Hawthorn Elementary Principals Read at Library

Hawthorn elementary principals are looking forward to reading to children at Aspen Library, 701 Aspen Drive in Vernon Hills. On an annual basis they help inspire a love for books by reading favorite stories. Each is reading on a specific day. Check out the schedule.

Back to School Bash

All Smiles at Elementary North Back to School Bash

Parents and students had a blast at Friday’s combined Back to School Bash and Curriculum Night at Elementary North. Parents attended classroom presentations and then joined their children outside for a party with music and the local library’s bookmobile. Teachers joined in the fun as well.

A Teacher Learns Plenty on Volunteer Trip to Uganda

If you ask Elementary North kindergarten teacher Megan Wolf what she did last summer, you may be surprised. While many of us were relaxing and enjoying time with our families, she traveled to a remote corner of Uganda to volunteer at an orphanage.

What motivated her to travel thousands of miles to a remote area? She watched a documentary on Netflix on volunteers who served in Guatemala while living on $1.00 a day. She realized that this was something she had wanted to do since she was a little girl. She used the website provided in the show to connect with The Real Uganda, an agency that offered volunteer opportunities.  Soon afterwards, she was on her way to spend two weeks at Grace Day Care and Orphanage School in Uganda.

At the orphanage, she worked with children between the ages of 3 and 7, teaching English and helping with daily tasks such as cooking and cleaning. She sees her main job as playing and connecting with the children. “The children wanted to spend as much time with me as possible,” she said. “I would spend afternoons playing with them. They loved looking at pictures and were fascinated by life in America. For me, it felt like home.”

While Miss Wolf loved her experiences, she braved some tough conditions. For instance, instead of modern day toilets, the community used pit latrines. There was no running water. Rain water, which was collected in a huge basin, was used for drinking, cooking, showering and cleaning. At one point, the basin ran out of water and people had to use a nearby pond for all their water needs. As a non-governmental organization in a developing world country, the orphanage functioned with few resources. It had only just received electricity two months prior to Miss Wolf’s arrival.

But while the children had so little to speak of, they were creative and resourceful. Miss Wolf said she was amazed at how they easily turned scraps and leftover items into toys. “I recognized, even more, how much kids truly learn through playing and that made me further realize how important play is in the classroom,” she said. “I already let my kids learn through playing quite a lot.”

The experience was life-changing for Miss Wolf. “It reaffirmed my belief that we cannot take things for granted or be wasteful,” she said.  “We should be grateful and appreciative that we have these opportunities here in the U.S., but we also need to use that to educate and help others in sustainable ways.”

Megan Wolf



school bus

Kindergarten Kids Learn How to Ride the Bus

Children entering kindergarten are taking a big step in their lives. On August 18, many of them took practice rides on school buses to help them adjust. More than 150 children and parents road 18 buses. They were greeted by the principals and staff at their schools.  They received building tours and the children got to spend time playing outdoors before the buses drove them home. One Elementary North parent said, “I know my son is excited and anxious. This bus ride helps him adjust. Now he knows what a bus ride is like.”

school busschool busschool busschool busschool busschool bus

Have You Registered?

Parents should complete online registration through the PowerSchool parent portal using the information that the district provided you in a Returning Student Enrollment letter.

It is important for you to register your child as soon as possible. Students will not be assigned a teacher or a bus route until online registration is complete. Failure to do so will result in your child being dropped from enrollment. Fees are due at the time of registration. If you have questions about registration, please contact the District Office at 847-990-4200 or email

New Families
Please let neighbors who are new to Hawthorn District 73 know that they may now register their children for the Fall 2017 school year. Families whose children will enroll in District 73 schools for the first time in Fall 2017, should fill out the required forms and turn them into the registrar during a scheduled visit. Please visit your local library to print out required forms if you don’t have access to a printer. To schedule an appointment with the registrar, please call 847-990-4217 or 847-990-4280 or email the registrar at

Kindergarten Registration

Walk-in kindergarten registration for parents whose children live in 
Hawthorn School District 73 is set for for 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 
February 23 and  9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, February 24 at Hawthorn Middle 
School South, 600 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills. Parents must bring with 
them required registration documents outlined on the kindergarten 
registration page ~ ~.

Have You Registered for Kindergarten?

Kindergarten registration is now open for fall 2016.  Children who turn 5-years-old on or before September 1, 2016 are eligible for kindergarten.  To learn more about the district’s kindergarten program, curriculum, schools and the registration process, please go to the kindergarten registration website page or call the District Office at 847-990-4280 or 847-990-4217.

Kindergarten Registration

Walk-in Kindergarten Registration is set for 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26 at Hawthorn Middle School South, 600 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills. Parents must bring registration documents outlined on the kindergarten registration page.

Kindergarten Parent Night

A kindergarten parent information meeting is set for7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28 at Hawthorn Middle School South, 600 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills. Children who turn 5-years-old on or before Sept. 1, 2016 are eligible for kindergarten. To learn more about the district’s full day kindergarten program, curriculum, schools and the registration process, parents should attend the meeting. Agenda.

Full Day Kindergarten

Hawthorn School District 73 has become a full day kindergarten center for all of its students. In the fall, close to 400 kindergartners will attend full day kindergarten throughout the district’s five elementary schools.

As part of returning its elementary schools to neighborhood schools, the district believed full day kindergarten was a vital part of helping children become successful life long learners. As a result, the Board of Education made a commitment to offering such a program to all its families.

“The more we do for children early in their education careers, the more it will sustain them throughout their academic career,” said Lisa Cerauli, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction. In keeping children all day, it allows teachers to probe deeper into the curriculum to help children master the basics of literacy and math skills,” Dr. Cerauli said.

“We believe that by allowing teachers to slow down and teach the material more thoroughly less time will be spent on intervention strategies as they move up through the grades,” she said. While each student is tested against his or her own abilities, teachers are expected to show that students have achieved a year’s academic growth from the beginning of the school year to the end of the school year using the district’s academic standards for kindergarten.

Kindergarteners will not be expected to know more material at the end of the year. But, it will allow teachers to help children adjust to school at an earlier age through learning through play. Children will also know expectations for hallway, cafeteria and playground behavior, an area first grade teachers won’t have to teach children.

What 20 year veteran kindergarten teacher Lisa Lasko loves about full day is the slower pace. She has been piloting full day kindergarten in District 73 for the past two years.

“There’s definitely more time to teach an integrated curriculum – at a child-centered pace,” Ms. Lasko said. A full day program allows for a more relaxed atmosphere and more varied experiences. She said it provides more opportunities for structured playtime. “At this age a lot of what children learn is through play and  they can apply what is learned to their everyday experiences. They learn the proper way to ask for something. They learn how to resolve disputes over a classmate grabbing a crayon out of their hand or refusing to share a toy. There is time to teach what is acceptable and what is not acceptable behavior and the art of cooperation”.

Academically, Ms. Lasko believes children will be much more prepared for first grade because she has the time to offer small group and individualized instruction when needed and ensure students meet the academic benchmarks of kindergarten.

Of course Ms. Lasko watches for signs of when children need a rest or a break. Children will ask to go to the bathroom more frequently, act silly in their chair, get up for drinks of water, etc. Then the teacher will take a quiet music break, read a book to the class or take the children on a walk around the building to look at the changing seasons outside.

Parents should watch for communication from their child’s school about building tours. Parents will be invited to an evening program on the kindergarten program in the fall for their child’s school.



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