GBMS Remote & In-Person Learning (2020-2021)


Our first day of remote learning is Tuesday, September 1st, we will be following our A Day Schedule. Here is the list of A and B day for trimester three.



When will 6th Grade In-person students and 7th/8th grade in-person students be coming onsite during the week of 5/3?

6th Grade in-person students will be coming onsite starting Monday, 5/3 (B Day Schedule).  Our remote students will also follow the above schedule from home starting 5/3, which is a B day.

7th and 8th grade in-person students will be coming onsite starting Wednesday, 5/5 (B Day Schedule).  7th and 8th grade in-person students will be following the above schedule remotely on Monday, 5/3 (Bday) and Tuesday 5/4 (ADay).  Our remote 7th and 8th grade students will also follow the above schedule starting Monday, 5/3, which is a B day.

For all students, Friday 5/7 is a Remote Learning Planning Day for teachers so there is no student attendance.

Starting the week of 5/10, all 6th, 7th and 8th grade in-person students will be onsite for the full day M-F, following the above schedule and all remote students will continue to follow the above schedule remotely.

Will in-person students be changing classes throughout the day?

Yes.  In-person students will be changing classrooms during the 3 minute passing period.  Staff will be in the hallways monitoring passing periods.

What is the process for breakfast or snacks for in-person students?

All in-person students must eat their breakfast at home prior to arriving to school.  The district is continuing to distribute meals on Tuesdays as we have been doing since the start of the school year. Middle School does not provide snack time.  

What will lunch look like for in-person students?

Our plans includes strict adherence to the ISBE/IDPH requirements that all students be spaced at least 6 feet apart while eating and be facing the same direction. During Lunch students will be with their advisory class and monitored by their advisory teacher to ensure they

  • have their masks off for no more than 15 minutes
  • are focused on eating and not talking while their mask is removed
  • bring lunches that follow our allergy guidelines
    • District 97 will continue its nut-safe expectation. The exclusion of nuts will be adhered to throughout the school day. This is an important measure to protect our students with life-threatening allergies, as there will many classroom spaces used for meals while we are adhering to COVID-19 safety measures.
  • receive the school lunch and/or milk for those who placed an order that morning
  • Lunch spaces will be indoors with students seated at least 6 feet apart and facing the same direction
  • Your in-person student’s assigned period to eat will be either 11:57am to 12:27pm or 12:30pm to 1:00pm.  This will be shared with students on Monday, 5/3.
  • Cold Lunch will be available each day for your student to order through their morning advisory class, which includes a choice of a Sandwich or pizza kit as well as milk or chocolate milk

What do students do during their Study and Collaboration time on their schedule?

Advisory classes will be assigned to designated spaces outside that will rotate on a weekly basis or remain in their assigned Advisory space during the Study and Collaboration time dependent upon the weather.  If weather permits, the students will spend this time outside in their designated space supervised by Brooks staff members reading, studying or collaborating with their peers that are also in the designed space.  On inclement weather days, students will remain in their advisory classroom spaces, where staff will be assigned by wing to supervise the classrooms in that wing during this time.

What is the process for students who are in-person but would like to leave campus for lunch?

Students who are granted permission to leave campus for lunch will be off campus from 11:57am through 1:00pm and will need to follow our check-out and check-in process. The form that needs to be completed daily by a parent/guardian to grant permission for their student to leave campus was emailed to all families on Sunday 5/2.  We will NOT be posting this form on our website or in Middle Matters.  Please check your email.

What will lunch look like for remote students?

For Remote students and students who do not eat at school, they will have from 11:57am to 1:00pm for their lunch period.


While District 97 continues to experience success with hybrid learning and its internal safety metrics, we are including this additional COVID-19 mitigation strategy through a partnership with Northshore Clinical Labs. Weekly participation will be mandatory for all middle school students who participate in in-person learning for the duration of Trimester 3. Each Thursday or Friday, our Brooks students will participate in the COVID-19 PCR Testing in our gymnasium between 4pm and 8pm.

This is the link to schedule your student’s weekly COVID-19 PCR Test: LINK to SELECT APPOINTMENT TIME

Click here for complete details about the Middle School PCR Testing Program.

Mandatory PCR FAQ 


In order to help facilitate the safe return of students to the school campus, we have partnered with CrisisGo, a leader in school safety communications and their Safety iPASS health-screening platform. This will allow us to have our on-site students and staff pre-certify that they are healthy to return to school each day. Please click the following link if you would like further information on Safety iPASS: CrisisGo Safety iPass for Parents. 

Daily Email: Parents/guardians of hybrid learners will receive a daily email early in the morning. The email will come from [email protected] Parents/guardians are to complete the daily health certification before your student(s) arrives at school. Please check your junk/spam folder if the email is not in your inbox.

  • If your student will not be attending in-person, please be sure to still complete the CrisisGo self-certification as the first questions asks to indicate you student’s attendance status.  This will greatly assistant in our entry procedures:
    • My child will not be in school today due to illness or
    • My child is feeling well, but they will not be onsite today.

Completing the Screening Questions: Open your email, click the REPORT button and answer the brief questions. The screening information must be completed 8:15 a.m. for middle school Students. If you have multiple children in the district, you will receive multiple emails. The screening must be completed for each individual student.

  • Any self-screenings that are not completed by the time noted above will require a school staff member to contact you directly.
  • We need your compliance with the deadlines so that staff can focus their attention on opening the school and ensuring other pieces of the infection mitigation plan are in place for the day. 

Please note: Students will not be allowed in their prospective classrooms until the self-certification has been completed. Your child will be escorted to a holding area where a staff member will contact you to complete the self-certification.

Badges: If your child meets the health requirements for entry to the building, they will be issued a GREEN entry badge. If they do not meet the requirements, a different colored no-entry badge will be generated. Badges are for internal use only—you do not need to print them out.


Please have your in-person student arrive no earlier than 8:50am and be sure that they have completed the Weekly PCR testing. We will follow the same processes we have been using since Februrary:

  • Each morning by 8:15am, parent/guardians should have completed the CrisisGo Self-Certification for their middle school in-person student(s).
    • If your student will not be attending in-person, please be sure to still complete the CrisisGo self-certification as the first questions asks to indicate you student’s attendance status. This will greatly assistant in our entry procedures:
      • My child will not be in school today due to illness or
      • My child is feeling well, but they will not be onsite today.
  • Students should go to their entry location and line up by their advisory teacher (teachers will be holding signs with their name)
  • Advisory Teachers will ensure students have self-certified as well as verify that the students completed the required weekly COVID-19 PCR test.
  • Students will then enter the building to complete the temperature check before heading directly to their advisory classroom. We will not be using student lockers.
  • Graphic outlining arrival process for your reference.

Entry Location by Advisory Teacher (please identify your student's Advisory teacher to determine your in-peson student's daily entry location for the rest of the school year)

Teachers will be holding a sign with their Name so you will be able to easily find your teacher to get checked in to be able to enter the school.

Gwendolyn Brooks Entry Locations Map

Brooks Student Drop Off Map


  • We will stagger the departure of students based on location in the building.  We will start with the 4th floor first with all students having exited the building by 3:36pm.
  • Students will exit the building based on where the last period teacher directs them to exit.
  • During the dismissal process, students are to remain socially distanced and wear their masks
  • Teachers will dismiss walker and those being picked up and then continue to walk the bus riders to their bus.


Here is a video discussing information about proper mask wearing.


Last year, we launched our Cell Phone Away for the Day expectations. As we transition to school for full days, every day, we will continue to expect in-person students to follow these expectations below:

  • Cell phones are to be turned off upon entering the school building, stored in their bags and not turned back on until the dismissal bell rings.
  • Students violating these expectations will have their device taken by an adult and turned into the main office. The student can pick it up at the end of the day. If this happens 3 times, the parent/guardian of the student is required to pick it up from school and develop a plan to help the student follow the expectations.
  • Possession of a cell phone is a privilege that may be forfeited by any student who fails to abide by these expectations.

These expectations do not apply to students who have documented medical exemptions that require the use of technology to monitor health conditions.

Please support us in holding students to our cell phone expectations. Please watch this 2 minute video that supports the “Why” behind our expectations. Click on this link for additional information about keeping cell phones “Away for the Day” while in school.


  • Please click here for the information on the bus routes.
  • Students who are eligible to ride the bus will receive a pad of bus slips called Self-Certification Forms on the first day of in-person learning from their teacher.  Here is an image of the slip, in case you lose the pad of slips you can recreate the information to be able to give to the bus driver.
  • Once you've completed CrisisGo Self-Certification and your student is given the GREEN Badge, then fill out the form for your student to give to the bus driver before entering the bus.
  • Upon arriving to school, a Brooks Staff member holding a Question Mark Sign will help students find their entry door location, if unknown.
  • Students should arrive at their bus stop 5 minutes prior to their pick up time.
  • Students should wear their masks covering their nose and mouth the entire time at the bus stop, on the bus and when they get to school.
  • Buses will load back-to-front with 1 student per seat. If a student travels with a sibling there will be 2 students per seat.
  • Buses will unload front to back. Students are to remain seated until the driver instructs them to leave their seats. Physical distancing should be maintained to the extent possible.
  • Bus drivers will provide students with a mask if the child doesn’t have one.
  • Buses are scheduled to depart from Brooks School at 3:45 p.m.


  • Students who arrive at school after their class has entered the building will only be allowed to enter through the main door on Kenilworth Ave.
  • Students will need to wear a mask that covers their mouth and their nose and maintain physical distance as indicated by the markings on the floor.
  • A staff member will ensure the student's parent/guardian has completed the self-certification, completed the weekly COVID-19 PCR testing, check the student's temperature and share with the front office the student's name to report the tardy.


  • Teachers will teach safety procedures and expectations that include wearing a face mask, physical distancing, regular sanitizing, handwashing, and our Tier 1 PBIS in-person learning expectations.
  • Teachers will develop routines for movement breaks in the classroom.
  • Upon entering the classroom students will either wash their hands or use the hand sanitizer that is mounted in each classroom entry.
  • Students will not be utilizing lockers. Student work materials will be stored in their backpacks under their assigned seat. Coats will be placed on the back of their chair with any hats, scarves, or gloves being stuffed on the arms.
  • Students will need to stay in assigned seats/areas at all times
  • Masks must be worn at all times with their nose covered.
  • There will be no sharing of classroom supplies. If a student does not have their own supplies, we will help provide students with the supplies they need for learning.
  • Students must bring their chromebooks and charging cord to school with them every day they attend in-person learning.
  • Students will have their cell phones turned off and away in their backpacks for the school day.
  • There will be scheduled opportunites for students to have outside time during the school day, weather permitting.


When students come to school for in-person instruction during their hybrid learning weeks, the following materials should be brought with them. These items can be packed in a ziploc bag for the 4 days of in-person instruction. Students will not have access to their locker.  We recommend that these items be brought home each day.  Wipes and sanitizer will be readily available, but students can also bring their own travel size.   Students will not be able to share items.


In anticipation of our shift to full days of on-site learning, the District 97 nurses and safety and security manager have updated our contract tracing process to align with the latest guidance provided by the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Public Health and the Oak Park Department of Public Health. 

Beginning April 26, designated seating charts will be used for all classrooms to streamline and accelerate the contact tracing process when a person tests positive. This will allow nurses to focus their contact tracing investigation on those who are designated close contacts and follow the associated guidance for quarantine requirements. A close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (whether inside or outside), starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days before getting tested) until the time the patient is isolated. 

As a result of our updated process, schools will no longer automatically quarantine entire classrooms when a positive case is identified, and will instead focus on isolating close contacts. Full classroom and/or school quarantines may still be possible depending on the outcome of contact tracing; nurses will work closely with the Oak Park Department of Public Health to determine if additional safety measures are needed.

The following communication procedures will be used for positive cases, beginning the week of April 26:

  • The principal will send an email notification to all students and staff of the affected classroom that there was a participant in the class who tested positive. All new cases will then be publicly reported on the district’s COVID-19 Metrics Dashboard.
  • If the participant(s) are determined to have been close contacts and/or significant exposure, they will be contacted separately by the school and told to quarantine for 14 full days from their last contact with the case. The nurse will clear those close contact participants on a case by case basis to return to school/work.

We will continue to work closely with the Oak Park Department of Public Health to take any and all measures necessary to protect the safety of our school community.

Brooks Return to Learning On-Site Safety Procedures


  • All in-person students will participate in the mandatory weekly COVID-19 PCR Testing on Thurday or Friday. 
  • All staff and parents/guardians on behalf of their student will self-certify daily. If a staff or student exhibits any symptoms on the self-certification form, it is imperative the staff or student remain home and not come to school.  If the student is well enough to attend their classes remotely, please have them do so.
  • All staff and students will wear masks that covers their mouth and nose. Gators or masks with valves are not permitted.
  • 6 foot social distancing will be encouraged throught the building.
  • Each advisory class is assigned to a specific arrival door. The utilization of every entrance helps us to spread students out as much as possible.
  • Laser Thermometers are stationed at each entrance.
  • There are markings throughout the building designating every 6 feet.
  • We have posters throughout the building reminding students to maintain social distancing, wear their masks and wash or sanitize their hands.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are in every classroom.
  • An Isolation Room has been established for students with COVID symptoms.
  • Students will be able to sign-out using a google form of the classroom to use the bathrom at the end of the Wing and then sign-in upon their return
  • Lockers will not be used (student work stored in backpacks under their seat, coats on back on the chair).
  • Materials will not be shared.


  • Each classroom teacher has been provided with PPE (a washable facemask and a Face shield if requested).
  • Staff need to complete self-certification daily.
  • Staff will temperature check at door when entering the building.
  • We have four permanent subs for our building to provide support for in-person learning when needed.


  • Each week, in-person students must participate in the weekly COVID-19 PCR Testing on Thursdays or Fridays.
  • Each morning at 5:00 a.m. an automated email notification to self-certify will be sent to all onsite students using a system, CrisisGo.
  • Parents will be required to self-certify students by 8:15 a.m. each morning. Please also self-certify if your student is not going to be in the building.
  • If a student exhibits any symptoms on the self certification form, it is imperative the family keeps the student home from school and communicate with the main office and Nurse Donovan.
  • The school office will run a report at 8:25 a.m. to see who did not complete the self-certification and start contacting families.
  • Students will report to school no earlier than 8:50 a.m. and report to their designated spots to line up.
  • Before entering the building, classroom teachers will check the self-certification form was completed for each student and that the students participated in the weekly COVID-19 PCR Testing.
  • Student temperatures will be taken at the door.
  • Students who have a temperature will go be escorted by an adult to the isolation room.
  • Students who have not completed the self certification process will go to the gym until certification is completed.
  • Students leaving campus for lunch will need to follow our lunch check-in and out process.


Attendance will be taken every day for each class period by each of your child's teacher and it will be denoted in PowerSchool.  Student's are expected to attend each of their classes at their scheduled time and day.  If your student will be absent from in-person or emote learning, please call the attendance number 708-665-3074 or email [email protected].  If your student attends in-person but will be absent from school, please still complete the CrisisGO self-certification for that day.


Your student’s advisory teacher will be working with your student daily from 9:00am to 9:25am. Students will engage in social, emotional Second Step lessons, will learn key features of Canvas, work with their advisory teacher if they have questions or challenges in their coursework, learn how to use PowerSchool to monitor their grades and missing assignments as well as develop plans on how to attack any challenges they may face during remote learning. Your child’s advisory teacher will be monitoring each student in their advisory class to ensure each student is attending their remote learning classes and engaging in the learning. If you or your student have general questions or concerns, your student’s advisory teacher is a good first person to connect with. If you or your student has specific questions related to a specific class, the teacher of that class is the best first person to connect with.


Strategies of Academics and Resilience (S.O.A.R.) is a class where the students will meet with one of their core teachers in strategy groups where they will participate in community building, executive functioning, how we learn and brain science and goal setting lessons as well as focusing on skills and knowledge connected to reading, math and/or critical thinking to support student’s learning needs.  This course is taken for two trimesters and the other trimester students will engage in their Design class.


Each Sunday evening, Principal Capuder sends a weekly email communication that highlights the many things going on in the school and district, with the PTO as well as with our community partners.  Click here to see the most recent Middle Matters communication, as well as all archived communications.


If your student is having a chromebook issue, please email [email protected]




Canvas is our Learning Management System that all teachers will be using to post the learning resources for their students. The student’s Canvas username and password to login to Canvas is the same as last year if your student is a 7th or 8th grader or if your student is a 6th grader, it was provided to you when you picked up your student’s Chromebook . If your student doesn’t know their username or password, please contact Minerva Colbert ([email protected]).  To login to CANVAS go to


To be able to view your student’s Dashboard List View that outlines all the assignments that will be worked on in each of their courses, as well as to see what has been turned in, you will need to create an observer account.  Here are the directions to do this.  Here is the Canvas Parent/Guardian (Observer) Guide.  Here is a quick overview outlining key features of Canvas that will help families and students access the learning materials as well as see what has been submitted. To login to CANVAS go to


On Friday, 8/28, your student will be able to log into Canvas to access their classes/courses within Canvas, which will also be where each class' zoom link will be found.  Here is a VIDEO explaining how students will find the zoom links for each of their classes.


Here is a slide deck that compares Canvas and PowerSchool and provides tips for parents/guardians to support your student.  Canvas is our Learning Management system where all lesson materials are posted and assignments are submitted.  PowerSchool is where grades are posted for those assignments submitted to canvas that teachers decide will be used as evidence of learning.  During the first week of school, parents/guardians will receive your student's access ID and password, which will enable you to create a parent/guardian account.


Remote Learning 2.0: Middle School    Video Slides

Canvas (Learning management system for Grades 6-8)     Video   Slides

Google Tools (Operating Drive, Documents and sharing)   Video    Slides

Securly (Student safety and device management tool)      Video    Slides    

Zoom 101 (Zoom basics for families)   Video    Slides