Bobcat Blog

Friday, August 13

Notes and Reminders

  • Friday, August 20 - Notification of homeroom assignments via email
  • Wednesday, August 25 - First Day of School! 8:00 am - 2:30 pm
  • Thursday, September 2 - Virtual Curriculum Night (details to follow)
  • Monday, September 6 - No School in observance of Labor Day

Principals' Message

Happy Friday! We are so excited to be so close to the opening of the 2021-2022 school year. Not only is the physical building close to completion, but the Beye Staff is working hard behind the scenes to prepare for our Bobcats. There is a lot of information about the start of the year. As we complete our back to school plan, we will make sure to add the remaining details in next week's newsletter.

Beye Summer Construction Update

We are seeing exciting changes at Beye Elementary as work continues on our summer construction projects. Improvements include:

  • Increased Accessibility - We are eliminating stairs and creating ramps within the corridors, as well as providing an elevator with a new stairwell on the west side of the building. At completion, all levels of the building will be vertically accessible. Additionally, one student toilet room for each gender per floor has been renovated to accommodate handicapped stalls.
  • Enhancements to Learning Spaces - The library has been entirely reimagined to meet collaborative teaching initiatives, including a STEM Lab, and to be on par with the recent library improvements at the other elementary schools. Additionally, the existing locker room spaces will be repurposed to provide additional classrooms and resource space.
  • Building Updates and Air Cooling: All corridors have received a refresh, including new flooring, ceiling, lights, paint and tackboards. Third-floor classrooms will have quieter mechanical units to provide both heating and cooling, and better indoor air quality. These rooms also received new flooring, ceilings, and lighting, as well as new casework.

The construction crews and our D97 Buildings and Grounds staff are hard at work to ensure that the building is ready for students on Wednesday, Aug. 25. We look forward to sharing these upgrades with students and staff!

Logistics for Beginning of School

School Hours
  • The school day starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Please note that Wednesday is an early dismissal day, and school is dismissed at 2:30 p.m.

  • In the morning, playground supervision begins at 7:50 a.m. No student should arrive at school before this time. Students are to line up when the first bell rings at 7:57 a.m. Students will enter the building with their teacher when the second bell rings at 8:00 a.m. Students arriving after 8:00 a.m. are tardy and must enter the building through the main office door.

Absences and Tardies

If your child will be absent or starting the school day late, please contact the school office by calling the dedicated attendance line at 708-665-3062 before 8:15 a.m. You may also notify the office by sending an email to

Health Letter from Nurse Shilpa

Traffic Patterns/ Drop Off & Pick Up

  • Please only drop off on the school side of the street and remember that Cuyler becomes one way northbound and Erie becomes one-way eastbound at arrival and dismissal. The entire block on the North side of the playground along Erie street is zoned for drop off. Parking is available in the 200 block of Harvey as well as the 300 block of Harvey or Cuyler.

Morning Line Up

  • Please do not arrive at school prior to 7:50.
  • The playground is closed before school starts
  • Students will line up in their designated spot
  • Next week we will share a school campus map including which classrooms are using which entrances
  • All students, with the exception of Kindergarten students, will proceed to their lines on their own. One parent for each K student may line up with them. In general, we want to reduce the amount of people on campus to keep everyone safe.

Snacks (message from Nurse Shilpa)

  • Please send a healthy, nut safe snack and water bottle( labeled with child’s name) to school with your child each day. Please ensure your child is eating breakfast, hydrating, and using the bathroom before school.Sometimes, your child may sleep late or not have time or the drive to eat breakfast. Therefore, a healthy snack can help fuel their learning and attention and help with emotional regulation if they didn’t eat breakfast or sleep well. ( Please pack it for them if mornings are tough).Your child’s teacher will alert you to classroom allergies as well.Examples of healthy, nut safe snacks include: packaged popcorn, pretzels, goldfish crackers, fruits, veggies, applesauce.There is no food sharing and hand hygiene will be reinforced before and after eating.Any questions, please reach out to your child’s teacher or your school nurse.


  • More details coming next week. Lunch will be NUT SAFE. Students will have time to eat and time to play outside. Students will be eating either in the lunchroom or in their classroom.

Safety Mitigation Processes

Full-Day, In-Person Instruction for All Students

  • Per state guidance, remote learning will only be provided only if a student is placed in quarantine by the health department or if students qualify as medically fragile.

Universal Masking

  • Masks will be required for all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status. Distanced mask breaks will be provided.

Daily Health Certifications (CrisisGo)

  • After carefully reviewing the latest guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and consulting with our local health department, we have decided that District 97 will not be using a daily health certification self-screener during the 2021-22 school year.

Weekly Screening Testing

  • District 97 will partner with SHIELD Illinois to provide weekly testing to all students in Pre-K through eighth grade. This is a non-invasive saliva test that will be conducted on-site during the school day. Testing is optional but strongly recommended.

Updated Quarantine and Contact Tracing Procedures

  • At the direction of the Oak Park Department of Public Health, unvaccinated individuals who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or who test positive for COVID-19, must quarantine/isolate from school for a period of 10-14 school days. Students and staff may return after following the protocols outlined in our plan. As of today, quarantining is no longer required for vaccinated individuals unless they are symptomatic. The CDC and IDPH have also updated their close contact definition for classroom students, which we hope will minimize disruptions to in-person learning this year.


  • To start the 2021-22 school year, students will not have access to hallway lockers. The district will revisit this strategy later in the school year, in consultation with school principals and the latest public health guidance.

Physical Distancing

  • We will make every effort to maintain as much distance as possible between students—at least 3 feet—in classrooms and during lunch.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Staff will perform regular school cleaning and disinfect all high-touch surfaces daily. The full classroom disinfection process will occur weekly.

Travel to Special Area Classes

  • Different than in the spring, students will transition to the classroom of the different special area teachers instead of the special area teachers traveling to the classroom.

Visitor Guidelines

  • As a means of keeping students and staff healthy and safe, visitors—including parents or caregivers—will not be allowed to enter District 97 school buildings for any purpose other than to drop off or pick up their student(s), all of which will be limited to the school’s administrative space. This restriction does not apply to District 97 staff with a business purpose to be at a school site or vendors necessary for providing school services. All vendors must adhere to the requirements for masks and physical distancing.

Water Bottles

  • District 97 will continue to utilize drinking fountain safety covers to restrict fountain use. All schools have touchless water stations that will remain operational. Students and staff are encouraged to bring their own water bottles to school each day.

Outdoor Recces

  • Because we cannot guarantee consistent physical distancing outside, masks will be required for all students and staff during arrival, dismissal, and recess. However, during students' classroom and lunch recess, there will be designated zones for students and staff to take socially distanced mask breaks.

Inclement Weather

  • You must check the weather each morning and be sure that your child is dressed appropriately. We will not allow students in the building early if it is raining or extremely cold like we used to do.

Right At School After School Program has openings at Beye!!

Registration for Right At School's AFTER CARE for the 21-22 school year is NOW OPEN! Visit Right At School's website here to register today! Right At School program begins on Tuesday, August 24th.
Big picture

District News

2021-22 Registration Reminders

Returning Students

Registration for all returning District 97 students was due June 30. If you have not yet submitted your online registration, please do so immediately. Students who register late are not guaranteed to be approved by the first day of classes. Please note that only students who have completed registration and been approved by the district will be allowed to start school on Aug. 25. Emails either approving your student or requesting additional information come from and are sent to the email listed for "Parent/Guardian 1" in our system. Please check your spam and junk folders for these emails.

New and Kindergarten Students

Parents who have a new or kindergarten student must start their registration by making an appointment at the district office. Appointments can be made by clicking here. Note: In order to make an appointment you will need to log in with your registration account, or create an account on the login page.

More Information: Registration FAQ's | Registration Required Document Lists | Registration Login Page | Registration Help Line | Request for Records | New/Kindergarten Student Appointment

Lunch/Recess Supervisors

To support our students and staff during the school day, we are still seeking more parents and community members to serve as lunchroom/recess supervisors during the 2021-22 school year. It's easy to apply, and your time would have a direct impact on our schools. CLICK HERE to apply!


Hephzibah is a valued community partner that provides vital care and services to children and families in Oak Park. Unfortunately, due to staff shortages, Hephzibah's after-school programs at Beye, Whittier and Irving school locations will not open at the start of the school year. These closings are temporary; programs will reopen as soon as sufficient staff can be hired and trained.

Hephzibah is currently recruiting Youth Development Specialists to support their programs in District 97 schools. The job description is included below, and additional information can be found at We encourage community members to apply and share the information through their networks!

Hephzibah Youth Development Specialist

Youth Development Specialists will be responsible for planning and facilitating fun activities and games for children aged 5- 11. They will be working on a team of other Youth Development Specialists in one of the Oak Park elementary schools. The staff to child ratio is 1:10.

The position hours are: Mondays and Tuesdays, 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The position begins on Wednesday, Aug. 18.

Pay for this position is based on years of full-time equivalent work with children. The pay range is $14 to $15 per hour. Additionally, there is a $250 sign-on bonus, which is distributed over the first year of employment.

William Beye Elementary School

Cheryl Sullivan and Sheila Carter

Co-Interim Beye Principals