The Weekly Masthead

News and information from our district and schools

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


Literacy Month badgeSkokie School District 73.5 will celebrate literacy throughout the month of February. Students, teachers, and the community are invited to participate in different literacy activities hosted by our schools and district. Literacy Month will start with World Read Aloud Day on February 1st and conclude with special theme days during Read Across America Week at the end of the month. Visit our Literacy Month web page and Calendar of Events for all the details!

Stay tuned to the website, Twitter, and Facebook pages to see how you can participate. Please share your enthusiasm and experiences with us by using the hashtag #LiteracyMonthSD735 on your social media posts!

 Department of Student Services

The executive functioning strategy/skill highlighted this week is FLEXIBILITY. Below is a strategy from that parents can use at home to help their children build skills.

Flexibility is being able to deal with change effectively. It includes being able to "go with the flow" and change our approach when we need to.

  • Change the ending. After reading a book or watching a movie, try to come up with an alternate ending or a different way the characters could have solved the problem.

ACCESS testing is underway and MAP testing is finishing up across the District.

A coffee with the Superintendent and Restorative Practices informational session for parents is scheduled for February 7th at 6:00 p.m. Watch for more information!

The Bilingual Parents’ Advisory Committee (BPAC) meeting is scheduled for February 16th at 6:30 p.m. in the library at Middleton Elementary School.

If your family is experiencing financial hardship, including homelessness, please contact Angela DeMay at [email protected]; the District may be able to provide resources and/or support. If you would like to explore resources on your own, please visit our Student Services web page.

 News from the Business Office

The Business Office was advised that the final round Summer 2022 P-EBT benefits was issued in December. If you believe you qualify and have not received benefits, or you have questions about Summer P-EBT, call the toll-free P-EBT Helpline number at 1-833-621-0737. Operators are available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday thru Friday, excluding State holidays. Please know the estimated call wait time is approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

Fee Waiver Information

Skokie School District 73.5 waives school fees for eligible families. A "waiver" means that students will not be charged registration fees, school activity/club fees, or field trip fees. A fee waiver application must be completed to receive a waiver, and only one application is required per year. If you have any questions concerning fee waiver eligibility or the application process please contact Karen Hayes in the Business Office at [email protected] or by phone at 847-676-8317.

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!


LEARN MORE about how we use SMS text messaging.

PTO Website



Do you want to be a substitute teacher? See THIS LINK for more information!

The Substitute Cooperative logo


Local museums offering free admission


Free and reduced admission with SNAP EBT card


MLK Jr. Day of Service and Food Drive

Thank you to all students and staff who attended McCracken’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and Food Drive on Monday, January 16th. This was an opportunity for students to honor the legacy of Dr. King by volunteering their time to help our school and community. Participants completed various service projects in the school as well as facilitated a food drive to benefit the Niles Township Food Pantry. Thank you to families who donated non-perishable food items, toiletries, and cleaning products!

photo of MLK Day of Service participants
photo of food drive items
McCracken Book Fair

Save the Date: Niles North Curriculum & Activities Night on 1/17/2023 at 6:00 p.m.We are very excited to bring back the Book Fair at McCracken in February. Please save the date during the week of February 13th to support literacy at McCracken! Students will have an opportunity to visit the book fair in our multipurpose room during their ELA classes. More information about this upcoming book fair will be shared soon! Thank you to Tori Gammeri and parents for organizing and facilitating the Book Fair.

NEW McCracken Parent-Teacher Conference Sign Up Process

Our February Parent-Teacher conferences are coming up soon!

Due to the number of students that McCracken teachers serve, the conference day time constraints do not allow enough appointment slots to schedule every family. As part of our work to improve and create systems to increase equity of access, the Systems strand of our District Equity Leadership Team (DELT) reviewed conference registration across the district. In an effort to distribute appointments equitably among middle school families, McCracken will pilot a new registration process in February to increase access to conferences with middle school teachers:

  • Families may schedule up to three appointments with McCracken teachers when registration opens at 7:00 a.m. on February 6th.
  • On February 9th, the appointment limit will be removed. Families may sign up for additional conferences with available teachers until registration closes on February 13th.

The district will send more information as we get closer to conferences, including how and where to get help with registration.

Thank you for supporting our efforts to increase access and make conferences available to more McCracken families.

8th Grade Upcoming Important Events

Graduation Letter for Parents and Guardians

Please see this letter from the McCracken Administrative Team for important information and dates to know about 8th Grade graduation. Click or tap below for translations.

عربي . Arabic   •   ગુજરાતી . Gujarati   •   Español . Spanish   •   Tagalog   •   اردو . Urdu   •   Tiếng Việt  . Vietnamese

Diploma Cards & Graduation Gown/Tassel Orders
Due Friday, February 3rd

We are preparing to place orders for graduation diploma cards, gowns, and tassels for our Class of 2023 graduates! The forms below must be completed by February 3rd.

Registration Appointments with Niles North Counselors
Thursday, February 9th and Friday, February 10th

Niles North counselors will meet with students and parents to review class placement for the upcoming school year. Placement is based on PSAT scores and teacher recommendations. Families of students who receive Special Education services or English Language services may have alternate appointment dates for more individualized support. Your child’s appointment date and time will be shared with parents and guardians by Niles North High School.

Class of 2027 Course Registration Appointments
  • The PTC portal to sign up for Niles North course registration appointments opened on January 11th and will close on January 24th. Registration appointments are in person at Niles North.
  • Students are expected to attend school at McCracken on the day of counselor appointments before and/or after their appointments at Niles North.
  • Parents/guardians will sign out their child when picking them up to attend their scheduled counselor appointments.
  • Niles North High School will share appointment times with parents and guardians and with McCracken teachers and administration.
  • Student information packets were distributed to families at Curriculum & Activities Night on January 17th. Anyone who was not able to attend will receive the packet by mail.
  • Please email Niles North High School registration questions to Denise French at [email protected].
8th Grade Graduation Pictures
Wednesday, February 1st

Our 8th grade students will have their graduation pictures taken on Wednesday, February 1st at McCracken. One photo will be taken in a purple graduation gown (provided by Lifetouch) and the other in the student's chosen dress clothes. When the photos have been processed, Lifetouch will then send the proofs to the school to be distributed to students and families. Parents/guardians will have an opportunity to review the pictures and order any preferred photos from the delivered proof package. There is no money due on Picture Day. Payment will be due to Lifetouch when families select their preferred photos online. Please see this flyer from Lifetouch for more information.

8th Grade End of the Year Event
Saturday, May 20th

McCracken PTO, in collaboration with parents and staff, will host an 8th grade end of the year event at McCracken Middle School on Saturday, May 20th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Please complete this form if you are interested in helping to plan this fun celebratory event with other 8th grade parents and guardians. We need assistance with decorations, food, games, supervision, fundraising, and more. Thank you in advance for helping to make sure our graduates receive the sendoff they deserve!

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? 

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.


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 2022 Extracurricular Slideshow (with videos and important links) and Brochure for information, registration links, and the payment link (for a small number of activities).



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.

stay warm in cold weather

Dates to Remember

January 27th & 28th

IMEC Music Conference (Symphonic Band & 8th Grade Singers)

February 1st

Graduation Picture Day

World Read Aloud Day

Niles North 8th Grade Band Day

February 2nd

8th Grade Choral Exchange Festival

February 3rd

Graduation Gown/Tassel & Diploma Name Forms Due

February 9th & 10th

8th Grade Niles North High School Counselor Appointments

Week of February 13th

McCracken Book Fair

February 13th

Concert Band SuperState Recording Sessions

February 16th & 17th

Parent Teacher Conferences

February 20th

Presidents' Day

No School / District Closed

Please access our public calendar on the district website for athletic game times and locations.


School Movie Night and Dance

On January 27th from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. we will have a School Movie Night for grades 1-3 and a School Dance for grades 4-5. 

  • All 1st-3rd grade students must be accompanied by an adult to attend Movie Night. No permission slip is necessary. You can find more information here.
  • All 4th and 5th students are required to turn in their permission slips upon entry to the building. 

Do you want to volunteer to help chaperone this event? Please complete this survey!

Food Drive

All next week we will be collecting food items to donate to the Niles Township Food Pantry. There will be a table set up outside the front office to collect the donations. And remember, if you are attending our 1st-3rd Grade Movie Night or 4th-5th Grade School Dance next Friday, January 27th from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. please send a food item with your student!

Upcoming Spirit Days

February 16th: Kind Day. Spread random acts of kindness around Middleton!
March 24th: Rainbow Celebration

  • STAFF: Purple
  • 5th: Blue 
  • 4th: Green 
  • 3rd:  Yellow
  • 2nd:  Orange
  • 1st:  Red

April 28th: Physical Education Day. Wear sports or athletic wear!

Spare Change Fundraiser Update

Thanks to all who participated in our Student Council Spare Change Fundraiser! We raised $327.82 for Team Seas to help clean up our oceans. Way to go!


More from Middleton


Please remember to send your student with a snack each day. Thank you!


Lunch is not free this year unless you qualify for free/reduced lunch. You will be notified if your child has an outstanding balance, but no student will ever be denied lunch.



English language learners will participate in ACCESS testing in the next month so that we can learn more about their skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in the English language. Please feel free to contact your child's English Learner teacher if you have any questions: Ms. Jenny Huynh at [email protected] or Ms. Una Ikanovich at [email protected].  

Kindergarten Drive-Thru Reminders

Please help us keep the Drive-Thru running smoothly with these reminders:

  • Enter the Drive-Thru going north on Kildare. If you need to, circle around the block to go north on Kildare, so that you are taking a right turn into the Drive-Thru (and not a left turn).
  • Remain in your cars at all times so we can keep the line moving. There is no parking in the Drive-Thru lane.
  • Do not pass other cars in the Drive-Thru unless directed by a staff member to do so. The Drive-Thru is one way (going east) and one lane. 
  • Teach your child to buckle and unbuckle themselves on their own. If your child still needs your help, please park your car and walk to the door instead of using the Drive-Thru.

Thank you for helping us keep our Shining Stars safe!

Preschool Arrival / Dismissal Reminders

  • Please park in the slanted parking spots on Kildare Avenue. These spots are especially reserved for preschool drop-off and pick-up at Doors 2 and 3.
  • If you park on the street, do not block any driveways even if it is for a few minutes.
  • If you park on the street, do not double park or block in other parked cars even if it is for a few minutes.
  • There is no parking on the east side of Tripp Avenue. Cars may be ticketed.

Thank you for helping us keep our Shining Stars safe!

Meyer Moments


Around Town


The Niles Township District for Special Education (NTDSE) is hosting parent/guardian events in late January and early February. Please check THIS FLYER to view the upcoming NTDSE Parent Events.


Dates to Remember

January 23

Winter Session Kindergarten After School Enrichment Classes begin

January 26th

Parent/Guardian Workshop

6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

February 9th

Meyer Story Night

6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

February 13th

Board of Education Meeting

7:00 p.m.

McCracken Cafeteria

February 16th

Parent/Teacher Conferences

5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

February 17th

Parent/Teacher Conferences

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

No School for Students 

February 20th

Presidents' Day

No School / District Closed

February 23rd

Meyer Parent Leaders Meeting

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

via Zoom

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

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