The Lion's Roar

News & Events for Lincoln Families | September 21st, 2019



  • **CHANGE** Fire Evacuation Drill - Week of September 23rd

  • Walking Field trip to Maze Library for Mrs. Nagano and Mrs. Weber’s Class - September 23

  • Walking Field trip to Maze Library for Mrs. Zarosl’s class - September 24

  • Walking Field trip to Maze Library for Ms. Rudin and Mrs. Barker’s class - September 25

  • Discussion of Liaison Group for Developing Our Spanish Immersion Program - September 25th from 6:00-8:00 pm


  • PTO meeting is October 2nd at Oak Park Works from 7pm to 9pm

  • **CHANGE** Coffee & Conversation with Principal Zaniolo (Roundtable discussion format) -- 3 Sessions: October 16 (General program), October 17 (Special Education), & October 23 (Spanish Immersion) from 6:00-8:00pm

  • Field trip to the Morton Arboretum for Ms. Anderson, Ms. Bartell and Mrs. Meisinger’s class - October 11

  • Field trip to Kline Creek Farm for all 2nd grade homerooms - October 17

  • Parent/Teacher Conferences - Thursday and Friday, October 24th and 25th, beginning at 11:00 am. School will dismiss at 11:00 am on both days.

  • Picture retake Day - October 30 from 8:00-10:00 am

  • Field trip to Alder Planetarium for all 5th grade homerooms - October 30

  • Halloween Parade - October 31st (Details to follow)


  • Institute Day - No School for Lions - Friday, November 1st

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A Message From Principal Zaniolo...

Hello Lincoln Families!

What a busy two weeks it’s been! There has been so many exciting things happening at Lincoln and with our Lions! In this edition of The Lion’s Roar, I would like to share a glimpse into what the life of our Lions has entailed these last weeks. There are pictures and videos, so I hope you thoroughly enjoy. Also, hot off the presses, our amazing Specials’ team has issued their first edition of “From the Lions’ Den | Specials Teachers’ Edition”. You’ll find the link below.

The Lincoln team has set an ambitious pace as we’ve launched this school year. School-wide and classroom expectations and routines have been set, practiced, and are now becoming part of our Lion’s way. Morning meetings and on-going community building are in full swing. Beginning of the year assessments are almost complete. Classes are digging in to the core academic and arts learning.

While we are off to a great start, I’d like to take the opportunity to slow down and talk about an important next step for all of us within the Lincoln community. I’d like for us to consider some norms for how we can become stronger partners. Discussing norms is an important starting point whenever big changes have been experienced and when new members join a team or community. How we work together as adults contributes significantly to the climate and culture of Lincoln, and holding ourselves to norms will help us work side by side in partnership with each other. With that in mind, here are norms I hold for myself...

Norms I Hold For Myself & Ask of Others...

  • Honor confidentiality.

  • When someone stumbles, help them stand.

  • Always be honest. Always be professional. Always be kind.

  • Strengthen our Lincoln family with healthy, honest, and inclusive communication.

  • Listen as passionately as you speak.

  • Put those we serve first, even if it adds challenges for us.

I would love to hear from you. What are 2-3 norms that you hold for yourself and need from others to be full partners in this collaborative work? I would like for us, as an inclusive community (Lions, families, and Lincoln teachers and staff), to co-create our norms for how we can support one another in this work of educating our young Lions.

Please share your ideas and norms through the link below over the next week. In the next Lion's Roar, I will share the common themes from across our community. I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Lincoln Community Norms Survey

In partnership,

Laura Zaniolo

(she / her / hers)

Lincoln Lion & Principal

Abraham Lincoln Elementary

The next edition of The Lion's Roar, my Principal's newsletter, will come out in 2 weeks. See you then!

Time-sensitive news or clarifications will still be sent out as needed.

Share your Curriculum Night feedback with us...

Please take a minute and give us some feedback on your Curriculum Night Experience.

Two Weeks of Life "Up At Lincoln"

From The Lions' Den | Specials Teachers' Edition

Our first newsletter from our amazing specials teachers!

Our Amazing Lincoln Specials Team!!

Air Conditioning

Thank you for feedback and generous offers to help cool our non-air conditioned classrooms. I am in the process of ordering fans from the district for all classrooms that do not have air conditioning. At this time, we are not able to purchase additional air conditioning units due to hazards it would create on our electrical systems. It would pose a serious fire hazard. The district has briefed me on a longer term air conditioning project that was approved by the Board, but that will not take place this year.

Recess Clarification

Recess is an important, and research-based, part of our Lions' day.

To clarify the recess policy... All students have a daily recess that lasts for about 27-30 minutes, depending on transition time from/to lunch. On days when students do not have PE, they have "PEA" time, "Planned Exercise Activity" for 15 minutes. Often, teachers will take students out for an additional recess during this time. This is a district wide policy. There are also "brain break" activities that teachers can also do with their students to get them moving, even in the classroom.

I absolutely agree with protecting time for physical exercise and activity. I wish there was more time within the instructional day to allow for more play. We must also balance this with protecting core academic and arts education time as well.

Crossing Guards

Safe walking routes to school are very important. If you see an intersection that is not staffed when it is supposed to be staffed, please contact the Oak Park Police Department immediately. The non-emergency number is 708.386.3800 or dial 911. They will send out an employee to cover the intersection.

GTD Programming & Updates

With apologies, we are still making logistical adjustments for GTD instruction as we better align to the District vision and work to increase access to curricular enrichment. I will be sharing additional information next week.

Home Avenue Pedestrian Bridge

The construction should be complete by October 1st.

Kid's Clothing Drive

Bring gently used children’s clothing to one of the donation boxes outside the office by October 25th.

Donations benefit the Kids Kloset of the First United Church of Oak Park

Thank you for your support!

-The Lincoln Girl Scouts

Questions? Contact Rachel Stark @

Beginning of the Year Assessments

Illinois Assessment of Readiness

Reports from last year's administration of the IAR will be coming home soon. For more information on this state-wide assessment, please visit


MAP testing is now complete.

BAS reading assessments (in process)

This school year, District 97 teachers in grades K-5 will administer the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) as a one-to-one assessment and instructional tool to help identify students’ specific reading strengths and appropriate reading levels for small-group instruction. The BAS will be administered to students Monday, September 9 through Friday, October 4.

This assessment helps teachers to:

  • Learn about their students’ reading behaviors, including their reading fluency, comprehension, and word-solving skills.
  • Select “just right” books for every student at their independent reading level (without teacher support) and instructional reading level (with teacher support).
  • Meet students where they are to help them make progress as readers.

Reading levels serve as a helpful tool to guide learning and provide differentiated reading instruction for your child. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have questions about the Benchmark Assessment System or your child’s progress in reading.

Information From Our PTO

Supporting Our Teachers & Classrooms

The Lincoln PTO is committed to supporting our teachers and classrooms. This year’s budget proposes the amount of $8000 to go towards this support up $2000 from last year.

Lincoln teachers rely on Scholastic Readers to supplement their work in the classroom but that leaves a little under $3000 for other classroom requests.

This year the PTO will be rolling out a new “Friends of Lincoln” program where parents can decide to directly contribute to purchasing items for the classroom. We hope that you can be part of this new community building avenue to support our teachers and classrooms. More details to come!

Special Education & Diverse Learner Committee

Lincoln PTO is excited to announce the formation of a new committee called Special Education + Diverse Learners. The mission of the committee is:

Increase visibility, understanding and inclusion of diverse learners and special education within Lincoln Elementary School through family support, inclusive practices and school/district-level policy engagement.

Provide parents with information, resources and guidance about supports available to Lincoln students with learning differences, learning and other disabilities, behavioral challenges, physical and emotional issues as well as sensory processing disorders. Engage with families to identify and overcome barriers to attaining special services, address obstacles with services provided, and tend to other areas of concern. Ensure school/PTO communications, activities and programs are accessible and inclusive for all kids and their families.

The committee is looking for volunteers and plans to hold the first meeting in October, date and further details TBD. If you are interested in learning more, please fill out this form or email the co-chairs:

Lindsay Bremer & Sarah Gullette

Previously Communicated Information...

Lincoln Is Hiring for Lunch & Recess Supervisors

If you are interested in joining the Lincoln Lion team and helping our Lions have a safe and enjoyable lunch/recess, please contact Ms. Zaniolo. You can apply for the position through the District 97 website (link below). Look under "Support Staff" and find the "Playground/Lunch Supervisor" position for Abraham Lincoln Elementary.

Attendance & Absences

Daily attendance is so important to your Lion's education. If your lion must be absent, please contact BOTH the classroom teacher and the attendance line before 8:30. You can email the teachers and attendance line at

If you prefer, you can call the attendance line at 708-665-3067

2019-2020 Student Fees

Student fees may be paid beginning July 1 and are due by September 30, 2019

· Elementary Grades K – 2 $160

· Elementary Grades 3 – 5 $180

Student fee payments can be paid online at by selecting WebStore under Payments tab. You can also pay directly via The preferred method of payment is online but you may also pay by check or cash attached to the appropriate fee form. Fee forms are available at, at the schools, and at the District Office. For more information regarding student fees, please contact the Business Office at (708) 524-7625.

Please note that students qualifying for free or reduced lunch may be considered for a school fee reduction or waiver based on economic hardship. If you are applying for free or reduced-price meals, then it is important to complete the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Application and submit to your student’s school or to the Business Office as soon as possible to ensure timely processing. These applications must be filled out on an annual basis and are available online at, at the individual schools, and at District 97 Administrative Office located at 260 Madison. For additional information regarding the foodservice program or the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Application, please call (708) 524-7629.

If you have applied for a fee waiver, please wait for approval before paying fees.

Celebrating the Lincoln Team

Families, have you noticed a Lincoln teacher or staff member who deserves a compliment or a thank you? Has this person made a difference for your Lion? Please share the reason in a brief message to me using this link, WeAreAllLions!, so that we may recognize and thank them!

Contact Our Lincoln PTO