Carleton Washburne

Monday Memo (On a Tuesday) - January 17, 2023

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Washburne Families,

It was awesome seeing our students back in classrooms and hallways last week full of energy after winter break. Mr. Horwitz and I also had the opportunity to interact with a number of parents last week at our, “Not Quite Little Kid, Not Quite Teenager: The Developmental Progression of the Middle School Child,” presentation. If you were unable to attend, you can view the presentation and slides here.

Washburne students will be taking their Winter MAP tests this week on Wednesday, January 18th and Thursday, January 19th. We are also looking forward to welcoming families into the building for our winter conferences on Thursday, February 9th and Friday, February 10th. We will have information about how to sign up for conferences in next week’s memo.

Take Care and Be Well,

Andrew Fenton & Ben Horwitz

Washburne Principal & Assistant Principal

Important Information for 8th Grade Families

Save the Date: 8th Grade Graduation

Attention 8th grade families, Washburne’s 8th grade graduation will be held on Tuesday, June 6th at 7:00pm. Our plan is to hold an in-person graduation ceremony at the Gaffney auditorium located on the Winnetka campus at New Trier High School.

We will have much more information in the weeks to come, so please save the date and keep an eye out for more information both from me and the 8th grade graduation committee.

New Trier Scheduling Conferences

8th grade families can schedule a 15 minute conference with a counselor from New Trier by clicking on this sign up LINK. These optional conferences are an opportunity to discuss your child’s schedule for next year. Conferences will take place in person in the Washburne Gym on Monday, February 13th from 1:00-6:00 PM. Students should attend the conference as well.

If your child has an IEP, please do not sign up for these conferences. You will meet with representatives from New Trier at a different time to discuss your child’s schedule for next year. If your child has a 504 plan, you can sign up for a scheduling conference using the link above.

Please note that these conferences are a discussion of your child’s schedule for next year, not an actual registration. All families should look for instructions from New Trier to complete that step.

Author Visit

Author Steve Sheinkin will be visiting Washburne and speaking to our 8th grade students on Friday, January 27th. Steve Sheinkin is an acclaimed author whose accolades include a Newbery Honor, three Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, a Sibert Medal, and three National Book Award finalist honors. His latest work is a riveting graphic novel adaptation of the award-winning nonfiction book Bomb—the fascinating and frightening true story of the creation of the destructive force that birthed the arms race and the Cold War.

7th and 8th grade families who would like to purchase a copy of one of Mr. Sheinkin’s books through the Book Stall can do so by clicking this LINK. You can write your child’s advisor’s name in the “Teacher” spot.

Cafeteria Focus Group

Quest Food Management Services, our cafeteria food service provider, is looking for parents to be part of a focus group on Wednesday, January 25th from 11:00-11:45 AM at Washburne. Parents will have the opportunity to sample food items and provide feedback to Quest about menu offerings.

If you are interested in being part of this group, please email Ben Horwitz -

Window to Washburne

Welcome to Window to Washburne! Each week, we will be highlighting some of the learning taking place in our classrooms.

The hit musical Hamilton is being used as a vehicle to help students learn more about American history. In Mr. Hovis’s 7th grade social studies class, students have been analyzing lyrics from different songs from the musical. Many of the lyrics are a springboard to conduct research and help students better understand all of the historical references. This past week, students have been in our resource center, working with Ms. Nelson, annotating song lyrics and conducting research. Ultimately, the students will create their own “Pop Up Video” to share all of their historical information they learned with their classmates.

Kudos to Mr. Hovis and Ms. Nelson for collaborating on such a fun, historical project.

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What’s Happening in Related Studies

In this section we will be shining the spotlight on our Related Studies program and all the wonderful opportunities available to our Washburne students.

7th grade Spanish students are wrapping up Tumba, their first novel of the year. They are excited to learn about Antigua, Guatemala, in the coming weeks in preparation to read Esperanza. In doing so, they will have the opportunity to talk about Latin American geography, immigration to the United States, and Mayan traditions.

Prior to winter break, 8th grade Spanish students held several interpersonal conversations with classmates and practiced writing letters with pen pals in preparation for the AAPPL exam, which assessed their spoken and written proficiency levels. Since returning, they have been glad to re-engage with El ekeko, our class novel, and learn more about Bolivian culture in the last few chapters. Currently, 8th graders are acting out scenes from El ekeko in order to better comprehend the novel (entirely in Spanish!). They enjoy the opportunity to add meaning to the novel's words and move around with friends.

Boys Volleyball Registration Information

Travel Boys Volleyball is starting soon and available for all 7th and 8th grade boys.

Practice times are Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays from 3:30-5:00pm and Friday mornings from 7:00-8:00am. Matches are all played during the week, Mondays through Thursdays, starting at either 4:00pm or 5:00pm (roughly). There are no weekend commitments. Boys should bring athletic clothing and knee pads to all volleyball events.

There will be 2 days of tryouts on Tuesday, January 31 and Wednesday, February 1 from 3:30-5:00pm. The season will end on Thursday, March 16.

Please contact Andy Becker at with any questions.

Saturday Intramural Basketball Program

Washburne's Intramural Basketball house league program is open for registration. Click HERE to register.

This program is available to all Winnetka residents in grades 7 and 8. The program runs on Saturdays for an hour between 12:00-2:00 on the following dates: 1/21, 1/28, 2/4, 2/18, 2/25, 3/4, 3/18 and the Championship Game on Tuesday, 3/21 after school.

This is a fun program for any students who enjoys playing basketball. There will be a playing time rotation, allowing for equal playing time for all. There will also be opportunities for 8th grade leadership roles as team captains.

Any questions - reach out to Andy Becker at

District 36 News

Winter MAP 2023 Testing

We are approaching our second testing window for the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test, which will take place between January 17 - 27, 2023. Your child’s school or teacher will inform you of his or her specific testing dates.

Similar to the fall, all students in Grades 3 - 8 will take one reading test and one math test. The MAP Assessment is designed to measure a student’s achievement level at different times of the school year and compute growth over time. MAP is a computer-adaptive test, which means every student receives a unique set of test questions based on responses to previous questions. This provides a personalized assessment experience by adapting to each student’s learning level.

The purpose of the second testing session is to provide teachers with midyear progress data that will help inform their instruction as they move forward into the school year. Winter student reports are not sent home. Student reports are sent home at the end of the school year with fall to spring growth measures. Additional information on the MAP Assessment may be found on our district website in the Assessment Section of ITL. If you need further information on your child’s testing session please contact your building principal.

Winnetka Parents Institute

The District is offering an array of upcoming educational sessions for families and community members. Click here for session dates and more information.


Acceleration in Winnetka 36

January 25, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.

The Skokie School Community Room

Director of Innovation, Teaching, and Learning Dr. Becky Mathison will host this information session about the acceleration policy. The content will include a review of the purpose of the acceleration policy and a preview of updated procedures this year. Participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback on specific components including the initial request form.


January 25, 2023

10:00-11:00 AM

RSVP here.

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

For upcoming events, access FAN’s website here.

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.

Winnetka Public Schools Foundation's Annual Carlson Event on January 26

YOU ARE INVITED to an evening you won't want to miss...

Winnetka Public Schools Foundation's Annual Carlson Event

Thursday, January 26, 2023

7pm - 9pm

Winnetka Community House, Garden Room

The annual Carlson Event is a lively, interactive evening that provides an opportunity for D36 parents and community members to see the Foundation grants in action.

The Foundation is excited to host a panel of D36 educators who will speak about significant grants which are funding professional development on two hot topics for all K-8 teachers. K-4 teachers received training from the Reading League on the “Science of Reading”, and 5-8 teachers received training from the Buck Institute on “Project Based Learning”. Attendees will learn about these important training investments and their current impact on students in the classroom.

Join us and bring your friends for conversation, a glass of wine, and delicious hors d'oeuvres! All are welcome for this free community event.

Please RSVP to

For more information about the Foundation, go to

This complimentary event is sponsored by a generous gift left to the Foundation in 2002 by Charlotte Carlson, a long-time educator in the Winnetka Public Schools.

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.
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Text-for-Help Available to Support Student Safety & Well-Being

Text-for-Help is is intended to provide confidential support to students at school. This resource is available 24/7, 365 days a year, completely anonymous, and staffed by fully-licensed counselors on the other end. Based on the students’ needs and preferences, a counselor will then direct the user to further assistance.

For further details about the tool, please review this recent Winnetka Parents Institute Session.

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


Time to Gather Up Your Plastic Bags...

The TREX Plastic Film Challenge Started on November 15th!

Each year Go Green Winnetka and all District 36 schools participate in this program, which enlists schools to collect plastic bags and wrap, which are then recycled and made into alternate wood products. The Challenge runs from November 15 - April 15, with winners announced on Earth Day. During this time, bins are placed at D36 schools to collect the *plastics listed below.

●Grocery bags

●Bread bags

●Case overwrap (e.g. water, soda and juice bottles)

●Dry cleaning bags

●Newspaper sleeves

●Ice bags

●Wood pellet bags

●Ziplock and other reclosable bags

●Produce bags

●Bubble wrap

●Salt bags

●Cereal bags

*Please note, all plastics must be clean, dry, and free of food residue.

Contact with any questions.

Upcoming Dates

Tuesday, January 17th & Wednesday, January 18th: Map Testing

Tuesday, January 31st: School Board Meeting @ 7:15pm

Thursday, February 9th & Friday, February 10th: Winter Conferences - No School