Longfellow Log

Week Ending 2/19

Important Dates/Reminders and Notes


  • Thursday, February 25th and Friday, Feb. 26th - Conference Days (no school in the afternoon) Students will be dismissed at 10:50 or 11:00.
  • Friday, February 26th 7:00 PM - Harambee Celebration!!
  • Friday, March 12th - 2nd Trimester Ends
  • Monday, March 29th - Friday, April 2nd - Spring Break
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Safety Protocols to Follow

  • If you are dropping off your children in the morning via a car, you can do so on Highland in front of Longfellow or using the cul-de-sac on Cuyler behind the school. Students should NOT be dropped off on Jackson.
  • If dropping off your children via a car, please remember to not have them exit the car until they are the FIRST in line.
  • You should pull up to the playground exit. It is not safe for kids to get out near the parking lot or in line and climb over snow banks; students will not be late and safety is the key.
  • No dogs are allowed on school property (includes in owners' arms)

Illinois 5Essentials Parent Survey - Help Longfellow have a High Rate of Completion

The parent survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. You may skip questions you do not wish to answer, but the survey must be completed in one sitting and cannot be retrieved once it is submitted. If you have more than one child enrolled in a building (i.e., two students who attend the same school), you have the option of completing multiple surveys for that building. In addition, if you have children enrolled in multiple schools (i.e., a District 97 elementary school and middle school), you may participate in the survey for each school.

However, only one parent/guardian per household may fill out the survey.

As with the student and teacher surveys, your identity will be kept completely confidential and your responses will not be linked to you. In addition, school-level reports will only be generated if at least 20 percent of our parents/guardians complete the survey, which can be accessed until April 2, 2021, by visiting http://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/survey/parent/ . This percentage will be based on the total number of students enrolled at each school. If we successfully meet this requirement, we will receive our reports in Spring/Summer 2021.

You can access general information about the Illinois 5Essentials Survey by visiting https://www.uchicagoimpact.org/our-offerings/5essentials .

Thank you for participating in this important endeavor, and for your continued support of our schools and the children we serve.

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


Author Visit/ Book Order

2nd and 3rd had an author visit this week on February 18 from Bad Kitty's Nick Bruel.

You are invited to buy a book using the link from Anderson's:


https://www.abcfairs.com/nick-bruel-virtual-author-visit-february18-2021

Amplified Voices Art Show

In an effort to amplify the voices and talents of our amazing students of African ancestry and/or the African Diaspora, the PTO DivCo team is planning a virtual art show for Black History Month! We welcome student artists in the visual arts, music, performance, spoken word/poetry, and dance. If your student is interested in participating, please sign up with this LINK and someone from DivCo will be in touch with more details. You can also indicate on the form if you'd like DivCo to provide any materials or tech support to help your student with their submission. Thank you!

Special Education Parent Advisory Committee Meeting: Monday March 1st at 6:30 pm

Dear Families,

It was nice to see many of you recently for our Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 1st at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome. Our agenda will consist of checking in with one another, department updates, information on summer programming offered within the district and our community, and finally, a look back at the last survey this group sent out with a discussion on the next steps. We hope to see you there!

https://op97-org.zoom.us/j/ 88373595787?pwd= QnA1VVJ0aWpWcTQ2YnhHTGVQbVBKQT 09

Meeting ID: 883 7359 5787

Passcode: 292972

One tap mobile +13126266799,,88373595787# US (Chicago)

Hephzibah Openings

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 rneubert@op97.org). 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

It is critical that each morning, families complete the self-certification email by 7:15. Health certifications must be completed every day before hybrid learners arrive to school. Elementary students must have their certification completed by 7:15 a.m. and middle school students must have their certification completed by 8:15 a.m. Please see the linked PDF for full details. Highlights of what you can expect are included below.


Information about CrisisGo and resources to help families are available at https://www.op97.org/updatecenter/crisisgo.

District News Below

From the Technology Department

As we are preparing our updated technology plan, typically we will hold numerous focus groups with students, staff and families for feedback in addition to other planning sessions. However, due to the pandemic we are going to leverage ThoughtExchange to gather feedback around student, staff and families experiences to help inform our technology planning work.


Here is a link to the ThoughtExchange that we are hoping you can take some time during the next week to provide feedback and/or respond to others thoughts. You'll be asked to respond to one open-ended question, consider and assign stars to some of the ideas shared by others (20 to 30 is ideal), and learn what's important to the group. You can rate as many thoughts as you’d like before moving on to discover where you can see all the thoughts sorted by the average star rating. CLICK HERE for a one-minute video that explains how Thoughtexchange works. This exchange will open Wednesday, February 17, through Wednesday, February 24.


Your thoughts and stars are confidential. You can come back as often as you'd like to participate and, in fact, we ask that you do come back to star some of the new ideas shared since you first participated. The ratings will be shared with the iLearn Advisory Committee to provide further insight and direction on the key areas identified above.


Thank you in advance for your time and consideration for this important work to support the students, staff and families around access and learning experiences.

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:
  • Wednesday, Feb. 18, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 18, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 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.


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:
  • Wednesday, Feb. 18, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 18, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 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.

"Mindful Middle-Schoolers" Program

The Community Mental Health Board of Oak Park Township, Oak Park Elementary School District 97, and DePaul University’s Community Counseling Center have partnered to deliver a vast array of educational and therapeutic services to staff, families, and youth through the “Mindful Middle-Schoolers Program.” Below is a list of upcoming VIRTUAL talks, which will be held via Zoom. Registration via the Eventbrite links below is requested. Once you register, a link will be emailed to you four hours prior to the start of each event.

"Mindful Middle-Schoolers" Community Talk Flyer

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.
Click here for our "When to Stay Home" flyer >

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. 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. If staff, students or families travel out of state for more than 24 hours, they should not report to school. The district's quarantine requirements are outlined in our Framework for Reopening Schools.

FLYER: COVID-19 and Travel Guidance for District 97 Students and Staff >

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.
Parents who opted into hybrid learning for Trimester 2 are permitted to switch to remote learning at any time. If you requested hybrid learning for your student but wish to enroll in full-time remote learning, please contact your building principal.

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. Information about the District 97 Accelerated Placement Program, including definitions and timelines, can be found at http://www.op97.org/acceleration.

District 97 to Continue Providing Free Meals to All Students

Next Meal D97 Meal Distribution: Tuesday, Feb. 23rd
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.

D97 Breakfast/Lunch Menus - February 2021

Ms. Jefferson & Mrs. Sullivan

ajefferson@op97.org.

708-524-3060

@AmyJefferson97

csullivan@op97.org

708-524-7825

@MrsSullivand97