students designing the set

It’s Almost Show Time!

Middle school students are busily rehearsing their roles and building colorful sets for two annual productions. Middle School South’s production of “Getting to Know Oklahoma”will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27, in the school’s multi-purpose room. Middle School North’s rendition of “Aladdin, Jr.” will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, in the school’s cafeteria. The performances are geared to give elementary students an enriched theatrical learning experience. Ticket prices are as follows:

  • adults: $6.00
  • children 4 to 14 years of age: $3.00
  • children 1 to 3 years of age: free
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The April 22 Board of Education Meeting Has Been Rescheduled

The April 22 Board of Education meeting has been rescheduled to Monday, April 29. The meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the District Office, 841 West End Court in Vernon Hills, Illinois.

Preschoolers learn about the rain cycle.

Little Ones Learn About the Rain

Hawthorn’s youngest students learned about the rain today. Ms. Seidler, a teacher at Lincoln Early Learning Center, demonstrated the water cycle process. Students were in awe as the rain (blue food coloring) came down from the clouds (shaving cream) in their jars.

La Kermes Carnival

Help Needed for La Kermés Carnival

The La Kermés Latin American carnival will take place at the School of Dual Language on May 17. In order for this event to be a success, we need your help! There are many ways to contribute. Please fill out the form in either English or Spanish and turn it into your child’s teacher as soon as possible. 

Teachers working together

Lots of Planning and Collaborating on Early Release Day

Early Release Day provides an opportunity for teachers to collaborate, plan, share ideas and improve learning across the district.

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Highlights of the April 8 Board of Education Meeting

Technology Assessment

Dr. Porto gave a presentation on plans to conduct a review and analysis of all key elements of the District’s technology structures and resources. This would include network systems, infrastructure, security measures, hardware, software, internal and external capabilities, integration in the classroom and impact on teaching/learning. He said the intention is to take a deep dive into the area of technology because technology is at the core of teaching and learning. The assessment will identify the gap between the current reality and best practices in the field.  

Three companies with extensive experience with school districts submitted proposals for undertaking this project. The company with the best fit for this District was Net 56. The assessment will begin in April and take six to eight weeks to complete. Net 56 will analyze the infrastructure and organizational environment currently in place.  A big part of the process will be talking to people. The company will conduct interviews with members of the tech team to determine strengths and possible areas for growth. They will interview principals, teachers and possibly students. They will also look at what the District has in place in terms of its vision. Net 56 will present a gap analysis report that compares the District’s current reality to the best practices in the field and will make recommendations for improvements. 

Superintendents’ Report 

Dr. Friedman discussed the upcoming reorganization meeting in which new board members will be sworn in, outgoing board members will be recognized, and new officers will be appointed. While the date for this meeting had initially been set for April 22, the meeting needs to be rescheduled since it is possible that the official results of the election will not be available by that time. The Board agreed to reschedule the April 22 meeting to April 29. 

Dr. Friedman provided an update on the 2019-2020 school calendar. He said the District still does not have an opening to submit its school calendar to the State Board of Education for approval. The state is waiting for the legislature to determine school days. However, he said that the front end of the District’s draft school calendar will stay the same. The back end may change by a day shorter or a day longer. Winter break and spring break will stay the same as they are aligned with the Vernon Hills High School calendar. As soon as the District receives the OK, the District will get out the word about the finalized calendar. 

Additionally, Dr. Friedman shared a possible name for the kindergarten building at the Sullivan Center. The Administrative team came up with the name “Hawthorn School for Young Learners,” with the tagline: Where Young Minds Bloom. Board members will reflect on it and get back to the superintendents. 

Kindergarten Construction Timeline

Director of Finance and Business Operations Abe Singh provided an update on the building of the kindergarten building. He said that the Vernon Hills Park District approved the construction contract on March 28. There are now seven permit applications in various states of approval. The construction schedule is as follows:

  • Site work is scheduled to begin on May 1. A groundbreaking ceremony will be scheduled around this date. 
  • Building foundation work will take place during May and June. 
  • The pre-cast structure will go up between July and September. 
  • The elevator will be installed in October.
  • The interior buildout will take place from November to February. 
  • The building is scheduled to be ready for move in by April 7 of 2020. 


The Board recognized Officer Jon Paret for his years of service as the School Resource Officer for the District. Officer Paret is retiring after four years of working with the District. He has been replaced by Officer R. Lonergan, who is already working in the schools. 

The board also thanked Chris Spitzer for donating the fossil collection of his late brother Robert Spitzer to the school. The collection includes at least 10 boxes of fossils found in the vicinity of Quincy, Illinois. 

President’s Report

In her president’s report, Board President Sonali Patil welcomed students back from spring break. She wished good luck to students taking the IAR assessment. She also wished good luck to bowlers Dylan and Nick and the girls’ bowling team who are advancing to state this week. 

Office Paret

Congratulations and Good-Bye Officer Paret

The District held a reception for Jon Paret who recently retired from his position as the District’s Police Resource Officer. The Board of Education recognized him at the board meeting that followed the reception. He now begins a new chapter in his life as a member of the College of Lake County Police Department.

Children of Different Ages

Register for Early Intervention Screenings at the Library

Are you interested in learning more about your child’s development? Come to the library for an early intervention screening and learn more about developmental milestones. Participants will have a brief, one-on-one meeting to go through an age-specific questionnaire about appropriate development. Participants will leave with information on where their child is developmentally and suggested activities to support further growth. This event is presented by the Cook Memorial Public Library District and Hawthorn School District 73, in cooperation with Child and Family Connections at the Lake County Health Department and the support of the Friends.

Patrons may register for a half-hour screening appointment OR come in for screening on a first-come, first-served basis. Parents may bring children, but it is not required. 
Library: Aspen Drive Library    map
Location: Meeting Room A and B
Registration Ends: 4/7/2019 at 12:00 AM
Other Information: Parents may bring children, but it is not required. 
Registered AND Drop-in. Patrons may register for a half-hour screening appointment OR come in for screening on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register, visit the Cook Memorial Public Library website.

Dancers performing

Variety Show is a Blast

The Hawthorn PTO’s Variety Show on March 17 showed that talent is truly thriving at Hawthorn’s schools. The 30 acts ranged from singing to dancing, from piano to guitar playing. The costumes were amazing. The performers did a great job as they performed for a full house. Thank you to all the families that participated. The show will air on Comcast channel 4 and AT&T cable channel 99 at the following times:

Wednesday, March 20
5 pm – Variety Show 11am Performances
7 pm – Variety show 2 pm Performances 
Thursday, March 21
3 pm – Variety Show 11 am Performances
5 pm – Variety Show 2 pm Performances 
Friday, March 22
6 pm – Variety Show 2 pm Performances
7:30 pm – Variety Show 11 am Performances 
Saturday, March 23 
7 pm – Variety Show 2 pm Performances
8:30 pm – Variety Show 11am Performances 
Sunday, March 24 
12 pm – Variety Show 11 am Performances
2 pm – Variety Show 2 pm Performances 
Monday, March 25
12 pm & 6:30 pm – Variety Show 11 am Performances
2 pm & 5 pm – Variety Show 2 pm Performances

School board clip art

Board Meeting Cancelation

The March 21 Board of Education meeting has been canceled. The next meeting will take place on Monday, April 8.