Julian Middle Matters

District 97 Vision

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

International Baccalaureate (IB) Mission Statement

The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Let’s Talk

The vision for District 97 is to create a positive learning environment for all students that is equitable, inclusive, and focused on the whole child. Our community has and will continue to play a critical role in advancing this vision; shaping the future of our schools and helping our students realize their full potential. With this in mind, we invite you to use the “Let’s Talk” resource to share your comments, questions, and feedback. The information you provide will be emailed directly to Dr. Fitzgerald. The best ways to ask a question, have a concern addressed, or provide feedback/compliments to our staff is by contacting us directly. Please include your contact information in the appropriate field in the form if you would like to receive a response to your inquiry.


Julian - School Improvement Plan

Administrators and teacher leaders attended a 3 day retreat this past June to start working on a plan that we believe will contribute to meeting the district vision of creating a positive learning environment that is equitable, inclusive, and focused on the whole child. During that time, the Julian leadership team decided that equity and student engagement would be the focus of our work moving into this school year. In August, the administrative leadership team collaborated with Brooks administrators to develop our School Improvement Plan. When you look at the School Improvement Plan, you will notice that it is divided into 4 different columns: Professional Practices, Research-Based Strategies, Professional Learning and Collaboration, and Measures. Our goals will be measured by analyzing MAP data, Positive Learning Environment Student Survey (PLESS) data, in addition to a number of other metrics. You can be assured that we are working hard to meet the academic and social emotional needs of all our students. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions about the School Improvement Plan.


Pay It Forward

Each year Julian Middle School partners with the Community of Congregations Holiday Food and Basket Program to “Pay It Forward.” Every advisory class adopts a family or two in order to provide assistance to people in the Oak Park and River Forest area. Our goal is to have all students in each advisory class participate. This could be bringing in gifts, providing wrapping paper, wrapping the gifts here at school, or being part of the team of students that help with delivering these items. Advisory teachers will be sending a letter home with students on Monday, November 20 with more details. Gifts must be brought into class by December 4. On December 7, all gifts are wrapped, picked up from classrooms, and delivered that morning. This has been a long standing traditional here at Julian. It is a great way to give back to those in need and also builds a strong sense of community within our school. Please ask your student about the program early next week or reach out to his/her advisory teacher for additional information. Check out this link if you would like to learn more.


Positive Learning Environment Student Survey (PLESS)

We value student voice in the process of achieving our vision. On Monday, November 20 during advisory, students will be asked to complete the PLESS survey. The survey will be administered to students in the fall and spring. The purpose of this survey is to gather information from students about the culture and climate of our school. Some of the survey questions include the following:


“My teacher cares about me.”

“My teacher thinks I will be successful.”

“My teacher listens to my ideas.”

“My principal cares about me.”

“My teacher believes I can learn.”

“Is there one adult you know (outside of your home) you could talk to about important things in your life?”

“I participate in one of the following activities: School sports team, other sports, service-clubs, other activity clubs, service or volunteer projects, church youth group, or other faith based youth group.”


I look forward to getting this data within the next few weeks. It will be used to inform our next steps as it relates to creating a positive learning environment for our students.


Positive Learning Environment (Video)

Our District 97 Vision is to create a positive learning environment that is equitable, inclusive, and focused on the whole child. As such, the middle schools are working on creating a positive learning environment for all of our students. Administrators and teachers at Julian and Brooks have been collaborating to take intentional actions to foster this type of culture. We are sending this video to highlight some of the steps we have taken to start the school year.  You can expect another video from us during the spring to continue to spotlight the great things happening in both middle schools.

Here is the link to video:  https://youtu.be/HtIVRRW3YgQ


High School Transition Information (8th Grade Families)

Please click here to read important information regarding upcoming 8th grade transition events at Oak Park River Forest High School. Detailed information about the placement test, freshmen enrollment information meetings, and the annual open house is included. Please contact Amy Hill, the Director of Assessment and Research, at the high school if you have questions (708-434-3373).


Oak Park Education Foundation

Did you know that the Oak Park Education Foundation offers your middle school student a chance to design robots, find their inner poet through Spoken Word, and explore their creativity through art and architecture projects? Take a peek at what OPEF offered to Julian students last school year in this attached “Year at a Glance” snapshot.


Lost and Found

Any clothing item or lunch bag in the Lost and Found that is labeled with a name will be returned to that student. Otherwise, the items not labeled will be donated to charity or disposed of on the afternoon Tuesday, November 21. We have been reminding students for the past week to take home their belongings. Feel free to stop by Julian prior to Thanksgiving break if you would like to have a look for yourself.


Upcoming Events:

Thanksgiving Break – No School/November 22-November 24

Jazz Band Concert – 7:30pm on December 7

CAST Winter Musical – 7:30pm December 15-December 17

Choir Concerts – 7:30pm December 19 and December 20


Happy Thanksgiving!


Dr. Todd T. Fitzgerald

Click on the article titles below to read more.