September 10th

Twitter Highlights: Week 3

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 Facebook Group

This group provides a forum for reciprocal communication between the school, parents, students and the larger community

Please view posts or request to join so you can create or respond to posts!

Bus Riders

ALL buses riders are required to show their ID to ride the bus. The bus company has been directed by the district office to not let anyone ride the bus after school without an ID.


We issued temporary passes outside by the buses this past week, but starting Monday 9/11, your student must go to the main office to acquire a daily temporary bus pass to ride the bus home.


If your student needs to replace their lost ID, the cost is $5 and they may get a replacement printed in the main office. Please note that if your student requests a reprinting of an ID at the end of the day, it will not be available for pick-up until the following school day.

Crossing Washington Street at dismissal

Please encourage your student to cross Washington Street with the Cross Guard at Kenilworth and Washington or at the light at Homes Ave and Washington Street. Our staff member at Clinton and Washington is there to guide students across Clinton due to the bus traffic but will not be stopping traffic to allow students to cross Washington at Clinton.

Bike Safety

Please remind your student to obey the rules of the road as they ride to and from school. Students need to be extra careful as they pass driveways and proceed through intersections. Please review this information with your student to ensure their safety to and from school as they ride their bikes!

Before School Help

If your student needs to see a teacher before school, they need to show a pass to our staff member at the main door entrance on Kenilworth. Your student's teacher should have given your student a pass the day before or an email from the teacher will also be sufficient. The time of meeting with the teacher should be indicated on the pass or in the email. Students meeting teachers for help will not be able to enter prior to 8am, unless the teacher meets your student at the door.

Breakfast and Lunch Information

Breakfast and Lunch Menu Link


We offer breakfast every school morning from 8:15am to 8:45am. Students enter the commons door, purchase their breakfast with their ID card, eat and when finished return their grade level location outside.


Everyday a Third Cold Lunch option, in additional to Salad or Sandwich ---- Pizza Kits ----- will be available.


Ordering Special Hot Lunch offerings for your Student

Please visit our website to learn how to participate in PTO Starship Lunches on Tuesdays and/or BRAVO Pizza lunches on Fridays.

GBMS Library News

Library is open every school morning from 8:00am to 8:45am. Must arrive with ID prior to 8:30am to enter school at main door on Kenilworth to go to library. This is a quiet time for reading and studying.


Library is also open during each lunch period. Students need to request a pass from a teacher BEFORE their lunch period. This is a quiet time for reading and studying.


This year students need their Oak Park Public library card number and PIN in order to access the Oak Park Public Library Databases at school. We are recommending that they memorize it, write it down, bring it, or take a picture of it somewhere secure.


Author Visit

On September 20th author of Saving Marty, Paul Griffin, will be visiting Brooks thanks to Magic Tree Bookstore. Attached is a flyer and order form if you’d like to order a book at a discounted price.

PowerSchool and Canvas Academy: September 14th at 6pm

This is special hands-on opportunity for families to learn how to support their middle schooler. We will meet in the media center/library. In order to ensure we have sufficient space and computers ready, we ask that you please sign-up.

GBMS Curriculum Night

Thursday, Sep. 14th, 7-9pm

325 South Kenilworth Avenue

Oak Park, IL

Please mark your calendars to join us. Here is the schedule for the evening.

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. Your appreciation will be shared with the staff member!

Those Who Excel Award

One of our Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School staff have earned an award in conjunction with the Illinois State Board of Education’s “Those Who Excel” educator recognition program.


Lindsey Kiska, one of our special education teaching assistant at Brooks Middle School earned - Award of Special Recognition.


Here is quote about her that was provided by the individual(s) who nominated her. “She is extremely dedicated to the students. She also extends her passion for individuals with disabilities to the community, which includes working for WSSRA and coaching a Special Olympics basketball team. She works her hardest each day to see students succeed.”

Please Reinforce at Home

BOOK BAGS and/or BACKPACKS

Book bags/Backpacks are useful for carrying materials/books to and from school. Book bags or backpacks are allowed in classrooms at the teacher’s discretion. If a Book Bag needs to be carried by the student throughout the building, a cinch sack or another smaller type bag is preferred, as the smaller the size the less congested and safer the hallways are. Book Bags/Backpacks should be stored in lockers when not in use. Lockers measure 11 by 11 inches. When purchasing book bags, particularly the ones with wheels, please keep in mind the size limitations of the locker.


PERSONAL ELECTRONIC DEVICES (including Cell Phones)

Personal Electronic devices are not allowed out in common spaces. Teacher discretion will be used in the classrooms. Personal devices should be left on silent while in the building.

Staff will take personal electronic devices if they are seen being used in common spaces during school time in the building. Multiple infractions will require the parent to pick up the personal electronic device. As with other personal items, the school will not be responsible if the personal electronic device is stolen, lost or damaged. We strongly discourage students from bringing valuable items to school.

Strengthening Families - 11 week program

Here is Flyer.

You will Learn…

  • Effective Parenting Skills
  • Healthy Communication
  • How to Resolve Conflicts
  • Stress Management Skills
  • How to Set Limits

Open to families with children ages 7-17 years of age

A complete meal is provided.

Childcare and transportation is available if needed.

At no cost to families that reside in Oak Park or River Forest, proof of residency is needed.

BRAVO - Guitar Club and Dance Studio

Start on Monday, September 11

  • registration forms are due to the BRAVO Office (D103) (can turn in on Monday 9/11)
  • Open to ALL Brooks Students and is FREE to join!
  • For more info visit: bravoperformingarts.org

ORFF Ensemble

Is a marimba, xylophone, and drumming music ensemble that will start up on Monday, September 18. Rehearsals for this school year will be held weekly on Monday mornings from 8:00-8:50 AM. 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

Brooks OPEF In-House VexRobotics League Pilot

The Brooks In-House League is designed for the student new to VEX Robotics with little or

no experience with ROBOTC programming or for the student who cannot commit to the long season of our Competitive Club. Students will be taught the basics of robot design and

programming. They will then work in teams to design, build and program a VEX robot to

play in our In-House League competition, Robot Rumble.

Students will meet one day a week from 3:30–5 pm and have 2 sessions to choose from:

  • Fall In-House League: Tuesdays 3:30-5 pm, 10/03-12/19 (no meeting 10/31, 11/21); Robot Rumble: 12/12
  • Winter In-House League: Tuesdays 3:30-5 pm, 1/09-3/13; Robot Rumble: 3/10


There is no tryout required to join the In-House League. Students interested in knowing

more about this program are invited to attend a Student Interest Meeting after school on

September 20 in room B302. You can learn more by viewing flyer or OPEF VexRobotics website.

Student Innovation Team

Calling all students interested in engaging further with technology at Brooks: we are now accepting applications for this year's Student InnovationTeam! The Student Innovation Team is a student-led team of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students which will be designed by its members to support peers using technology at school to learn. You will have opportunities to help others with technology challenges, and learn more about the technology available to us at school. Further details are available in the application, which is available in the Media Center- stop by to get one or linked above! Completed applications should be given to Ms. Dean, Ms. Nelson, or Ms. Keith in the Media Center by Friday, November 4th.

Ultimate Frisbee

Calling all Kids interested in playing ultimate frisbee. Boys and girls of any skill level are welcome to join us on Mondays and Wednesdays after school from 3:30-4:40 on Brook's field, starting Monday September 11th. The year will be broken up into two sessions. We will run the fall session as long as the weather permits. The spring session will start in early May or TBA. We will be working on skills, game play strategies and also play ultimate games. If you have questions, please email Ms. Dajani (rdajani@op97.org) or Mr. Gillespie (mgillespie@op97.org). Here is link to concussion form, that needs to be completed and turned in. Please pick up permission slip from Ms. Dajani or Mr. Gillespie during your PE class. We look forward to seeing you.


If you are looking to raise your competition level, the Julian club welcomes Brooks players to their meetings on Tuesdays and Fridays. Please email Mr. Seymour at aseymour@op97.org

Chess Club

First meeting is Tuesday, September 12th from 3:30 to 4:45pm in room B305. If you have any questions, please email Mr. Hausfeld (mhausfeld@op97.org).

EcoEagles - Meets on Tuesdays each week

Eco Eagles will be meeting TUESDAYS at 3:30 in Room C202 starting, August 29. If you’re interested in the school garden, creating award-winning films, taking field trips and being an environmental activist, join us! Eco Eagles is the best club ON the planet FOR the planet! Here’s a 1 minute video commercial to see what we’re about!

Best Buddies

Next Activity Meeting on September 20th from 3:30pm to 5pm in Commons

Next General Meeting on October 4th from 3:30pm to 4:30pm in Commons

Here is calendar of dates for all Best Buddies meetings.

Service Club

Mark your calendars! First meeting will be Friday, September 29th in room B209 at 8:00am.

Volunteers Needed

Zero Waste - Lunchroom

Zero Waste PARENT Volunteers

If you are interested and available to help guide students in placing waste in appropriate bins to jump-start our new way of sorting our waste and to help our school reduce and recycle waste that ends up in landfills, please sign up here. We are looking for 1 volunteer for 4th period to help guide our Zero Waste Student Ambassadors who just went through training on Thursday last week. However we are in need of at least 2 parent volunteers for 5th and 6th periods this upcoming week because we are still trying to recruit Zero Waste Student Ambassadors.


Zero Waste Student Ambassadors

On Wednesday, 8/23 we had Seven Generation Ahead present our new recycling system to students. At that time some students signed up to be Ambassadors. We need YOU to help GBMS minimize waste that ends up in landfills! Please complete this form if you are interested in making a difference!

Get connected to PTO

PTO Information

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:



The 8th grade Washington DC trip meeting for Brooks and Julian families was moved to Tuesday, September 12 from 6pm - 7pm and will be help in the Brooks Commons/Cafeteria. The following will be discussed:

  • Itinerary
  • Flight and Travel arrangements
  • Medication
  • Luggage
  • Roommates
  • Packing List
  • Snacks and so much more...

This is a MANDATORY meeting, so please plan to attend with your student.

**If you are not available for this meeting, please make sure you have another adult (18 or older) come to receive the information.**

If you have questions, please email Janorisè Robinson - dctripbrooksjulian@gmail.com