Walker - Back to School Welcome

Return to School - 9/2/2020

Dear Walker Families,

As this week winds down and summer officially comes to a close, I know many of you are both excited and a little nervous about starting the school year in these continuing unusual COVID virus times. Having spent much of the summer working closely with our administrative team, teachers and staff, I am confident we have a strong return to school plan that prioritizes a safe and positive learning environment for all. This communication, although extensive, will include much of the necessary information to get this unusual year started. I am excited to begin a new year at Walker School—a truly special place with an outstanding collection of students, staff, and parents!


Like many of you, this was a far from typical summer for my family. For the first time that I can remember in a long while, we found ourselves not over-scheduled with events for three children and two adults. It was a nice reprieve to eat the majority of our meals together without someone getting ready to run out the door to a practice or activity. We spent chunks of time at our family lakehouse, lake-swimming more than in past summers. We completed a bunch of home projects, my older boys learned how to mow the lawn and play some golf with me, and we tried to envision what the school year might look like for each of our boys (4, 9, and 12 years-old). More bonding than bickering overall, we even added a rescue collie-mix puppy to our family and are currently sharing responsibilities for its love and care--a nice distraction these days!


The entire Walker School staff is excited to welcome our students back to school on Tuesday, September 8th. Whether you have selected the in-person hybrid or remote model of instruction, our dedicated staff has worked tirelessly in preparation for providing your child with a warm and supportive welcome back to Walker School! Over the past weeks, we have continued to work hard to apply various recommendations that will allow for a safe and healthy return to school. We are extremely thankful for the support, understanding, and flexibility that our families have shown during this challenging time. As we continue to persevere together, I know we will make this upcoming school year one of positivity, growth, and success!


Please bookmark this communication and take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the updated return-to-school procedures listed below to best prepare you and your child for the upcoming school year. While this message is extensive in nature, clear communication and guidance will best prepare all of us for a return to school that will look slightly different than the past. Feel free to take a safe and socially distant walk around our school grounds to help familiarize yourself and your child(ren) with these new procedures prior to the start of school, as establishing a clear routine will only help your child with their transition back to school.


We miss the students so much and can’t wait to connect with our Walker Community in this new school year! As always, do not hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have regarding our return to school. Be sure to check out our welcome back video, #BetterTogether:


https://youtu.be/ftgpuR5BaQg


Your partner in education,


Mr. Eric Chisausky

Walker School Principal

echisausky@d181.org

630-861-4600

Walker Welcome 9/2/2020

Health and Safety Protocols

District 181 has released videos to help remind our families of the health and safety protocols that are being implemented as we embark on a safe return to school. Per the D181 reopening plan, face masks will be required for all students and staff while in attendance at D181 schools. Students will be provided with TWO reusable cloth face masks AND a lanyard that they will be able to clip to their mask and use during mask breaks. Please take a few moments to watch the following videos to learn more about our safe and healthy approach to our return to school:


Special Health Notices for 2020-21 School Year

Two required forms are now available to be filled out in Skyward:

  • K-5 Handbook 2020-21(Remote and In-Person Students)

  • COVID-19 Self Certification (In-Person Students Only)

You can access these forms by clicking on the 'Online Forms' menu then clicking 'Fill Out Form' after you log in to Skyward.

Please also remember that the following safety measures will be critical to our in-person efforts and success.

  • Face coverings must be worn in the building.

  • Social distancing will be an expectation throughout the day.

  • Frequent hand washing or the use of hand sanitizer will be an essential practice.

Please contact your principal with any questions or concerns.


Health Information Reminders

For the specific groups listed below, please either email or deliver your health forms to the Walker School office prior to the start of school. Forms should be directed to the attention of the Walker School nurse, June Zogas jzogas@d181.org.


    • Copies of forms submitted to previous Illinois schools are acceptable.

    • Students from out of state will need to submit new Illinois forms.

School Day Information

Hybrid AM Session - 8:30-11:10 a.m. (8:40 Learning begins)

Hybrid PM Session - 12:30-3:10 p.m. (12:40 Learning begins)


  • Student Arrival will begin daily at 8:25 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. Please do not drop your child(ren) off before this time as we do not have adult supervision prior to these times.

  • Student Dismissal will begin at 11:10 and 3:10 p.m.

  • We recognize the need for appointments and understand that situations may arise that require you to pick your child up early from school. We ask that you please try your best to schedule appointments OUTSIDE of the school day and not pick your child up early from school, as to not disrupt the learning process.

  • For the remote portion of the day for our hybrid learners, asynchronous learning opportunities will be provided to students via Seesaw (K-2) and Google Classroom (3-5). More information will be provided by teachers prior to the start of school.

FULLY REMOTE Learners - 8:30-11:10 a.m. and 12:30-3:10 p.m.

  • Your child will receive a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities via Seesaw (K-2) and Google Classroom (3-5). More information will be provided by teachers prior to the start of school.

REVISED Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

Due to increased safety measures, we altered our arrival and dismissal procedures to keep cohorts of students together and safely distanced both inside and outside. While we realize this will be a change, and might result in families needing to use different entry/dismissal doors, it is the safest way to allow our students to follow 6ft social distancing guidelines while entering and exiting the building.


Signage is posted near each grade level door and staff will be outside to help guide child(ren) into the building to find their appropriate classrooms. In addition, grade level lines and social distance markers will identify locations for students to stand while waiting to enter the building. Entry and exit doors were chosen to allow students to enter the doors closest to their assigned classrooms and minimize any exposure to different cohorts of students.


At this time, our students will report directly to their assigned doors on the first day of school. Due to social distancing guidelines, we WILL NOT be meeting as a school on the blacktop. Please do not congregate with your child(ren) or groups of adults on the school grounds during arrival and dismissal, as we are working diligently to ensure safe social distancing guidelines are adhered to at all times.


Please refer to the map and outline below for assigned arrival and dismissal locations:

Big picture

Arrival Guidelines - Red dots have been spray-painted to represent six-foot social distancing at each entrance point. Please reiterate the importance of social distancing with your child(ren), as there may not be enough dots for each child and they may need to estimate this distance while standing in line.

Each door is marked with its designated grade level access (see map).

  • Kindergarten -

    • Fuhrman KAM and KPM students will access the Kindergarten door directly outside the Kindergarten classroom (left of the main entrance).

    • Eggers Kindergarten PM only will access the event doors by the blacktop.

  • First Grade - students will access the event doors by the blacktop.

  • Second Grade - students will access the main entrance doors on the SOUTH side of the building.

  • Third Grade - students will access the NORTHEAST doors past the library.

  • Fourth Grade - students will access the NORTHWEST doors by the green stairwell.

  • Fifth Grade - students will access the NORTHWEST doors by the gym water fountain (past the garbage area).


Dismissal Guidelines

  • Like AM, each grade level continues to use its designated doors.

  • Dismissal times:

    • 11:10 (am)

    • 3:10 (pm)

  • Classroom teachers will lead their grade levels one class at a time out of their designated doors.

  • WALKERS and CAR RIDERS: If waiting to get picked up, kids/families will wait on 6’ distanced spots on the blacktop area.

  • KINDERGARTEN will be assigned a supervised zone on the blacktop for reunification. All other students will need to find a spot and keep an eye out for their sibling who will share a spot.

  • REUNITING w/ SIBLINGS: If walkers have a sibling to meet, they will meet at a blacktop dot then proceed to walk home.

  • All pickups will happen at the top of the loop, including kindergarten and busses.


NOTES:

  • Staff will be at each location to monitor students and ensure students are appropriately socially distanced.

    • Please talk to your child(ren) about expectations for walking both to and from school. Students will be supervised on school grounds - no group gatherings will be allowed. However, it is important to discuss maintaining a safe and appropriate social distance as they walk to and from school.

    • In the case of inclement weather, students will wait socially distanced inside classrooms and hallways and be dismissed as parents arrive at the top of the traffic loop.

    • Please make sure to CLEARLY display your family display card in your windshield on the CURBSIDE so that we can effectively and efficiently dismiss your child(ren). NEW families will be provided a display card on the first day of school.

      • Supervisory staff will be calling to dismiss your child(ren) once you are in the car line and your family display card is visible.

        • On the first day of school, dismissal supervisors will ask for your last name and child’s grade level and will dismiss in the same manner. Thank you for your patience, as this process may take a few extra minutes on the first day.

Note the following for safety and traffic flow


  • Implementing these revised safety protocols will likely impact traffic congestion. It is recommended that families walk to/from school to alleviate such congestion. Thanks in advance for your patience.

  • Extra staff will be available for supervision and to assist children in locating vehicles during pick-up after each session. Children will wait for their ride along the sidewalk at the top of the traffic loop, abiding socially-distanced spaces.

  • Similar to the drop-off, students only enter vehicles between the two white signs along the upper area of the traffic loop. Students will not be allowed to enter vehicles by the office doors area. This should keep the traffic flow moving with greater ease.

  • Children are not allowed to play on the playground this year due to our safety protocols.

  • Please remember to place the name placard in your right-hand dashboard starting on Tuesday September, 8; our staff will use this name placard to call children to the loading area as their rides idle along the curb during pick-up.

  • Name placards will be provided to new families on the first day of school.

  • If you need to purchase or replace a name placard for $2, you can do so by contacting the school office: 630-861-4600.

Teacher Assignments Now Available

You can now view your elementary student’s 2020-21 teacher assignment in Skyward Family Access.

  • To log in, click here.

  • Your Login ID is your first name last name (all one word and lowercase), i.e. “minniemouse.”

  • If you forgot your password, select the “Forgot Your Login/Password?” option

  • Navigate to the Student Info Menu on the left to view the teacher assignment.

  • Under your child’s specific school, the Homeroom and Teacher will be viewable.

If you have issues logging into Skyward or viewing the information you need, please contact Nick Skrip at nskrip@d181.org. If you have questions regarding the selection of your student’s teacher assignment, please contact your school.

If you also have a middle school student, we will be sending information on accessing middle school schedules as soon as possible.


Hybrid K-5 Student Schedule

On September 8th, students who attend school in the afternoon session will not have their devices for the remote (morning) portion of day one. Devices will be distributed in the afternoon. Remote work for day one afternoon students will be available in SeeSaw for grades K-2 and Google Classroom for grades 3-5 and can be completed anytime during the first week of school.

K-5 Parallel Remote Student Schedule

Individual grade level and student schedules will be shared by the parallel remote teachers.


Remote Supply Pickup

We are in the process of assembling supplies for our students who have chosen the full remote learning option and will be hosting a socially distant and contact-free supply pickup on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4TH from 9:00am-11:00am.


Remote learning families should enter the WALKER School parking lot during the times listed above. Please display your child(ren)’s first and last name and grade(s) in your passenger side vehicle window. As you arrive, remain in your car and open your trunk or side door so that our volunteers may place the remote learning kits safely inside your vehicle. This supply pickup is only for our students who have selected the FULL REMOTE LEARNING option for this school year. I realize this is short notice, but if you cannot make it to this supply pick-up, please contact Mr. Chisausky to set up an alternate time: echisausky@d181.org or 630-861-4604.

Big picture

REVISED Visitors Procedure

There is a camera and a speaker at our front entrance. You will need to state your name and your business when entering the vestibule. Due to health concerns, we are not granting access to visitors into our building at this time. Mrs. Martin or other office personnel will speak with you through the speaker and provide you with additional information.


Communication

Walker School and District 181 utilize email as a main source of communication. One major mode of communication that we use at Walker School is our Walker Wednesday News viewable here: https://www.walkerpto.com/. We are also thankful for our AMAZING PTO and their weekly Sunday Updates as well. Please look for our Walker communications each week, as the PTO will continue to partner with us to keep our families updated.


Walker Wednesday News

Walker Wednesday News (WWN) is a weekly communication that is posted on the PTO website (www.walkerpto.com) that provides families with the most up-to-date information regarding all that is going on at Walker School. The first WWN will be published on Wednesday, 9/16/2020. You should receive an email from walkernews120@gmail.com with a link to the PTO website. If you do not receive an email on 9/16/2020, please contact Jan Martin: (jmartin@d181.org).


To ensure you receive all of our communications, please make sure your phone numbers and email addresses are up to date in Skyward. If you need assistance updating your contact information, please contact Jan Martin (jmartin@d181.org).



Additionally, we utilize Twitter (@WildcatsWalker) to celebrate the learning taking place at Walker School. Please check these sources regularly for up-to-date information and to learn more about the exciting things going on at Walker School!

School Supplies

Thank you to the PTO for arranging for our student supply kits to be delivered to classrooms if pre-ordered. If you are still in need of school supplies, you can find the Walker class supply lists here: https://www.d181.org/schools/walker-school/parent-resources


If you ordered a supply kit from the PTO and it was delivered to your house or you are purchasing supplies on your own, please bring those items to school anytime this week. Please label a bag with your child's name and teacher, if known, and place them in the labeled grade level bin by the main doors. This will help your child's teacher organize and prepare for student arrival. Grade levels are working out specific procedures that will work for their students and families, so please be on the lookout for communication from your child’s homeroom teacher soon!

Remote Supply Pickup

We are in the process of assembling supplies for our students who have chosen the full remote learning option and will be hosting a socially distant and contact-free supply pickup on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4TH from 9:00am-11:00am.


Remote learning families should enter the WALKER School parking lot during the times listed above. Please display your child(ren)’s first and last name and grade(s) in your passenger side vehicle window. As you arrive, remain in your car and open your trunk or side door so that our volunteers may place the remote learning kits safely inside your vehicle. This supply pickup is only for our students who have selected the FULL REMOTE LEARNING option for this school year. I realize this is short notice, but if you cannot make it to this supply pick-up, please contact Mr. Chisausky to set up an alternate time: echisausky@d181.org or 630-861-4604.

Special Thanks

Walker School is sparkling clean and ready for our students and staff, thanks to Ms. Daisy (our Head Custodian), Ana, Maria, Omar, and the D181 custodial crew! And special thanks go to Jan Martin (Administrative Assistant) for ensuring our Walker office is ready for the school year to begin! Our teachers and staff have been very busy preparing the building, setting up classrooms with strict safety requirements, and receiving training over the summer—to carry out our return to school plan and to engage our school community with a powerful learning experience in these unusual times.


I’d like to thank the PTO, especially Co-Presidents Jen Forcash and Heidi Lauerman, who have been a tremendous support as we coordinated student school supply distribution, welcomed new families to Walker, and dedicated many hours to prepare our garden areas and keep Walker looking beautiful! And special thanks to Anne Marie Bodrozic, our resident master gardener! I am eager to work with the PTO all year to enhance our students’ educational experiences at Walker. Be on the lookout for additional communications from our PTO about special upcoming events and information. Our students greatly benefit from the care and attention of the entire Walker community. I look forward to working with you to support your child in having a terrific school experience this year!


https://www.walkerpto.com/

The Walker Way

The entire Walker staff is committed to every child’s academic, social, and emotional success. Our SELAS (Social Emotional Learning for Academic Success) curriculum is interwoven in daily routines at Walker. Unique to Walker, we have adopted the FISH! Philosophy, which reminds us we are all responsible for each other and that we all must work together to make Walker a great place to learn and grow. We will continue to promote these ideals at Walker:


FISH! Philosophy

Choose Your Attitude

Make Someone’s Day

Be There/Be Present

Play


Our Walker Staff will model the SELAS and FISH! ideals, and I’d like to ask you to do the same as we work together to create a safe and positive learning environment! To support this effort this year, the PTO student t-shirt will (again) display the theme, “Wildcats Choose Kind” as a visual reminder that our attitude and interactions with each other reflect our choices. We will continue our CHAMPS implementation, as well, where all staff will apply common language and common expectations throughout Walker to support our students to have a positive experience every day.