Middle Matters

Week of October 11, 2022

In This Issue

Highlights from this week's Middle Matters:

  • Important Upcoming Dates
  • SY22-23 School Calendar
  • Progress Reports and Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences
  • D97 to Host 'Family University' Session on Student Assessments - Tuesday, Oct. 18
  • Latinx Heritage Month & Spirit Week 10/11
  • PTO Meeting - Tuesday, 10/11
  • PTO Volunteers for Book Fair at end of October
  • GBMS Yearbook Purchasing Details
  • Library in the mornings - starting 10/3
  • "Mindful Middle-Schoolers and Mindfulness Matters" Community Talks Fall 2022
  • Change to COVID-19 Mask Mitigation (Repeat)
  • GBMS Athletics Update (All games start @4:30pm; student fans need to go home and come back at 4:25pm on home game days)
  • Clubs and Sports Information (updated weekly)
  • BRAVO Information (updated weekly)
  • Student Announcements (updated weekly)

Highlights from GBMS PTO and District

  • PTO News
  • District News

Repeated Topics in Middle Matters for your Reference
  • Allergy Safe School Information - No Nuts (Repeat)
  • Stay Home When Sick (Repeat)
  • Process for Reporting Positive COVID-19 Cases to D97 Schools (Repeat)
  • How to Report Student Absences (Repeat)
  • Office Phones and Dropping off Items at Brooks (Repeat)
  • School Day (Bell Schedule and A/B/C rotation) (Repeat)
  • Cell Phone/Mobile Devices Away for the Day (Repeat)
  • Tardies to Class (Repeat)
  • Water Bottle Reminders (Repeat)
  • School Registration Information
  • School Physical and Immunization Information
  • Tech Support

Community Partner News

  • Glenbard Parent Series (GPS): Navigating Healthy Families
  • Friday Night Place
  • Leyden Family Services

If you have questions about the upcoming school year, please don’t hesitate to contact me at acapuder@op97.org. You can also contact my Executive Coordinator, Ms. Angel Banks, at abanks1@op97.org or (708) 524-7636.

Our administrative team is also available to help answer your questions.

Angelica Love Curriculum & Instruction AP (6th grade, 7th grade) alove@op97.org

Antoine Bland Curriculum & Instruction AP (8th grade, multineeds) abland@op97.org

Stacie Klein Culture & Climate AP sklein@op97.org


  • Monday - NO SCHOOL; Tuesday - A day; Wednesday - B day, Thursday - A Day and Friday - B Day

  • No School: Monday, October 10th, 2022

  • Noon dismissal: Thursday, October 27th and Friday October 28th

  • Conferences: Thursday, October 27th from 12:45pm to 8pm

  • School Pictures: Wednesday, November 2, 2022

  • No School: Tuesday, November 8th, 2022

  • End of Trimester 1: Tuesday, November 22nd

  • Trimester 1 Report Card Emailed Home: Friday, December 9th

Progress Reports and Parent-Teacher Conferences

Progress Reports

Progress Reports will be emailed home only to the parents/guardian of students that have a 2.25, or lower GPA, and/or those that have a one D and/or U grade by Friday, October 14th.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Please look for an email from one of your child's teachers on Friday, October 14th that contains a Sign-up Genius link to enable you to pick a single 20 minute parent-guardian/Teacher conference time slot on Thursday, October 27th between 12:45pm and 7:40pm. You can opt to meet virtually or in-person. Please indicate your preference in the note section when you get the Sign-up Genius link from your child's teacher on Friday, 10/14. Your child's teacher will send you a confirmation email that will contain the needed zoom link for anyone opting to meet virtually.

**Students will be dismissed at noon on Thursday, October 27th and Friday, October 28th.

D97 to Host 'Family University' Session on Student Assessments - Tuesday, Oct. 18

Join us to learn about student assessments in District 97!

The district will host a virtual Family University session from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Families will receive a Zoom link once they register.

The session will help parents learn about the student assessments given across District 97 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. Please use this form to register and submit any questions you have to our team ahead of time; we will address the most common questions submitted.

Please note that the session will be recorded and shared on the District 97 website for future viewing. We look forward to seeing you there!

Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month

Latinx 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.

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PTO MEETING - Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Hang with Us at the PTO Meeting Tuesday, October 11th at 6p

Click the link to RSVP for this virtual meeting. We will connect as a parent community and hear committee updates. Special topics include a staff presentation on the school improvement plan.


Brooks Books Fair (volunteers needed)

Just around the corner, we have our Brooks Book Fair happening in conjunction with the parent-teacher conferences. Sign up for volunteer slots here.

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GBMS 22-23 Yearbook purchasing details

It's time to purchase your GBMS 2022-2023 Yearbook! If you purchase your yearbook now through October 31st you will receive a 10% discount (Regular price $26.02)! Use the purchase link below to get started. You can also use your TreeRing account to share photos with our Yearbook Team throughout the year as well as design your very own custom pages (first two pages are free). If you have any questions regarding the yearbook, please contact Meaghan Pabellon at mpabellon@op97.org.

Purchase Link: https://www.treering.com/purchase?PassCode=1014096931934358

GBMS Passcode: 1014096931934358

Deadline to purchase a yearbook is April 5th, 2023.

Library Opening in the Mornings - Starting Monday 10/3

  • Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday beginning October 3rd!
  • No pass needed
  • To enter, students wait in-between the Kenilworth doors (by the main office)
  • An adult will escort groups to the library at 8:00, 8:15, and 8:30. For example, if you arrive at 8:10 you will have to wait until the 8:15 group heads up. If you arrive after the 8:30 group has been escorted, you may not enter the library that day
  • You will sign-in and stay in the library until the 8:50 bell
  • These times are for students to quietly read, do homework, or meet as a group to study or work on a project.

"Mindful Middle-Schoolers and Mindfulness Matters" Community Talks Fall 2022

DePaul University, in partnership with the Oak Park Township Community Mental Health Board and District 97, is offering a series of free community talks to the District 97 community as part of the Mindful Middle Schoolers and Mindfulness Matters Program.

The next community talk, "Mindfulness-Based Strategies and Their Applications at Home and School," will be held on October 19 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The session will focused on how mindfulness practices can be helpful in supporting youths' academic and emotional functioning at school and at home. Please go to this link to register.

Change to Masking Protocols for Events, Field Trips (REPEAT)

Mitigation Change: Effective Sept. 30, District 97 will no longer require masks for indoor events or field trips. Masks will continue to be required in the school nurses' offices. Please visit the district website for complete details about our current health and safety protocols.

GBMS Athletics Update (Repeat)

Please be advised that our 2022-2023 athletics are started and all athletic events begin at 4:30 pm. All students are required to leave the building at the end of the school day and return at 4:25 pm to cheer on their fellow eagles!!!!






Players must have a physical on file to tryout.

  • JV Boys Basketball Tryouts - JV is the Boys Basketball Team which includes 6th & 7th grade students. Both 6th & 7th grade students are welcome to tryout on October 12th from 7am - 8:45 am.
  • Varsity Boys Basketball Tryouts - Varsity is the Boys Basketball Team for 8th grade students ONLY. Varsity tryouts will be held on October 13th from 7am - 8:45am.
  • Call back tryouts for JV and Varsity Boys Basketball Teams will be held on Oct 13th from 3:40 pm - 5:30pm.


Please reference the cross country website for next week's practice schedule. The Cross Country coaches for 2022 are Tom Rocco (trocco@op97.org), Lary Grimaldi (lgrimaldi@op97.org) and Kim Beader (kbeader@op97.org). Please see the linked information from the coaches which outlines what is needed each practice and the calendar of practices.


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the coaches, Sam Fishman-Strait, sfishman-strait@op97.org (Junior Varsity) and Dr. Kina Brown, kbrown@op97.org (Varsity).


The district has approved our wrestling program for all students in middle school! There will be an information session on October 1st immediately after school in B105, Mr. Colucci's room. Can't wait that long? Email Mr. Colucci about your interest, questions or concerns at mcolucci@op97.org. Find out more here at https://www.littlehuskieswrestling.org/ or speak to Mr. Colucci and Dr. Holmes. Wrestling is a technical sport and requires people to use their mind to overcome physical challenges and win. If that sounds like something you would like to embrace, come join the team!

Social Justice/Rubik's Cube Club

Our first meeting is Thursday, October 16th from 3:30pm to 4:30pm in room C405. Our beliefs that students play a valuable role in shaping the climate and culture of their schools. With the community's support, we have expanded opportunities for students' voices to create a more positive and welcoming learning environment for all. Celebrating our 4th year, we are excited to hit the ground running, building an inclusive community and curating our Second Annual Black History Month Celebration. The club's goals are to continue improving school culture and promote and develop leadership skills in our students.

  • The Brooks Annual Black History Month Celebration

  • Partnering with Rainbow Revolution Club

  • 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.

If you have questions about the club, please get in touch with Mrs. Nichelle Stigger at nstigger@op97.org

Math Team

Calling all mathletes! Math Team provides students with the opportunity to participate in various mathematics competitions. In the past, Brooks has sent teams to the following events: Fenwick Junior High School Math Competition, The Latin School of Chicago Mathematics Contest, MathCounts, and Math Olympiad. The primary emphasis of the math team is team work and problem solving. Weekly meetings are held on Mondays after school from 3:30-4:30, starting October 3rd. Students of all abilities are welcome. Next meeting is Monday, October 17th.

Best Buddies Club

We will meet this week on Wednesday, October 12th in the Cafeteria. Come to see what we have planned for fall. Bring a friend and get ready to make a friend. See you then! If you have any questions please reach out to Ms. Malina (vmalina@op97.org), Ms. Sefcik (bsefcik@op97.org) or Ms. Gaffney (pgaffney@op97.org)! Best Buddies is the world's largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Here at Best Buddies we will strive to create a sense of belonging here at Brooks through inclusive activities and social outings! Students will have the opportunity to build one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities, offering social interactions while improving the quality of life and the level of inclusion. People with IDD form meaningful connections with peers, gain self-confidence and self-esteem, share interests, experiences and activities that other students may also enjoy!


Did you miss our last meeting? Don’t worry, you can still be part of our team. Come to our next meeting on October 20th in C309. PERMISSION SLIPS ARE DUE AT OUR NEXT MEETING!! Don’t have one, please stop by the 3rd Floor C wing. You can pick up a permission slip form the Art Department Bulletin Board in the hallway. Come with a charged Chromebook so you can begin designing our yearbook.


Intramurals will be every Monday and Thursday after school 3:30-4:30 and meets in the third floor gym. Depending on gym space the activities we will start the year off with will be basketball, football, frisbee and badminton. Please pick up permission slips from Mr. Gillespie (mgillespie@op97.org).

Rainbow Revolution

Brook’s very own group that welcomes students who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies—ALL are welcome here! Our next meeting will take place Monday October 27th (NO SCHOOL MONDAY OCTOBER 10th) at 3:35pm in the Brooks Media Center. If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Berman (aberman@op97.org).

Spoken Word Club

We look forward to beginning a new year of Spoken Word Club in October. Please stay tuned for an update that will include a specific time and place.

BEAT (Brooks Earth Action Team)

We meet on Tuesdays from 3:30-4:30 in Room C202. Everyone is welcome! We have so many cool projects going: designing an outdoor classroom, saving the Rusty Patched Bumblebee (an endangered species!), designing a bird sanctuary, growing food and more!

Chess Club / Game Club

We meet in room C108 from 3:30-5:00 p.m on the following dates:

September: Thursday 29th; October: Monday 3rd, Thursday 13th, Wednesday 19th with more dates coming soon!

Coordinator: Mark Hausfeld mhausfeld@op97.org

The goal of Chess / Game Club is to provide enrichment, teach, sharpen and reinforce game skills while learning to appreciate not only the games themselves but good sportsmanship as well. I hope to help all players, regardless of skill level, improve their “gaming” skills.

**All permission slips can be emailed, dropped in the main office, or brought on the first day our

Crochet Club

We meet on Wednesdays in B202 from 3:30-4:45!

Want to learn how to crochet or want to hang with others that like crocheting? Crochet club is back on! We meet Wednesdays 3:30-4:45. What to bring: Crochet hook (I personally like 3.5mm but look at your yarn for size), Yarn (I have some if needed). Knitters are welcome! Meeting Wednesdays in B202 from 3:30-4:45! Bring a mug for Hot Chocolate! If you have any questions, please email Ms. Rodriguez (trodriguez@op97.org)

Art Club

Meetings every Thursday from 3:30-4:30. Open to all students. Drop in when you can. Make art! Make friends! Email Mrs. Murray to be added to the Canvas course at kmurray@op97.org

Service Club

Service club meets Friday mornings from 8:00am to 8:50am in B209.

Please join us to find out about the service projects we’ll be organizing this year. You are welcome to share your own ideas about how we can help our community too. See or email Ms. Walsh (B209, swalsh@op97.org) or Ms. Martínez (B208, bmartinez@op97.org) with questions.

Service club is hosting a coat drive October 14th to November 4th. A flyer will be coming soon with more information.

Morning Choirs (click here for more info) -

If students are still interested in joining, talk to Mr. Blackman in D105

  • Fledgelings (all 6th grade and 7/8th not in a music class) meets Thursdays at 8am
  • Downbeat (7/8th in Band, Choir, or Orchestra) meets Tuesdays and Fridays at 8am

For more information regarding the clubs (see 2nd tab on spreadsheet):

Brooks 2022 - 2023 Extra-Curricular Activities, which is being updated weekly.


Robotics House League Starting!

The Brooks Robotics House League is starting on Monday October 3, 2022. The House League is the less competitive robotics option at Brooks. House league is geared towards students who have an interest in learning more about the designing, building and coding of robots, without the pressures of the competition team. The house league is geared towards students who are interested in exploring robotics without the pressure of competitions and/or who may not have had any previous experience with robots and coding. The students will work in teams to design, build and code a robot to play a game. If you’re interested, please fill out the Brooks Robotics Club Application by Thursday September 29, 2022. We’ll begin on Monday 10/3/22 after-school in D202 and will meet weekly for about 11/12 sessions. There will be a nominal participation fee to cover the cost of consumable supplies, materials, etc.

If a student is interested in the competition team, House League is a great place to show your interest and for the coaches to get to know you. Spots on the competition team are very limited so this will serve as an opportunity for the coaches to evaluate the student interested in the competitive robotics team at Brooks. Students interested in the competitive team can indicate so on the application.

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Are you interested in learning about the Asian Club??? Then the Asian American Club is just for you! The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 4th from 3:30 - 4:30 pm, and every other Tuesday after that date.
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BRAVO Friday Pizza Lunch

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Open to all 6th, 7th and 8th graders

Open to ALL Brooks 6th-8th Graders

  • Dance Studio - begins this Thursday, September 15. Meets every Thursday from 3:30pm-4:30pm in the 2nd Floor Fitness Room from September 15 - December 1. Culminating performance on December 1. SIGN UP FOR DANCE STUDIO

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Open to any 6th-8th grade students who want to learn what auditions are all about or want to work on making their audition even better!


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The ghoulish return of the MONSTER MASH BASH All School Dance!

Friday, October 21 from 6:30pm-8:30pm.

Tickets are on sale NOW - click the link below or students can grab a paper permission form from the Haunted Ticket Booth outside of the Commons!


PARENTS - we need your help! Please consider chaperoning this fun event!


Open to all current Brooks 6th, 7th and 8th Graders.

6th Grade Auditions


Tuesday, October 25 - sign up starting October 11

Information about the audition sign up will go out next week in the Student Announcements and will be available on the Bravo website: bravoperformingarts.org

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Raise Your Voice Revue - Tickets On Sale Now!

This amazing 7th/8th Grade Musical features your favorite songs from Broadway Shows

The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Legally Blonde and so many more!

Grab the whole family and come support our 7th & 8th Graders on

November 3 & 4 at 7pm.


Student Announcements

Students can find announcements in each Student's Lunch (Green) or Lunch (Yellow) course in Canvas as well as on a button along the left side of our Brooks homepage.


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PTO Weekly Communication

The PTO can't exist without YOU!

Do you want to have the inside scoop on what is going on at Brooks and D97? Do you want to make our school better than it ever as we transition back to a more ‘normal’ school day? NOW is the time to get involved!! We are looking to fill positions for the 2021-2022 school year and have some critical roles open! Sign up here and email gwendolynbrookspto@gmail.com with any questions! We look forward to hearing from you!

Connect with the Brook’s PTO

Please ensure you are a part of the Facebook gbms PTO group. Email gwendolynbrookspto@gmail.com with any questions.

Order your Brooks Spirit Wear

Support the PTO, a local black-owned business, and get awesome Brooks Spirit wear all at the same time! Brooks Spirit wear can be ordered at any time visiting the Brooks section of the Shabby Fly website. Order will be shipped to your home!

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2022 - 2023 District News and Information

D97 Back-to-School Information

As a reminder, we have created a central location for important back-to-school updates and documents: https://www.op97.org/back-to-school.

The district’s COVID-19 Health Safety Plan is linked below and can also be found, along with other COVID-19 resources and information, by going to https://www.op97.org/updatecenter.

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 and 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.

Meal Information for the 2022-23 School Year

The breakfast and lunch menus for our elementary and middle schools are available at http://www.op97.org/business-office/food-service. During the 2022-23 school year, students may:

  • Bring a nut-free lunch from home.

  • Order school lunch.

PLEASE NOTE: During the 2022-23 school year, all students will be required to pay for their breakfast and lunch meals unless they are directly approved by the State of Illinois or approved after completing the 2022-23 Free and Reduced Meal Application.

Food Allergies/Nut-Safe Schools

Nuts and nut products are not allowed in any District 97 schools during the 2022-23 school year. This includes products that are labeled “processed in a facility that shares equipment with nut products.” Our schools have been nut-safe for the past two years—helping to create safer, more inclusive environments for all of our students.

Please visit https://bit.ly/3AyGPpI to access information about the district’s food allergy management program, as well as tips and options for identifying food that is safe for snacks and field trips. We appreciate your support of this important initiative!

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.

Text Messages from District 97

District 97 uses the notification system BrightArrow to communicate with families via email and phone calls. We have started using periodic text messages to send reminders directly to parents' cell phones. In order to receive text messages, parents must opt in by texting YES to 87569. Once you have subscribed, you will receive a text confirmation.

Texts may appear from District 97 from 87569 or a phone number with a 424 area code (you may wish to save them to your contacts).

Wellness Check-in Program

Please reach out to your school's school psychologist or social worker if you have social-emotional concerns about your child. If your child is experiencing an immediate mental health crisis, please call the Thrive 24hr Crisis Hotline at 708-383-7500. You may also refer to this local resource guide created by the Community Mental Health Board of the Oak Park Township.

Repeated Topics For Reference

Keep D97 Schools Allergy Safe - No Nuts Allowed

Please visit https://bit.ly/3j0KGTB to access information about the district’s food allergy management program, as well as tips and options for identifying food that is safe for snacks and field trips.

Nuts and nut products are not allowed in any District 97 schools during the 2022-23 school year. This includes products that are labeled “processed in a facility that shares equipment with nut products.”

We appreciate your help in adhering to this preventative measure.

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Please contact the Brooks Health Office and speak with Nurse Tracy Biggerstaff if you have questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 and any listed symptoms.

(708) 524- 3058 or tbiggerstaff@op97.org

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.

STUDENT ATTENDANCE - How to Report Student Absences

Attendance will be taken every day for each class period by each of your child's teacher and it will be denoted in PowerSchool. Student's are expected to attend each of their classes at their scheduled time and day. If your student will be absent from school, please call the attendance number 708-665-3074 or email brooksattendance@op97.org

Office Phones and Dropping off Items at Brooks

Office Phones

Please note that our office staff sets the phone to go to voicemail from 8:30am to 9:15am daily. Please leave a message of your student's absence or you can email brooksattendance@op97.org. Our office staff will listen to voicemails to call back or direct calls as needed after 9:15am daily. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Dropping off Items at Brooks for your Student

You may drop off forgotten items for your student in the main office. Please note that we will not call into your student's classroom, as it is a disruption to the learning for other students and the teacher in the classroom. Your student should plan to stop by the main office on their way to lunch or between passing periods, if they think you may have dropped off the forgotten item for them to retrieve. We appreciate your understanding.


We will be following a block schedule again this school year. Students will attend 4 of their 8 classes Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday following an A/B Schedule and on Wednesdays following C Schedule where students will attend all of their classes. On the weeks where there is a day with no school, students classes will be A and B days only.

Cell Phone/Mobile Devices Away for the Day

Cell phones/Mobile Devices are not to be used during school hours. This includes calling parents/guardians due to illness, requesting items to be dropped off, etc.

  • Students can ask a teacher to use the classroom phone or the phone in the main office, if needed.

Cell phones are to be turned off/on silent upon entering the school building, stored in the student’s locker, and not used until the dismissal bell rings.

More Information can be found here. This will also be shared with students during the first week of school.

Tardies to Class

Being on time to class is essential for optimal learning for all students. This school year when a student reaches 15 tardies within a trimester, they will meet with their SOAR teacher to develop a strategy to ensure the student will get to all their classes on time. At 25 tardies within a trimester, the student will be assigned a time during their social time to meet with an administrator to reflect on root causes of tardies and develop a plan, additionally, parents/guardians will be contacted. At 35 tardies within the trimester, parents/guardians will be contacted to meet with their student and an administrator to develop a tardy contract.

Water Bottle Reminder

We ask that if possible to please send your student to school with a filled water bottle. There are no drinking fountains open, but we have water bottle filling stations in the school for our students to refill their water bottles when needed.

School Registration for Returning Students

Returning Students

Registration for all returning District 97 students was due June 30. If you have not yet submitted your online registration, please do so immediately. Students who register late are not guaranteed to be approved by the first day of classes. Please note that only students who have completed registration and been approved by the district will be allowed to start school on Aug. 25. Emails either approving your student or requesting additional information come from InfoSnap@is.op97.org and are sent to the email listed for "Parent/Guardian 1" in our system. Please check your spam and junk folders for these emails.

New and Kindergarten Students

Parents who have a new or kindergarten student must start their registration by making an appointment at the district office. Appointments can be made by clicking here. Note: In order to make an appointment you will need to log in with your registration account, or create an account on the login page.

More Information: Registration FAQ's | Registration Required Document Lists | Registration Login Page | Registration Help Line | Request for Records | New/Kindergarten Student Appointment

School Physicals and Immunizations

Incoming 6th-grade students and/or any new students who have transferred into District 97, MUST have a wellness physical and dental exam dated no less than one year prior to August 25th, 2021. Your child's physical must have been performed after August 25th, 2020 . Your child may not be admitted to school without these documents. Please submit the documents by mail or in person no later than August 25, 2021 to the following:

Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School

Attn: Health Office, Nurse Tracy Biggerstaff

325 S. Kenilworth Ave

Oak Park, IL 60302

SPORTS PHYSICALS – The State of Illinois Office of Education requires that any student who wishes to participate in interscholastic sports MUST have an Athletic Physical Examination, dated no less than one year prior to the first day of the current school year, anytime after August 25, 2020. It is MANDATORY that your child have this physical before they will be eligible to try out or participate in any interscholastic activity.

To access student health forms please visit http://www.op97.org/hr/health-requirements

**For any family having difficulty securing an appointment to get the physical completed, please email our School Nurse, Tracy Biggerstaff, tbiggerstaff@op97.org.

Technology Support

Technical support will be available from school and district technology staff by accessing the Help Desk through email, helpdesk@op97.org. 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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The Help Corner will features 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.

District 97 has created Community Resources Page. 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

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 https://tinyurl.com/oprfguide.

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.

Glenbard Parent Series (GPS): Navigating Healthy Families

The Glenbard Parent Series (GPS): Navigating Healthy Families is a distinguished speaker series dedicated to presenting relevant, high-profile authors, educators and clinicians. These high-caliber presenters offer practical research-based knowledge, strategies, and personal experience to support students’ engaged learning, and well-being.

Founded in 1995, GPS is a weekly resource for parents/caregivers/guardians (for children of all ages) as well as students, school staff, professionals and community members. GPS is here to inform, connect, and inspire. All programs are free and open to the public. Many events are presented at both noon and 7pm, and offered in multiple languages.

GPS is a resource for parents, educators, students, and community members to foster self-empowered children who collaborate, communicate, embrace diversity, create and think critically.

For the safety and convenience of our participants the majority of this year’s Glenbard Parent Series events will be presented virtually on zoom. No registration is required and all are welcome to attend.

Programs are offered free of charge, no registration is required, and the public is welcome to attend.

Details, event updates, and Zoom links can be found here: www.GlenbardGPS.org


Classes open to families with children ages 7-17 years of age.

  • Delicious dinner provided. —One night less of cooking dinner!
  • Program proven to work– is taught in all 50 states and 36 foreign countries
  • No cost to you! ...plus your kids will learn skills to help them all the rest of their lives.
  • Must reside in Oak Park or River Forest. (Proof of residency is required, such as ID or Utility Bill.)
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Friday Night Place



WHAT: FNP Announcement

WHO: 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Graders

WHERE: Oak Park, Percy Julian Middle School

WHEN: Beginning Friday, September 16th, 2022

TIME: 3:30p.m. - 5:30p.m.

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SUPPORT4U is a mental health resource for our students to anonymously text licensed mental health clinicians any time of the day for assistance or guidance. Students can text for any issue; typical reasons might include social issues, anxiety, depression, substance use, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, bullying, abuse, or any other mental health-related topic. The clinician’s goal is to steer the student to available resources in the school and community. To use, students just need to go to Support4U.live on their phone, click on the Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School logo and hit send. Help is just a text away.

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YEMBA Mentoring Program will begin on Thursday, October 6th from 3:30 - 6pm and will continue throughout the year on Wednesdays from 3:30 - 7pm and Thursdays from 3:30 - 6pm.
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Thrive Services and Programs


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.