board members talking

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

School board clip art

Closed Session Scheduled for September 25

A Closed Session of the Board of Education will take place on Tuesday, September 25, at 6:00 p.m. at the District Office, 841 West End Court in Vernon Hills.

Attenodance Awareness Log

Five Hawthorn Schools Recognized for High Attendance Rates

Five Hawthorn schools were included on the list of schools with the best attendance this year organized by The Lake County Regional Office of Education’s Attendance and Truancy Division. The schools are as follows:

  • Hawthorn School of Dual Language
  • Hawthorn Townline Elementary
  • Hawthorn Elementary North
  • Hawthorn Elementary South
  • Hawthorn Middle School South

This attendance competition promotes improved school attendance at the beginning of the school year, and emphasizes the need to attend regularly to receive full educational benefits.

School board clip art

Highlights of the September 17 Board of Education Meeting

Director of Finance and Business Operations Abe Singh summarized the 2018-2019 budget which is due to the tax extension office by September 28. The district’s final budget shows an overall deficit of approximately $3 million. The district’s operating fund revenues total $50,223,776 with expenditures budgeted at $52,449,717. The deficit is due primarily to the property tax prepayment that led to an excess revenue last year. As a result, this revenue will not be realized in fiscal year 2018-19. However, a deficit reduction plan is not required.

The district continues to operate in a fiscally conservative manner, and currently remains in a strong financial condition. It has not increased building level budgets in seven years, and is continuing this practice this year. Additional staffing needs continue to limit the ability to fund other areas of the budget, with most areas remaining flat. Technology is ever-changing, and it is difficult to determine what the budget may be for this in the coming years. The intent to grow the personalized learning environment will need to be modeled over the next year to determine if it is viable, sustainable, and expandable. Overall, the district feels confident that it has a budget that is addressing its students’ needs, and the financial needs of the district. During the Business Meeting, the Board of Education approved the budget.

Board of Education member Robin Cleek reported on a meeting that took place between Board of Education members, the Village of Vernon Hills and the Vernon Hills Park District. She said the board received lots of positive feedback regarding its plans. The organizations plan to meet one more time before the November election.

Interim Superintendent Mark Friedman provided an update on the Community Engagement Day that has been planned for September 24. This is a day in which executive search consultants will meet with numerous stakeholder groups, such as teachers, administrators, staff, parents, and PTO leaders, to learn what characteristics they would like to see in a future superintendent. A survey has been created to provide another way for stakeholders to provide input. The survey will remain open until October 4, 2018. These community engagement activities will help the consultants put together a profile that will drive the interview process. The goal is to name a new superintendent by winter break.

Board of Education member Wes Polen provided an update on the progress of the Referendum Subcommittee that met on September 11. They reviewed the content on the referendum website, future mailings, and meeting presentations. Information meetings have been scheduled for October 1, 9, 17 and the third week of October. Most of these meetings will take place at the schools where the space needs are the greatest.

Interim Superintendent Joe Porto introduced the referendum website, which is now live. He said this is a living, breathing website, and will change as we move forward. The heart and soul of the site are the four guiding questions: what are the needs, what is the plan, what is the financial impact, and what if the referendum doesn’t pass? Board members have a right to share information about the referendum with the community, but the information needs to be objective and not persuasive. The website is an important resource that will answer many questions.

Hawthorn Planning Council

Hawthorn Planning Council Members Meet

Hawthorn Planning Council members held a productive meeting on September 18.  Consisting of administrators and teachers from each Hawthorn building, the Council meets on an ongoing basis throughout the year to work out detailed action plans to implement the strategies outlined in the district’s strategic plan.


STEM Conference for Middle School Girls on September 29

Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) is a national network that hosts one-day conferences to encourage young women to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. The program provides STEM role models and hands-on activities for middle school girls. The ultimate goal is to motivate girls to become innovative and creative thinkers ready to meet 21st century challenges!

Expanding Your Horizons conferences nurture girls’ interest in science and math to encourage them to consider careers in STEM. We are excited to be hosting our first Expanding Your Horizons conference in Lake County on September 29, 2018!

At the conference, girls can pick from a series of hands-on workshops to attend, which may include topics on health, engineering, computers and electronics, chemistry and more. Students will have a great time learning about new careers and participating in hands-on activities led by female professionals from a wide variety of STEM careers. Adults will also have the opportunity to register and attend sessions.

All girls in grades 6-8 are welcome at the conference, so please help us spread the word! The registration fee will be $5 per girl, adults are free. If financial assistance is needed, please contact:

School board clip art

A Regular Session and a Closed Session Will Take Place September 17

A Regular Session and a Closed Committee of the Whole meeting will take place on Monday, September 17. The Regular Session will take place at 7:00 p.m.  The closed meeting will take place prior to the regular session at 6:00 p.m. The meetings will take place at the District Office, 841 West End Court in Vernon Hills.

superintendent search logo

Hawthorn District 73 Seeks Community Input  in Its Search for a Superintendent

Hawthorn School District 73 has scheduled a Community Engagement Day on Monday, September 24, to gather input from community members and other constituents in connection with its search for a new superintendent. Parents and members of the general public are invited to meet with executive search consultants BWP & Associates on that day from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the District Office, 841 West End Court in Vernon Hills, Illinois. The consultants will also be meeting with teachers, administrators, board members, staff, and other stakeholders throughout the day.

In addition to the September 24 meetings, the District is launching an anonymous online survey that will provide another opportunity for community members and other stakeholders to provide feedback. The survey will be available from September 24 to October 4 at:

“The goal of our community engagement efforts is to give parents, local residents, community leaders, teachers and employees of the school district the opportunity to share their ideas about the skills and abilities they would like to see in the next superintendent,” said Interim Superintendent Mark Friedman.

Based on the feedback collected, a profile of the ideal person to serve as superintendent will be developed, and the consultants and board members will work to find a match. While the data gathered through the survey and meetings will be anonymous, a summary report on the results will be available online in the near future.

Hawthorn School District 73 is a preschool through eighth grade public school district serving more than 4,000 students. It serves all or portions of the communities of Vernon Hills, Mundelein, Libertyville, Indian Creek and unincorporated areas of Lake County, Illinois.

Good News Club logo

Good News Club Registration

Good News Club is a fun-filled club for kids.  If you would like to register your children, please complete this form.

Pep Band

Middle School Bands Perform at High School

The Middle School North and Middle School South eighth grade bands had a ton of fun performing with the Vernon Hills High School Pep Band on Friday night! The students did a great job and really enjoyed doing the high school ‘thing’!

Instrument Fair at Elementary North

Finding the Best Match

Fourth-grade students have an opportunity this week to learn what instrument best suits them and to join Hawthorn’s band or orchestra. Each elementary school is hosting an instruments fair in which students get to try out a variety of instruments, such as the snare drum, xylophone, cello, violin, flute, clarinet, trumpet and saxophone under the guidance of professionals. In many cases, this is the first time the students have played these instruments. At Elementary North’s Instrument Fair today, it was great to see how excited the students were to try the instruments.