January 13, 2020

Twitter Highlights: Week 18

You don't need to have a twitter account to see the highlights from the 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!

Winter MAP Testing

The winter MAP test series:

Tuesday, January 14 and Wednesday January 15


  • 9:00am - 11:09 am - All grades MAP Testing=


Make-up Testing dates:

January 17 & January 21

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Student Led Conferences

Thursday, Jan. 30th, 12:45-8pm

325 South Kenilworth Avenue

Oak Park, IL

Please plan to attend the January 30th Conferences with your student. Sign up information for conferences will be shared during the week of January 13th.


During our next conferences, students will be sharing their IB Criterion Report with their parents/guardians. In anticipation of the upcoming student-led conferences, please view this screencast, which provides an explanation of IB Criterion.

Save the Date: District 97 Summer Launch 2020

District 97 is excited to announce the dates for the upcoming 2020 Summer Launch Program. Summer Launch will be held June 15 through July 10, 2020 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon). The program for Grades K-4 will be held at Holmes Elementary School, and Grades 5-7 will be held at Brooks Middle School.


Summer Launch is a summer program designed for students in kindergarten to seventh grade who are identified as needing intervention support in reading and/or mathematics during the school year and fall below the 11th percentile in reading and/or math.


Our Summer Launch Program will include Reading/Writing Workshop and Math support, in which students will be able to build upon the reading and writing strategies they have learned during the regular school year, as well as participate in math activities.

The Summer Launch program is designed to support students:

  • In continuing to build their skills towards becoming strong, confident readers and writers.
  • By allowing them personalized instruction in reading, writing and math.
  • By supporting them in sharing their voices and helping to feel valued.
  • By supporting them in building meaningful connections with their teacher and peers.
Participation in the Summer Launch program is by invitation only; letters will be sent to eligible families via email in late January.


Summer Launch Flyer

Illinois 5Essentials Survey

District 97 is 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 four through eight.


The parent/guardian survey is available now. Please click here to learn how parents/guardians can participate in this important endeavor and click here to access the parent/guardian version of the survey.


Please note that school-level reports will only be generated if at least 20 percent of our parents/guardians complete the survey, which can be accessed until Feb. 14, 2020. Our current response rate for parents/guardians is at 9%.

SCHOOL CULTURE AND CLIMATE TEAM UPDATE

We made our goal and celebrated with our first Student vs Staff basketball game Wednesday, 12/16. It was a blast! Thank you for all who participated, attended and cheered on the players.


Kids can continue to earn Brooks Bucks for following the posted Brooks Student Expectations. These bucks can be redeemed at the School Store along with HERO points.

Message from the Main Office

FAQ'S

  • Attendance Line : 708-665-3074 or send an email
  • Please note from 8:45am to 9:15am the Brooks answering service will be activated as our office staff is attending to in-house student and parent needs.
  • REVTRAK Link - Payment system for Field trips, School Fees, Replacement Fees, Gym Uniforms, etc. The link can also be found on the Brooks Website under Payments in the blue menu bar.
  • Bell Schedule - For those asking what time the periods take place.

Attn: Facebook & Twitter Friends

District 97 is seeking social media ambassadors who are willing to share news and information about our efforts to support all students. Whether you are sharing posts from our Facebook or Twitter pages or shouting out a teacher or student, being a social media ambassador is great way to be part of the "MyD97" campaign and support District 97 schools! If you are interested in being an ambassador for the 2019-20 school year, please complete our online form. If you have any questions, please email the district's director of communications, Amanda Siegfried, at asiegfried@op97.org.

Around the District with Dr. Kelley

The word discipline in connection with schools has such a negative connotation. The long history of shame, punishment and racism has interfered with the very purpose of schools – to help young people learn and grow. District 97 is reclaiming and redefining discipline to better align with our mission and vision of what it means to be educators of students. We are making systemic shifts away from punishment to a mindset of preemption and restoration. Read and learn more - Around the District with Dr. Kelley - http://bit.ly/34JiR84

IT'S SUNDAY! WHO INSPIRES YOU? Recognizing Staff who Make a Difference

In an effort to celebrate our community, we would like to invite parents and students to give a shout out to member(s) of the Brooks Community who have inspired them. We also want to hear from parents and students who would like recognize a Brooks teacher that has made an impact around diversity and inclusion. Every Sunday, selected comments will be featured in Middle Matters and the staff member will receive a certificate detailing how they have made a difference to you. You can also tag your comments under #BeBrooks97 on Twitter. Please join us in celebrating the Brooks Community by completing this form.

Cold Weather Reminder

As the cold weather approaches, we would like to stress the importance of students wearing the appropriate winter outerwear to school.


Our goal is to have students go outside for social time whenever possible.


  • Students should come to school wearing a winter jacket, gloves, scarves, hat, etc.
  • Please discuss with your child the need to wear jackets when outside.
  • Winter outerwear should not be removed when it is cold outside.

Please be sure your student brings their ID to school everyday!

If you need to purchase an ID, you may do so on RevTrak or in the main office. The cost to replace an ID is $5.00.


Please help your student remember to bring their ID each day to school to Be Safe. During the lunch periods, their ID designates their lunch color. This is important so we can monitor where students should be during the lunch period, especially if there is any type of emergency situation that should occur during a lunch period. We have over 900 students and 100 staff members in the building each day. Wearing ID helps all of us get to know each other as we traverse the building.

Gwendolyn Brooks Class of 2020 Graduation

We'd like to share that the 8th grade graduation date for the Gwendolyn Brooks Class of 2020 will take place on Saturday, June 6, at 2:00pm. The ceremony will be held at Oak Park and River Forest High School.


Please be sure to mark your calendars. We will have more information regarding graduation activities in February.

Parent/Guardian Contact Information

In our efforts to keep our student and family contact information current, we are asking that our Brooks families please fill out the ink below.


Some of you have expressed concern about not receiving information, so we want to be sure we are able to reach you!


We appreciate your help in keeping your mailing, telephone and email contact information valid and up to date.


District 97 Emergency Data Form


Thank you for completing this form as soon as possible.

Using the Canvas Calendar as an Observer

If you are looking for one place to see when your student has assignments due, check out the Canvas Calendar. The assignments will be linked on the Canvas Calendar on the day they are due.


Click the link below for detailed directions on how to use the Canvas calendar.

https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10908-4144715705

Purchase your Yearbook Today!

Purchase your yearbook today.


If you do not already have an account from a previous years purchase, you will be asked to set up an account in order to make a purchase.


Brooks Purchase Code: 1014096931934358


How to set up an account.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

  • January 14 & 15 - Winter Map Testing
  • January 20 - No student Attendance, Martin Luther King Day
  • January 30 - Student-Led Conferences 12:40pm to 8pm & student noon dismissal
  • January 31 - Student noon dismissal
  • February 14 - 8th Grade Washington DC trip
  • February 17 - No student Attendance - President's Day
  • February 28 - Trimester 2 ends

PTO NEWS

PTO Business Meeting January 13

Join us on Monday, January 13 at 6:00 pm in the Brook’s library for our PTO business meeting. We will be discussing PTO business including the budget and an update from Christiana Lee, our IB coordinator.

Want to Donate to the PTO?

You can donate $10 or more to help pay for things like teacher grants, need-based scholarships and other enrichment activities. Please consider a matching gift donation from your employer.


Email the PTO BoardEmail gwendolynbrookspto@gmail.com if you are interested or have questions!

Staff Appreciation Dinner January 30

The PTO will be hosting an appreciation dinner for the teachers and staff of Brooks on Jan 30th as a thank you for their hard work and dedication to our community. The PTO is providing a catered dinner. We are in need of drinks, dessert, and help with set-up, hosting and clean-up on the 30th and ask members of the Brooks community to please donate their time or one of the items listed below.

Items should be brought to Brooks Jan 29th or Jan 30th and can be dropped off in the school office with Tasha Guerino.


Please mark any item (dessert plate, cooler) you wish to have returned to you with your name so we can make sure it gets back to its rightful owner.


**Please remember that desserts should be nut free!

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090849aeac2daa8-brooks6

Does your 8th grader want to have an 8th grade dance? We need you!

The 8th grade dance is a great way to celebrate finishing middle school. However, it can’t happen without support from the Brooks community! The PTO is currently looking for one more 8th Grade VP. This role helps plan 8th grade dance and a winter staff appreciation dinner. There are two 8th grade VP’s, so you are working with a partner!

Clubs and Sports Information

Mondays

  • Math Team 3:30pm - 4:30pm in room B409. For more information contact Esther Smith at esmith3@op97.org . Open to 6 - 8 grade students.
  • Orff Ensemble (Xylophone and Drumming Music Group) Monday's, 8:00-8:50 am, Rm D104. Open to all students grades 6-8. For more information contact Mr. Carrillo (fcarrillo@op97.org)
  • Rainbow Tribe 3:30pm - 4:30pm in the Library! Come join students who want to be a part of creating a safe and inclusive space for our Brooks LGBTQ community. All students (those who identify and allies) are invited to join! Reach out to Ms. Berman (aberman@op97.org) or Mrs. Olsen (jolsen@op97.org) with any questions!
  • Spoken Word Club: Mondays in B205 (3:30 - 5:00 pm) with Mr. Lee and resident poet Christian Robinson. Contact Mr. Lee with questions. mlee@op97.org
  • Ultimate Frisbee: Currently on Winter hiatus. This recreational Frisbee Club will meet again in the Spring on Mondays and Wednesdays to play from 3:30p to 4:30p. For more information contact Coach Gillespie at mgillespie@op97.org or Coach Guerino at tguerino@op97.org - Please note practices are dependent on weather.


Tuesdays

  • Yearbook Club meets the 1st & 3rd Tuesday each month. Room B202 Beginning in October and ends in April. Everyone is welcome to join GBMS Yearbook Club. We are looking for students to assist us in recording the student activities & events of the 2019-2020 school year!For more information please contact Meaghan Pabellon at mpabellon@op97.org or Marsha Turner Reid at mturnerreid@op97.org
  • EcoEalges - meets weekly on TUESDAYS at 3:30 in Room C202

    Students who are passionate about helping the environment, gardening, saving endangered species or who just want to do interesting things outdoors should check out the ECO EAGLES, the Brooks ecology club. We have made award-winning films, gone on cool field trips, implemented fun fundraisers and raised awareness about many different issues. We are open to whatever you are interested in, so join us! For more information contact lstamp@op97.org

  • Chess Club meets in room C108 from 3:30pm to 5:00pm. For more information contact Coach Hausfeld at mhausfeld@op97.org


Wednesdays


Thursdays
  • Art Club from 3:30-4:30 October- March in D301. Free and open to all students.

    Mrs. Murray (kmurray@op97.org) will offer a variety of materials and techniques. Come when you can and be ready to explore your own ideas, work at your own pace, and make new friends in a creative environment just for artists! Art club is FREE!


Fridays
  • Service Club meets at 8am in room B209. We organize & promote the school's service projects such as food drives, coat drives, the holiday food and gift basket program, and more! If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Susan Walsh (swalsh@op97.org) or Ms. Blanca Martinez (bmartinez@op97.org).

Social Justice Club

Dear Brooks Families,


District 97 believes that students play a valuable role in shaping the climate and culture of their schools. With the support of the community, we have expanded opportunities for student voice in an effort to create a more positive and welcoming learning environment for all.


In November 2019, Brooks launched a school-led Social Justice Club, which is organized around social justice standards and a student voice curriculum. The goals of the club are to continue to improve school culture, and to promote and develop leadership skills in our students.


Our Social Justice Club staff leader is our climate and culture coach, Gina Harris. She will hold open meetings for students each month that have the following areas of focus:


  • Establishing the foundation of the club (developing roles and expectations, establishing a sense of community)

  • Analyzing the school community (assets and challenges)

  • Conducting research and developing ideas for solutions

  • Implementing solutions and reflecting


Our next meeting will be held in January 2020. Details will be shared with students and families when we return from winter break. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the club, please contact Nichelle Stigger at nstigger@op97.org.


Thank you for your partnership on behalf of our students!


April Capuder

Principal


Invitation to Necessary Space

Adapted from Micky ScottBey Jones


Together we will create “necessary” space

Because there is no such thing as a “safe space”

We exist in the real world

We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.

In this space

We seek to turn down the volume of the outside world,

We amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,

We call each other to more truth and love

We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow.

We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know.

We will not be perfect.

This space will not be perfect.

It will always be what we wish it to be

But

It will be our necessary space together

And

We will work on it side by side

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OPEF VEX Robotics

This year we are offering two cool programs for D97 middle school kids to enjoy. We look forward to another exciting VEX Robotics season at both Julian and Brooks.


  • The In-House Club is designed for students with little or no experience with robotics and for students who cannot commit to the long season of our Competitive League.


  • The Robotics Competitive League is an intensive program for the dedicated technology student, especially those who want to take their experience with VEX Robotics and programming to the next level.


To sign up or learn more information about our programs, visit our OPEF VEX Robotics page at https://www.opef.org/programs/vex-robotics/


Brooks in-house contact - Brian Shinners, bshinners@op97.org

Girls on the RISE -

Girls on the Rise is a program offered in partnership with Brooks and the Oak Park Township. Girls on the Rise provides prevention and empowerment to minority girls. We strive to instill confidence in girls to utilize problem-solving skills through communication and respect. Our program plans to build social, communication and leadership skills, healthy relationships with peers and adults, raise self-esteem and self-awareness and create a sisterhood of strong young ladies.


The 8th Grade Girls group will begin meeting on January 15th, 2020.

For more information contact Dominique Hickman at dhickman@oakparktownship.org

YEMBA

YEMBA is a hands on, community based forum for connecting, serving, educating, strengthening and empowering our youth physically, mentally and spiritually. For female and male youth grades 6th through 8th. Join your friends, classmates and peers in our mentoring empowerment program. A fun, safe, exciting experience and learn skills that will last a lifetime.

Wednesdays - 3:30pm 6:30pm

Includes: Homework help, mentoring, recreation workshops, snacks, guest speakers and much more...

For more information contact:

YMBA, INC.

(773) 842-5022

email: www.yemba@yemba-inc.org

Website: www.yemba-inc.org

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Community Programs

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.

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Attendance of Children at OPRF Sporting Events

Oak Park and River Forest High School recently implemented a new rule when attending athletic events. Effective immediately, children ages 11 and younger will not be allowed to attend athletic events at OPRF unless they are accompanied by an adult age 18 or older. Please click here for the full message from the high school.

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