Walker - Mid Year Update
From the Desk of the Principal - 12/18/2020
Dear Walker Families,
I would like to thank PTO Presidents Jen Forcash and Heidi Lauerman for their creative efforts to continue supporting our Walker School community during this most unusual COVID-19 school year. Partnering with our Walker staff, our PTO has raised funds for enhancements that immediately served our students, such as iPad styluses and voice amplifiers for our teachers to project volume over their masks. I am impressed with how responsive our school community is in continuing to provide an overall school experience that is held together by our relationships and lifted up by our shared commitment to our students’ learning and growth. Thank you for your investment in our Walker School community!
By now, your family has probably discussed the ongoing news around COVID-19 and have well contemplated your plan for the second half of the school year. Our district leadership team will soon review the parent survey results to process the implications on scheduling and staffing should we need to adjust the current hybrid and remote school models. Be on the lookout for more information from the District regarding this process as we work toward the February 1 timeline. As always, if you have any questions about this process, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Together, I am confident we will ensure the absolute best school experience possible!
Read on for some important mid-year updates.
Your partner in education,
Mr. Eric Chisausky
Walker School Principal
Happy Holidays from some of our Walker blingiest elves!
Giving and Sharing
Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our Walker School Community, I am very proud to share our Giving and Sharing totals. We will soon deliver our donated items to HCS Family Services to spread a little more holiday cheer and comfort to our local community members in need.
Fifth grade teachers selected our 5th grade elves based on their positive attitude, leadership and role model qualities (see pic below):
Clothing Collected = 20 items
Books Collected = 43 items
Food Collected = 313 items
Toys and Games Collected = 50 items
Total items collected = 426 (if each child contributed at least one item, we collected over 100 more items than our total student enrollment this year--an increase of total from last year, despite the pandemic!)
In addition, we will continue to collect loose change in the COIN JUG to support Kasha, an Amur Leopard, through the Brookfield Zoo Share the Care program. We need to donate about another $70.00 to satisfy our commitment to care for Kasha this year.
Winter MAP Testing (Update from DOL)
Dear District 181 1st-8th Grade Parents,
We hope that your week is going well. Prior to winter break, the Department of Learning wanted to communicate our plans for administering the Winter MAP assessment to students enrolled in grades 1-8. The MAP window is scheduled for January 11, 2021 - January 29, 2021.
Why administer MAP?
Our District uses the data from this assessment in a variety of ways. In the classroom, it provides teachers with a means for monitoring student growth in reading and mathematics over time. At the District and building levels, MAP data help us set goals and evaluate initiatives. Finally, in light of the past year, MAP will be one of several indicators used to identify the impact of the pandemic on our students’ achievement and learning.
Hybrid Students - Administration Plan
MAP will be administered during students’ assigned in-person instructional time. Your building leader and/or child’s teacher will communicate the specifics of the building plan with you. We ask that you make every effort to avoid appointments or other absences during these dates, so that we can prevent having students miss instructional minutes during make-up sessions.
Parallel Remote Students - Administration Plan
While NWEA has established procedures for remote administration of the assessment, the test developers are clear that remote administrations should not be utilized for high-stakes decisions such as teacher evaluations and/or student course placement. As a result, D181 principals have collaborated to identify in-person assessment opportunities for students participating in parallel remote instruction.
Elementary Parallel Remote Students
Whenever possible, students will be administered MAP by their remote teacher and with the students in her/his remote classroom. Similar to the hybrid schedule, students will complete the reading assessment on one day and math on the next.
The following elementary schedule has been developed:
For additional details regarding your child’s individual schedule, please utilize this link.
Middle School Parallel Remote Students
Students at middle school will have the opportunity to select from one of four options for MAP testing:
· Complete both reading and math MAP on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at Hinsdale Middle School. Testing will begin at 3:30 pm.
· Complete the reading assessment on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 3:30 pm and the math assessment on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 3:30 pm. Both assessments will take place at Clarendon Hills Middle School.
· Report to your child’s home middle school on January 12-15, 2021 between 8:25-9:20 AM to participate in both MAP tests during the hybrid testing schedule.
· Report to your child’s home middle school on January 12-15, 2021 between 12:20-1:15 PM to participate in both MAP tests during the hybrid testing schedule.
Middle school parallel remote families: to select your preference, please complete this Google Form by December 23, 2020, to indicate your child’s desired testing date(s). You will receive an email during the week of January 4 confirming your child’s assigned date(s)/time.
Course Placement for 2021-22
Specific recommendations for math placement at grades 3-8 as well as middle school language arts and social studies placement for 2021-22 have not yet been defined. Historically, MAP scores have been included in the requirements for students to move into advanced courses. As D181 is currently offering in-person instruction and has the ability to offer an in-person administration of the MAP assessment, the winter data point will be utilized for 2021-22 placement decisions. A determination regarding additional placement data points will be defined after the winter testing window.
Preparing for MAP
A student who is well-rested, well-fed, and has a positive attitude about assessment is best prepared for testing. You can help your child do his or her best by considering these tips:
· Make sure that your child is in school and on time on test days.
· Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and eats a healthy breakfast before each day of testing.
· Remind your child that this assessment is only one measure. Emphasize that you have confidence in his or her ability to do the best job possible.
· Remind your child to listen to the directions and read each question carefully during testing.
Communication of Student Scores
Your child’s score report will be sent home after administration is complete and all reports are printed. We appreciate your ongoing support. If you have any questions about MAP for your child, please contact your child’s home school principal or assistant principal.
Director of Assessment, Instruction, & Evaluation
Winter '21 Walker MAP Testing Schedule
How your child can prepare for assessment—and what you can do to help:
A student who is well rested, well fed, and has a positive attitude about assessment is best prepared for testing. You can help your child do his or her best by considering these tips:
Make sure that your child is in school and on time on test days.
Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and eats a healthy breakfast before each day of testing.
Remind your child that this assessment is only one measure. Emphasize that you have confidence in his or her ability to do the best job possible.
Remind your child to listen to the directions and read each question carefully during testing.
A Mid-Year Update from our Walker PTO Co-Presidents
Dear Walker Families,
As we look towards 2021, the PTO would like to thank our Walker community for their support over the past 3 months. Your generous participation in Dinner Bells, Spirit Week Sales, Holiday Bazaar sales, and outright donations have allowed us to continue to provide opportunities to Walker students, despite the challenges of an unusual setting this year. So far this school year, funds raised through PTO initiatives have supported:
- Providing microphones for all teachers, so our students can hear them better;
- Purchasing stylus pens for all students, used for test taking and iPad work;
- Purchasing Monarch, Battle of the Books and Blue Stem books for the Walker library;
- Showing our appreciation to the Walker staff with lunches, stocking the lounge, and other small treats (individually packaged due to CVOID-19)
- Repairing vandalism to the Walker Garden, as well as repairing regular wear and tear;
- Providing a new Storage Shed for the Walker Garden, so our Going Green volunteers have ready access while maintaining the beautiful gardens;
- Welcoming new teachers to Walker with a school t-shirt and books for their classroom;
- Continuing to fund ongoing initiatives, i.e. Flocabulary, teacher stipends to support in-class learning and additional materials/supplies;
- Keeping Walker traditions alive with virtual events, including: Holiday Bazaar, Book Fairs, and more to come in 2021!!
These are just a handful of the things the PTO has done to start this school year. We look forward to continuing to find ways to support the wonderful Walker Staff, Students and Community as we move into 2021. As always, we’d love your ideas. Feel free to email: firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas for fundraising, school enhancements, etc., or if you are interested in getting involved.
Jen Forcash & Heidi Lauerman,
5th Grade Health/Puberty 1 Presentations
As of last school year, D181 has absorbed the Health Education component previously offered as an elected opportunity to our fifth grade families in the evening, which was titled “Michael” (for the boys) and “Linda” (for the girls).” On February 16 during the hybrid AM and PM school days, Candor Health Education (formerly the Robert Crown Health Center) will present separate live virtual boys/girls presentations titled “Puberty 1.” The District will soon send out a communication with more details, but if you’re a 5th grade parent, please plan to attend the virtual parent informational session hosted by Dr. Kathy Robinson, Assistant Superintendent for Learning, to learn more about the student “Puberty 1” presentations scheduled for our students on February 16 during the school day. NOTE: Walker REMOTE 5th graders are invited to attend this virtual session from their homes. More information to be shared in January.