D211 Post: District Students Compete in Architecture and Design Competition

            Students from across the District competed against each other in the District 211 Architecture Competition in which they designed an ideal and functional house.  Each entry had to include four bedrooms and two and half bathrooms while being up to 3,500 square feet.  The winning entry, submitted by Palatine High School senior Nelson Bartolo, will be the Building Construction Program house to be built on Berner Road in Elgin next year.

            Work began on each student’s design at the start of the school year.  More than 350 students in participated in designing homes and submitted entries to the competition.  From those, ten entries, 2 from each school, were selected to present to a panel of judges at the G.A. McElroy Administration Center November 9.

            “Students house designs were amazing.  It was obvious that all of the D211 students took their time and did the proper research to create house designs that were appropriate tor the location,” said Palatine High School Applied Science Department Chair Mark Hibner.  “Students followed the guidelines of the project and designed homes that included appropriate construction methods while infusing current interior design trends.”

Palatine High School senior Audrey Birk describes the the plans for a house she designed during a District wide drafting and architecture competition Nov. 9.

            During the finals, each of the ten students stood before a panel of judges which included architects, interior designers, teachers, and contractors.  The student discussed the layout of each room as well as inspirations for various aspects of their unique designs.  For Bartolo, part of the preparation was practicing his presentation repeatedly at home.

            After each student presented their designs to the panel, the judges moved into deliberation to discuss all the designs.  One judge, Mike Rafferty of Rafferty Architecture, has been involved with previous 3 competitions and has seen improvement in the students’ plans.

            “Every year the presentations get better.  The technology and support from their teachers really help prepare them and make them better,” he said.  “I was very impressed by the underclassman representation.  Their involvement in things like this will give them a great opportunity to witness fields like architecture and construction.”

            Following the panel’s deliberation, each student called up to discuss what was liked as well as potential improvements for future designs.  They were then presented with framed copies of their designs. 

Palatine High School senior Nelson Bartolo (center left) holds his design concept.

            The judges stated following their deliberation that selecting an individual winner was difficult given the exceptional effort and design each student presented.  They stated the decision was made to select a first and second place for the first time.  They announced Palatine High School senior Audrey Birk as second place before announcing Batolo as the winner.

            Bartolo, who has been involved in Computer Drafting courses since his freshman year said he was surprised and appreciative after the announcement.

            “It just shows that hard work really does pay off,” Bartolo said.  “I am thankful to my school for the opportunity to compete in something like this and to my teachers for their amazing support.”




D211 Post: District 211 Adds Japanese Language Course Through Online Classroom

            Students at James B. Conant and Schaumburg High School have been involved in a new style of classroom this semester.  They gather in their respective school’s media centers where they log into Blackboard where they engage online with a Japanese language instructor at Harper College.  This is the District’s first step into adding online classes to the curriculum.

              Conant High School Senior Emma Rogers said she was happy to see the District use the online course option to add Japanese to the curriculum.

              “When I was in elementary school, my mother put me in the dual language program.  Ever since then, we have been a Japanese program,” she said.  “When I got to high school, they didn’t have it.  As soon as they added it, I chose to take it to continue my Japanese learning.”

            Dr. Danielle Hauser, District 211 Director of Instructional Improvement, said the District explored options for students to continue once they moved from District 54 to District 211.

            “We encouraged students to take the Seal of Biliteracy in their native language and the target language.  In addition, we encouraged students to participate in internships where they would be able to continue in their language acquisition skills,” Hauser said.  “All along that time, we have been seeking opportunities to continue coursework in the Japanese language.

            Hauser said Harper College was willing to partner with District 211 to establish what would ultimately become one of the District’s newest dual credit course.

            Starting in the spring of 2018, representatives from Harper College and District 211 tested a variety of programs to see which would be the easiest to integrate the high school students into the college’s online course.  Hauser said they ultimately chose Blackboard, which Harper currently uses for multiple classes.  This allows the students to log in to the class from both their iPads and a central station in the classroom.

            For Rogers, whose mother is half Japanese, having the course available has helped rebuild her vocabulary and is helping her brush up her technique. 

A student at James B. Conant High School submits answers to a question asked during her online Japanese class.

            “I noticed after freshman year, by not having the course available, caused by vocabulary to diminish,” she said.  “At home, my mom speaks to me in Japanese and I would have to respond in English.  Being in a class which forces me to use Japanese every day has been very helpful.”

            Dr. Hauser said an unexpected benefit to this online course is the students are exposed to an online system used by many colleges.  She said when the students go on to college, they are now familiar with programs most first year college students haven’t used.  She added that the District was pleased to offer students a way to continue a program they began in elementary school and can continue into college.

            “District 211 is very excited to offer students an opportunity to continue their Japanese acquisition skills after many years in the dual language program while gaining the benefits of course credits on both their high school and college transcripts,” Hauser said.

            Rogers said she has plans to continue her studies after graduating from Conant.

            “After high school I plan to major in aviation while minoring in Japanese,” she said.




D211 Post: Schaumburg Band Travels 4400 Miles …to Play in Schaumburg

Ernestinum Bigband (from Facebook)

            The Ernestinum Bigband, a student band from Schaumburg, Germany, will perform with the Schaumburg High School Jazz Ensemble October 6, as part of the German bands area visit.  The two bands will perform in the high school’s auditorium beginning at 7:00 p.m.

            Schaumburg High School Music Department Chair Vinnie Inendino said he and his students are eager for the joint concert.

            “We’re looking forward to the opportunity to get to know and perform with these outstanding student musicians,” he said.  “Even though we speak different languages, our students share a connection through their passion for music.”

            The Ernestinum Bigband is in the area participating in a total of eight concerts which will conclude with a concert at William Fremd High School in the school’s cafeteria on October 12, at 7:00 p.m.  Fremd’s Music Department Chair Matthew Moore said the experience should provide a unique opportunity for the students.

            “We hope the students will get an appreciation for high school students from another country, enjoying jazz music from Germany, and a few new friendships,” he said.

            For the full list of the Ernestinum Bigband’s concerts in the area, check out the Daily Herald’s article here.




D211 Post: College Night is October 10

            As part of District 211’s effort to help prepare students for post-high school education, the District will host its annual college night October 10.  The informational event will be held at Palatine High School from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

            The representatives from more than 210 two- and four-year colleges and universities will be on hand to answer a variety of questions.  Representatives will discuss financial aid, curriculum and campus information.            

            In some cases, parents and students do not have the ability to visit a large number of colleges and universities in order to make a choice which best fits the student.  The District’s College Night brings the colleges and universities to them.  In preparation for College Night, students are encouraged to register with Strivscan and create a label sheet which includes information such as home address, high school, GPA, ACT scores, and activity involvement.  Students can register with StriveScan by going to here.

            District 211 Transportation will provide free shuttle services from other District schools to Palatine.  Parents are encouraged to sign up for this service as parking at Palatine High School is limited.  Parents and students can sign up for the shuttle service here.




D211 Post: A Score of Perfect Scores

Fifteen students from William Fremd High School are among the students throughout District 211 to score perfect scores on either the ACT or SAT.

          Township High School District 211 began tracking students who received the highest possible composite score on the American College Test (ACT) in April 1998.  Since then, nearly 120 District 211 students have completed the same amazing feat.  During the same time, 12 students have achieved a perfect score on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).  Here are some facts by the numbers of these amazing feats:

A Case of Multiples 

            Eight students have received a score of 36 on their ACT exam twice.  Half of the students who scored a 1600 (maximum possible score) on the SAT have also scored a 36 on the ACT.  Only one student, Fremd High School’s Parag Gupta, earned a perfect SAT score and two perfect ACT scores, accomplishing these scores in 2003.

They Come from Everywhere

            Every school from across District 211 has had students who reached the vaunted 36.  At least one student from each school has also achieved the perfect 1600 SAT score.  The most represented school in both of these is Fremd High School.  Fifteen current FHS students are among the list of perfect scores on either the ACT or SAT, including Duncan Harro, whose brother, Cameron, also scored a 36 on the ACT in 2014.

            At the national level, less than one-tenth of one percent of all students who take the ACT exam score a 36.  To see the full list of District students to score a 36 on the ACT click here, for those who have scored a 1600 on the SAT click here.




D211 Post: Two District 211 Students Named Schaumburg Township District Library Student Advisory Trustees

           For the past 10 years, the Board of Trustees at the Schaumburg Township District Library has selected two individuals between the ages of 15 and 19 to serve in the role of Student Advisory Trustees whose role it is to serve as representatives to their peers.  This year’s Student Advisory Trustees are District 211 students Alisa Gandhi from James B. Conant High School and Matthew Williams from Schaumburg High School.  On September 17, the two students were sworn in to begin their one-year term.

            Teen Outreach Librarian Anna Pederson said selected students must reside within the boundaries who apply and undergo an interview by three members of the board.  Perspective SAT’s are asked to describe their extracurricular and volunteer activities as well as their favorite programs at the library.

Williams and Gandhi with members of the Schaumburg Township Library Board.

            “I typically look for someone who regularly uses the library’s services, attends library programs, demonstrates responsibility, presents themselves well, and shows initiative,” she said.  “It’s a lot to ask for someone that age, but I have always been impressed at the caliber of teens that apply.”

            Students selected for the position can serve a total 2 years.  Each term runs from September through the following July.  In their position, they will provide a unique student perspective that the board would not have.  They will also work to help make teens aware of the variety of activities being hosted by the library.  Pederson said each group of SAT’s contribute to the library in their own ways.

           “There are numerous small ways each SAT has contributed that, bundled as a collective effort, has greatly benefitted the library,” she said.




D211 Post: High School District 211 to be represented among I.S.B.E. 2018 Those Who Excel award recipients

Township High School District 211 is poised to be well-represented among recipients in the Illinois State Board of Education’s 2018 Those Who Excel education awards program.  Additionally, Fremd High School Social Studies Teacher Dr. LoriAnne Frieri has been named among the 10 finalists for Illinois Teacher of the Year.  The State Board annually sponsors the Those Who Excel awards to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the state’s public and non-public schools.

High School District 211 Those Who Excel award candidates include (listed alphabetically):

• Board of Education President Mucia Burke (school board member category)

• Schaumburg High School Student Services Director Yassila Delgado (administrator category)

• William Fremd High School Social Studies Teacher LoriAnne Frieri (classroom teacher category)

• Palatine High School Homeroom Team (team category): Jessica Aulisio, Brittany Berleman, Jeanne Hedgepeth, Erin Lu-zadder, Erin Mahoney, Thomas Mocon, James Nowak, Fred Rasmussen, Joyce Richardson, Leslie Schock, and Claudia Sierra-Sokop

• Palatine High School Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher Emily Pilguy (early career educator category)

• James B. Conant High School Nurse Dawna Smeltzer (student support personnel category)

• Hoffman Estates High School Counselor Andrew Wulbecker (educational service personnel category)

The Illinois Teacher of the Year will be named and Those Who Excel award recipients will be honored by the Illinois State Board of Education at the 44th-annual Those Who Excel awards banquet on Saturday, October 20, in Normal, Ill.