The Weekly Masthead

News and information from our district and schools

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

Updated January 26, 2023


Literacy Month badgeSkokie School District 73.5 celebrates literacy throughout the month of February. Stay tuned to the website, Twitter, and Facebook pages to see how you can participate. Please share your enthusiasm and experiences by using the hashtag #LiteracyMonthSD735 on your social media posts!

Our District literacy celebration continues this coming week! The whole District 73.5 community is welcome to participate in the McCracken Scholastic Books Fair. While the students will have an opportunity to visit during the school day, the community can attend the bookfair during conference times:

  • Thursday, February 16th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday, February 17th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

At McCracken, All School Read Voting enters Round 2! Students and staff: be sure to cast your vote for your favorite book!

Bluestem Award badgeOur District’s participation in literature awards continues this week as we highlight the Bluestem Award at Middleton. Our 4th and 5th grade students have been enjoying Bluestem books since February 1st and will continue until March 15th. Students will be eligible to vote in this annual reader's choice award presented to the author of the book chosen most outstanding by Illinois 3rd to 5th graders. For more information about the Bluestem Award visit

Also, tune in to the District Board of Education meeting on February 13th to find out what books our Board members are reading!

 Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conference RegistrationTeachers will be available for your choice of in-person OR video conferences on the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, February 16th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m
  • Friday, February 17th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Online registration for February conferences opened on Monday, February 6th at 7:00 a.m. and closes on Monday, February 13th at 3:00 p.m.

Please visit our Parent-Teacher Conference Information web page for more information.

 Department of Student Services

REMINDER: Upcoming Event...

The next Bilingual Parents’ Advisory Committee (BPAC) has been moved to February 23rd at 6:30 p.m. in the library at Middleton Elementary School. We will discuss ACCESS testing and preparing for our community outing to the Skokie Public Library.

► The Family Action Network (FAN) is a great organization which offers many parent trainings free of charge. Check out the list of learning opportunities on the FAN website. 

 School Calendar Update

Our district closed on December 22nd and 23rd in anticipation of the severe weather forecast. By state law, we must make up these 2 attendance days for teachers and students. Student make-up attendance days have been scheduled on March 3rd and June 2nd. Our students' last day of this school for the 2022-2023 school year will now be June 2nd. Our 8th grade students' last day will remain their graduation day. Staff make-up days will be June 2nd and June 5th. The updated at-a-glance school calendar is available on our website.

 Fee Waivers

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.

 Around Town

Cover of SPD Summer Camp GuideThe Skokie Park District Summer Camp Guide is now available on the website! Check the following direct links for more information about programs, registration, and fee assistance:

► Many IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers will be open one Saturday each month in February, March, April, and May to provide in-person help. Saturday hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and no appointment is required. Check for more information and tax preparation options.

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 Meeting


Monday, March 6th

6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

McCracken MPR


Caring Hearts Drive

Get ready! The Caring Hearts Classroom Drive is coming soon. Watch your inbox, text messages, and our website for more information!

The Substitute Cooperative logo

Do you want to be a substitute teacher? Tap the FLYER BELOW for more information!


McCracken Book Fair

Book Fair badgeWe 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! Thank you to Tori Gammeri and parents for organizing and facilitating the book fair. Students will have an opportunity to visit the book fair in our Multipurpose Room during their ELA classes. See this flyer for more information!

Yearbooks on Sale

The 2022-2023 McCracken yearbook is now on sale. The yearbook staff is hard at work making a fun and creative book for our students. The cost of the yearbook is $20. Students will receive an order form from their advisor. Orders can be placed through the order form or directly online. To order a yearbook online go to and use the Yearbook ID Code 13556323. Orders are due by April 3, 2023.

7th Grade Camp MacLean Information

Camp MacLean will be here before you know it! The 7th grade team is gearing up for our return to Camp MacLean in Burlington, Wisconsin on May 17th-19th. The purpose of the Camp MacLean trip is to provide our students with an outdoor education experience that promotes both team building and independence. Ms. Fagan handed out hard copies of the interest form through her social studies classes this week and we also sent home an electronic version via email that included the survey and a payment link ($211). Our first parent information night was via Zoom on February 9th. Talk with your student about attending this great trip and complete the survey by April 7th! Reach out to 7th grade teachers or Marty Behm with any questions.

February Spotlight on Success

McCracken students are eligible to earn a wide variety of acknowledgement for their success in school whether remote or in-person! This includes Spotlight on Success, which recognizes students’ academic growth and achievement. Each month, teachers celebrate the many students who have demonstrated academic success in each grade level to honor them for making progress toward learning standards, meeting or extending learning standards, demonstrating great interest in a particular subject area, and/or demonstrating a growth mindset. Students are featured in our morning announcements, receive a certificate in person and by mail, and are delivered a fun incentive by our Ollie Trolley! Congratulations to our February Spotlight on Success recipients!

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

8th Grade Graduation Pictures
Retakes on March 16th

Our 8th grade students participated in graduation pictures taken on Wednesday, February 1st at McCracken. One photo was taken in a purple graduation gown (provided by Lifetouch) and the other in their chosen dress clothes. When the photos are 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. Payment will be due to Lifetouch when families select their preferred photos online. Picture retakes are scheduled to take place on March 16th only for students who missed picture day or are not satisfied with their original picture. 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!

Outdoor Recess Weather Reminder

Graphic: Stay Warm When It's Cold!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? 

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).


Dates to Remember

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

Parent Teacher Conferences

5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

February 17th

Parent Teacher Conferences

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

No School for Students

February 20th

Presidents' Day

No School / District Closed

March 1st

Choir Concert

7:00 p.m.


March 3rd

BuzzBot Robotics Competition

4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Niles West High School

March 16th

8th Grade Picture Retakes

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


Literacy Month Activities

Pajama Party Family Reading Night

Middleton will host its first-ever family reading night on Tuesday, February 28th from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Families are invited to listen to stories and enjoy snacks in their pajamas. There will also be an exciting raffle for children's books. All children must be accompanied by an adult. RSVP HERE

Read Across America Week
February 27th — March 3rd

Please join us for a week-long celebration of the joy of reading! On Monday, February 27th, we will kick off our district-wide book drive. Students can drop off gently used books at school all week long. On Thursday, March 2nd, students are invited to dress up as their favorite book character. Please see the calendar below for a full list of events.

Read Across America Week - Monday: Kind Books Day, Tuesday: Caught Reading Day, Wednesday: Guest Reader Day, Thursday: DressUp Day, Friday: Surprise Day!

Read Across America Week — Monday: Kind Books Day, Tuesday: Caught Reading Day, Wednesday: Guest Reader Day, Thursday: DressUp Day, Friday: Surprise Day!

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!


More from Middleton


Please remember that the parking lot across the street on Madison Avenue is not for Middleton families. This is a private parking lot. We have received concerns from the tenants that their staff have been blocked in by Middleton families parking there before school and at the end of the day. Thank you for your cooperation.


It's time to pre-order your 2022-2023 yearbook! What better way to remember this unique school year? The Middleton yearbook costs $20. Orders may be placed online or via the paper order form sent home from school. Place online orders through the Lifetouch website: The Yearbook ID Code is 13556523. Yearbooks will be distributed in May.


Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Thursday, February 16th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Friday, February 17th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. You should have received an email with a link to sign up for a conference time with your child’s teacher. You will have the choice of attending in person or via Zoom. Please reach out to your child’s classroom teacher if you have any questions.

If you would like to meet with our Physical Education teacher, Mrs. Borges, she will be available to meet with parents/guardians on Friday, February 17th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Please contact her through Seesaw or at [email protected] to set up an appointment.

Our Art/Music teacher, Mrs. Castellini, will be available to meet with parents/guardians on Thursday, February 16th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Please contact her through Seesaw or at [email protected] to set up an appointment. 

Meyer Story Night

Thank you to all the Meyer families who were able to join us for Meyer Story Night on Thursday evening! We had fun cozying up together to hear stories about kindness and friendship. Thank you to the Meyer Parent Leaders for providing milk and cookies. Many thanks to Meyer families who brought in donations to benefit the Lyte Collective, a non-profit organization serving young people in Chicago who are impacted by poverty and homelessness.

Meyer Moments


Dates to Remember

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

March 2nd

Meyer Parent Leaders Game Night

6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Meyer School

March 3rd

Student Attendance Day

NO Institute Day

March 5th

Preschool Open House for New Families

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Meyer School

March 27th-31st

Spring Break

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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