The Mather Memo

Back-to-School Edition, August 2021

School starts Monday, August 30th!

Welcome Back!

We are so excited to welcome our Mather Rangers back into the building this Monday, August 30th! As a reminder, all learning will take place in-person at Mather (there is no Mather virtual option).

Mather staff has been back in the building this week eagerly preparing for students' arrival. We can't wait to welcome you back to Mather; we have missed you!

During this unique school year, Mather commits to caring about and developing the whole child. We want all students to feel welcomed, supported, and challenged. Below are some helpful reminder to make week 1 great!

  1. The doors to the school open at 7:30 AM. Class begins at 8 AM! Breakfast is available in the cafeteria
  2. 9th and 10th graders enter door 1, 11th &12th graders enter door 4 *please note that this is a change from orientation
  3. Students should be able to see their schedules in Aspen, but we will also have them printed for them on the first day of school! Students will start in homeroom/advisory every day the first week
  4. Face coverings (masks) must be worn at all times, except when eating/drinking
  5. There will no longer be temperature checks or health screener check-ins at entry doors. Instead, families are asked to complete an at-home daily health questionnaire. This does not need to be submitted daily electronically. A link to the CPS Safety Reopening Guidelines can be found at
  6. We will still utilize safety screening tools, such as metal detectors and x-ray machines, at our entrances

What should you bring the first day of school?

  • Something to take notes on (a notebook)
  • Pens/pencils
  • A waterbottle
  • A lock for your locker (if you previously purchased one from Mather)
  • Teachers may give you a list of additional supplies you need during the first week of school

Tips for the first week:

  • Students who have a schedule change request must request this through their counselor. Schedules are changed only when they are missing a graduation requirement and/or are in the inappropriate level class, not because their friends are not in the class or it was not their first choice class.
  • Students who wish to have a locker will be assigned them in homeroom
  • The book store is open during lunch periods for students to purchase locks, gym uniforms, and Mather swag!
  • While all classes are in-person, each class will still have a Google Classroom where teachers will post notes, assignments, and feedback to students. Check Google Classroom and your CPS email regularly!
  • Required enrollment packet: students must submit their lunch form, emergency information form, media consent form, and physical/medical and immunization records to their advisor (if they did not submit them at orientation)

Safety Protocols at Mather

There are a number of steps we are taking at Mather to keep our school community as safe as possible.

  1. All students/staff/visitors to Mather will be wearing a cloth face covering except when eating or drinking
  2. Each classroom has a HEPA air purifier with a new filter
  3. Hand sanitizer stations have been installed and filled throughout the building
  4. Disinfecting wipes are available in each classroom
  5. Signs are located around the school to remind students of safety procedures
  6. Weekly COVID testing will be available at the school (more information should be forthcoming in an email)
  7. All employees and regular CPS vendors must submit proof of vaccination (or submit to weekly testing) by October 15th
  8. In the morning, each visitor to Mather (including students and staff) should complete an in-home questionnaire. You can view the questions below. Families will need to turn in an attestation form quarterly agreeing that they will perform this daily screening. These will be sent home with your student the first day of school for you to sign and return.
  9. In the case of a positive case, CPS will notify the school of any individuals or classrooms that need to be quarantined based on a confirmed case of Covid-19. Only the COVID positive student and unvaccinated students will need to be quarantined.

Mather Rangers take care of one another. This includes staying home when your student is feeling ill, preventing the spread of disease through mask wearing and social distancing when possible, and seeking medical care when needed. Please report if your student tests positive for COVID at (if your student tests positive, they will need to isolate at home for 10 days. If they have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID, they should quarantine for 14 days if they are not vaccinated. Vaccinated individuals are encouraged to get tested).

One of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID is through vaccination. There are many vaccination locations/opportunites available through CPS. Check out this site for further information:

Here are the daily health questionnaire questions:

  • In the last 24 hours have you/the student experienced any of the following symptoms that that you cannot attribute to another health condition?

    (Fever (≥100.4*F ) or chills , Cough, Fatigue, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Headache, Sore throat, Congestion or runny nose, Diarrhea, Nausea/Vomiting, Muscle or body aches, New loss of taste or smell)

  • Have you/the student been in close contact (defined as less than 6 feet apart for greater than 15 minutes) with a person that tested positive for COVID-19 (while they are contagious) within the past 14 days?

    (Please select no if: You are two weeks post the final vaccination in the series (both doses of Pfizer or Moderna or a single dose of Johnson and Johnson) AND not experiencing symptoms)

  • Have you/the student traveled to any state listed as ORANGE on the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) travel order in the last 10 days?

    (Please select no if you traveled but:

    1. Qualify as an exception under the CDPH travel order.

    2. Obtained a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago, and can provide the results if requested.

    3. Are two weeks post final vaccination in the series (both doses of Pfizer or Moderna or a single dose of Johnson and Johnson) AND are not experiencing any symptoms.)

  • Have you traveled internationally to a moderate, high or very high risk location in the past 10 days?

    (Please select no: If you traveled but are two weeks post final vaccination in the series (both doses of Pfizer or Moderna or a single dose of Johnson and Johnson) AND are not experiencing any symptoms.)

  • Are you/the student waiting on the result of a COVID-19 test?

    (Please note: This excluded CPS screening testing)

  • Have you/the student tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days?

Attendance Reminders

Attendance is a top predictor of success in high school!

If your student needs to be absent, please follow these procedures:

  1. Call the school main office and leave a message for the attendance office (773-534-2340)
  2. Provide the school with a signed "Reason for Absence Note" on the day your student returns from an absence. This written note should include:

  • Student's name
  • Date(s) of absence
  • Reason for absence
  • Parent/guardian signature, date, and phone number

As a reminder, here are the excused absences in CPS:

  1. Student Illness
  2. Observance of religious holiday (absence note must be provided prior to absence)
  3. Death in the immediate family
  4. Family emergency
  5. Circumstances which cause reasonable concern to the parent for child's safety or health (must be approved by the principal)
  6. Other situations beyond the control of the student (approved by principal)

*Vacation and quarantine due to travel do not count as excused absences

If a student is absent 2-4 classes, he/she is considerd 1/2 day absent. If he/she is absent to 5 or more classes, it is a full day absence.

Fall Sports!

The following sports are happening at Mather this fall. Many sports are still accepting team members! Encourage your student to check out one of these sports: students who are involved in athletics tend to also do well in school!

  • Boys and Girls Cross Country
  • Boys Soccer
  • Football
  • Girls Tennis
  • Girls Swimming
  • Girls Volleyball
  • Cheerleading

Go Blue! Go White! Go Rangers!

Parents - We need you! Please mark your calendars for the following dates!

Parents play a key role in their child's education and a school being a success! We need your support! Please mark your calendars for the following dates:

Local School Council (LSC) - 1 Parent Position Vacancy

  • Meetings take place on the 2nd Tuesday of every month @ 6:00 pm
  • Meetings are virtual until further notice. Google meet codes on

Parent Advisory Council (PAC)

  • Meetings take place on the last Wednesday of the month @ 6:00 pm
  • Title 1 meeting on Wednesday, September 29th @ 6:00 pm
  • Meetings are virtual until further notice. Google meet codes on

Partner Organizations

Mather is excited to have parterned with many amazing organizations around the Chicagoland area to provide additional academic, social-emotional, and post-secondary support to our students. This month we would like to profile a few who play a prominent role in the success of our students:

Northwestern University - Sciences Explorers

Science Explorers pairs scientists (Science Education Fellows) with small groups of freshmen biology students to help students build science skills and achieve academic success in the transition to high school.

Support and training include:

· A focus on long-term academic relationships. Fellows meet with students twice a week during the school day for the entire academic year

· Individualized attention that encourages student learning, growth, and confidence.

· Science activities that supplement the regular biology curriculum.

Support for science teachers, including tutoring students in biology.

WOW℠ (Working On Womanhood)

WOW is a multifaceted, school year-long group counseling and clinical mentoring program. WOW works to improve social-emotional competencies for girls in the 7th-12th grade exposed to traumatic stressors in high risk and under-resourced communities. Launched in 2011, the school-based program runs throughout the academic year and currently serves more than 1,750 students in 33 Chicago schools.

WOW focuses on issues relevant to teens' daily lives (e.g., daily conflict resolution, family issues, drug and alcohol addiction, and academic performance), all of which are broader community issues. Participation in WOW can successfully motivate young women to make positive choices and develop resilience assets such as self-efficacy, management of emotions and positive values that enable them to become self-sufficient adults who can positively impact their wider communities.

Impact & Outcomes Program Structure

The WOW program mainly consists of 50-minute group counseling sessions that meet on-site during the school day once per week. The program runs throughout the academic year. The WOW curriculum is informed by Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, and Narrative Therapy


Youth Guidance’s BAM® (Becoming a Man®) is BAM is a school-based group counseling program that guides young men in 7-12th grades to learn, internalize and practice social cognitive skills, make responsible decisions for their future and become positive members of their school and community. BAM integrates clinical theory and practice, men’s rites of passage work, and a dynamic approach to youth engagement. Each session is built around a lesson plan designed to develop a specific skill through stories, role-playing and group exercises. BAM students learn and practice impulse control, emotional self-regulation, recognition of social cues and interpreting intentions of others, raising aspirations for the future and developing a sense of personal responsibility and integrity. Students who participate in B.A.M. are more likely to stay in school, develop healthy relationships, and stay out of the juvenile justice system.

College Possible

College Possible supports students at Mather starting their junior year of High School until they graduate from college. This is our third year partnering at Mather and we are excited to continue working with students and the school community. We support students in the following ways. (Our programming is afterschool for 2 hours Monday-Thursday).

· Rigorous SAT preparation

· Applying to best fit colleges

· Financial aid support(FAFSA, FAFSA verification, and scholarships)

· Tech connected conversations and on-campus visits with students when in college

Support students with college enrollment tasks over the summer

Helpful Links!

Click on the "Parents" tab to find links to: our handbook, Aspen (gradebook), and other helpful links!

Looking for more info about Mather?? Keep up with us on social media:

Instagram: matherhsofficial

Facebook: facebook/matherhs

Twitter: Matherhs

We also have a Mather App! Add it to get notifications on what is happening at Mather:

Click on App Store

Search for: School News by Edlio (it's free)

Next: Click Install

Next: Click Open

Next: Search for Mather High School

and click: Add School

That's it! Now you will get updates!