March 12th

District 97 Vision

Oak Park Elementary School District 97 will create a positive learning environment for all students that is equitable, inclusive and focused on the whole child.
Twitter Highlights: Week 27

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

Brooks and Julian have been named Distinguished Schools for Project Lead the Way!

PLTW Program Recognition Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School and Percy Julian Middle School

Brooks is one of just 340 PLTW schools across the country to receive this recognition! The PLTW recognition program is designed to honor districts and schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs.

To view all PLTW Distinguished Districts and Schools, click here.

PARCC Testing continues during week of March 12th

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

PARCC testing began 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.

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 ( or Michelle Reed (

7th grade trip to Springfield

It's NOT too late to REGISTER for the 7th grade trip to our state capitol!

The registration deadline is Thursday, March 15, which is in FIVE days! We would love for your daughter/son to join us on our ONE day trip to Springfield.

In order to register with World Strides, you can:

  • Call World Strides directly (800-468-5899) - OR -
  • Click World Strides to register online
  • Please refer to Trip #149246
  • The trip cost is $115 and you will be required to pay the entire amount.
    • Cost includes: transportation, entrance fees for the museums, and dinner
  • If you are in need of financial assistance, please email Janorisè Robinson.

SAVE THE DATE: Parent Meeting on Thursday, April 5 at 6:30 pm in Brooks Commons. We will discuss the itinerary and answer any questions you may have before we depart.

Trip Date: Friday, April 20, 2018

Cost: $115

Easy ways to sign-up for the trip:

  1. Online:
  2. Phone: (800) 468-5899

Questions: contact Janorisè Robinson at

PTO Trivia Night, March 15

Brooks/ Julian PTO Trivia Night on Thursday, March 15th at Fitzgerald’s.

Parent online ticket ordering

Signup genius, volunteers
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Middle School Art Show @OPRFHS

What a fun evening, filled with eclectic art and beautiful masterpieces.
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Oak Park Public Library starts the "Spark Forward" Newsletter

A teen created newsletter featuring poetry, short stories, essays, comics, and art sponsored by the Oak Park Library. See flyer for more information:

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.

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 March

Here is the link to the March Menus.

Sports and Club Information

RAD Self Defense Program available for Brooks 8th Grade Girls

For more information, please contact Dr. Brown,, or Ms. Dajani,
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District 97 at the West 40 Speech and Drama Festival

For the 8th consecutive year the Brooks and Julian students took first place

representing District 97 at the West 40 Speech and Drama Festival at Elmwood Park

High School on Saturday, March 3rd! Click link for more information.

Battle of the Bots and BBS

Battle of the Bots - 42 Robots and teams, 6 middle schools, over 70 matches in varying alliances

Brooks VEX Robotics club teams won 3 awards

  • Tournament Champions (Brooks team 7183M, The Lemonheads)
  • Robot Skills Winner award (Brooks team 7183M, The Lemonheads)
  • Think Award (Brooks team 7183A, Erro 404: Teji not found)

All 12 of Brooks teams participated. 6 teams competed through the qualification matches and into the quarter finals. 3 Brooks teams were in the semifinals and 1 Brooks team was in the finals in the championship alliance.

See here for more details:

If you were unable to attend last Saturday's Battle of the Bots event, check out this video clip of our Barbershop, Beautyshop, and Shoppettes vocal groups performing the National Anthem.

Congrats to all of our Brooks students, both from BBS and VEX Robotics, for sharing their talents with the community!

Service Club - Penny Challenge

Service Club is holding a Penny Challenge March 5th through March 22nd to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Please be sure to talk this up with your students!!.

Each advisory class will earn a point for every penny in its collection box. However, other classes can put in their silver and green money to deduct points from the total! (i.e. If you have 100 pennies and one quarter, your total is $ .75. At the end of the challenge, the advisory with the most points wins! We will have a winning advisory from each grade level and the prize is lunch from Olive Garden!! Please help us raise more than our goal of $750!! If you have any questions please email Ms Walsh at Don't forget to send your students to school with their pockets full of all the extra change you have laying around! Thank you for all of your continued support.



Monday 3/12 and Friday 3/16 Practice at 7:15am.

Wednesday 3/14 3:30pm

Thursday 3/25 3:30pm Rocco/Gillespie

BOYS Varsity VB


Varsity Practice at 7:30am


Varsity Practice at 3:30pm


Varsity Practice at 7:30am



JV Practice at 8am

JV Conference Tournament at Unity 4pm and tentatively 5pm


Varsity Conference Tournament at Unity 4pm and tentatively at 5pm


Varsity Practice at 3:30pm


JV and V Tentative Conference Tournament at Unity 4pm/5pm

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 - 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 or Mr. Gillespie at (Weather Permitting)
  • Spoken Word from 3:30pm to 5:30 pm in room B205. If you have any questions, please email Mr. Lee at


  • EcoEagles from 3:30pm to 4:30pm in room C302. If you have any questions, please email Ms. Stamp at
  • Chess Club from 3:30 to 4:45 in room B305. If you have any questions, please email Mr. Hausfeld at
  • 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
  • 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: 13, April: 10,24 and May: 8, 22, 29
    If you have any questions, please email Ms. Olsen at



  • Spanish Club from 3:30 to 4:30pm in room B308. Here are all the Spanish club meeting dates for the year: 3/22, 4/12, 4/26, 5/10, 5/24. If you have any questions please contact Mr. Lagioia at or Ms. Villalobos at
  • 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 or Ms. Meaghan Pabellon at



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:
  • 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 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, April 9th, 2018 at 7pm in the media center.

Next Coffee with Capuder is Friday, April 13th, 2018 at 8:30am to 9:30am in the Commons. Topic for conversation - Technology

Next DIVCO meeting is Tuesday, March 20th at 7pm in the commons.