Whittier Wildcat Word!

Friday, October 21, 2022

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One of our goals this year is to strengthen the relationship between home and school. In particular, findings ways for the Whittier community to know the staff at Whittier. Therefore, each week, we will randomly pick a staff member from an envelope to spotlight.


1. Hello my name is Mr. Coglianese

2. I am the Physical Education teacher at Whittier and this is my 20th year teaching.

3. I don't have a favorite color

4. What I like most about Whittier is how respectful we are to each other.

5. If I had a superpower it would be teleportation. To be able to disappear and reappear anywhere, that would be the best superpower in the world.

6. If I were an animal I would be an Eagle because I would be able to fly.

7. My advice for Whittier students is to work your hardest at everything and never give up!

Upcoming Dates

October 2022

Oct 19th

  • PTO Fun Run

Oct 21st

  • Picture Day

Oct 25th - 28th

  • Book Fair
Oct 27th & 28th
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences (Early Dismissal at 11am)

November 2022

Nov 3rd

  • Lockdown Drill

Nov 8th

  • No School ( Election Day)

Nov 23rd - 25th

  • No School ( Thanksgiving Break)
Nov 29th
  • Picture Retakes

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Celebrating National Principals Month

October is National Principals Month! Take a minute to tell us what makes your principal or assistant principal so special. You can tweet us @OakPark97 using the hashtags #ThankAPrincipal and #MyD97 or email us at d97feedback@op97.org. Share your shout out by Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, Principal Appreciation Day in Illinois, to celebrate with us.
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The 78th Annual Whittier Pumpkin Festival will be held Oct. 27-28! Carve, paint, or decorate a real pumpkin to enter into the competition. The categories are EC/K/1st, 2nd/3rd, 4th/5th and Family. Outside of the family category, pumpkins should represent the real, unassisted work of children. Please drop off your pumpkins at the time designated for your last name on either day and enter through the mini gym (lunchroom) doors. Then, please pick up your pumpkin by 11:30am on Friday, October 28th (early dismissal day). Please contact Laurie Conley (lconley@op97.org) or Hallie Park (hpark@op97.org) with questions.

A-J register from 7:35am - 7:50 am

K-Z register from 7:50 am - 8:05 am

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¡Ofrendas en Whittier!

2022 Ofrendas de Día de Muertos

Is a beautiful celebration of life where loved ones are

honored and celebrated. This event is organized by members

of the community of Oak Park and River Forest. Students from

Whittier in 3-5 grades are welcome to participate this year by

making a Day of the Dead Shoebox sized ofrenda.. Here is an

example: Mini Ofrenda. Students are encouraged to bring the

mini ofrendas between the week of October 10th - 28th. Sra.

Aguirre will display the mini ofrendas outside of our school

during the weekend of Oct. 31-Nov.2. Many visitors take part

in viewing the ofrendas around the community.

***Please be mindful and do not send items sensitive to the

inclement weather. Reach out to Sra. Aguirre for any

questions or concerns.

¡Muchas gracias por participar!

Sra. Aguirre - laguirre@op97.org

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This week our students were taught lesson 3 of the Bullying Prevention Unit lessons. Our youngest students (grades K-3) learned how to refuse bullying by saying words that mean “no” in an assertive way when bullying is happening. Our older students (4th and 5th grade) learned about bystander responsibility. They watched videos to identify bullying and brainstormed actions that bystanders can take. They then role-played what to do after bullying occurs. We never have students role play bullying, but practicing the actions you can take as a bystander makes it easier to follow through in real life situations! Below are the home links for the upcoming lesson if you’d like to preview them with your child.

Kindergarten- Refusing Bullying

First Grade- Refusing Bullying

Second Grade- Refusing Bullying

Third Grade- Refusing Bullying

Fourth Grade- Bystander Responsibility

Fifth Grade- Bystander Responsibility

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At Whittier, we want to support each student as best we can during these challenging times. Our PTO received financial funds from an anonymous donor that we can use to support our students and families in need.

If your scholar(s) is in need of school supplies or Whittier Wear, please take a few minutes to help us better understand how we can support your family's current needs by filling out the google form below. Someone from our school will be in touch with you within the week. Please fill this out for EACH child in your family. Thank you in advance.


Please note - ALL these responses will be kept confidential and can only be accessed by school social workers, the assistant principal, and the principal.

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Book Fair

Whittier Book Fair starts October 25th and goes until 28th!

Make sure you load your child's e-wallet, find ways to volunteer and what this year's setup will be like!


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Mindful Middle-Schoolers and Mindfulness Matters" Community Talks - Spring 2023

DePaul University, in partnership with the Oak Park Township Community Mental Health Board and District 97, is offering a series of free community talks to the District 97 community as part of the Mindful Middle Schoolers and Mindfulness Matters Program. The next community talk, "Mindfulness-Based Strategies and Their Applications at Home and School," will be held on October 19 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The session will focused on how mindfulness practices can be helpful in supporting youths' academic and emotional functioning at school and at home. Please go to this link to register.

D97 Family University on Student Assessments

D97 to Host 'Family University' Session on Student Assessments - Tuesday, Oct. 18
Join us to learn about student assessments in District 97!

The district will host a virtual Family University session from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Families will receive a Zoom link once they register.

The session will help parents learn about the student assessments given across District 97 schools, how the results are used to support teaching and learning, and how you can use the information to understand your child's progress and next steps. Please use this form to register and submit any questions you have to our team ahead of time; we will address the most common questions submitted.

Please note that the session will be recorded and shared on the District 97 website for future viewing. We look forward to seeing you there!

District 97 Halloween Letter 2022

Dear District 97 Families,

For those of our families who celebrate Halloween, many of you are starting to discuss costume choices with your child. Although students are not required to wear costumes, we recognize that they are a fun and creative part of our schools' Halloween activities.

Our goal is to create a positive learning environment where all students, staff and families feel a sense of belonging. In that spirit, we ask that you take care to ensure that your child’s costume choice does not portray a stereotypical image of any group of people or culture, or be offensive to any one racial, ethinic or religious group. We appreciate you being proactive with your child in making thoughtful costume choices.

To support you in your conversation with your child and to build your understanding around this topic, we have compiled links to resources that you may find helpful:

Thank you for your continued support of our students and schools.

Oak Park Elementary School District 97

School Lunches - Milk Only Charge

As a reminder, if your student takes milk only during lunch, there is a cost of $.45 per carton, regardless of your family's school meal eligibility status. If you have not already done so, please add funds into your student’s meal account to accommodate the milk only charge. If your student takes the full school meal, milk is included. Thank you!

School Fees

The district is currently accepting fee payments for the 2022-23 school year. Full payment is due by September 30, 2022. You can access the fee information by visiting https://www.op97.org/business-office/fees.


The Intergovernmental Committee of Oak Park (IGOV) is hosting an informational workshop called "Plug into the Climate Action Going On in Oak Park" in the cafeteria of Oak Park and River Forest High School, 201 Scoville Ave, on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. All are welcome!

Learn about green transportation, lowering energy bills, planting native gardens and more. Click for more details >> https://bit.ly/3DnGM1u.

Imagine OPRF Project 1 Tours and IGOV Meeting

Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 is hosting another round of Imagine OPRF Project 1 tours on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The tours will follow the iGOV meeting which will take place that same morning at the high school. Similar to our Open House last May, the tours will be self-guided, and visitors can see the new Student Resource Center, new classrooms, and the revamped South Cafeteria, Student Commons, and Welcome Center. Click here to view the event flyer >>

Strengthening Families Program

The Strengthening Families Program is a free, evidence-based prevention program for families with children ages 7 to 17. The 12-week program will teach effective parenting skills, healthy communication, stress management skills, conflict resolution and more. The program will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Tuesday from Oct. 4, 2022, through Dec. 13, 2022. Click here to view the program flyer >>

NEW Combined Student and Family Handbook for 2022-23

This year, the district worked to merge the Effective Student Behavior Handbook and Family Handbook into one comprehensive resource, the Student-Family Handbook, in order to streamline information for families and staff. The new handbook contains important information regarding school policies, procedures, student rights and responsibilities, and important notifications required by state and federal law.

The purpose of this handbook is to outline the expectations for building an educational community where everyone feels safe, included and able to learn. Having shared expectations, procedures and policies helps us respect all members of the school community in which we learn and work every day. Please take the time to read through the handbook and review it with your child.

*NEW* Process for Reporting Positive COVID-19 Cases to D97 Schools

If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they must complete the following steps:

1) To notify the school nurse and receive a return-to-school date, families/staff must complete the confidential COVID-19 Positive Case Notification Form as soon as possible following the positive test. Information provided will also be shared with the Oak Park Department of Public Health.

2) Families must continue to report student absences via the school attendance line, and staff must enter their absences in Frontline.

To see the rules for isolation and quarantine, click here. Additional resources are linked below.

As always, thank you for your continued collaboration and support. Enjoy your weekend!

John Greenleaf Whittier Elementary

Where You Belong!

Patrick CL Robinson



Twitter: @PCLRobinson

Chasity McComb-Williams

Assistant Principal


Twitter: @mccombwilliams