The Weekly Masthead

News and information from our district and schools

McCRACKEN. MIDDLETON. MEYER. Dates to Know. Meal Menu.



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Department of Student Services

Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events:

  Skokie proudly welcomes Dr. Devorah Heitner to a parent education event on September 27, 2022, at 6:30 pm in the McCracken Multipurpose Room. The session will be about parenting in the digital age. Dr. Heitner is the author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in their Digital World, a Guide to Mentoring Digital Kids. Her insights have appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, Psychology Today, Real Simple, and others. Dr. Heitner has a Ph.D. in Media/Technology and Society from Northwestern University and has taught at DePaul University and Northwestern University. She is delighted to be raising her own digital native, too.

  Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee (BPAC) meetings for the 2022-2023 school year will be held in the Middleton Multipurpose Room from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on the following dates:

  • September 20, 2022
  • October 18, 2022
  • February 17, 2023
  • May 9, 2023

  We are excited to announce that we are partnering with the ELL Parent Center to offer an ELL Parent Mentoring Program. Check the ELL Parent Mentoring flyer for more information.

Stock the Staff Lounge

Are you interested in supporting our dedicated and hard working teachers and staff? Help us to “Stock the Staff Lounge” with donated goodies throughout the year. We FINALLY re-opened the staff lounges after almost 3 years and we want to roll out the red carpet for McCracken, Middleton, and Meyer staff. Drop off bagged snacks, drinks, K-Cups, tea, hot chocolate packets, candy, mints, and more to the school offices throughout the year so we can show staff our support. Thank you for considering and thank you to the families who dropped off donations this week!

District Equity Cohort with Dr. Dubiel

District 73.5 is excited to partner with Dr. Ivette Dubiel in a year-long cohort for District 73.5 staff and community to learn and discuss equity. This course will meet once a month via Zoom from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. throughout the year. The meeting dates and topics are listed on this chart.

Due to the nature of conversations and level of sharing that takes place during these learning opportunities, it is important for participants to be present at all sessions. We understand that things arise sometimes; participants are allowed one absence during the cohort. 

To register, please complete the District 73.5 Equity Cohort form.

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to Dan Swartz at [email protected].

Skokie Community Health Survey: Your Health, Your Community, Your Voice

Your voice matters! Skokie residents are invited to participate in a short Community Health Survey. The survey is anonymous and will take about 5-7 minutes to complete. The survey available in English, اردو , Española, Tagalog, فارسی, and Русский. Follow this link to take the survey:

Skokie’s Community Health Survey helps the Skokie Health and Human Services Department gain insight into factors that may impact the community's health and how they may be improved. The data collected will help a group of community members and leaders set goals and assist in designing and implementing the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). If you have any questions please contact Liz Nelson, Public Health Coordinator with the Village of Skokie, at 847-933-8494 or [email protected].

SD73.5  Priorities

Welcoming Environment. All students, staff, parents, and community members will feel welcome in our District.

Hiring and Retention. Our community's diversity will be represented in our staff and we will create systems to ensure we retain our staff.

Instruction. We will accelerate learning for all students through a strengths-based approach to grow each student from where they are.

Student Handbooks

Please send your receipt of the Student / Parent Handbook and parent permission slip to school with your student by September 16th. This indicates you have read and understand our school rules and policies. 

Balinese Music Workshop

McCracken will host a music workshop with Chicago Balinese Gamelan on Wednesday, September 21st from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. on the McCracken Field and asphalt area (rain location is the Multipurpose Room). District 73.5 families are invited to enjoy a brief performance and then play instruments that come from Bali, Indonesia. Middleton and Meyer students must be accompanied by an adult, and complete the Balinese Music Workshop Registration Form.

GSA Parent/Guardian Group


Curriculum Night

Thank you for joining us for our McCracken Curriculum Night program on Thursday, September 8th! Our staff enjoyed connecting with parents and guardians in person around the building. You can access the Administrative Welcome presentation online. Teachers and staff are available to connect with you about your child’s progress throughout the school year. We are looking forward to a successful year ahead partnering with families and supporting our McCracken Hornets!

McCracken Buzz Bucks

At McCracken, our core behavior matrix revolves around the motto, "Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Ready." Students engaged in PBIS rotations at the beginning of the school year outlining student behavior expectations in and around the building to support student success. Students earn Buzz Bucks from staff members for exhibiting positive behaviors. Examples of these positive behaviors can include waiting respectfully to participate in a discussion, being kind to peers, or listening to and following directions in the classroom, hallway, cafeteria, and during recess. Students have the opportunity to "cash-in" their Buzz Bucks for prizes throughout the school year by visiting our Redemption Center during recess periods and after school on scheduled days. Each week, one student from each grade level that has earned Buzz Bucks is selected from the grade level boxes in the lobby. They are invited to spin the wheel to earn a special prize from the main office. Buzz Bucks are also tallied by grade level each trimester and the grade level earning the most Buzz Bucks is rewarded with a special prize after our Hornet Hive Trimester Assembly. Our Buzz Bucks system focuses upon teaching, reinforcing, and rewarding our positive behavior expectations so that a productive learning environment is created for all students. Go Hornets!

Girls Who Code Club

Oakton Community College is offering a free VIRTUAL club for Middle Schoolers. The virtual Girls Who Code Club runs from September 13th through December 13th on Tuesdays. For new coders, the session runs from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. For experienced coders, the sessions run from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. On a weekly basis, the students can choose which session they would like to attend or they can attend both sessions. Parents can use this form to register their student.

Athletic Game Spectator Guidelines

We are excited to be able to host and participate in sporting events in the Little 9 Conference this year without any COVID-19 protocols (though we still encourage mask wearing at our home games). We do have behavioral expectations for attending games at McCracken for both students and parents/guardians:

  • Spectators can enter the building and gymnasium only when the supervisor allows. This generally comes after the opposing team has arrived. All spectators will be required to sign in with our supervisors.
  • Students are expected to follow all supervisor directions in a respectful manner. 
  • Students must stay in the student section and be seated throughout the game. Students cannot hang out in the lobby or make repeated trips to the restroom.
  • There is no negative cheering permitted against the other team, nor cheering at times to purposely disrupt the other team (for example, during serves in volleyball, or free throws in basketball). 
  • Students cannot be on their cell phones during games. If they need to make a call, they can step out briefly into the lobby.
  • Food and drinks are not allowed in the gymnasium.

Failure to follow any of these behaviors could result in students being asked to leave the game and, possibly, miss additional games as well. Good sportsmanship and kindness lead to positive outcomes for all of our student athletes and spectators!

8th Grade PSAT Assessment Information

  • The PSAT 8 assessment for our 8th grade students will be administered at Niles North High School on Saturday, October 1, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (approximate end time)
  • All 8th graders planning to enroll at Niles North High School are expected to take the PSAT 8, the first high school level exam in the SAT Suite of Assessments. The PSAT 8 establishes a baseline measurement for college and career readiness as a student enters high school. The exams in the SAT Suite of Assessments measure a student's strength in reading, writing/language, and mathematics. Monitoring these same skills at different grade levels allows students, parents, and educators to monitor a student's progress.
  • This assessment is free of charge and given to junior high (middle school) students in the fall of the year prior to high school registration. Results from this test, along with other metrics, will be used for proper 9th grade course placement.
  • Please access the Niles North High School PSAT 8/9 - 8th Grade website for additional information.
  • If you have any questions, please contact Niles North testing coordinator Marija Markovic at 847-626-2177 or by email at [email protected]. A letter was mailed to families from Niles North High School on August 22, 2022.
  • PSAT 8 FAQ Sheet

More from McCracken


Here at McCracken, we are proud to offer a variety of student athletic and enrichment programs. These programs allow students to exercise their strengths, tackle areas of growth, and socialize with peers. Be sure to sign up your student for one of our great extracurricular activities clubs or activities! Review the Fall 2022 Extracurricular Slideshow (with videos and important links) and Brochure for information, registration links, and the payment link (for a small number of activities).


Are you interested in having your student sign up for the McCracken Orchestra to play violin, viola, cello, or bass? Jennifer Page will present a demonstration at McCracken during grade-level lunch periods on Monday, September 12th. Fill out the 2022-2023 Middle School Orchestra Registration form if your child is interested in registering for Orchestra. Practices begin Thursday, September 22nd.

Dates to Remember

Friday, September 30th
All School Read Student Assembly

Saturday, October 1st
Niles North High School

8th Grade PSAT Assessment

Thursday, October 6th
McCracken Fall Picture Day

Tuesday, October 18th
McCracken Middle School
7:00 p.m.

Symphonic and Concert Band Fall Concert


Running Club

Do you love staying active and working towards a goal? Running Club is the perfect place for you! Join in with other 3th-5th graders who are ready to work hard, have fun, and RUN! Each session will feature a confidence building activity as well as runner’s training with the goal of completing a Middleton 5K race on Friday, November 18th at 3:30 p.m. on the McCracken track. This club will meet on Mondays from 3:00 to 3:50 p.m.  Our running club season will go from September 19th to November 14th. Be on the lookout for registration forms coming home along with a Running Club Flyer. All forms and registration must be turned in by September 14th. We hope to see you there! For any additional questions contact Mrs. Hampton at [email protected] or Mrs. McWherter at [email protected].

5th Grade White Pines Outdoor Education Overnight Trip

We will take our annual overnight trip to Oregon, IL at White Pines Ranch! Students will experience engaging activities such as orienteering with compasses, digging for fossils, hikes, team building, and more! Meals and sleeping accommodations are provided. This year, the trip will be October 19th through 21st. A packet of information was shared with families during the White Pines Information Session before Curriculum Night OR in student backpacks. Please look over the packet and turn in the required forms as soon as possible. All forms and fees are due by October 7th. We look forward to a great trip! If you have any questions, feel free to contact your child’s teacher or Assistant Principal Mrs. Stephanie Larenas, who will also attend the trip.

Social Justice Club

Social Justice Club will meet once or twice a month during lunch and recess with a focused topic. Students will get their lunch from the cafeteria or bring from home and then meet in a designated classroom. There will be three groups: Grades 1-2, Grades 3-4, and Grade 5. Topics will include and build off the following concepts:

  • Community Building: getting to know and value each member of the group
  • Self Identity: understanding and celebrating the many identities of oneself
  • Diversity: exploring and celebrating others, especially those who identify differently from oneself
  • History: examining discrimination through history, structures, and current events
  • Justice: finding ways to create a more fair and equitable world
  • Action: speaking out, creating art, and more to solve issues related to racism, gender discrimination, ableism, Islamophobia, etc.

We will let students and families know the meeting schedule in late September. If your child is interested in participating please fill out the Social Justice Club Permission Form by Monday, September 19th. If you have any questions, please contact Abby Harris-Ridker at [email protected].

It Starts With Art

More from Middleton


First Grade Students and Families: As a reminder, when dropping off or picking up 1st grade students, please drive south down Kimball and turn right onto Madison Av. St. Louis Av. is not a drop-off location during regular arrival and dismissal.


Please note that the date for Middleton Picture Day has changed to October 12th. 


After School Enrichment

After School EnrichmentMeyer Fall Enrichment classes will run September 19th through December 1st. Enrich MEYER brochures with more details were sent home in backpacks on Thursday. Please return the forms to school by Thursday, September 15th. If you have any questions, please contact our Enrich MEYER Coordinator, Rachel Douglas, at [email protected]

Fire Drill

Meyer School will conduct the first fire drill for all Meyer classrooms on Wednesday, September 14th. We will prepare students for the drill, helping them to understand and practice how to exit the building safely, and to not be afraid when the fire alarm is sounded.

Meyer School Picture Day

Meyer's Picture Day is scheduled for Friday, September 23rd, during the school day. To order pictures online, please go to and use the Picture Day ID: EVT32NQNQ


Seesaw is a great way to stay connected to Meyer School and your child’s teachers. Teachers can send messages, share student work, and post photos through the Seesaw website and app. If you have not signed up for Seesaw yet and would like to set up your account, please contact your child’s teacher.

Meyer Moments

When you next visit Meyer School, please stop for a minute to enjoy the Meyer Mural!

Meyer Mural

More from Meyer

Dates to Remember

September 14th

SHIELD Testing Begins

September 15th

Meyer Enrichment Class Registration Due

September 19th

Meyer Enrichment Classes Begin

September 20th
9:00 to 9:30 a.m. and
12:30 to 1:00 p.m.

PBIS Kick-off

September 22nd

7:00 p.m.

Meyer Parent Leaders Meeting

Enter through the Multipurpose Room (Door 12E)

September 23rd

Meyer Picture Day

September 24th

Meyer Parent Leaders Family Meet-Up

October 6th

5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Parent/Teacher Conferences

October 7th

8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Parent/Teacher Conferences

No School for Students

October 10th

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

No School

District Events

PTO: Monthly Meeting

6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Finance Committee Meeting

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

PTO: Monthly Meeting

6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Meal Menu

We're sorry, no events were found for this calendar.

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