The Weekly Masthead

News and information from our district and schools

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


Strategic Planning Community Roundtable

#Join us on Wednesday, November 9th for the fourth Strategic Planning Community Roundtable! This week's discussion will focus on fiscal responsibility and infrastructure.

  • WHERE: Elizabeth Meyer School Gymnasium. Enter at Door 6 across from the parking lot.
  • WHEN: 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

A light dinner will be served and language interpreters will be available on-site. The district is currently making arrangements for on-site child care. Please contact Aleks Davidovac at [email protected] if you are in need of childcare at this meeting. 

While we encourage in-person attendance so participants can interact with others in tabletop discussions, this meeting will also include a livestream broadcast in the Strategic Planning section of the website. The livestream will allow remote participants to view the initial introduction, but will not include small group breakout sessions or language interpreters. As an alternative, we invite remote participants to gather as a family or with friends and neighbors to watch the introduction via livestream and then discuss the questions together at your location. Background documents and more information will be provided alongside the livestream on the website.

Whether you join us in-person or via livestream with family, friends, and neighbors, we look forward to your participation on November 9th!

Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Update

We are excited to announce a new resource for families to help better understand the assessments used in our district. This new resource is designed to help families to learn about the following topics:

  • What assessments are given
  • Which students take each assessment
  • How the information is used for making instructional decisions in the classroom
  • How to understand the information that is provided to families

View the Family Assessment Walkthrough Videos at

Department of Student Services

From, some executive functioning strategies that parents can practice at home include planning, organization, task initiation, time management, and practicing self-control. This week’s highlight is PLANNING.

Planning is making a road map to help achieve a goal. Students might plan for a long-term assignment or how to tackle a challenging homework page. We also use planning lots of times in real life outside of school, such as planning what to make for dinner for the week. Some strategies to strengthen planning skills at home include:

  • Plan for a meal. Choose the meal you want to make, list out the ingredients, and review the steps before making it together. If you can, go ahead and make the meal together. The process of actually cooking a meal involves lots of skills from attention to follow the instructions to flexibility when something doesn’t go exactly as planned.
  • Plan a trip. Discuss what your dream vacation would be. Practice planning by thinking about where you would go, what time of year might be best, what you would bring, and more. Of course, this activity can be just for fun or really to plan a family vacation. That’s up to you.
  • List it out. Take one task, such as making a sandwich, and break it apart to all the small steps. Then, act it out following those steps. This can be a fun activity, because it’s easy to see how many small steps there are to every activity.
  • Fill the calendar. Try to think of as many events and activities for the year as you can. List them out on a yearly calendar ahead of time.
  • Make a daily checklist. Before starting the day, work together to come up with a daily checklist of tasks that need to get accomplished. After each task is accomplished, check it off!

Language Development: Using Our First Language at Home

Wordless picture books are told entirely through their illustrations — they are books without words, or sometimes just a few words. Sharing wordless books with a child provides an opportunity for literacy-rich conversations. Each "reader" listens and speaks, and creates their own story in their own words. Sharing wordless books is also a way for families to practice their first language skills. You can tell the story in your first language and then even in English. Here are a few tips for sharing wordless picture books with a child:

Daylight Saving Time Ends This Weekend!

Daylight Saving Time ends on the first Sunday in November. This year, that's November 6th. Remember to set your clocks, coffeemakers, and appliances back one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night or at 2:00 a.m on Sunday (whichever comes first!).

Are you curious to learn more about Daylight Saving Time? Check out this video from our friends up the street at Skokie Public Library!

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.

Get the Message!

PARENTS, GUARDIANS & STAFF! Snap the QR code OR text Y or YES to 67587 to authorize SMS text messages from SD73.5 to your mobile device! You will receive future SMS text messages ONLY if you are a registered parent, guardian, emergency contact, or staff member AND your mobile phone number is already on file in PowerSchool.

QR Code

PTO News




Monday, November 7th

6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

McCracken MPR

TOPIC: Understanding Test Scores

District 73.5 PTO logo

Around Town


Red Ribbon Week 

#Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October in the United States. It began as a tribute to fallen DEA special agent Enrique Camerena in 1985. According to the United States DEA, Red Ribbon Week is the nation's largest and longest-running drug awareness and prevention program. This year’s theme is Celebrate Life & Live Drug Free. Students participated in a variety of themed days this week and learned about the importance of staying drug free. The final activity was a door decorating contest with their advisory class! Check the preview photos below and then view the entire photo gallery here! Special thanks to our Student Services Team and advisors for supporting this important week!

McCracken Presents Mary Poppins Jr.

#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. Purchase tickets for the in-person performances here.

The 7:00 p.m. Saturday performace will be livestreamed on the McCracken website.

All are welcome to enjoy this supercalifragilisticexpialidocious show! 

Outdoor Recess Weather Reminders

#Students participate in outdoor recess throughout the school year unless there is a significant weather-related or other external factor that necessitates an indoor program. Here at McCracken, we use the Child Care Weather Watch system to determine students’ participation in outdoor recess. This guide uses a combination of temperature and wind speed to calculate year-round weather safety for our students. Thank you, in advance, for helping to ensure that your child is prepared with appropriate outerwear for recess so that they are comfortable during our outdoor programming! Families in need of outerwear for their child should contact administration for additional resources.

Student Arrival and Dismissal Reminders


  • Please drive slowly and carefully when picking up or dropping off students.
  • 6th Grade parents dropping off by Door 12 should pull all the way over to the curb on the right and quickly and safely allow their child to exit the vehicle so other cars can continue to Circle Drive. Please use your hazards to alert cars behind you.
  • Please do not make U-turns on East Prairie. Use the McCracken Circle Drive to turn around.
  • Students cannot cross the Circle Drive in front of cars to get into a vehicle parked on the street. Drivers must pull into the Circle Drive to maintain safety and drop off in the right lane only. 
  • Students must cross the intersection of Crawford and Oakton assisted by our crossing guards for their safety. Students are not allowed to cross East Prairie and Oakton without an adult before or after school.
  • Please be sure to communicate with your child about their after-school plans before school. Are they walking home, taking the bus, or staying after school for sports or a club? 

McCracken Extracurricular Programming

#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).

More from McCracken


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 3rd - November 18th

Niles North High School Online Registration (current 8th grade)

D219 Parent/Guardian Registration Letter

November 8th

Election Day

No school

November 11th

Mary Poppins Jr. Musical Performance

7:00 p.m.

November 12th

Mary Poppins Jr. Musical Performance

2:00 & 7:00 p.m.

November 17th

Picture Retakes

November 23rd - November 25th

Thanksgiving Break

District closed

December 3rd

Concert Band Winter Invitational

December 6th

Symphonic & Concert Band Concert

7:00 p.m.

December 14th

Winter Choir Concert

7:00 p.m.

December 19th

Winter Orchestra & Choir Concert

Niles North High School

7:00 p.m.

December 23rd

Hornet’s Hive Assembly

December 26th - January 6th

Winter Break

No School

January 9th

Students return from Winter Break


Teacher Feature

Check out what's going on in our Middleton classrooms!


Students in Mrs. Domingo's class enjoyed a parent visit during Morning Meeting. The students learned about Ecuador and El Salvador.

Mrs. Hollenberg's students used whisper phones to practice retelling.


Around Town: Niles West Presents!

Niles West High School presents the classic story of Romeo and Juliet. Performances are Friday, November 4th at 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 5th at 2:00 and 6:00 p.m. Visit the Niles West Theatre website for more information.

The Niles North Theatre Department also has a full schedule of 2022-2023 performances. Check their website to see what's playing!


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.


Socktober Donations

A pile of socksThank you to all our families who donated pairs of new socks during Socktober. We collected 1,107 pairs of socks to donate to the Niles Township Clothing Closet – a new record! We hope our Shining Stars learned that if everyone pitches in, we can really make a difference together. We’re thankful for everyone’s generosity!

Vision and Hearing Screenings

The Meyer school nurse, Mrs. Katie Orleans, will be conducting hearing and vision screenings for all students at Meyer during the month of November. Parents will be notified only if results require a follow up with an outside healthcare professional.

Gratitude Tree

#Help us celebrate gratitude this month, by filling the Meyer Gratitude Tree! We sent home a leaf-shaped paper with your child for them to write or draw what your family is thankful for. Send the leaf back to your child’s teacher at your earliest convenience so that we can include this on our tree! If you need another leaf, please contact your child’s teacher.

Parent/Guardian Workshop: Helping Your Child Regulate Feelings

#We will be hosting an in-person parent/guardian workshop, "Helping Your Child Regulate Feelings," on Thursday, November 17th from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Meyer Library. Please register for the workshop by completing THIS FORM and returning it to school with your child by Wednesday, November 9th. Only 20 spots are available!

Meyer Moments


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

November 6th

Daylight Saving Time

Set your clocks back one hour

November 8th

Election Day

No school

November 9th

District Strategic Planning: Infrastructure and Fiscal Responsibility

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

Fall Classroom Celebrations

November 23rd - November 25th

Thanksgiving Break

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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