# US (Washington DC)

Dial by your location

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Big picture

Parent Handbook

The 2021-22 Parent/Student Handbook is now available online! You can view it here.

  • The annual handbook is a summary of Board of Education policies governing District 15. The complete School District 15 Board of Education Policy Manual is available for public review at the District office and on the District 15 BoardDocs website. State and federal laws require school districts to notify parents and students about certain rights, responsibilities, and procedures; you will find that information in this handbook. This handbook may be amended during the year.

  • The handbook offers information pertinent to the District as a whole. Some programs and procedures may differ from school to school, based on the size and location of the building, the grades served, the facilities available, and the programs conducted at the school. Your school administrators will inform you of these additional procedures. The handbook is intended to be a handy resource, but is not meant to take the place of personal communication between home and school. Please feel free to call your child’s school if you have any questions on programs or procedures, or consult your school’s website.

  • ¡El Manual para padres / estudiantes 2021-22 ya está disponible en línea! Puedes verlo aquí.

  • El manual anual es un resumen de las políticas de la Junta de Educación que rigen el Distrito 15. El manual completo de las políticas de la Junta de Educación del Distrito 15 está disponible para ser revisado por el público en la oficina del Distrito y en el sitio web de BoardDocs del Distrito 15. Las leyes estatales y federales requieren que los distritos escolares notifiquen a los padres y a los estudiantes sobre ciertos derechos, responsabilidades y procedimientos; usted encontrará esa información en este manual. Este manual puede ser enmendado durante el año.

  • El manual ofrece información pertinente para el Distrito en su conjunto. Algunos programas y procedimientos pueden diferir de una escuela a otra, según el tamaño y la ubicación del edificio, los grados atendidos, las instalaciones disponibles y los programas que se llevan a cabo en la escuela. Los administradores de su escuela le informarán sobre estos procedimientos adicionales. El manual está destinado a ser un recurso útil, pero no reemplaza la comunicación personal entre el hogar y la escuela. No dude en llamar a la escuela de su hijo/a si tiene alguna pregunta sobre programas o procedimientos, o consulte el sitio web de su escuela.

Lockdown Opt Out

Dear Parents and Guardians:

District 15 is strongly committed to school safety. Each year, school are required by by Illinois School Code to conduct the following drills:

  • Three evacuation drills. One of the three evacuation drills must be supervised by the fire department.

  • One bus evacuation drill.

  • One severe weather/shelter-in-place drill.

  • Two law enforcement (lockdown) drills. One of these two law enforcement drills must be a staff initiated lock-down. The schools also conduct an annual drill review meeting with principals and representatives from police and fire departments to continuously improve each school’s readiness to respond to an emergency and/or crisis situation.

House Bill 2400 (The School Safety Drill Act) states:

  • All lockdown drills will be announced to all school personnel and students prior to the commencement of the drill.

  • Schools will provide sufficient information and notification to parents and guardians in advance of any lockdown drill that involves the participation of students.

  • Schools will provide parents and guardians an opportunity to exempt their child for any reason from participating in the walk-through lockdown drill.

  • Schools will provide alternative safety education and instruction related to an active threat or active shooter event to students who do not participate in a walk-through lockdown drill to provide them with essential information, training, and instruction through less sensorial safety training methods.

Building administrators will notify families of upcoming drills at least one week in advance of the drill. If you prefer your child does NOT participate in the yearly required lockdown drills, please complete this form. Please submit one form for each of your children you are opting out.

Estimados padres y tutores:

El Distrito 15 está fuertemente comprometido con la seguridad escolar. Cada año, las escuelas están obligadas por el Código Escolar de Illinois a realizar los siguientes simulacros:

  • Tres simulacros de evacuación. Uno de los tres simulacros de evacuación debe ser supervisado por el departamento de bomberos.

  • Un simulacro de evacuación del autobús.

  • Un simulacro de clima severo/refugio en el lugar.

  • Dos simulacros de aplicación de la ley (encierro). Uno de estos dos simulacros de cumplimiento de la ley debe ser un cierre iniciado por el personal. Las escuelas también llevan a cabo una reunión anual de revisión de simulacros con los directores y representantes de los departamentos de policía y de bomberos para mejorar continuamente la preparación de cada escuela para responder a una emergencia y/o situación de crisis.

El proyecto de ley 2400 (Ley de simulacros de seguridad escolar) establece:

  • Todos los simulacros de cierre serán anunciados a todo el personal de la escuela y a los estudiantes antes del comienzo del simulacro.

  • Las escuelas proporcionarán suficiente información y notificación a los padres y tutores antes de cualquier simulacro de cierre que implique la participación de los estudiantes.

  • Las escuelas proporcionarán a los padres y tutores la oportunidad de eximir a sus hijos, por cualquier motivo, de participar en el simulacro de cierre a pie.

  • Las escuelas proporcionarán educación e instrucción de seguridad alternativa relacionada con una amenaza activa o un evento de tirador activo a los estudiantes que no participen en un simulacro de cierre a pie para proporcionarles información esencial, capacitación e instrucción a través de métodos de capacitación de seguridad menos sensoriales.

Los administradores del edificio notificarán a las familias de los próximos simulacros por lo menos una semana antes del mismo. Si usted prefiere que su hijo/a NO participe en los simulacros de cierre requeridos anualmente, por favor complete este formulario. Por favor, envíe un formulario para cada uno de sus hijos que está optando por no participar.

District 15 Career Fair

District 15 will be holding a Career Fair on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 from 12:00-3:00pm at the Palatine Library, 700 N. North Ct. in Palatine. Come apply onsite! We are looking for the following positions:

- Bus Drivers - no experience necessary; paid training; free benefits (employee only); pension; paid holidays

- Substitute Teachers and Substitute Program Assistants - set your own schedule!

- Full time Program Assistants

- Office and Library Clericals

- Maintenance/Laborers/Custodians

- And more!

Please contact Chanell Lopez at or Lori Thum at with any questions.

Concurrent Learning

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to offer concurrent learning to our in-person students if/when they have been directed to quarantine if they are deemed a close contact to a positive individual or to go into isolation due to testing positive for COVID-19. We will ONLY allow students who have medical documentation or have been directed by the school nurse and approved by the building principal to quarantine or isolate. Students that have been directed to quarantine and approved to participate in concurrent learning for a specified period of time will be given a device and a link to the Google Meet to participate in learning. Students on vacation, out of the country, or home ill with any other illness will NOT be allowed to participate in concurrent learning. They will be marked absent per BOE policy 7:070 ATTENDANCE AND TRUANCY.

Important Dates

Monday, September 13th- PTA Meeting- 7:00 p.m.

Monday, September 20th- Parent Collaboration Committee- 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 21st- District 15 Career Fair- 12:00-3:00 p.m.

District 15 Newsetter

Please click on this link for the latest District 15 newsletter.

District 15 Community eFlyers

Please click on this link for the District 15 Community eFlyers.