Crow Island Parent Newsletter

December 19, 2022

Dear Crow Island Families,

This week is filled with celebration and fun at Crow Island! We hope to see many of you at our Winter Sing-Along on Thursday when students can share their voices and holiday cheer. In the immortal words of Buddy the Elf, “the best way to spread holiday cheer is singing loudly for all to hear”! For the Winter Sing-Along, I will send out more reminders about parking and other logistics on Wednesday morning.

In addition to our performance, we are also looking forward to our Sack Supper tradition of assembling sandwiches and our food items that can be donated to those in need during the holidays. This is a nice way for our students to give back and learn about empathy and being a good citizen during the holiday season.

Lastly, during this past week, several of our 4th grade Recess Leaders presented at the school board. We are beyond proud of Avery Zandpour, Janey Clarke, Woodson Cody, and Meghan Smith who shared their experiences as Recess Leaders. You can see the video here: Recess Leaders (Starts at 6 minute time).

Stay well,


  • Tuesday, December 20th: Sack Supper
  • Thursday, December 22nd: Winter Sings
  • Friday, December 23rd: No School; Winter break begins
  • Monday, January 9th: School Resumes
  • Monday, January 16th: No School Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Winter Sing-a-Long:

We are looking forward to our annual Sing-a-Long at Crow Island. This is a time for students and families to celebrate the holiday season together. The Sing-a-Long will take place on December 22nd and follow the schedule below:

  • 9:00am - Last Name A-G
  • 10:30am - Last Name H-O
  • 1:00pm - Last Name P-Z

This year the Sing-a-Long will take place in the auditorium.

Winter Singalong Request from Mr. Novello

The winter Sing-along is just around the corner! One of the many things that makes Crow Island special is that we are a school that sings together. The rationale behind a Winter Singalong (versus a concert) is for children to share this rich culture of group singing with their families. For that reason (with the exception of the 4th grade chorus and kindergarten) all the repertoire for the concert is widely known and meant to be sung by everyone. In that context, I want to ask you adults for a favor.

When you attend the singalong next week, please sing out. Sing like nobody's watching. Saying things like "You don't want to hear me sing'' or "I can't sing" actively fights the narrative we cultivate at school that, "everyone is a singer", which is crucial in childrens' musical development. I know this makes some adults uncomfortable- my hope is that this next generation won't feel that way :)

Winnetka Parents Institute

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

Introduction to Kindergarten in The Winnetka Public Schools

Tuesday, January 10 at 6:00 p.m.

Greeley School

275 Fairview Avenue


This informational session is intended for Winnetka parents of preschool students who will be attending The Winnetka Public Schools. Parents will learn more about the support and services that the District provides to current preschool students attending local preschool programming. Additionally, families will receive a preview of:

  • The transition-to-Kindergarten process by Crow Island, Greeley and Hubbard Woods Principals,

  • The resources available to families from the Department of Student Services, Equity and Inclusion

  • Details on Kindergarten Connection that will occur in summer 2023

  • Highlights of a typical kindergarten day in The Winnetka Public Schools

We look forward to meeting new families at this event!

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 Voices Podcast Premieres!

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 #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



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.

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.

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 Starts 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 through 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.