A Message from the Administrative Team
Hi WJHS Families,
We are very excited to welcome you to the 2021-2022 school year!
We have a lot of important information for you in this newsletter. Please read on for more back-to-school information about arrival and dismissal, lunch and daily health and safety protocols that we will be following to ensure the safety of all students and staff. We ask that you read through these protocols with your child so that you both understand the procedures for returning to school.
The Board of Education held a Committee of the Whole meeting on Wednesday where they approved the D39 Fall 2021 Return to School Presentation. You can find the presentation at this link and you can watch the Committee of the Whole meeting at this link.
We welcomed new staff members this week and are excited to introduce them to our students and families! Please join us in welcoming:
- Ashley Adams: 8th Grade LBS
- Hanna Davis: 7th Grade ELA/SS teacher
- Edyta Debkowska: CLC LBS
- Grace Goodman: 7th Grade LBS
- Zoe Miller-Lee: SLP
- Taylor Parks: LBS
- Nikki Powell: Social Work
- Lisa Pride Hodges: Health
Please mark your calendar for a Virtual Curriculum Night on Tuesday, September 14 from 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM, with some opportunities from 5:30 - 6:00 to meet with specialty teachers like Mr. Huynh and Instrumental Music teachers.
We look forward to seeing your children next week. Have a wonderful weekend!
Kate, Jeff and Eric
District Mitigation Plans
At this week's Board Meeting on Wednesday morning, the following details of our District 39 layered mitigation plans were presented. Some details include:
- Universal Masking
- All students, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask inside District 39 buildings, with some exceptions as outlined in Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order. At this time we are planning for District 39 to follow the Governor’s Executive Order and require all individuals to wear a mask while indoors. We continue to seek clarification from the CCDPH to help guide our planning in this regard.
- In accordance with other CDC guidelines, masks will be required for all passengers on school buses.
- Social Distancing
- Classrooms will be configured to accommodate at least 3 feet of distancing between students as much as possible in all settings.
- Lunch protocols for indoor dining will maintain classroom cohorts and provide structure and additional distancing between students. At least 3 feet of distancing will be provided within assigned indoor lunch areas, and outdoor lunch will be provided whenever possible.
- Layered Mitigation Strategies
- Frequent handwashing and hand sanitizer availability
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of classroom spaces and common areas throughout the school
- Continuation of the District’s enhanced air ventilation and filtration district-wide
- Support and reminders for students and staff to stay home when sick with symptoms of infectious illness including COVID-19
- Contract tracing, quarantining and communication when COVID-19 exposure occurs at school
- Access to COVID-19 testing through community partnerships
- Monitoring of local COVID-19 community infection rate metrics as well as cases/potential exposures reported by D39 students and staff
What to Bring? (School Supplies)
- School supplies (if you did not order from PTO: EduKits will be in classrooms on the first day of school for those who ordered one)
- Masks (we recommend keeping an extra in your backpack)
- A water bottle: students can use the water bottle fillers but may not use the water fountains
- A calculator
- Hand sanitizer (if they want it - there will be hand sanitizer in classrooms)
- Lunch (if they do not want to order a cold, boxed lunch from the cafeteria)
Visitors to Buildings and Forgotten Items
If you need something from the front office or need to drop off an item for your child, please buzz at the visitor entrance and our front office staff will help you.
Arrival and Dismissal Procedures
The doors to WJHS will open at 8:15 AM. Students will enter through a door based on their homeroom teacher. Assigned entrances deter crowds and gathering and limits the distance students need to walk through the school. Please visit our website, at this link, for our full bell schedule.
- Line up, Mask Up: While outdoors, students do not need to wear their mask; however, as soon as students get in line to enter the building, they will be asked to put their masks on. Once students are properly masked, they will be admitted into the building.
CAR LINE: If you plan on dropping your child off at school, this is the map for the car line. Cars will enter the drive in front of the school, heading northbound. Once dropped off at school, students will head to their assigned entry door. The doors are assigned by homeroom, so make sure your child checks the map on page three for their homeroom teacher’s door assignment. Please do not attempt to drive behind the school. We have hundreds of students who walk and bike to school, using the drives and paths behind the school. Please help keep our students safe and drop off in front!
STUDENTS WALKING: Students walking should choose the route that makes the most sense in arriving at their assigned entry door. The doors are assigned by homeroom, so make sure your child checks the map on page three for his or her door assignment. There is an unofficial path on the south side of the school leading to the rear doors, and a sidewalk on the north side of the school leading to the rear doors.
STUDENTS BIKING: Students who bike to school should be sure to wear a helmet and park their bike in the bike racks at the school. We have bike racks in front and in back of the school. If riding a bike, please do not ride in the parking lots where parents are dropping off and staff are arriving. Please review bike safety with your child. Once their bike is parked, students should go to their assigned entrance. The doors are assigned by homeroom, so make sure your child checks the map on page three for his or her door assignment. Note: the path between HMS and WJHS is open and there are bike racks behind the school.
BUS: Students riding the bus will all enter through one door, where the bus drops off between the gymnasium and cafeteria. The map is on page three of this document. Once off of the bus, students will wait outside for a door supervisor to open the entrance and welcome students in to school.
Please review your child's homeroom teacher name, and their entrance door. Doors are marked at the top. There are also signs at each door with the list of homeroom teachers, to help your child navigate the entrances during the first few weeks of school.
Students will exit the building out of their assigned doors, starting with bus riders, followed by bikers and walkers, then those who need to access the car line.
If you are picking up by car, please follow this map for pick up. Please ask your child to wait on the sidewalk until they see your car. Students may not cross the parking lot at any time.
As always, your patience is appreciated!
WJHS is excited to announce that fall sports will be starting Thursday. Fall sports include Girls Volleyball, Girls Field Hockey, Soccer, and Cross Country. Sign up your student athlete using the link through Powerschool. http://ps.wilmette39.org/
BACK TO SCHOOL CHECKLIST
SO much to do at the beginning of the school year! We’ve made it easy with this handy checklist:
✅ Complete your AtoZ (now “Membership Toolkit”) registration (please check your email for NEW THIS YEAR details on the registration process!). Once you’re in AtoZ, you can purchase your PTO membership and gain access to the 2021-2022 WJHS Directory allowing you to view students by grade, class, as well as parent contact information...also within AtoZ you can:
✓ Contribute to the annual Teacher/Staff gift, and
✓ Make an iGNITE contribution on behalf of your child (see below for more information on iGNITE)
✅ Complete your Membership Toolkit here
✅ Purchase a yearbook here
✅ Purchase customizable Spirit Wear here
The IGNITE program raises funds to pay for enrichment programs such as field trips and school assemblies along with contributing to enhancements to our schools directly related to our students such as outdoor learning environments and athletic equipment. We are excited to bring back iGNITE this year we’re asking families to make an annual contribution to this wonderful cause. Contributions can be made via the school website and A-Z. With these contributions, we are looking forward to providing enrichment to the students this year!
FALL AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS
Wilmette Park District will be managing most of our Fall After School Clubs. They are finalizing club details, and we’ll be posting more information soon. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
ACES DEBATE CLUB REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
Aces Debate Club will be running in-person Debate Club this fall, and will host Advanced Debate for WJHS students, taking place at HMS on Wednesdays, October through December from 3:50–4:50. Club details and registration for Wilmette Advanced Debate is now open on their website at www.acesdebateclub.com
Contact Aaron Vinson at email@example.com for more information.
If you ordered a school supply kit, it will be waiting for your child’s homeroom on the first day of school! Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in knowing how you can get involved? Do a little or do a lot! For more information email email@example.com
YOUR PTO DOLLARS WORKING FOR OUR CHILDREN
Over the 2021 summer, your PTO has been hard at work making some incredible changes to the outdoor spaces at Wilmette Junior High! Last year was challenging and highlighted the need for outdoor spaces where classes and children could go to take mask breaks and enjoy some fresh air. As you may know, the PTO purchased Adirondack Chairs last year for both the Garden and Courtyard spaces so teachers could bring children outside during the school day. This summer, we made even more improvements to make the outdoor spaces more usable for our children and teachers. Our goal was also to make the space easier to maintain for our district so that the children will be able to use these spaces for years to come. The changes include:
Clearing both spaces of all of the overgrowth, invasive species and unnecessary plants/bushes
Creating paved pathways in both locations between all of the access doors
Creating circular paved areas where the Adirondack chairs can be placed
Cleaning the stone wall in the garden which can be used for additional seating as needed
Creating additional seating in the courtyard with the introduction of tree stumps around the circular paved location
Laying mulch to help with weed control
Before and After pictures are below so you can see the incredible progress that has been made! We look forward to the children enjoying these improved outdoor spaces!
Welcome to the 2021-2022 School Year!
2021 Fall Return to School Plan
We are excited to return to full in-person instruction for all students next week with pre-pandemic programming to the greatest extent possible while also incorporating important guidance to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. Please review the approved Fall 2021 Return to School Plan (and video presentation) that will be in effect for the start of the 2021-22 school year. Please visit our 2021 Back to School page for additional information, resources for parents and our recently published FAQs for our return to school. As always, we will continue to rely on guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH), the Governor’s Office and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and to collaborate with other public health professionals as we navigate the early part of the school year.
District 39 invites students, staff and visitors to voluntarily submit vaccination status information. Having this information in advance will allow the District to more efficiently implement public health guidance as we navigate the 2021-22 school year. Providing proof of vaccination is not required; however, those without a record of vaccination on file will be required to follow the health protocols for unvaccinated individuals. Current health department guidance excuses fully vaccinated individuals from quarantine unless they are symptomatic. Highcrest and Wilmette Junior High families, please review the email titled “Student COVID Vaccine Information” for more information and navigate to the Power School Parent Portal to submit your child’s vaccination status information before school starts on Wednesday.
Update on New Lunch System
This fall, students may bring lunch from home or purchase cold boxed lunch from our school cafeterias. Our new District 39 lunch system allows parents to set up auto-replenish for their student’s lunch accounts. Look for an email today titled “[D39] Lunch Deposit Instructions” for instructions and credentials for linking your child’s account. The new system uses integration with PowerSchool and RevTrak to make this process easier for parents.