News and information from our district and schools
McCRACKEN. MIDDLETON. MEYER. Dates to Know. Meal Menu.
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Scroll just one Weekly to read about what's happening in the District and at McCracken, Middleton, and Meyer schools. Learn more about the redesign on our Newsletters landing page.
Department of Student Services
Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events:
► On Monday, October 3rd at 6:30 p.m. the PTO meeting will discuss Community Resources. Representatives from the ELL Parent Center, Skokie Park District, and Niles Township Government will share information about community partnerships and supports available to District 73.5 families. Children are welcome and food will be provided.
► On Monday, October 17th at 6:30 p.m. the PTO will present a special event about how District 73.5 supports differentiated learners. Guest speakers will be our Director of Student Services, Angela DeMay and EL Services Coordinator, Lyla Nissan. Check the PTO website for more information.
Skokie Human Services
The Village of Skokie Human Services Division can assist any Skokie resident who needs affordable eyeglasses. The OneSight Program through LensCrafters accepts appointments on Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. A referral letter from the Human Services Division is required. Call 847-933-8208 to schedule an appointment at Village Hall for a OneSight referral. More information is available at onesight.org/news/how-to-get-glasses-with-onesights-vision-voucher-program.
Teachers will be available for your choice of in person OR video conferences on Thursday, October 6th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Friday, October 7th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
October conference registration opens on Monday, September 26th at 7:00 a.m. and is available around the clock until Monday, October 3rd at 3:00 p.m.
NEW THIS YEAR! CONFERENCE LOGIN IS EASIER THAN EVER!
Parents and Guardians will now sign in through the PowerSchool Parent Portal website and then click a link to PowerPTC. Your conference dashboard will open automatically!
Be prepared! Sign in to your PowerSchool Parent Portal account now to make sure you can connect to PowerPTC before registration opens. Check the Guardian QuickStart Guide and visit our Parent-Teacher Conferences page for instructions and more information.
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.
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.
Help us to “Stock the Staff Lounge” with goodies. Drop off bagged snacks, drinks, K-Cups, tea, hot chocolate packets, candy, mints, and more to the school offices throughout the year. Thank you for your support!
McCracken Author Visit Writer’s Workshop
This week, popular middle grade author Lindsay Currie held a workshop with McCracken writers in the school library! Students from all three grades who expressed interest in writing workshops were invited to attend. The author guided participants through various creative writing exercises and answered questions about her work. Special thanks to our friends at The Book Stall for partnering with Mrs. Gammeri to make this event possible!
Start With Hello Week
During the week of September 12th, students participated in advisory activities connected with Start With Hello. The Start With Hello prevention program focuses on teaching children and teens how to be more socially inclusive to decrease the likelihood that any students will experience social isolation from peers. Activities included themes such as “getting to know you”, kindness, making connections, notes of gratitude, and identifying trusted adults. Special thanks to our Student Support Team, Moriah Bracken, Katie Pellish, Emily Crook, Erin Ellis, Stephanie Boshea, and advisors!
October Picture Day
Get ready to say “cheese” for our fall picture day on Thursday, October 6th! Students will be photographed by Lifetouch. Please see the attached digital flyer for more information on how to purchase student photo packages. Photos must be purchased online prior to picture day at mylifetouch.com using your child’s Student ID or Picture Day ID (EVT8CH2M8). Paper copies of the form were also passed out to students in their advisory class this week.
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? 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
Symphonic and Concert Band Fall Concert
There have been instances where parents call the office to let us know a student was "denied" lunch. Please know that we do not deny students a lunch, even if their lunch card has a negative balance. Fifth grade students can also get a second lunch. ALL students must pay for a second lunch regardless of their free/reduced status.
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.
We hope to see you at Parent-Teacher Conferences on the evening of October 6th and the morning of October 7th! This is a great opportunity to connect with your child’s teachers and to discuss academic and social-emotional progress. See above and be on the lookout for more information about how to sign up for a conference in the PowerSchool Parent Portal. Conferences are scheduled in October and February both in-person or virtually.
Middleton Book Fair
The Literati Book Fair is coming to Middleton from October 3rd through 7th in the Library! Students will preview the Book Fair during their library class with Ms. Glaser. Students can make a wish list during this time.
The Book Fair will be open for student purchases daily from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m. during homeroom. Students can bring a Literati Gift Card, cash, check, or credit card.
Anyone may shop on the dates and times below. Entrance into school will be either at the front door or by the Gilbert Garden near the SPACE doors.
- Monday, October 3rd from 3:00 to 6:15 p.m.
- Tuesday, October 4th from 2:00 to 6:15 p.m.
- Wednesday, October 5th from 3:00 to 6:15 p.m.
- Thursday, October 6th from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. (during Conferences)
- Friday, October 7th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon (during Conferences)
The Book Fair is a parent-run event sponsored by the PTO. We need YOU to support Middleton School by signing up for one or more volunteer slots on this sign-up form.
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].
From the Drama Room
Here are a few pictures of students enjoying the new stage in the Drama Room!
More from Middleton
SAVE THE DATE
The Soul Good Coffee truck will be at Middleton on September 27th from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. The truck will be located in the front of the school. Come purchase a cup of coffee and support a local business!
Please note that the date for Middleton Picture Day has changed to October 12th.
Site Evacuation Drill
Meyer School will conduct a Site Evacuation Drill on Thursday, September 22nd. We will practice how to move to another safe location within the community, with the support of the Skokie Police Department. Teachers will share a social story with students before the drill about what to expect during the drill.
PBIS Kick-Off Assembly
At Meyer School, we take a positive and proactive approach to school-wide and classroom behavior. While staff have already begun their classroom systems and routines, we will kick-off our school-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) program at Meyer next week. We will hold our PBIS Kick-off Student Assembly on Tuesday, September 20th in the Meyer Gym at the following times:
9:00 to 9:15 a.m.
Preschool classes: Chen AM, Saibert AM, Sanfilippo AM, Passarella AM
Kindergarten classes: Solomon, Huynh, Nahhas, Douglas
12:30 to 12:45 p.m.
Preschool classes: Chen PM, Saibert PM, Sanfilippo PM, Passarella PM, Silberman, Wienketz
Kindergarten classes: Siegler, LaBarbera
The assembly will last approximately 15 minutes, and we will teach students our school-wide expectations as well as model positive behaviors. All parents/guardians are welcome! Please check in at the main office when you arrive at Meyer.
Meyer Parent Leaders Meeting
Meyer Parent Leaders are parents and guardians dedicated to supporting the Meyer school and community by providing opportunities for Meyer families to connect and socialize. This group organizes events to build community and hosts fundraising events for the school.
Please join this month's in-person meeting. All parents/guardians are welcome! We will discuss and plan this year's various events and activities. We are looking for event/activity committee leaders!
Thursday, September 22, 2022
7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Enter through the Multipurpose Room (Door 12E), just south of the main entrance
More from Meyer
Meyer's Picture Day is scheduled for Friday, September 23rd, during the school day. To order pictures online, please go to lifetouch.com and use the Picture Day ID: EVT32NQNQ.
Dates to Remember
Meyer After-School Enrichment Classes Begin
9:00 to 9:15 a.m. and
12:30 to 12:45 p.m.
Meyer Parent Leaders Meeting
Enter through the Multipurpose Room (Door 12E)
Meyer Picture Day
Meyer Parent Leaders Family Meet-Up
5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
No School for Students
Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Breakfast: Bagel & Cream Cheese, Fresh Fruit & Milk *Kosher meals available upon reques...
Breakfast: Breakfast Bar, Fresh Fruit & Milk *Kosher meals available upon request Kosh...
Breakfast: Yogurt & Graham Crackers, Fresh Fruit & Milk *Kosher meals available upon re...
Breakfast: Cereal Bowl, Fresh Fruit & Milk *Kosher meals available upon request Kosher ...
Breakfast: Whole Grain Muffin, Fresh Fruit & Milk *Kosher meals available upon request ...
Breakfast: Bagel & Cream Cheese, Fresh Fruit & Milk *Kosher meals available upon reques...
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