The Lion's Roar

News & Events for Lincoln Families | Welcome Back Edition



  • Spanish Immersion Lottery -- August 13th, held at 3:30PM in District 97 Board Room

  • Emails to be sent notifying you of your Lion’s classroom teacher -- August 16th -- afternoon

  • Kindergarten Family Meet-n-Greet in the Park sponsored by our PTO -- August 24th -- 3:00-5:00PM -- Maple Park

  • Supply Drop-off and Meet Your Teacher (Kindergarten only)-- August 27th -- (Time TBD)

  • Supply Drop-off only (grades 1-5) -- August 27th -- 5:30-7:00PM (Tentative)

  • First Day of School -- August 28th -- 8:00-2:30


  • Labor Day -- No School -- September 2nd

  • Picture Day - September 9th (Details to follow)

  • Curriculum Night -- September 11th -- (Details to follow)

  • PTO Back to School Picnic – September 13th – 5:00-7:30PM – Maple Park

  • Discussion of Liaison Group for Developing Our Spanish Immersion Program - September 25th from 6:00-8:00PM


  • Coffee & Conversation with Principal Zaniolo (Roundtable discussion format) -- 3 Sessions: October 15, 17, & 23 from 6:00-8:00PM

Welcome & Let Me Introduce Myself...

Hello Lincoln Families,

Welcome back! Our Lions have certainly been missed and we can't wait to welcome them back to school on Wednesday, August 28th. Please remember that Wednesday is our weekly early release day and students go home at 2:30.

For those of you I have not yet met, I am Laura Zaniolo, the new Principal for Lincoln Elementary. I am honored and excited to be returning to Lincoln, the school and community where I grew up. I remember being a 5th and 6th grade student at Lincoln, and I am still a proud Lincoln Lion. It was in this diverse community where I learned to love learning. I remember the feeling of being welcomed and supported by the Lincoln family and I am excited to be a part of reinvigorating that legacy.

As an educator, instructional coach, and school leader with more than 16 years of experience, I am someone who works closely with teachers and families to build learning communities that reflect three strong beliefs. First, students need to know that we believe in them and that we will not give up on them when challenges arise. Second, all students deserve outstanding teachers who are as passionate about their own learning as they are about their students’ learning. And finally, all students can become invested in their own learning when they are given the right guidance, practice and opportunity to do so.

Since this past April, I have been actively working to get to know the Lincoln community of today. I had the pleasure of spending several days at Lincoln, with our Lions, prior to the end of the school year. I have also been meeting with faculty and staff, attending community events, meeting with individuals, and hosting coffee & conversations for families--all to better understand the strengths of our school as well as the areas where we need to improve. Within our collective hopes for Lincoln, I have heard several common themes. At Lincoln, we want...

  • Caring learning environments for our Lions

  • Consistency in leadership, expectations, and experience

  • Communication that is proactive

  • Collaboration with staff and families

With these themes driving our work, the staff and I have begun collaborating on our central goals of improving the academic and social emotional development of all Lions. To develop this, it is important that we start with creating a calm, caring and equitable environment that maximizes instructional time and fosters positive relationships. We want to make school a safe and joyful place for children and adults. For example, to ensure a safer and enjoyable school-wide environment, we will be creating smaller groups of classes at lunch/recess times. We will reset our approach for establishing and teaching school-wide expectations to all Lions as well as implementing a fair and equitable approach to how we address discipline.

Improving communication is also a top priority for me. Here is what you can expect. You will receive a weekly community newsletter from me, “The Lion’s Roar.” You can also expect to regularly see me in the mornings and afternoons as I support entry and dismissal. I want to continue to build relationships with each member of the Lincoln Community and will establish regular opportunities throughout the year to connect and hear from you. If you have ideas about formats that would work well for this sort of communication, please let me know. I look forward to partnering with each of you over the coming years.

Enjoy the last couple weeks of summer - we'll see you soon!


Laura Zaniolo

(she / her / hers)

Lincoln Lion & Principal

Abraham Lincoln Elementary

Construction Updates & A Call for Volunteers

As you may have noticed, the expansion of Lincoln is in full swing and we are on pace to start the year in our newly modified building. We are looking for volunteers!

Our PTO is helping to coordinate a volunteer effort to help us prepare our building for our Lions. It will be a mad rush at the end, but together, we will be able to do it! We will need help assisting teachers as they unpack their classrooms, library/media center set up support, and general “roll up your sleeves to help” assistance. PTO will be sharing a sign-up genius anticipated task list soon, and I will also share that link in an upcoming newsletter. Thank you!!

Playground - There is a slight delay anticipated for the reinstallation of our playground. The original plan was to reinstall the existing 15 year old equipment. Due to challenges with finding replacement parts, the cost associated with that, and an anticipated longer time delay, it was determined by the Facilities Advisory Committee, with my recommendation, that we replace the existing playground with new equipment. To minimize the construction delay, the decision was made to select new pieces of equipment that are similar to what was existing. While the playground will not be ready for the start of school, it is expected to be ready within 3-4 weeks after school opens. We will also have new rubber grounding poured to improve safety as well.

Classroom Assignments

We fully recognize that students (and parents) are anxiously awaiting the news of who their classroom teacher will be this year. An email will be sent in the afternoon of August 16, 2019 with this information. Please make sure we have your most recent email address. You can make updates in Infosnap.

Spanish Immersion Lottery & Liaison Group to Support Programmatic Planning

The kindergarten lottery for the Spanish Immersion program will be held in the Board Room of the District 97 office at 260 Madison St. We will hold the lottery on Tuesday, August 13th from 3:30-4:00PM. This event is open to the public. Phone calls to confirm placement will take place the following day.

Beginning this fall, I would like to form a liaison committee for our Spanish Immersion Program. I would like for this group to be connected to our broader Spanish Immersion community and represent diverse perspectives. My hope is for this group to be a regular sounding board as we work together to develop our Spanish Immersion program in a way that is research-based, data-informed, accessible to more of our Lions, and with clear programmatic goals, scope and sequence, and communication for families. I will host a community discussion on this topic on Wednesday, September 25th from 6:00-8:00pm in our Media Center. If you are interested in this work, please RSVP using the link below.

Discussion: Creating a Liaison Group for Developing Our Spanish Immersion Program

Wednesday, Sep. 25th, 6-8pm

1111 Grove Avenue

Oak Park, IL

Additional Details: This will session will be facilitated in a discussion format. Please plan to attend the entire time. Meeting will be held in the Media Center/Library.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Special Board Meetings: Community Feedback Sessions about Equity

District 97 families and Oak Park community members are invited to attend two upcoming engagement sessions on the implementation of the district's equity policy. The events will be held Aug. 14 and 19, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. During these events, guests will have the opportunity to learn about our initial plans for the implementation of the equity policy and provide feedback that will inform our work moving forward. We will also seek input on the types of engagement opportunities the community would like to see in the future. Free child care and food will be provided. More information is available at

Special Board Meeting #1: Community Feedback Sessions about Equity

Wednesday, Aug. 14th, 6:30pm

325 South Kenilworth Avenue

Oak Park, IL

Meeting at Brooks Middle School in the Commons

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Special Board Meeting #2: Community Feedback Sessions about Equity

Monday, Aug. 19th, 6:30pm

834 Lake Street

Oak Park, IL

Meeting at the Main Oak Park Library in the Veteran's Room

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

School Supply Lists & Supply Drop Off Day

It is that time of year again when all stores have great back to school sales! As an educator, I remember this being one of my favorite times of summer! Supply lists are available online for you to access. I have also included a direct link to the supply lists here so you have them at your fingertips.

As I mentioned above, our building is currently on schedule to be ready for our staff and Lions’ return at the end of this month. It is our hope to be able to hold a supply drop off event for grades 1-5 on Tuesday, August 27th from 5:30-7:00PM (TENTATIVE). This will not be a formal meet-and-greet with teachers, because I want to make sure our staff has as much time as possible to prepare the learning spaces for our Lions. I will confirm the time and logistics in an upcoming newsletter.

We are planning a supply drop off and meet-and-greet for our incoming kindergarten families on Tuesday, August 27th, time is TBD.

First Day Details & What to Know

We will have access to the majority of our school grounds beginning on the first day of school. We are currently revamping our entry, lunch, recess, and dismissal procedures so that we can have smooth and safe transitions at these important parts of our day. We want to make sure the expectations and procedures are clear for all families and Lions. There will be more information on this in an upcoming Lion’s Roar newsletter. I truly appreciate your patience and flexibility as we finalize these plans.

2019-2020 Student Fees

Student fees may be paid beginning July 1 and are due by September 30, 2019

· Elementary Grades K – 2 $160

· Elementary Grades 3 – 5 $180

Student fee payments can be paid online at by selecting WebStore under Payments tab. You can also pay directly via The preferred method of payment is online but you may also pay by check or cash attached to the appropriate fee form. Fee forms are available at, at the schools, and at the District Office. For more information regarding student fees, please contact the Business Office at (708) 524-7625.

Please note that students qualifying for free or reduced lunch may be considered for a school fee reduction or waiver based on economic hardship. If you are applying for free or reduced-price meals, then it is important to complete the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Application and submit to your student’s school or to the Business Office as soon as possible to ensure timely processing. These applications must be filled out on an annual basis and are available online at, at the individual schools, and at District 97 Administrative Office located at 260 Madison. For additional information regarding the foodservice program or the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Application, please call (708) 524-7629.

If you have applied for a fee waiver, please wait for approval before paying fees.

Be Ready for Lunch on the First Day of School

Mealtime Online is available to monitor student balances and make lunch deposits You can pay by clicking the following Mealtime link.

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