Brook Forest School/ 630-325-6888
1-15 Order December Aramark Lunch on-line at
www.butler.lunchworks.net from November 1 – 15th.
1 End of First Quarter
2 PTO Meeting- BJH 9:00 am
3 Accelerated Reader Celebration
8 Lifetouch Picture Retakes
9 Hearing & Vision Rescreening
10 Spirit Day- 50th Day of School: Dress up like it’s the
13 District Leadership Team Meeting- BJH 4:00 p.m.
Board of Education Meeting- BJH 6:30 p.m.
District 53 Annual Meeting- BJH Multipurpose Room 7:00
15 Parent/Teacher Conference Sign-Up
16 PTO Holiday Boutique
Parent/Teacher Conference Sign-Up (Last Day)
17 Report Cards Sent Home
21 Parent/Teacher Conferences 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
22 NO SCHOOL- Parent/Teacher Conferences 8:00 a.m. – 11:30
23 NO SCHOOL- Thanksgiving Break
24 NO SCHOOL- Thanksgiving Break
30 Parent Visitation Day
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Board of Education Administration
Remember . Martin, Principal, Butler Junior High
Dr. Sandra L.
Mr. Stephen J. Haszto, Board President
Mr. Edward Condon,
Dr. Stanley M. Pruss, Vice President
Dr. Ameeta Bajaj, Member Mrs. Nina McCabe, Principal, Brook Forest
Kids + Parents + Teachers =
Mrs. Patte Knuth, Member
Mrs. Tanuja (T.J.) Rathi, Member
Mr. John Baar, Assistant Principal, Butler Junior High
Mrs. Beth Mouw, Assistant Principal, Brook Forest
Brook Forest School Mrs. Pat Sidler, Member Mrs. Barbara Rebecca, District Director of Technology
60 Regent Drive
Oak Brook, IL
Mr. Kanwar Singh, Member
Dr. Linda Vlasak, Director Special Education
Mr. Bob Jakupi, Director Buildings & Grounds
Dear Brook Forest Families,
Happy November! It is hard to believe Thanksgiving
Fax: is just around the corner, isn’t it? The teachers,
staff, and children of Brook Forest School realize
E-Mail: this is the busiest time of the school year, but we
firstname.lastname@example.org look forward to every minute of it!
With each passing day of school, there are newfound
News from challenges and rewards. As I think about the past
nine weeks, I reflect upon the many activities that
Mrs. McCabe, have occurred here at Brook Forest which have
Principal directly benefited students. Though many of you
cannot be present during the day, the evidence of
your love and attention to your children is clear.
The students arrive happy and well prepared for the
day. They live full lives here as students, and are
once again happy to return to their loving and
supportive families at the end of each school day.
Very little of what we do here would be possible if
it were not for your wonderful guidance at home.
Gratefully, I have seen many, many parents at school
this month. I see parents in the classrooms,
sharing knowledge or skills with their children’s
classes. I see parents working in the lunchroom;
without them, the lunch program would simply not
function. Actually, I see parents participating in
so many ways they are too numerous to list!
Eventually, I even hope to have parents facilitate
our school post office as well as family reading
The past month provided many parents the opportunity
to visit the school for Curriculum Night, the Book
Fair, and the Halloween parties and parade. This
month, parent-teacher conferences will help apprise
parents of their child’s current academic and social
progress. If it has not been made clear to you
already, Brook Forest is a school that very much
welcomes interaction with families and community
members. As the school’s new principal, I very much
enjoy meeting and getting to know both you and your
child(ren). Please do continue to seek ways in
which you might meaningfully interact with the
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Having “lived” in schools now for 29 years, I know
that this is the time of year when things begin to
settle in, despite the interruptions of holidays
and other days off from school. Most children have
made the necessary adjustments to school life and
to the unique expectations of their classes.
Hopefully, our upcoming parent-teacher conferences
will provide you with confirmation that things are
going as you expected in school. Obviously, you
might have questions or concerns which can and
should be addressed. The conferences might also “Time and time
provide you and the teacher with some “next steps”
regarding your child’s education. I encourage you again, research
to continue this highly important dialogue for the has shown us
entire school year. that those
Literacy News children who are
The main focus of our curriculum is literacy opportunities for
development. We recognize that literacy is the
cornerstone for a child's success in school and independent
throughout life. As parents, you can support our and/or guided
literacy focus by encouraging your children to read reading each day
at home each evening. Time and time again, research
has shown us that those children who are given
have the most
opportunities for independent and/or guided reading potential for
each day have the most potential for success in success in
school. Although daily routines take a great deal
of time, consider setting aside time to share
reading time with your children at home. Please
note the interesting and important message
pondering the question of independent reading in
mathematical terms at the end of this portion of
We at Brook Forest are committed to offering
reading incentive programs in order to
encourage self-sustained, independent reading.
Accelerated Reader is a program which gently
pushes children to evaluate their own
independent level of reading through a series
of computer quizzes. Those who reach their
goal will be involved in an
achievement celebration on Friday, November
3rd. “AR” celebrations will be offered during
each grading period, so children will have
ample opportunities to reach their goals!
Page 4 of 13 The Dolphin
Literacy News, continued
Family Reading Night
“Family Reading Night” will be celebrated on
Thursday, November 16th in the Brook Forest
Learning Center, from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Be sure
to bring your child(ren), as it is a family
activity! We are hoping to have guest readers as
well as a variety of activities to enhance the
stories being read as a family. We hope to see you
Children’s Book Week
At Brook Forest, Mrs. Tomita and Mrs. Cook are
planning daily literacy activities in order to
promote Children’s Book Week from November 13th
through November 17th. Unique learning
experiences are planned for the learning center
during the week, which is celebrated across the
Current Reading Incentives
• October: “Second graders were “Caught in
the Web of Reading!”
• November : “Third graders will “Gobble Up a
Our second grade children are completing their
reading incentive, “Caught in the Web of
Reading.” In order to meet their goal of
reading at least 75 minutes per week for three
weeks, students had to commit to independent
reading time at home and did it with gusto!
Each Monday during the incentive period, the
children gathered in front of their “webs” near
the office, and added a “fuzzy spider” to them
if they met their weekly goal. All children
will be given reinforcers as rewards at the end
of the program, if they participate in at least
one of the three weeks.
Our next grade level incentive program will
begin soon. Designed for third graders, it is
entitled “Gobble Up a Good Book!” As you can
probably guess, our third graders will turn into
a bunch of “turkeys” and add feathers for each
week they meet their goal of 140 minutes per
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In the learning center, reading incentive
programming is continuous. At the present
time, teachers are encouraged to have their
children explore and read books eligible for
the Rebecca Caudill Award as well as the
Monarch Book Award, which is very special, as
children themselves choose the “winners.”
Reading incentives are a means to an end, in
that children are given the opportunity to
understand how wonderful it “feels” to enjoy
a good book. Reading for pleasure is a
lifelong activity and one that makes life more
meaningful, rich, and full. Once again,
please refer to the important reading message
at the end of this portion of the newsletter!
Cold Weather & Outdoor Play
The cold weather is creeping up on us at Brook
Forest, so please be sure your child is dressed
appropriately for the weather. During snowy
and/or cold days students wearing boots, hats, “We believe that
gloves and appropriate outer wear will be allowed children benefit
to play in the snow. You may wish to send a from fresh air
second pair of socks and pants which can be and exercise if
stored in your child’s room for these days. We dressed
believe that children benefit from fresh air and properly.”
exercise if dressed properly.
If your child has a medical reason for staying
inside, we must have a note. As a general rule,
children who are well enough to be in school are
assumed to be well enough to go outside. A
doctor’s note is needed if a child is to stay in
during recess for more than one day. Because of
supervision demands, we cannot honor requests to
keep individual children inside (other than for
medical reasons) when the rest of the group is
We very much appreciate your cooperation in this
matter. As always, please call if you have
questions or concerns.
Page 6 of 13 The Dolphin
Parents are cordially invited to participate in our
annual Parent-Teacher Conferences. I have advised
the teachers to stay on schedule in order to be
courteous to those who arrive on time. Thank you.
Conferences will be held on the following dates,
so please mark your home calendars.
Tuesday, November 21st, from 5:00 PM - 8:00
Wednesday, November 22nd, from 8:00 AM -
If, at the last minute, you cannot attend your
conference, or wish to change your time during these
two days, please contact your child’s teacher or Mrs.
Mini at 325-6888. Please note: Due to the number of
children teachers must see during conferences, please
be sure to sign up for one of the two days offered to
The scheduling procedure is simple, and the same as
in past years. In an effort to accommodate as many
parents as possible, we will again ask you to
schedule conferences by coming to school to sign up
for an appointment. Each teacher’s appointment
calendar will be displayed on a table near the school
office. Please sign up to see you child’s homeroom
teacher and any special subject teachers you wish to
see. We must ask that you refrain from scheduling to
visit with other homeroom teachers (on these two
days), as they will need all of their time slots to
schedule their own children’s conferences. Please
feel free, however, to schedule appointments at
another time convenient for you and the teacher.
In addition to the dates and times listed above,
fifth grade teachers will be available to meet as a
team with all fifth grade parents on
Monday, November 20th 4:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Tuesday, November 21st 8:45 AM – 11:30 AM
5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
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Parent-Teacher Sign Up Dates:
Wednesday, November 15th – Please note that this
date is reserved for parents with more than one
child at Brook Forest. Feel free to come to
schedule conference any time between 8:00 AM and
Thursday, November 16th - Open conference
scheduling for all parents between 8:00 AM and 4:00
As always, thank you for your cooperation. Should you
have questions or concerns regarding parent-teacher
conferencing or the scheduling procedure, please feel
free to call or e-mail me (325-6888 or
American Education Visitation
American Education Week will be celebrated during the
month of November. Brook Forest School cordially
invites you to participate in the celebration by
visiting your child’s class on Thursday, November
“In order to 30th. Please take advantage of this opportunity to
minimize experience a portion of your child's typical day. You
instructional might even decide to eat lunch with your son or
disruptions, we daughter!
ask that younger
siblings not In order to minimize instructional disruptions, we ask
participate in the that younger siblings not participate in the
visitation and visitation and that cell phones remain off while in
classrooms. Although we hope to have many visitors,
that cell phones
we must remember instruction is our focus! Thank you
remain off while
for your cooperation!
Thank you for On Time to School
cooperation!” I would like to thank you, parents, for having your
children on time to school. Our tardiness numbers
have lessened considerably, and it is due to your
efforts. We have moved from an average tardiness rate
of 12 children to three children per day. As I have
written before, tardiness is always a concern to
teachers, as it is difficult for children to miss out
on the beginning of the school day. It is also hard
on the children who are on time, as teachers sometimes
need to give guidance to those who are late, taking
away time from the others. Please continue to
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The Dolphin The Dolphin The Dolphin The Dolphin
Picture Retake Day
Wednesday, November 8th, from 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM,
will be Picture Retake Day.
Students who were absent or did not purchase
pictures on the original portrait day may have
their portrait taken on this date.
The photographers will be available at our
school for a short time only: 10:30 am until
Money must accompany your portrait order if
you are purchasing a package for the first
Please include the student’s full name, grade,
teacher’s name, school name, and package being
Make checks payable to LIFETOUCH.
Students who desire a retake must return the
entire original picture package to the
photographer on picture retake day.
Please feel free to call Mrs. Mini at 325-6888
with questions or concerns.
News You Should Know and Gentle Reminders
1. As asked annually, please cooperate in
reducing the number of non-emergency telephone
calls to Brook Forest School. Our intent is
not to avoid phone usage, but rather to limit
class interruptions for message delivery and
lost instructional time for children. While
there are certainly many legitimate needs for
phone calls, nonessential messages interrupt
instruction. Thank you for our support in our
efforts to teach increased responsibly in our
children as part of the 3Rs - Be Respectful,
Be Responsible, and Be Ready!
2. Parents, please be aware that any changes
which need to be made regarding your child’s
transportation home should be discussed in
advance with your children. The school office
receives several calls daily which increases
the risk of potential missed messages, which
ultimately upset the children. Although we
have a high success rate for delivering
messages, they may not reach the intended
child(ren) in a timely manner, especially when
the requests are made very late in the day.
Thank you so much for trying to reduce these
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3. To clarify Winter Break, the last day of school in
December will be Friday, December 22nd. Students
will not have classes between December 24th and
January 5th.. School will resume on Monday,
January 8 .
4. Just for your information…a parent recently asked
if there were video cameras on Laidlaw buses.
After calling the company, I did find that indeed
there are video cameras located on their buses and
are taping at all times. If you have concerns
regarding Laidlaw’s policy, please feel free to
contact me at 325-6888. The tapes, according to
Laidlaw’s representative, are NEVER used for
individual purposes, but simply used as a safety
5. Please consider attending the District 53 “Annual
Meeting” on Monday, November 13th at 7:00 p.m. The
location is the multipurpose room at Butler Junior
High. Hope to see you there!
Special Announcement: Bake Sale and Lemonade Stand
Children at Brook Forest would like to help others in
need. Therefore, please take note of the following
service opportunities which children have chosen to
organize and sponsor. Your participation is very much
appreciated by the students of Brook Forest!
There will be a bake sale held on parent
visitation day, Thursday, November 30th. All
proceeds will be donated to Brookfield Zoo in
order to help save the “wolf,” an endangered
species. The third graders are sponsoring this
activity in conjunction with an enrichment unit
regarding wolves. More information will be
forthcoming via a flyer from the children.
An old fashioned lemonade stand will be available
during lunchtime on Wednesday, November 15th.
Brook Forest second graders have completed a story
about lemonade stands and are organizing one with
all proceeds going to an orphanage of their
choice. Once again, more information is
forthcoming via a flyer from the children.
The Dolphin Page 10 of 13
The 3Rs - Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Ready
As you know, here at Brook Forest, we have defined our
expectations (be respectful, be responsible, and be ready).
We will directly teach these expectations, we will
consistently remind the children of these expectations (while
modeling them), we will celebrate our successes, and we will
correct inappropriate behavior through reteaching.
By the time you read this newsletter, the entire faculty and
staff will have had training in the 3Rs program. During the
next two weeks, I will be visiting classrooms,, explaining
our expectations to the children. Later in January, we will
have an entire all-school training, which will be more
thorough by design. Very soon, we will begin using our Cool
Tools - short, weekly lessons embedded into the curriculum
which teach our expectations and are very enjoyable for the
Once again, the basic principles behind the “3Rs” are as
R – Responsibility:
The only way to learn to be responsible is to have many
opportunities to practice being responsible. Children need to
begin with small amounts of responsibility and then gradually
be given more as they meet with success. Of course, success
begets success. As adults, our most powerful teaching tool
is trust and belief in children’s ability to “come through”
in responsible ways. We demonstrate this trust and belief
through our words and actions.
Our world is growing more and more diverse and complex. The
positive response to diversity is to learn how to accept,
respect, and celebrate our differences. Parents and educators
want children to be capable of carrying out conflict
resolution without an adult needing to be present. Children
must have empathy and respect for each other in order to
solve conflicts in an intelligent, peaceful manner. Respect
and empathy also gives children the capacity to care for each
other. Respect comes from “knowing” others and grows from the
consistent practice of building relationships. Adults are
the ultimate models for children, therefore demonstrating
respect at all times, for both children and other adults, is
vital to their learning.
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R - Be Ready:
The ultimate goal of disciplining oneself is that one will be
in control of his or her own behavior. We want our children to
“discipline” themselves and be prepared for learning. In order
to be in control of yourself, you must have many opportunities
to truly practice the skill of “being ready.” Once again, the
practice opportunities need to come in small increments that
are manageable, and will lead to success. In being proactive,
teachers make sure children understand what is expected and
give many opportunities to practice. The reward for being
ready to learn is intrinsic - that great, proud feeling inside
of oneself when one is prepared. Like being responsible,
“being ready” for learning comes when adults trust and believe
in children and their capabilities, and give them opportunities
to practice our expectations with positive reinforcers.
Once the “3Rs” initiative is in full swing, we will begin to
celebrate our successes on three levels - individually, as
classrooms, and together as an entire school. Children must
have the opportunity to practice working toward meeting our
“3Rs” together in many and varied ways all through the day. We
can better accept differences when we work together and feel a
true sense of school community. A common language regarding
expectations (i.e., the “3Rs”) helps children scaffold to the
next grade level, and having the same expectations of children
year after year eases anxiety.
As stated in my previous newsletter, knowing the children we
teach individually, culturally, and developmentally is as
important as knowing the content we teach. To teach
successfully we must begin by learning who our children are –
what strengths, interests, experiences, culture, learning
styles and development they bring to our learning environment.
As a faculty and staff, we make no assumptions. Through our
“3Rs,” we hope to build on children’s successes at school.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of
our Brook Forest Families!
The Dolphin Page 12 of 13
Parents, you will enjoy this short
Please take a few minutes to read! Thank
The Answer to the Question:
“Why Can’t I Skip My Twenty Minutes of Reading Tonight?”
Let’s figure it out -- mathematically!
Student A reads 20 minutes five nights of every week;
Student B reads only 4 minutes a night....or not at all.
Step 1: Multiply minutes a night x 5 times each week.
Student A reads 20 minutes x 5 times a week = 100
Student B reads 4 minutes x 5 times a week = 20 minutes.
Step 2: Multiply minutes a week x 4 weeks each month.
Student A reads 400 minutes a month.
Student B reads 80 minutes a month.
Step 3: Multiply minutes a month x 9 months/school year.
Student A reads 3600 minutes in a school year.
Student B reads 720 minutes in a school year.
Student A practices reading the equivalent of ten whole school
days a year.
Student B gets the equivalent of only two school days of
By the end of 6th grade if Student A and Student B maintain
these same reading habits:
Student A will have read the equivalent of 60 whole school
Student B will have read the equivalent of only 12 school
days. One would expect the gap of information retained will
have widened considerably and so, undoubtedly, will school
performance. How do you think Student B will feel about
him/herself as a student?
Some questions to ponder:
Which student would you expect to read better?
Which student would you expect to know more?
Which student would you expect to write better?
Which student would you expect to have a better vocabulary?
Which student would you expect to be more successful in
school.... and in life?
Page 13 of 13 The Dolphin
Fall is here! The room mothers are preparing for the
upcoming Halloween Parties, which promise to be a lot of
fun. Several parent coffees are scheduled for the new
Butler 53 families, and the Kindergarten, first, and
second grade parents. It is a chance to find out about
volunteer opportunities, gain PTO information, and meet
Wednesday, November 1st, please join the
Kindergarten parents and new families to District
53 for a PTO coffee from 9:30-11:00 at the home of
Tuesday, November 7th, please join the first grade
parents for a coffee from 9:30-11:30 at the home of
Tuesday, November 7th, please join the second grade
parents for a coffee from 9:30-11:30 at the home of
Sheera Lall Poskin
The Holiday Boutique is coming Thursday Nov. 16th!
Watch for notices in your child’s backpack for
times when they will be shopping, and also watch
for volunteer information. Lots of volunteers are
The Spring Social is coming… look for more
information on how to get involved and make it a
success. Again, volunteers are needed!
Now that cold weather is upon us, a more expanded
Spirit Wear is coming. Just in time for holiday
shopping! Look for more information coming soon.
Information on all of these activities and more will be
available at the PTO meeting on Thursday, Nov. 2nd, at
9:30 am at Butler. Please feel free to contact me with
any questions, and enjoy the fall weather!
Brook Forest PTO co-chair