October 28, 2019

Twitter Highlights: Week 9

You don't need to have a twitter account to see the highlights from the past week. We are working to create a positive learning environment that is equitable, inclusive and focused on the whole child. No need to have a twitter account to view!

No Student Attendance Friday, November 1

There is a teacher Institute Day on Friday, November 1. There will be no student attendance on this day.


Thank you to the PTO and to the Brooks Community for the appreciation dinner on Thursday evening during the Parent Teacher Conferences. Everything was simply delicious. We can't thank you enough for the time and planning you put in to letting us know how much you care. We appreciate all YOU do to show us you care. So thank you!!

Student Led Parent-Teacher Conference Feedback

Please take a few minutes to share your feedback about our Fall Conferences.

Brooks Service Club October Food Drive

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Halloween Costume Expectations

As part of our Service Club Food Drive, our Brooks students may dress up for Halloween by donating a $1 or a non-perishable food item to their advisory teacher now through October 31st.

Our goal is to create a positive learning environment where all students, staff and families feel a sense of belonging. In that spirit, we ask that you take care to ensure that your child’s costume choice does not portray a stereotypical image of any group of people or culture, or be offensive to any one racial, ethnic or religious group. We appreciate you being proactive with your child in making thoughtful costume choices. In addition, we ask that students do not wear masks or costumes that cover their face. Students may not bring weapons, use blood or gore, baby bottles or pacifiers and must comply with the district dress code.

To support you in your conversation with your child and to build your understanding around this topic, we have compiled links to resources below that you may find helpful. Thank you for your continued support of our students and schools.


Parent/Guardian Contact Information

In our efforts to keep our student and family contact information current, we are asking that our Brooks families please fill out the ink below.

Some of you have expressed concern about not receiving information, so we want to be sure we are able to reach you!

We appreciate your help in keeping your mailing, telephone and email contact information valid and up to date.

District 97 Emergency Data Form

Thank you for completing this form as soon as possible.

Join us Nov. 7 for the next Mindful Middle-Schoolers talk

In partnership with DePaul Family and Community Services, join us on

Thursday November 7 from 6:30p - 8:00p at Brooks Middle School for a discussion on:

Mindfulness-based strategies and their applications

in academic and home settings

What is mindfulness? How can mindfulness practices be helpful in supporting youths' academic and emotional functioning at school and at home? Join us for a free talk!! DePaul University, in partnership with the Oak Park Township Community Mental Health Board and D97 plan to offer a series of community talks to the Brooks/Julian middle school communities during the 2019-2020 school year as part of The Mindful Middle Schoolers Program. All are welcome (parents, school staff, students, community members).

Sign up at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mindfulness-based-strategies-and-their-applications-in-academic-and-home-settings-tickets-75088544859?aff=ebapi


We are now in the middle of our first all-school HERO goal. If a student decides to carry a bag during the school day, they will carry the appropriately sized bag during the school day. Given that student's textbooks are all accessible through their Chromebooks, there are limited items that students need to carry with them during the school day. Many students will gather their Chromebook and folders needed for their morning classes, stop at their lockers before and after lunch and then gather their folders for their afternoon classes. Typically students will visit their lockers at the start of the day, before and after lunch and then again at the end of the day.

The WHY behind the expectation, which links to our student expectations of BE SAFE:

  • Large backpacks in the stairwell bump into others potentially causing students to be pushed off balance and getting hurt in the stairwells (which has been the experience in previous years)

  • Large backpacks take up too much room in the classrooms because they do not easily fit hanging on a chair or under the desk, which leaves them on the floor making walking through the classroom spaces difficult and creates tripping hazards.

  • They promote disorganization, instead of promoting the development of planning ahead skills.

The appropriate size bag is either a cinch sack or small backpack (no larger than 18" high x 14" wide x 6" deep). If we meet our goal of 99% of student carrying the appropriate sized bag ,we will celebrate during school on November 8th. The celebration will also coincide with this year’s first opening of the School Store on November 7th.

This week we are also instituting Brooks Bucks that kids can earn for following the posted Brooks Student Expectations. These bucks can be redeemed at the School Store along with HERO points.

Using the Canvas Calendar as an Observer

If you are looking for one place to see when your student has assignments due, check out the Canvas Calendar. The assignments will be linked on the Canvas Calendar on the day they are due.

Click the link below for detailed directions on how to use the Canvas calendar.


Purchase your Yearbook Today!

Fall 2019 Promotional Discounts For Yearbooks

The Fall is a great time for you and your school community to order yearbooks! You will receive these discounts when ordering early in the school year:

October 1st - October 31st = 10% use code: 1014096931934358

November 1st - November 30th = 5% use code : 1014096931934358

During the months of August, September, October, and November when placing online orders the price of the book will reflect these discounts. The discount is calculated on the cost of the yearbook and does not apply to hardcover upgrades or extra custom pages.


  • Friday, November 8th from 8:30am to 9:30am Coffee with Capuder
  • End of Trimester 1: Friday, November 15th
  • Trimester 1 Report Card: Friday, December 6th


PTO Business meeting

Join us on Monday, November 11 at 6:00 pm in the Brook’s library for our PTO business meeting.

Want to Donate to the PTO?

You can donate $10 or more to help pay for things like teacher grants, need-based scholarships and other enrichment activities. Please consider a matching gift donation from your employer.

Last month, the PTO funded a Teacher Grant to Ms. Maggio to add flexible seating to her classroom.

Book Fair / Library Update

Author Kekla Magoon visited Brooks on Wednesday, October 23rd. There are still autographed copies of her new book, Light It Up, available for purchase until the end of the week. HERE is an order form if you’d like to check it out.

Thanks for visiting and supporting our PTO Book Fair last week!

Clubs and Sports Information

Math Team

Meets Mondays 3:30pm - 4:30pm in room B409. For more information contact Esther Smith at esmith3@op97.org

Open to 6 - 8 grade students.

Art Club

Meets Thursday’s from 3:30-4:30 October- March in D301. Free and open to all students.

Mrs. Murray will offer a variety of materials and techniques. Come when you can and be ready to explore your own ideas, work at your own pace, and make new friends in a creative environment just for artists! Art club is FREE!

Yearbook Club

Meets the 1st & 3rd Tuesday each month. Room B202 Beginning in October and ends in April.

Everyone is welcome to join GBMS Yearbook Club. We are looking for students to assist us in recording the student activities & events of the 2019-2020 school year!

For more information please contact Meaghan Pabellon at mpabellon@op97.org or Marsha Turner Reid at mturnerreid@op97.org

OPEF VEX Robotics

This year we are offering two cool programs for D97 middle school kids to enjoy. We look forward to another exciting VEX Robotics season at both Julian and Brooks.

  • The In-House Club is designed for students with little or no experience with robotics and for students who cannot commit to the long season of our Competitive League.

  • The Robotics Competitive League is an intensive program for the dedicated technology student, especially those who want to take their experience with VEX Robotics and programming to the next level.

To sign up or learn more information about our programs, visit our OPEF VEX Robotics page at https://www.opef.org/programs/vex-robotics/

Brooks in-house contact - Brian Shinners, bshinners@op97.org

Orff Ensemble

(Xylophone and Drumming Music Group) Monday's, 8:00-8:50 am, Rm D104. Open to all students grades 6-8. No audition required! For more information contact Mr. Carrillo (fcarrillo@op97.org)

Spoken Word Club

Meets on weekly on Mondays in B205 (3:30 - 5:00 pm) with Mr. Lee and our resident poet artist, Christian Robinson.

For more information contact mlee@op97.org

Ultimate Frisbee

This recreational Frisbee Club meets on Mondays and Wednesdays to play from 3:30p to 4:30p. For more information contact Coach Gillespie at mgillespie@op97.org or Coach Guerino at tguerino@op97.org - Please note practices may be cancelled due to weather.

Rainbow Tribe

Rainbow Tribe will be hosting our 1st meeting on Monday September 30th at 3:30 PM in the Library! Come join students who want to be a part of creating a safe and inclusive space for our Brooks LGBTQ community. All students (those who identify and allies) are invited to join! Reach out to Ms. Berman (aberman@op97.org) or Mrs. Olsen (jolsen@op97.org) with any questions!


Eco Eagles will meets weekly on TUESDAYS at 3:30 in Room C202

Students who are passionate about helping the environment, gardening, saving endangered species or who just want to do interesting things outdoors should check out the ECO EAGLES, the Brooks ecology club. We have made award-winning films, gone on cool field trips, implemented fun fundraisers and raised awareness about many different issues. We are open to whatever you are interested in, so join us! For more information contact lstamp@op97.org

Chess Club

Play chess games against other club members..checkmate!

Chess club meets on Tuesdays in Mr. Hausfeld's new classroom C108 from 3:30pm to 5:00pm. For more information contact Coach Hausfeld at mhausfeld@op97.org

Girls on the RISE - 6th Grade Girls & 7th Grade Girls

Girls on the Rise is a program offered in partnership with Brooks and the Oak Park Township. Girls on the Rise provides prevention and empowerment to minority girls. We strive to instill confidence in girls to utilize problem-solving skills through communication and respect. Our program plans to build social, communication and leadership skills, healthy relationships with peers and adults, raise self-esteem and self-awareness and create a sisterhood of strong young ladies.

The 6th Grade Girls group's 6th Grade Girls meets on Tuesdays, from 3:30pm to 5:00 pm in room C105.

The 7th Grade Girls group's meets on Wednesdays from 3:30pm to 5:00 pm in room C105.

The 8th Grade Girls group will begin meeting on January 15th, 2020.

For more information contact Dominique Hickman at dhickman@oakparktownship.org

Service Club

First meeting is Friday's, 8am in room B209. Service club meets every Friday morning.

We organize & promote the school's service projects such as food drives, coat drives, the holiday food and gift basket program, and more! If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Susan Walsh (swalsh@op97.org) or Ms. Blanca Martinez (bmartinez@op97.org).

Singing Groups Offered at Brooks (extra-curricular and co-curricular)

The Women's Ensemble (name TBD)

This group will be made up of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students whose voices present as female. Individuals are admitted to the highly popular co-curricular groups through an audition process in September. *Students do NOT have to be enrolled in Band, Chorus or Orchestra curricular classes to audition for these groups*. The repertoire for this group will include vocal jazz, showtunes, pop, and classic choral literature.

  • This group will rehearse Tuesdays from 8-8:50 am.

The Men's Ensemble (name TBD)

This group will be made up of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students whose voices present as male. Individuals are admitted to the highly popular co-curricular groups through an audition process in September. *Students do NOT have to be enrolled in Band, Chorus or Orchestra curricular classes to audition for these groups*. The repertoire for this group will include vocal jazz, showtunes, pop, and classic choral literature.

  • This group will rehearse Wednesdays from 8-8:50 am.

The Select Mixed Ensemble (name TBD)

This is an extra-curricular choir made up of 7th, and 8th grade students that focuses on vocal jazz, showtunes, pop, and classic choral literature. Individuals are admitted to the highly popular co-curricular groups through an audition process in September (and possibly a re-audition in December). Students involved in this top group must be enrolled in Band, Chorus or Orchestra during the day, and will be asked to sing with one of the other extra-curricular choirs.

  • This group will rehearse Thursdays from 8-8:50 am.

For more information contact Mr. Blackman at fblackman@op97.org

Music Department Fundraiser

In order to help our students fund their Cleveland Music Trip this year, our students are participating in fundraising efforts. You can place orders directly with the student by check or cash or we accept online orders as well.

When ordering online go to:


and enter the code 46101, Brooks will pop up. If you click Brooks, it will ask you the name and grade of the student you are purchasing from. After that, it takes you to the site and you can choose from the abundant riches of chocolate and cookie dough.

If you have any questions, please contact any of our Music Directors.

Andrew Davis - Band Director adavis@op97.org

Frank Blackman - Choral Director fblackman@op97.org

Fernando Carrillo - Orchestra Director fcarrillo@op97.org


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Don’t miss this hilarious and heart-warming musical!


Community Programs

Distribution of information by a community group in accordance with District 97 policy does not imply, directly or indirectly, that the group's program(s), event(s) and/or services(s) is sanctioned, sponsored or endorsed by the district, the Board of Education or the superintendent.

Attendance of Children at OPRF Sporting Events

Oak Park and River Forest High School recently implemented a new rule when attending athletic events. Effective immediately, children ages 11 and younger will not be allowed to attend athletic events at OPRF unless they are accompanied by an adult age 18 or older. Please click here for the full message from the high school.

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We are excited to announce the 2nd Annual Parent Empowerment Workshop at Kids Unlimited Therapy Services, held Saturday Nov 2nd 9am -2:30pm. Topics covered during the workshop include navigation of the school system to secure services, effective mealtime strategies for picky eaters and methods to manage meltdowns. You can also go to our website at www.kidsunlimitedtherapyservices.com to download the forms.

Free Water Skills/Safety Course through YMCA

The Executive Director of the YMCA is asking for our assistance to drive participation in their FREE water skills/safety course. Please see the list of dates for their upcoming session and engage families to consider. Flyer is linked here. The link for folks to enroll is: http://www.westcookymca.org/saw

Fall II Session: 10/28/19 through 12/22/19
Monday: 6:35 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Tuesday: 6:20 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Wednesday: 5:50 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Thursday: 6:20 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday: 4:30 p.m. to 5:10 p.m.
Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 8:40 a.m.
Sunday: 10:35 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

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