The Weekly Masthead

News and information from our district and schools

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


Department of Student Services

REMINDER: Goal updates and report cards will be sent home on December 22, 2022.

ACCESS testing begins on January 11, 2023, for our multilingual learners. Our next MAP/F&P benchmark assessment window begins on January 25, 2023.

The executive functioning strategy/skill highlighted this week is TIME MANAGEMENT. Below are some strategies from that parents can use at home to help their children build skills.

Time Management is using techniques and strategies to make effective use of time. This involves having an accurate understanding of time, ignoring distractions, and working well when we need to. Some strategies for working on time management at home include:

  • Estimate and compare the time. Take any task and estimate how long it might take to complete. Then, actually complete that task and compare the times.
  • Beat the timer. Choose any task, such as folding laundry or putting away groceries. Estimate how long you think it will take you to complete. Then, set the timer and try to beat it.
  • Time management worksheets


December Fundraising

Help your children start saving change now for two winter fundraising events that give back to the community!

  • Coins for Kindness, a partnership with Meyer School. See the MEYER NEWS section below for more information.
  • Spare Change Fundraiser, a partnership with the Middleton Student Council. See the MIDDLETON NEWS section below for more information.

Watch for more information to be announced later this month, including how families can donate online.

McCracken 8th grade parents and families, the PTO is looking for leaders and volunteers for the 8th Grade Graduation Event. Please contact Karen Hayes at [email protected] to help with this annual event that celebrates the students’ accomplishments!

Are you a DJ? Do you know a DJ? Contact Karen Hayes to help the PTO provide a DJ at some upcoming events!


Happening at the ELL Center

#The Niles Township ELL Center is hosting a Job Hiring Event in partnership with ARAMARK Healthcare. Sign up for an interview for jobs in food services, environmental services, patient transport, and lobby services. Check this flyer for more information and to schedule an interview.

► WHEN: Monday, December 5th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

► WHERE: 9440 Kenton Avenue - Door #3. Click here for map and driving directions.

Registration is open for FREE winter/spring classes and programs for parents. Visit the ELL Center website for more information!

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 (TEXT) 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 if you are a registered parent, guardian, or staff member and your mobile number is already on file in PowerSchool.

LEARN MORE about how we use SMS text messaging.

PTO Dates


Monday, December 5th

6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

McCracken MPR

TOPIC: Skokie Park District Summer Programs



8th Grade Baby Pictures

It has been a tradition at McCracken Middle School to include 8th grade baby pictures in the yearbook. We need YOUR help securing these pictures. If you and your 8th grade student are interested in having their baby picture included in the yearbook please submit your student’s digital baby photo to [email protected]. Students can also bring a physical picture to school and give it to their advisory teacher. We need all the pictures by December 21st!

Lost and Found 

Our McCracken Middle School lost and found section in the front lobby hallway is growing with multiple coats, sweaters, water bottles, and more! We have reminded students to look through the lost and found to locate any personal belongings on their way to and from classes and lunch and recess. We are planning to donate lost and found items to a local charity organization after winter break, so any personal student items must be claimed by December 23rd. Please remind your child to claim and take home any of their personal belongings in the lost and found by December 23rd.

Social Justice Club Changemaker Series 

The "Meet a Changemaker!" series came about as a result of feedback from last year's Social Justice Club students who absolutely loved it when we had special visitors and expressed a desire to connect with more people. With that in mind, the goal of these sessions is to show students that there are a variety of different ways to have a positive impact in your community, whether through a career choice, volunteer work, activism or other civic engagement. So far, we have welcomed a social entrepreneur and founder of Camp Indigo Point (Shira Berkowitz), a senior policy advisor who worked on the national suicide hotline (John Lee), and a juvenile justice reform activist and spoken word poet (Trey Baker). We look forward to hosting more Changemakers throughout the year!

District 219 New Assyrian Course 2023-2024

#In September 2021, an Assyrian Language & Culture course proposal was submitted to the District 219 Curriculum & Instruction Committee by Assyrian staff to advocate for students to study Assyrian during the academic school year in order to fulfill World Language credit requirements for graduation. Families who self identify as Assyrian make up approximately 30% of the D219 school district. For details on the timeline of the course proposal, please read this letter.

At the November 2022 District 219 Board of Education meeting, approval was given to offer this course as a world language for the 2023-2024 school year. Feeder schools are helping to communicate this new Assyrian course information to middle school families as they make decisions about high school classes for their students. Eighth grade teachers will be distributing an interest survey to students in the near future. Please reference this FAQwhich provides some guidance on the questions that may surface as well as the next steps in the process. Please contact Niles North High School with any questions about this new course.

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

December 3rd

Concert Band Winter Invitational

December 6th

Symphonic & Concert Band 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

January 17th

8th Grade Niles North High School Curriculum & Activities Night

6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

February 9th & 10th

8th Grade Niles North High School Counselor Appointments


Student Council Spare Change Fundraiser

#Student Council Members have completed their research on various charities, and they have selected Team Seas as this year's recipient of our annual Spare Change Fundraiser. Student Council Members are working on developing morning announcements in order to highlight the mission and purpose of the Team Seas organization, and to share more details about the community fundraiser. Donations will be collected December 19th to December 23rd in students' homeroom classrooms. Every penny counts and makes a difference! Thank you in advance for your support of this philanthropic event!

4th & 5th Grade Singers

A huge shout out to an amazing music concert for our 4th and 5th graders! Their lovely singing resounded in the McCracken gym on Thursday evening. Thank you to our community for attending, our teachers for their support, to Ms. Merrier for her wonderful music teaching, and to the Board of Education for their continued support of the arts.

Second Session of Enrichment

Next week the brochure for our second session of enrichment (winter/spring) will be sent out. This session begins in January and runs through May. In the brochure, you will see that there will NOT be a late bus during the second session. Our bus company is not able to accommodate us with a bus at the time we need it. Students who are enrolled in the winter/spring Enrichment session must have a way home ((car pickup, walk, or SPACE if registered) on the following days and times when enrichment is over:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 3:50 p.m.
  • Tuesday at 2:50 p.m.

Run Club 5K

On November 18th Middelton hosted our first annual 5K run! Middleton runners trained for many weeks. Check the video for a snapshot of this terrific event!

School Arrival

Student supervision begins at 8:15 a.m. each morning. Students may come to school after this time when adult supervision begins. There is no adult supervision before 8:15 a.m.

Our first bell rings to allow students into the building at 8:25 a.m. Students are expected to be in their seats ready to learn at 8:30 a.m. Please help us in supporting students with a prompt 8:30 a.m. learn time by getting students to school no later than 8:25 a.m. Thank you!

Snow/Cold at Recess

As we enter into some snowy days, please take a moment to read through our snow play expectations. Please review these with your child so they know what to expect during our winter season.

  • Students should bring a coat, hat, and gloves to school each day. 
  • Students must have boots to play in snow. Snow pants are strongly encouraged, but not required. 
  • We use the Child Care Weather Watch system to gauge indoor/outdoor recess. PLEASE NOTE: We go outside at lower temperatures!
  • #Students should not play on icy patches and will be asked to stay away from dangerous areas. We will not go outside for recess if there is significant ice on the playground or on the blacktop.
  • Snow can be thrown up and away, but not at others. Ice or snowballs should not be thrown at all to avoid injury.
  • Remind students that we all share the snow outside, just as we have with the sticks and the leaves. If you build something today, it may not be there tomorrow!
    • Students should work to support other students’ snow builds. They should not destroy others’ builds within the same recess period. Ask a peer if they are done and if it is okay to destroy it if other students are nearby.

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.


We are looking for parent volunteers to assist with our Letter Lab. This lab supports our first and second grade students that need additional support in forming and writing their letters. The time commitment would be 2 hours one day a week. If you are interested please contact Principal Nikki Tammaru.


Just a reminder that all lost and found items will be donated over winter break. The lost and found is located in the front of the school by the office. If you are missing anything and want to stop by to look for it, please do so by December 23rd.


The next PTO meeting is on December 5th at 6:30 p.m. in the McCracken MPR. Skokie Park District staff will be here to discuss summer programming and camps. Information will also be shared about the upcoming Middleton School dance. Snacks will be provided. We hope to see you there!


Socktober Thank You!

#The Niles Township Clothing Closet would like to thank Meyer families for their generosity during Socktober. Because we collected 1,107 pairs of new socks, the Clothing Closet will be able to help so many more people. Thank you for helping to keep families warm this winter!

Meyer's Coins for Kindness

#Meyer has begun collecting Coins for Kindness, through December 13th, to benefit District 73.5 families who need extra kindness and support this holiday season. Our Meyer Shining Stars may bring loose change or coins to school for our collection.

Meyer Parent Leaders will use the money collected to purchase gifts for our "adopted" families. Preschool and Kindergarten classes will "shop" for gifts for our families at the Meyer Mart on December 20th to learn about "needs" and "wants." We hope our students will also learn that small acts of kindness can add up to a whole lot when we work together!

Winter Assessments

#Every winter, we use formal assessments to gauge student progress in early reading and math skills. This information helps teachers plan lessons and monitor student growth. Assessments are given one-on-one with a teacher. We will begin assessing our PreK-4 and Kindergarten students next week, and we will continue after winter break. For more information on assessments we use in the district for each grade level, please visit the Assessment of Student Progress and Family Assessment Walkthrough Videos websites. If you have questions about these assessments, please contact your child’s teacher or our school psychologist, Dr. Kristen McCann, at [email protected]. Thank you for your continued support and partnership. 

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

December 1st - 13th

Coins for Kindness

December 13th

Board of Education Meeting

McCracken MPR

7:00 p.m.

December 15th

Meyer Parent Leaders Meeting

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

December 17th

Meyer Parent Leaders Family Meet-up

December 20th

Meyer Mart

December 26th - January 6th

Winter Break

January 9th

Students return from Winter Break

January 10th

Board of Education Meeting

McCracken MPR

7:00 p.m.

January 16th

MLK Jr. Day

No School / District Closed

January 19th

Meyer Parent Leaders Meeting

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.


January 20th

Meyer Movie Night

6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

District Events

DIST: End of Trimester 3

All Day Event

DIST: Last Day of School

All Day Event

DIST: Last Day of School

8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

PTO: Monthly Meeting

6:30 PM - 8:00 PM


Meal Menu

This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.