GBMS Learning SY21-22 Information

GBMS FAQs FOR THE FIRST WEEKS OF SCHOOL

CLICK HERE to find answers to our most frequently asked questions about the first weeks of school.

DISTRICT 97 BACK-TO-SCHOOL PLAN FOR 2021-22

District 97 has developed a comprehensive back-to-school plan to keep our students and staff healthy and safe while they learn in person five days a week. Our approach implements data-informed response measures that are aligned with the most up-to-date scientific research and best practices for K-12 schools. The plan also reflects rising concerns about the transmissibility of the Delta variant, the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, and the fact that the majority of our students (Pre-K through sixth grade) are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Below is a brief overview of some, not all, of the safety mitigations that will be in place for the beginning of the 2021-22 school year. New procedures are starred (*).

  • Full-Day, In-Person Instruction for All Students: Per state guidance, remote learning will only be provided only if a student is placed in quarantine by the health department or if students qualify as medically fragile.
  • Universal Masking: Masks will be required for all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status. Distanced mask breaks will be provided.
  • Weekly Screening Testing: District 97 will partner with SHIELD Illinois to provide weekly testing to all students in Pre-K through eighth grade. This is a non-invasive saliva test that will be conducted on site during the school day. Testing is optional but strongly recommended. No action is necessary to participate. CLICK HERE to learn more about SHIELD testing. CLICK HERE for FAQ related to SHIELD Illinois.
  • Updated Quarantine and Contact Tracing Procedures: At the direction of the Oak Park Department of Public Health, unvaccinated individuals who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or who test positive for COVID-19, must quarantine/isolate from school for a period of 10-14 school days. Students and staff may return after following the protocols outlined in our plan. As of today, quarantining is no longer required for vaccinated individuals unless they are symptomatic. The CDC and IDPH have also updated their close contact definition for classroom students, which we hope will minimize disruptions to in-person learning this year.
  • Physical Distancing: We will make every effort to maintain as much distance as possible between students—at least 3 feet—in classrooms and during lunch.
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting: Staff will perform regular school cleaning and disinfect all high-touch surfaces daily. The full classroom disinfection process will occur weekly.

BROOKS OPEN HOUSE

Student Schedules will be emailed to families on Monday, August 16th, 2021.  Brooks Open House is Wednesday, August 18th.  CLICK HERE for more information about Brooks Open House event.

If you or your student are unable to make our Open House event on Wednesday, August 18th, students/parents can come to the main office to swap out technology, pick up student ID and busing information plus have any questions answered on

  • Monday, August 23rd from 9:00am to 2:00pm
  • Tuesday, August 24th from 9:00am to 2:00pm 

For our new students, 6th graders or 7th grade students who were fully remote last year and missed the open house on August 18th, we will have a small window where only our students can walk their schedule on Tuesday, August 24th from 2:00pm to 3:30pm.  Students please check into the main office first.

If for any reason, students and their families are unable to attend the Open House on August 18th or the alternate dates, students will be able to swap their technology the first week of school and their ID will also be provided at that time.

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

On Wednesday, August 25th, 2021 students will attend school from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. On the first day of school, all students should report to their FIRST period class (which is an update from previous communications)

School Supplies for first days of school: When students come to school for the first few days, as far as school supplies, students please bring your chromebooks, folder with paper or spiral notebook,writing utensils and a filled water bottle and lunch or plan to request a school bag lunch and/or milk.  Teachers will share with the students what they should carry with them on a daily basis for their class, since we are not utilizing lockers at this time.  Additionally, during this first week of school, for any of the supplies that are to be turned in to your child’s SOAR teacher, they will share when to bring in those supplies. See School Supply list below. 

SCHOOL DAY

We will be following a block schedule for the upcoming school year. Students will attend 4 of their 8 classes M-Th following an A/B Schedule (White Day/Blue Day) and on Fridays C Schedule (Eagle Day) students will attend all of their classes.  On the weeks where there is a day with no school, students will follow the A/B (White Day/Blue Day) schedule.  Here is the schedule rotation

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

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

Will students be using hallway lockers or PE lockers?

No.  Students will not be utilizing lockers. Student work materials will be stored in their backpacks under their assigned seat in their classes. Coats will be placed on the back of their chair with any hats, scarves, or gloves being stuffed on the arms. We will not be asking students to purchase PE uniforms this year. Students will need to wear gym shoes and clothing that would permit participation in PE on the days they are scheduled for PE. If we determine that students can use the locker rooms for PE, we will ask students to wear or change into their own athletic wear. This mitigation is to limit students’ close proximity to one another. This will be re-evaluated each trimester.

What is the process for breakfast or snacks for students?

We will not be serving breakfast and as usual snacks will not be eaten in the classrooms.

Can students use the drinking fountains in the school?

We ask that student bring to school filled water bottle each day. There are no drinking fountains open, but we have water bottle filling stations in the school for our students to refill their water bottles when needed.

Are there any size requirements for backpacks?

No.  However, students will have a limited number of things that they need to carry with them daily, so a smaller sized backpack should be adequate and will encourage students to carry only the things they need each school day.

What will lunch look like for students?

Students will be eating according to the following schedule:

White Days (A)/Blue Days (B) Schedule

  • 6th Grade - 10:58am to 11:34am
  • 7th Grade - 12:56pm to 1:32pm
  • 8th Grade - 11:37am to 12:13pm

Eagle Days (C) Days Schedule

  • 6th Grade - 11:00am to 11:36am
  • 7th Grade - 12:18pm to 12:54pm
  • 8th Grade - 11:39am to 12:15pm

Our plan includes strict adherence to the ISBE/IDPH requirements. During the student's lunch period, Students:

  • will be eating in the commons/cafeteria seated spaced 3 feet apart at individual tray tables with a chair in assigned seats to facilitate contact tracing. There will be about 20 tray tables in the hallway in front of the auditorium to accommodate the larger number of students in 6th and 7th grade.
  • are assigned a lunch color (Green or Yellow) and will eat their lunch during the first half of the period or go outside during the first half of the period according to the student lunch color posted at the entrance to the commons/cafeteria.  The lunch color groups will rotate each week, to enable each lunch color to eat during the first half of the lunch period every other week
  • will have their masks off for duration of the time they are eating and can have a mask break outside, as long as the students maintain a 6 foot social distance
  • are focused on eating and not talking while their mask is removed while inside
  • must 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, including lunch. This is an important measure to protect our students with life-threatening allergies.
  • receive the school bag lunch and/or milk for those who placed a lunch order in their first period class. (PTO Starship lunches on Tuesdays and BRAVO Pizza Fridays are yet to be determined if they will be available)

Students will NOT have the option for parents/guardians to complete a Google form to have their students eat lunch off campus.  If a student needs to leave campus during the school day, a parent/guardian will need to call the main office upon arriving at the school so we can check your student out and the parent/guardian must be on campus to pick up their student.

To ensure students are following the 3 Be's of Brooks (Be Responsible, Be Respectful and Be Safe), staff will be assigned specific sections in the commons to supervise students while eating as well as assigned specific areas outside to supervise students during social time.

WEEKLY COVID-19 SHIELD ILLINOIS TESTING

District 97 will partner with SHIELD Illinois to provide weekly testing to all students in Pre-K through eighth grade. This is a non-invasive saliva test that will be conducted on site during the school day. Testing is optional but strongly recommended. No action is necessary to participate. CLICK HERE to learn more about SHIELD testing. CLICK HERE for FAQ related to SHIELD Illinois.

STUDENT ARRIVAL PROCESS

Please have your student arrive no earlier than 8:50am if they walk or ride their bikes to school.  Our bus company will be dropping students off at 8:50am each day and at dismissal will leave Brooks at 3:40pm.

Students should go to their Assigned Entry Location at 8:50am:

  • Students should go to their entry location at 8:50am (see MAP Below)

8th Grader bus riders enters

  • B Wing (Team 8.3)
  • C Wing (Team 8.1)
  • C Wing (8.2 who will use the C wing stairwell to get to 2nd floor) 

8th grader walkers enters

  • D Wing (Team 8.1)
  • D Wing (Team 8.2 who use the D wing stairwell to get to the 2nd floor)
  • E Wing (Team 8.3)

7th Grader bus riders enters

  • Clinton and uses the main stairwell

7th Grader walkers enters

  • Kenilworth and use the main stairwell
6th graders will change their entry location based on their first class of the day to be closest to their first class of the day

6th Grader who have Band, Chorus, SDD, Art, Spanish class first class of the day enters

  • Washington and uses the Washington stairwell

6th graders who have PE/health first class of the day enters

  • A Wing and uses the A wing stairwell
  • Students will sanitize hands when entering the building and/or upon entering their classrooms at the hand sanitizer stations found at each of these locations.
  • Students will then enter the building heading to their first class of the day.
  • We will not be using student lockers.

Gwendolyn Brooks Entry Locations Map

Brooks Student Drop Off Map

DISMISSAL PROCEDURES (WALKERS AND BUS RIDERS)

  • We will stagger the departure of students based on location in the building of their last class period of the day.  We will start with the 4th floor first with all students having exited the building by 3:36pm
  • During the dismissal process, students are to remain socially distanced and wear their masks
  • Students will exit the building based on where the last period teacher directs them as described below:
    • 4th floor will leave their classroom at 3:28pm to exit the building first using Washington Stairwell (C Wing classrooms) and Main Stairwell (B Wing Classrooms)
    • 3rd floor will their classroom at 3:30pm to exit the building second using the wing exits B Wing, C Wing, D Wing or A Wing
    • 2nd floor will their classroom at 3:32pm to to exit the building third using the Washington Stairwell (C/D wing classrooms) and Main Stairwell (B/A wing classrooms) 
    • 1st floor will their classroom at 3:34pm to exit the building last using the wing exits (B Wing, C Wing, D Wing or A Wing/Gym

WEARING MASKS

  • Students will wear Face masks indoors at all times except when eating lunch.  Students can have a mask break when outside for social time and/or PE as long as students maintain 6 feet social distancing while outside.
  • Bandanas, gaiters and masks with valves are not allowed. A mask that fully covers the nose and mouth is to worn at all times during school buses and inside school buildings. 
  • Here is a video discussing information about proper mask wearing.

CELL PHONES AWAY FOR THE DAY

In 2019-2020, we launched our Cell Phone Away for the Day expectations. As we being our 21-21 school year, we will continue to expect students to follow these expectations below:

  • Cell phones are to be silent 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.

BUSING

  • Please click here for the information on the bus routes
  • Students should arrive at their bus stop 5 minutes prior to their pick up time.
  • Students should wait at the bus stop socially distanced.
  • Face masks are to be worn at all times while riding the bus.
  • Bus drivers will provide students with a mask if the child doesn’t have one. 
  • Buses will load back to front and unload front to back. Students are to remain seated until the driver instructs them to leave their seat. Physical distancing should be maintained to the extent possible.
  • Upon arriving to school, a Brooks Staff member holding a Question Mark Sign will help students find their entry door location, if unknown.
  • Buses are scheduled to depart from Brooks School at 3:40 p.m.

TARDY PROCEDURES

  • 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.
  • A staff member will meet the students outside and will share the student's name to with the front office to report the tardy. 
  • Students will be issued a pass to head to their first period class tardy.

PROCEDURES AND ROUTINES WHILE IN THE CLASSROOM

  • Teachers will teach safety procedures and expectations that include wearing a face mask, physical distancing, regular sanitizing, hand washing, 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 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 as much as possible.
  • Students will wear Face masks indoors at all times except when eating lunch.  Students can have a mask break when outside for social time and/or PE as long as students maintain 6 feet social distancing while outside.
  • Some classroom supplies may be shared but will be cleaned between uses. 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 as well as needed school supplies for the classes.
  • Students will have their cell phones silenced and away in their backpacks for the school day.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES NEEDED FOR STUDENTS

School Supplies for first days of school: When students come to school for the first few days, as far as school supplies, students please bring your chromebooks, folder with paper or spiral notebook,writing utensils and a filled water bottle and lunch or plan to request a school bag lunch and/or milk.  Teachers will share with the students what they should carry with them on a daily basis for their class, since we are not utilizing lockers at this time.  Additionally, during this first week of school, for any of the supplies that are to be turned in to your child’s SOAR teacher, they will share when to bring in those supplies. Here is School Supply list.

The items students should bring each day can be packed in a ziploc bag inside the student's backpack. Students will not have access to school lockers.  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 should not share their personal supplies with other students.  If needed, a teacher can provided the needed supply to enable learning.

CONTRACT TRACING PROCEDURES - RESPONDING TO A POSITIVE CASE

Our contract tracing process is aligned 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. 

Designated seating charts will be used for all classrooms and lunch periods 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. The CDC and IDPH have also updated their close contact definition for classroom students, which we hope will minimize disruptions to in-person learning this year.

Schools will not 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:

  • 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 10-14 full days from their last contact with the case which will be cleared by the School Nurse in partnership with the Oak Park Health Department for those close contact individuals 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

SCHOOL WIDE

  • Students will participate in SHIELD Illinois weekly testing.
  • All staff and students will wear masks that covers their mouth and nose. Gators or masks with valves are not permitted. Students will wear Face masks indoors at all times except when eating lunch.  Students can have a mask break when outside for social time and/or PE as long as students maintain 6 feet social distancing while outside.
  • 3 foot social distancing will be encouraged throughout the building.
  • Each students is assigned to a specific arrival door. The utilization of every entrance helps us to spread students out as much as possible.
  • 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 and entry location.
  • An Isolation Room has been established for students with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Students will be able to sign-out using a google form of the classroom to use the bathroom at the end of the Wing and/or use the water bottle filler dispenser and then sign-in upon their return to the classroom
  • Lockers will not be used (student work stored in backpacks under their seat, coats on back on the chair).
  • Any shared materials will be designated by the teacher and sanitized between uses.

STAFF PROCEDURES

  • Staff are required, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose while indoors.
  • Staff are required to maintain social distancing
  • Staff will monitoring the arrival and dismissal of students to and from the building as well as during passing periods
  • We have four permanent subs for our building to provide support learning in the event a teacher is absent.

STUDENT PROCEDURES

  • Each week, students will participate in SHIELD Illinois testing.
  • Students will need to eat breakfast at home, as we will not be serving breakfast at school.
  • Students will report to school no earlier than 8:50 a.m. and report to their designated entry location.
  • Students will wear Face masks indoors at all times except when eating lunch.  Students can have a mask break when outside for social time and/or PE as long as students maintain 6 feet social distancing while outside.
  • Students should maintain social distancing as much as possible in the hallways.
  • Students will need to sign in and out using the google form each time they leave a classroom to use the bathroom and/or use a water bottle filling station.
  • Students will need to follow their lunch color and sit in assigned seats during lunch. Students should bring a nut free lunch to school or order a school lunch.
  • Students will exit the building following their last period teacher of the day directions according to the staggered dismissal process outlined above.
  • Students will follow our 3 Bes of Brooks: Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be Safe.

STUDENT ATTENDANCE

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.  We ask that our entire District 97 community help keep our schools safe by adhering to our COVID-19 guidelines. This includes students/staff staying home if they:

  • Are feeling sick
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Are waiting for a COVID-19 test result
  • Are a close contact of a positive/probable COVID-19 case
  • Please see CDC Flyer for more guidance

If your student will be absent from school, please call the attendance number 708-665-3074 or email [email protected] 

ADVISORY

Your student’s will participate in Advisory lessons 2 of the  3 trimesters during their designated Advisory period where the other trimester students will engage in their Design class. During advisory time, students will engage in social, emotional Second Step lessons, will learn key features of Canvas, work with their 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 the school year. Advisory teachers monitor each student in their class to ensure each student is engaging in their learning. 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.

S.O.A.R.

Strategies of Academics and Resilience (S.O.A.R.) is a class where the students will meet with a teacher 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. 

MIDDLE MATTERS WEEKLY FAMILY COMMUNICATION

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.

TECHNOLOGY HELP

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

HAVE QUESTIONS?

Questions

CANVAS

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 op97.instructure.com

CANVAS OBSERVER ACCOUNT

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 a slide deck that includes an overview video that may be helpful.  Additionally, 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 op97.instructure.com

POWERSCHOOL

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. Here is a slide deck and PowerSchool overview video that my be helpful.

PARENT QUICK REFERENCE RESOURCES

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

PowerSchool Quick Reference      Overview Video      Slides

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

Securly (Student safety and device management tool)      Video    Slides