Workshop for teachers

Thursday’s Early Release Day

The Jan. 16 Early Release Day provided an opportunity for teachers and staff to focus on school improvement through the professional learning community process. During an afternoon session, approximately 400 teachers came together to discuss collaboration, cooperation, coordination and how to establish highly effective teams. The bottom line is to improve student learning across the District.

Early Release Day Sign

Early Release Day

Please note that the next Early Release Day is on Thursday, Jan. 16. Please follow your regularly scheduled early release times for your child’s school:

Middle North and Middle South: 11:10 a.m.
Elementary South and Elementary North: 12:10 p.m.
Aspen: 11:25 a.m.
Dual Langauge and Townline: 12:20 p.m.
Lincoln: AM Classes Only! No PM Classes.

Choir Fest Performance

Combined Choirs Give Outstanding Performance at Choir Festival

Bravo to the Middle School North, Middle School South and Vernon Hills High School students who performed in the 2020 Choral Fest at VHHS on Jan. 14. They did an outstanding job. Prior to the performance, the three choirs spent many hours rehearsing together. The rehearsal provided opportunities for the middle school and high school students to bond and get to know each other better.

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Board of Education Meetings: Jan. 16, 2020

Committee of the Whole and Business Meeting of the Board of Education will take place on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 7:00 p.m.  In addition, a Closed Session will take place prior to this meeting at 6:00 p.m. The meetings will take place at the District Office, 841 West End Court in Vernon Hills.

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Free English Classes for Adults

Free English classes for adults are available at the Hawthorn School of Dual Language on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. For more information, call: 847-949-2200 x1399.

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District 73 Launches Recognition Program

To say thank you in a meaningful way and recognize the people who go above and beyond, Hawthorn District 73 is launching a recognition program. Anyone, including teachers, staff, students or community members, can nominate individuals to receive awards. 

“We want to acknowledge and appreciate the people who are going the extra mile for our community and advancing Hawthorn’s tradition of excellence,” said Superintendent Dr. Pete Hannigan. “Through this program, we hope to create meaningful moments of recognition that will inspire others.”

On a monthly basis, the program will recognize teachers, staff members, students and community members who have demonstrated outstanding dedication, service and commitment to the District and/or have excelled in their work and inspired excellence in others. The first award presentation will be at the February 27 Board of Education meeting. Depending on the category, awardees will receive medals, certificates, inscribed bricks and personalized notes from the Board of Education. They will be recognized at board meetings and highlighted on the District’s website. To learn more about the nomination criteria and to access nomination forms, please visit:

Hawthorn School District 73 is a preschool through eighth grade public school district serving approximately 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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The 2020 Girls Night of Code is Jan. 24

Join Vernon Hills High School’s Computer Science Club for their 3rd annual Girls Night of Code! The event will feature hands on coding activities, a guest speaker, and a presentation about CS opportunities in high school. This event is FREE to attend: free food, swag and fun!

Date: Jan. 24th, 2020
Time: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Location: Vernon Hills High School (145 Lakeview Pkwy, Vernon Hills, IL 60061)
Eligibility: Must identify as female, and be in 6th through 8th grade at Hawthorn Middle School North or South

FYI: Girls who attended last year are welcome to attend again this year, but they will be put on a waiting list if the event reaches capacity to allow girls who haven’t experienced the event to attend. 


An Update on the 2020-2021 School Calendar

District 73 has been receiving inquiries regarding the 2020-2021 school calendar. The District’s administrative team is scheduled to present a 2020-2021 draft calendar to the Board of Education during the Board meeting on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. We anticipate the Board approving the calendar during the Board meeting on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.

School for Young Learners Construction Site

A New Building Takes Shape

A new building is taking shape on Aspen Drive. Adjacent to the Sullivan Community Center, Hawthorn’s School for Young Learners is on schedule to open at the onset of the 2020-2021 school year. The kindergarten classes of Hawthorn’s elementary schools, except for the School of Dual Language, will be moving to the new school. Many thanks to members of the local community for their support for this building and other improvements outlined in the District’s Educational Facilities Master Plan.

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Highlights of the December 19 Board of Education Meeting

In an effort to enhance the Board of Education’s goal to celebrate the accomplishments of those who play significant roles in advancing Hawthorn’s tradition of excellence, the district is establishing a Hawthorn District 73 recognition program. The effort seeks to recognize individuals who have excelled in the performance of their duties, academic performance, or those who have inspired excellence in others. On a monthly basis, those who have significantly contributed to the Hawthorn environment, including students, teachers, staff and community members, will be honored. Any individual may nominate someone for this recognition. Nominations will be accepted through an online form. The district will begin to accept nominations in early January. The first awards will be presented at the February Board of Education meeting. 

Dr. Martin, Principal of Elementary South, and Ms. Hunter, Assistant Principal of Elementary South, gave a presentation on their school’s being named a 2019 National Blue Ribbon school. They explained that winning a national blue ribbon is not the job of one person, but the result of a whole community coming together on behalf of the students. They thanked the Board of Education, central office administrators, students, teachers and families. They also discussed the criteria a school must meet to be nominated as a National Blue Ribbon School. Elementary South met the criteria in a number of ways, including by being among the top 15 percent of schools in Illinois in reading and math. They provided a recap of the afternoon’s assembly, in which students, teachers and staff came together to show their excitement and pride in winning the award.

Kevin Smith with Eder, Cassela & Co. presented the 2018-2019 audit review.

Representatives from Legat Architects presented an update on the construction documents phase of Middle School North’s expansion. They provided samples of colors and textures that will be used in classrooms, collaboration areas, STEM labs and for the exterior of the building. They discussed project alternatives and reviewed the budget. In the Action Items section of the meeting, the board approved the construction documents phase.

In his Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Hannigan looked back on what the District has achieved thus far this school year. He said he was proud of what he has seen and thankful for the support he has received over the past months. He noted that students were going the extra mile to showcase their Hawthorn spirit through events and activities. Extensive progress has been made toward the implementation of PLCs system-wide due to the work of our guiding coalitions, Math Pilot Team and GVC Leadership Team. Last but not least, receiving the National Blue Ribbon award was not only an honor for Elementary South but for the community as a whole. He said these accomplishments would not be possible without the support of the entire Hawthorn community. He also wished everyone a happy and safe winter break.

Board President Robin Cleek gave an update on the Delegate Assembly held at the Joint Annual Conference. She reviewed decisions made on several resolutions, including the proposal to allow local school districts the option to have voluntary armed staff in their buildings. That resolution was voted down 259 to 198. Other board members discussed the sessions they had attended at the conference.