Planned Internet Outage

Due to a planned upgrade all internet connections in and out of Hawthorn District 73 will be offline for approximately 2 hours beginning Thursday, August 8th at 4pm. This will encompass the District and all school websites being offline and our phone system will also be down during that time. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.


Girls Night of Code

Students at Vernon Hills High School have organized Girls Night of Code 2018. Girls at Hawthorn Middle School North and South are invited. It is an opportunity to have fun with friends and explore coding in a pressure free learning environment. It will take place Friday, February 16, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Vernon Hills High School.


Co-teaching Brings More Inclusion to the Classroom

The benefits of co-teaching can clearly be seen in the sixth grade language arts class taught by Ms. Corush and Ms. Byrne at Middle School South. While one is presenting, the other is moving about the room answering questions and checking in with students. As the students went through a lesson using their new Chromebooks, the teachers made sure that each student understood the directions and no one was left behind. At other times, the two were jointly teaching together, interacting with each other and the students within the curriculum while modeling and providing background knowledge.

“Co-teaching is a powerful tool and strategy,” said Ms. Corush. “With two of us teaching, one can focus on the curriculum while the other focuses on each individual student.”

Co-teaching is an all inclusive approach to teaching in which students, including those with special needs, are taught in the same classroom. There are more opportunities for specialized instruction, small group and one-to-one learning, and increased opportunities to differentiate to meet student needs.

“One of the benefits is that students are exposed to the teaching styles of both teachers. This approach increases the opportunity to differentiate for all students’ needs,” said Ms. Byrne. “The teachers bring their different styles and expertise together to meet all students’ needs.”



Students Excited to Receive Chromebooks

Middle School North students were excited to receive their Google Chromebooks this morning. Middle School South students will also receive them this week. Students are able to take them home every night and use them as tools to extend learning and collaboration.

Volunteers Complete Assemblage of Chromebooks

With the help of volunteers, District staff members were able to finish assembling 1,500 Chromebooks a day ahead of schedule.  About 25 people, including parents, spent the day unpacking, tagging and configuring the devices on July 12. At the start of the new school year, the District will equip all middle school students will Chromebooks for one-on-one personalized learning. The tool will help students track goals and learn content at their own pace.


Personalized Learning

When learning is personalized for students, they become the leaders of their own learning and work at a pace that’s right for each of them. Hawthorn teachers have been working on the Guaranteed Viable Curriculum (GVC) for the last three years, which identifies our desired results for all students. Personalized learning experiences allow students to approach the GVC in a way that will make them successful. To enhance their learning experiences, Hawthorn middle school students will be issued a Chromebook next year. This tool will expand opportunities for personalized learning both within and outside of the classroom to meet their individual needs and inspire a love for learning.

Please click here to read more about the direction in which Hawthorn is heading.

Personalized Learning 1:1 at the Middle Schools

On November 28 the Board of Education approved a Personalized Learning 1:1 program initiative at the middle school level. All students in grades 6 through 8 will receive a 2900 series Dell Chromebook II at the start of the 2017-2018 school year. The Personalized Learning Technology Fee for Grades 6 through 8 will be $75. Thank you to the School Board for their ongoing commitment to providing the students of Hawthorn 73 with the highest quality education possible.

Board Considers 1:1 Environment

About seven out of over 35 Lake County school districts do not offer their students their own personalized electronic devices. Hawthorn District 73 is among the few in Lake County that fall into that number, but the Board of Education is considering moving to a 1:1 program within the district.

At a recent meeting, the Board of Education received a presentation from Superintendent Nick Brown on personalized learning in a 1:1 environment. Hawthorn 73 has been investing in upgrading the technology infrastructure in the district as well as purchasing new devices for students and teachers. This has all been to support the appropriate integration of technology into the learning experiences of students.

After a careful study of the need to offer students their own devices, the Hawthorn Technology Planning Committee believes going 1:1 will only enhance personalized learning districtwide. The presentation provided to the Board of Education shared the “Why” a 1:1 program enhances the learning experiences for students.

The Board of Education listened to a presentation titled “Personalized Learning:  Why we should consider a 1:1 program?” and after Board consensus, the Technology Committee was instructed to delve into the “How” to accomplish a 1:1 program at the middle school level.

The committee will work to answer many questions on how to accomplish such a task.

Because there are many surrounding districts that have already moved to a 1:1 environment, the committee believes it can learn how other districts worked through many of the same questions Hawthorn District 73 has about the potential project.

“Research shows technology helps improve student engagement through personalized learning. These devices will only serve to prepare our students for the world in which they live,” said Superintendent Brown.

Mr. Brown also pointed out that 1:1 devices compliment the district’s recently adopted strategic plan, which states the district will provide motivating and engaging learning opportunities that inspire joyful learners. The strategic plan also states that the district believes in students becoming self-directed, responsible learners. Personalized devices will support the efforts for students’ to develop these needed attributes.




Possible outages

Due to a planned power outage tomorrow December 19th, 2015 between the hours of 7am and 3pm you may see some sporadic outages when visiting our websites or with some of our phone lines. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

Students Move to Increase Heart Rate

Hawthorn Middle School South students head into the locker rooms with what appears like a skip in their step. They quickly change into gym uniforms, which also include a Polar H7 heart rate monitor.

In the gym PE teachers Chris Crandall and Brian Rude have the students’ names projected on a giant screen and on their iPads.  The heart rates of all students are tracked using the Polar GoFit app.

The monitors are being introduced this year to Middle School South seventh and eighth graders. Whatever they are doing in physical education class – basketball, fitness testing, cardiovascular equipment, soccer – students wear the monitors and track their physical activity. Typically students are expected to be between 140 to 200 beats per minute for 20 minutes during their physical education period.  This technology allows physical education teachers to take the guesswork out of deciding which students are truly physically active in class.  Grading is more “objective”.  It also allow teachers to differentiate instruction.  Students are all at different levels of fitness.  The Polar technology allow students to work at their own activity levels.

During Health classes, part of the curriculum allows students to track their food, calories, nutrients, and physical activity through  They analyze and create a plan to improve their findings.

“We purchased the monitors because we wanted to motivate the students to improve their workouts and subsequently heighten their heart rates,” said Mr. Crandall. He said the decision came out of the national movement of the high rate of childhood obesity and heart disease being the number one killer, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The result?

“Students are motivated to increase their heart rate and keep it elevated for longer periods of their gym class,” said Mr. Rude.

The teachers have found the heart rate monitor a huge motivational tool for students. On the sidelines of a team game students can be seen doing jumping jacks or push-ups, they said.

In the Middle School South classrooms, teachers are noticing the benefits as well, said Principal Robert Natale. “Raising their heart rates gets that flow of oxygen going through students’ systems. They are in a better state of mind for learning and taking on rigorous academic instruction,” Mr. Natale said.

Teachers reported that students and parents can monitor daily workouts through personal accounts on the Polar GoFit website. According to the NFL’s Fuel Up to Play 60 website, children should get 60 minutes of exercise a day.

What students have to say

“The monitors make me push myself harder,” said Damian Herrera, 12, “At home now I go outside and play soccer with friends as a way to keep my heart rate up longer.”

Jordan Krasner and Aiden Isaacson, both 12, participate regularly in sports outside of school. But seeing how high they can elevate their heart rates has made them tougher competitors on the basketball court.

“I was dumbfounded that I could get my heart rate so high. In basketball I feel like I can move faster and I don’t tire as quickly on the court,” Jordan said.

The goal is for Middle School South to offer Polar Heart Rate technology to all the physical education classes next year. Hawthorn School District 73 will consider expanding the program to Middle School North at a later date.