The Mustang Memo

Week Ending 5/1

Thank You's and Weekly Announcement

Thank you so much to Ms. Espinoza, Ms. Balliet, and Ms. Baylian for all of their work on the Virtual Variety Show! It was so wonderful! Your hard work is appreciated and everyone loved it.

Thank you so much to all of the students who performed in the variety show. We loved your great acts!!!

Friday, May 1st announcements including PBIS winners and Birthdays

Important Dates/Things to Remember

  • Friday, May 8th - Remote Learning Planning Day
  • Friday, May 15th - Remote Learning Planning Day
  • Friday, May 22nd - Remote Learning Planning Day
  • Each Sunday you can find the updated weekly plans on the Mann Website in addition to getting them daily from the teachers

Principal's Message

Dear Mann families:

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Mann over the last six years. It is a wonderful community. I wanted to let you know I will be heading back to Longfellow next year to assume the role of Assistant Principal. I have appreciated all of the support while at Mann, and I have learned a lot during my time as a Student Support Specialist and Interim Principal. I will carry many great memories with me as I move onto the next chapter of my professional life. Mr. Hussain Ali has been meeting our different school leadership groups and will meet the whole staff next week. He will be reaching out to the Mann community shortly and will be at the May 14th PTO meeting. I hope you can attend to meet him. I will continue to work hard for Mann and am working closely with him during this transition. Thank you again for the wonderful Mann years.

Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week is coming up: May 4th - May 8th

Next week, Monday May 4th - Friday, May 8th is Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week. It would be great if you could send a short note of thanks to the staff that have worked with your children this year. It is so strange not to be at school. The staff misses the students and families SO much and I know how much notes would mean to them during this challenging time.

Important for Incoming Kindergarten Students

Yearbook - Information from Beth Siegel

I would like to invite you to begin uploading your candid photos for potential inclusion into the Mann Yearbook. Follow this link:

Click on "Photo Post" and select IL, Oak Park, and Horace Mann

Create an account if this is your first time logging in, or get logged in if you're a repeat helper. I promise not to spam you with anything after you're done uploading photos. (If you had an account last year, it was likely disabled and you'll need to create a new one.)

Follow the prompts to upload your photos.

Select the folder or create a New Folder (name it) --> Upload --> Add files --> select the photos from your computer --> repeat as needed

You can upload photos to the existing folders, or create a new folder. When naming a folder, please use a title that reflects the event. Please see the list at the bottom of this email for ideas of what we're looking for. I will be updating this list and may send out more requests as I start filling in specific pages. You do no need to put the names of the students in the photos, but please somehow include the teacher name the student(s) are in if a picture doesn't fit into one of the specific categories below.

***If you'd like to help with building the yearbook or if you have problems or questions about uploading, please contact me at The deadline is ever-changing, but we don't want this year to go by without a yearbook. This will be one to look back on for sure!!!

I could use some extra hands to build some of the pages.

Thank you so much for your help!

Beth Siegel


Mental Health Wellness Appointments (NEW)

Mental Health Wellness Appointments
We recognize that this time of crisis may create stress and trigger emotional difficulties for your child. D97’s school psychology department is offering acute (short-term) access to mental health wellness checks. Scheduled appointments are available daily between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. for mental health triage services during the COVID-19 school closure beginning April 13, 2020.

Parents/Caregivers, you may sign up your student for a 15-minute slot here: if you think your child would benefit from an empathetic ear and a few coping and self-care tips. When signing your child up, please provide the email (for video chat) or phone number you’d like us to contact at the time of the appointment.

Although this crisis may also be tough for adults, these mental health triage appointments are reserved to focus on student needs. If you have questions as a caregiver/parent, please email your building’s assigned school psychologist, your child’s educational team, or refer to this resource guide, created by the District 97 Social Work Department:

Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee

Please see the blurb and linked flyer for information about the BPAC Online Support Group this Saturday, May 2.

BLURB: The Oak Park Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee (BPAC) will host an online parent-to-parent support group for parents on Saturday, May 2, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The purpose of the group is to provide support to BPAC and EL parents in District 97 in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Event flyer and details >

Meal Distribution on Monday, May 4th

District 97 will hold meal distributions every Monday, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Longfellow Elementary School (for Julian and feeder schools), 715 S. Highland Ave., and Brooks Middle School (for Brooks and feeder schools), 325 S. Kenilworth Ave. Meals are available to any District 97 family in need. Each student will receive breakfast and lunch items for five days.

If you have any questions, please contact our food service coordinator, Carla Ellis, at

Free/Reduced Lunch Applications

Given the economic impact of COVID-19, families may have experienced a financial change such as income reduction or job loss. Even if it is temporary and regardless of other financial factors, a change of income may qualify your children for free or reduced lunch from now until October 1, including summer meals. We encourage all families who have experienced a loss or reduction of income to take a few minutes to complete the National School Lunch application. To learn more or access the application, please visit Applications will also be available at our meal pick-up sites.

District 97 Staff Referral Program

We are always looking for talented, dedicated individuals to join the District 97 team! We know that some of our best teachers and staff members have come to District 97 based on a referral. If you know somebody who you believe would be a good fit for our district, please fill out the D97 Staff Referral Form. If you have any questions, please email the human resources department at

OPRF Youth Summer Camp Program and Swim Camp Canceled

Oak Park and River Forest High School has announced that all camps for youth through eighth-grade, including Huskie Swim Lessons Camp, have been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read the letter from the OPRF Athletics Department >

Technology Support

Technical support will be available from school and district technology staff by accessing the Help Desk through email, 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.

Video Created by D97 Social Workers and Psychologists

District 97 social worker Abby Berman and school psychologist Rike Neubert put together a video with tips and self-care ideas to help students and families cope during our school closure. Click here to view the video >families that they really wanted a way to connect with each other.

Mental Health Resource, "Call4Calm"

It's now been four full weeks that students have been learning from home. 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.

Community Resources

Community Resources/ Public Health updates:

CDC - Center for Disease Control informational website

Village of OP (resources specifically for OP)

Sign up for Village emergency notifications

How to talk with your child about COVID-19 and talking points from CDC (Community Mental Health Board resources)

Helpful information:

Comcast will provide low-income residents with 2 months of free internet to help them work from home:

Free/Reduced Lunch Supports for D97 students

Beyond Hunger- Oak Park

(OP Food Pantry) - will relax requirements for families to access food. There will be no questions asked for anyone who requests food.

Walgreens is also waiving delivery fees for all eligible prescriptions, beginning Friday, March 13th

Mindfulness Strategies: These are ways to help manage stress and maintain well being. There are many different activities online, these are two suggestions.

Leaves on a stream (mindfulness/meditation)