Annual Directions 2015 College and Career Fair Event Approaching for Students in Special Education

Directions 2012In an effort to help encourage and provide guidance for parents transitioning their students out of high school and into vocational or collegiate opportunities after graduation, District 211 is part of a team of local educational institutions participating in Directions College and Career Fair 2015.

The event, which will take place on Sept. 29 from 5:45 – 8:30 p.m. at the Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Rd., in Arlington Heights, is sponsored by Township High School District 211, High School District 214, Barrington Community Unit School District 220, St. Viator High School, William Rainey Harper College, and Northwest Educational Council for Student Success.

All students who have received any type of special education programming, as well as their families, are encouraged to attend. Representatives from colleges and post-secondary institutions will be available to distribute literature and discuss their programs.

“Township High School District 211 is excited to once again be part of bringing the Directions College and Career Fair to the northwest suburbs,” said Renée Erickson, director of special education in District 211. “Directions College and Career Fair is a great opportunity for students with special education needs, and their families, to explore post-secondary education and training options as they plan for the future. With over 50 post-secondary education and training organizations participating, this is set to be the greatest event this group has hosted to date.”

The evening will begin with a keynote from Dr. Mark Harris, the director of Student Disability Services at the University of Iowa. He will be speaking about some of the top mistakes parents make during the transition to college.

Parents and students are encouraged to attend the College and Career Fair that will take place during the event. From 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., attendees can view a panel discussion with representatives from four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, career training programs, and Life Skills training programs.

To register in advance, obtain further information or for special accommodations, please visit the website.




Annual Directions 2014 Event Approaching for Students in Special Education

Directions 2012In an effort to help encourage and provide guidance for parents transitioning their students out of high school and into vocational or collegiate opportunities after graduation, District 211 is part of a team of local educational institutions participating in Directions Fair, which will take place on September 30 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Rd., in Arlington Heights.

The event is sponsored by District 211, Township High School District 214, Barrington Community Unit School District 220, William Rainey Harper College, and St. Viator High School.

Directions Fair is scheduled on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 with registration beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the evening’s events will be presented from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Rd. in Arlington Heights.  All students who have received any type of special education programming, as well as their families, are encouraged to attend.

“The time we have with our students is limited and invaluable, and all steps taken to prepare them for their futures are critical,” said Renee Erickson, Director of Special Education at District 211. “Directions night provides District 211 with the great opportunity to partner with our neighboring districts and post-secondary institutions, and to support students and parents in taking the next step in planning for the future.”

The evening will begin with a keynote from Nicole Mangiaracina, a Fremd High School graduate who attended Harper College and now studies at Elmhurst College. Harper College helped Mangiaracina transition and adjust to college while dealing with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and other subsequent health challenges so that her educational goals were not sidelined.

Following her presentation, attendees can choose from four breakout sessions, including Career Training Programs, Four-Year Colleges and Universities, Life Skills Training Programs, and Community College Options.

The evening will also include a college and career fair with representatives for colleges and post-secondary institutions available to meet with students and their families and provide additional literature about their programming resources for prospective students.

For further information or information about special accommodations, please visit the Directions Fair website.




Annual Directions 2013 Event Approaching for Students in Special Education

Directions 2012In an effort to help encourage and provide guidance for parents transitioning their students out of high school and into vocational or collegiate opportunities after graduation, District 211 will host its annual Directions 2013 event.

The District has teamed up with other local educational institutions to participate in the event, which will take place on Oct. 1 from 6 – 8:30 p.m. at the Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Rd., in Arlington Heights.

The event is sponsored by the Northwest Educational Council for Student Success, in conjunction with District 211, Township High School District 214, Barrington Community Unit School District 220, William Rainey Harper College, and St. Viator High School. All students in special education programs, as well as their families, are welcome to attend.

“We encourage students from all grade levels to attend Directions 2013 so they can start reviewing their post-secondary options,” said Diane Pfister, transition specialist at District 211. “Our goal is to provide parents and students with the information needed to develop a solid post-high school transition plan.”

The session will start with a welcome from Deb Franzen, Accommodation and Transition specialist with the Access and Disabilities department at William Rainey Harper College. From there, there will be four different breakout sessions to attend, with the option of a college and career fair that will be going on the entire night.

Representatives from several different organizations will be there to discuss their programs, answer questions, and hand out materials. The breakout sessions include: Career Training Programs; Four-year Colleges and Universities; Life Skills Training Programs; and Community College Options.

“Our event features a range of post-high school options,” Pfister said. “Representatives will be available from life skills programs, career training programs, and from two and four year colleges and universities.”

For more information on Directions 2012, please visit the website or contact Diane Pfister at dpfister@d211.org or (847) 755-1851 or Patrick Abraham, director of Transition Services, at pabraham@d211.org or (847) 755-1848.




District 211 Students Join Area Schools for Upcoming Latino Summit

District 211 is participating in the 2012 Latino Summit along with several area schools. There, students will have the opportunity to hear from Latino professionals, explore college opportunities, and listen to a notable keynote speaker.

The 11th annual summit will be held at William Rainey Harper College on Nov. 16 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., and there will more than 400 Latino freshmen and sophomores attending from area Districts 211, 214, 220, 207, and 225. Presentations will be held in both English and Spanish.

The keynote speaker is Enrique Rodriguez, a news anchor, reporter, producer, sports anchor, and forum moderator at Univision Network. Rodriguez will speak to students not only about his time with professional reporting in a Latino organization, but also of his dedication to community events and news. He holds two Emmy awards, and will demonstrate to students how he overcame obstacles to get where he is today.

Many other Latino professionals will speak to students throughout the day, and share their experiences within different job markets and navigating the professional world. These inspirational stories, in addition to college representatives speaking with students, will help kick start freshmen and sophomores to think about their futures.  The summit will help them develop leadership skills, network, and meet peers from other schools with similar aspirations.

Each year, the Latino Summit is a self-supported event, and funds must be found to finance the event and scholarships for deserving seniors. For more information on the event or to inquire about a financial contribution, please contact Claudia Rueda-Alvarez via email at Cruedaalvarez@maine207.org.




Palatine High School Chemistry of Foods Students’ First Restaurant Day

Junior Alex Ayala sorts toppings for the pizza.

More than 60 students enrolled in Palatine High School’s Chemistry of Foods class were working together to assemble their first large order of personal deep-dish pizzas since the school year started. Some rolled the dough, others were in charge of sauce and toppings, and with a lot of teamwork, they completed more than 120 orders for Palatine High School faculty and staff on Oct. 4.

With the assistance of teachers Erika Varela, Mark Langer, and Robert Heitz, and Palatine based Pizza Bella pizzeria owner Tony DeFilippis, students received a first-hand experience of what it’s like to be in a restaurant kitchen.

Emily Seidl and Tony DeFilippis of Palatine’s Pizza Bella thin pizza sauce with a little water.

“The best part of this class is that the students get real-world experience running a restaurant even though it’s still within the school environment so they have room to make mistakes,” Varela said. “Many students comment that this is the hardest they have ever worked in a class and many teachers comment that this is the hardest they’ve ever seen their kids work in a class.”

The class, which combines a traditional cooking class with chemistry, provides students with a well-rounded learning experience about the food preparation, the industry, and cooking. As a dual-credit course with William Rainey Harper College, students have the opportunity to study and test for their food safety and sanitation certification at the high school.

“I love seeing the kids get to learn chemistry and be able to apply it, because the biggest question they have is always, ‘when am I going to use this,’” Heitz said. “They jump into using chemistry right away.”

Pizza Bella owner Tony DeFilippis (center) helps juniors Chan Han (left) and Chaka Kelly (right) roll pizza dough.

Langer agreed that not only is the work experience great for students, it gives them a relatable way to look at chemistry.

“I like giving the real-world application to chemistry,” Langer said. “This is something kids deal with everyday — food.”

Tahkyra Whitaker and Karlee Darow chop vegetables for side salads that came with each person’s order. Orders were $6 each, and included a pizza, salad, dessert, and drink.

Each quarter, the class completes two food events, which doesn’t necessarily mean they are restaurants. Varela said the first restaurant the class hosts is a carry out because it allows for more focus on food preparation without worrying about turning a classroom into a restaurant. In the future, students complete a sit down meal where staff members can sit down and have lunch.

“We try to get two meals in per quarter, and that can be tough during the first quarter because students are busy getting their food safety and sanitation certification program, which is new this year,” Varela said. “Students earn dual-credit with Harper College when they successfully complete the course and pass their certification.”

Frederico Patino, junior, sorts through customer orders the day before the class hosted the restaurant day.

If students do not pass their certification the first time through, they have an opportunity to continue the course and retake their certification test up to two times. If they haven’t passed the test the second time, they will have to take the training again. Varela said it’s rare for a student not to pass the certification test.

DeFilippis, who spoke to students about sanitation, entrepreneurship, and owning his own business, said it was great to help students learn about what it’s like in the workplace.

“The students got hands-on experience making deep-dish pizzas, and it benefits the students because they are being hands-on and seeing what it’s like in the workplace, and benefitting from know what can come in their future.”

Watch the kids in action below!