Crow Island Parent Newsletter

March 20, 2023

Dear Crow Island Families,

It was wonderful to see so many families turn out for our third and fourth grade Spring Sing performances. As always, it was a ton of fun to celebrate the hard work of our students! Last week was a busy week for all Crow Island students as we had kindergarten students building leprechaun traps and second graders starting their cursive work (with shaving cream)!

As we enter our last stretch before Spring Break I wanted to remind families that registration is now open (see below). As you register, my hope is that families will consider bus transportation to and from school. Prior to the pandemic, we consistently ran 2-3 buses with students and this helped cut down on longer traffic lines. If interested, you can find more information below.

Have a great week!


  • Friday, March 24th: Spring Break Starts
  • Monday, April 3rd: School Resumes
  • Thursday, April 6th: STEAM Expo 6:00pm
  • Friday, April 7th: No School
  • Tuesday, April 11th: Illinois Assessment Readiness (IAR) Grades 3 & 4
  • April 17 - April 21st: Earth Week at Crow Island
Big picture


Save the date for the Crow Island Steam Expo. The Expo will take place on Thursday, April 6. Students in grades 2, 3, and 4 can participate.

This year's STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Expo will take place on Thursday, April 6. All 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders are welcome to participate. During the school day, students will present to their peers. From 6-7 pm, families will be welcome to visit and view student projects. Guidelines for the projects can be found here. All students must be registered by March 23 using this Google Form.

Bus Registration for the 23-24 Year:

Bus registration is completed during the annual online registration. Only students registered to ride the bus are allowed to ride the bus. If your child is not riding the bus for dismissal please contact the teacher and office. Over the next two years Crow Island will be going through school construction. It is encouraged that families consider the bus to avoid long lines at afternoon dismissal. Click here for more information and contact Mary Lee at the District office with any questions (847-446-9400 and

Safety Procedure for Building Visitors

For anyone visiting our school buildings during school hours, we will now be requiring a driver’s license or state ID to be left at the front desk until your guest lanyard is returned. This decision was made in accordance with other safety procedures we are enhancing for the security of our students and staff.

Winnetka Voices Podcast Episodes

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 #5

Progressive Education: 100+ Years Strong in Winnetka

Dr. Kelly Tess speaks to School Board President Emily Rose, Crow Island Kindergarten teacher Melissa Brody (both of whom are alumni of The Winnetka Public Schools) and Tom Flemma, Head of School at North Shore Country Day, a private school in Winnetka with a unique shared history in progressive education. Throughout the episode, learn about the unique legacy of Progressive Education in Winnetka, and how our public and private institutions uphold our commitment to experiential learning. “I hope we continue to push ourselves to be a lighthouse of a District….the future is bright,” says Ms. Rose.

Listen here:

Apple Podcast




Literacy Work Underway

The District Literacy Leadership Committee has initiated the curriculum review process. The first meetings have focused on reconnecting with Understanding by Design, the research-based curriculum framework used across the district, examining research on best practice in literacy, and reflecting on current practice. The outcome of the work projected for this spring is to select materials and/or practices to pilot this fall. Learn a bit more about what the committee is studying by reading the article Looking to Research for Literary Success, which outlines 10 ways to support knowledge building which is a component of reading comprehension.

Project-Based Learning Update

District 36 administrators and teachers are using the PBL Gold Standard Design Elements to help guide the work of embedding project-based learning (PBL) as an instructional approach at the middle school level. This framework helps by providing a framework for teachers to plan and refine deep and meaningful learning experiences through which to guide their students. At the February Institute Day, teachers shared out with their colleagues a PBL they completed with their students, what they themselves learned from the experience, and what adjustments they might make in the future. Valuable discussions about planning with the design elements in mind, instructional strategies that were used, and how to transfer their learning to new projects followed. The collective efforts of teachers learning and growing together is essential to the success of this work and directly impacts students as we refine our practices.

Winnetka Parents Institute

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


March 2023

D36 K-8 Math Programming: An Overview

(Dr. Becky Mathison, Director of ITL and District Math Teachers)

March 21, 2023

Location: Washburne RC

Time: 10:00-11:00 AM

During this session Dr. Becky Mathison, Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning, alongside a team of math educators from the District will provide an overview of D36 math programming K-8 including an upper grade course map, explain how the approach aligns to progressive education and the portrait of a graduate, and ways to support your student at home. This session will feature a panel of D36 math educators.


RSVP here

APRIL 2023:

Differentiation: What is it? What does it look like in D36?

Dr. Becky Mathison (Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning)

April 19, 2023

Time: 10:00 AM

Location: SK Community Room
During this session Dr. Becky Mathison, Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning, alongside a team of educators from the District will provide an overview of what differentiation is, how it is implemented in D36 classrooms, explain how the approach aligns to progressive education and the portrait of a graduate, and ways to support your student at home. This session will feature a panel of D36 educators.


RSVP here

Acceleration Requests due March 31.

The Accelerated Placement Act requires Illinois public school districts to adopt and implement policies on acceleration that provide opportunities for single subject and grade level acceleration. To learn more about District 36’s acceleration policy implementation visit the following links: acceleration infographic and updated webpage which includes a link to the application form. The request window is now open and closes on Friday, March 31.

Working in Winnetka 36:

Winnetka 36 is always looking for great candidates when there are openings and we appreciate referrals encouraging them to apply. Here’s a link to our current openings:

We also get questions about the necessary steps on how to become a substitute teacher and thought we would share how to do that on the bottom of the document:

Adventures in Learning 2023

Adventures in Learning 2023 runs from June 14th-July 19th, 2023.

No camp on June 19th or July 4th.

A decades-long tradition, this summer program includes classes as varied as Athlete's Club, Razzle Dazzle Science Magic, Recyclable Art,Basket Weaving, Camping Adventures, Make Your Own Music Video, Adventures in STEAM, Archery, Computer Animation, Greek Mythology Drama, Coding, Yoga for Kids, AIL Action News (New for 2023), Animal Care,and Spa-Liscious to name a few!

Students in grades 2-8 may choose up to four classes from over 60 options. Younger children (pre-Kindergarten through grade 1) will explore our progressive educational concepts through guided play and outdoor activities.

This year's program will again be held at Washburne for the 2nd-8th graders and Crow Island for the Pre-K (4 years old by June 1st, 2023)and K Primary program (5 years old by September 1st, 2023).

2023 Fees

General (base cost*) and Primary Program

$675 Winnetka residents

$725 Non-residents

*Some General Program classes have an additional supply fee (will be noted in the catalog).

Registration is now open for Winnetka residents.

A Message from The Winnetka Public Schools, the Village, and The Winnetka Police Department

This spring, a traffic study will be conducted on and around Crow Island Elementary School’s campus in order to determine the most efficient traffic flow when construction is underway during both the Stormwater Improvements Project and work related to the referendum, which commence in spring 2024. The traffic study will utilize cameras on poles set up at these Crow Island-area locations (between Glendale and Locust; and Mt. Pleasant and Cherry Streets) during the first two weeks of April. Further information on recommended traffic pattern changes, possible road closures, and other relevant information will be shared with residents prior to the launch of these projects.

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

For upcoming events, access FAN’s website here.

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

Online Registration has opened for Returning & New Students for the 2023-2024 School Year - Updated information for all families

Registration for the 2023-2024 school year is now open for all students (returning and pre-registered). Email notification was sent to the primary contact on record with the District March 17, 2023. Additionally, families will receive notification via regular mail. Contained within the notification is a unique “snapcode” that parents will need to login. Please contact District Registrar, Margie Karabas via email ( or phone 847-446-9400, with any questions. Additional information and login to the portal can be found on the District Website - Parent Registration