Weekly Newsletter and Announcements


Dear Lincoln Families,

It is with great excitement that I welcome you to the 2020-21 school year! Ideally we would be back to “normal” with our staff and students in the building but as we have all learned, patience and compassion will be our guiding forces this year. We miss our Lincoln Lions and look forward to the day that we can all be one together again!

Over the coming weeks, you will be getting communications regarding updates to remote learning and how we will be working to support our students as we navigate these waters together. As always, please feel free to contact myself or Mrs. Carter with any questions you may have.

Take care and be well,

Ms. Gordon

Important Dates:

August 13th - Parent University

August 18th - Class Placement Email

August 26th - Tentative First Day of School

TBD - Virtual Kindergarten Open House

TBD - Virtual New Family Welcome

TBD - Virtual Curriculum Night

School Supply List

Sorry, under construction

Introducing New Staff

New Staff Blurbs

Jennifer Hollich, K-2 Instructional Teacher

My name is Jennifer Holich and I am so honored to have joined the Lincoln Elementary community. This is my second year in Oak Park School District 97. I taught at Whittier Elementary School and was the co-taught special education second grade teacher. I am moving into the role as the new K to 2nd grade instructional teacher. I have worked in the field of special education for 10 years in a variety of educational settings from co-taught classroom to instructional and therapeutic schools. I have my Master’s in Elementary Education from Concordia University in River Forest and my Learning Behavior Specialist endorsement from Lewis University in Romeoville. I have taught children from the ages of 3 all the way through high school. My focus has been primary grades K to 3rd grade. My favorite role is working in the instructional setting and I am excited about resuming that role and being a part of Lincoln Elementary for many years to come.

Juan Carlos Domecq, 2nd Grade Spanish Immersion Teacher

Juan Carlos Domecq, Ph.D., is an educator with expertise in second language acquisition, dual language immersion, and IB education. Mr. Domecq has taught in the Dual Language Program in Highland Park District 112, GEMS World Academy Chicago, and the Chicago Public schools. As a teacher, his principal interest is the importance of technology, multi-modal literacy, and project-based learning. An avid cyclist, balloon artist, and lover of plants, Juan Carlos incorporates play into every lesson. He is currently reading Mitchel Resnik’s “Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity Through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play.

Rachel Wheatley, 2nd Grade Teacher

Rachel Wheatley is a returning teacher to Oak Park! She has taught many years as a 1st and 2nd grade teacher and started her career in Oak Park at Longfellow School. Mrs. Wheatley graduated from Bradley University with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and has a Master’s degree in Reading and Literacy from Walden University. She is also a personal trainer and fitness instructor in her spare time. Her favorite movie is “Secret Life of Pets.” Mrs. Wheatley is excited to be joining the Lincoln family, especially in 2nd grade!

Alicia Jenkins, 3rd Grade Teacher

Alicia Jenkins began her teaching career in 2003 in Chicago, IL. She joined Oak Park District 97 in 2017 as a Gifted, Talented and Differentiation Resource Teacher. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago, a Masters of Education in Teaching from National Louis University and a Masters of Education in School Leadership from Concordia University. Alicia has served as a classroom teacher, math specialist, instructional coach and assistant principal. Having worked in many capacities in Education, Alicia finds that some of her best moments in education are working with students directly. She is a Chicago native and enjoys spending valuable time with family and friends.

Ciarra Logan, 3rd Grade Teacher

Hi! My name is Ms. Logan and I am excited to join the third grade team at Lincoln this school year. I am looking forward to learning about the teachers, students, and families I will be working with. I’d also like to tell you a little about me.

I am originally from Springfield, Illinois. I moved to Chicago for college when I was 19. I graduated from Columbia College in 2012 with a degree in Education and shortly after obtained my ESL endorsement from Kendall College. I have been teaching for 8 years. Throughout my teaching career I have taught in CPS, charter school, and here in District 97. I have taught kindergarten, second grade, third grade, and fourth grade.

I currently live in Oak Park. I also tutor high school students in English and ACT/SAT test prep during my summers. In my spare time I enjoy reading, writing, painting, and cooking. I am looking forward to a great school year ahead.

Jacqueline Pastuovic, 4th Grade Spanish Immersion Teacher

Hi all! My name is Ms. Pastuovic and I cannot wait to join the team at Lincoln as a 4th grade Spanish Immersion teacher! I grew up in Elmhurst and attended the University of Illinois, during which I student taught in Oak Park. Ever since then, I always knew that I wanted to teach here! After college, I taught English in Spain for two years and upon returning to the states, I taught 6th grade Spanish Immersion in the south suburbs. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, yoga, running and spending time with friends and family. I look forward to meeting you all!

Stephanie Goulding, 4th Grade Teacher

Hello! My name is Stephanie Goulding and I am ecstatic to be at Lincoln Elementary this school year. This will be my third year teaching in the Intermediate grades. I received my B.A in Elementary Education with a minor in ESL from DePaul University. In my free time, I love staying active and being outdoors. I enjoy travelling and spending time with my fiance and our Siberian Husky puppy, Luna.

Andrew Roh, 5th Grade Teacher

Andrew Roh, a 5th grade teacher and ardent proponent of the Oxford comma, views his mission to nurture minds, foster self-awareness, strengthen self-efficacy, promote social good, and academically prepare for middle school and beyond as one that is fundamental to teaching. He holds a Master of Arts in Teaching Degree (National-Louis University 2020) and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology with Minors in Math and Philosophy (Purdue University 1995). After undergraduate college, Andrew served for two years in the Peace Corps as a teacher in West Africa with the intent to change the world (good), but left it knowing it didn’t change (not good). Upon returning to the Chicago area, he spent hours wandering in groceries stores overwhelmed at the choices and then somehow stumbled into an opportunity to help a dot-com start-up company. The entirety of his long career in the same company was focused on coaching and developing customers, staff, and executives. Having had the experience and privilege of being a life-long learner, Andrew will advocate for, and maximize the abilities of, all students.

Courtney Tyler, 5th Grade Teacher

I am so excited to be joining the Lincoln School community. I’m Courtney Tyler and I will be teaching fifth grade this year. The 20-21 school year marks my 7th year as an educator. I have taught 3-8 Title I Math, 5th Math and Science, 6-8 English/Language Arts, and most recently, 5th and 6th Math and Reading. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with middle school endorsements in Math, Science, Language Arts, and Social Studies as well as a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Common Core State Standards. As a District 97 kid, I look forward to returning to the district as a teacher. As a teacher, I believe in fostering diversity and growth of the whole child and I am very passionate about cultivating a strong classroom culture and climate so that each student can feel like they have a chance to lead and take risks in their learning. I know that education will look a bit different through the current pandemic, but I am fully committed to striving to meet the academic and social and emotional needs through each phase of our return to school.

Shea Coughlin, 5th Grade Teacher

Hello Lincoln! My name is Shea Coughlin and I am so excited to start my eighth year of teaching in Oak Park! Prior to my recent move back to Chicago, I taught first and fifth grade in Yangon, Myanmar, which is a large city located in Southeast Asia. While living abroad, I travelled all over the region, with my favorite stop being the country of Sri Lanka! Before moving overseas, I taught second and third grade in Evergreen Park. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and recently completed my master’s degree. Although we are living in uncertain times, I will strive to make this year a great one!

Staff Leaving Lincoln

We would like to bid farewell to our staff members who have left Lincoln to either pursue roles outside of Lincoln or the district. We wish the following former staff members well on their new endeavors:

Kelly Valle

Yolanda Manns

Julie Anderson

Other Staffing Changes

Mrs. Arnetta Thompson will be moving into the Enrichment Specialist Role shared by Lincoln and Longfellow.

Mr. Marvin Childress will be our Student Support Specialist here at Lincoln.

Mrs. Catina Burries will be joining the 5th grade team and will serve as the team lead.

Kindergarten Spanish Immersion Lottery

Dear Lincoln Kindergarten Parents and Guardians,

Thank you for your patience as we navigate these challenging times! We are writing to announce that our Kindergarten Spanish Immersion lottery will take place on Thursday, August 13, 2020. Because of current conditions of COVID-19 in our community, this will not be open to the public for viewing. Parents will be notified of placement on August 18, 2020.

The lottery process will continue to support our commitment to providing equitable access to rigorous, responsive instruction. After all available slots have been filled, we will draw additional names of students to place on the waitlist. We will continue to fill slots should there be any vacancies in the program this year.

Thank you again for your patience, understanding and support as we prepare for the 2020-21 school year. Please contact us (Ms. Gordon and/or Mrs. Carter) should you have questions or concerns.


Ms. Gordon and Mrs. Carter

Co-Interim Principals

Information from Community Child Care Providers for 2020-21 School Year

In preparation for the 2020-21 school year, District 97 is working with community partners to support the child care needs of our families and staff.


Registration for Hephzibah fall programming will open on Friday, July 31, for current Hephzibah families, and on Monday, Aug. 3, for the larger Oak Park community for youth entering kindergarten through sixth grade.

Hephzibah will be providing full day care/e-learning support at Holmes, Irving and Longfellow Schools. At this time, two options for care will be available:

  1. Academic support and supervision during the school day (7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
  2. Academic support during the school day and social/recreational enrichment after school (7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

At this time, Hephzibah will prioritize families who need care Monday through Friday, but may offer options for two or three days per week if space allows.

Children will be assigned to a cohort of 15 children and two staff, with a limit of 75 to 90 children per school building. Hephzibah will make all efforts to create cohorts of children from the same schools and grade levels, subject to registration.

Hephzibah will continue to follow all guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois State Board of Education and the Centers for Disease Control. These safety measures include temperature screening twice daily, a COVID-symptoms questionnaire, social distancing, mask-wearing and enhanced disinfection procedures, as well as restrictions on co-mingling of the cohorts and outside visitors entering the building.

Hephzibah is finalizing a daily structure which supports all the children’s remote learning needs and also provides breaks for physical activity, socialization and play in a safe, nurturing environment. Program information—including a fee scale, FAQ and application—can be accessed directly at https://www.hephzibahhome.org/2020-day-care-program. Please email Day Care Program Director Amy O’Rourke if you have any questions.

Park District of Oak Park

The Park District is committed to working with School District 97 to provide quality all-day childcare for parents for the first session of the school year while remote learning is in place.

There will be two school sites where the Park District will provide childcare, one at a school located in north Oak Park and another at a south Oak Park school. These locations are still to be determined. Participants at each childcare location will engage in D97 online learning while in the program. Each student must bring their D97 device and headphones each day along with their lunch. Outdoor activities, games and crafts will be part of the childcare experience also. Scholarships and childcare discounts are available to families that qualify.

Here is what we know currently:

  • Those currently registered in the Clubhouse program will have priority registration for the Clubhouse 2.0 program. Priority registration begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1.
  • There will be limited capacity and therefore, registration will open to all Oak Park residents, only if there are spaces available, beginning Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 8:30 a.m.
  • The Park District will try to group children by age and school.
  • There will be two options, either 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Once priority registration has been completed and Clubhouse 2.0 is opened to all children through 5th grade, if there are still spaces available, the District may open registration to middle school-age children.
  • The cost per day for the 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. program is $30, or $600 per month. The cost per day for the 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. program is $45, or $900 per month. Registrants will pay monthly for this program similar to the original Clubhouse program.
  • IMPORTANT: D97 will cover the daily clubhouse program fee, from 7:45 am to 3:00 pm, for any D97 student who receives a free or reduced lunch for at least Trimester 1. D97 will not cover the program cost from 3 pm to 6 pm. The district will determine additional fee coverage once plans are determined for the remainder of the school year. More details are provided at point of online registration.
  • The Park District is following federal, state and local recommendations regarding COVID-19. The guidelines for employees and children include:
    • Staying home if you feel or are sick.
    • Wearing a face covering.
    • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Washing hands upon entry and frequently throughout the day.
    • Maintaining 6ft distancing whenever possible.

Contact Joe Lilly at joe.lilly@pdop.org or 708-725-2102 for more information, or visit https://www.pdop.org/programs/clubhouse-afterschool-program/.

Please click here for Park District scholarship information.

By Discovery

By Discovery is very pleased to partner with D97 to help students successfully navigate their online school day in person, at Beye and Lincoln elementary schools, throughout Trimester 1 (and beyond, if needed). Students must be enrolled at a D97 school to participate.

To create the safest possible environment for your child and family, your child will be grouped with the same cohort of up to 15 children for the trimester. The exception is if a space becomes available, we will provide a new child the opportunity to join the cohort.

Program Options

  • Those who wish to attend part time (3x per week) may attend on M/W/F (Beye and Lincoln).
  • Those who wish to attend part time (2x per week) may attend on T/TH. (Beye and Lincoln).
  • Full-time students (M/T/W/Th/F) will share one classroom (available at Beye only).

Program Cost

  • In-person remote learning at Beye and Lincoln is $50 per day, 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • In-person art enrichment at Beye and Lincoln from dismissal to 6pm is $25 per day.
  • A 10% discount is awarded to families who have more than one child enrolled in the program

We calculate the monthly fee based on the days of the week your child attends and the total of those days per the first trimester, divided by three (September through November).

Limited scholarships of 50% off the tuition fee (for both full-time and part-time enrollments) are available each school year. A child qualifies for the scholarship if she/he receives free or reduced lunches. Scholarships are awarded in the order in which they are received (first come, first served).

Payment is due on the 1st of the month. If the 1st falls on a weekend or holiday, payment is due on the next business day. Families will receive payment information via email as part of the welcome email the week of August 10.

Accepted Forms of Payment

Families are invoiced on the 24th of each month with payment due on the 1st of the month or the next business day, if the 1st falls on a weekend or holiday. Your first invoice will arrive August 24 and your first payment is due on September 1. A $25 late fee will be invoiced for each month a payment is submitted past the due date.

Enrollment is open throughout the trimester, based upon availability. Families may be placed on a wait list. Fees are pro-rated for those who enroll during the trimester, based on participation days and availability.

To register your child, please complete the form below. A $50 non-refundable registration fee is required to secure your child's space. Your registration fee will be applied to your first monthly payment. Please visit https://www.bydiscovery.org/registration-1 within 24 hours of your registration. Registration fees not received within this time frame will render your registration void, re-opening the space for other registrants. Registrations are first come, first served, and space is limited to 15 students per classroom.

By Discovery is facilitated by Jocelyne Adkins, Program Director/Founder, and Stacey Grieff, MSEd, Early Childhood Education, Erikson Institute, Chicago. Each class of 8+ students is also supported by a dedicated teaching assistant. Extended Day Art Curriculum is developed Jocelyne Adkins, MAAE, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Stacey Grieff, MSEd Erikson Institute and Kim Becker, MFA, Yale University.

Your child's safety is our top priority. By Discovery will follow all guidelines established by D97, ISBE, IDPH and the CDC. Children and staff will maintain a distance of 6 feet, wear face coverings, wash hands frequently and stay home if unwell to protect the health of others. Students who are unable to meet these guidelines, despite support from our staff to do so, will be removed from the program without refund.

Thank you for your interest in By Discovery! We are passionate about supporting families and helping children to achieve and succeed! To learn more, please visit: bydiscovery.org.

For questions about By Discovery, please contact Program Director: jocelyne@bydiscovery.org