On Wednesday evening, as buckets of snow fell upon the Chicago area—18-inches in Oak Park—Michele Zurakowski and her staff dined on the Italian dish. It was brought in that evening by their co-worker at the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry—a well-deserved meal for a smaller-than-usual staff who chose to work Wednesday during one of the worst blizzards of record in the city.
Anxious parents waited outside Fernando Carrillo's classroom after one recent school day — the sound of harp strings being plucked filling the hall. The Brooks Middle School students inside were getting some last minute instruction from Marguerite Lynn Williams, a professional harpist who's been working with the kids this month.
Although the percentage of black students suspended in the two middle schools in Oak Park Elementary School District 97 has dropped by nearly 10 percent in the last year, that particular student population still overwhelming leads all other kids in compiling infractions and receiving consequences.
A conversation between a female student and her school counselor inspired female staff at OPRF to create 800 T-shirts with the word "RESPECT" on them, in response to a recent incident of a male student ranking girls on their looks and purported sexual experience in an inappropriate list.
Merryl Brownlow was planning a quiet Christmas at home with her husband, Alec, and their 6-year-old daughter Lucy. That was until she got a call from her international adoption agency about a week before Christmas. The adoption of their 2-year-old daughter from Ethiopia had been finalized and they could bring her home to the United States.
If Dist. 97's April 5 referendum fails, officials say drastic cuts will have to be made to close its budget deficit. Wednesday Journal has been profiling some of the programs on the reduction list leading up to the vote. This week we look at the district's FLES (Foreign Language in the Elementary School) program.