School News

District 155 Summer Construction Wraps Up
Melina Weil

All District 155 schools opened successfully on August 14 after substantially completing 22 construction projects this summer. The Board of Education approved $14,552,000 in capital projects for the summer of 2019, including kitchen classroom remodels, tennis courts replacement, air conditioning, and parking lot replacements.

All District 155 schools opened successfully on August 14 after substantially completing 22 construction projects this summer. The Board of Education approved $14,552,000 in capital projects for the summer of 2019, including kitchen classroom remodels, tennis courts replacement, air conditioning, and parking lot replacements. 

"We want to thank the community and taxpayers for their support as we continue to enhance our learning spaces to give our students and staff the opportunity to be successful in their future endeavours,” said Steve Olson, D155 superintendent. “We understand the importance of showcasing these projects with our community so they can see how their tax dollars are being spent.”

The district communications office in collaboration with the operations department produced 10 videos to highlight construction updates which were viewed more than 24,000 times and totaled more than 79 hours. Videos are available to view on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @CHSD155 or visit the website to view the projects that were completed.

District 155 Ranks First in McHenry County for Best School District
Melina Weil

District 155 was named best school district in McHenry County by Niche. Rankings are based on data from the Department of Education, the US Census, and multiple reviews from parents and students. D155 earned the top spot out of 15. 

Community High School District 155 was named best school district in McHenry County by Niche. Rankings are based on data from the Department of Education, the US Census, and multiple reviews from parents and students. D155 earned the top spot out of 15. 

A senior who wrote a review said, “District 155 cultivates students to be great, and consistently demonstrates excellence. All of the staff are amazing, they always encourage students to do our best.”

Nationally, the district ranked in the top nine percent for best school districts, and placed in the top four percent for the best teachers. In the state of Illinois, D155 ranked eighth out of 638 schools for having the best teachers and placed in the top three percent for the best district. 

One parent review said, “The districts fundamental approach to the student’s education is constantly challenging the teachers and staff to put forth our ideas and experiences to better the way education is presented.” 

Every month, millions of people use Niche to choose the right schools or neighborhoods. Niche has report cards, rankings and reviews that are calculated from public sources along with reviews from parents, students, and residents.  

D155 Occupational Therapist Nationally Recognized
Rochelle LeBreck

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) selected Michelle Ponsolle-Mays to receive the Jeannette Bair Writer’s Award at its national conference. Mays co-authored the article, “Enriching kids’ lives: Addressing the effects of poverty on the health and well-being of school-aged children and their families.”

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) selected Michelle Ponsolle-Mays to receive the Jeannette Bair Writer’s Award at its national conference on April 6. Mays co-authored the article, “Enriching kids’ lives: Addressing the effects of poverty on the health and well-being of school-aged children and their families.” The article appeared in the issue of OT Practice on May 21, 2018.

“It is exciting that the AOTA is recognizing the important work that is being done with children and youth,” said Michelle Ponsolle-Mays. “This article describes how OTs can provide system-level support in schools, notably by designing programs and environments that build student resilience and moderate the effects of adverse experiences.”

Mays serves as District 155’s lead occupational therapist and related services facilitator for the district. She provides services to students at Haber Oaks Campus, and her role is to help students participate in school activities and to collaborate with staff to design and implement effective instructional programs and practices. Mays is in her fourth year of service in District 155.

“Michelle is a highly valued team member in District 155. Her ability to communicate student needs and model best practice in the educational environment is exemplary. It is an honor to call Michelle Mays one of our own,” said Kimberly Dahlem, director of student services.

Mays also co-authored a chapter of a book released by the AOTA and served on a panel of peer experts in pediatric interprofessional practice at the national conference. In July, she will represent Occupational Therapy on a interdisciplinary panel at the American Speech Hearing Association conference.

Register for Summer School
Rochelle LeBreck

Registration is now open for summer school courses. The deadline to register for semester one is April 26 and the second semester registration deadline is May 31. With the exception of driver’s education courses, all summer school courses will be held at Crystal Lake South High School.

Registration is now open for summer school courses. The deadline to register for semester one is April 26 and the second semester registration deadline is May 31. With the exception of driver’s education courses, all summer school courses will be held at Crystal Lake South High School located at 1200 S. McHenry Ave, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. The main office number is (815) 455-3860. Driver’s education courses meet at the student’s home school.

For a full list of courses and registration information, please download the 2019 Summer School packet.

Unless otherwise noted, a ½-credit may be earned from successful completion of each semester of summer school coursework. Students may repeat courses they have previously passed, with the higher of the two grades entered on their permanent record. However, the student will only receive credit for the course once. Regardless of the course, all students must be present for the final exams.

The schedule for summer school is as follows, first semester begins Monday, June 3 and concludes Friday, June 21. Second semester begins Monday, June 24 and concludes Tuesday, July 16. Classes meet Monday through Friday. School will not be in session on July 4 or July 5. A daily class time schedule can be found below.

Daily Class Time Schedule
Period 1 . . . . . . 7:30 - 8:20 a.m.
Period 2 . . . . . . 8:25 - 9:20 a.m.
Period 3 . . . . . . 9:25 - 10:20 a.m.
Period 4 . . . . . . 10:25 - 11:20 a.m.
Period 5 . . . . . . 11:25 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

Student poses with Tony Moretti a teacher at Haber Oaks who earned teacher of the month from Star 105.5.
Rochelle LeBreck

Tony Moretti, a Special Education Teacher at Haber Oaks Campus, is the Star 105.5 and Home State Bank Teacher of the Month for January. He won the award after a former student, Gillian wrote a special nomination letter.

Tony Moretti, a teacher at Haber Oaks Campus, is the Star 105.5 and Home State Bank Teacher of the Month for January. He won the award after a former student, nominated him.

Mr. Moretti is a special education teacher at Haber Oaks and has been a part of District 155 for five years. In the nomination letter, he is described as “one of those teachers that genuinely want to see you succeed.”

“So many of our students come in feeling lost and it's our job to make them feel more comfortable in their own skin,” said Tony Moretti, “I think a lot of people don't realize we're a therapeutic day school and the social/emotional part is huge at HOC.  I feel like all the teachers, administration, paraprofessionals and service providers at Haber Oaks work so hard to make our students better citizens when they leave our school.”

The former student, who wrote the nomination letter, says Mr. Moretti helped her graduate from high school six months early and is the reason she went to college. Her touching letter about her path to success is the reason Star 105.5 and Home State Bank chose Mr. Moretti as the teacher of the month for January.

In addition to teaching, Moretti also coaches the Junior Varsity girls basketball and Junior Varsity softball teams at Crystal Lake South High School.

Read the nomination letter below.

"Mr Moretti is one of those teachers that genuinely want to see you succeed. I was a lost cause, on the verge of dropping out, I was transferred from my original high school to Haber Oaks my junior year. Mr. Moretti and I made a connection right off the bat. He helped me with all my classes, he helped me mental wise, he helped me find what I really wanted to do with my life. I use to just sit in his class room and silently do my work while he taught his class, he saw I enjoyed the class he was teaching and got me put into it right away. With Mr. Morretti helping me day by day, I was able to graduate 6 months early from high school. I was almost a school drop out and then Mr. Moretti literally put me back on my feet. Crazy to look back at and see what I accomplished. Because of Mr. Moretti, I went to college. He helped me with applying to colleges as well as getting into college. To this day he still helps me with my work. He helps me with my grades and classes, looks over my credits to make sure I’m on the right track, he’s even gotten me a tour of a forensics center as well as a ride along with the department because he knew that’s the major I wanted to go into. I would of never been able to be where I am today with out him being such an amazing teacher."