Week of October 2, 2020

October 2, 2020


Upcoming Dates:

October 4–Last Day for PTA Community Needs Survey 

October 15 @ 7pm--Orrington Community Building Brainstorm

October 21-- All-Evanston Community Town Hall on PEP One Fund Initiative--time TBD

October 31--Deadline for Joining AtoZ Directory


NEW! Check in with the PTA!

The current school year presents unique challenges for all of us.  The PTA would like to hear from all parents/guardians/caregivers to better understand how we might best support our Orrington community in 2020-21.  Please fill out this survey to help us make important decisions about what programming we should prioritize this year.

Since we are unable to meet in person, the Orrington PTA Welcome Packet introduces you to the current Executive Board with photos. In the packet you will also find an overview of some of the basic goals, functions and activities of the PTA.  It's here as a Quick Link, too.


new directory is here!

We are excited to share that Orrington PTA will be using an online directory, hosted by AtoZ Connect, to manage family contact information. The Orrington Directory is a listing of students with their classroom assignments, and, if families choose to share, their home address, phone numbers and email addresses. It’s a useful tool throughout the year for getting in touch with classmates, as well as staff and other families in the school.

Those families who agreed to release their information when registering with District 65 are already included in the Directory and will soon receive an email--from Orrington PTA--to verify their information. Click on this button to get started:

If you did not agree to release your information and would like to be included in the Directory, click this link: https://atozconnect.com Please fill in as much or as little information as you would like to be listed in the Directory. There is room for multiple addresses, phone numbers and email addresses if you would like them listed. 


If you have any questions, please contact Sonia Kinra at orringtonelementarydirectory@gmail.com. Thank you!


new PEP one fund initiative

The Orrington PTA Executive Board will be voting this week on which funding model we feel is the best option as our district PTAs come closer to making a decision on adopting PEP’s One Fund Initiative, a collaborative effort to bring equitable PTA funding to all schools across District 65.  Each school will then have an equal voice in the ranked voting process.   

PEP will be hosting a Community Town Hall on October 21st to present the model chosen, the lessons learned over the 4 years that this process has been in the works, and to speak of their hopes for seismic change in how Evanston not only raises funds for D65 schools but how we understand our connections to each other as one unified community. 

Orrington PTA membership will vote on whether to participate in One Fund at our November PTA meeting. If you would like to learn more about PEP, please visit the website at ptaequityproject.com.  For additional questions, please reach out to info@orringtonpta.org.


new community-building brainstorm on 10/15

Based on the responses to the PTA Survey, the Community Building Committee is hosting an open zoom to talk about ideas to bring our community the support it is looking for on Thursday, 10/15, @ 7pm.  All are welcome to attend and meet the committee members who will be behind these efforts, as we seek to connect and help each other through this year.  Please join us if you can!  Zoom information will be in next week’s newsletter.

new! case leader outlines 2020-2021 goals

Evanston CASE (Community, Advocacy, Support and Education for families with children impacted by disability) has a new executive director, Kate Noble.  Kate is the parent of two District 65 students (one current, one former) with disabilities.  CASE works to support students with disabilities and their families while working to address the inequities at school and in special education in District 65. CASE has a variety of programs that are free and available to all families in District 65 and 202. 

In the past year, CASE has been collaborating with D65 leadership to put a spotlight on the intersection of race and disability in District 65, and the many challenges this intersectionality presents.  An important CASE goal for this upcoming year is to let the community know who they are and what they can do to combat inequities in special education, including the disproportionate representation and misidentification of students of color in special education.
To learn more about CASE, visit their website at www.evanstoncase.org.  For additional questions, please reach out to Executive Director Kate Noble at mail@evanstoncase.org or (847) 556-8676.

new! boxes of stories across evanston

The Book Nook Bins in front of school have been re-named as “Boxes of Stories”— we are joining the effort of all D65 PTAs to increase the number and variety of books available to families all over Evanston during 2020-21.  The Orrington bins will be added to a map of book bins (coming soon!) located all over town and open to all D65 students.  Some of our many bins are moving to Fleetwood-Jourdain Center (1655 Foster St).  Please come take a look at Orrington or Fleetwood for books to read--there are books across every reading/interest level!  We are always accepting donations—if you have books your children are no longer reading, please donate them so another D65 student can enjoy them! Please leave donated books in the “To Be Sorted” bins. 
If you would like to host a bin of books in your yard or volunteer to help in any way, please fill out the survey HERE.


new! learn about ESCCA changes in 2020-2021

ESCCA (Evanston School Children's Clothing Association) is an organization that makes clothing available to all K-8th grade children of Evanston/Skokie District 65 Schools.  Each year it provides clothing and shoes to 650-700 children.  Every child receives a full wardrobe of clothing, mostly gently-used items, and also new gym shoes, boots, underwear and jeans.  Please notify Ms. Robinson, our school health clerk (847-859-8780), if you wish to receive assistance from ESCCA.

The clothing center is located at 1500 McDaniel Avenue in the District 65 Administrative Building / Joseph E. Hill Center (www.escca.org).  There is a 24-hour drop-off bin for donations outside on the west side of the building.  We are not accepting clothing donations at Orrington, inside the lobby or on the porch, at this time. Under normal circumstances, families are scheduled to come to the center in the evening and volunteers help the children select clothing.  ESCCA is doing everything we can to prepare to safely serve D65 families in need this year. We are moving to a model where volunteers will select appropriate clothing for students, and families will be able to come to pick it up.
Please see the donation guidelines HERE for what donations we can accept as space and volunteer time are limited.  If you have any questions, please contact Orrington ESCCA co-chairs Alli Hackney (allihackney@gmail.com ) or Tracy Cassidy (tracy.wasserman@gmail.com).


Get Involved!

Orrington PTA is entirely made up of volunteers and we are always looking for more!  We’d like to thank some of our more recent additions—Alina Valle is our new EB/International Family Coordinator and Laura Graham is our New Family Coordinator. 

We have an exciting NEW volunteer role this year: Community Connector.  The Community Connectors are replacing the role of room parents and will embrace the diversity and richness of the Orrington community.  The Community Connectors will work together in a grade-level team to make connections, support teachers, build community and unite families and students.  Each grade-level group will organize at least one (virtual) community-building event this year. We have a few new Community Connector volunteers already—thank you Jane Hennessey (2nd) and Melissa Foster-Boresi (3rd)!  Thank you also to Deena Fischer (2nd) for jumping right in!  If you don’t see your grade there, we need you!
If you are interested in volunteering as a Community Connector (or in any capacity) please enter your information HERE and someone will reach out to discuss this or other current open PTA POSITIONS you have interest in.  The 2020-21 school year will be like no other and we need volunteers more than ever to help us build community during this uncertain time.


spots still open in fall clubs

There are still openings in virtual enrichments that have already begun for Fall.  Check out what’s available in before/after school clubs at https://bit.ly/D65Enrichments . Please note that the 8am - 8:45am slot is only for elementary schools; 3pm - 3:45pm is only for MAGNET schools; 4pm - 4:45pm and 5pm - 5:45pm is open for all. 

If you are in need of a scholarship please fill out this request form: https://bit.ly/D65scholarship.

Late enrollments may be pro-rated—please reach out to D65Enrichments@gmail.com to inquire, and with any additional questions.