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Two Ways to Participate in the April 17 Community Engagement Meeting

The Board of Education will host a community engagement meeting on Tuesday, April 17. The Board is looking for your input about the District’s space concerns. Attendees will be able to either watch a slide presentation and video about the District’s space constraints, or meet directly with Board members to provide feedback and prioritize solutions. The meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. at Elementary South, 430 N. Aspen Drive in Vernon Hills.

Community Input Sought

You are invited to a very special Board meeting on Wednesday, October 19 to receive important information about our proposed Educational Facility Master Plan (EFMP). As you may know, the district is continuing to experience growth and this EFMP will provide a long-term solution for both our urgent facility needs now as well as planning for continued growth and academic excellence into the future.

The Board hired DLR Group in March to evaluate our current facility conditions and to facilitate a Core Team made up of community members, staff, administrators and facility leadership to discuss and create solutions that address our needs. This presentation and conversation will be your first opportunity to give feedback to the Core Team on their recommended EFMP solution prior to Board consideration later this fall.

Please make arrangements to attend this very important presentation and conversation at Townline Elementary on October 19 at 7:00 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there.

Background Information

En Español

Parents Visit During American Education Week

American Education Week is celebrated each year during the month of November to encourage parents to visit their child’s school. This observance spotlights the importance of family engagement in education. Ongoing research shows that family engagement in schools improves student achievement and reduces absenteeism. Students earn higher grades and test scores, have better social skills, and show improved behavior. Last week, the elementary schools invited parents to take part in learning activities in the classrooms. 

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Highlights of the November 12 Board of Education Meeting

Board President Sonali Patil thanked a number of groups and individuals for their help in educating the community about the referendum, including the Families and Friends of Hawthorn District 73, the school board, administration, teachers and staff. During the public comment section, Mike Schenk, who led the volunteer effort, also thanked the community.

Technology Director Dmitry Andrievsky gave a presentation on technology software usage and Chromebook insurance. He discussed three pieces of software used in connection with Chromebook usage: Gaggle, Securly:// and Hapara.

  • Gaggle is responsible for content analysis, review, insight and analytics. Trained experts evaluate content around the clock and can notify officials of unsafe situations. He said that there have been 27 violations thus far this year, which is minimal for a district of this size.
  • Securly://keeps schools CIPA compliant, ensures safety on social media, and maintains access to an age-appropriate internet.
  • Hapara is a classroom management tool. It provides visibility of learner work, secure learner web browsing and differentiated instruction. Hapara enables teachers to view and facilitate real time browser activity.

Mr. Andrievsky also discussed guidelines for Chromebook repairs. The District determines whether a break is eligible for a Dell warranty repair or if supplemental insurance is purchased. If repair is not covered by plans, the repair is the student’s responsibility.

He listed some recommendations for school year 2019-2020. One of the recommendations was to allow students to keep their devices over the summer. Another was to consider increasing the technology fee (for 6-8 grades) from $75 to $100.

Director of Finance and Business Operations Abe Singh discussed next steps to be taken after the referendum. He reviewed the district’s financial situation, including the current status of the District’s fund balance, the deficit and future liabilities. To offset the costs, the District will develop a cost reduction strategy.

Recommendations are to finalize site work with the District’s partners (the Village, the park district and the library), incorporate all the value engineering items that were discussed from the first bid, and proceed with bidding in January of 2019 for the building of the kindergarten center at the Sullivan Community Center.

The superintendents emphasized that this was a reasonable approach. The board members and superintendents discussed the process for developing a cost reduction strategy.

A public hearing was held to approve a proposed property tax levy increase. The Board unanimously approved a resolution regarding final amounts necessary to be levied for the year 2018.

Interim Superintendent Mark Friedman gave an update on the superintendent search. He said that 40 people had applied for the position. Consultants will review the applications and reduce that number to six for the board members to meet and interview.

 

 

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Music and Art Classes Available at David Adler Music and Arts Center

Music and art classes are available for children and adults.

El Grupo Folklórico Mexico

Dance Troupe Provides a Taste of Mexico

Come and enjoy a night of folkloric dance and Mexican culture. “El Grupo Folklorico Mexico” will perform at the School of Dual Language/Townline Elementary, 810 N. Aspen Drive in Vernon Hills, on Friday, November 30 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event, hosted by the Hawthorn School of Dual Language, is free and open to the community.

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Notice About Graffiti Incident

Dear Parents and Staff,

We would like to make you aware that threatening graffiti was found on a table in one of the District 73 schools. Upon this discovery the Vernon Hills Police Department was asked to investigate and determine the validity of the threat. The source of the graffiti was quickly identified and after a thorough investigation this incident was deemed non-credible. We want to assure you that we are constantly on guard to make sure our schools are safe. As usual, all doors in District 73 schools will remain locked and access to the schools will be through the main offices.

Thank you for your cooperation
Mark Friedman and Joe Porto, Interim Superintendents

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Student Safety Protection Resolution

Dear Parents and Staff,

At this week’s Illinois Association of School Boards conference, a vote will be held on a motion to support or reject a proposed Student Safety Protection Resolution. This is only a resolution from the School Board Association and is not binding on member districts in any way as only the State legislature has the power to enact such a resolution. The District 73 Board of Education will be supporting a different proposal that will enable local school districts to enact their own safety and security procedures and therefore will not be supporting the resolution on the floor.

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Next BOE Regular Session is Nov. 12

A Regular Session will take place on Monday, November 12 at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will take place at the District Office, 841 West End Court in Vernon Hills.

Hawthorn Sings Concert

Hawthorn Sings

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Voters Approve Bond Measure; Tax Levy is Defeated

Hawthorn School District 73 serves more than 4200 students. Enrollment has increased by more than 10% (487 additional students) over the past 10 years resulting in overcrowding at the elementary and middle schools.

Voters were asked to approve two ballot resolutions on November 6, 2018. The $48.7 million bond question was a request for funding to construct a new kindergarten building, build additions at or expand the elementary schools and middle schools, and add STEM centers at the middle schools. The limiting tax rate increase of $.10 was requested to cover operational expenses.

Although the two measures were designed to work together, the bond referendum passed with 57.04% of the voters approving the measure, while the levy failed with only 45.80% of the voters approving the limiting tax rate increase.

The District and Board of Education will begin to refine the concepts this fall and construction is anticipated to be completed by August of 2024.

Operational costs of the additions, expansions, and new kindergarten center will be evaluated. The administrative team and Board will evaluate the budget to determine how to best absorb the higher operational costs of the new spaces. Student needs and the District’s finances will be balanced to determine the optimal sequence of construction.

Sonali Patil, School Board President, noted that, “These measures were intended to work together to support our students and ensure the effective operation of our school district. The Board and the administrative team will work together to determine the best way to ensure student success without additional operating funds.”

The District 73 Board of Education and administrative team are grateful to the parents and community members who took the time to learn about the schools and their needs as well as the volunteers who gave their time and talent to build awareness of the referenda.

Hawthorn School District 73 is a preschool through eighth grade public school district serving more than 4,200 students. It serves all or portions of the communities of Vernon Hills, Mundelein, Libertyville, Indian Creek and unincorporated areas of Lake County, Illinois.

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Hawthorn District 73 Schools Earn Exemplary and Commendable ESSA Designations from the Illinois State Board of Education

All of our schools earned either an Exemplary or Commendable Designation on the 2018 Illinois School Report Card! These are the top two designation rankings from the Illinois State Board of Education.

Our designations reflect the following achievements:

  • Two of our schools (Hawthorn Elementary North and Hawthorn Middle School North) are performing in the top 10% of all schools in Illinois, as defined by the Illinois State Board of Education.
  • Across the district, none of our student subgroups are underperforming.

We are fortunate to partner with a community of involved and supportive parents. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the success of all students! Please visit our district’s ESSA webpage at www.hawthorn73.org/hawthorn- information/essa for additional information and resources to support your understanding of the Illinois ESSA Plan.