October 7, 2019

Twitter Highlights: Week 6

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!

Student Led Parent Teacher Conferences

Thursday, Oct. 24th, 12:45-8pm

325 South Kenilworth Avenue

Oak Park, IL

Student attendance will be a half day, from 9am to 12pm on 10/24 & 10/25. There will be no lunch served. Buses will run their usual routes.

Teacher teams will begin to contact parent/guardians during the week of October 14th to set up an appointment time.

IAR Spring Assessment Results

On Friday, October 4, 2019, students were given their results from the Illinois Assessment for Readiness (IAR) test that they took last spring.

The result will delineate how he/she performed on the ELA and Math assessments this past spring. To better understand your students IAR score, please visit https://www.isbe.net/Documents/IAR-Score-Interpretation-Guide.pdf.

Please contact your child’s Assistant Principal, if you have questions or need more information regarding your student’s scores:

  • Ms. Angelica Kamysz if your student is on Team 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 7.1, 7.2

  • Mr. Antoine Bland if your student is on Team 7.3, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3

The Mindful Middle Schoolers Program - October 10th at Julian Middle School

Join us October 10 for the first Mindful Middle-Schoolers talk in partnership with DePaul Family and Community Services.

Thursday, October 10 from 6:30 - 8:00 at Percy Julian Middle School for a discussion on Technology and Mental Health: Strategies to promote mindful digital citizenship.

How can we help our children approach technology mindfully? What are benefits and challenges of technology for children? What are strategies to help promote digital citizenship and wellness in youth? Join us for a free talk on technology and mental health. DePaul University, in partnership with the Oak Park Township Community Mental Health Board and D97, plan to offer a series of community talks to the Brooks/Julian middle school communities during the 2019-2020 school year as part of The Mindful Middle Schoolers Program. All are welcome (parents, school staff, students, community members).

Sign up at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/technology-and-mental-health-strategies-to-promote-mindful-digital-citizenship-tickets-75086504757

Attached is a flyer that outlines additional future Mindful Middle Schooler Programming. Below is an image of the flyer.

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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.


October 14th (Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day) - School is in Session

All District 97 schools are open on Monday, Oct. 14 (Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day).

Monster Mash Bash - All School Halloween Dance


Monster Mash Bash - All School Halloween Dance

October 18 - 6:30pm-8:30pm

Open to ALL Brooks 6th-8th Graders

Tickets on sale starting October 1!


Home Avenue Pedestrian Bridge to Remain Closed Until Oct. 11

Internet for All Program

District 97 is now accepting applications for our Internet for All program. Through the program, which we launched two years ago, we are able to offer free home Internet service to students in grades three through eight who do not have access to this critical resource. You can access a video about the program by clicking here, a flyer about the program in English and Spanish by clicking here, and a web page featuring the flyer, the video and additional information about the program by clicking here.

Purchase your Yearbook Today!

Fall 2019 Promotional Discounts For Yearbooks

The Fall is a great time for you and your school community to order yearbooks! You will receive these discounts when ordering early in the school year:

October 1st - October 31st = 10% use code: 1014096931934358

November 1st - November 30th = 5%

During the months of August, September, October, and November when placing online orders the price of the book will reflect these discounts. The discount is calculated on the cost of the yearbook and does not apply to hardcover upgrades or extra custom pages.


  • Student-Led Conferences: Thursday, October 24th from 12:45pm to 8pm
  • End of Trimester 1: Friday, November 15th
  • Trimester 1 Report Card: Friday, December 6th


PTO Business meeting

Join us on Monday, November 11 at 6:00 pm in the Brook’s library for our PTO business meeting.

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.

Last month, the PTO funded a Teacher Grant to Ms. Maggio to add flexible seating to her classroom.


The annual Brook’s Book Fair is coming up during conference week. We have a new Book Fair Vendor this year. Anderson's Book Fair Company. They are a local company based out of Aurora, IL and offer a wide selection of books. We'll need some help with set-up, take down and book fair volunteers in between. A Sign-Up genius will be out next week.
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Clubs and Sports Information

Boys Basketball Tryouts

Boys basketball tryouts for all grades is on Monday October 7th at 7:00am and 3:40 pm.

For questions, contact Darren Haus at dhaus@op97.org


6th graders can have a separate sports physical or the school physical with the sports box checked by their doctor.

7th and 8th graders need to have a separate sports physical because they have to be given every year.
* Please bring 2 copies and turn them in to 1.) Nurse/Office 2.) Coach by the dates according to when your sport begins.

If these requirements for physicals aren't met, they cannot try out for the team.

The following forms must be completed and returned the day of try-outs

These forms can be found at this link:


Math Team

Meets Mondays 3:30pm - 4:30pm in room B409. For more information contact Esther Smith at esmith3@op97.org

Open to 6 - 8 grade students.

Art Club

Meets Thursday’s from 3:30-4:30 October- March in D301. Free and open to all students.

Mrs. Murray 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!

Yearbook Club

Meets the 1st & 3rd Tuesday each month. Room B202 Beginning in October and ends in April.

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat...Are you always sending and posting pictures of things that you have done this past summer? Perhaps you are more into digital graphic design and layouts. Then there is also a place for you in the Brooks Yearbook Club! Maybe you love to draw Anime, cartoons or general pictures and designs. How would you like them pictured in the yearbook?

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

Service Club

First meeting is Friday's, 8am in room B209. Service club meets every Friday morning.

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).

Orff Ensemble

(Xylophone and Drumming Music Group) Monday's, 8:00-8:50 am, Rm D104. Open to all students grades 6-8. No audition required! For more information contact Mr. Carrillo (fcarrillo@op97.org)

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

Ultimate Frisbee

This recreational Frisbee Club meets 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 may be cancelled due to weather.


Eco Eagles will 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

Spoken Word Club

Meets on weekly on Mondays in B205 (3:30 - 5:00 pm) with Mr. Lee and our resident poet artist, Christian Robinson.

For more information contact mlee@op97.org

Rainbow Tribe

Rainbow Tribe will be hosting our 1st meeting on Monday September 30th at 3:30 PM 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!

Girls on the RISE - 6th Grade Girls & 7th Grade Girls

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 6th Grade Girls group's 6th Grade Girls meets on Tuesdays, from 3:30pm to 5:00 pm in room C105.

The 7th Grade Girls group's meets on Wednesdays from 3:30pm to 5:00 pm in room C105.

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

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

Chess Club

Play chess games against other club members..checkmate!

Chess club meets on Tuesdays in Mr. Hausfeld's new classroom C108 from 3:30pm to 5:00pm. For more information contact Coach Hausfeld at mhausfeld@op97.org

Singing Groups Offered at Brooks (extra-curricular and co-curricular)

The Women's Ensemble (name TBD)

This group will be made up of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students whose voices present as female. Individuals are admitted to the highly popular co-curricular groups through an audition process in September. *Students do NOT have to be enrolled in Band, Chorus or Orchestra curricular classes to audition for these groups*. The repertoire for this group will include vocal jazz, showtunes, pop, and classic choral literature.

  • This group will rehearse Tuesdays from 8-8:50 am.

The Men's Ensemble (name TBD)

This group will be made up of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students whose voices present as male. Individuals are admitted to the highly popular co-curricular groups through an audition process in September. *Students do NOT have to be enrolled in Band, Chorus or Orchestra curricular classes to audition for these groups*. The repertoire for this group will include vocal jazz, showtunes, pop, and classic choral literature.

  • This group will rehearse Wednesdays from 8-8:50 am.

The Select Mixed Ensemble (name TBD)

This is an extra-curricular choir made up of 7th, and 8th grade students that focuses on vocal jazz, showtunes, pop, and classic choral literature. Individuals are admitted to the highly popular co-curricular groups through an audition process in September (and possibly a re-audition in December). Students involved in this top group must be enrolled in Band, Chorus or Orchestra during the day, and will be asked to sing with one of the other extra-curricular choirs.

  • This group will rehearse Thursdays from 8-8:50 am.

For more information contact Mr. Blackman at fblackman@op97.org

Music Department Fundraiser

In order to help our students fund their Cleveland Music Trip this year, our students are participating in fundraising efforts. You can place orders directly with the student by check or cash or we accept online orders as well.

When ordering online go to:


and enter the code 46101, Brooks will pop up. If you click Brooks, it will ask you the name and grade of the student you are purchasing from. After that, it takes you to the site and you can choose from the abundant riches of chocolate and cookie dough.

If you have any questions, please contact any of our Music Directors.

Andrew Davis - Band Director adavis@op97.org

Frank Blackman - Choral Director fblackman@op97.org

Fernando Carrillo - Orchestra Director fcarrillo@op97.org

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.

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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We are excited to announce the 2nd Annual Parent Empowerment Workshop at Kids Unlimited Therapy Services, held Saturday Nov 2nd 9am -2:30pm. Topics covered during the workshop include navigation of the school system to secure services, effective mealtime strategies for picky eaters and methods to manage meltdowns. You can also go to our website at www.kidsunlimitedtherapyservices.com to download the forms.
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Free Water Skills/Safety Course through YMCA

The Executive Director of the YMCA is asking for our assistance to drive participation in their FREE water skills/safety course. Please see the list of dates for their upcoming session and engage families to consider. Flyer is linked here. The link for folks to enroll is: http://www.westcookymca.org/saw

Fall II Session: 10/28/19 through 12/22/19
Monday: 6:35 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Tuesday: 6:20 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Wednesday: 5:50 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Thursday: 6:20 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday: 4:30 p.m. to 5:10 p.m.
Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 8:40 a.m.
Sunday: 10:35 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

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By combining science and art, the One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest can be a wonderful part of your curriculum or an extra credit project this school year. Clubs or individuals are also welcome to enter the contest on their own. An added bonus is the positive attention brought to your school via contest winners.

We ask kids in grades 3 up through college age to create a 3 to 8 minute film about one of 6 sustainability topics: energy, food, transportation, waste, water, or open space/ecosystems. If the film is animated, it can be a minimum of 45 seconds long. They should present a problem with their topic and a solution.

Winners in grades 3 to 5 earn $100, winners in grades 6 to 8 earn $200, and winners in grades 9 to 11 earn $350. The prizes go up from there.

Each winner also gets a matching gift to donate to an organization that supports the theme of their film, and winning films premiere at the One Earth Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Center on March 7, 2020.

In recent years, we've had winners from these local schools:

Beaubien Elementary School in Chicago
Burbank Elementary in Burbank

Clissold Elementary School in Chicago

Lincoln Elementary School in River Forest

Longfellow Elementary in Oak Park
Mann Elementary School in Oak Park

Metropolitan Schoolhouse in Chicago

Suder Montessori Elementary School in Chicago

Sutherland Elementary School in Chicago
Willard Elementary School in River Forest

Brooks Middle School in Oak Park
Grace Lutheran School in River Forest

Julian Middle School in Oak Park

Heritage Middle School in Berwyn

Keystone Montessori School in River Forest

L.J. Hauser Junior High in Riverside

Most Holy Redeemer School in Evergreen Park
Roosevelt Middle School in River Forest
Sandburg Middle School in Elmhurst

Hinsdale High School in Hinsdale

Lincoln Park High School in Chicago

Maine West High School in DesPlaines
Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park
Trinity High School in River Forest
York High School in Elmhurst

We would love to see Brooks listed as one of our winners again!

For more information, contest details are at this link: https://www.oneearthfilmfest.org/contest-details

Previous winners are at this link: https://www.oneearthfilmfest.org/winners

All media to post and share are at this link and also attached: https://www.oneearthfilmfest.org/contest-media-kit

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