Week Ending 2/5
Thank you All for your patience and understanding as we made the transition to Hybrid Learning this week. We appreciate how supportive you have all been as we prepared for this transition. Those of you who returned to campus, we appreciate your cooperation with the new safety protocols. Everyone at home, thank you for your grace as the teachers once again make adaptations to their teaching platform. Outstanding job Longfellow Community!
Black History Month family resources
Monday, February 1, 2021, symbolized the start of Black History Month. I believe it is essential for us to honor black people's strength, creativity, and resilience in the face of inequity and violence, both past and present. To celebrate the past, acknowledge the present, and inspire the future, below you will find several resources for families to review and enjoy together. As a community, we bring our individual cultures, values, and beliefs, all of which unite and link us to a common dream, a dream that celebrates and embraces equality for ALL
- Here's a list of free ebooks from Epic about Black History.
- There are great databases from the OPPL called African American History Online (older students) and PebbleGo Biographies (younger students). They're fantastic for learning about Black Americans throughout history. You will need a library card for African American History but NOT Pebble Go!
- This is a Youtube Playlist called Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices that has 13 picture books read by famous people.
- Here is a YouTube channel from StoryCorps that tells the stories of everyday African American voices that have had an impact.
- Other good videos: PBS Kids, Black History Month Playlist from Educational Videos
- Here are some more free options through Microsoft. There's an array of topics and many are narrowed down by grade level. There are 98 choices!!!!
Author Visit/ Book Order
On Monday, February 8, some of our upper-grade classes will participate in an online author visit with Alan Gratz, author of Refugee and Ground Zero. If your family would like to order a copy of the books from Anderson's Book Fair, please use the link below. Orders received by 2/16 will come with an autographed book plate you can place in your books. Andersons will ship the books to school, or you can select to have them delivered to your home. If you have questions, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Longfellow School Approved Snack List 2021
Our classrooms are safe places for all children. Due to food allergies, food brought into classrooms must not contain:
Peanuts, tree nuts, nuts of all kinds, sesame (hummus), milk (dairy), fish and shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster)
Our students are not permitted to share snacks and the type of snacks they are permitted to have are outlined below. This list does not contain brand names. We will need parents to ensure that the products below do not contain nuts. Per district policy, snacks must be “peanut/tree nut free”. They cannot contain peanuts, peanut butter, or tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, etc. If you are concerned about a snack, ask the student to raise the label up to you, so that you can read it. Foods must not contain the following warnings and/or ingredients:
· Peanuts or tree nuts are listed as an ingredient
· “May contain nuts” warning
· “Food may have been processed in a facility that contains nuts” warning
Manufacturing practices change often, so please read labels if in doubt in order to ensure the safety of all students.
Please encourage the following snacks to be brought to your classroom:
· Fresh fruit
· Fresh vegetables
· Dried fruit
· Apple squeezers
· Packaged popcorn (plain or salted only, not cheesy or buttery)
· Packaged pretzels
Longfellow Elementary School Nurse
Dear Longfellow Parents,
As District 97 moves to hybrid in-person learning, Hephzibah will be offering both an afternoon hybrid option and a full day remote option for families. The afternoon program will be on-site at Longfellow.
Fully Remote Learning Program:
Hephzibah will be offering a fully remote learning program at United Lutheran Church in northeast Oak Park. This site will offer 4 classrooms (total enrollment of 50 children). Both school day (7:30 am – 3 pm, Monday through Friday) and full day (7:30 am – 6 pm, Monday through Friday) options are available at United Lutheran Church. The first day of attendance for this program will be Monday, February 1, 2021.
Hybrid Learning Program:
Hephzibah will be providing afternoon hybrid learning programs Monday through Friday from 12 – 6 pm on site at Longfellow. Attendance in this program will begin the week of February 1 in accordance with District 97 plans.
ONE registration form must be completed for each child you are registering. This allows us not to over-enroll.
The draft fee scale for the remainder of the second trimester is attached.
District 97 will continue providing full or partial scholarships during the second trimester for families with incomes under $100,000. For more information on this, please email Annette Anderson.
Click on the following site-specific links to register.
Please email Amy if you have questions.
Social-Emotional Wellness Check-Ins for Students
We are continuing to provide social-emotional wellness check-ins this fall. The District 97 school psychologists and school nurses collaborated to offer access to virtual mental health wellness checks at each school. Parents may sign up children for 25-minute Telehealth sessions where they can access an open ear for their sources of stress and learn self-care and coping strategies. Students may attend up to three sessions per trimester and may then be referred for other school-based supports if needed. If your child is experiencing an immediate mental health crisis, please do not use this service and instead call the Thrive 24hr Crisis Hotline at 708-383-7500. You may also refer to this local resource guide provided by the Community Mental Health Board of the Oak Park Township.
How can my child access this service?
The virtual sessions will occur during school hours.
Use this Longfellow Wellness Sign-Up Link to book open slots. The appointment page will open within your own calendar. (If you do not have a Gmail account, you may contact email@example.com). Prior to the appointment, you will receive a link for the video call or other access information.
During these unusual times, we need to partner with you to ensure your child arrives at the correct video link during their scheduled time and returns to their classroom Zoom after the appointment. Please remember to coordinate with your daycare providers if applicable.
We will inform your child’s teacher, so your child will be excused from class.
Please book appointments by the night before the appointment (at the latest) and not on the day of the appointment.
CrisisGo: Student Health Certification Due Daily for Hybrid Learners
Information about CrisisGo and resources to help families are available at https://www.op97.org/updatecenter/crisisgo.
Longfellow Back to School for Families/ Hybrid Safety Procedures and School Improvement Plan
These slides were presented at the recent PTO Community Meeting. Here is a recording of the meeting: https://zoom.us/rec/share/e-8ylGdrzY2Sgp6AJ-S9ZxY4vuG4fthtC6i0PLNRUG52v47NTAWE_fmFB-2LAnCU.l368J5A0ZgzjyzhA Passcode: io9F9ZH$
District News Below
Winter Weather - Emergency Closing Information
Winter is here and that means there may be times when District 97 schools close due to weather-related conditions or other emergency situations. We make every effort to keep our schools open, but circumstances beyond our control sometimes make it unsafe for our students or staff to get to school safely.
New this year: Rather than closing school on days when it would be unsafe for students and staff to get to school, we will notify our employees and students’ families that the district will have a Remote Learning Day. Because all of our students are already equipped with iPads or Chromebooks, making the temporary shift to remote learning should be fairly seamless. This also means that there will be no need to extend the school year further into summer to make up for lost days.
Whenever possible, District 97 will seek to make and communicate decisions regarding weather-related closings by approximately 8 p.m. the day before. This will include notifying stakeholders if the forecast or conditions warrant additional monitoring prior to making a final decision. If the forecast changes or conditions deteriorate after 8 p.m., we will let people know about the status of classes and/or afterschool activities no later than 5:30 a.m. the next day. Visit our Emergency School Closing Information webpage for more information.
Cold Weather Reminders
With frigid temperatures expected in the Chicago area over the next week, we also wanted to share a couple of reminders for families:
- In order to preserve our classroom pods and COVID-19 safety protocols, we will not be able to allow students to enter their buildings early in cold weather. Please arrive at the designated time and ensure that students are dressed in warm layers.
- In the event of single-digit temperatures or wind chill, students will remain indoors during the school day. Elementary students will still be provided a snack break of no more than 15 minutes, following the school safety protocols for COVID-19.
D97 to Host Virtual Parent-to-Parent Circle Series
District 97 families are invited to join our upcoming Virtual Parent-to-Parent Series, which will be facilitated in partnership with the E-Team of Oak Park. Events will be held:
- Thursday, Feb. 18, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Thursday, March 18, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Thursday, April 29, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The sessions are designed to build community among District 97 parents and guardians and provide support as we navigate hybrid learning. The intention is for parents/guardians to attend all three sessions to help build a consistent community, but if you cannot make the first session you may still attend the others. Please let us know your availability in the registration form so that we can plan accordingly.
The deadline to register is Tuesday, Feb. 16. To sign up, please visit https://bit.ly/D97ParentCircles.
Responding to a Positive COVID-19 Case
In the event that a District 97 student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they must immediately notify their school nurse so they can initiate our response protocols and begin contact tracing. In an abundance of caution, the school will place the affected classroom in an adaptive pause for 14 calendar days, meaning students will participate in remote learning. We will also notify the school community via email, and information will be updated weekly on the District 97 COVID-19 dashboard. Click here to view our COVID-19 response procedures >
When to Stay Home from School/Work
We ask that our entire District 97 community help keep our schools safe by adhering to our COVID-19 guidelines. This includes students/staff staying home if they:
- Are feeling sick
- Have tested positive for COVID-19
- Are waiting for a COVID-19 test result
- Are a close contact of a positive/probable COVID-19 case
- Have traveled for more than 24 hours out of state.
Keep D97 Safe: Please Avoid Non-Essential Travel
Travel increases the risk of exposure to the coronavirus for our students, staff and community. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. If staff, students or families travel out of state for more than 24 hours, they should not report to school. The Cook County Department of Public Health recommends that residents avoid all non-essential activities, including school and work, for 14 days upon their return to suburban Cook County. The district's quarantine requirements are outlined in our Framework for Reopening Schools.
Wanting to confirm information you've heard regarding our schools?
Oak Park District 97 is committed to providing accurate and timely information. Our new Fact Checker will be updated consistently based upon common questions and concerns to ensure you have access to the key facts that interest you most.
Please note that we are unable to accept requests to switch from remote learning to hybrid during Trimester 2. A new enrollment form will be sent to families in February for Trimester 3.
Text Messages from District 97
District 97 uses the notification system BrightArrow to communicate with families via email and phone calls. This year, 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).
Information Session Recordings: Single Subject/Whole Grade Acceleration and Early Admission to Kindergarten/First Grade
Two parent information sessions were held in January to discuss acceleration opportunities in District 97. Please click the links below to view the recordings. http://www.op97.org/acceleration.
District 97 to Continue Providing Free Meals to All Students
February Breakfast/Lunch Menus
Meals will be provided free of cost this fall to any District 97 student in need. Each bag of food will contain five breakfasts and five lunches.
Meal distributions will be held every Tuesday, 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.