The Weekly Masthead

News and information from our district and schools

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

Updated January 26, 2023


Teachers, 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 multiple children and they attend more than one school in our district, please complete the survey once 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

Save the date for the Seventeenth Annual Statewide Summit for Bilingual Parents on Saturday, May 6th. This is an in-person conference for members of Bilingual Parent Advisory Councils (BPACs) and parents of English Learners (ELs). Registration is available now. Please contact Lyla Nissan at [email protected] if you would like to attend.

Tax Time Tips! Individuals and families that normally don't file a tax return can still claim some pandemic-related tax benefits that were not received or claimed on a tax return. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program can assist taxpayers with free preparation and filing to claim these refunds. Click or tap the flyers below for more information.

 Caring Hearts Classroom Drive

The 2023 Caring Hearts Classroom Donation Drive continues 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.

Check the lists often to see new wishes!

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

heart banner

 Taste of 73.5

#TASTE OF 73.5 IS SCHEDULED FOR MAY 13th! The PTO invites families to help write the Taste of Skokie 73.5 Cookbook. Families can submit multiple recipes either electronically or via a paper submission form. Paper submission forms will be sent home soon. Both the electronic and paper forms will be available on the PTO 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.

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 News


Monday, April 3rd

6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

McCracken MPR

Elections will be held


April 22nd

Earth Day Celebrations

May 13th

1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Taste of Skokie 73.5


The 8th Grade End-of-Year Celebration Committee is looking for parent volunteers for the decorating team and to chaperone the event on Saturday, May 20th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Sign up to volunteer and help celebrate this amazing 8th Grade class.

Around Town


American Bandmasters Association Induction

Congratulations to McCracken Middle School Band Director, Mr. Chip De Stefano, for his recent induction to the prestigious American Bandmaster’s Association. Mr. De Stefano recently attended the ABA convention in Kansas where he was officially inducted along with several other talented band directors from across the country. We are so proud of Mr. De Stefano’s many accomplishments and commitment to providing a high quality band program for students in Skokie District 73.5! We also appreciate the continued support for our fine arts programming from families, Dr. Hightower, and the Board of Education.

McCracken SOAR Art Show

Art showMcCracken is well represented at this year's Student Outstanding Artist Recognition (SOAR) Art Show, currently on display at the Oakton Community College Skokie Campus, 7701 Lincoln Avenue in Skokie. Twenty-six works created by 25 McCracken students are on display now through April 4th. The Artist's Reception is scheduled on March 13th from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. Meyer and Middleton also have displays of wonderful, original works of art.

McCracken Choir Concert

The McCracken Middle School choirs performed for families and friends on Wednesday, March 1st. Students put on a fantastic performance displaying a diverse range of songs after months of practice. Special thanks to Ms. Amy Keipert, McCracken Director of Choirs, for her leadership and music instruction.

Summer School

Summer School logoSummer School will be in session from Wednesday, June 7th through Thursday, June 30th at Middleton Elementary School, 8300 St. Louis Avenue. The program runs from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon Monday through Thursday (no classes on Fridays). The ELA/Reading class meets from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and the Math class meets from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Tuition for this year’s summer school will be free. If you are the parent or guardian of a student who has been recommended for summer school, you will receive communication from the district regarding registration information. Please reach out to Marty Behm at 847-676-8234 or [email protected] with any questions. 

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:

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.


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.

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

Now through March 31, 2023

Illinois 5 Essentials 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

March 13th-17th

See Something, Say Something Week


Soccer and Volleyball Tryouts

View Athletic Tryout Information

March 15th

Concert Band Concert 7pm

March 16th

Little 9 Robotics Competition

March 16th

8th Grade Graduation Picture Retakes

March 27th-31st

Spring Break

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



If your family celebrates Ramadan and would like accommodations for your student(s) for fasting or praying, please complete this survey by March 17th. 

Read Across America Week

Thank you to Mrs. Glaser and all the teachers that supported last week's Read Across America Week. Below are some pictures from the Family Reading Night and Middleton classrooms!

Therapy Dogs from Paws for Patrick

Last week was our first visit from the Paws for Patrick therapy dogs. Students and adults all enjoyed this experience! Thank you to Paws for Patrick and Dr. Voight for bringing this special experience to Middleton!


More from Middleton

THE 5Essentials SURVEY

Now through March 31, 2023

Illinois 5 Essentials Survey


Pre-order closes Friday, March 24th. Additional copies will be limited, so please pre-order to guarantee a copy is reserved for your family. Place online orders through the Lifetouch website: The Yearbook ID Code is 13556523. Yearbooks will be distributed in May.

Thank you to all who donated to Caring Hearts. Students have been enjoying the new classroom donations throughout the day!

Dates to Remember

March 13th

SOAR Artist's Reception

Oakton Community College

4:00 to 6:30 p.m.

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


SOAR Art Exhibit

Artwork photoThe Skokie Fine Arts Commission is hosting the annual Student Outstanding Artists Recognition (SOAR) Exhibition in honor of Youth Arts Month. Some kindergarten art pieces have been selected to be displayed at the exhibit. Thank you to Mrs. Castellini for her hard work with our Meyer Shining Stars. We hope you will stop by to visit the exhibit and support our young artists! 

Now through April 4th
Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday and 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Oakton Community College, Atrium Lobby
7701 Lincoln Avenue in Skokie
Park in the lot closest to Lincoln Avenue and enter through Door 21 (southeast part of the building)

Meyer Bingo Night Thank You!

Thank you to all the Meyer families for coming to our very first Bingo Night. We appreciate all of our Meyer Parent Leaders, with special thanks to Odessa Molina, Karen Chan, Kim Ky, and Sarah Fleischhacker for their help with the event! The funds raised will support Staff Appreciation Week activities in May.

Preschool Program 2023-2024

Meyer school graphicPreschool registration for the 2023-2024 school year is now open to residents and non-residents.

We will be adding two more preschool classrooms to our program for the 2023-2024 school year. One of these new classrooms will have two half-day sections and the other will offer a full-day program. 

The Skokie Park District will continue to offer the SPACE Extended Preschool program for half-day students who need a full day of care, as well as the late SPACE section from 2:30 to 6:00 p.m.

View the Meyer Preschool 2023-2024 slide presentation for more information about our preschool program.

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

Now through March 31, 2023

Illinois 5 Essentials Survey


Kindergarten registration for the 2023-2024 school year will begin for students new to Meyer on Monday, March 20th. Current preschool students going into kindergarten next year will not need to complete any forms. Please keep an eye out for an email from Joann Eisenstein with next steps.

DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME begins on Sunday, March 12th at 2:00 a.m. Please remember to "spring forward" and set your clocks ahead one hour.

Dates to Remember

March 14th

Board of Education Meeting

7:00 p.m.

McCracken MPR

March 16th

Last Day of Winter Enrichment Classes

March 20th

Kindergarten Registration Opens for New Students

March 23rd

Meyer Parent Leaders Meeting

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

March 27th-31st

Spring Break

April 11th

Board of Education Meeting

7:00 p.m.

McCracken MPR

April 20th

Meyer Parent Leaders Meeting

7:00 to 8:00 pm

April 27th

Meyer Family Sing-Along with Miss Carole

6:30 to 7:15 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

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