October 30th

Twitter Highlights: Week 10

Please click on the above link to see highlights from this 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!

Brooks News to Know

Halloween, Tuesday October 31st

Halloween Costume: On Tuesday, 10/31 we ask students to turn in a food item or $1 to your first period teacher to support the Service Club Food Drive and to earn the privilege to dress up for Halloween.

Please be mindful that we strongly discourage the wearing of costumes for Halloween that stereotype, demean or make fun of other people - especially of other cultures. Please talk with your students about the importance of respecting others. Students cannot wear anything that covers their face nor can they have "props" that look like a weapon.

8th Grade Transition Tour at Oak Park River Forest High School. 8th Graders will be touring the high school on Tuesday, 10/31 in the morning. Due to the visit to the high school, we recommend that 8th graders not dress up for Halloween.

Coffee with Capuder - Friday, November 10th from 8:30am to 9:30am

Dr. Kelley will be joining us to share the District Vision and action plan. Additionally, Ms. Stacie Klein, our 8th Grade Assistant Principal, will be sharing information about making the High School transition. Hope to see you in the Brooks Common on Friday, November 10th!

Here is link to upcoming topics to be discussed at Coffee with Capuder and at the PTO Community Meetings.

**The Coffee with Capuder date was changed from 11/3 to 11/10.

Media Center - Overdue Book Notices

Students with overdue books will be reminded on Monday, 10/30, in advisory. Later in the week, keep an eye out for an email if your student still has an overdue book. Thanks!

GBMS School Improvement Plan

Brooks Middle School Improvement Plan has been posted to our website! The staff is diligently working on steps to continue to improve Brooks for students to thrive academically and socially. We are taking action to ensure our students have a positive learning environment that is equitable, inclusive and focused on the whole child. Please feel free to email me (acapuder@op97.org) with any questions.

October is Anti-Bullying/Upstander Month

Bullying Resources

According to StopBullying.gov, "Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems."

A few videos to view with your student:

Second Step: Bullying in NOT a Noun Video

What One Person Can Do to Help.

Burger King PSA video

See what conversation sparks after watching the videos together with your student.

Share this resource with your student: What Teens Can Do About Bullying, an article from StopBullying.gov.


The New York Times recently published this piece on many apps gaining traction with kids before adults are even aware of them that enable students to anonymously post comments about others: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/06/style/teen-apps-bullying.html

Link to article about sexting from Common Sense Media that also contains a Sexting Handbook.

Please let your student know that if they are being bullied or witnessing bullying behavior, to please speak up. Talk to a parent, grand parent, guardian, teacher, social worker, schoool resource officer, administrator, lunchroom staff or whoever is a trusted adult in their life, so we can work together to stop bullying behavior and provide the support needed to those who are being bullied and to those who are engaging in bullying behavior.

Brooks First Diversity Committee Meeting Call-In: Nov 2nd

Who: All Brooks Parents and Caregivers Interested in Diversity and Inclusion at Brooks

What: A First Call to Brainstorm Who We Want to Be

When: Thursday, November 2, 2017, 7:00-7:45pm

Where: Dial-In: 515-604-9863, Access Code: 269642

Here is agenda for the meeting. If you have any questions, please email Renee Dixon at sheritaj75@gmail.com.

Sex, Drugs & SnapChat Workshop - November 8th at OPRFHS

Impact and OPRFHS Parent Connection join forces to bring you and your student(s) an engaging and interactive workshop to help you learn how to encourage your student to make healthy choices.

Workshop is on Wednesday, November 8th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm in OPRFHS 2nd Floor Cafe.

Please RSVP by 11/1 to Latonia Jackson at 708-434-3008 or ljackson@oprfhs.org Childcare and translations are available by request only, 1 week prior to the event.

Here is a flyer with all the information.

NAMI - Family Education and Advocacy Series

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is hosting Family Education and Advocacy Series at the Oak Park Library. Here is flyer that describes the workshops, dates and times.

Discussion with Professor Amanda Lewis on November 13th

Please join in for an exciting discussion with Amanda, Lewis, Author of Despite the Best Intentions: Why Racial Inequality Persists in Schools.

Discussion Topic: Going beyond good intentions to focusing on impact: How we can all work together to take action and help our schools realize our values of educational excellence with equity for all Oak Park children.

WHEN: Monday, November 13th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

WHERE: Longfellow School: 715 Highland Street, Oak Park, IL 60304

SPACE WILL BE LIMITED. Please register here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYCGQTL

Here is flyer for more information.

Sponsored by D97PTO Diversity Council

Updating Family Contact Information

If you have a change in your phone or email contact information, please use this form to send us your updated contact information.

For Current 8th Grade Families - OPRFHS Testing Information

The OPRF placement test will be offered on Saturday, December 2nd and Saturday, December 9th. The high school will notify families in November about their assigned testing date and time. Please be on the look out for this communication from OPRF.

Below is information about the testing process and what tests will be administered:

STAR Math and Reading Screeners. 34-item online assessments that replaces the EXPLORE test used in prior years. Star assessments adapt as students respond to questions. A correct answer to question 1, for example, will lead to a slightly more challenging item for question 2. An incorrect answer to question 2 would lead to a slightly easier problem for #3. We believe these assessments have advantages over the older, non-adaptive EXPLORE tests in providing information about your child's strengths and needs. They will also take approximately half the time to administer compared to EXPLORE.

Here is a website for a parent guide to the STAR Assessments:

  • OPRFHS math test, including supplemental math items from retired PLAN and ACT tests. These items will focus on advanced algebra and geometry concepts that are not included on the Star math test.

Here is a website with sample test items:

  • Spanish, French, and Italian language tests. Students currently enrolled in Spanish, French, or Italian who intend to continue in the same language in high school will also take a world language placement test for that language. No language test is required for students currently enrolled in German language classes, students not currently enrolled in a language class, and students who intend to switch to a new language in high school.

Please let Ms. Klein​ know if you have any questions or visit the OPRF website at:


For Current 7th Grade Families: Springfield Trip and Washington D.C Trip Information

I am excited to announce that I am the Program Leader for the 2018 Springfield and Washington, DC trips.

  • Springfield - Friday, April 20, 2018
    • For those of you who would like to take advantage of the EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNT by November 15, you will ONLY pay $49 to register.
    • Refer to Brooks Group #149246
  • Washington, DC - October 8-10, 2018 (Columbus Day Weekend)
    • For those of you who would like to take advantage of the EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNT by November 17, you will ONLY pay $49 to register ($50 savings).

    • Refer to Brooks Group #156121

I would like to share details about both trips and answer any questions that you may have. Please join me for a parent meeting on:

  • Wednesday, November 1 at 6:30pm in the Brooks Commons (attached Springfield and DC invites)
  • You will also receive information packets in the mail for both trips from WorldStrides. Please DO NOT discard the envelopes.
You can either register online at WorldStrides OR you can call WorldStrides directly (800-468-5899)

  • Payment arrangements are available.
  • If you are in need of financial assistance, you may also reach out to WorldStrides to inquire about their Flag Scholarship.

If you have questions, please email Janorisè Robinson.

Thank you!

Janorisè Robinson

Parent Volunteer & Program Leader



Important Information from Middle School Librarians

We are purchasing Gale databases for research and information-gathering for the 2017-18 school year.

Here is a letter with more specific information provided by our middle school Librarians.

You can access additional information about Gale’s In Context Suite by visiting http://www.gale.com/databases/in-context. If you have comments, questions or concerns about these resources, please contact your child’s teacher librarian.

Interested in ordering a Yearbook?

Please place orders for 2017-2018 yearbooks online here.

Brooks Facebook Group

This group provides a forum for reciprocal communication between the school, parents, students and the larger community

Please view posts or request to join so you can create or respond to posts!

Let's Talk - Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School

District 97 has invested in a resource called Let’s Talk that students, faculty, staff, parents/guardians and community members can use to communicate with us about our departments and services, and share feedback on important issues and topics that will shape the future of our schools and help the children we serve realize their full potential.

Here is the direct link to Brooks Let's Talk to share your question, comment, question, concern or compliment with us. We look forward to hearing from you!

You can also access additional information about the system by visiting - http://www.op97.org/news/1443643/district-97-launches-let-s-talk-communication-system.

Recognizing Staff who Make a Difference

If you or your student would like to recognize any staff member (a teacher, a teacher assistant, social worker, librarian, front office staff, lunchroom staff, custodial staff or school administrator) please take a moment to complete this form.

Thank you to those who have completed this form to recognize a GBMS staff member. All individuals receive a printed certificate highlighting your appreciation for their contributions!

Please be sure your background check has been completed if you'd like to volunteer to chaperone Field Trips

Parents must make an appointment for background checks. They can go to the district website, click Background Check Appointments under Quick Links to schedule an appointment. Here is the direct link for the remaining appointment slots through October 19th: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080b48a9ab22a0fd0-background

Breakfast and Lunch Menus for November

Clubs and Sports Information

click above to see open spreadsheet that has a tab for all SPORTS and tab for of all CLUBS offered at Brooks with sponsor email, dates, times and location details.


None hosted at Home this week!

CLUB OPPORTUNITIES (can join anytime)

Each club meets weekly, unless otherwise notated below.


  • ORFF Ensemble from 8:00am to 8:50am in D104 (first meeting was on 9/18). Participation is open to all students - no audition required, but enrollment is limited to 40 students. Interested students can sign-up and pick up permission slips outside of the music room (D104). For additional information contact Mr. Carrillo - fcarrillo@op97.org. Still opportunity to join.
  • Ultimate Frisbee from 3:30pm to 4:40pm in 3rd floor gym. If you have any questions, please email Ms. Dajani at rdajani@op97.org or Mr. Gillespie at mgillespie@op97.org. (Weather Permitting)
  • Math Team from 3:30-4:30 in room B204 . The club will meet each week. Students of all interest levels are welcome. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Kahn at skahn@op97.org.
  • Spoken Word from 3:30pm to 5:30 pm in room B205. If you have any questions, please email Mr. Lee at mlee@op97.org


  • EcoEagles from 3:30pm to 4:30pm in room C302. If you have any questions, please email Ms. Stamp at lstamp@op97.org.
  • Chess Club from 3:30 to 4:45 in room B305. If you have any questions, please email Mr. Hausfeld at mhausfeld@op97.org.
  • Vex Robotics In-House League from 3:30 to 5 pm in room B302, 10/03-12/19 (no meeting 10/31, 11/21); Robot Rumble on 12/12 . You can learn more by viewing flyer or OPEF VexRobotics website. or if you have any questions, please email Ms. Pena at tpena@op97.org
  • Rainbow Tribe after school until 4:30 in 2nd floor conference room next to PE classroom. The next meeting is on Tuesday, November 7th. Schedule and permission slip found here. If you have any questions, please email Ms. Olsen at jolsen@op97.org


  • Ultimate Frisbee from 3:30pm to 4:40pm in 3rd floor gym. If you have any questions, please email Ms. Dajani at rdajani@op97.org or Mr. Gillespie at mgillespie@op97.org. (Weather Permitting)
  • Best Buddies General Meeting on Wednesday, November 1st from 3:30pm to 4:30pm in Commons. If you have any questions, please email Ms. Beauprez or Ms. Touchette. Here is calendar of dates for all Best Buddies meetings.


  • Art Club meeting from 3:30pm to 4:45pm in room D301. If you have any questions, please email Ms. Murray at kmurray@op97.org.
  • Spanish Club from 3:30 to 4:30pm in room B308. Meeting this week is on November 2nd. If you have any questions please contact Mr. Lagioia at vlagioia@op97.org or Ms. Villalobos at cvillalobos@op97.org.
  • Yearbook Club meeting from 3:30 to 4:30pm in room B202. The club meets 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. The next meeting is November 9th. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Marsha Turner-Reid at mturnerreid@op97.org or Ms. Meaghan Pabellon at mpabellon@op97.org


  • Service Club from 8am to 8:45am in room B209. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Walsh at swalsh@op97.org or Ms. Martinez at bmartiez@op97.org . We are collecting food for the Fall Food Drive. The food drive will run from October 2nd to October 30th. Please turn in food to your advisory teacher. Prize will be given to advisory with most food items collected!

Student Innovation Team

Calling all students interested in engaging further with technology at Brooks: we are now accepting applications for this year's Student InnovationTeam! The Student Innovation Team is a student-led team of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students which will be designed by its members to support peers using technology at school to learn. You will have opportunities to help others with technology challenges, and learn more about the technology available to us at school. Further details are available in the application, which is available in the Media Center- stop by to get one or linked above! Completed applications should be given to Ms. Dean, Ms. Nelson, or Ms. Keith in the Media Center by Friday, November 4th.

Service Club - Fall Food Drive & Care Packages for Housing Forward

We are collecting food for the Fall Food Drive. The food drive will run from October 2nd to October 30th. Please turn in food to your advisory teacher. Prize will be given to the advisory with most food items collected!

Service Club is also collecting unused travel-size toiletries all year to make care packages for Housing Forward. Please send any donations to Ms. Walsh or Ms. Martínez.

District 97 Instrumental Music Festival

Wed, Nov. 8th @ OPRFHS Auditorium, 7 p.m.

This event will be the first concert of the year for all of our curricular bands and orchestras. This event also includes our band and orchestra students from Percy Julian Middle School. There will be rehearsals at OPRFHS on Monday, Nov. 6th (7th/8th Graders) and Wednesday, Nov. 8th (6th graders) prior to the evening concert. Both the online permission slip and/or hardcopy will be available soon! Please check concert attire requirements through your music director’s communication!

BRAVO Upcoming Events

Disneys’ The Little Mermaid Performances are November 3 - 11 - Tickets are on Sale Now!

Get connected to PTO

PTO Information

When you registered your child, if you selected the option “No to Directory”, the school can not share your contact information with the PTO (Parent-Teacher Organization). If you'd like to subscribe to PTO Bulletin use link below: