Early Voting Begins this Week for the April 4 Election

Early voting began this week for the April 4, 2017 election. During the election, voters will be asked to consider spending $42 million in school facilities funding to help accommodate for our growth and maintain our commitment to educational excellence, based on the vision set forth in the Educational Facilities Master Plan (EFMP).

Learn more about the EFMP Thursday, March 30, when Hawthorn School District 73’s Superintendent Nick Brown will host a “Superintendent’s Coffee – Why the Educational Facilities Master Plan is needed” at the Village of Vernon Hills, 290 Evergreen Drive, Vernon Hills from 10:30-11:30 am. Mr. Brown’s coffee chat will include a short facilities presentation followed by a question/answer session.

The district has prepared information regarding the details and tax impact of the referendum, as well as the STEM resources called for in the EFMP, the funding for which is contingent on the referendum. Learn more about STEM and facilities by clicking on the link here ~ bit.ly/H73EFMP ~.

We welcome the opportunity to answer questions for your civic organization, or any community group. Invite the district to give a presentation by calling Wendy Peterson at 847-990-4215.

Connect with Hawthorn 73 Superintendent Nick Brown for questions regarding the EFMP and the referendum at brownn@hawthorn73.org or 847.990.4215.

Dual Language Expands to Middle Schools

The Hawthorn 73 Board of Education voted to expand the dual language program into the middle school beginning in the 2018-19 school year.

The program will expand  into Middle School North and Middle School South initially in sixth grade and then expand into seventh grade in the 2019-20 school year and then into eighth grade in the 2020-21 school year.

At this time the district is planning the Dual Language Middle School Program will consist of a Spanish literacy course and content instruction in Spanish through social studies and science courses. The creation of a Spanish literacy course and the development of two content level courses, like social studies and science would provide a total of 140 minutes of instruction in Spanish at the middle school level. The 2017-18 year is structured to plan units of instruction, provide professional development for the current staff, acquire necessary resources and begin the process of recruiting certified bilingual middle school teachers.

Providing a program as the one outlined above will help dual language students continue to develop both academic and language skills that will transfer to success in the rest of their academic career and lifetime. The Dual Language team is very excited for this new opportunity and very thankful to the Board of Education for their support and guidance as the program expands into the middle school.

Education Foundation Launched

The Hawthorn District 73 Board of Education warmly greeted the newly appointed Hawthorn Education Foundation inaugural board at its recent meeting.

The seven-member foundation board collectively has extensive background in fundraising. grant writing and capital projects for schools.  Helping to create non-governmental financial support for District 73 is one of the most important and effective methods for fostering sustained academic excellence. The purpose of the Education Foundation is to raise private sector funds to support the goals of our Strategic Plan.  Jill Martin, principal of Elementary South School, will facilitate the foundation. Please click here to meet the inaugural board.

Register Now for D73 Summer Classes

Mid-way through summer students get excited about returning to school with Hawthorn’s summer classes that include kindergarten readiness, discovering the world of dinosaurs, mastering the math monsters, exploring furry, feathery, scaly friends and more!  Register and view the 2017 class catalog here in English and Spanish.

Registration is now open for Hawthorn’s summer music camp. Hawthorn’s Summer Music Camp runs July 17 through July 28. Check out the summer school catalog with Hawthorn’s Enrichment Institute and register now for classes. Band classes combine nicely with enrichment classes.

Aspen Art Fair

Check out the annual District 73 Art Show at the Aspen Drive Library. Close to 400 student artists displayed unique forms of art during the art show. Click here to see the many artists and their artwork. Artwork is on display through Friday, April 7.

The art show represents all the schools strongest pieces including drawings, paintings, collages, paper sculptures, Papier-mâché and print-making.

“Strongest to me does not necessarily mean the ‘best’ but rather the students that take the greatest risks with their art or show the most growth during the rotation or from year to year, said Hawthorn Middle School North School Art Teacher Hannah Altshuler.


Hawthorn District 73 is developing a program that will target families of children newborn to 4-years-old.

Studies show that 80 percent of brain development happens during a child’s first three years of life, Mrs. Waggoner said. About 27 percent of Hawthorn kindergarteners are missing a literacy rich upbringing, she said.

The idea behind the newly formed NEST (Nurture Explore Speak Teach) program is to work with children not yet in school to help close the opportunity gap that can be present when they arrive to kindergarten. The program is in its fact finding research and exploration stage.

“The idea behind NEST is to have all children enter school on an even playing field,” said Katie Waggoner, Elementary North School principal and facilitator of NEST.

The challenge, however, is finding this young population and providing resources for them, Mrs. Waggoner said.

“My hope is to reach the children through existing families, area churches, hospitals and other community organizations,” Mrs. Waggoner said.


Meetings Set on Hawthorn School Construction Plans

Two meetings are scheduled by Hawthorn School District 73’s superintendent, Nick Brown, to inform parents of why additions and renovations are needed for the district’s six school buildings.

Superintendent Brown will host a “Superintendent’s Coffee – Why the Educational Facilities Master Plan is needed”

  • From 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 18, at Aspen Drive Library, 701 Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills and;

    From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 20, at Vernon Hills Park District Sullivan Center, 635 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills.

    Mr. Brown’s coffee chat will include a short facilities presentation followed by a question/answer session. Click here to learn more about the EFMP and the April 4 referendum.

Principal for a Day

“Hi Mr. Principal” one students says while passing Charlie Blackmer in the Townline Elementary School hallway.

“Congratulations Charlie, I mean Mr. Blackmer,” another students says in the cafeteria.

“Can I be of assistance?” a teacher asks Charlie as he enters her classroom.

And so it goes all day for the fifth grader who was chosen to serve as Principal for a Day at Townline.

Charlie, 10, spent his day greeting students, reciting the announcements, conducting teacher evaluations, and reading to children.

He gave teachers extra points for being engaged with their students.

Charlie wanted to be principal because that’s what his dad does in another school district not too far away. He has a good role model and has even seen his father in action.

Still, taking over Victoria Kieffer’s role left Charlie exhausted. “I didn’t realize how much she has to do. I felt kind of nervous too, because everyone is watching you.”

The Bernstein Artful Learning Team asked principal nominees in fifth grade to write an essay on the theme of Values. Values is the significant concept this school year in which students are learning about the importance of identifying and reflecting what they value. Townline follows the Leonard Bernstein Model of Artful Learning, which is to incorporate the arts and the artistic process to increase student engagement and improve academic achievement.  To keep artful learning at the forefront of Townline’s school improvement efforts, students in fifth grade may write an essay and interview for the chance of being Principal for a Day.