The Hawk

Holmes Elementary School - Week Ending 10/21/22


  • Parent Teacher Conferences 11:00-7:00 - Students Dismissed at 11:00 - October 27

  • Students Dismissed at 11:00 - October 28

  • Halloween - October 31 - See details below

  • 1st Day of Native American Heritage Month - November 1

  • End of 1st Trimester - November 22 (Corrected Date)

  • Picture Retake Day - November 7

  • Election Day - NO SCHOOL - November 8

  • Chorus Performance - November 10 - 7:00-7:45 - Holmes Auditorium

  • PTO Community Meeting - November 16th

  • Thanksgiving Holiday - November 23-25 - No School

School Safety Drills

The physical and emotional safety of our students and staff is our highest priority every day. One of the most important things we do to keep our school community safe is practice a variety of drills each year to ensure that everyone is prepared should an emergency occur. This includes:

  • Three fire drills, including one with the fire department present to observe and provide feedback;

  • One severe weather drill;

  • One bus evacuation drill; and

  • One law enforcement drill (more commonly referred to as a lockdown drill).

I’m writing today to provide more information about our lockdown drill, which will occur next Friday, Oct. 28. We realize these drills are sensitive in nature and would not conduct them unannounced. Please know that:

  • Law enforcement support from the Oak Park Police Department has been, and will continue to be, an integral part of our process. Police will be on-site to observe and assist in evaluating the effectiveness of these drills.

  • The goal is for drills to be teaching moments, not fear-inducing exercises. As such, any type of reenactment that employs an individual acting as an assailant, implying or displaying a weapon, or simulating the sound of gunfire will not be used by District 97.

  • Students are briefed by school staff members in an age-appropriate manner before any lockdown drill so that they know what to do in the event of a lockdown situation being called.

  • All building occupants participate in the lockdown drills: students, staff, and any visitors who may be in the building at that time.

  • A parent or guardian may exempt their student(s) from participating in a lockdown drill. If you choose to exempt your child, you must notify our office in writing at least 24 hours prior to the drill.

  • Under state law, schools must provide important safety education and instruction related to a lockdown event to students who do not participate in the lockdown drill, employing a less sensorial training approach.

  • Our number one priority is always the safety of the students and staff, followed by efficient and accurate communication to families.

Should you have any questions regarding our lockdown drills, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your partnership.

Episode 5 - Bullying Part 1

Thank you so much for your feedback and ideas for future episodes of the Holmes video podcast series.

We decided to start with bullying since October is bully prevention month. Check out part 1 of our bullying series.

Holmes Parent Podcast Episode 5 Bullying - Part 1

Support Holmes Students with Recess Expectations

Dear Holmes Families,

We are asking for your help in reminding and reteaching our recess expectations with our Holmes Hawks. Please watch this short video to review our expectations with your student at home.

A special thank you to our 3rd grader, Kassidy for her help in creating this video for our families.

In partnership,

Marianne Rehfield

Assistant Principal

Recess Expectations

Holmes Ofrenda

For Día de Los Muertos we will be creating an "Ofrenda" to help teach the Holmes community about this beautiful celebration in remembrance of loved ones that have passed.

We invite staff and students to share a photo of a loved one that has passed so that we can frame and place it in our school Ofrenda. You can email the photo to either Sra. Poleski or Sra. Pruitt and/or bring in an actual photo to be added to the Ofrenda by Thursday, October 27, 2022.

The Ofrenda will be included in the map for the official Oak Park River Forest Ofrenda walk on October 31st-November 5th. It will be on display in the windows on Chicago avenue. All students, families, and staff are welcome to participate. Click here for more information. ¡Gracias!

Parent - Teacher Conference Sign-ups

Parent Teacher conferences are scheduled for Thursday, October 27th. As a reminder, students are dismissed from school at 11:00 on both Thursday and Friday that week.

Our conferences are in-person this year. In the event you require a virtual conference, our teachers will gladly accommodate that request. Be sure to let them know when you sign up. Click the button below to choose your conference time.

Parent-Teacher Conference Sign-Up

Click Here to sign up for a conference

Recording: Family University' Session on Student Assessments

On Oct. 18, District 97 held a Family University Session to help parents learn about the student assessments given across our schools, how the results are used to support teaching and learning, and how you can use the information to understand your child's progress and next steps.

Thank you to all who attended! If you were unable to attend, you can view this session by clicking on the link below.

D97 Family University: Understanding D97 Assessments

SAVE THE DATE: Middle School Math Enrichment Program 2023

In 2023, District 97 will be offering Math Enrichment Bridge Courses for Acceleration and Summer Math Review Courses for students in grades 5 through 7. Families should SAVE the DATE if their student is interested in participating in these courses (CLICK HERE to view the program flyer>>).

Registration information and additional details about this program will be shared with families in January.

Halloween Parade and Classroom Parties

Our kindergarten through 4th-grade students will participate in our Halloween parade on Monday, October 31st from 1:40-2:00 pm. Our 5th-grade students have a field trip on the 31st and will not be in the building. Families are welcome to come and watch our outdoor parade.

We will exit the building and walk west on Chicago avenue to Woodbine. We turn on Woodbine and walk down the track and back toward the school to enter the building.

Please note - our parade is weather permitting. In the event of rain, we will not have our parade but will still have our classroom parties.

Costumes are NOT to be worn to school. Students will change into costumes in the afternoon right before the parade. Please make sure that costumes can be worn over your child's clothing so we can quickly make a change. We ask that you save face paint, face masks and all weapon-like costume accessories for after school. Also, remember to be mindful of cultural sensitivities when helping your child choose a costume for school.

Be sure to check your child's classroom newsletters for party specifics. While most will occur directly after the parade, there are some exceptions due to specials such as art, PE, music, and Spanish.

District 97 Halloween Letter 2022

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:

SEL Corner

This week our students were taught lesson 3 of the Bullying Prevention Unit lessons. Our youngest students (grades K-3) learned how to refuse bullying by saying words that mean “no” in an assertive way when bullying is happening. Our older students (4th and 5th grade) learned about bystander responsibility. They watched videos to identify bullying and brainstormed actions that bystanders could take. They then role-played what to do after bullying occurs. We never have students role-play bullying, but practicing the actions you can take as a bystander makes it easier to follow through in real-life situations! Below are the home links for the upcoming lesson if you’d like to preview them with your child.

Kindergarten- Refusing Bullying

First Grade- Refusing Bullying

Second Grade- Refusing Bullying

Third Grade- Refusing Bullying

Fourth Grade- Bystander Responsibility

Fifth Grade- Bystander Responsibility

Holmes Family Handbook

The Holmes Family handbook has all things Holmes school. Click the button below to check it out.

Supporting our Families

We wanted to take a minute to announce a new resource available to our Holmes families. D97 and DePaul University have partnered to offer care coordination to families across all of our schools. Care coordinator, Tetyana Krutsik, is available to Holmes families who are interested in community support with securing housing, rental assistance, benefits, insurance, medical/mental health care, tutoring programs and child care programs. We are lucky to have this amazing, free resource for our families. Please check out the attached flyer and feel free to spread the word to families.

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) In order 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.

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Community Hawk Nest

Sign-Up to be a Room Parent Volunteer

We’re still recruiting room parents volunteers! Room parents work together to coordinate holiday parties, teacher appreciation gifts, and assist teachers with other tasks as needed. Volunteer here to be a room parent for your child(ren)'s room - be a valuable link between teachers and families in the classroom!

PTO: Co-VP Communications and other volunteering opportunities

The Holmes PTO Board is looking for a member of the community to co-lead Communications activities (managing social media, email, etc. to share key PTO info like upcoming events with our Holmes community). Read the description and sign up here.

Not interested in joining the Board but still want to get involved? No problem - you can also sign up to lead a committee or find out when we need volunteers.

Specials Teachers Website Links

"Hola Holmes Halcones!,

Sra. Poleski and Srta. Pruitt have a new website that will be updated monthly for Spanish class! Included are grade-level vocabulary lists, photos, helpful links, and general information on Spanish class. Check out what your kids have been up to in 'la clase de Español' this month!

Here is the Link: Clases de Español