December 11th

Twitter Highlights: Week 16

Please click on the above link to see highlights from this past week. We are working to create a positive learning environment that is equitable, inclusive and focused on the whole child. No need to have a twitter account to view!

Brooks News to Know

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Parent 5 Essential Survey

Illinois 5Essentials Parent Survey

District 97 will be administering the Illinois 5Essentials Survey again this year to certified staff and parents/guardians from all 10 of our schools, as well as students in grades six through eight.

The online survey was developed by the University of Chicago’s Consortium on Chicago School Research and is derived from the Five Essentials for School Success, which is an evidence-based framework that identifies five factors that can lead to important student outcomes such as improved attendance and significant gains in test scores. These five factors/essentials are:

• Effective Leaders

• Collaborative Teachers

• Involved Families

• Supportive Environment

• Ambitious Instruction

The parent survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. You may skip questions you do not wish to answer, but the survey must be completed in one sitting and cannot be retrieved once it is submitted. If you have more than one child enrolled in a building (i.e., two students who attend the same school), you have the option of completing multiple surveys for that building. In addition, if you have children enrolled in multiple

schools (i.e., a District 97 elementary school and middle school), you may participate in the survey for each school. However, only one parent/guardian per household may fill out the survey.

As with the student and teacher surveys, your identity will be kept completely confidential and your responses will not be linked to you. In addition, school-level reports will only be generated if at least 20 percent of our parents/guardians complete the survey, which can be accessed until Wednesday, January 31, 2018 by visiting This percentage will be based on the total number of students enrolled at each school.

If we successfully meet this requirement, we will receive our reports in March 2018. The results will also be made available to the public via the State School Report Cards, which will be released in the fall.

You can access general information about the Illinois 5Essentials Survey by visiting

Thank you for participating in this important endeavor, and for your continued support of our school.

Forgotten Items (chromebooks, chargers, shoes, lunches, etc) dropped off at School for your Student AND Lost Items

Dear Families,

To minimize disruption to your student's and all students' classroom learning spaces, we are going to place the forgotten items in the main office that you drop off for your student. Your student will need to pick-up the forgotten items during a passing period, on their way to PE or to lunch/social time. We will be making student announcements over the next few weeks about this practice, to ensure your student understands it will be their responsibility to stop in the main office to retrieve the forgotten item(s) during a passing period, on their way to PE or lunch/social time. The office will write an excused tardy pass for the student, if they pick up the item during a passing period and they will not make it to class on time. We are working to minimize the number of times a classroom is disrupted by the office calling into the learning spaces.

If your student misplaces an item (for example chromebook, jacket, etc), please let your student know they should check the following locations:

  1. Each of their classrooms and speak directly to the teacher about the lost item(s)
  2. Main office (Chromebooks and phones get turned into the main office by the end of each school day)
  3. Lost and Found in the Cafeteria/Commons
  4. Lost and Found in the PE Locker Rooms

Encourage your student to check the main office for the lost items during a passing period, on their way to PE, during lunch/social time or before/after school.

Thank you, in advance, for sharing this with your student and helping us minimize the frequency of calling into classroom learning spaces, which inevitably interrupts the flow of learning.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly via email or phone.


April Capuder



Brooks Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the PTO

If you missed the first Brooks Diversity and Inclusion Committee conference call or meeting, but still want to be involved in leading and shaping this new initiative, the next meeting is on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 from 7:15 to 8:15pm in the Brooks commons. Pizza and drinks will be available. You may reach out to the committee chair Renee Dixon and RSVP via email at Your voice is important, encouraged, welcomed, and essential for Brooks success.

Family Education Advocacy

Family Education and Advocacy series available for family members and professionals. Please share this flyer with your contacts!

To register please visit our website:

Brooks Yearbook

The Brooks year book committee is asking for your help. If you have taken photo's at any of the Brooks events this year or throughout the year, please share them with us. We may want to use them in our yearbook. Please use the link below to upload your photos.

If you are interested in ordering a yearbook, please place your online order here.

Recognizing Staff who Make a Difference

If you or your student would like to recognize any staff member (a teacher, a teacher assistant, social worker, librarian, front office staff, lunchroom staff, custodial staff or school administrator) please take a moment to complete this form.

Thank you to those who have completed this form to recognize a GBMS staff member. All individuals receive a printed certificate highlighting your appreciation for their contributions!

Please be sure your background check has been completed if you'd like to volunteer to chaperone Field Trips

Parents must make an appointment for background checks. You can go here to find the link to schedule a time for a background check to be completed.

Breakfast and Lunch Menus for December

Sports and Club Information


Boys Basketball Home games: Monday and Thursday this week at 4pm

Volleyball Practice through December:

Friday, 12/8 - Team Meeting at 8am in B402

Wednesday, 12/13 - Practice JV and V 3:30pm to 5:30pm

Friday, 12/15 - Practice JV and V 7:45am

Monday, 12/18 - Practice JV and V 3:30pm to 5:30pm

Tuesday, 12/19 - Practice JV and V 3:30pm to 5:30pm

Friday, 12/22 -Team Meeting at 8am in B402

CLUB OPPORTUNITIES (can join anytime)

Each club meets weekly, unless otherwise notated below.


  • ORFF Ensemble from 8:00am to 8:50am in D104 (first meeting was on 9/18). Participation is open to all students - no audition required, but enrollment is limited to 40 students. Interested students can sign-up and pick up permission slips outside of the music room (D104). For additional information contact Mr. Carrillo - Still opportunity to join.
  • Ultimate Frisbee We will only meet on Mondays for the second trimester. Still 3:30-4:40 and meeting in the third floor gym. We plan on playing different types of frisbee activities in the third floor gym or the main gym when available. If you have any questions, please email Ms. Dajani at or Mr. Gillespie at (Weather Permitting)
  • Math Team from 3:30-4:30 in room B204 . The club will meet each week. Students of all interest levels are welcome. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Kahn at
  • Spoken Word from 3:30pm to 5:30 pm in room B205. If you have any questions, please email Mr. Lee at


  • EcoEagles from 3:30pm to 4:30pm in room C302. If you have any questions, please email Ms. Stamp at
  • Chess Club from 3:30 to 4:45 in room B305. If you have any questions, please email Mr. Hausfeld at
  • Vex Robotics In-House League from 3:30 to 5 pm in room B302, 10/03-12/19 (no meeting 10/31, 11/21); Robot Rumble on 12/12 . You can learn more by viewing flyer or OPEF VexRobotics website. or if you have any questions, please email Ms. Pena at
  • Rainbow Tribe after school until 4:30 in 2nd floor conference room next to PE classroom. Permission slip found here. Here are the dates club will meet: December: 19, January: 9, 23, February: 6, 20, March: 6, 13, April: 10,24 and May: 8, 22, 29
    If you have any questions, please email Ms. Olsen at



  • Art Club meeting from 3:30pm to 4:45pm in room D301. NO need to sign up, just show up and make art. Running now through Mid February. If you have any questions, please email Ms. Murray at
  • Spanish Club from 3:30 to 4:30pm in room B308. Here are all the Spanish club meeting dates for the year: 12/14, 1/11, 1/25, 2/8, 2/22, 3/8, 3/22, 4/12, 4/26, 5/10, 5/24. If you have any questions please contact Mr. Lagioia at or Ms. Villalobos at
  • Yearbook Club meeting from 3:30 to 4:30pm in room B202. The next meeting is on December 7th. Here are the meeting dates for remainder of the year: 12/21, 1/11, 1/25, 2/8 , 2/23, 3/8, 3/22 , 4/12 If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Marsha Turner-Reid at or Ms. Meaghan Pabellon at


Get connected to PTO

PTO Information

PTO Call For Ideas Evaluation:

The Brooks PTO launched a survey in September to gather ideas from the community to enrich the experience of students, spend down our current fund balance and shape future fundraising. The goal of the PTO is to spend an additional $20,000. Please provide your opinion of the following 14 spending initiatives in the Brooks Call for Ideas Evaluation survey. PTO will focus efforts based on your feedback as your input is an integral part of this process. Thank you!

Earn money for the Brooks PTO: When you shop at Amazon, begin your shopping through the link here and our PTO will earn 0.5% of your total sale, at no expense to you. First time Amazon Smile shoppers will find our organization by typing Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School Parent-Teacher Organization. Thank you for your continued support.

Subscribe to PTO Bulletin:

When you registered your child, if you selected the option “No to Directory”, the school can not share your contact information with the PTO (Parent-Teacher Organization). If you'd like to subscribe to PTO Bulletin use link below:

Next Community meeting is Monday, January 8th, 2018 at 7pm in the media center.