The Lion's Roar

News & Events for Lincoln Families | November 17th, 2019



  • First Trimester ends on November 15

  • *Rescheduled* Coffee & Conversation with Principal Zaniolo (Spanish Immersion Focus) - November 21, 5:30-7:00pm

  • No School November 27-29 - Thanksgiving Break


  • Report Card Distribution for Trimester 1 - December 6
  • 2nd Grade Field Trip to Dominican - December 9
  • Coffee & Conversation with Principal Zaniolo (All School Focus) - December 11, 6-7pm
  • Lincoln's Holiday Sing (Details to come) - December 20
  • Winter Break - December 23 - January 3rd (Lions return on Monday, January 6th)

A Message From Principal Zaniolo...

Hello Lincoln Families!

We are well into November and the work, learning, and celebration continues! I hope you enjoy this window into our last two weeks of life at Lincoln. This is just a snapshot of the excitement and learning that happens every day. In this edition of The Lion's Roar, I would like to share with you an important part of the Lincoln tradition and legacy...the story behind the "Up At Lincoln" button.

The "Up At Lincoln" Story...

I remember hearing this story when I was a Lincoln Lion many years ago. At that time, Mrs. Carol Dudzik was the principal of Lincoln (pictured on the right). In these last two weeks, we've had the pleasure of welcoming back two of Lincoln's former school leaders--Ms. Cathy Hamilton and Mrs. Sheila Carter. They are currently supporting Lincoln as the interim Assistant Principals. Their return presented a wonderful opportunity to share the "Up At Lincoln" story with our entire staff as told from two of Lincoln's former leaders. I would like to share the "Up At Lincoln" story with you, our full community, as well. If you've heard this story before, I hope you sit back, and enjoy hearing it again. I know I always did.

Many years ago, Lincoln had a principal named Dan Franco. He had a lot of pride in the school and in the students especially. Whenever he would attend administrative meetings across the district, people would always ask him, "How are things down at Lincoln?" Because we are situated on the South side of Oak Park, this was common. Many Oak Park community members did not even realize that Oak Park extended past the Eisenhower Expressway.

Principal Franco decided that he wanted to change how members of the community saw Lincoln. He also wanted to make sure that the students of Lincoln were proud to be Lincoln Lions. How did he start this wave of change in public perception? He made buttons. He created the first "Up At Lincoln" button. After that, whenever anyone asked him, "How is it down at Lincoln?" He'd correct them by saying, "Up at Lincoln..things are wonderful" and he'd punctuate it by giving them a button.

Every year since, a staff member has been selected to design the button for the following year. Our Lincoln Lions then earn WOW slips for doing exceptional acts and for being a good friend and student. After earning their first 10 WOWs, students receive the new, annual "Up At Lincoln" button. If you've ever attended Lincoln as a student, you may still have some of your "Up At Lincoln" buttons. Many families hold on to all of the buttons their Lions earn during their years at Lincoln. It is part of our school's tradition.

The story of the "Up At Lincoln" button, historically, has been told by the current Lincoln principal to every family upon entering kindergarten and again at the 5th grade awards ceremony each year. The message is this...we want every student who passes through our doors to know that they are, forever, a Lincoln Lion and that they should be proud to be "Up At Lincoln."

Have a wonderful week!

Laura Zaniolo

(she / her / hers)

Lincoln Lion & Principal

Abraham Lincoln Elementary

Two Weeks of Life "Up At Lincoln"

Lost & Found - Take a Look...

Please pick up your items. We'll be clearing out our lost & found soon.

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Please Complete! - 5 Essentials Parent Survey

Illinois 5Essentials Parent Survey

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.

Please complete the survey today! It can be accessed until Friday, February 14, 2020 by visiting

You can access general information about the Illinois 5Essentials Survey by visiting

Lock Down Drill - Completed

We successfully performed our lock down drill in partnership with the Oak Park Police Department and our Director of security.

Information From Our PTO

World Language Program to start on November 18th

The Lincoln PTO is offering its World Language Program with classes starting November 18 and continuing through May 8. Chinese and French will be available for grades 2-5, and Spanish and German available for grades K-5. Classes are offered at lunchtime and taught by experienced language instructors. Activities include playing games, learning songs, play-acting, asking and answering questions, listening to commands, listening to stories, doing worksheets, watching videos, making crafts, and celebrating holidays. Registration will remain open through December, and a free trial option is available. For more information, see the flyer. To register your student(s) today - go to the PTO's new webpage .

For any questions, please email

Trial class- By Discovery Art Program

Lincoln’s By Discovery after-school art program is offering trial classes throughout November. Sign your child up to come experience a typical day in By Discovery! A trial class costs $27. Trial class enrollment is first-come, first served, up to 3 participants. For all the important details, including dates the trial is offered, and to register for a trial class click here.

Lincoln's Green Team shares food waste reduction tips & invites you to volunteer at lunch

Recycling and composting sorting is in full swing this year and has reduced our waste to landfill by 80%. Proper sorting helps ensure the waste gets composted and recycled. Please remind your children about the basic rules - LIquids get poured out, cartons get recycled, plastics go to landfill, and all paper and food waste can be composted. The folks on the ground helping kids sort regularly see whole sandwiches and contents of entire bags of food thrown uneaten into the compost. Please take a moment to talk to your kids about the importance of food waste reduction; more tips can be found in our flyer here. Come see the kids in action for yourself! We are still in need of parent volunteers to supervise at lunch, no background check needed, training provided! Please sign up here.

Join Us!

The next meeting is scheduled for 11/6 at our very own Lincoln Media center. Details to come.

D97 News & Information


District 97’s vision is that EVERY child experiences a sense of belonging in our schools. Belonging means access to teaching and learning that is engaging, stimulating and challenging for ALL instead of just a select few. Read the latest post in the superintendent’s blog, "Around the District with Dr. Kelley," to learn more about why District 97 believes in the importance of our students feeling a sense of belonging --


Date: Saturday November 16, 2019 (9am-11am)

Location: Oak Park Public Library Main Branch 834 Lake Street Oak Park, IL Community Engagement Space 1st Floor

Free Childcare! Interpreters are provided for no charge when requested in advance by 11/11/19

The Parent Cafe is organized as an opportunity for parents to connect, learn, be heard, support, advocate and plan. This meet-up is a safe space to share ideas about what parents want and need to support our children in school and build strong families.

This is open to all parents and families of ESL students, parents with limited English, bilingual parents, and all concerned members of the community

To request childcare or interpreter service, sign up at Eventbrite (, or call/text Sylvia (Kim) Swirsky at 773-484-0371 or email

Key agenda:

1. Vote on a BPAC Board President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer

2- Registration for adult ESL classes starting in January


The Oak Park Public Library, in partnership with Rush University Medical Center, is offering free mental health assessments (through pre-scheduled appointments) for children and adults on Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Main Library. A Rush psychologist will conduct the onsite assessment.

For more information, please visit

Previously Communicated Information...


Flu is a serious illness. The BEST way to prevent flu for you and your child is to do the following:

  • Encourage hand washing
  • Keeping your child home if they have a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Get a flu shot.
For more information:

Lincoln Is Hiring for Lunch & Recess Supervisors

If you are interested in joining the Lincoln Lion team and helping our Lions have a safe and enjoyable lunch/recess, please contact Ms. Zaniolo. You can apply for the position through the District 97 website (link below). Look under "Support Staff" and find the "Playground/Lunch Supervisor" position for Abraham Lincoln Elementary.

Attendance & Absences

Daily attendance is so important to your Lion's education. If your lion must be absent, please contact BOTH the classroom teacher and the attendance line before 8:30. You can email the teachers and attendance line at

If you prefer, you can call the attendance line at 708-665-3067

Celebrating the Lincoln Team

Families, have you noticed a Lincoln teacher or staff member who deserves a compliment or a thank you? Has this person made a difference for your Lion? Please share the reason in a brief message to me using this link, WeAreAllLions!, so that we may recognize and thank them!

Contact Our Lincoln PTO