D97 Back to School Updates: Aug. 21, 2020

There are several important updates included in this email, including:

As a reminder, we have created a central location for important back-to-school updates and documents: https://www.op97.org/back-to-school.


NEW Welcome Letter from Superintendent Carol Kelley

Please click here for a back-to-school message from Superintendent Carol Kelley.


NEW D97 Board Approves 2020-21 Calendar with Modified Winter Break

During a special meeting on Aug. 21, the District 97 Board of Education approved an updated calendar for the 2020-21 school year that aligns the dates for winter break to Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200.

Under the new calendar, District 97 will hold full days of school on Dec. 21 and 22, followed by a half day on Dec. 23. Winter break will officially begin Dec. 24, and school will resume on Monday, Jan. 11.

In order to accommodate the changes and ensure that our calendar meets the state’s requirements for instructional days (176), the last day of school will now be June 10, 2021. The only other changes to the calendar were trimester end dates and report card distributions. Click here for a full summary of the approved changes >


NEW Referral Deadline for Single Subject and Whole Grade Acceleration Extended to Wednesday, Aug. 26

District 97 believes that all students should be challenged and supported to develop to their maximum potential. For children who demonstrate high ability or may benefit from accelerated placement, we provide opportunities to participate in an instructional setting that is usually reserved for students who are older or in higher grades than the child. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Early entrance to kindergarten or first grade
  • Single subject acceleration
  • Whole grade acceleration

The referral window for single-subject and whole-grade acceleration for the 2020-21 school year has been extended to Wednesday, Aug. 26. Referrals will not be accepted after this date.

Information about the referral process and timeline can be found at http://www.op97.org/acceleration. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us by visiting our Let’s Talk page and clicking the button labeled “Acceleration.”


NEW Effective Student Behavior Handbook

District 97 is committed to creating a positive learning environment that is equitable, inclusive and focused on the whole child. Behavior education involves proactively teaching positive behaviors to create the conditions that make every classroom and school a positive place to learn.

The revised District 97 Effective Student Behavior Handbook is designed to provide information about policies, procedures and practices related to student behavior, and to help students and families prepare for a successful school experience. It also provides notifications required by state and federal law. Click here for our full communication about the new Effective Student Behavior Handbook >


NEW Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Please click here for an informational letter concerning the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


NEW Free/Reduced Lunch Application

We know that a common experience for many families during this health crisis is the loss of jobs and income. This change in income may qualify your children for free or reduced-price meals. We encourage all families who currently qualify to take a few minutes to complete the National School Lunch application as soon as possible.

There are four options for completing and submitting your application:

  • Fill in the PDF application electronically and save it as a document on your computer. Email it as an attachment to the district's food service coordinator, Carla Ellis, at [email protected]
  • Print the PDF and fill it out by hand. Take a picture of the completed application and email it as an attachment to [email protected]
  • Print the PDF and fill it out by hand. Send the completed application via regular mail to:

Carla Ellis
Oak Park School District 97
260 Madison St.
Oak Park, IL 60302

  • Print the PDF and fill it out by hand. Fax the completed application to 708-524-3019.

DEADLINE 8/24 D97 Survey: Social-Emotional and Mental Health Needs

District 97 is continuing to plan for the 2020-21 school year and is prioritizing the social-emotional and mental health needs of students, staff, and families to ensure the availability and quality of appropriate resources and supports. We have partnered with Hanover Research to design and analyze a survey to understand your needs and priorities related to social-emotional and mental health for this school year, and we would like to hear from you.

You can access the survey here or by copying and pasting the following URL into your browser: https://hanover-research.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_39RQ56KYF6mBgwZ. The survey will close on Monday, Aug. 24.


Reminders