Longfellow Log

Week Ending 4/9

Important Dates/Reminders and Notes

  • Wednesday, April 14th - Picture Day (In-person students will take individual pictures outside in the morning; remote learners should have received a letter with sign up information)
  • Remote Learning Planning Day on May 7
    District 97 will utilize its last Remote Learning Planning Day on Friday, May 7. There will be no student learning on that date.

****The playground equipment is off limits before school and after school until 12:15 for safety reasons. Thank you!

Supporting Asian Americans

Here are a few resources in addition to what the district sent out that you can use:

This video from Miss Katie Sings, who teaches music to children, offers a kid-friendly explanation of anti-AAPI sentiment and explains in simple terms why it is wrong to blame Asians for the coronavirus. Katie, who is herself a biracial Asian American, then leads a song about standing up for your friends and what’s right.

PBS Newshour’s video lesson (predating the Atlanta shootings) about anti-AAPI discrimination during the pandemic

Compiled by Wailin Wong, Co VP of Diversity for the Longfellow PTO


Opera for the Young - Thursday, April 15th

Hello Longfellow Families! Have you been hearing your children sing and dance during music class these past few weeks about Hansel, Gretel, a magic elf and an evil witch? If so, that's because we are getting ready for a visit from Opera For the Young!! This year they have prepared a virtual performance of Humperdink's Hansel and Gretel, which we will view on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

Kindergarten - 2nd grade will view the opera from 1:00-1:55pm.

3rd - 5th grade will view the opera from 2:00-2:55pm.

Please have your child log into their grade link in order to access the opera at their assigned time.

-K-2nd Opera Link

-3rd-5th Opera Link

We also would like to invite families to partake in some friendly competitions!!

1) A Gingerbread House Competition (Pre-performance)

-If you and your family would like to build a gingerbread house, submit a photo to Mrs. Ablan by Tuesday, April 13, 2021. We will be selecting one winner from each grade level. Get as creative as you'd like with your houses!

2) Costume Competition (Day of performance)

-We'd love to see the kiddos dressed up for the opera! Feel free to create costumes like Hansel, Gretel, Ragamuffins, Pixies, Gingerbread People or even the Two-headed Witch!! Submit photos of costumes to Mrs. Ablan by Friday, April 16, 2021 and we will announce costume winners Monday, April 19, 2021.

-Here are some fun costume tutorial links that Opera For the Young created for you to use, if you wish!! Happy costuming :-)

-Ragamuffin Costume Tutorial

-Pixie Costume Tutorial

-Gingerbread Costume Tutorial

Thanks everyone!

Megan Ablan & Judy Friesen

Parent Input Form will be emailed to you Monday, April 12th

We are now planning for the 2021-2022 school year and would like to know more about your elementary-aged child from your point of view. Creating class lists for the upcoming school year is a complex process that has several stages. For this initial stage, we want to provide an opportunity for our families to provide us information about your child.

The placing of students in classrooms for next year is such an important decision and we use multiple criteria to inform that decision. These are some of the criteria we use in making our decisions:
  • Gender/race/ethnicity balance
  • Balance of performance levels
  • Balance of students with special programming (Special Services, ELL, Title I, etc.)
  • Balance of high behavioral needs
  • Balance of varying social skill and work habit levels
  • Equitable class size across grade level
  • Equitable access to school resources for programming needs.
Please trust that with your additional information, we will make the best placement decision for your child. Due to the nature and complexity of this task, we cannot reduce the process to simply accepting requests for specific teachers. Please be aware that requests for specific teachers will not be considered in this process.

Completing this form is optional. If you wish to complete it, please do so by the end of the day on Monday, April 26, 2021.

CrisisGo: Student Health Certification Due Daily for In-Person Learners

***Please help our office staff by completing this each morning to alleviate them from having to make calls and so students can head to class with their teacher.

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.

Keep D97 Schools Allergy Safe - No Nuts Allowed

District 97 will continue its nut-safe expectation this school year when we transition to full-day in-person learning. The exclusion of nuts will be adhered to throughout the school day, which includes lunchtime and snacks. This is an important measure to protect our students with life-threatening allergies, as the lunchroom may not be the only space used for meals while we are adhering to COVID-19 safety measures.

Please check with your child's teacher for other allergy considerations in the classroom. We appreciate your help in adhering to this preventative measure.

Acceleration Window for SY21-22 Closes May 15th

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.

If interested, your first step is reaching out to the homeroom teacher and discussing it together. Second step is emailing Ms. Jefferson (ajefferson@op97.org) and Mrs. Sullivan (csullivan@op97.org)

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.

District News Below

District 97 to Host Three Additional Parent University Sessions in April 2021

District 97 will host three new Virtual Parent University sessions in April to help families learn strategies for collaborating with school administrators, teachers and staff to support equity and student success.

The sessions will be facilitated by Reesheda Graham Washington, principal consultant of RGW Consulting and CEO of L!VE 2.0.

The events will be held April 10, April 17 and April 24. Descriptions of each session and sign-up links are included below.

“Coalition Building for Elementary School Student Success” (Elementary School) - Saturday, April 10, 10 a.m. to noon

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER: April 10 Parent University

This two-hour, Zoom-based workshop is designed to foster strategies for collaboration between parents, teachers, and administrators to work together in the development of community and a school culture that fosters cohesion, collaboration, and equity for all students and their families. With an emphasis on contextualized learning, developing a common and shared language, effective allyship for students and culturally-responsive teaching, this session will make space for examining how we currently collaborate for student success and how we can maximize the efforts, even as we transition out of remote learning environments.

This session will be a bit different from the middle school workshop, to occur the following week, April 17, to ensure that parents who have both elementary and middle school students—and wish to attend both sessions—will receive new content, should parents choose to attend both workshops.

“Coalition Building for Middle School Student Success” (Middle School) - Saturday, April 17, 10 a.m. to noon

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER: April 17 Parent University

This two-hour, Zoom-based workshop is designed to foster strategies for collaboration between parents, teachers, and administrators to work together in the development of community and a school culture that fosters cohesion, collaboration, and equity for all students and their families. With an emphasis on contextualized learning, bullying and the weaponization of language, victim/oppressor training, and culturally-responsive teaching, this session will make space for examining how we currently collaborate for student success, and how we can maximize the efforts, even as we transition out of remote learning environments.

“Equity and Education: How, Where, and Why Their Intersections Matter for Students and Families” (Elementary and Middle School) - Saturday, April 24, 10 a.m. to noon

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER: April 24 Parent University

This two-hour, Zoom-based workshop will unpack the significance of whiteness as a social construct, as well as articulate its impact on students’ success in school and beyond. Additionally, this workshop will explore the intersections of identity and learning, and the value in cultural intersectionality in teaching and learning. There will be time set aside in this session to respond to the expressed felt needs of parents who wish to acquire strategies for developing cultural agility in their students.

SAVE THE DATE: D97 Virtual Summer Step Up Program

District 97 is holding a Virtual Step Up Summer Program for students in Grades 1-8 (students who are in kindergarten through seventh grade during the 2020-21 school year). The program will run July 26 through Aug. 5, 2021 (8:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. OR 12 pm. - 2:30 p.m.).

Summer Step Up is designed to support any District 97 student that could benefit from revisiting grade level standards from the previous year. Additional information and sign up forms will be shared by schools in May 2021.

Expectations for D97 Students and Staff Who Travel Out of State

Expectations for D97 Students and Staff Who Travel Out of State
With spring break approaching in just a few weeks, we know that many families are finalizing plans to spend the week together. Avoiding unnecessary travel remains paramount to maintaining the health and safety of our students, staff, families, and the broader community—particularly when students are attending school in-person. In cases where travel is necessary, it is expected that students and staff will adhere to the revised travel quarantine guidelines.

Click here to view a summary of the district's expectations for students and staff.

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

District 97 to Continue Providing Free Meals to All Students

Next Meal D97 Meal Distribution: Tuesday, April 13th
April 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 - April 2021

Ms. Jefferson & Mrs. Sullivan