family - Oak Park Elementary School District 97

OAK PARK, IL 60302
Table of Contents
Procedures and Practices
Accident Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Anti-Harassment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Attendance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Board of Education/Meetings . . . . . . . . . .3
Communication Partnership . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Due Process Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Emergency School Closings . . . . . . . . . . .5
Health Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Inspection of Instructional Materials . . . . . .5
Lunch/Supervision Program . . . . . . . . . . .6
Medication Administration . . . . . . . . . . . .6
No Child Left Behind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Non-Discrimination Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Parent/Guardian Participation . . . . . . . . . .7
Parent/Guardian Release Form for
Media Coverage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Permissive Transfers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Promotion Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Reporting Student Learning . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
School Schedules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Student Behavior and Discipline . . . . . . . .9
Student Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Surveys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Transportation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Visitation to Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Voice Mail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Program Highlights
Art . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
English as a Second Language . . . . . . . .13
Instructional Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Kindergarten/Early Admission . . . . . . . . .13
Language Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Library/Media Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
Mathematics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
Middle Level Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
Multicultural Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Performing Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Physical Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Pre-Kindergarten Partnership . . . . . . . . . .18
Science/Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Social Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Special Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Standards and Assessment . . . . . . . . . . .19
Student Conferences and Events . . . . . . .20
Summer School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
World Languages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
ANY specific questions
Accident insurance is available for all students. Coverage is
offered in two ways. The District provides coverage during
school activities for the policy year – July 1 through June 30
(excess over family insurance and reimburses family’s out-ofpocket expenses). Additional 24-hour insurance coverage at
school and home is available to parents at their cost. While
District 97 makes these plans available for students, it does not
endorse a particular plan or company.
Accident Insurance
Oak Park Public School District 97 will investigate all
complaints, either formal or informal, verbal or written, of
harassment and will take appropriate action against anyone
who harasses a student or an employee of the school district.
If your child is absent for any reason, please contact
the school office before 8:00 a.m.
A student who is unable to attend classes because of
observance of a religious holiday will be excused from
examinations and assignments on those days. Opportunities
to make up work and/or exams will be provided.
Board of Education/Meetings
The District 97 Board of Education is a seven-member team of
Oak Park residents who have been selected in a state-authorized
election to serve four-year terms. Elections for three and then
four seats are held every two years. Board members serve
without pay.
Generally, board meetings take place on the second and fourth
Tuesday of each month in the Board Room at the central
office, 970 Madison, at 7:30 p.m. A board meeting schedule is
set at the beginning of each year and is available from the
board secretary at 708-524-3009 on request.
Special meetings, budget workshops, and community forums
are also planned throughout the year. These gatherings are
usually held in one of our schools.
Special meetings and time or location changes are announced
at least 24 hours in advance, and whenever possible are
announced weeks in advance. Such notices are sent to the
schools and local newspapers and are posted on our website.
Oak Park Public School District 97 is committed to
maintaining a learning environment that is free from physical,
verbal, and sexual harassment and in which all students can
study and learn together comfortably and productively. Oak
Park Public School District 97 prohibits and will not tolerate
any form of harassment.
Communication Partnership
Questions? Concerns? Need Information? We have a procedure
in place to help you.
If the issue concerns your child, contact your child’s teacher
first. The teacher can refer you to others as needed. If the issue
is still unresolved after meeting with your child’s teacher, you
should then contact the assistant principal or the principal.
If the issue is a general issue regarding the school, the principal
or the assistant principal should be contacted first. He/she will
refer you to others as necessary.
If, after working through the communication sources above,
you feel that your needs have not been met, contact the
superintendent’s office at 708-524-3004.
Need help with the procedure? Call 708-524-3004. We’ll be
happy to help you!
Due Process Rights
The Board of Education recognizes the importance
of safeguarding a student’s constitutional rights.
To better ensure appropriate due-process is provided,
the board has established the following guidelines:
A. Students subject to short-term suspension:
A student and his/her parent or guardian must be given notice
of his/her suspension and the reasons therefore, and the
opportunity to respond to the charges against him/her prior
to the suspension. The length of a suspension shall not exceed
ten days. A suspension may be appealed to the Board of
B. Students subject to long-term suspension and expulsion:
A student and his/her parent or guardian must be given
written notice via certified or registered mail of the intention
to suspend or expel and the reasons therefore, and an
opportunity to appear with a representative before the board
or a hearing officer appointed by the board to answer the
charges. The student and/or his/her guardian must also be
provided a brief description of the student’s rights and of the
hearing procedure, a list of the witnesses who will provide
testimony to the board, and a summary of the facts to which
the witnesses will testify. The hearing may be private, but
the board must act publicly.
The superintendent may close school, delay the opening of
school, or dismiss school early when an adjustment in the
regular session is required for the protection of the health and
safety of students and staff members.
Health Requirements
Students in Illinois are required to have a health examination
and must also provide proof of having received the required
immunizations before entering school. Physical examinations
are required before pre-school, kindergarten, and sixth grade.
Dental examinations are required before kindergarten, and
second and sixth grades. These examinations, along with a
vision exam, are also required when students are first entering
the system. Students whose parents object to health
examinations or immunizations on religious grounds, or the
parents of students whose doctors object to one or more of the
immunizations, should contact the school nurse for further
Inspection of Instructional Materials
Parents/guardians have the right to inspect any instructional
material used as part of the educational curriculum of the
student. Parents/guardians will have access to the instructional
material within a reasonable period of time after the request is
received by the building principal. The term “instructional
material” means instructional content that is provided to a
student, regardless of its format, including printed materials,
audio-visual materials, and materials in electronic or digital
formats (such as materials accessible through the Internet).
The term does not include academic tests or assessments.
Whenever possible, a message will be recorded at the central
office, at each school, and on the district web site at
In case of weather or emergency conditions, tune in to local
stations: WMAZ (670), WGN (720), WBBM (780), WLS (890),
WLS-FM (94.7), WBBM-FM (96), WCLR-FM (102),
WFYR-FM (103.5), Channel 9 WGN TV, and
Channel 32 WFLD TV.
Emergency School Closings
Lunch/Supervision Program
Each school has a supervised lunch program. There is a
pro rata fee based on projected expenditures for supervision.
Fee assessments are based on student access to the service
and alternatives available. Students enrolled for a portion of
the year will be charged 1/10th for each month of enrollment.
Parents who find this fee structure to be a financial burden
may contact their school for information applying to qualify
for a waiver and/or free or reduced lunches.
Lunches can be purchased through the schools at a reasonable
cost. Interested families should contact their school office
for menus and procedures. Milk and juice are also available
for purchase. All items are sold on a prepaid basis. Lunch
programs are available to families qualifying under federal
guidelines for free or reduced lunches. Contact your child’s
school for more information.
Medication Administration
You are asked to give medication at home, before and after
school, whenever possible. When it is required that medication
be given in school, the medicine must be supplied in the
original pharmacy-labeled container. We must have written
parent/guardian permission and doctor’s orders for all
medication. Contact your school’s nurse for specific
information and procedures.
No Child Left Behind
District 97 has always been dedicated to the provisions
described in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation –
assuring academic success for all students, maintaining safe
and orderly schools, employing highly qualified teachers, using
best teaching practices, encouraging parental involvement, and
offering efficient and effective support programs. We will
continue to work with our students, parents, staff, community,
and state officials to stay in full compliance with the law. For
more information on NCLB and your child’s school, please
contact your child’s principal.
Non-Discrimination Policy
Oak Park School District 97 shall treat all persons equally
without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sexual
orientation, age, national origin, gender, or disabilities that are
unrelated to the function to be performed. This commitment
relates to employment practices, the education of children, and
relations with the community at large.
An Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator has
been designated to oversee District 97’s compliance with the
non-discrimination requirements contained in Section 35.107
of the Department of Justice regulations. Information
Parent/Guardian Participation
Our local papers are very thorough in their coverage of our
schools. Often, they will visit classrooms and take pictures of
children involved in educational activities. These photos, along
with photos taken by district personnel, may be printed in the
newspaper or other publications and on the web. Student
projects may also be highlighted in this manner.
Parents/guardians who do not wish to have their child
photographed, or do not want their child’s work displayed in
publications or on the web, should sign a blue form at
registration to that effect.
Permissive Transfers
Students may be permitted to attend other schools within
the district, provided that: a) the student and/or family have
a special educational need that can only be satisfied by the
transfer, and b) the transfer will not cause an imbalance in the
class size or racial composition in either school. Transportation
needs associated with permissive transfers are not provided by
the school district.
When a student has been granted a permissive transfer,
the permissive transfer terminates at the end of the 5th grade.
The student will attend the middle school appropriate to
his/her residence. If the student wishes to follow the 5th grade
class to middle school, an additional permissive transfer must
be approved.
Questions regarding permissive transfers should be addressed
to the registrar at 708-524-3000.
Parent/Guardian Release Form for Media
We recognize that the success of the Oak Park Public Schools is
dependent on a strong parent/guardian/community/school
partnership. Active PTOs in every school go beyond raising
much needed funds for school programs—they provide
parent education workshops, art and cultural programs, and
the expertise needed on a multitude of committees to help
move us forward. Parent/guardian and community volunteers
work right along with teachers and administrators to tackle the
tough issues facing school districts today. Contact your child’s
school for more information on how to become involved.
concerning the provisions of the ADA and Section 504 of
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 can be obtained by contacting
the ADA Coordinator at 708-524-7623.
Promotion Policy
The Illinois State Board of Education requires all districts to
have promotion policies stipulating requirements for grade
level promotion. In District 97, in the elementary grades,
students must perform at grade level in reading, language arts,
and mathematics. At the middle level, students must maintain
a 2.0 grade point average and pass every class.
Parents of students not meeting District 97 promotion
requirements will be notified by letter by the administration.
Those students will be required to participate in school-based
interventions. In addition, some students will be required
to attend summer school as a condition of promotion to
the next grade.
Registration of all students for attendance in District 97
schools occurs at the administrative offices at 970 Madison
Street. Appointments for registration may be made by
telephoning 708-524-3000.
When enrolling your child in the District 97 school system,
you must meet legal custody, residency, and medical
requirements. You must also complete a school emergency
card and media release form. When you register your child,
you will receive several important documents, including the
Effective Student Behavior booklet and information regarding
parent rights and student records.
Please make sure you contact the District 97 registrar at
708-524-3000 with any changes of address or legal custody as
soon as such changes occur. The registrar will assist you with
the necessary revision of any records in the school district.
Reporting Student Learning
Student learning and accomplishments are reported regularly
and in a variety of ways. The report card, issued each
trimester, is the most traditional way to report student
progress. You are strongly encouraged to schedule an
individual conference with your child’s teacher to discuss this
report card in detail. You may also receive information on your
child’s progress through standardized test reports, progress
reports, phone calls, personal letters, and/or portfolios or
exhibits of student work. We value the home partnership and
encourage you to call your child’s teacher at any time to
discuss specific areas of your child’s achievement.
The District 97 Board of Education has identified safety as
a priority and has established procedures which address this
issue. These procedures include signing in at the school office
upon entering the school, appropriate identification when a
child is picked up during the school day, and securing access
to the building. Other procedures may vary by school. Please
contact your child’s school office for more detailed information.
Brooks and Julian Schools
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (M – F)
Student Behavior and Discipline
The administration and staff of the Oak Park Public Schools
recognize that, to ensure a positive learning environment,
students must have a clear understanding of appropriate
behavior and learn to assume responsibility for their behavior.
Expectations for student behavior are clearly defined in the
district’s publication, Effective Student Behavior. These
expectations will be discussed and enforced at your child’s
school. We urge you to become familiar with and discuss these
expectations with your child.
Board policy has identified specific misbehaviors as serious,
the consequences for which could result in disciplinary action.
These behaviors include possession of any weapon or any
object intended to threaten or harm, intentionally injuring
another person, bullying or intimidation, or evidence of gang
Student Information
The Board of Education is responsible for maintaining records
of all students attending schools in this district. Only records
mandated by the state or federal government and/or necessary
and relevant to the function of the school district or
specifically permitted by this board will be compiled by district
Student records shall be available only to students and their
parents/guardians, adult students, designated school officials,
Beye, Hatch, Holmes, Irving, Lincoln, Longfellow, Mann
and Whittier Schools
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. — 11:55 a.m. – 2:55 p.m. (M, Tu, Th, F)
8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. — 11:25 a.m. – 1:55 p.m. (W)
School Schedules
and personnel who have a current educational interest in the
student or the furtherance of that interest, or to other
individuals or organizations as permitted by law.
When appropriate, the district will make available, upon
request, “directory information,” which includes a student’s
name, address, grade level, awards received, and telephone
numbers for inclusion in school or PTO directories.
Only directory information will be released without the
written consent of the parent/guardian.
District 97 will not permit the collection, disclosure, or use of
personal information collected from students for the purpose
of selling that information (or otherwise providing that
information to others for that purpose).
As required by law, District 97 maintains students’ permanent
records for not less than sixty years after the student has
transferred, graduated, or otherwise withdrawn from a District
97 school. Examples of permanent records include personal
identifying information, academic transcripts, and attendance
and health records.
Student temporary records are sent to the high school when
a child graduates from District 97. In the event that a student
transfers to another school prior to graduation, copies of the
records are sent to the new school when requested in writing
by the parent/guardian or new school. District 97 maintains
those files not less than five years. Examples of temporary
records include test scores, psychological evaluations, and
disciplinary information.
Parents/guardians have the right to:
A. Inspect and copy all information contained in the student
record. There may be a small charge for copies. This fee will be
waived for those unable to afford such costs.
B. Challenge the contents of the records by notifying the
principal or records custodian of an objection to information
contained in the record. A conference will then be scheduled
to discuss the matter. If no satisfaction is obtained, a formal
hearing may be scheduled.
C. Inspect and challenge information to be transferred
in the event of a move to another district.
The Board of Education respects the privacy rights of
parents/guardians and their children. No student shall be
required, without prior written consent of his/her
• political or religious affiliations or beliefs;
• mental or psychological problems;
• sex behavior or attitudes;
• illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
• legally recognized privileged and analogous relationships; or
Further, parents/guardians have the right to inspect, upon
request, a survey or evaluation created by a third party before
the survey/evaluation is administered or distributed by the
school to the student. The parent will have access to the
survey/evaluation within a reasonable period of time after the
request is received by the building principal.
• income (other than that required by law to determine
eligibility for participation in a program).
• critical appraisals of other individuals with whom
respondents have close, family relationships;
parents/guardians, to participate in any survey, analysis, or
evaluation that reveals information concerning:
Students in the elementary schools walk to school if the
distance between home and school is less than 3/4 of a mile.
Students in the middle schools walk to school if the distance
between home and school is less than 1-1/2 miles.
Students eligible for transportation will receive bus passes at
their school. Space available passes may be issued after October
1st. Applications for space available passes must be made in
writing to the business office.
Buses follow specific routes with predetermined stops. Riding
school buses is considered a privilege which may be suspended
for misconduct. Bus drivers have the authority and responsibility
to monitor student conduct and to report infractions.
If your child has been granted a permissive transfer within
the district, you are responsible for his/her transportation.
Visitation to Schools
We are very proud of our schools and welcome visitors. We ask
that you call the school beforehand to schedule your visit, and
to check in at the office upon your arrival. In order to
minimize disruption to the educational program, school visits
may be restricted. Call your child’s school to make
arrangements for a school visit.
Voice Mail
The district’s voice mail system can be accessed by dialing
708-524-5830. Directories for staff numbers are available from
your school’s office and on the district web site.
of initiatives
your participation and
Art classes are scheduled for all students. Art instruction
includes art history, art appreciation, and instruction in line,
color, texture, shape, and balance. In grades 6, 7, and 8, students
may elect classes in fine arts, applied arts, or home arts.
English as a Second Language
Instructional Technology
Computers, printers, digital cameras, scanners, and other
equipment are used to enhance and expand students’
educational experiences. As practitioners, students use these
tools to create innovative projects. Word processing, databases,
spreadsheets, and graphic programs are standard throughout
the district. Software such as Waterford and Classroom Suite
provide additional instruction and support for students in
reading, language arts, and mathematics. Additional software is
integrated with classroom instruction.
The Internet is available in all classrooms as are the online
services. An Acceptable Use Policy has been developed to
support telecommunications in the classroom.
Telecollaborative projects, classroom web pages,
and web resources for parents and students are found at
the district web site:
Kindergarten/Early Admission
The School Code of Illinois requires that a child reach
his/her fifth birthday before September 1st in order to
be admitted to kindergarten for that year. Exceptions can be
made for children meeting specific criteria. Please contact
the registrar at 708-524-3000 for more information.
Students from many different countries and cultural
backgrounds attend District 97 schools. Students from
non-English speaking backgrounds are screened to determine
if they need the support of the English as a Second Language
(ESL) program. ESL teachers travel to each school and give
students small group instruction in speaking, reading, and
writing English. They also assist students in understanding
American culture. Students in the ESL program are in classes
with their peers for the rest of the day.
Language Arts
Based on the Illinois State Goals for Learning, the language
arts curriculum is designed to develop proficiency in the areas
of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The program
provides for the integration of these language skills and their
application to other areas of study.
Across the grades, the goals of the instructional reading
program are to help students learn essential skills, develop
an appreciation for literature, and establish lifelong reading
habits. The total reading program is balanced between an
emphasis on skill instruction and the reading of outstanding
children’s literature.
For each elementary level, District 97 has identified benchmarks,
essential skills, and prerequisites for success in learning to read.
In the middle schools, important reading strategies and skills
are reinforced across the curriculum.
In kindergarten and grade 1, the literature collection includes
big books, predictable books, and those with rhythm, rhyme,
and repetition. In grades 2–5, the literature collection includes
thematic literature as well as novels, folk tales, fantasy, and
biographies. In addition, across the grades anthologies of
outstanding literature expose students to a diversity of authors
and genres.
The writing program is based on the belief that all students
can write and, in fact, have interesting and important things
to write. Writing (pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing) is
taught in a workshop atmosphere where students and teachers
collaborate throughout all stages. Writing conferences with
teachers and peers strengthen skills and provide feedback and
encouragement to the writer.
To help students become better writers and researchers,
Research Basics Junior is offered to students in grades 3–5 and
Research Basics is offered to students in grades 6–8. Writing
Basics is provided to students in grades 4–8. These documents
were developed by District 97 teachers in collaboration with
District 200 and District 90.
Language Skills
The language skills of mechanics, grammar, usage, and sentence
construction are developed through frequent writing and
by direct instruction. In addition to Writing Basics, Research
Basics Junior, and Research Basics, several texts are used.
Each year two writing samples are placed in the student’s
k–8 permanent writing folder. This folder follows the student
through the grades and provides an annual record of student
progress in writing. A folder is given to the student at the end
of 5th grade and again at graduation from 8th grade.
Students keep their writing (finished pieces and work in
progress) in a special folder which remains in the classroom
throughout the school year. In this way, a record of the
student’s growth is readily available. This practice also affords
an opportunity for the student to revise a previously completed
piece. Parents are encouraged to examine their student’s writing
folder during conferences and to occasionally request that
the student be permitted to bring the folder home overnight
for the family to see and enjoy.
All students, from Pre-K through first semester of second
grade, are taught printing using a multi-sensory technique and
consistent habits for letter formation. Cursive is taught from
the second semester of second grade and up. In addition, at the
beginning and ending of each year students are required to
sign a Writing Sample Identification card to record progressive
handwriting samples.
District 97’s spelling program is designed to facilitate effective
written communication as students develop a spelling vocabulary
and learn to proofread and recognize misspelled words.
The program is based on an understanding of the developmental
stages of spelling. From the beginning, young children are
encouraged to write frequently. Invented or temporary spelling
is a natural part of this process. At the same time, they are taught
to spell correctly by matching sounds to letters and by learning
words with consistent patterns. In grades 2–5, the program
emphasizes learning conventional patterns of the English
language as well as high frequency words. In grades 6, 7, and 8,
spelling is integrated with other language arts instruction.
Library/Media Center
District 97’s mathematics program incorporates the goals
of the State of Illinois and the National Council of Teachers
of Mathematics. At each grade level, students are expected
to meet District 97 benchmarks in the areas of number
sense, measurement, algebraic thinking, geometry, and data/
probability. Students take part in regular assessments to gauge
progress toward meeting the benchmarks.
The District 97 library/media center enables teachers and
students to effectively access and use ideas and information. In
each school, this center provides resources, equipment, and
services to support the curriculum. The teacher-librarians
work toward full integration of the media/technology program
into the curriculum and the development of learning skills that
will prepare students for a world of opportunities and new
forms of communication.
In addition to selected texts, calculators, manipulatives,
measuring tools, and software are integral to the instructional
Middle Level Education
In grades 6–8, the program for middle level education
recognizes the unique intellectual, physical, social, and
emotional needs of the early adolescent, as well as the need
to assist the student in making the transition from elementary
to high school. The academic program is supported by such
essential middle level practices as a strong core curriculum,
interdisciplinary team organization, advisor/advisee programs,
opportunities to explore special interests, and a strong home,
school, and community partnership.
Multicultural Education
Multicultural education has long been an integral part of the
family, education, and community life of Oak Park. In District
97, a department of Multicultural Education reflects this
commitment to diversity. Resource materials, a professional
library, and artifacts from around the world are housed
in a nationally recognized Multicultural Resource Center.
The department provides staff development and a variety
of school and community events.
General Music
All k–5 students participate in the general music program.
General music instruction includes activities related to rhythm,
melody, harmony, texture, and form. Recorder instruction
occurs in grade 3. Each elementary building has a chorus
which meets throughout the year.
In grades 6, 7, and 8, students have opportunities to listen,
perform, and create using music as a medium. General music
classes include instruction in keyboard and guitar. Electives
in chorus and general music are available as options.
Instrumental Music
Instrumental music is offered to students in grades 4–8.
Students have the opportunity to receive instruction
in orchestral strings (violin, viola, cello, bass) or band
instruments (flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon,
trumpet, cornet, French horn, trombone, baritone, tuba,
percussion). Instrumental music classes are offered free
of charge and are held during the school day.
The Elementary School Bands and Orchestras, which meet
weekly, and the Middle Level Bands and Orchestras, which
meet daily, are performing organizations which provide large
ensemble experiences for music students and their families.
Performing Arts
BRAVO! and CAST are performing arts programs that provide
opportunities for middle level students to explore and
participate in all areas of performing arts. Instrumental music
is offered in grades 4–8, where students receive instruction in
band and orchestra and participate in musical performances
throughout the year. Art Start, a school/business partnership
sponsored by the Oak Park Education Foundation and the Oak
Park Area Arts Council, brings local artists into the classrooms
to work in a variety of mediums with primary age students.
The annual Ethnic Festival celebrates the people of the world
and captures the district’s commitment to recognizing and
promoting appreciation of cultural diversity in our schools
and community.
The multicultural education staff is active in community
outreach: disseminating and gathering information, making
presentations, working closely with Oak Park institutions
and agencies, organizing community conversations, and
establishing partnerships that promote cultural awareness.
Physical Education
Daily instruction in physical education is a State of Illinois
mandate for all students. Classes are taught by the physical
education staff or the classroom teacher.
The district’s physical education program develops the unity of
mind and body through affective, cognitive, and psycho-motor
development. The program is based on the State of Illinois
goals for physical development and District 97 standards.
Pre-Kindergarten Partnership
District 97 has a pre-kindergarten program designed for
children who might benefit from developmental experiences
prior to entering kindergarten. Information regarding this
program may be obtained by calling the district office at
The district’s science/health program is based on Illinois
State Goals for Learning and the standards developed by the
American Association for the Advancement of Science. The
K–8 curriculum consists of instructional units in life, physical,
and earth/space science. Throughout the grades, concept-based
instruction emphasizes hands-on, minds-on activities
and active application of inquiry-based science learning.
Instructional materials and supplies include multiple
texts, videos, CD ROMs, software, tools, and equipment.
The K–8 health/wellness curriculum complies with State of
Illinois requirements and is designed to help students develop
understandings and attitudes to achieve healthful living
throughout their lives. At designated grade levels, topics and
areas of focus include personal safety/victimization; self
esteem; substance abuse prevention and strategies for decisionmaking; nutrition; growth and development; AIDS and other
communicable diseases; and accident prevention and safety.
Social Studies
The social studies program helps students understand
themselves and the world around them, and instills the
knowledge and skills necessary for responsible and global
citizenship. The program incorporates the Illinois State
Goals for Learning and District 97 standards.
K–6 students learn to understand important connections
between self and family, community, state, region, nation, and
the world. The grade 7–8 curriculum is built on eight key
themes: Cultural Diversity and Unity; Global Connections;
Citizenship; Continuity and Change; Place; Technology;
Production/Consumption; and Governance. These themes
reflect the several disciplines that make up the social sciences
Throughout the curriculum, emphasis is given to activities
that engage students in inquiry and problem solving about
significant human issues. Many texts and multi-media
materials support social studies instruction.
Special Education
District 97 also provides necessary related services to eligible
students. Speech & Language, School Psychology,
Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Social Work, School
Nursing and Adapted Physical Education are provided based
on the needs of individual students.
District 97 takes pride in working with parents/guardians as
partners to plan programs that meet the individual needs of
each child.
Standards and Assessment
In keeping with the Illinois State Goals and Learning
Standards, District 97 has in place grade level standards
and benchmarks across the curriculum.
Frequent monitoring of students’ achievement of these
standards and benchmarks is essential to their academic success.
In District 97, a variety of assessment strategies are used,
including district-wide common assessments in reading and
math in grades 3-8. In this way, teachers can make
adjustments to the instructional program as necessary and
students are encouraged to self-assess and take responsibility for
their own learning.
Teachers use authentic or performance based assessments
whenever possible. These assessments include teacher, peer or
In Oak Park Elementary District 97 we offer a full continuum
of special education options for eligible students from 3 to 14
years of age. This continuum is the embodiment of our strong
commitment to creating a single, seamless, and unified service
delivery model for all students. To this end, the continuum
stresses our obligations to provide services to students in the
least restrictive environment, or as close to the general
education classroom as possible. The continuum requires the
expansion of strategies to maintain students in general
education. It requires the provision of supplementary aids and
services to support students with disabilities in general
education classes. It also ensures a full spectrum of program
options including high quality special education classes in
various locations for those students who may need very
individualized and specialized programming.
and are consistent with the standards established by the
National Council for Social Studies.
self-observation, surveys, work samples, interviews, journals,
exhibitions, and projects.
Throughout the instructional program, students are assessed
on their development and demonstration of District 97’s
Essential Learner Qualities. We believe these qualities are
descriptive of a well-educated student and fundamental to
lifelong learning and success. They are: knowledgeable person;
socially responsible citizen; quality producer; effective
communicator; collaborative worker; and critical thinker.
Another form of assessment is standardized testing, which
provides program evaluation information as well as individual
student data. The following tests are administered annually:
the Naglieri in 1st grade, the CogAT in 2nd and 4th grades, the
Iowa Algebra Aptitude test in 5th grade, and the Illinois
Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) in grades 3-8. Parents
receive individual student reports for each of these
standardized tests.
Student Conferences and Events
Conferences and events bring experts and students together for
hands-on learning. They include the Choral Festival, Ethnic
Festival Activities, Fun Run, Instrumental Music Festival,
Speech and Drama Festival, Writing Talent Search, Young
Artists Conference, Young Authors Conference, and Young
Scientists Conference.
Summer School
Summer school is offered in two ways: a tuition-based
program that offers challenge and enrichment opportunities
for students, and additional non-tuition-based summer
programs required for students not meeting district standards.
World Languages
Spanish is offered in all elementary schools as a part
of the regular instructional day. At the middle level,
instruction in Spanish and French is offered as a part
of the exploratory/elective program.
We believe that:
Every person deserves respect
Each person’s intrinsic value is non-negotiable
A legitimate community provides for its most
vulnerable members
A commitment to diversity is the essence of a
strong community
Honesty and openness create trusting
A lasting community is built only when
individuals serve the common good
Beauty and its expressions are vital to the
human spirit
Every person can move to a higher level of
physical, mental, and spiritual growth
A vibrant community understands its past and
determines its future
All conflicts can be resolved peacefully
How we educate our children will have an
impact beyond our imagination
We are all different, and we are all one
Every voice needs to be heard
OAK PARK, IL 60302
The mission of Oak Park Elementary School District
97, the educational prism through which students
realize meaning and purpose in their lives,
is to guarantee that each student achieves optimal
intellectual growth while developing socially,
emotionally, and physically
through a system distinguished by: exemplary
instruction focused on each student; commitment to
the needs of a diverse population; meaningful
partnerships with families and the community;
celebrations of the power of art, music, and language;
confident students challenged to be
educational risk-takers
Visit our award winning web site at for email
addresses and more information on our programs, budget,
activities, and policies.
This brochure can be made available on audiotape. Contact the
District’s ADA Coordinator at 708.524.3000 for accommodation.
© 2008 Oak Park Public Schools District 97