September 30, 2019

Twitter Highlights: Week 5

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!

Home Avenue Pedestrian Bridge to Remain Closed Until Oct. 11

OPRFHS Freshman Curriculum Restructuring Meeting

Wednesday, October 2

7:00pm - 8:30pm

Brooks Middle School Auditorium

Author Ashley Elston is Coming to Brooks on October 4th!

Autographed copies of her new novel, 10 Blind Dates, will be available for purchase by all staff as well as students. HERE is an electronic order form. Books are being offered without tax and at a 20% discount for staff ($14.39)!

Team 7.1 Poetry Slam

I visited Ms. Stringham's 7th grade class this week and had the opportunity to hear Will K. share his poetry titled "The Production of Destruction". It is a thought provoking piece and you can read it here.

October 14th (Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day) - School is in Session

All District 97 schools are open on Monday, Oct. 14 (Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day).

Monster Mash Bash - All School Halloween Dance


Monster Mash Bash - All School Halloween Dance

October 18 - 6:30pm-8:30pm

Open to ALL Brooks 6th-8th Graders

Tickets on sale starting October 1!

Internet for All Program

District 97 is now accepting applications for our Internet for All program. Through the program, which we launched two years ago, we are able to offer free home Internet service to students in grades three through eight who do not have access to this critical resource. You can access a video about the program by clicking here, a flyer about the program in English and Spanish by clicking here, and a web page featuring the flyer, the video and additional information about the program by clicking here.

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:

August 1st - September 30th = 15%

October 1st - October 31st = 10%

November 1st - November 30th = 5%

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.

Parents/Guardians Interested in Chaperoning or Volunteering

Parents/Guardians seeking background checks to ensure they can volunteer to chaperone groups of students at various events or field trips.

Please schedule an appointment to complete a background check through our district office.

Parents/Guardians can sign up via the district website:

Powerschool and Canvas - Observer account set up guides

If you would like to set up an observer account on Powerschool or Canvas, please refer to the help guide links below.


New 6th Grade families should have received via email the needed Access ID and Access Password to be able to link your 6th grade student to the Parent/Guardian account that you create for yourself.

  • If you have PowerSchool questions or need assistance, please contact Ms. Vashti Carter at or by calling the main office at (708) 524-3050.


  • If you have Canvas questions or need assistance, please contact Ms. Minerva Colbert at or by calling the main office at (708) 524-3050.


  • Student-Led Conferences: Thursday, October 24th from 12:45pm to 8pm
  • 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.

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Clubs and Sports Information

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 ( or Ms. Blanca Martinez (

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 (

It’s time to sign up for OPEF VEX Robotics!

Middle school superstars, it’s time to sign up for 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

Boys Basketball Open Gym

There will be open gym time held from 3:40pm - 4:45pm in the main gym for boys basketball hosted by Coach Haus on the following dates.

Mon 9/30

Tue 10/1

Thu 10/3

For more information contact

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 or Coach Guerino at - Please note practices may be cancelled due to weather.


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

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

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 ( or Mrs. Olsen ( with any questions!

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 without retaliation. 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

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

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

Community Programs

OPRFHS Friday Night Football

The OPRFHS Athletic Department and School Administration want to share important rules and safety information regarding Friday Night Football.

While we encourage the community to come and support all of the OPRFHS athletic events, we want to be sure that everyone is aware of our Stadium rules and regulations.

See you on the field


Friday Night Football Info

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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.

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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 to download the forms.
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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:

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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By combining science and art, the One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest can be a wonderful part of your curriculum or an extra credit project this school year. Clubs or individuals are also welcome to enter the contest on their own. An added bonus is the positive attention brought to your school via contest winners.

We ask kids in grades 3 up through college age to create a 3 to 8 minute film about one of 6 sustainability topics: energy, food, transportation, waste, water, or open space/ecosystems. If the film is animated, it can be a minimum of 45 seconds long. They should present a problem with their topic and a solution.

Winners in grades 3 to 5 earn $100, winners in grades 6 to 8 earn $200, and winners in grades 9 to 11 earn $350. The prizes go up from there.

Each winner also gets a matching gift to donate to an organization that supports the theme of their film, and winning films premiere at the One Earth Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Center on March 7, 2020.

In recent years, we've had winners from these local schools:

Beaubien Elementary School in Chicago
Burbank Elementary in Burbank

Clissold Elementary School in Chicago

Lincoln Elementary School in River Forest

Longfellow Elementary in Oak Park
Mann Elementary School in Oak Park

Metropolitan Schoolhouse in Chicago

Suder Montessori Elementary School in Chicago

Sutherland Elementary School in Chicago
Willard Elementary School in River Forest

Brooks Middle School in Oak Park
Grace Lutheran School in River Forest

Julian Middle School in Oak Park

Heritage Middle School in Berwyn

Keystone Montessori School in River Forest

L.J. Hauser Junior High in Riverside

Most Holy Redeemer School in Evergreen Park
Roosevelt Middle School in River Forest
Sandburg Middle School in Elmhurst

Hinsdale High School in Hinsdale

Lincoln Park High School in Chicago

Maine West High School in DesPlaines
Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park
Trinity High School in River Forest
York High School in Elmhurst

We would love to see Brooks listed as one of our winners again!

For more information, contest details are at this link:

Previous winners are at this link:

All media to post and share are at this link and also attached:

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