Oktoberfest guests

Oktoberfest Is a Big Hit

Friday night’s Oktoberfest at Viper Alley was a fun way to bring community members together in support of Hawthorn School District 73. A lively local band kept the energy high. The event included a silent auction, a wide variety of appetizers, and other activities. Proceeds will benefit Hawthorn students.

cook memorial logo

Aspen Drive Library Update

Upcoming Changes in Aspen Drive Library’s Hours  

Monday, October 28 – Friday, November 1

Aspen Drive Library is continuing its expansion progress. Please be aware of the following:  

— Monday, October 28 and Tuesday, October 29: Aspen will be closed.

— Wednesday, October 30, Thursday, October 31, and Friday, November 1: Delayed Opening at 2 p.m. 

The library appreciates your patience and understanding during this time. Please visit Cook Park Library for any library needs.

School board clip art

Board of Education Meetings, Oct. 17

Regular Session as well as a Closed Session of the Board of Education will take place on Thursday, Oct. 17.  The Closed Session will take place at 6:00 p.m. The Regular Session will begin at 7:00 p.m. The meetings will take place at the District Office, 841 West End Court in Vernon Hills. 

students rehearsing

Students From Three Schools Come Together for Annual Concert

Seventh and eighth grade students from both middle schools took part in a field trip to Vernon Hills High School (VHHS) for a rehearsal with guest director Jim Garbrecht, former Middle South Band Director. VHHS students joined them as they prepared for the Annual Band Festival Concert. Although the students were from three different schools, they played as though they all belonged to one. The concert took place on Oct. 10 in the VHHS main gym. Students gave an excellent performance.

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Key Points About Hawthorn District 73’s Parent Notification System

The District places high priority on swiftly communicating with parents in the event of an emergency. We use the SchoolMessenger notification system to send out information through email, phone and/or text messages. SchoolMessenger is integrated with PowerSchool and delivers messages to the PowerSchool contact information provided by parents/guardians. Emergency information is also posted on the District Website and Facebook. 

During an emergency event, the means and immediacy of communication will depend on the scope of the event and on the potential or actual impact to the safety of the students. While it is difficult to describe all possible scenarios, the following can be used as a guide to gauge the District’s level of notification and systems used to communicate with families

Impact LevelNotification Response
No Impact Incident: Informational messages from either the principal or superintendent.

Example: District information, school information on upcoming events.
- SchoolMessenger notification sent via email.
- May also be posted on website and Facebook.
A Low Impact Incident: Poses no or minimal risk to the safety of the school. There are no disruptions to regular school activities, and the incident is isolated and does not impact more than one student.

Example: a small issue in one of the schools or the District. A soft lockdown suggested by police due to an off campus police-related incident. A bus delay. Note: Not every incident will warrant a notification.
- SchoolMessenger notification sent via email and phone (home, work, cell) at beginning of incident. Text messages may also be used.
- Will be posted on Website and Facebook.
- Update via email at end of incident.
A Moderate Impact Incident: Poses a moderate risk to the school and results in some disruption to school activities.

Example: Weather cancellations or delays, a change of schedule or cancellation of some activities, or a utility disruption.
- SchoolMessenger notification sent via email, phone (home, work, cell) and text.
-Will be posted on website and Facebook.
- Updates will continue through the incident.
- School cancellations or delays posted on emergencyclosingcenter.com.
A High Impact Incident: The incident poses a significant risk to the safety of the students, which results in a significant disruption to school activities, change of schedule, evacuation, cancellation of activities and impacts many students.

Example: An intruder in school or the use of a weapon in school resulting in injuries to students and staff.
- SchoolMessenger notification sent via email, phone (home, work, cell) and text.
- Will be posted on website and Facebook.
- Updates will continue through the incident.
- Press release may be distributed to the media.

Important Points to Remember:

  • Our school has an emergency operations plan in place. Each school has a site-specific plan. Teachers, administrators and staff have been trained and have completed drills using this plan.
  • Please be sure your emergency contact information is updated whenever there is a change. 
  • Parents who wish to receive text messages must opt-in to utilize this service. If you think your contact information may need updating in PowerSchool, first contact your student’s school to verify that they have the correct cell phone number on file. Then manually opt in by texting “Y” to 67587. 
  • During an incident, remain close to your sources of communication, whether phone or email, to ensure you are receiving accurate and timely updates from the district.
  • Please be sure to listen to, or read the entire message. 
  • Do not call or go to your child’s school during an actual emergency. School staff will be busy responding to the emergency and addressing the needs of students. Calling the school will only tie up phone lines that must be used for emergency communications with staff and emergency responders. Please do not go to your child’s school unless you have received direction from the school or district officials. 

Thank you in advance for your cooperation as we work together to ensure the safest environment for our students. We are fortunate to have such a committed and involved community at Hawthorn 73. 

Teachers and administrators at breakfast.

Elementary South Celebrates Its National Blue Ribbon Recognition with a Breakfast

Teachers, board members and administrators came together Friday morning for a breakfast to celebrate Elementary South’s designation as a 2019 National Blue Ribbon school. Elementary South is among 25 schools in Illinois and 362 schools nationwide to receive this recognition from the U.S. Department of Education. In mid-November, awardees will be recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education in Washington, D.C.

Teachers in Groups

Teachers Learn Together During Early Release Day

During Thursday’s Early Release Day, teachers met in groups to discuss ways to improve student achievement. Sessions also focused on laying the foundation for professional learning communities (PLC’s).

Construction site for the School for Young Learners

A New Building Takes Shape

The School for Young Learners is taking shape. Hawthorn’s new kindergarten building is adjacent to the Sullivan Community Center on Aspen Drive. It will open next year.

Restaurant Fundraiser Clip Art

Hawthorn Education Association Holds Fundraising Event

Here’s a way to support the Hawthorn Education Association (HEA) and a local charity. If you dine at the Claim Company restaurant, 506 N. Hawthorn Center #1510 in the Hawthorn Mall, on Tuesday, Oct. 8, between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m., a percentage of your purchase will go back to the HEA. The HEA in turn will donate a percentage of those funds to a local charity. Be sure to bring this flyer with you.

School board clip art

Highlights of the September 26, 2019 Board of Education Meeting

Board President Robin Cleek congratulated Elementary South Principal Dr. Jill Martin, Assistant Principal Christy Hunter, and the school’s staff for Elementary South’s designation as a 2019 National Blue Ribbon school. She thanked them for all of their hard work. 

Adam Palmer, Director of Human Resources, presented an overview of student enrollment and staffing at the start of the school year. He emphasized that his enrollment plan is in alignment with the District’s goals for student achievement, as well as goals for learning and professional environments. He said that the District welcomed 37 new certified staff members, in which 20 joined elementary schools and 17 joined middle schools. He presented the Six Year Ten Day Enrollment Trend. The 10-day districtwide enrollment number for 2019 was 3,995. He also talked about class size averages. The District’s kindergarten through fifth grade class size average is at 22.9 students per classroom.  The middle school staffing allocation for core areas averages 24 students per classroom. 

In summary, he said that the District’s allocation of staff continues to enable the District the opportunity to provide top tier instruction for students.  He will be providing the Board of Education with a comprehensive staffing plan next spring for the 2020-21 school year. 

Abe Singh, Director of Finance and Business Operations, provided an update on capital improvement projects that were approved within the District’s adopted budget. His list included the completion of the new roof at the Tower facility and new gym floor at Elementary South. The District has received proposals for the replacement of the concrete stairs on the north side of the Townline building. New plans are being proposed to enhance safety and security. 

In his Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Hannigan said the District is continuing to monitor the teacher-shortage issue at SEDOL. SEDOL temporarily closed its Gages Lake School on Friday, Sept. 20, due to a staff shortage but reopened the following week. It has since raised its substitute rates. The district has five students at Gages Lake School. They are all in a safe environment and receiving the support they need. 

Dr. Hannigan congratulated Elementary South and the School of Dual Language for being among the winners of the fall attendance competition held by the Attendance and Truancy Division of the Regional Office of Education. He also expressed what a great honor it is for Elementary South to be named among the 2019 National Blue Ribbon schools. He said that the award is not something schools apply for; the state identifies the schools that are eligible to apply.  Elementary South is one of 25 schools in Illinois who received the award.