Monday, January 10, 2022


Happy Monday and with all that has gone on, I haven't yet said "Happy New Year!".

Thank you for your continued patience as we have worked to keep our school community safe. I look forward to seeing the kiddos tomorrow with their masks up! Please remember to send masks that are appropriately sized and an extra one as well daily. Additionally, please remember to dress students for the weather. We go outside as long as the weather feels like 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

I especially would like to thank you for the kindness and encouragement that has been shown to me and the staff this week.

We will see you tomorrow.

Take care,

Ms. Gordon

Important Dates


11 - Board of Education Meeting

12 - D97 Superintendent Finalists and Virtual Community Forum (information below)

17 - No school for Martin Luther King Day

25 - Board of Education Meeting


3 and 4th - School is dismissed at 11 a.m. for Parent/Teacher Conferences

21 - No School for Presidents Day


According to the Centers for Disease Control and state/local health officials, fully vaccinated individuals do not have to quarantine due to potential COVID-19 exposure as long as they are asymptomatic. Additionally, achieving a high rate of vaccination will strengthen our overall safety plan and will put the district in the best possible position to reconsider other mitigations as conditions improve in our community.

To help us reduce any unnecessary quarantines and accurately track our student vaccination rate, District 97 requests that families submit proof of vaccination for their students as soon as they have received their second dose. There are two options:

  • IF YOU HAVE A GOOGLE ACCOUNT: Fill out a brief Google Form and upload a copy of the student’s vaccination card. CLICK HERE to access the Lincoln vaccine form.

  • IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A GOOGLE ACCOUNT: Email a copy of your student’s vaccination card to Nurse Georgia Donovan (gdonovan@op97.org). Please include the child’s full name and grade.

D97 Superintendent Finalists and Virtual Community Forum on Jan. 12

Dear District 97 Staff, Parents, Students, and Community Members,

The District 97 Board of Education has been working hard to find the next superintendent to lead and serve our great district. After reviewing written applications, checking references, completing background screenings and conducting several hours of interviews, we have narrowed the field to two finalists that we are excited for you to meet, Dr. Kim Nalls and Dr. Ushma Shah. Information about the finalists is included below.

We are inviting the community to meet the finalists, ask them questions, and provide the board with your feedback during a virtual forum on Wednesday, January 12. The forum will be held in two parts—one for each candidate.

  • Dr. Kim Nalls, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Dr. Ushma Shah, 7:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

About the Finalists

Dr. Kim Nalls

Kim Nalls, Ed.D., is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Benefits for Rich Township High School District 227. She previously served in Proviso Township District 209 as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources (Operations) and Technology and the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. She is a former high school principal, associate principal and guidance counselor, and began her career as an elementary school teacher.

Dr. Ushma Shah

Ushma Shah, Ed.D., is currently the Interim Chief Portfolio Officer for the Chicago Public

Schools Office of Portfolio Management. She previously served in Elgin School District U-46 as the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools, Instruction and Equity, as well as the Chief of Equity and Social Justice. She has also been a middle school principal and teacher and an elementary school teacher.

How to Watch

The district will utilize Zoom Webinar to host the forum. The same link will be utilized for both candidates. A recording will be posted to the District 97 YouTube channel.

Format Overview and How to Submit Questions

To open the forum, we have asked both candidates to give a 10-minute presentation to:

  • Introduce themselves and share their stories;

  • Share why they believe they are the right fit for the position and why they are excited about serving the students, staff, and greater community;

  • Describe any professional accomplishments that they think are particularly relevant to the needs and aspirations of District 97.

After their presentation, the candidates will be answering questions from the community. If you have a question that you would like the finalists to address, please email it to op97forum@gmail.com before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11. The Q&A session will be facilitated by our HYA consultants, Constance Collins and Max McGee. We will do our best to ensure that the candidates address as many of the questions from as many stakeholder groups as possible within the allotted time.

At the conclusion of the webinar, you will be able to provide written feedback that Board members will read and review prior to making a final decision. A link will be shared Wednesday night.

We look forward to your participation and to reading your feedback regarding the candidates.


District 97 Board of Education

Oak Park Youth Baseball/Softball Spring T-ball

Spring registration in progress!

Register today for Oak Park Youth Baseball/Softball spring t-ball, baseball and softball leagues ! This year we will be offering an early bird rate of $145 for t-ball and $165 for baseball/softball from Dec. 1 to Jan. 10. The regular season rates ($155 for t-ball and $175 for baseball/softball) will be in place from Jan. 11 until Feb. 15.And then a late fee of $25 will apply for registrations after Feb. 15. Sign up early to lock in the best rate!
Please contact the Lincoln Ambassador, Nicole Nichols at gam54@hotmail.com, with any questions about participating in OBYBS.


Thrive Talks: "All About Gender: What Every Parent Should Know"
Thrive Counseling Center is hosting a session on Jan. 27 titled "All About Gender: What Every Parent Should Know." This talk will focus on today’s fast-changing gender landscape including: current gender concepts, terms, statistics, social-emotional implications, and current best practices. Attendees will learn about the transgender and gender non-conforming experience and gain from the presenter’s experience as the parent of a transgender son. Click here for the session flyer >

Parent Information Session - Early Admission to Kindergarten/First Grade
For families who are seeking early admission to kindergarten or first grade, the district will be hosting a Virtual Parent Information Session on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The session will include a presentation that outlines the process and requirements. Click here to view the event flyer >

For more information about the process for early admissions, please visit https://www.op97.org/teach-learn/acceleration/early-entrance.

Information about Acceleration Opportunities in District 97
Looking ahead to the spring, District 97 is preparing to implement the Single Subject and Whole Grade Level Acceleration process for students eligible for acceleration in the 2022-23 school year.

District 97 believes that all students should be challenged and supported to develop to their maximum potential. For students who demonstrate they may benefit from accelerated placement, we provide opportunities to participate in an instructional setting that is usually reserved for students who are older or in higher grades than the child. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Single subject acceleration
  • Whole grade acceleration

In accordance with the Illinois Accelerated Placement Act, District 97 has continued to refine procedures to ensure equitable access to acceleration opportunities for all students. New this year: all students who are grade eligible to take the Illinois Assessment for Readiness (IAR) must participate in the assessment in order to be deemed eligible for acceleration. The IAR is a critically important measure in determining the mastery of grade level standards and must be considered by the school team along with other sources of data.

Referrals for single-subject and whole-grade acceleration will be accepted from March 1 to May 15 of each school year. The general process is outlined HERE.

Information about the District 97 Accelerated Placement Program, including definitions and timelines, can be found at http://www.op97.org/acceleration. We will send additional communication to families as we near the opening of our referral and application windows next year. Additionally, Family Acceleration Night will be held Wednesday, February 7, 2022, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This information session will provide an avenue for families to share questions as well as receive information about the acceleration process. Please find additional information in the information session flyer.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us by visiting our Let’s Talk page (bit.ly/D97LetsTalk) and clicking the button labeled “Acceleration.”

Stay Home When Sick

Staying home when sick is essential to keep COVID-19 infections out of schools and prevent spread to others—regardless of vaccination status. Symptoms that should be monitored daily by ALL District 97 staff, families and students are:
  • Fever (100.4 or higher)
  • New cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue from unknown cause
  • Muscle or body aches from unknown cause
  • Moderate/severe headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea


Extra Clothes and Extra Masks

Please be sure that your child has a change of clothes at school. Even students in the upper grades have spills, injuries etc. that will require a change of clothes.

We are also asking that all students have an extra mask on hand as well.

Student Attendance

Just a reminder that if your student will be absent, please call or email the office by 8:30 a.m. Please include the reason for your child's absence.

If you need to pick up your child early for an early dismissal, please communicate the to the classroom teacher and email the office at lincolnattendance@op97.org

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"Dr. Pérez makes wellness appointments for acute mental health support for students and families during after school hours on Wednesdays. The slots are 20 minutes and available to reserve on a weekly basis. Please reserve your student slot with some notes on your concerns. Also, parents should ensure their children attend on time to ensure each child is afforded the time needed to discuss their needs with the school psychologist.


Who is the type of student that should participate?

If your child is in need of connecting with a mental health professional for issues that are new and impact their academic performance please reserve your slot to meet with Dr. Perez.

When would the appointments take place?

Wednesdays, after school, starting at 3pm for 20 minute sessions

What type of support would the student and or family receive?

The first session is an intake and consultation approach to designate next steps or resources relevant to the child's needs. The appointments can lead to skill building counseling sessions for at least 3 appointments, referrals to school based or community type services for ongoing support.

Where can I find the appointment calendar to reserve my child's spot?

Visit the google calendar webpage to reserve your Wednesday 20 minute slot.

Click the link - Lincoln Wellness Check-ins with Dr. Perez

District 97 Calendar for 2021-2022

All important dates for the school year!!