February 26th

Twitter Highlights: Week 25

Please click on the above link to see highlights from this 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!

Brooks News to Know

Screenagers viewing was a success!

Thank you to Brooks and Julian PTOs for organizing this opportunity! Please find some useful resources here: Screenagers Resources

PARCC Testing 2018

As in years past, students will again be participating in the PARCC (Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) Assessment this Spring. The PARCC Assessment will be administered to all students during the first two weeks of March. We will begin PARCC testing on Tuesday, March 6th and are scheduled to end testing on Monday, March 19th with make-up testing to be completed during week of March 19th.

During the testing window in March, you can help your student do his/her best by:

1) Making sure, if possible, that your student attends school on the days of testing

2) Making sure your student gets a good night’s sleep before testing

3) Providing breakfast on the morning of testing

4) Reminding your student to ask the teacher questions if he/she does not understand the test directions

5) Letting your student know that you have confidence in his/her ability to do his/her best

6) Advising your student not to worry about the test—just do the best he/she can.

7) Reminding your student to bring ear buds for testing

8) Reminding your student to make sure their chromebook is charged each night

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your student’s teacher or one of our Assistant Principals who are responsible for coordinating the PARCC testing: Angelica Kamysz (akamysz@op97.org) or Michelle Reed (mreed@op97.org)

International Baccalaureate Video

Want to learn a little bit more about IB. Please enjoy this video where staff and students from Brooks and Julian middle schools in Oak Park discuss the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program.

Brooks Recycling Challenge

If you have any spare recyclable cans or bottles, please donate them to team 7.1’s collection bins. Remember, Floor 3, Wing C. Let’s meet our goal of adding 5,000 cans and bottles to Ryan Recycles Challenge of 300,000! Follow @ChicagoStrawless on Instagram for more information.

We are currently at 3,324 in Week 6. We are in 5th place in the nation. Only 4 weeks to go with a goal of 5,000.


7th grade trip to Springfield

There's still time to register for the 7th grade trip to Springfield!

Date: Friday, April 20, 2018

Cost: $115

Registration Deadline: March 15, 2018 (after the 3/15 deadline, a 10% late fee will be added for late registrants)

Trip ID: 149246

Easy ways to sign-up for the trip:

  1. Online: worldstrides.com/signup
  2. Phone: (800) 468-5899

Questions: contact Janorisè Robinson at brooksspringfieldtrip@gmail.com

HERO encourages positive student behavior choices.

Brooks continues to place an emphasis on reinforcing positive student behaviors in the classroom and across school spaces. In order to teach and reinforce these learning behaviors Brooks teachers continue to use our digital reinforcement system, HERO. Each team has a specific goal they are working towards over a period of six weeks. Students will celebrate their successes in demonstrating positive behaviors by engaging in team celebrations during one period on March 23rd.

Want to support your student in working towards their team's goal? See the list below and log into HERO (directions to create an account) to see how your student is being reinforced during the day.

6.1- Being prepared for class with materials and assignments

6.2- Being prepared for class with materials and assignments

6.3- Being prepared for class with materials and assignments

7.1 -Remaining "on task" for the entire class period.

7.2- Demonstrating positive classroom behavior (defined explicitly by each teacher)

7.3- Being prepared for class with materials and assignments

8.1- Using technology appropriately and only for learning.

8.2- Remaining "on task" for the entire class period.

8.3- Be prepared for class with materials and assignments

Movie Showing: Angst-Raising Awareness Around Anxiety

Sunday, March 18th at Music Box Theatre in Chicago. Movie starts at 4:30pm with discussion at 5:30pm. Tickets are $10 and the link to purchase tickets can be found in the this link to flyer that contains more details.

Family Education and Advocacy sponsored by NAMI

Family Education and Advocacy series available for family members and professionals to provide educational tools for advancing a mutual understanding and resources for children with mental illness.

To register please visit our website: https://namimetsub.org/family-programs/family-advocacy

8th Grade Family High School Transition Information

To keep up-to-date on the activities and opportunities for your soon to be high schooler, please visit OPRFHS webpage often! The high school also sends out communications periodically to incoming Freshman class families - so check your email and mail for communications from the high school.

Here is link to OPRFHS Transition PowerPoint shared at their January meeting with 8th grade families.

Oak Park RIver Forest High School Work Group Information

The Imagine OPRF work group is charged with making recommendations for a fiscally responsible facility master plan. Read more about their work here


A progress meeting has been scheduled for February 27 at 7pm in the South Cafeteria at OPRFHS to share work completed to date with the community.

Yearbook Orders

To order a yearbook, please use this link:


Recognizing Staff who Make a Difference

If you or your student would like to recognize any staff member (a teacher, a teacher assistant, social worker, librarian, front office staff, lunchroom staff, custodial staff or school administrator) please take a moment to complete this form.

Thank you to those who have completed this form to recognize a GBMS staff member. All individuals receive a printed certificate highlighting your appreciation for their contributions!

Please be sure your background check has been completed if you'd like to volunteer to chaperone Field Trips

Parents must make an appointment for background checks. You can go here to find the link to schedule a time for a background check to be completed.

Breakfast and Lunch Menus for February

Here is the link to the February Menus.

Sports and Club Information

Math Club

Math Team took 2nd place at Math Counts Competition on Saturday! Aleksander Saame and Dean Cianciolo will be competing at the State competition.
Big picture

BRAVO was noted as a trendsetter...

During BRAVO's experience in Atlanta at the Junior Theater Festival, Ms. Tina Reynolds and 4 Brooks students were interviewed by the New York Times! JTF is an international musical theater festival hosting 130 schools and 6,000+ attendees.

BRAVO was noted as a trendsetter in the industry in the final paragraph of the article along with a photo of our showcase performance of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We were so very proud to represent our school and community!

Check out the article and the last paragraph - drop the mic!!!!

New York Times article Broadway Hits the Middle School Circuit


Girls Volleyball:

Tuesday 2/26 Away Game - Roosevelt Middle School

Thursday 2/27 Home Game

Boys Volleyball Schedule:


  • Monday, February 26th at 7:30am ALL GRADE LEVELS


  • Wednesday, February 28th from 3:30 - 5:00 ALL GRADE LEVELS
  • Friday, March 2nd at 7:30am ALL GRADE LEVELS
  • TENTATIVE DATE for Tryouts BASED ON NUMBER of students - Thursday, March 1st 3:30-5:00

CLUB OPPORTUNITIES (can join anytime)

Each club meets weekly, unless otherwise notated below.


  • ORFF Ensemble from 8:00am to 8:50am in D104 (first meeting was on 9/18). Participation is open to all students - no audition required, but enrollment is limited to 40 students. Interested students can sign-up and pick up permission slips outside of the music room (D104). For additional information contact Mr. Carrillo - fcarrillo@op97.org. Still opportunity to join.
  • Ultimate Frisbee We will only meet on Mondays for the second trimester. Still 3:30-4:40 and meeting in the third floor gym. We plan on playing different types of frisbee activities in the third floor gym or the main gym when available. If you have any questions, please email Ms. Dajani at rdajani@op97.org or Mr. Gillespie at mgillespie@op97.org. (Weather Permitting)
  • Math Team from 3:30-4:30 in room B204 . The club will meet each week. Students of all interest levels are welcome. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Kahn at skahn@op97.org.
  • Spoken Word from 3:30pm to 5:30 pm in room B205. If you have any questions, please email Mr. Lee at mlee@op97.org


  • EcoEagles from 3:30pm to 4:30pm in room C302. If you have any questions, please email Ms. Stamp at lstamp@op97.org.
  • Chess Club from 3:30 to 4:45 in room B305. If you have any questions, please email Mr. Hausfeld at mhausfeld@op97.org.
  • Vex Robotics In-House League from 3:30 to 5 pm in room B302, 1/9/18 to 3/13/18 with Robot Rumble on 3/10/18. You can learn more by viewing flyer or OPEF VexRobotics website. or if you have any questions, please email Ms. Pena at tpena@op97.org
  • Rainbow Tribe after school until 4:30 in 2nd floor conference room next to PE classroom. Permission slip found here. Here are the dates club will meet: March: 6, 13, April: 10,24 and May: 8, 22, 29
    If you have any questions, please email Ms. Olsen at jolsen@op97.org



  • Spanish Club from 3:30 to 4:30pm in room B308. Here are all the Spanish club meeting dates for the year: 3/8, 3/22, 4/12, 4/26, 5/10, 5/24. If you have any questions please contact Mr. Lagioia at vlagioia@op97.org or Ms. Villalobos at cvillalobos@op97.org.
  • Yearbook Club meeting from 3:30 to 4:30pm in room B202. We will meet every Thursday afternoon until the yearbook has been “put to bed." The yearbook goes to the publisher on April 25. We welcome all shutterbugs! If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Marsha Turner-Reid at mturnerreid@op97.org or Ms. Meaghan Pabellon at mpabellon@op97.org



BRAVO Opportunities

  • Guitar Club & Dance Studio are ongoing - registration forms are due to the BRAVO Office (D103). Open to ALL Brooks Students and is FREE to join! For more info visit: bravoperformingarts.org
  • BRAVO Summer Auditions are coming up March 5-8. Learn more about the shows and sign-up for an audition through the BRAVO website!
  • NEEDED: Pizza lunch volunteers on Friday. Keep an eye out for sign-ups on the BRAVO website!days from 10:55am-1:15pm. E-mail bravo@op97.org if you are available and interested!

Get connected to PTO

PTO Information

Earn money for the Brooks PTO: When you shop at Amazon, begin your shopping through the link here and our PTO will earn 0.5% of your total sale, at no expense to you. First time Amazon Smile shoppers will find our organization by typing Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School Parent-Teacher Organization. Thank you for your continued support.

Subscribe to PTO Bulletin:

When you registered your child, if you selected the option “No to Directory”, the school can not share your contact information with the PTO (Parent-Teacher Organization). If you'd like to subscribe to PTO Bulletin use link below:

Next Community meeting is Monday, March 5th, 2018 at 7pm in the media center.

Next Coffee with Capuder is Friday, March 9th, 2018 at 8:30am to 9:30am in the Commons. Topic for conversation - IB