Parent Newsletter

Tue, 09/26/2017
Students smiling.

Dear Brooks Community, 

Can you believe we are a month into the school year?!?

The Admin Team has been conducting feedback loops to observe teaching and learning in classrooms.   We have seen students actively engaged in learning and rigorous activities.

As always, thank you for your continued commitment and support!

Below, you will find some important details for the upcoming school year.

Start Times

School begins at 8:00 a.m. (sharp!) and ends at 3:30 p.m.  New parents, we do have C Days every other Wednesday when students are dismissed at 12:10 p.m. Please monitor the school calendar for those specific dates.

Family Income Forms and Physicals:

Please turn in your family income forms and physicals to the Main Office.  It is extremely important we receive this documents.  Physicals are due by October 10th.  Any student who does not have a physical on file will be excluded from school. 

Results from Practice SAT Test:

Juniors earned a 1034 on the Practice SAT test.  The first SAT prep seminar class was on Wednesday.  Thank you for ensuring your student was present and on-time to class. Please help to ensure this continues throughout the course of the year so students receive every resource provided to perform well on the SAT and have access to as many post-secondary opportunities as possible.   

SAT Dream Team also had their first meeting on Wednesday to conduct a deep dive into the data and figure out how to incorporate identified areas of growth into classroom instruction.   

Other SAT Information:

Class of 2019 Parents: Please be sure your students are getting Khan Academy practice in for SAT. Twenty hours of independent SAT practice on Khan has been correlated with over 100 points of growth on the SAT. The more we can get students preparing for this test, the more we'll see acceptances at highly competitive colleges/universities and the more scholarships our students will qualify for. We are counting on your support at home to ensure our Juniors are preparing. Please reach out to Ms. Resh at if you're looking for additional information about how to get your student ready for the SAT. 

Important PSAT Information:

On Wednesday, September 27th, 9th-11th graders will complete the pre-administration for PSAT. Students should bring a no. 2 pencil and report to advisory on-time. Seniors will meet in the auditorium for extended advisory. 

9th-11th graders will take the PSAT on October 11th.   Please make sure your student arrives to school on-time!  The data from PSAT will help us to better prepare students for the Spring PSAT and SAT.

In addition, for junior students, listed below are a few additional benefits:

1. You may qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Competition

2. You may qualify for other scholarships that use the PSAT results.

3. You will receive a detailed score report which will show what areas you need to improve on the SAT. 


Will begin after Quarter 1.  I will include the tutoring schedule in my newsletters. 

ISBE CBL (Competency Based Learning) Pilot Updates

ISBE CBL planning has started.  Our entire staff will attend the CBL Symposium at Lindblom on the Nov. 3rd PD Day.    Some of our teachers will present the great work they are implementing with CBL.  In addition, I had an opportunity to participate in a CBL PLC with the other 10 districts involved in the ISBE pilot.  Dr. Tony Smith, Superintendent of Illinois State Board of Education spoke about how CBL implementation is direction the state is moving.  I was encouraged to see that many of the practices of CBL are already being implemented at Brooks!

Feedback Loops and Instructional Rounds

The admin team are starting feedback loops with teachers that focus on specific aspects of teaching and learning.  This year, the ILT (Instructional Leadership Team) will conduct instructional rounds once per quarter focusing on a specific area of teaching practice.  We are excited as a school community to continue to improve our instructional practices.  

AC Information:

Every 7th and 8th grader needs a working Chicago Public Library card. 

Reminder: We will hold a special AC Curriculum session (for 7th grade parents and new 8th grade parents) from 5-6 before the start of Curriculum Night (Thursday, September 28th from 6-8 p.m.).  In order to maximize our time with you for AC Curriculum Night from 5-6, please send any questions you have for the Team so we can address them on Curriculum Night.  If we run out of time during the AC Curriculum Night time-frame and are unable to answer all your questions, we will address them in our AC Newsletter.  Here is the link to RSVP for the AC Curriculum Night session and to submit your question(s).

Mrs. Mulder and I will meet with 8th grade parents at 5:00-6:00 p.m. on October 3rd in the CUBE to discuss the GoCPS process.  Please refer to the email sent out by Mrs. Mulder for additional GoCPS information and resources.

NWEA Dream Team has started meeting after school on C Days to figure out how to group students based on NWEA results and RIT bands. In addition, teachers worked on how to incorporate areas of need into their curriculum.

Our AC Parent Newsletter will be released in the next couple weeks…..

Counseling Department Updates:

The Brooks College Fair and Financial Aid Night will take place Tuesday, September 26th from 5:00-6:30pm in the large gymnasium. There are 90 colleges and universities registered to attend.  There will also be a Financial Aid Presentation in the Auditorium at 6:00pm  (Spanish session taking place simultaneously in the Cube). 

College Chats:

Thursday, September 28th

Clark Atlanta University

School Calendar

The A, B, C, and D Days can sometimes get confusing.  I highly encourage parents to utilize the Brooks website to understand the school calendar:

Grading Procedures Updates

We have refined and improved mastery learning and standards-based grading at Brooks this year.  There are some key differences from last year.  Please review this document to understand our grading policy.  

This year, teachers will either implement Full Standard Based Grading or 70% Summative/30% Formative.  Please refer to the link above for the details and grading policies for each.

As you may recall, two years ago, we received $280,000 from LEAP Breakthrough Schools for our innovative and personalized approach to student learning.   Last year, we started our journey of the implementation of personalized learning (which the state refers to as Competency Based Learning). Last year, our 7th graders and INT II classes participated in this pilot.  This year, our Academic Center and INT Classes will be implementing Competency Based Learning (personalized learning) in their classes.  Want to learn more about Competency Based Learning, click here?

As a result of our standards based grading and the beginning of our competency based implementation work, we were selected to participate in the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Competency Based Learning Pilot.  This year, we will work with the state and other schools involved in the pilot to develop and plan further implementation.

Student Handbook

The student handbook can be found here.  This is an excellent resource for families interested in school-wide policy.  Please note, if students are not participating in after school activities, they should be off campus by 6:00 p.m.

Curriculum Night Schedule (Thursday, September 28th 6:00-8:00 p.m.):

**Parents, you will have the opportunity to follow your student’s schedule for the night!  Please note:  The class time is rather short, so teachers will only have time to communicate their expectations for the course.  If you would like to address specific concerns related to your student’s progress, we ask that you email the teacher or make an appointment to discuss this with them at a later date.  In addition, if teachers are unable to attend, a sheet will be outside of their door.  Please indicate if you would like the teacher to follow up with you.**

5:00-6:00: 7th grade and New 8th grade parent meeting

5:30-6:00: Schedule Distribution at the security desk entrance  (student ambassadors)

6:00-7:55: Curriculum Night

Curriculum Night Schedule

· 1st Period: 6:00-6:10

· 5th Period: 6:15-6:25

· 2a or 2nd Period: 6:30-6:40

· 6b or 6th Period: 6:45-6:55

· 3c or 3rd Period: 7:00-7:10

· 7d or 7th Period: 7:15-7:25

· 4th Period: 7:30-7:40

· 8th Period: 7:45-7:55

Homecoming Information:

  • The pep rally is Friday, Oct. 6th from 2:00-3:30.

  • Hazing is not permitted and any student caught will not be allowed to participate in homecoming activities and will receive an in school suspension.  Please note: This will be communicated to students.

  • The homecoming game is Saturday, Oct. 7th at 12:00 p.m. at Brooks.  

  • The high school homecoming dance is Friday, October 6th from 7:00-10:30 p.m. and AC Homecoming Dance is Friday, October 20th from 5:00-7:00 p.m..

    • High School and AC Homecoming Dance Information:

    • Students can invite two guests to the dance.  

    • Please note: For the AC dance, guests must be in either 7th  or 8th grade.  No HS students may attend.  

    • Students must turn in a visitor form for your guest(s) to Mr. McCoy by Friday, September 29th at 12:00.

    • Visitor forms will be available in the Main Office.

    • Any guests not on the guest list will not be allowed to attend.  

    • Guest(s) must have a school ID and be accompanied by a Brooks student.

    • High School Homecoming Dance Entry:

    • Tickets will be sold at the door.

    • Wristbands will be distributed on Friday during lunch periods based on the criteria below.

    • If a student loses their wristband or fails to obtain the wristband during lunch period, he/she will have to pay full price at the door.

    • $2 entry

      • 95% attendance or better

      • 0 cuts

      • 2 or less tardies

      • 0 Fs

    • $5 entry

      • 90-94% attendance

      • 0 cuts

      • 2 or less tardies

      • 0 Fs

    • General Admission ($10)

      • If you do not meet the criteria listed above.

    • Guest(s):

      • Are $10

      • Limit 2 per students

      • Must have visitor form turned in, school ID, and be accompanied by a Brooks student.

    • If you are interested in chaperoning, please email Mr. McCoy(  




Field Updates:

  • The field will be completed in time for the Homecoming Game on October 7th at 12:00.  

  • Please come out and support our football team on our new home field!

7th/8th grade Sports

  • If any students are interested in participating in 7th or 8th grade sports, please contact Reggie Dawson ( for more information.  


  • 9/29 Morgan Park@Gately

  • 10/7 Perspectives Leadership Tech@Brooks

  • 10/12 Goode STEM Academy@Goode Stadium

Girls Volleyball Varsity/Sophomore

  • Sept. 26 @ Kenwood

  • Sept. 27 vs. Little Vil.

  • Sept. 28 vs. Simeon*

  • Oct. 4 @ VonSteuben



  • *Tentative senior night

  • **Game begins at 4:30

  • + Game begins at 6pm 

Girls Volleyball Freshmen

  • Sept. 27 vs. Little Vil.

  • Sept. 30 Fr League

  • + Game begins at 5pm

Upcoming Events

  • College Fair will be Tuesday, September 26th from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the Main Gym.

  • Curriculum Night will be Thursday, September 28th from 6:00-8:00 p.m..  This is your opportunity to meet with teachers, ask questions, and learn about the experiences in your child’s classes.  

  • Homecoming Game : October 7th

  • HS Homecoming Dance: October 6th from 7-10:30p.m.

  • AC Homecoming Dance: October 20th from 5-7 p.m.

  • Pep Rally: October 6th

  • Open House: November 4th AC 10-12, HS 12-3

  • MOY NWEA Math Testing: December 20th

  • MOY NWEA Reading Testing: December 21st

  • NAEP Testing: Feb. 13th

  • SAT: April 10th

  • Senior Luncheon: May 25th

  • Prom: June 1st

  • 8th Grade Trip: June 7th or 8th-June 10th or 11th

  • HS Graduation: June 11th CSU

  • 8th Grade Graduation: June 15th

Local School Council (LSC)

The LSC meets every 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. You can find the exact dates on the Brooks calendar.  We have two parent vacancies to fill.  If you are interested in completing an application, please visit our website, and turn in your application to the Main Office.

Parent Advisory Committee (PAC)

The next PAC meeting will be October 3rd at 6 p.m. Future meetings can be found on the Brooks calendar.  Please see the attached meeting notice and agenda for the Annual Title I Parent meeting and the Annual Title I Parent Advisory Council Organizational meeting.  I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the cafeteria.

Village of Brooks (VOB)

Village of Brooks Parent Club invites all parents,  grandparents, friends and anyone you consider part of your "village" to come join us at our first meeting of the school year on Tuesday, October 3rd at 6 p.m. in the school auditorium. Principal Jackson and the Administrative Team will provide information on upcoming events and school happenings.

The VOB meets the 1st Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. You can find the exact dates on the Brooks calendar.


All information below is grounded in our value for student safety over all other competing interests (e.g. convenience). If you are  interested in volunteering to help with traffic flow before or after school please call 773-535-9930.

Drop-off info (7:15-8:00):

  • Arrive early.  The earlier you drop-off the quicker you can get off campus and get to work.

  • Most people drop-off between 7:50-8:00am.  Expect longer wait times during this time.

  • You can use both the North (behind the school) and South (in front of the school) lanes to drop off.

  • School buses drop students off behind the school. YIELD to buses for student safety.

  • Students park behind the school.  YIELD to students as they cross the drive to get to school safely.

  • In front of the school there are horses set up to control the flow of traffic.  The horses are there for safety so cars cannot pass each other or drive too fast on campus. Please do not move the horses.

  • Cars should make a single file lane both in front and behind the school.  Passing is not allowed for student safety.

  • Wake up earlier, leave your home earlier, and arrive to campus earlier and your time on campus dropping-off will be a better and quicker experience.

Pick-up info (3:30-3:45):

  • No cars are allowed in front of the school (south drive) to pick-up at the end of the school day.  The south drive is reserved for buses.  In the past, buses could not move adequately because cars were blocking them.

  • Please park in the large parking lot behind (north) the school.  Park in the lot.  Parking on the drive is not permitted as it restricts the flow of traffic.  Parking in the staff lot is not permitted.

  • Be patient!  Everyone picking-up is trying to get home as quickly as possible.  Everyone is in the same position.  

  • Traffic must flow west behind the school after 3:30.  This means all cars will exit the campus on 111th.  This is not an inconvenience.  It is just 3 right turns and 2 minutes away from MLK Drive.  This is for student safety.

Parking permits:

  • Parking permits are $50.  All student vehicles must have a permit by Friday, October 6th.

  • Students must complete an application, pay the fee, and provide proof of insurance to park legally on campus.

  • Unauthorized cars will be towed by Rendered Services on 35th and Ashland.  This is a contract through Sodexo.

  • Free parking is available on 111th.

  • Lots will be monitored between 9am-2:30pm to avoid towing before school and after school when we have events.  If there is an all day event there will be no towing that day.

  • Parents and other guests that visit the school need to get a guest pass and put that in their car (or risk towing) between 9-2:30.  Guest passes are available at the security desk.

  • Guest passes are uneccessary before October 5th.

  • We are not the cheapest nor the most expensive:

    • Lindblom - No parking available.

    • Jones - No student parking.  Unauthorized vehicles towed.

    • South Shore - No student parking.  Unauthorized vehicles towed.

    • Payton - No student parking.  Unauthorized vehicles towed.

    • King - Free.  Parking lot is two blocks from school.  Was $40 in 2014.

    • Westinghouse - $25.  Parking lot is two blocks from school.

    • Brooks - $50 on campus parking.

    • Whitney Young - $75 on campus parking.

    • Lane Tech - $95 on campus parking.

    • Northside - $175 on campus parking

  • Our Mission: To ensure each student learns at high levels.

  • Our Vision: To be the school of choice in Chicago

  • Our Values: Going the extra mile, being energetic and collaborative

Again, I look forward to working with you this year!!!