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                   Brook Forest School/ 630-325-6888

          1-15 Order December Aramark Lunch on-line at
      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
  Page 2 of 13                                                                                 The Dolphin

                         Board of Education                       Administration
                                                                         . Superintendent
                                                    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   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
The Dolphin                                             Page 3 of 13

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
the newsletter!

     Accelerated Reader
     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
                                   Good Book!”

                    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
The Dolphin                                           Page 5 of 13

     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
going outside.

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

  Parent-Teacher Conferences

  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 -
           11:30 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
    The Dolphin                                                  Page 7 of 13

                     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
                          4:00 PM.

                          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!
 in classrooms.
  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
Page 8 of 13                                              The Dolphin

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
         1:30 pm.
       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
                                                         The Dolphin
  Page 9 of
The Dolphin 13                                           Page 9 of 13

             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
             Fund Raisers

             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!

                  Bake Sale:
                  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.

                  Lemonade Stand:
                  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.

  R– Respect:
  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.
Page 11 of 13                                              The Dolphin

 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!
 Very sincerely,

 Nina McCabe
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
    reading practice.

    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

  Dear Families,

  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
  other moms.

  Upcoming events:

        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
         Rena Daw

        Tuesday, November 7th, please join the first grade
         parents for a coffee from 9:30-11:30 at the home of
         Francesca Calzante

        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!

  Saera Arain-Saleem
  Brook Forest PTO co-chair
  (630) 573-5133

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