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!

Week 3 of Literacy Month continues with the third round of voting for the McCracken All School Read. Students and staff: Make sure your voice is heard by participating in the Book Bracket to decide the summer read at McCracken.

The McCracken Book Fair closed on Friday, but you can still order online and support our students! Scholastic will give back 25% in rewards to McCracken when you shop online through February 26th. Tap HERE and then scroll to the bottom of the page to start shopping!

Are you ready for our Read Across America Themes next week? Check the list below:

  • Monday: Kindness Day and Book Drive Kickoff
  • Tuesday: Been Caught Reading Day
  • Wednesday: Guest Reader Day
  • Thursday: Dress as Your Favorite Book Character Day
  • Friday: Surprise Day!

 5Essentials Parent Survey 2023

Illinois 5 Essentials SurveyTeachers, families, and students across Illinois have an opportunity to participate in the annual statewide Illinois 5Essentials Survey. This survey is designed to generate a detailed picture of the inner workings of our schools. To take the survey please visit and click the "Parent Survey" to begin. There are 21 questions and the survey should take approximately 10 minutes. If you have children in multiple buildings please complete one for each school.

Your participation in the parent survey will help us better understand our schools and guide improvement. Your identity and survey responses will be kept completely confidential and will never be connected to you or your child. The state of Illinois now uses the results of the survey to determine our official school designation at Middleton and McCracken, which is reported on the yearly Illinois School Report Card. If at least 20 percent of families complete this survey, a supplemental report will be generated for each school and will be publicly available. This will allow us to access your valuable feedback.

 Department of Student Services

REMINDER: Upcoming Event...

Please join us for our next Bilingual Parent Advisory Council (BPAC) meeting at John Middleton Elementary School on Thursday, February 23rd. HERE is the flyer. We will have prizes and a fun parent/guardian activity. Please reach out to Lyla Nissan if you have any questions.

 Caring Hearts Classroom Drive

The 2023 Caring Hearts Classroom Donation Drive runs now through March 17th. Click a link below to see the wish lists from teachers and staff at each school. The lists include items that can be donated to the classroom such as markers, glue sticks, pens, books, games, gift cards, and more.

Teachers are still adding to their lists, so please check back often to see new wishes!

See the Caring Hearts Parent & Guardian Flyer for more information about this year's Drive.

heart banner

 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.

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


Around Town

The Substitute Cooperative logo

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


7th Grade History Fair

Our 7th graders are participating in the History Fair at McCracken Middle School on February 23rd! Niles North High School students will be judging students’ projects from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. with students only, followed by a parent/guardian viewing session from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Special thanks to Ms. Bethany Fagan and Ms. Cindy Grossman, in addition to families and Niles North staff and students, for their assistance with planning and preparation. 

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!


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

THE 5Essentials SURVEY

Help us better understand our schools and guide improvement!

Illinois 5 Essential Survey


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 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

Pajama Party Family Reading NightMiddleton 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. Click HERE to RSVP.

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!

Therapy Dogs are Coming to Middleton!

This spring, our students have the opportunity to spend time with a therapy dog during their recess period and/or an instructional period. A therapy dog is a dog that is trained to provide affection, comfort, and support to people in settings such as hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, libraries, hospices, or disaster areas. John Middleton Elementary School is partnering with Paws for Patrick, a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting young people with emotional support animals (ESAs) and therapy dogs to support students with their mental health. If your child has any significant allergy to dogs, please contact the school nurse in advance of this visit.

The first visits will take place on March 3rd and 16th, April 13th and 27th, and May 11th and 25th. The therapy dog will be accompanied by a licensed trainer from Paws for Patrick, and we will review behavior expectations with all students. In addition to the trainer, Middleton staff members will also be present during the visit. If your student will be a part of this opportunity you will receive a permission slip from our school psychologist or social worker. 

Visit the Paws for Patrick website at

Classroom Snaps

This week our District EL Coordinator had the opportunity to read with students in Mrs. Domingo's class!

Mrs. Hollenberg’s class reading their writing with Mrs. Tammaru!


More from Middleton

THE 5Essentials SURVEY

Help us better understand our schools and guide improvement!

Illinois 5 Essential Survey


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.

Dates to Remember

February 20th

Presidents' Day

No School / District Closed

February 27th to March 3rd

Read Across America Week

March 3rd

End of Trimester 2

March 14th

Board of Education Meeting

7:00 p.m.

March 23rd

Report Cards Sent Home

March 24th

Rainbow Celebration

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

March 27th-31st

Spring Break


Meyer Parent Leaders Zoom Meeting

Meyer Parent Leaders (MPL) are parents and guardians dedicated to supporting the Meyer school and community by providing opportunities for Meyer families to connect and socialize.

Please join this month's Zoom meeting. All parents/guardians are welcome to join us! We will discuss Meyer’s Bingo Night. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023 (new date!)

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The Zoom link will be sent to Meyer families the day before the meeting.

Preschool Open House for New and Prospective Families

Meyer School will host a Preschool Open House for new and prospective families interested in the 2023-2024 school year on Sunday, March 5th. Feel free to stop by at Meyer between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Teachers will give presentations about our preschool program at 10:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 11:30 a.m.

If you have neighbors and friends who have children turning 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1, 2023, please help us spread the word!

Meyer Moments


More from Meyer

THE 5Essentials SURVEY

Help us better understand our schools and guide improvement!

Illinois 5 Essential Survey

Dates to Remember

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

Dress as your Favorite Book Character Day


Meyer Parent Leaders Bingo 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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