District 97 Vision

Oak Park Elementary School District 97 will create a positive learning environment for all students that is equitableinclusive and focused on the whole child.

Weekly Message from Sept. 29, 2017

September 29, 2017

Dear Holmes Families,

I hope this week’s update finds you well. Below is the latest news and information for our school community. Have a great weekend.


Dr. Christine Zelaya


  • Teacher Institute Day – No School – October 6
  • Columbus Day – No School – October 9
  • 5th Grade Outdoor Ed – October 10 and 11
  • PTO Meeting – October 11 – 8:15am
  • Al Fresco Friday – October 13 – 3:00pm
  • Teacher Conference – October 19 - Student dismissal 11:00am
  • Teacher Conference – October 20 - Student dismissal 11:00am
  • Halloween Parade – October 31 – 1:40pm

Snack Reminders:
A friendly reminder that in order to ensure the health and safety of our students in the classroom, snacks (other than fruits and vegetables) must have a label listing all ingredients so we can ensure they meet our District 97 guidelines.  Nuts and nut products are not allowed in any classroom: this includes products that are labeled "processed in a facility that shared equipment with nut products."

In addition, please ensure your child is bringing a healthy snack to school along with a water bottle.  Healthy snack choices include fresh fruit and vegetables, dried fruits and vegetables, pretzels, goldfish crackers, rice cakes, wheat thins, packaged popcorn, and lean meats.  

The staff at Holmes School appreciates your partnership in promoting the health and safety of our children.

Special Education Parent/Guardian Night - October 2:
The special education department's first parent/guardian night of the 2017-18 school year will take place on Monday, October 2 at Beye Elementary School. Learn more >

PBIS Update:

Our school staff continues to teach our PBIS expectations to Be Respectful, Responsible and Safe. Please continue to reinforce these expectations with your child when talking about their school day. For example, simply ask, “How were you respectful, responsible, or safe, today?” To read more about our PBIS plan, click here.

Chill Out Zones

Many of our classrooms have spaces designated as “Chill Out Zones”. These are spaces where all students can restore focus and emotional control needed for efficient learning. Our teachers may suggest to a child that they take a break in the Chill Out Zone. Or, students may decide for themselves that they need a break in the Chill Out Zone.

Calming oneself, controlling impulses, and consistently following the rules of the group are tough skills to master. But they’re essential for the smooth functioning of a learning community, as well as for each student’s personal growth.

Chill Out Zones at Holmes are one of many strategies teachers use to help children develop emotional and learning skills while keeping the learning going full-steam ahead.

Second Step

Students are truly enjoying our Second Step lessons, which take place during most Wednesday mornings. Here are the lesson topics taught earlier this week:

Kindergarten -          Lesson 4: Self-Talk for Staying on Task*

First Grade -              Lesson 4: Self-Talk for Learning*

Second Grade -        Lesson 4: Being Assertive

Third Grade -             Lesson 4: Planning to Learn  

Fourth Grade -          Lesson 4: Respecting Similarities and Differences*  

Fifth Grade -              Lesson 4: Predicting Feelings*    


Students are encouraged to be RESPECTFUL, RESPONSIBLE, and SAFE. When students are observed following these expectations, they receive a feather. A feather is an individual, written recognition of the positive behavior that students display. They may be given to a student by any staff member and are tied to both individual and class rewards.

This year, students will be able to exchange earned feathers for School Store Bucks. Our School Store, managed by our Student Council, will be open to students in grades 1-5 once per month.

Families, have you noticed a Holmes teacher or staff member who deserves a compliment or a thank you? Has this person made a difference for your child? Please share the reason in a brief email to me ([email protected]) so that we may recognize and thank them!


  1. Time to Al Fresco!  Please join us TODAY for Al Fresco Friday! We’ll meet today from 3-4pm on the playground. There will be popsicles and music and LOTS and LOTS of fun! This is a great opportunity to get together with old friends and meet new ones.
  2. When I say “Community”, you say “Meeting”! COMMUNITY… MEETING!  Our first full-community meeting of the school year is Wednesday, Oct 11th from 8:15-9:45a in the multi-purpose room. We will update you on our Welcome and Diversity work and link-you-to-learning by having our Holmes teachers take you through “Decoding - New Report Cards”. Bring a neighbor or another parent who you know will be interested! Open to all families, and free childcare is provided. Hope to see you there!
  3. Trivia Night is coming on Friday, November 10th  - Be on the lookout for your Save-the-date and reminder that this is an adult only event!
  4. OPEF - Volunteers Needed

    We are looking for volunteers to help with Oak Park Education Foundation’s (OPEF) annual event, the Staszak Gala. OPEF runs free architecture, arts, and science programming in all D97 schools including Science Alliance, Geared Up LEGOs, Art Start, Architecture Adventure, and more.
    The gala is scheduled for March 17th and is being held at Garfield Park Conservatory. It's a festive cocktail party with heavy appetizers, open bar, raffles, silent and live auctions. It is OPEF's biggest fundraiser of the year and we are looking for volunteers to serve on the planning committee.
    Committee members will work with our Auction Co-Chairs to follow-up on donation requests for the raffles and auctions, and also help with planning, decorations, and set-up on the day of the event. Typically there are 2-3 evening meetings leading up to the gala, and the rest is done at your convenience.
    Interested volunteers can contact Karen Daily at [email protected]