Serving Students since 1897
WELCOME TO RAVINIA SCHOOL
On September 11, 1897, a two room school house was built and named Ravinia School. The school was named after the ravines and the village of Ravinia. The original school housed only 50 students inside a two room building about the size of the current school's gymnasium. Ravinia School currently serves nearly 250 kindergarten through fifth grade students.
- Module 1: Happiness and Gratitude in Challenging Times
- Module 2: Increasing Social Connection In A Time of Social Distancing
- Module 3: Inoculating Your Brain About Anxiety and Stress
- Module 4: Being Adaptive in the Midst of Uncertainty and Change
- Module 5: Uncovering Possibilities With a Growth Mindset
- Module 6: Restart Forward Progress
Module 1: Happiness and Gratitude in Challenging Times
Password - NSSD112!
QUESTION: ARE YOU A PERSON WHO SEES A GLASS HALF FULL? HOW ARE YOU HELPING YOUR CHILDREN TO BECOME OPTIMISTIC, POSITIVE PEOPLE?
First a few thoughts …. Optimism is not actually about the glass being half full as is commonly believed. Optimism refers to your belief system about how successful you think your actions are, and how effectively you can impact on the world. It involves learning to think positively about the future, even when things go wrong. It’s about looking objectively at a situation and making a conscious decision to focus on the good.
This first module will encourage your child to illustrate their understanding of optimism, by reflecting on case studies and personal examples. It is important to build their resilience as optimistic people are happier and more engaged, succeed more often, and are better problem solvers. Optimists do better academically, socially and have better health than pessimists, so it makes sense to promote the skills of optimistic thinking to children. Optimists look at the flip side of negative events for some good, some hope and some reason to be positive. Recent research indicates that children learn optimism or pessimism from their experiences of success and through their interactions with parents, teachers and other significant adults.
Module 2: Increasing Social Connection In A Time of Social Distancing
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QUESTION: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO INCREASE SOCIAL CONNECTION DURING COVID-19?
What is social connectedness? Why is it important?
Social connection in psychology is based upon the perception of social support. You can have tons of people around you, but still feel alone. You can also be alone but feel supported and connected to loved ones. It is the feeling of closeness and connectedness to a community. It is rooted in feelings of belonging, love and common values. Humans are innately social creatures. Every person we interact with is forever part of our social network. They are family members, friends, coworkers, teammates, neighbors, and acquaintances. Each has a lasting impact on our physical and mental health.
During this unique time of social distancing, it is imperative that we do not completely disconnect with one another. In fact, it is critical now than ever to “virtually” come together. Ongoing research supports the positive health benefits of social connectedness.
Engaging with your network and partaking in activities are proven to have the following health benefits:
By making some small positive actions, you can increase your brain's awareness of social support and feel more connected to others.
- Longer life.
- Stronger immune system.
- Improved memory and cognitive skills.
- Increased motivation for self-care.
- Lower levels of stress hormones.
- How to keep kids social during a time of social distancing
- 10 Ideas for Coping with Loneliness During Social Distancing
- Coronavirus: 5 ways to stay (virtually) social and make the best of isolation
Module 3: Inoculating Your Brain About Anxiety and Stress
Password - NSSD112!
QUESTION: WHAT ARE THE THREE MOMENTS IN YOUR LIFE THAT HELPED SHAPE THE PERSON YOU ARE TODAY?
What is stress?
Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction or the “stress response.”
The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life—giving you extra strength to defend yourself, for example, or spurring you to slam on the brakes to avoid a car accident.
Like Shawn mentioned, stress can also help you rise to meet challenges. It’s what keeps you on your toes during a presentation at work, sharpens your concentration when you’re attempting the game-winning free throw, or drives you to study for an exam when you’d rather be watching TV.
- The Surprising Benefits of Stress
- How to Makes Stress Your Friend
- 6 Research-Based Ways to Systematically Reduce Family Stress
- What is the secret of happiness? Scientists have found the answer
- Happiness & Health
Module 4: Being Adaptive in the Midst of Uncertainty and Change
Password - NSSD112!
QUESTION: WHAT ARE THREE GOALS YOU WOULD LIKE TO ACHIEVE AS A FAMILY DURING COVID-19?
Sometimes we come across obstacles in our lives that lower our overall level of happiness and disrupt our path to success — we call these mental map hijackers. A common hijacker is a negative boss who tries to drive productivity through intimidation.
There are two parts of the brain called the Jerk and the Thinker. The Jerk is the amygdala, the most primitive part of the brain, which response to threats. The Thinker is the prefrontal cortex, which helps you make good decisions. Fear is a map hijacker because when you activate the Jerk, you shut off the Thinker, wasting your valuable brain resources on avoiding that fear instead of pursuing your goals. Instead of letting your boss’s negativity bother you, look for meaning in your work. This will shut off the Jerk and allow the Thinker to channel your brain’s full suite of intelligence toward accomplishing that goal.
What are your mental hijackers?
Write down five triggers that consistently lead to counterproductive behavior. Are there certain people or places that let good habits slip? Once you know what your hijackers are, you can replace them with positive mental map markers.
- Zorro Training Circle
- The Practice and Habit of Happiness
- How Habits and Happiness are Linked
- TED Talk: The Habits of Happiness
- Goal Progress and Happiness
Module 5: Uncovering Possibilities With a Growth Mindset
Password - NSSD112!
QUESTION: WHAT’S ONE PART ABOUT THE QUARANTINE THAT YOU HOPE WILL CONTINUE AFTER IT’S OVER?
Your mindset plays a critical role in how you cope with life's challenges. In school, a growth mindset can contribute to greater achievement and increased effort. When facing a problem such as trying to find a new job, people with growth mindsets show greater resilience. They are more likely to persevere in the face of setbacks while those with fixed mindsets are more liable to give up. Parents can also take steps to ensure that their children develop growth mindsets, often through praising efforts rather than focusing solely on results.
For example, instead of telling a child that he or she is "so smart," a parent might commend the child for their hard work on a project and describe what they like the most about the child's efforts ("I really like how you chose the colors for that picture!").
By focusing on the process rather than the outcome, parents can help kids understand that their efforts, hard work, and dedication can lead to change, learning, and growth both now and in the future.
- How Praise Became A Consolation Prize
- Growth vs Fixed Mindset
- Take the VIA Character Strengths Questionaire
- Simple Ways to Show Gratitude in the Face of Uncertainty
- Developing a Growth Mindset with Carol Dweck
Module 6: Restart Forward Progress
Password - NSSD112!
QUESTION: WHAT ARE THREE THINGS YOU ARE ACTUALLY GRATEFUL FOR DURING COVID-19?
Finding Gratitude in the Face of Uncertainty
A decade’s worth of research on gratitude has shown us that when life is going well, gratitude allows us to celebrate and magnify the goodness. But what about when life goes badly? In the midst of a crisis, people often ask if they can—or even should—feel grateful under such dire circumstances. Not only will a grateful attitude help—it is essential. In fact, it is precisely under crisis conditions when we have the most to gain by a grateful perspective on life. In the face of demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize. In the face of chaos, gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope.
In other words, gratitude can help us cope with hard times. But being grateful is a choice, a prevailing attitude that endures and is relatively immune to the gains and losses that flow in and out of our lives. When disaster strikes, gratitude provides a perspective from which we can view life in its entirety and not be overwhelmed by temporary circumstances. Yes, this perspective is hard to achieve—but my research says it is worth the effort.
History of Ravinia School, Part 2: The First School House, 1897-1913
By Elliott Miller
By the 1890s, South School was judged inadequate to handle the student population in the area. Children from 25 families in the western part of the district were being sent to school in Deerfield, and some children in the southern portion of the district attended school in Glencoe.
Special elections were held at South School. All eligible (i.e., male) voters were notified to be on hand and vote for the new schoolhouse. The ballots were slips of paper on which was printed FOR or AGAINST in large type at the top of the ballot. Voters chose a ballot and inserted it into the ballot box.
Once the construction of a new school house was approved, there was much debate over where the school should be located ̶ at the current site on Green Bay and Roger Williams, favored by residents in the western part of the district, or at a location further east in Ravinia. Two ballot attempts failed to win approval to build a new schoolhouse at the old location. On April 22, 1896 it was determined by a margin of one vote out of a total of 57 votes cast, to purchase the land on the corner of Dean Avenue in Ravinia for the new school. Locating the school further east contributed to the eventual splitting of School District 5 into eastern and western sections. (West Ridge School was built in 1899)
It then took three tries to pass the proposition to fund the new school. On May 1, 1897 the third ballot held at the South School house to build a new school house in Ravinia. The proposition was approved 56 for and 42 against, authorizing the Board of Directors to build a school house on the said site to cost not to exceed $2700.
At all these proceedings held relative to the building a school at Ravinia, George Hessler was president and H.G. Dickson was clerk.
The Chicago architectural firm of Brainerd & Holsman was hired to submit architectural plans for the new school. The initial tradesmen’s contracts were awarded in June of 1897 as follows:
Brainerd & Holsman, architects: $50
William J. Obee, masonry: $450
Zimmer & Morton, carpentry: $975
Gauntt & Robertson, painting and glazing: $142
McKenzie & Dagget, well drilling: $200
The building was 35 feet by 50 feet and consisted of two rooms, a larger classroom and a smaller store room. The school boasted “a furnace that will not only heat but also ventilate it.” The exterior was made of common, beige-colored brick (the first brick school built in the district), not the red brick of today’s Ravinia School buildings. The large room contained 48 desks and plenty of floor space and blackboard room; desks all face north, abundantly lighted, and a smaller room. There is a large entrance hall and two cloak and hat rooms. The interior was “finished in yellow southern pine and well done too.” The floors and woodwork of the school had a natural finish, which was periodically oiled instead of painted.
The first Ravinia School was opened in September 1897 with the usual programs of the time—congratulatory speeches, recitations by little girls, etc. The Highland Park News congratulated Ravinia on ”so good, complete, and up-to-date, well-built, admiralty finished and furnished a school house.” The fact that the school house was built and furnished with less that the appropriated funds suggested to the author that those involved would make good city aldermen. [i] However, it didn’t take long before the “complete and up-to-date” school house was deemed obsolete, and a new wing was built in 1913.
Maintaining the Schools
The School Board prescribed rules for students, teachers, and even the janitors. The board, wanting to protect their new school investment, met on August 26, 1899 and thoroughly considered the issue of dusting: “It shall be the duty of the janitors to see that their buildings are properly heated and dusted before 8:30 A.M. In dusting they will use a cloth or other material which will effectively remove the dust from furniture and woodwork, not merely scattering the dust broadcast in the room.”
Additional instructions were given the following year to have the janitors “wash windows and floors every two weeks and sweep and dust every day.” Janitors were lowest paid staff in the district. The Janitor of that time, Carl Bonn, was paid $10 per month.
In the early days, school janitors were not paid well, nor were they held in much esteem. In 1909, Mr. William L. McKenzie was hired to clean Ravinia School for $20 per month. Mr. McKenzie was held the job until 1912 when, upon asking for a raise to $30 per month, the board voted to look for another janitor who would work for $20 per month.
A telephone was not installed in the school until 1914. At that time, the Chicago Telephone Co. was approached to install telephones in Lincoln and Ravinia Schools.
The School Board was often frugal in allocating funds for equipment purchases. When a typewriter was requested for Ravinia School in 1927, the School Board authorized the purchase of a rebuilt one, at a cost not to exceed $50. The purchase of a piano was treated in the same way.
[i] “The Ravinia Dedication” Highland Park News, September 17, 1897, p. 1
Our PTO is made up of hard-working parents who pool their talents to provide practical support for our school