September 9, 2019

Twitter Highlights: Week 2

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!

Curriculum Night

Thursday, Sep. 12th, 6-8pm

325 South Kenilworth Avenue

Oak Park, IL

During this time, you will be visiting each of your student’s classroom teachers by following their schedule. As you visit each of your student’s classes, you will learn each subjects “Year at a Glance”, “Top 3 Take-a-ways” and “How you can support your student at home”. You’ll be able to see each of the classrooms where your student spends their time learning as well as meet your student’s teacher.

Here is link to the Curriculum Night Schedule and a graphic organizer you can download and complete prior to the evening. The first class you will visit will be your student's advisory teacher (listed as period 10 on your student's schedule).

Get Directions

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.

Chromebook Distribution / Repairs / Chargers

Students received their Chromebooks on Wednesday, September 4th. If your students has not yet received their Chromebook, please let your Advisory teacher know that you need a pass to report to the media center to obtain a Chromebook from the School Technician.

Repairs - If your student issued Chromebook is experiencing issues, please have your teacher write your student a pass to the Media Center to see the School Technician. The Technician will check in the Chromebook for repair. A repair can take anywhere from 1 to 5 days, depending on the issue. But our goal is to return the Chromebooks as soon as possible. Students can request printed copies of any assignments from their teachers during this time. When the students Chromebook is ready, the office receives it from the School Technician and the information will be listed on the daily Chromebook Spreadsheet for teachers to check. Students can ask their teachers to look at the Chromebook spreadsheet to see if their Chromebook is listed or they can stop by the main office at the start/end of day, on their way to/from PE or Lunch.

Chargers - If your student has lost their school issued charger, your may purchase a new charger online via Revtrak or by cash or check in the main office.

Attendance and Tardy reminders


We strive to improve the attendance of all of our students. Each minute of each school day provides opportunities for learning and it’s noticeable when students miss time. Absences, even if they are excused, can add up to academic trouble. Missing only 2 days a month (excused or unexcused), means your child misses 10% of the school year. As a school district, our goal is to have students in attendance 98% of the time, which translates to about 1 absence per trimester. Here is some helpful information to guide your decision related to your child’s health and school attendance. If your child is going to be absent, please notify the office prior to 9:00 a.m. by calling (708) 665-3074. When we do not receive a call from a parent, school regulations require that parents/guardians are contacted to verify the child's absence. If we are unable to reach a parent, we will record the absence as unexcused.

TARDY Reminders

We open the doors in the morning at 8:50am for students to navigate to their lockers and their first class of the day. The school day tardy bell rings at 8:55am. If a student arrives on or after 8:55am, they will need to check into the main office to get a pass and will be marked tardy to school.

Being on time to class is essential for optimal learning for all students. This school year when a student reaches 15 tardies within a trimester, they will meet with their advisory teacher to develop a strategy to ensure the student will get to all classes on time. At 25 tardies within a trimester, the student will be required to participate in a circle discussing tardies during their social time and parents/guardians will be contacted. At 35 tardies within the trimester, parents/guardians will be contacted to meet with their student and an administrator to develop a tardy contract.

Home Avenue pedestrian bridge

You should have previously received the information regarding the closing of the Home Avenue pedestrian bridge. Below is the information previously shared by our district office. Information about the project is available online at If you have any questions or concerns related to the construction, please email

The Village of Oak Park will be temporarily closing the Home Avenue pedestrian bridge over the I-290 Expressway for the month of September in order to complete surface repairs and patching. The bridge is scheduled to be closed starting Monday, September 2, and will remain closed until Tuesday, October 1.

This temporary closure will require that students from Brooks Middle School and Lincoln Elementary School who normally cross the bridge use an alternate walking route to and from school. The village has designated the Oak Park Avenue bridge as the safest alternate route over the expressway, which ties into existing school walking routes along Harrison Street and the west side of Oak Park Avenue.

In order to ensure the safety of students who will be utilizing the temporary route, the village will have crossing guards at both ends of the Oak Park Avenue bridge. Temporary barrier walls will be placed on both sides of the bridge in order to protect pedestrians and bicyclists from vehicle traffic. The village will also refresh crosswalk lines along the alternate route, which will be marked with detour and “temporary school walking route” signs.

Please see the following map to view the alternate route, as well as the locations of the signs: Home Avenue Bridge Closure - Temporary Safe Walking Route

The health and safety of our students is our highest priority, and we will continue to work with the Village of Oak Park to address any issues or concerns that may arise during the completion of this project.

E-Cigarettes and Vaping - Youth at Risk

Sending on behalf of the Illinois Department of Public Health. All materials referenced in the below message can be found at under “Drugs and Other Substances.”

Last week, IDPH learned of the death of an individual who had recently vaped and was hospitalized with severe respiratory illness. The number of cases of people reported to IDPH who have used e-cigarettes or vaped and have been hospitalized with respiratory symptoms has doubled in the past week. As of 8/23/19, a total of 22 people in Illinois, ranging in age from 17-38 years, have experienced respiratory illness after using e-cigarettes or vaping.

E-cigarette use is epidemic in the US and Illinois. Among Illinois high school seniors, past 30 day e-cigarette use is significantly rising while cigarette use is declining. In 2018, 8.4% of 8th grade students and 23.1% of 12th grade students reported using e-cigarettes. Using e-cigarettes puts youth at risk for addiction and other health consequences, but unfortunately, 40% of 10th and 12th graders said there is low- or no-risk of harm when using e-cigarettes.

Tobacco 21 law, effective July 1, 2019, prohibits the sale of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to person under 21, however, youth continue to access and use these products at alarming rates. Parents and anyone who works with young people may have seen an e-cigarette device without even knowing it. The most often sold e-cigarette in the United States is a brand called JUUL, which looks like a USB flash drive. JUUL “pods,” which contain liquid heated by the device, have as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes. They also come in flavors, which can make them more appealing to young people. E-cigarettes can also look like other everyday items, such as highlighters, credit cards, remote controls, and pens. There are many internet websites which provide easy-to-follow instructions on how to alter or “hack” these devices to add other products such as marijuana.

The attached materials have been designed by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assist school staff, administrators, and families with understanding these products and the dangers they pose to young people. The first two documents were developed by IDPH to provide awareness on vaping and share cessation resources which are designed for youth and young adults:

IDPH and ISBE are committed to working to distribute this information to schools, administrators, and families through multiple sources. IDPH will also be communicating this information to local health departments, colleges and universities and other organizations which work with or serve youth.

If you have any questions about these materials, please contact Gail DeVito, IDPH Tobacco Control Manager


Approximately 10% - 15% of students have a food allergy. The most common allergen item is nuts of any kind.

Every food-allergic reaction has the possibility of developing into a life-threatening reaction within minutes. Some individuals may react to merely touching the substance, while for others, consumption of a tiny amount of that food can cause a reaction which could be fatal.

  • We strongly encourage packing nut-free products in your student's lunches

  • We strongly encourage sending nut-free products on field trips

  • There is NO food sharing between students at any time during school

How to identify safer foods for your children to eat:

  1. Please read all packaging to ensure the item is not produced on equipment shared with nuts

  2. Additional safe options may be viewed at:

We appreciate your partnership in promoting the health and safety of our children. For additional information, questions, or concerns, please contact our school nurse, Nancy Radogno (


  • Fall Map Testing begin week of September 9th
  • Curriculum Night: Thursday, September 12th from 6pm to 8pm
  • 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, September 9 at 6:00 pm in the Brook’s library for our PTO business meeting. We will be discussing PTO business including the budget, an update from our Diversity and Inclusion team, and a recap of the Welcome Back Night event.

8th Grade Washington DC Trip!

Trip Dates: Washington, DC - Friday, February 14 - Sunday, February 16, 2020 (Presidents' Day Weekend)

We will discuss the following:

  • Registration (and discounts)

  • Travel Arrangements

  • Touring Sites

  • Meal accommodations

  • Cost (Scholarships and Financial Aid options)

  • Parent Chaperones

Meeting Options (You only need to attend ONE meeting)

  • Monday, September 16 at 6:30 PM in the Brooks Auditorium

- OR -

  • Tuesday, September 17 at 6:30 PM in the Julian Auditorium

If you have questions, please email Janorisè Robinson at

Clubs and Sports Information

Ultimate Frisbee

There will be an informational meeting on Monday, September 9th in the Third Floor Gym from 3:30pm to 3:45pm. If you have any questions, please contact Coach Gillespie at or Coach Guerino at

We will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays to play from 3:30p to 4:30p starting Wednesday, September 11.


Eco Eagles will be meeting TUESDAYS at 3:30 in Room C202 starting, September 3rd.

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!

Spoken Word Cub

Meets on Mondays beginning Sept. 16th in B205 (3:30 - 5:00 pm) with Mr. Lee and our resident poet artist, Christian Robinson.

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.

Chess Club

Play chess games against other club members..checkmate!

Chess club will begin this week, Tuesday September 17th and will meet in Mr. Hausfeld's new classroom C108 from 3:30pm to 5:00pm.

Singing Groups Offered at Brooks (extra-curriular 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.

  • First rehearsal will be Tuesday Sept 17

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.

  • First rehearsal will be Wednesday Sept 18

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.

  • The first rehearsal will be Thursday Sept 20

BRAVO sponsored Young Americans

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Community Programs

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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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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