Lincoln A to Z Guide For Parents

Lincoln Elementary School | 1111 S. Grove Ave. Oak Park, IL 60304 | 708.524.3110


After-School Homework Help (grades 3-5):

  • This program is designed to provide students additional support in their academic studies. Students are able to complete homework, research projects, etc. Lincoln certified staff supervises the program (Mon-Tues-Thur, 3:00 – 4:00).

After-School Programming (grades K-5):

  • The PTO sponsors and coordinates several after school programs throughout the year. Look for flyers in the backpacks with offerings, times and pricing.

Back-to-School Picnic:

  • In the Fall, the Lincoln PTO hosts a back-to-school picnic for the Lincoln community – to reconnect after the summer and give our new families a chance to get to know the community and connect with other Lincoln families.

Band and orchestra (grades 4-5):

  • Self-elected instrumental music enrichment. Students choose and rent instruments and receive weekly lessons during the school day that are graded on the students’ report cards. Practice takes place at home. Two evening concerts per year take place in February and May at Brooks Middle School.

Basketball (grade 5):

  • The Lincoln Lions basketball team meets after school to practice and play. Besides learning skills, the players learn about good sportsmanship and teamwork. There are separate girls’ and boys’ teams. Each team meets two days per week after school for five weeks during the winter.

Big MAC (grades 1-2):

  • Students stay with the same teachers in the same room for a two-year cycle. All students get the chance to be the new kid and the experienced child. Both grades work together on certain activities and are taught separately for others.

Black History Month Presentations (grades 1-5):

  • Each February, classrooms put on presentations based on black history theme.

Book Buddies (grades K-5):

  • Fifth graders are paired with kindergartners that they work with on reading. They meet once per week throughout the school year in the kindergarten classrooms.

Book Club (grades 3-5):

  • Teachers and students read books together and discuss over lunch.

Book Fair (grades K-5):

  • Typically held during the week of parent-teacher conferences, students can visit the school’s media center to purchase a variety of books. Box Tops: Collect Box Tops on common grocery items. Send them with your child to school monthly in a ziplock bag labeled box tops. Each box top returns $0.10 to Lincoln.

Carnival (all community):

  • An annual fundraiser held by the PTO on the first Saturday in February. Activities include carnival games for all skill levels, cotton candy, a “ticket-of-choice” raffle for a variety of prizes donated by parents, teachers and businesses, and a Grand Prize drawing. Volunteers needed.

Challenge Classes (grades K-5):

  • Students may select a class to attend one day per week during lunch recess in the cold months of January through March. Offerings include academic, art, history, cooking and music-based classes. Class and sign up information is sent home before winter break.

Chess Club (grades 3-5):

  • Interested kids meet after school to practice the game and learn new techniques. Meets from December through March.

Chorus (grades 4-5):

  • Interested students try out to be included in the Lincoln chorus. Chorus meets once weekly during the day throughout the school year. The chorus performs at the Holiday Sing and at an evening district-wide choral concert in April.

Class Picnics (grades K-5):

  • As school ends, each grade level has a picnic during the day to celebrate their accomplishments with their friends and teachers. Room Parents assist the teacher in organizing food and activities, and additional volunteers needed.

DIBELS | Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Learning Literacy Skills:

  • A method by which students’ literacy skills are evaluated on an ongoing basis so that curriculum can be targeted to each specific student.

Differentiated Education (grades K-5):

  • Instruction given to qualified students to enrich regular classroom lessons in math and reading. Some differentiated instruction is given by the classroom teacher and some by the GTD (Gifted and Talented through Differentiation) teacher. Certain students are moved up one or more grade levels (acceleration) in specific subjects based on testing and classroom performance.

Dine Out for Lincoln:

  • Local restaurant sponsored events during which a portion of the night’s sales will be donated to Lincoln Elementary. Look out for these events on the third Tuesday of every month from October through April. Past participants include Lou Malnati’s, Buona Beef, and McDonalds.

Ethnic Festival (all community):

  • This district-wide event, held at Whittier School on the first Saturday in May includes a morning parade and a day of multi- cultural performances and activities. Spanish Immersion classes, some world language students and Lincoln families are invited to participate in the parade, wearing ethnic costumes or spirit wear.

Field Trips:

  • Each grade goes on a number of field trips each year that are chosen by the team of teachers to enrich students learning. PTO helps sponsor bussing for Field Trips; teachers will request parent chaperones as needed.

FLES | Foreign Language in the Elementary School (grades K-5):

  • District-sponsored Spanish instruction given to students during school. Fourth and fifth graders are given grades on their report cards for FLES.

Geography Bee (grades 4-5):

  • Students compete at the school level in January and may qualify to go on to the state and national levels for National Geographic’s geography challenge.

Girls on the Run (grades 3-5):

  • A non-profit organization which uses an interactive curriculum and running to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles. The core curriculum addresses many aspects of girls’ development – their physical, emotional, mental and social well-being. Meets 12 weeks, 2 days a week for 75 minutes after school starting in March. Culminates with a 5K run at the lakefront in June. Fee based, with scholarship opportunities. Volunteers needed.

Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) Project (grade 5):

  • This is a contest in which teams from around the globe build websites. Each team consists of students from three schools in different parts of that world that collaborate to build their site. Fifth graders who wish to participate meet during lunch recess one day per week from October to March.

Gran Fandango (grades K-5):

  • Spanish Immersion classes celebrate Hispanic and Latin American culture in early May with performances of traditional songs and dances for the whole school during the school day.

Halloween Parade and Parties (grades K-5):

  • On Halloween, students are invited to wear their costumes after lunch and march in the Halloween parade around Lincoln. Parents and the community are invited to watch the parade. Afterwards, students return to their classrooms for parties. Teachers may request room parent or parent volunteers to help organize and assist.

Hephzibah Extended Day Program (grades K-5):

  • After-school care at Lincoln provided by the Hephzibah Children’s Association. Families needing child care apply and pay fees for this program, which runs daily until 6 p.m. during the school year.

Holiday Sing (grades K-5):

  • During music classes, all students learn and practice songs that are presented at this concert, which incorporates a variety of cultural music traditions. World Language students and the Lincoln Chorus also perform. Held the last Friday before school lets out before winter break, families are invited to attend. More than one performance is held to accommodate all who would like to come.

Hungry Minds Pasta Dinner (grade 5):

  • A service project for fifth graders. Students are involved in the process from start to finish – from making signs to announce the event to serving the pasta on the evening of the dinner. Proceeds benefit the charity of the students’ choice. All Lincoln families are invited to participate.

Learning Goal (grades 1-3):

  • Students explore a topic of choice on their own and prepare it to be presented. Finished projects can take on the form of a game, puzzle, demonstration, poster or other creative means. These projects are worked on from February until they are presented, usually May.

Learning Goal Fair (grades 1-3):

  • One evening in May, students present their learning goals to family members and friends. The time is divided by grades so everyone can explore others’ projects. Lincoln After Hours: A series of parties for kids, families and adults, donated and hosted by Lincoln families for the Lincoln Community to enjoy while benefitting the community. Look for more information on how to host a party, or buy tickets to attend a party soon.

Lincoln Log:

  • A school-wide newsletter distributed four times per year, sharing stories about what’s happening throughout the school year, sent home through the backpacks. (Note: when there are multiple children in a family, backpack mailings go home with the youngest child in the family.)

MAP (Measures of Academic Performance) Testing:

  • An ongoing method by which students’ math skills are evaluated on an ongoing basis so that curriculum can be targeted to each specific student.

Math Contests (grades 2-5):

  • Selected students are invited to compete in a variety of math contests to challenge their logic and math abilities. Contests run throughout the school year and are held during the school day.

Memorial Day Program (grade 5 presents, all other students, parents and community invited to attend):

  • On the Friday morning before Memorial Day in May, this program on the playground honors those that have given their lives for our country. All students are encouraged to dress up and scouts are asked to wear th uniforms. The Lincoln 5 Grade Band and Chorus take part in the ceremony as well.

Nature Center and Pond (grades K-5):

  • A courtyard garden that beautifies the school environment and can support curriculum when classrooms use the area to explore nature and a pond environment. PTO sponsored. Volunteers needed.

New Student Lunch (grades 1-5):

  • Students new to Lincoln are invited to meet each other and learn more about their new school. Held in September.

Oak Park Education Foundation (OPEF):

  • Grade- level educational opportunities and award-winning enrichment programs, offered free of charge to District 97 students – provided via classroom

Occupational Therapy – OT (grades K-5):

  • Learning is a child’s work, and when certain disabilities interfere with learning, occupational therapy can help. The school’s occupational therapist works with those in need at school and provides tools that can help children adapt in the classroom.

Olympic Day (grades K-5):

  • Held in June, students are put to the test with challenges such as water balloon toss, running bases, the long jump and egg and spoon races. It is held during the school day in the gym and on the playground. Parent volunteers are needed for this event.

Outdoor Education | Camp Edwards (grade 5):

  • An annual two-day, one-night outdoor education trip for all fifth graders. It includes a variety of nature- inspired activities, and team building opportunities.

Pack Week | National Sports and Fitness Week (grades K-5):

  • During the first full week in May, students are encouraged to help celebrate sports and fitness with theme days (by wearing spirit wear, red for healthy heart day, etc.) and participating in the national All Children Exercise Simultaneously (ACES) morning. Students are also encouraged to bring healthy snacks throughout the week based on each day’s color. The week ends on Saturday with the District 97 Fun Run.

PING | Providing Instruments for the Next Generation (grades 4-5, parents):

  • This program provides musical instruments to children who wish to participate in band or orchestra, but need financial assistance to rent an instrument. This volunteer organization is district-wide – volunteers and donations are welcomed.

Positive Behavior in Schools | PBIS:

  • A school-wide system of support that include proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments. Behavioral expectations for Lincoln include being respectful, helpful and responsible.

PTO | Parent Teacher Organization:

  • An organization of parents, guardians, teachers and administration dedicated to the enhancement of Lincoln students’ experience. PTO supports staff, students and families in the Lincoln community through fundraising opportunities, community events and outreach, and student enrichment programs. Communication from the PTO is delivered through a weekly “What’s Up At Lincoln” email, regular Facebook postings, 4 Lincoln Log newsletters each school year and meetings every other month.

Reading Olympics (grade 5):

  • In this voluntary program, teams of three students read 12 pre- determined books for the fall and/or winter. Qualifying teams from each Oak Park and River Forest school then enter competitions about the books, held at the public library for each set of 12 books read. Final competition in the Spring consists of questions on all 24 books.

Recycling Programs:

  • Creating opportunities for our students to learn about taking care of our environment through recycling throughout the school.

Room Parent:

  • Volunteer parents who work closely with their child(ren)’s teacher to support activities within the classroom such as parties and events.

Second Step (grades K-5):

  • A program that gives students the skills for social emotional development for social and academic success, supported by music and videos, take home activities and stories kids can relate to.

Service Team (grade 5):

  • Fifth graders are asked to volunteer their time to help at school. Opportunities include tutoring younger students, recycling, helping at entrances and in the office, classrooms or media center. Students accumulating 15 hours or more of service are recognized at the Awards Ceremony at the end of the year.

Shop for Lincoln:

  • An easy way to contribute to Lincoln PTO through every day purchases. Participants include Amazon Smiles, Office Depot, and Irv and Shelly’s Fresh Picks. Register your purchases with “Lincoln School PTO Oak Park.”

Social Work (grade K-5):

  • Students experiencing emotional or behavioral challenges may visit the school social worker for assistance. Parents may also consult with the social worker on issues that may be affecting their child’s education. The social worker also educates students throughout the school on a variety of topics as needed.

Spanish Immersion (grades K-5):

  • A classroom track that may be requested for students going into kindergarten. Students receive instruction in Spanish and English at each grade level becoming more fluent in Spanish as they move through the grades.

Special Education (grades K-5):

  • A variety of services are available to assist students with individual educational needs from special education classrooms (K-2 and 3-5). For those students who need to work in a small group setting primarily outside the general education classroom, to a learning disability resource teacher who works with staff and students to help students placed in general education classrooms reach their full potential academically and socially. Some special needs students receive this help with regular visits to the resource room.

Specials (grade K-5):

  • Classes worked into the school week, including art, FLES, media center/computer lab, music and physical education.

SpellCheck (all):

  • School-wide spelling bee based on age-appropriate word lists used in class throughout the year. Proceeds benefit PTO-sponsored school activities. Volunteers needed.

Speech and Language Therapy (grades K-5):

  • The school Speech and Language Pathologist evaluates and treats students needing help in working on a variety of communication-based issues. Therapy is provided in individual or small group sessions at school.

Spirit Wear (all):

  • Clothing proudly displaying the Lincoln colors of blue and gold, Lion mascot and/or Lincoln School name. Logo spirit wear is sold through the PTO at events and available online. On certain days, dressing in spirit wear is encouraged.

Student Council (grades 3-5):

  • Two students are elected from each classroom to be representatives on Student Council. The group meets during lunch on a regular basis from October-May. They organize projects for charity and educational purposes.

Summer Math Challenge (grades K-5):

  • Optional seven-week program that is run during the months of June and July, to encourage students to keep up with their math skills. Students check in each week at the public library and receive a new math packet and prizes for competed packets. Sponsored by the PTO and run by volunteer teachers and parents.

Talent Show (grade 5):

  • Each spring, students have the opportunity to show off their unique talents. Interested students try out, practice, and then perform at one of two shows, divided by grade level, at school. Acts include singing, dancing, magic, musical instruments and skits.

Teacher Appreciation:

  • In order to create a great all- around environment for our students, families, faculty and staff at Lincoln, the Lincoln PTO hosts teacher appreciation events throughout the year to show our incredible teachers and staff our appreciation for all they do for our kids.

TEAM (Staff):

  • A group of professional staff members that evaluate children with special needs and provide support where needed. The TEAM is usually made up of the principal, learning disability resource specialist, social worker, psychologist, nurse, language arts specialists, occupational therapist, speech therapist and classroom teachers – the TEAM also work with students’ parents. After initial evaluations are complete, the TEAM then recommends how support will be provided at school, which may be document in an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) or 504 Plan. The TEAM then implements the recommendations by providing needed services and support in the classrooms.

Trekkers (grades 1-5):

  • Voluntary weekly recess activity that involves tracking individuals’ walking and/or running distance. Held during good weather months. PTO sponsored, volunteers needed.

Turkey Trot (grades K-5):

  • Students are encouraged to walk, run or trot on a course at the playground one day during recess in November. “Trotters” are eligible to win a price: one boy and one girl from each grade level takes home a frozen turkey. This event, that encourages exercises and team spirit, is sponsored by the PTO.

Up At Lincoln:

  • More than 30 years ago, when Mr. Dan Franco was the principal at Lincoln, he would often be asked at district meetings, “What’s happening down at Lincoln?” He decided he liked the sound of “up at Lincoln” better, so the tradition began. For outstanding support to the school, a Lincoln Staff member is selected as the “Up at Lincoln” Person of the year – this person chooses the color of the “Up at Lincoln” button for the following school year. Students receive an “Up at Lincoln” button after earning ten WOW slips.

Virtual Backpack:

  • Located on the Lincoln website, important information related to the school, district, PTO and community can be found here. Parents can opt to go paperless as part of a green initiative.

Wellness Committee:

  • Works in partnership with the Lincoln PTO to look for opportunities to incorporate wellness into the everyday experience of our students.

What’s Up At Lincoln:

  • A weekly email sent to the entire Lincoln community sharing the latest news and information about what’s going on at the school. For questions on the information or to submit information, please email:

World Language Program (grades K-5):

  • Optional language instruction taken during recess one to three days per week from October through May. Languages offered include Spanish, French, German and Chinese. There is a fee for participation. The program is run by the PTO.

WOW Slips (grades K-5):

  • Students are recognized for acts of kindness, outstanding achievement, responsibility, good behavior and other reasons with a WOW slip. Ten WOW slips can be turned in to get an “Up at Lincoln” button and a certificate. A copy of each certificate is also posted in the hall at school. Each additional ten WOW slips, earned during the same school year, is rewarded with aa gold sticker to add to the child’s certificate.

Yearbook (grade 5):

  • This annual publication for fifthgraders is put together by volunteer students and parents. The group meets during lunch recess after winter break. At the end of the school year, all fifth graders have a yearbook signing party. Sponsored by the PTO. Volunteers needed.