The Weekly Masthead

News and information from our district and schools

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


Department of Student Services

Families who have children in the English Language program received program notice letters with student ACCESS scores. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Lyla Nissan, EL Coordinator, at [email protected].

The next Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee meeting is on Tuesday, October 18, 2022, at the Middleton Library. We will review the ACCESS assessment and home based activities to build language. We will also have a guest speaker from the Skokie Public Library. They will join us and share all the wonderful resources available to you. We are also excited to share that we will have a raffle at the end of the meeting where you could win a Target, Starbucks, or Panera gift card! 

Strategic Plan Update

D73.5 Strategic Plan Update informationOn Wednesday, September 28th, Skokie School District 73.5 hosted a Strategic Planning Celebration and Kickoff event. The community was invited to celebrate achievements and accomplishments of the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan and learn about ongoing work for 2024-2029. Visit our 2024-2029 Strategic Planning website page for more information and links to documents that were shared at the event.

Around Town

Click an image below for information about upcoming events in and around Skokie....

  • October 7th-9th: American Indican Center 69th Annual Chicago Powwow
  • October 23rd: Assyrian American Association of Chicago: Our Assyrian Heritage is Our Identity Lecture
  • November 18th: Toward Health Equity in Skokie
  • Ongoing: South Asians Active Together Research Study

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.

PTO News

PTO & STUDENT SERVICES EVENT: Differentiated Learners

Monday, October 17th

6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

McCracken MPR

GUESTS: Director of Student Services Angela DeMay and District EL Coordinator Lyla Nissan

Differentiated learners include students with 504 plans, Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), or who are English Language or Multilingual Learners


Sunday, November 6th

Interested in planning or helping at the event? Fill out this form.


Monday, November 7th

6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

McCracken MPR

TOPIC: Understanding Test Scores

Skokie District 73-1/2 PTO logo


McCracken Musical Performance

#Rehearsals are underway for our 2022 McCracken musical, Mary Poppins Jr.!  Forty-one talented cast members have been rehearsing their scenes and songs since early September.

Mary Poppins Jr. transports us to London in 1910, telling the story of the Banks family and the valuable lessons they learn from their mysterious new nanny.

Performances will be held on Friday, November 11th at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 12th at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. Ticket information is coming soon, and a livestream option will also be available. All are welcome to enjoy this supercalifragilisticexpialidocious show!

All School Read Assembly

#On Friday, September 30th, McCracken celebrated All School Read with an in-person assembly for the first time in three years. The celebration and assembly activities were built around the novel, Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling. The students started in their advisory classes by designing a tool that would help students flip a page in a book, tying in with the book’s theme of ingenuity in the face of physical challenges. Other activities included small groups matching quotes and participating in "Cactus Relays."

ELA and STEAM teachers prepped their students for the assembly by practicing small group discussion skills, determining theme, revisiting point of view, and reading informational texts connected to the novel. Meanwhile, Ms. Repp’s STEAM class participated in an accessibility design challenge.

Thank you for encouraging your students to read and supporting All School Read!

6th Grade Niles North High School Tutoring

#Attention 6th grade students and families! Niles North High School is extending their tutoring program to include 6th grade feeder schools this year. Niles North students will provide tutoring services to students in reading, writing, math, science, and more on Mondays from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Please access this Niles North High School flyer to learn more and complete the one-time registration. Thank you to Niles North High School for including our 6th graders in this great program!

Social Media Awareness Reminders

#Many of our middle school students are using technology in multiple ways to communicate with peers outside of school. They may be using smartphones and social media apps to communicate with friends. Social media applications have parental controls for monitoring and safety. At times, students at this age may experience peer conflict that may turn into negative interactions online with friends or acquaintances. Negative interactions or cyberbullying that impacts the school environment may result in school-issued consequences. Please monitor your child’s online presence and help to reinforce online safety and kindness in communication. Please see this social media parent letter that was shared with families on September 26th for more information. We look forward to partnering with you to keep our students safe at school!

Student Council Election

#Student Council Elections took place this week at McCracken Middle School! Student candidates in grades 6-8 were encouraged to run for Student Council president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. Students can also serve as Student Council grade level representatives in this important student leadership group. Candidates worked diligently to create fun campaign posters, slides, and virtual speeches. All students were able to view the speeches and vote for their preferred candidates, exercising their right to participate in the election process! Final election results were shared with students and staff on Thursday. We are so proud of all participating candidates and final winners!

Hispanic Heritage Month

#Our Cultural Diversity Club sponsored by Ms. Lynn Catanus is helping to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at McCracken Middle School. They are sharing facts and resources with our students and staff this month. Did you know that Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th because September is the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile? Special thanks to our McCracken Cultural Diversity Club for their efforts in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month!

Parent-Teacher Conferences

District 73.5 hosted Parent-Teacher Conferences in person and virtually 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. McCracken students were encouraged to participate in these conferences as a means for self-reflection, progress monitoring, and goal setting. We encourage parents who were unable to secure conferences to reach out to individual teachers to coordinate another time to connect. PowerSchool is available to families and students to monitor academic progress throughout each trimester. We are so thankful to parents and guardians for their continued partnership!

Conference times are available on a first come, first served basis and were scheduled to allow as many families as possible to meet with their child’s teacher(s) during the conference window. If a teacher’s schedule was full on conference days, parents can contact the school by phone or email to request a meeting with individual staff members throughout the school year. 

Purple Bee logo

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).


Drop off bagged snacks, drinks, K-Cups, tea, hot chocolate packets, candy, mints, and more to the school office throughout the year so we can show staff our support.

Dates to Remember

Tuesday, October 11th

Student SHIELD Tests will be distributed on October 11th and collected on October 12th due to the long weekend

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

Symphonic and Concert Band Fall Concert

Friday, October 28th

Institute Day

No school

Tuesday, November 8th

Election Day

No school

Friday, November 11th

Mary Poppins Jr. Musical Performance

7:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 12th

Mary Poppins Jr. Musical Performance

2:00 and 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, November 23rd - Friday, November 25th

Thanksgiving Break

District closed


Parent Teacher Conferences

Thank you to all the families who signed up for Parent-Teacher Conferences. Our staff always enjoy the opportunity to get to know you as the parents of the students they serve. If you weren't able to attend a conference I encourage you to reach out to the classroom teacher to check in regarding your child's progress. Our goal is to connect with 100% of our parents.

New Email for Front Office

Please use the email address [email protected] for any changes to a child's schedule. This will ensure that both of our front office staff receive your email rather than emailing one of them directly. Thank you!

Students working in the greenhouse
Bulldog logo

More from Middleton


Drop off bagged snacks, drinks, K-Cups, tea, hot chocolate packets, candy, mints, and more to the school office throughout the year so we can show staff our support.


District School Year Calendar

The district’s school year calendar for 2022-2023 was revised and approved by the Board of Education in February 2022 and posted on the district website. However, the old version still appears as the first result if you search on Google! The current version of the school year calendar is always available at

Please note that Winter Break is scheduled for December 26th through January 6th, with students returning to school on Monday, January 9th.

October is SOCK-tober!

#During the month of October, we are collecting new socks to be donated to the Niles Township Clothing Closet. Students can bring in new socks of any size, which will be donated at the end of the month. Last year, we donated over 1,000 pairs of socks!

We want to show our Meyer Shining Stars that even the smallest acts of love, like donating a pair of socks, can make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors in need. 

Students can also show their support by celebrating Wacky Socks Wednesdays! Wear your wacky socks every Wednesday in October. 

Then join us for Socktoberfest on October 27th from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., hosted by the Meyer Parent Leaders. More details will be sent home soon.

Meyer Parent Leaders: Sign Up to Volunteer!

Are you looking for a way to get involved at Meyer? Do you enjoy event planning or throwing a great party? The Meyer Parent Leaders need volunteers to help plan events and activities! Please sign up at

Check out the MPL's Facebook page or website!

QR Codes for Social Media

Car and Booster Seats

#Did you know that children aged 3-6 years old should still be in forward-facing car seats or booster seats, by law? Please help keep our Shining Stars safe by having them buckle up in a car or booster seat, when riding in a vehicle. Please see the age-specific recommendations at

The Skokie Health Department offers a short-term car seat loaner program for Skokie residents. The "TOTS" (Travel Seats Offer Travel Safety) program loans seats at no cost. A $10 deposit is required and will be returned less a $5 cleaning fee when the seat is brought back in good condition. Borrowers are instructed on the proper installation and usage of the seats. Seats can be reserved by calling the Health Department at 847-933-8252.

Chicago Free Museum Days

Take advantage of the wonderful museums we have in Chicago! Many of our museums have "free" days, where admission is free of charge. Please see the list and links below for more information.


Field Museum 

Several free day dates in October and November

Museum of Science and Industry  

Free day dates on November 1st and 8th
Adler Planetarium

Every Wednesday from 4:00 to 10:0 p.m.
The DuSable Museum

Free every Wednesday in 2022; online advance booking required
National Museum of Mexican Art

Always free! Open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Meyer Moments

Meyer Logo

More from Meyer


Drop off bagged snacks, drinks, K-Cups, tea, hot chocolate packets, candy, mints, and more to the school office throughout the year so we can show staff our support.

Dates to Remember

October 10th

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

No school

October 11th

7:00 p.m.

McCracken MPR

Board of Education Meeting

October 19th

District Strategic Planning: Welcoming Environment

October 20th

7:00 p.m.

Meyer MPR

Meyer Parent Leaders Meeting

October 22nd

Meyer Parent Leaders Family Meet-up

October 25th

District Strategic Planning: Hiring & Retention

October 27th

6:00 to 7:30 p.m.


October 28th

Institute Day

No school for students

November 2nd

District Strategic Planning: Acceleration of Learning

November 3rd

Meyer School Picture Retakes

November 8th

Election Day

No school

November 9th

District Strategic Planning: Infrastructure and Fiscal Responsibility

November 16th

District Strategic Planning: Create Goals and Strategies for Initiatives

November 17th

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Meyer Parent Leaders Meeting

November 19th

Meyer Parent Leaders Family Meet-up

November 22nd

End of Trimester 1

November 23rd - 25th

Thanksgiving Break

No school

District Events

Meal Menu


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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