Whittier Wildcat Word!

Friday, September 23, 2022

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A Message from Principal Robinson

Greetings, Whittier Wildcats,

A huge thank you to the Whittier PTO and Community for the new basketball courts that have been added to our blacktop. Our scholars and staff have had some exciting experiences already during recess and other times during the day. Thank you to everyone that was part of the process!

Another great week of school and a three-day weekend to look forward to with family and friends! Please enjoy the first weekend of the fall season!

Don't hesitate to contact us (708-524-3080) if you have any questions. If you need to schedule a meeting with Mrs. McComb-Williams or me, please contact Ms. McGee (amcgee@op97.org) or Mrs. Alexander (ljohnson1@op97.org) at 708-524-3080 to schedule an appointment.

I hope you and our Scholars have a fantastic weekend.


Patrick CL Robinson

Whittier School Principal

Whittier School - Where I Belong!

Whittier's Leadership Welcome Presentation

Click on the link to view the Leadership Welcome Presentation

Whittier's Specials Curriculum Night 22-23

Click on the link to view the Specials Presentation for Curriculum Night

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One of our goals this year is to strengthen the relationship between home and school. In particular, findings ways for the Whittier community to know the staff at Whittier. Therefore, each week, we will randomly pick a staff member from an envelope to spotlight.


    1. Hello! My Name is... Johanna Cousin.

    2. I am…a Whittier 2nd Grade Teacher. This is my fourth year at Whittier and my fifth year teaching in District 97. I have been teaching 13 years in total.

    3. My favorite color is…Neon Pink.

    4. What I like most about Whittier is...how Whittier is not only a school but it is a learning environment that provides a family atmosphere and supportive community. This includes the teachers, administration, staff, and parents.

    5. If I had a SuperPower it would be… Why? The power of Speed like the superhero Flash. There is never enough time in a day to do all the amazing and not so amazing things on your to do list professionally and personally.

    6. If I was an animal I would be a/an… because…I would be a dolphin. Dolphins are beautiful and intelligent creatures. They are known to be protective, gentle, compassionate, chatty, and very social. All great qualities in my opinion ;). I also love to swim.

    7. What advice would you give the scholars of Whittier? Never be afraid or ashamed to be you. No one is perfect. Mistakes helps us grow and Differences are what makes us Special.

    Upcoming Dates

    September 2022:

    Sep 26th

    • No School - Rosh Hashanah

    October 2022

    Oct 5th

    • No School - Yom Kippur

    Oct 10th

    • No School - Indigenous People day

    Oct 12th

    • PTO Fun Run

    Oct 21st

    • Picture Day

    October 24th - 28th

    • Book Fair
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    Let's Celebrate Hispanic/Latinx Heritage at Whittier!!!

    This year, I would like to highlight our school's Hispanic/Latinx heritage on one of the school's bulletin boards or on the display case in front of the school. Therefore, if your child/children have Hispanic/Latinx heritage, please email me by Sept. 30th at laguirre@op97.org with the following:

    1- Share which country your child/children's heritage is from.

    2- Write something from their heritage they would like to highlight.

    3- Email me a picture & names of your child and other family members. Please include who is your child/children's homeroom teacher(s).

    At school, we will celebrate our annual Hispanic/Latinx Heritage week in October. Details coming soon!

    Muchas gracias,

    Sra. Aguirre


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    Lesson 4

    We’re well into teaching our social emotional learning curriculum, Second Step! Our Kindergarten and 1st grade students are continuing to focus on important foundational skills to help them learn. This past week they learned to apply their self talk to stay focused despite distractions. Ask your student to show you their attentoscopes, another cool strategy they learned to help keep their attention on what’s important! Our 2nd graders learned the importance of using an assertive voice instead of a passive or aggressive voice to get their needs met. They practiced how to express needing help or losing an item. Our 3rd graders learned how to make a plan when they forget something or need help at school. They practiced making a simple, doable, and organized plan. Our 4th graders learned about respecting differences and our 5th graders learned about predicting feelings. Both are important skills for getting along with one another! Here are our home links for the skills they learned this week so you can make connections at home. Not every grade level has a home link each week:

    Kindergarten: Self Talk for Staying on Task

    First Grade: Self Talk for Learning

    Fourth Grade: Respecting Similarities and Differences

    Fifth Grade: Predicting Feelings

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    At Whittier, we want to support each student as best we can during these challenging times. Our PTO received financial funds from an anonymous donor that we can use to support our students and families in need.

    If your scholar(s) is in need of school supplies or Whittier Wear, please take a few minutes to help us better understand how we can support your family's current needs by filling out the google form below. Someone from our school will be in touch with you within the week. Please fill this out for EACH child in your family. Thank you in advance.


    Please note - ALL these responses will be kept confidential and can only be accessed by school social workers, the assistant principal, and the principal.

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    Fun Run

    Whittier PTO's annual Fun Run Fundraiser went Live September 12! Join us in our annual fundraiser with a variety of prizes(We need a Prize Sourcing Volunteers!) and on October 12th the kids run, take on the obstacle course with music and fun. Learn More and register today!

    Grade Level PlayDates Are Here!

    New this year, each Sunday through October the PTO Liaisons will be hosting a meetup at Field Park. More details to come:

    September 18th - Kindergarten

    September 25th - 1st Grade

    October 2nd - 2nd Grade

    October 9th - 3rd Grade

    October 16th - 4th Grade

    October 30th - 5th Grade

    WISE Registration is still open!

    WISE Registration is still open!

    Jewelry Making, Yoga and more still have open slots. Review the courses here and register here.

    SMART Math Tutoring

    Looking for extra math practice or enrichment? SMART will be offering a 6-week fall program to give current 2nd through 5th graders an extra boost in math, in the early evenings starting the week of October 10th. New this year based on feedback from parents and teachers: SMART will have both “regular” and “advanced” math classes this fall. The “regular” classes will practice and reinforce grade-level material and the advanced classes will go beyond grade-level material. Sessions will be taught by D97 teachers over Zoom. For more information and to register by Friday, September 23, visit www.smart-oakpark.org.

    Whittier’s first Golf Scramble

    September 25th

    Whittier’s first Golf Scramble! Grab 3 friends or have us mix it up for you with an easy 9 hole scramble. Simply play the best ball down the course and have fun along the way! Learn More[https://whittierpto.membershiptoolkit.com/form/m/206553] and sign up today!

    Team Owen’s Virtual 5K October 1

    Horace Mann Elementary student Owen Petrzelka lost his DIPG battle in October 2020. Since

    2020, his family has organized a virtual run in conjunction with the ChadTough Foundation to

    raise funds for DIPG and childhood brain cancer research. This year’s 3rd annual virtual run is

    scheduled for Saturday, October 1. Participants may run/walk/bike/swim-you name it!

    We want to make this day a big community event that lives up to one of Owen’s mottos of

    “making someone happy is our job”. To that end, Owen’s parents, Amanda and Adam, have

    plans to turn their street into a community fun zone the day of the event where community

    members, whether they are running or not, can stop by throughout the day for some fun kids

    activities (free), food, and live music.

    • Donate to your school’s

    team: https://www.teamowen.org/Race/92431/Donate/z5MoZKIuCl5NpO2R

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    Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

    Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 and our teachers, staff and community have begun to celebrate and pay tribute to the contributions and history of Hispanic Americans. We'd love to hear how you are honoring the unique achievements, contributions and histories of Hispanic Americans this month! Tweet us (@OakPark97, using the hashtags #MyD97 and #D97Joy) to share stories and photos or email us at d97feedback@op97.org.

    Looking for ideas of how to celebrate with your family? Learn about Latinx culture at the first annual Convivencia: Hispanic Heritage Month Festival, Saturday, Sept. 17, 12-4 p.m., Taylor Park, 400 Division St., Oak Park. This free event is hosted by the Oak Park Regional Housing Center in partnership with the Oak Park Public Library, Park District of Oak Park and the Village of Oak Park. Enjoy Latin American foods, live music in Spanish, cultural dance, face painting, loteria, a resource fair, and more. Visit oprhc.org/convivencia/ to learn more.

    District 97 Halloween Letter 2022

    Dear District 97 Families,

    For those of our families who celebrate Halloween, many of you are starting to discuss costume choices with your child. Although students are not required to wear costumes, we recognize that they are a fun and creative part of our schools' Halloween activities.

    Our goal is to create a positive learning environment where all students, staff and families feel a sense of belonging. In that spirit, we ask that you take care to ensure that your child’s costume choice does not portray a stereotypical image of any group of people or culture, or be offensive to any one racial, ethinic or religious group. We appreciate you being proactive with your child in making thoughtful costume choices.

    To support you in your conversation with your child and to build your understanding around this topic, we have compiled links to resources that you may find helpful:

    Thank you for your continued support of our students and schools.

    Oak Park Elementary School District 97

    School Lunches - Milk Only Charge

    As a reminder, if your student takes milk only during lunch, there is a cost of $.45 per carton, regardless of your family's school meal eligibility status. If you have not already done so, please add funds into your student’s meal account to accommodate the milk only charge. If your student takes the full school meal, milk is included. Thank you!

    School Fees

    The district is currently accepting fee payments for the 2022-23 school year. Full payment is due by September 30, 2022. You can access the fee information by visiting https://www.op97.org/business-office/fees.


    The Intergovernmental Committee of Oak Park (IGOV) is hosting an informational workshop called "Plug into the Climate Action Going On in Oak Park" in the cafeteria of Oak Park and River Forest High School, 201 Scoville Ave, on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. All are welcome!

    Learn about green transportation, lowering energy bills, planting native gardens and more. Click for more details >> https://bit.ly/3DnGM1u.

    Imagine OPRF Project 1 Tours and IGOV Meeting

    Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 is hosting another round of Imagine OPRF Project 1 tours on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The tours will follow the iGOV meeting which will take place that same morning at the high school. Similar to our Open House last May, the tours will be self-guided, and visitors can see the new Student Resource Center, new classrooms, and the revamped South Cafeteria, Student Commons, and Welcome Center. Click here to view the event flyer >>

    Strengthening Families Program

    The Strengthening Families Program is a free, evidence-based prevention program for families with children ages 7 to 17. The 12-week program will teach effective parenting skills, healthy communication, stress management skills, conflict resolution and more. The program will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Tuesday from Oct. 4, 2022, through Dec. 13, 2022. Click here to view the program flyer >>

    Places and Faces Event: People You Should Know to Help Our Community Grow

    The OPRF Office of Equity and Student Success is pleased to invite you to "Places and Faces: People You Should Know to Help our Community Grow" at Oak Park and River Forest High School on Sept. 27, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Meet teachers, administrators, support staff, and student leaders of color. Learn more about activities and resources for students. Take a student-led tour of recent facility updates and more! Light refreshments will be served. If special accommodations are needed, please contact tgarland@oprfhs.org by Sept. 20. (The event is geared toward parents, but anyone in the community may attend.) Click here to view the event flyer >>

    Community Voices Report

    Families, students and neighbors are invited to Community Voices, a series of free, public events driven by and for the community to pursue lasting change. The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation will be sharing our community needs assessment, which reveals the most pressing needs in our area, what the data tells us, and how the power of our community will guide our future to a racially just society.
    • Saturday, Sept. 17, 9-11 a.m. @ Proviso East High School
    • Saturday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. @ Oak Park Public Library Main Branch
    • Tuesday, Sept. 27, 6-8 p.m. online
    More information is at https://www.oprfcf.org/community-voices.

    NEW Combined Student and Family Handbook for 2022-23

    This year, the district worked to merge the Effective Student Behavior Handbook and Family Handbook into one comprehensive resource, the Student-Family Handbook, in order to streamline information for families and staff. The new handbook contains important information regarding school policies, procedures, student rights and responsibilities, and important notifications required by state and federal law.

    The purpose of this handbook is to outline the expectations for building an educational community where everyone feels safe, included and able to learn. Having shared expectations, procedures and policies helps us respect all members of the school community in which we learn and work every day. Please take the time to read through the handbook and review it with your child.

    Technology Update

    Please visit https://bit.ly/3pxoN0I for information from the district’s technology department about the deployment of student devices, online filtering at home, the district’s acceptable use policy, and the procedures and protocols that are used to set up accounts for students.
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    *NEW* Process for Reporting Positive COVID-19 Cases to D97 Schools

    If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they must complete the following steps:

    1) To notify the school nurse and receive a return-to-school date, families/staff must complete the confidential COVID-19 Positive Case Notification Form as soon as possible following the positive test. Information provided will also be shared with the Oak Park Department of Public Health.

    2) Families must continue to report student absences via the school attendance line, and staff must enter their absences in Frontline.

    To see the rules for isolation and quarantine, click here. Additional resources are linked below.

    As always, thank you for your continued collaboration and support. Enjoy your weekend!

    John Greenleaf Whittier Elementary

    Where You Belong!

    Patrick CL Robinson



    Twitter: @PCLRobinson

    Chasity McComb-Williams

    Assistant Principal


    Twitter: @mccombwilliams