Summer Middle Matters

Have a safe and healthy summer!

8th Grade Graduation - Virtual Ceremonies on June 6

The virtual eighth-grade graduation ceremonies for Brooks Middle school will be streamed live on the District 97 YouTube channel on Saturday, June 6.

"Mindful Middle-Schoolers" Program

The Community Mental Health Board of Oak Park Township, Oak Park Elementary School District 97, and DePaul University’s Community Counseling Center have partnered to deliver a vast array of educational and therapeutic services to staff, families, and youth through the “Mindful Middle-Schoolers Program.” Please click the topic below to view the recorded webinars.

Looking to join the cross country team this upcoming fall?

If you were not able to join our informational meeting we have recorded the slide show for your convenience. You may also contact Coach Kline for further information if needed at

District 97 Summer Learning Plan

District 97 is providing a variety of enrichment opportunities to support student learning over the summer. More than 50 staff members collaborated to create our optional Summer Learning Plan for Grades 1-8, which includes suggested activities and online resources in the areas of reading, writing and math. The document also includes a comprehensive list of virtual field trips for families to enjoy. This list will be posted on our district and school websites, and we will continue to provide resources for families throughout the summer. To access the optional Summer Learning Plan, please visit

From all of us at Brooks to all of our Students and Families

We miss you and hope you have a safe and healthy summer!

End of Trimester 3 Grade Marks

Families will be receiving the end of trimester 3 report cards on Tuesday, June 9. These will be sent to families via email. PowerSchool is designed to provide grades based on percentages. We are not giving grades based on percentages, but rather following the guidelines from the Illinois State Board of Education. Please disregard the percentage grade for each course in PowerSchool, as it will not represent or align with the Progressing (PR) or No Grade (NG) mark for the trimester. For your reference, below is the information shared previously regarding Trimester 3 grade marks.

Based on guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), we have developed grading guidelines for Trimester 3 that support students’ social-emotional health during this time. As such, we have shifted the Trimester 3 reporting to a Progressing or No Grade model to record student participation and academic progress during remote learning.

Progressing (PR):

The student participated in the remote learning process and demonstrated academic progress on the identified critical standards. The teacher engaged with the student/family.

No Grade (NG):

The student could not or did not complete the work. The teacher and/or administrator documented attempts to make contact, and/or support the student.

Note: If a student could not or did not participate during the remote learning period, a No Grade mark will be provided to indicate that learning did not continue during their time away from school. A No Grade mark does not suggest the student’s performance during Trimester 3 resulted in an “Unsatisfactory (U)” or “Not Yet (N).” Students who receive a No Grade mark will advance to their next grade level and will be provided an opportunity to make up content during the Virtual Summer Step Up Program here in our district during the end of July and beginning of August. More information from the district office will be forthcoming regarding this summer program.

Brooks Middle School Awarded IEA Grant for School Garden Project

The Illinois Education Association Foundation has awarded the Oak Park Teachers' Association (OPTA) a $1,000 grant for its "EcoEagles’ International Bird Hotel."

Brooks Middle School teachers Stephanie Suerth and Laura Stamp applied for the grant as part of the IEA Foundation’s Schools and Community Outreach by Educators program, which is a grant program designed to give educators money for a service project. The grant will be used for the construction of an International Bird Hotel at Brooks as part of the community and school garden, scheduled for the Summer and Fall of 2020. Click here for the full story >

Social Worker Support

Please know that our social workers continue to be available during this time. If your student would like support, please have them reach out to their grade level social worker via the following email addresses:

6th Grade: Jen Olsen at

7th Grade: Abby Berman at

8th Grade: Hannah Boudreau at

Brooks Media Center

If students are looking for ways to stay connected to reading beyond what classroom teachers are sharing, check out the GBMS Library Wakelet page! Here is the direct link:

The page is linked on the GBMS Library Home Page and on the Student Announcements Page in Canvas.

Technology Support

Technical support will be available from school and district technology staff by accessing the Help Desk through email, When an email is submitted, a Help Desk ticket is created and assigned to technology staff, who will be working throughout the day to address technology concerns. Our technology team can support District 97 devices and student online programs.

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District 97 Food Services Link

Please check here for additional information regarding free & reduced meals along with families looking to receive additional support

Registration Open for 2020-21 School Year in District 97

Returning Students - Registration for returning students will be open May 6 through May 20, 2020 .All current families received an email on May 6 from to remotely register your child for the 20-21 school year. We ask that all returning students complete registration as quickly as possible in order to accurately plan staffing, materials, devices, etc. for the upcoming school year. Remember to upload any required documents to InfoSnap (PowerSchool Enrollment) before submitting. Click here for the May 6 communication to families.

Detailed information about the returning registration process is available on the district website at If you have any additional questions, please email

Volunteer with the Brook’s PTO next year

Although it seems like a world away, planning is already underway for the next school year! The PTO is committed to enriching the experience of students at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School through supporting a positive school environment, facilitating the development of positive relationships within the community, advancing school equity initiatives, and creating an environment where all students have access to school resources and opportunities. See the positions that are available and sign up here! Email any questions to

Mental Health Wellness Appointments

We recognize that this time of crisis may create stress and trigger emotional difficulties for your child. D97’s school psychology department is offering acute (short-term) access to mental health wellness checks. Scheduled appointments are available daily between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. for mental health triage services during the COVID-19 school closure beginning April 13, 2020.

Parents/Caregivers, you may sign up your student for a 15-minute slot here: if you think your child would benefit from an empathetic ear and a few coping and self-care tips. When signing your child up, please provide the email (for video chat) or phone number you’d like us to contact at the time of the appointment.

Although this crisis may also be tough for adults, these mental health triage appointments are reserved to focus on student needs. If you have questions as a caregiver/parent, please email your building’s assigned school psychologist, your child’s educational team, or refer to this resource guide, created by the District 97 Social Work Department:

BRAVO is PUMPED to partner with theaters across America to present Musical Theater MEGACAMP 2020!

What do you get when you "virtually" combine theatre kids from across the nation with award winning theatre directors, and add in a sprinkling of Broadway performers ...

Musical Theatre Mega-Camp!!

This one-week, nationwide theatrical camp, designed for grades 3rd through 12th, will deliver an educational musical theatre experience from industry professionals and Broadway Guest Artists for five days of fun and inspiration!

FreddieG Fellowship Teachers representing theaters from Texas, Virginia, Montana, Illinois, Alabama, and Florida have come together to create this collaborative camp experience June 8-12, 2020 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM (CST). The camp will culminate with a video presentation highlighting the week!

Registration is Limited! Join the fun today!

For more information:


  • $300.00 - Full tuition for one camper and help another camper attend
  • $250.00 - Full tuition for one camper
  • Open Amount - Pay What You Can



District 97 Staff Referral Program

We are always looking for talented, dedicated individuals to join the District 97 team! We know that some of our best teachers and staff members have come to District 97 based on a referral. If you know somebody who you believe would be a good fit for our district, please fill out the D97 Staff Referral Form. If you have any questions, please email the human resources department at
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Each week, the Help Corner will feature a frequently-asked question related to services and opportunities available for District 97 students and families. We will keep a complete list of these FAQs on our district website.

Supporting Students and Families
During Our School Closure

District 97 has created an online hub ( for updates about COVID-19 and our school closure, as well as resources (financial, mental health, nutrition, housing, etc.) that support the well-being of our students and families. We also encourage families to stay connected through Facebook and Twitter. Additional updates can be found at:

Village of Oak Park

Oak Park Township

Oak Park Public Library

Park District of Oak Park

Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200

Thank you to the incredible team of District 97 social workers and nurses who collaborated on our community resource list! Click here to view >

District 97 also has a broad network of partner organizations that provide an array of supports and services for Oak Park residents. The Community Mental Health Board and Oak Park and River Forest Townships have also put together a COVID-19 Social Services Resource Guide, which is available at

Each week, the Help Corner will feature a frequently-asked question related to services and opportunities available for District 97 students and families. We will keep a complete list of these FAQs on our district website.

Community Resources

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.

OPPL's virtual summer reading program

Click here for information on OPPL's virtual summer reading program!. Kids can track minutes, scan books, and earn badges and beads this summer, beginning June 1st!

YEMBA will be extending their school year program until the end of June.

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Thrive is offering phone-based counseling, 24/7 crisis intervention services, medication management and, a free Thrive Check-In phone support line (Ext. 8) to address our community’s needs during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Call us at (708)383-7500. Our Front Desk team is also ready to assist you Monday-Friday, 9am to 2pm, with requests for referrals or new services and to reschedule or cancel an appointment.

Mental Health Resource, "Call4Calm"

Thrive is also a proud partner of the Illinois Call4Calm Text Line Service. Text “TALK” TO 552020 (or “HABLAR) for Spanish. The Illinois Call4Calm Text Line is not a crisis hotline, but is a source of support for anyone experiencing stress and in need of a listening ear.

And we know the COVID-19 pandemic can wear on every resource—from food and shelter to our emotional bandwidth and mental health. Fortunately, the Illinois Department of Human Services has launched a support line called Call4Calm that is reachable via text. Individuals who want to speak with a mental health professional can text the word “TALK” or “HABLAR” (for Spanish speakers) to 552-020. Within 24 hours, that individual will receive a call from a mental health professional employed by a local community health center.

People can also text other terms, like “unemployment” or “food” or “shelter” to the same number to receive information on how to navigate and access supports and services. Call4Calm is free, and individuals who use it can remain anonymous. We encourage you to share this resource with your students, families, and staff.

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