November 11, 2019

Twitter Highlights: Week 11

You don't need to have a twitter account to see the highlights from the past week. We are working to create a positive learning environment that is equitable, inclusive and focused on the whole child. No need to have a twitter account to view!

Monday, November 11 - Veterans' Day - School in Session

School will be in session for the full day on Monday, November 11, 2019 .

Trimester 1 ends Friday, November 15th

Report Cards will be emailed home to families on Friday, December 6th.

IT'S SUNDAY! WHO INSPIRES YOU? Recognizing Staff who Make a Difference

In an effort to celebrate our community, we would like to invite parents and students to give a shout out to member(s) of the Brooks Community who have inspired them. We also want to hear from parents and students who would like recognize a Brooks teacher that has made an impact around diversity and inclusion. Every Sunday, selected comments will be featured in Middle Matters and the staff member will receive a certificate detailing how they have made a difference to you. You can also tag your comments under #BeBrooks97 on Twitter. Please join us in celebrating the Brooks Community by completing this form.

SCHOOL CULTURE AND CLIMATE UPDATE

We met our first all-school HERO goal:

that 99% of our students will carry appropriately sized bags during the school day.

The appropriate size bag is either a cinch sak or small backpack (no larger than 18" high x 14" wide x 6" deep). We celebrated during school on November 8th with assemblies for each grade level and the opening of the school store on November 7th. A new HERO goal will be introduced in the near future.


Kids can continue to earn Brooks Bucks for following the posted Brooks Student Expectations. These bucks can be redeemed at the School Store along with HERO points.

Big picture

Please be sure your student brings their ID to school everyday!

If you need to purchase an ID, you may do so on RevTrak or in the main office. The cost to replace an ID is $5.00.


Please help your student remember to bring their ID each day to school to Be Safe. During the lunch periods, their ID designates their lunch color. This is important so we can monitor where students should be during the lunch period, especially if there is any type of emergency situation that should occur during a lunch period. We have over 900 students and 100 staff members in the building each day. Wearing ID helps all of us get to know each other as we traverse the building.

Illinois 5Essentials Survey

District 97 is administering the Illinois 5Essentials Survey again this year to certified staff and parents/guardians from all 10 of our schools, as well as students in grades four through eight.


The parent/guardian survey is available now. Please click here to learn how parents/guardians can participate in this important endeavor and click here to access the parent/guardian version of the survey.


Please note that school-level reports will only be generated if at least 20 percent of our parents/guardians complete the survey, which can be accessed until Feb. 14, 2020.

Join us Nov. 14 for the next Mindful Middle-Schoolers talk

Join us Nov. 14 for the next Mindful Middle-Schoolers talk


In partnership with DePaul Family and Community Services, join us on

Thursday November 14 from 6:30p - 8:00p Julian Middle School for a discussion on

Strategies to support executive functioning

and self-regulation in middle-schoolers.


What is mindfulness? How can mindfulness practices be helpful in supporting youths' academic and emotional functioning at school and at home? Join us for a free talk!! DePaul University, in partnership with the Oak Park Township Community Mental Health Board and D97 plan to offer a series of community talks to the Brooks/Julian middle school communities during the 2019-2020 school year as part of The Mindful Middle Schoolers Program. All are welcome (parents, school staff, students, community members).


Sign up at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/strategies-to-support-executive-functioning-and-self-regulation-in-middle-schoolers-tickets-75087840753?aff=ebapi

Gwendolyn Brooks Class of 2020 Graduation

We'd like to share that the 8th grade graduation date for the Gwendolyn Brooks Class of 2020 will take place on Saturday, June 6, at 2:00pm. The ceremony will be held at Oak Park and River Forest High School.


Please be sure to mark your calendars. We will have more information regarding graduation activities in February.

Big picture

Parent/Guardian Contact Information

In our efforts to keep our student and family contact information current, we are asking that our Brooks families please fill out the ink below.


Some of you have expressed concern about not receiving information, so we want to be sure we are able to reach you!


We appreciate your help in keeping your mailing, telephone and email contact information valid and up to date.


District 97 Emergency Data Form


Thank you for completing this form as soon as possible.

Using the Canvas Calendar as an Observer

If you are looking for one place to see when your student has assignments due, check out the Canvas Calendar. The assignments will be linked on the Canvas Calendar on the day they are due.


Click the link below for detailed directions on how to use the Canvas calendar.

https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10908-4144715705

Purchase your Yearbook Today!

Fall 2019 Promotional Discounts For Yearbooks


The Fall is a great time for you and your school community to order yearbooks! You will receive these discounts when ordering early in the school year:

November 1st - November 30th = 5% use code : 1014096931934358


During the months of August, September, October, and November when placing online orders the price of the book will reflect these discounts. The discount is calculated on the cost of the yearbook and does not apply to hardcover upgrades or extra custom pages.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

  • End of Trimester 1: Friday, November 15th
  • Thanksgiving Holiday - No student attendance : Nov, 27 - Nov. 29
  • Trimester 1 Report Card: Friday, December 6th
  • Winter Break - No student attendance - December 23, 2019 - January 3, 2020

PTO NEWS

PTO Business meeting

Join us on Monday, November 11 at 6:00 pm in the Brook’s library for our PTO business meeting.

Want to Donate to the PTO?

You can donate $10 or more to help pay for things like teacher grants, need-based scholarships and other enrichment activities. Please consider a matching gift donation from your employer.


Last month, the PTO funded a Teacher Grant to Ms. Maggio to add flexible seating to her classroom.

Email the PTO BoardEmail gwendolynbrookspto@gmail.com if you are interested or have questions!

Does your 8th grader want to have an 8th grade dance? We need you!

The 8th grade dance is a great way to celebrate finishing middle school. However, it can’t happen without support from the Brooks community! The PTO is currently looking for one more 8th Grade VP. This role helps plan 8th grade dance and a winter staff appreciation dinner. There are two 8th grade VP’s, so you are working with a partner!

Clubs and Sports Information

Mondays

  • Math Team 3:30pm - 4:30pm in room B409. For more information contact Esther Smith at esmith3@op97.org . Open to 6 - 8 grade students.
  • Orff Ensemble (Xylophone and Drumming Music Group) Monday's, 8:00-8:50 am, Rm D104. Open to all students grades 6-8. For more information contact Mr. Carrillo (fcarrillo@op97.org)
  • Rainbow Tribe 3:30pm - 4:30pm in the Library! Come join students who want to be a part of creating a safe and inclusive space for our Brooks LGBTQ community. All students (those who identify and allies) are invited to join! Reach out to Ms. Berman (aberman@op97.org) or Mrs. Olsen (jolsen@op97.org) with any questions!
  • Spoken Word Club: Mondays in B205 (3:30 - 5:00 pm) with Mr. Lee and resident poet Christian Robinson. Contact Mr. Lee with questions. mlee@op97.org
  • Ultimate Frisbee: This recreational Frisbee Club meets on Mondays and Wednesdays to play from 3:30p to 4:30p. For more information contact Coach Gillespie at mgillespie@op97.org or Coach Guerino at tguerino@op97.org - Please note practices are dependent on weather.


Tuesdays

  • Yearbook Club meets the 1st & 3rd Tuesday each month. Room B202 Beginning in October and ends in April. Everyone is welcome to join GBMS Yearbook Club. We are looking for students to assist us in recording the student activities & events of the 2019-2020 school year!For more information please contact Meaghan Pabellon at mpabellon@op97.org or Marsha Turner Reid at mturnerreid@op97.org
  • EcoEalges - meets weekly on TUESDAYS at 3:30 in Room C202

    Students who are passionate about helping the environment, gardening, saving endangered species or who just want to do interesting things outdoors should check out the ECO EAGLES, the Brooks ecology club. We have made award-winning films, gone on cool field trips, implemented fun fundraisers and raised awareness about many different issues. We are open to whatever you are interested in, so join us! For more information contact lstamp@op97.org

  • Chess Club meets in room C108 from 3:30pm to 5:00pm. For more information contact Coach Hausfeld at mhausfeld@op97.org


Wednesdays


Thursdays
  • Art Club from 3:30-4:30 October- March in D301. Free and open to all students.

    Mrs. Murray (kmurray@op97.org) will offer a variety of materials and techniques. Come when you can and be ready to explore your own ideas, work at your own pace, and make new friends in a creative environment just for artists! Art club is FREE!


Fridays
  • Service Club meets at 8am in room B209. We organize & promote the school's service projects such as food drives, coat drives, the holiday food and gift basket program, and more! If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Susan Walsh (swalsh@op97.org) or Ms. Blanca Martinez (bmartinez@op97.org).

OPEF VEX Robotics

This year we are offering two cool programs for D97 middle school kids to enjoy. We look forward to another exciting VEX Robotics season at both Julian and Brooks.


  • The In-House Club is designed for students with little or no experience with robotics and for students who cannot commit to the long season of our Competitive League.


  • The Robotics Competitive League is an intensive program for the dedicated technology student, especially those who want to take their experience with VEX Robotics and programming to the next level.


To sign up or learn more information about our programs, visit our OPEF VEX Robotics page at https://www.opef.org/programs/vex-robotics/


Brooks in-house contact - Brian Shinners, bshinners@op97.org

Girls on the RISE - 6th Grade Girls & 7th Grade Girls

Girls on the Rise is a program offered in partnership with Brooks and the Oak Park Township. Girls on the Rise provides prevention and empowerment to minority girls. We strive to instill confidence in girls to utilize problem-solving skills through communication and respect. Our program plans to build social, communication and leadership skills, healthy relationships with peers and adults, raise self-esteem and self-awareness and create a sisterhood of strong young ladies.


The 6th Grade Girls group's 6th Grade Girls meets on Tuesdays, from 3:30pm to 5:00 pm in room C105.


The 7th Grade Girls group's meets on Wednesdays from 3:30pm to 5:00 pm in room C105.


The 8th Grade Girls group will begin meeting on January 15th, 2020.

For more information contact Dominique Hickman at dhickman@oakparktownship.org

YEMBA

YEMBA is a hands on, community based forum for connecting, serving, educating, strengthening and empowering our youth physically, mentally and spiritually. For female and male youth grades 6th through 8th. Join your friends, classmates and peers in our mentoring empowerment program. A fun, safe, exciting experience and learn skills that will last a lifetime.

Wednesdays - 3:30pm 6:30pm

Includes: Homework help, mentoring, recreation workshops, snacks, guest speakers and much more...

For more information contact:

YMBA, INC.

(773) 842-5022

email: www.yemba@yemba-inc.org

Website: www.yemba-inc.org

Big picture

Community Programs

Distribution of information by a community group in accordance with District 97 policy does not imply, directly or indirectly, that the group's program(s), event(s) and/or services(s) is sanctioned, sponsored or endorsed by the district, the Board of Education or the superintendent.

Movie Fundraiser for Ukmata Family - Saturday, November 16th

The Oak Park Women’s Guild is hosting a movie fundraiser benefitting the Ukmata family. As the school year began, tragedy struck when Ardit Ukmata, father to one of our Brooks students, had an accident at work in which he suffered from broken vertebrae, a broken collar bone, and a severe head injury. Local friends were able to support Blerina Ukmata, his wife and mother to one of our Brooks students, and help provide some immediate back to school help. However, as their friends in the community learned the extent of Ardit’s injuries, it became clear that the family would need some additional help until he is cleared to return to work. While the workers’ compensation program has covered a bulk of the hospital and rehabilitation fees, they are facing other medical and therapy bills that are not covered during his recovery process.The event will be on Saturday, November 16th at 9:00am at Classic Cinemas Lake Theatre. Please see the link below to learn more and buy movie tickets or make a donation.


http://www.oakparkwomensguild.org/movie-fundraiser.html

Attendance of Children at OPRF Sporting Events

Oak Park and River Forest High School recently implemented a new rule when attending athletic events. Effective immediately, children ages 11 and younger will not be allowed to attend athletic events at OPRF unless they are accompanied by an adult age 18 or older. Please click here for the full message from the high school.

Free Water Skills/Safety Course through YMCA

The Executive Director of the YMCA is asking for our assistance to drive participation in their FREE water skills/safety course. Please see the list of dates for their upcoming session and engage families to consider. Flyer is linked here. The link for folks to enroll is: http://www.westcookymca.org/saw


Fall II Session: 10/28/19 through 12/22/19
Monday: 6:35 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Tuesday: 6:20 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Wednesday: 5:50 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Thursday: 6:20 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday: 4:30 p.m. to 5:10 p.m.
Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 8:40 a.m.
Sunday: 10:35 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.