Whittier Wildcat Word!

Friday, October 14, 2022

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A Message from Principal Robinson

Greetings, Whittier Wildcats,

We had another terrific week of school. Please be on the lookout for your child's IAR and MAP Assessment Student Reports. You should expect to receive all reports by Tuesday, October 18, 2022. Please take the time to review each of these reports as they provide you with how your scholar is performing on their academic journey toward mastering grade-level standards. Teachers will discuss these reports in more detail during your scheduled Parent/Teacher Conferences on Thursday, October 27, 2022, or the alternative date scheduled. If you have not done so, please sign up for a conference time to hear how teachers support our scholar's academic and social-emotional growth. Our goal is to have 100% family participation. Teachers are willing to work with families who might need to meet on a different night due to other circumstances.

Don't hesitate to contact us (708-524-3080) if you have any questions. If you need to schedule a meeting with Mrs. McComb-Williams or me, please contact Mrs. Alexander (ljohnson1@op97.org) or Ms. McGee (amcgee@op97.org) at 708-524-3080 to schedule an appointment.

I hope you and your Scholars have a fantastic weekend.


Patrick CL Robinson

Whittier School Principal

Whittier School - Where I Belong!

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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.
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1. Hello! My Name is Caroline Baker

2. This is my first year teaching first grade at Whittier. I taught first grade my first year of teaching at Irving school in Oak Park. After Irving, I taught kindergarten and multi-age at Whittier for 15 years.

3. My favorite color is any shade of green.

4. I like so many things about Whittier! We have a very respectful staff, we value each other, and we like to have fun! I am also proud of our unique history. Among other things, we were the first school in D97 to offer full day kindergarten through our amazing multi-age program. Also, I love my commute to work and my three children attended Whittier!

5. If I had a Super Power it would be Teleportation! I visit several places that are long car rides away. If I could teleport there I would save so much time and I'd be able to spend more time with my family and friends.

6. If I was an animal I guess I would be a cat. I have two cats and sometimes I'm jealous of how comfy they look sleeping on the couch

7. My advice for our Whittier scholars is to always choose kindness.

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 @ 11am)
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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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The month of October is National Bullying Prevention Month. This is a month-long event to prevent bullying and promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. Across the district our teachers will be teaching the Bullying Prevention Units, which is a 4 week curriculum designed to teach students to recognize, refuse and report bullying. As a reminder, conflict in childhood is natural and something that all human beings experience at all ages. Bullying is different from conflict in that it is ongoing in nature and a set of behaviors that have the intent to harm, hurt, or humiliate the victim. They involve power and control dynamics between two individuals or groups. Bullying can be reported at any time to a school staff member or by using this form. Over the next few weeks you will be seeing home links in our newsletters to let you know what your child is learning about bullying! OPTIONAL: Although we celebrate this month, we believe that preventing bullying is an all year, everyday effort!

This week we began teaching the Bullying Prevention Unit lessons during our Second Step time to help students learn how to recognize, refuse and report bullying. This week all students learned to define and recognize bullying. We taught students that bullying is when someone keeps being mean to someone else on purpose. The person it’s happening to hasn’t been able to make it stop. It is unfair and one-sided. Bullying is different from conflict, which is a natural aspect of childhood. We reviewed different scenarios and asked students to determine if the scenario describes bullying. Below are home links for each grade level that you may refer to if you’d like to extend their learning at home!

Kindergarten- Recognizing Bullying

First Grade- Recognizing Bullying

Second Grade- Recognizing Bullying

Third Grade- Recognizing Bullying

Fourth Grade- Recognize, Report, Refuse

Fifth Grade- Recognize, Report, Refuse

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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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Fun Run

Whittier PTO's annual Fun Run Fundraiser went Live September 12! Join us in our annual fundraiser with a variety of prizes(We need a Prize Sourcing Volunteers!) and on October 19th the kids run, take on the obstacle course with music and fun. Learn More and register today!

Grade Level PlayDates Are Here!

New this year, each Sunday through October, the PTO Liaisons will be hosting a meetup at Field Park. More details to come:

October 16th - 4th Grade

October 30th - 5th Grade

WISE Registration is still open!

WISE Registration is still open!

Jewelry Making, Yoga and more still have open slots. Review the courses here and register here.

SMART Math Tutoring

Looking for extra math practice or enrichment? SMART will be offering a 6-week fall program to give current 2nd through 5th graders an extra boost in math, in the early evenings starting the week of October 10th. New this year based on feedback from parents and teachers: SMART will have both “regular” and “advanced” math classes this fall. The “regular” classes will practice and reinforce grade-level material and the advanced classes will go beyond grade-level material. Sessions will be taught by D97 teachers over Zoom. For more information and to register by Friday, September 23, visit www.smart-oakpark.org.

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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!

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 and our teachers, staff and community have begun to celebrate and pay tribute to the contributions and history of Hispanic Americans. We'd love to hear how you are honoring the unique achievements, contributions and histories of Hispanic Americans this month! Tweet us (@OakPark97, using the hashtags #MyD97 and #D97Joy) to share stories and photos or email us at d97feedback@op97.org.

Looking for ideas of how to celebrate with your family? Learn about Latinx culture at the first annual Convivencia: Hispanic Heritage Month Festival, Saturday, Sept. 17, 12-4 p.m., Taylor Park, 400 Division St., Oak Park. This free event is hosted by the Oak Park Regional Housing Center in partnership with the Oak Park Public Library, Park District of Oak Park and the Village of Oak Park. Enjoy Latin American foods, live music in Spanish, cultural dance, face painting, loteria, a resource fair, and more. Visit oprhc.org/convivencia/ to learn more.

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