Friday, March 13, 2020

E-Learning Days Begin Monday
Here is an update on what is happening at Stevenson:

  • E-Learning Days will begin Monday.
  • We will use e-Learning Days March 16-20 and March 30-April 3.
  • Spring Break will still be observed March 23-27.
  • The tentative return date for on-campus classes is Monday, April 6.
  • Starting Saturday, March 14, all co-curricular activities, including athletics, are postponed or cancelled until further notice. Contact your coach or club sponsor for more information.
  • Students may come to the school until 2 p.m. today to collect items they may have left in their lockers. Beginning Saturday, March 14, the school building will be closed.

Visit d125.org/covid19 for more updates.

How Stevenson Will Communicate
Because there will be no student activities or events until at least April 6, the Daily Digest will suspend operations after today. The Digest will resume when in-person classes start again. In the meantime, look for updates from Stevenson at:

The school will continue to use its emergency notification system on an as-needed basis.

“White Fragility” Author Talk Moved to Online Only
Wednesday’s Digest included information on a Family Action Network event at 7 p.m. Monday featuring Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Her talk will now be livestreamed only, with no audience. Click here for details.

PATRIOT SPORTS

Thursday’s Varsity Results

Boys Water Polo
Stevenson 22, Conant 6: Junior Dima Kobets scored six goals for the host Patriots in their season-opening game. – Illpolo.com

Girls Water Polo
Stevenson 17, Conant 4: Junior Anna Gates scored seven goals and classmate Maggie Bauwens made 12 saves for the three-time defending state champions in their season opener in Hoffman Estates. SHS outscored the Cougars 13-0 over the first three quarters. Seniors Alena BardicShreya Sreedhar and Val Zlotnikova, and junior Maria Mossakowski all scored two goals. Senior Hanna Cloeter and junior Kayla Wadsworth also scored.

Quick Hits
The American Family Insurance Slam Dunk Championship, in which senior RJ Holmes was a finalist, has been canceled. … If you purchased tickets for tonight’s sectional basketball championship game, refunds will be available through the Patriot Superstore until 2 p.m. today or after in-person classes resume. Remember to save your ticket and bring it when seeking a refund.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Help Your Student Manage Stress, Anxiety
Parents and guardians can gain insights into how to help their teens manage stress and anxiety during “Supporting Our Teens’ Mental Health” from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, at the Vernon Area Public Library. The event is sponsored by the library and Stevenson High School.

The moderated discussion will include mental health experts such as Promila Kumar of Sanjeevani, a nonprofit providing free advocacy, support, and guidance to people dealing with mental health problems; Mara Heichman, a certified professional coach; Dori Mages, a licensed clinical social worker with North Shore Family Services; a counselor from Stevenson High School; and Vrushali Thakkar, a Stevenson senior and mental health advocate.

This program is free and open to all. Registration is required. Register through this link, or by calling 224-543-1485, or in person at any service desk in the Vernon Area Public Library.

Two Debaters Qualify for National Tournament
Six students represented Stevenson at the National Speech and Debate Association Northern Illinois District qualifying tournament Saturday at Huntley High School. Senior Sunny Gandhi and junior Laya Reddy earned bids to this summer’s national tournament in Albuquerque, N.M. Other SHS competitors Saturday were senior Megana Adigal, junior Maanav Agrawal, and sophomores Phil Edat and Amal Naqvi.

Encouraging Positive Risk-Taking for Teens
Stevenson‘s Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Coordinator, Molly Gosline, will share regular reflections during the school year in the Daily Digest. For more information on Molly and SEL at Stevenson, follow her on Twitter @mollygosline.

Over the next few weeks, Stevenson students will have the opportunity to discuss prosocial learning with their teachers by engaging in conversations around positivity, asset-based strategies for learning, and how to use their voice to impact their social and emotional growth in leading up to the first International #SEL Day. While taking risks is a healthy part of adolescent development, how we can support their growth in healthy ways is critical to guide them during their exploration for independence. The Greater Good Center at UCBerkeley identifies meaningful ways in which we can engage with students to best support them.

PATRIOT SPORTS

IHSA to Limit Sectional Game Attendance
The Illinois High School Association announced this morning that it will limit attendance at sectional boys basketball games this weekend to 60 fans per school. What this means for Stevenson’s sectional championship game at Prospect High School on Friday was unclear as of 10 a.m. today. For now, the school has stopped selling tickets for Friday night’s game. Anyone who has purchased tickets for Friday can obtain a refund by showing their ticket at the Patriot Superstore.

Friday’s game will be broadcast by WRLR starting at 6:55 p.m. The game can be heard on WRLR 98.3 FM, WRLR.FM, or by typing in WRLR in the Tune In Radio app.

Wednesday’s Varsity Results

Girls Track and Field
Stevenson 37, Lake Forest 35, Mundelein 33: The Patriots edged their two North Suburban Conference counterparts in the Field House. Each team won four events. For Stevenson, the individual winners were junior Jade Cadichon in the 160-meter dash (22.5 seconds), sophomore Mia Mikolajczak in the 55-meter intermediate hurdles (9.9 seconds), and junior Camille Clay in the shot put (38 feet). SHS also won the 640-meter relay (1:31.2). Senior Karolina Rutyna was second in the 55 intermediate hurdles (10.0), junior Varsha Vinod was runner-up in the high jump (4 feet, 6 inches), and junior Ellie Warren placed second in the 160 dash (23.5). Stevenson also took second in the 1,600 relay (5:02.7).

Boys Gymnastics
Mundelein 135.2, Libertyville 134.0, Stevenson 105.6: At Libertyville, senior Anthony Lang tied for fourth in floor exercise (8.1) and was fifth in vault (7.4) for the Patriots in their season-opening meet. Junior Beny Verezub tied for fourth on still rings (7.9) and tied for sixth on vault (7.3). Sophomore Tyler Ehlen was sixth on pommel horse (4.5). – Official Results | Daily Herald

Quick Hits
Due to the sectional basketball game on Friday, the baseball team’s fundraiser at The Claim Company in Vernon Hills has been rescheduled to Wednesday. … The Unified State Basketball Championships scheduled for this weekend as part of the Illinois High School Association Class 1A and 2A state finals experience have been canceled. Stevenson’s Allied Basketball team had qualified to play in the event. SHS finished third last year. … Maryville University senior Tyler Harrington (Class of 2016) has reached the NCAA Division II National Wrestling Championships for the second straight year. The 165-pounder, who earned All-America honors after finishing fourth at that weight last year, carries a 24-11 record into this weekend’s meet in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Graduation Speaker Applications Deadline March 30
Seniors interested in being one of the two speakers at the commencement ceremony in May are invited to apply. All application materials must be returned to the Student Activities Office by 3:45 p.m. Monday, March 30. Click here for the application.

COLLEGE
Tonight’s regional college fair at the College of Lake County and Saturday’s Suburban Chicago National College Fair has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

ILLINOIS EDUCATION NEWS

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday that the state is evaluating new federal guidance on limiting large public gatherings as cases of the new coronavirus in the state continued to mount. Pritzker criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday for not offering clear guidance on what constitutes a “large gathering,” but the agency later issued guidelines suggesting organizations in communities with minimal to moderate spread of the virus consider canceling events drawing more than 250 people.

The University of Chicago has become the latest Illinois university to take steps to reduce the spread of coronavirus, announcing Thursday it is moving to remote learning for undergraduate and graduate classes for the entire spring quarter beginning March 30. The announcement came a day after Illinois, Southern Illinois, DePaul, Northwestern and Illinois State universities announced the suspension of in-person classes due to coronavirus concerns.

A labor coalition led by the Chicago Teachers Union on Wednesday made a number of coronavirus-related demands during a City Hall news conference. The group called for 15 paid sick days a year, instead of the five mandated for Chicago employers, with the protection extended statewide. A citywide meals-on-wheels program, internet access and electronic devices for students forced to stay home were among the other demands.

NATIONAL EDUCATION NEWS

One of the few mercies of the spreading coronavirus is that it leaves young children virtually untouched — a mystery virologists say may hold vital clues as to how the virus works. Meanwhile, the new coronavirus has proved especially deadly on the other end of the age spectrum. Previous coronavirus outbreaks have also mysteriously spared the young.

Teachers in St. Paul, Minn. went on strike Tuesday, the first walkout in that district since 1946. The St. Paul Federation of Educators announced at 3 a.m. Tuesday that they couldn’t reach a deal on a new two-year contract despite 45 hours of mediation over the last four days.

For a generation, school bonds have been more or less a slam dunk in California. Locally and statewide, voters consistently have supported borrowing to build and maintain classrooms. Not this election. As the state slowly tallies the returns from Super Tuesday, the numbers are painting a decidedly unfamiliar picture. A $15 billion state bond measure looks like it will be the first rejected by voters in nearly three decades. Meanwhile, at the district level, some 70% of the 100-plus local K-12 school bond measures appeared bound for failure or too close to call.

Three former collegiate All-Americans filed a class-action complaint Wednesday against the NCAA, the NCAA board of governors and their former track and field coach for what they allege were dozens of incidents of sexual harassment and sexual abuse.The women argue the NCAA failed to protect them despite the schools being aware of the coach’s alleged abuse.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Scholastic Bowl Team Wins IHSA Regional
Stevenson’s Scholastic Bowl team won the Illinois High School Association Class 2A Fremd Regional championship in Palatine on Monday, its 14th consecutive regional title. SHS defeated Conant (790-70) and Rolling Meadows (840-40) before defeating Fremd (670-280) in the championship match.

The team roster included seniors Govind Prabhakar and Akash Kumar, juniors Arjun NageswaranDavid Lee and Daniel Ding, sophomore Spandan Goel, and freshmen Aadit JunejaRishabh WuppalapatiDhruv Pendharkar and Srikar Venkatesan.

The Patriots advance to Saturday’s sectional tournament, which also is being held at Fremd. Stevenson, the top seed, will face Hersey, Palatine and Barrington. The winner of Saturday’s sectional advances to the state finals Friday, March 20 in Peoria.

Pair Excels at Deaf Academic Competition
Two Stevenson students helped Hersey High School take first place at last weekend’s Midwest Regional Deaf Academic Bowl at the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf in Faribault, Minn. Senior Yael Lenga was named Most Outstanding Player for the second consecutive year, while sophomore Surabhi Gangadkar was one of six chosen as All-Star Players. Yael, Surabhi and their teammates qualified for the National Deaf Academic Bowl April 16-20 at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. This will be Yael’s third straight trip to nationals with Hersey.

Two Win Awards at State Art Exhibition
Two students won awards at the Illinois High School Art Exhibition on Sunday at Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago. Senior Ari Zaritsky earned a Silver Award in the Senior Scholarship Exhibition for his digital artwork. Junior Emma Potocki received honorable mention in the General Exhibition for her Time Arts animation.

Cause of Alumna‘s Death in Dispute
A legal battle is underway over whether the death of a Stevenson alumna should be ruled as an accidental overdose or as a drug-induced homicideValerie Teper (Class of 2003) was found dead in her Chicago apartment in late 2016. She died of poisoning from fentanyl.

Late Arrival on Thursday
Stevenson will operate on a late arrival schedule Thursday to allow for teacher planning time. Classes will start at 10:30 a.m., and bus routes will begin at 9:20. Click here to see the bell schedule for a late arrival day.

“White Fragility” Author to Speak Monday
Stevenson is one of the newest sponsors of the Family Action Network, which organizes a free speaker series each academic year. The next FAN event will feature Robin DiAngelo, author of the 2018 New York Times best-selling book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. Her talk takes place at 7 p.m. Monday in the Evanston Township High School Auditorium, 1600 Dodge Ave., in Evanston. Admission is free. A live stream of the talk will be available on YouTube. DiAngelo is an associate professor of education at the University of Washington. She also has written What Does It Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy, and is co-author of Is Everybody Really Equal?

PATRIOT SPORTS

Tuesday’s Varsity Results

Boys Basketball
Stevenson 61, Zion-Benton 52: Senior Matthew Ambrose scored a career-high 31 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead the top-seeded Patriots (28-4) past the fifth-seeded Zee-Bees (21-11), and into the sectional championship game against No. 2 seed Mundelein (30-4) at 7 p.m. Friday. Matthew (pictured above) scored 21 points in the first half, including eight during a 14-0 SHS run that erased an early 11-2 deficit. On the night, he hit nine of 12 shots from the floor, including five of six from 3-point range for SHS, which won its 11th game in a row. Senior RJ Holmes had 12 points and nine rebounds, and classmate Matt Kaznikov also scored 12 points. – Pioneer PressDaily Herald

Sectional Championship Game Tickets: Tickets are available at the Patriot Superstore before school and during lunch periods Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Tickets are $6.

Quick Hits
Four Patriots were named to the All-North Suburban Conference Wrestling Team: Senior Randy Lu, junior Keegan Houlihan, sophomore Cole Rhemrev, and freshman Lorenzo Frezza. Honorable mention went to juniors Arad PeregoudovAlex Swidler and Kei Yamato. … The SHS baseball team is holding a fundraiser from 11:15 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at The Claim Company, 506 Hawthorn Center, in Vernon Hills. Mention “Stevenson Baseball” when ordering and 15% of the bill will come back to the baseball program.

“Bowling With Buddies” Coming Next Month
Students with disabilities are invited to participate in “Bowling With Buddies,” sponsored by the Buffalo Grove Commission for Residents with Disabilities and Rotary Club of Buffalo Grove. The event takes place from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, April 30 at Bowlero, 350 McHenry Rd., in Buffalo Grove. Free bowling, pizza, chicken fingers and refreshments will be served. RSVP at this link by April 8. This event is open to the first 100 who sign up. Email questions to markweiner1026@gmail.com.

CAREERS
Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital’s Health Care Career Night scheduled for April 1 has been canceled.

ATHLETICS
Student-athletes who are freshmen, transfers or upperclassmen in athletics for the first time are required to attend one 30-minute meeting led by the athletic director during the 2019-20 school year. Meetings will be held on late-arrival days. The next opportunity is at 9:45 a.m. Thursday in the West Auditorium. The doors close once the meeting starts. Topics to be covered include: expectations of and leadership opportunities for student-athletes; the Co-Curricular Code of Conduct; sportsmanship; sports health and nutrition; and Stevenson Athletics’ awards program. Attendance will be taken by scanning student IDs.

ILLINOIS EDUCATION NEWS

Eight schools in west suburban Lombard are closed today as a precaution over COVID-19 while Chicago Public Schools says it has no plans for any widespread closures. Classes at Lombard School District 44 are closed as crews conduct a deep clean. The district also cancelled afterschool activities. School officials said the DuPage County Health Department advised them that an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 attended a volleyball game at Glenn Westlake Middle School on March 4. The school was informed Tuesday.

A Lake Forest High School faculty member is under a self-quarantine because of coronavirus concerns after attending a meeting that was held in the same room at a Chicago school where a classroom assistant tested positive for the disease.

A Park Ridge teacher is facing hate crime and battery charges for an incident in Niles, police said. The 45-year-old fourth-grade teacher at Franklin School allegedly struck an 87-year-old woman in the face with a purse and called her a Nazi. The victim said the teacher was upset because the victim was exercising in an indoor parking garage where they both live, police said.

Angry parents chastised Sunset Ridge School District 29 in Northfield after learning the district broke the law by not conducting a background check themselves – instead relying on third party vendors — on a school worker who is accused of putting a camera in a middle school bathroom.

Students and faculty at Schaumburg High School grappled Tuesday with the sudden passing of popular science teacher Jason Georgacakis. The 38-year-old and his wife, a teacher at Glenbrook South, had two young daughters. Georgacakis, a Glenbrook North graduate, spent his entire career at Schaumburg, beginning in 2005. He also was the school’s junior varsity girls soccer coach, and was a coach in the boys program for 10 years.

NATIONAL EDUCATION NEWS

A growing wave of colleges and universities across the country are launching sweeping safety measures in response to the growing coronavirus outbreak, including the cancellation of in-person classes and several urging students to not return to campus after spring break. As colleges turn to online learning for the remainder of the school year, many have also canceled admission tours and put tight restrictions on campus gatherings and travel.

A federal program overseeing international students in the U.S. said it will be flexible with its oversight requirements as the global coronavirus outbreak causes colleges to make classes remote. The guidance covers international students in academic and vocational programs, a critical part of the college student population in the U.S.

Alabama on Tuesday inched forward with lifting a decades-old ban on yoga in public schools. The House-passed bill says local school systems can decide if they want to teach yoga poses and stretches. However, the moves and exercises taught to students must have exclusively English names. The Alabama Board of Education in 1993 voted to prohibit yoga, hypnosis and meditation in public school classrooms.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

SHS Third at State Academic Challenge
Stevenson earned a pair of third-place finishes at the annual Academic Challenge on Friday at Eastern Illinois University. SHS placed third in the 9/10 Division, and the 11/12 Division. The 9/10 roster included sophomore Spandan Goel, and freshmen Collin FanAndrey VlasovAadit JunejaBen Chen and Jack Chen. The 11/12 roster featured juniors Krishna PatelDoogyul LeePhyllis WangRichard BiAditi SinghSean LiLily Ma and Sophia Li. Academic Challenge is a test-based competition hosted by EIU’s physics department and pre-engineering program. Students solve real-world engineering problems using engineering, applied mathematics and science principles.

Conneen Featured in Daily Herald
Advanced Placement Government teacher Andrew Conneen, who has spent 22 of his 26 years in teaching at Stevenson, was featured by the Daily Herald on Monday. Conneen has helped to raise the profile of civics education not only at SHS, but around the country. He and retiring colleague Daniel Larsen helped write the “Suffrage at 17” law that allows 17-year-olds who turn 18 before a November general election to vote in the preceding primary. The pair also have been springtime fixtures on C-SPAN with their “Cram for the Exam” show aimed at students preparing to take the annual AP Government test.

Showcase, PPA-Sponsored Talent Show, Returns Saturday
Showcase, the annual student talent show sponsored by the Patriot Parent Association, will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Performing Arts Center. Reserved tickets are available for $10. You can purchase tickets online until noon Saturday through this link, or during all lunch periods via cash, check or student ID until noon Friday in the Wood Commons. Tickets will be $12 (cash only) at the door on Saturday.

Band Fundraisers Today and Thursday
The Band Parents Organization is holding fundraisers today and Thursday at two area restaurants. Today’s fundraiser runs from 4-8 p.m. at Panera, 447 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Vernon Hills. Thursday’s fundraiser takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Strawberry Field and Pancakes, 410 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Lincolnshire. Mention “SHS Band” when ordering at either location.

Marijuana’s Impact on the Teen Brain
Stevenson‘s Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, Dr. Cristina Cortesi, will share regular reflections during the school year in the Daily Digest. For more information on Dr. Cortesi and the substance abuse prevention program, visit her web page.

There have been numerous studies that demonstrate the harmful short- and long-term effects marijuana has on the teen brain. It can:

  • Impair thinking, memory, and learning functions.
  • Affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for learning.

It has also been linked to:

  • Reduction in IQ by an average of eight points.
  • Breathing problems and lung infections.
  • Mental illness including anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and schizophrenia.

For more information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse , click here.

PATRIOT SPORTS

Boys Basketball Sectional Semifinal Tonight
Two lengthy winning streaks are on the line when Stevenson takes on Zion-Benton in the Illinois High School Association Class 4A Prospect Sectional semifinals at 6 o’clock tonight at Prospect High School. Mundelein (29-4) faces Prospect (14-15) in the second semifinal at 7:30. The winners of tonight’s semifinals will play for the sectional championship at 7 p.m. Friday.

The top-seeded Patriots (27-4) have won 10 straight games, while the fifth-seeded Zee-Bees (21-10) bring a six-game winning streak into the contest. The two schools have met twice already this season, with SHS capturing both games: 57-44 on Dec. 13 in the Sports Center, and 61-51 on Feb. 1 in Zion.

Pre-sale tickets are available for $6 at the Patriot Superstore during lunch periods today. (Admission to the Stevenson game does not cover the second semifinal between Mundelein and Prospect.)

Will RJ Holmes Be Dunking in Atlanta? You Decide
Final-round voting for senior RJ Holmes in the American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk Championship begins at noon today at www.highschoolslam.com. RJ is matched against Kobe Jones of South Granville High School in Creedmoor, N.C. Voting ends at noon Tuesday, March 17. The winner of the final round will join several other peers in Atlanta, home of this year’s NCAA men’s basketball Final Four, for a live dunking competition next month. RJ talked about his dunking prowess with Pioneer Press correspondent Bob Narang.

Two Named Semper Fidelis Finalists
Two SHS student-athletes are among 13 Illinois finalists in the 2020 Semper Fidelis All-American competition sponsored by the United States Marine Corps. Haley Barnes and Jason Jagielo, both juniors, were among thousands of applicants for the honor, which rewards 11th-grade students who have a minimum 3.5 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale), are active in community service and at least one team sport, and who hold a student or community leadership position. Haley is a member of the SHS softball and girls basketball team, while Jason is on the baseball team. Semper Fidelis All-Americans will be named in the coming weeks; those selected will be recognized for their achievements July 9-13 at the Battles Won Academy in Washington, D.C.

COLLEGE
The Palumbo Family Foundation, a local foundation offering scholarships to local high school seniors and college undergraduates, is accepting applications for 2020 until March 31. Last year, a Stevenson student received a $10,000 scholarship from the foundation. Approximately $125,000 in scholarships will be awarded this year. Apply online at www.palumbofoundation.org.

ILLINOIS EDUCATION NEWS

No students or other employees have tested positive so far for the new coronavirus at Chicago’s Vaughn Occupational High School, where a classroom assistant is hospitalized with the illness. However, two of the four new cases reported in Chicago on Monday are relatives of the Vaughn classroom assistant, state officials announced. Those two people — a woman in her 50s and a woman in her 70s — are not employees of Chicago Public Schools.

The chairman of the House Revenue and Finance Committee says that a task force set up last year to provide proposals for reforming the state’s property tax system was unable reach a consensus. State Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-Riverside, made his comment Friday in response to criticism leveled by House Republicans who complained the task force never issued a final report, which was due Jan. 1.

NATIONAL EDUCATION NEWS

As more schools across the United States close their doors because of the coronavirus, they are confronted with a dilemma in weighing whether to shut down and move classes online, which could leave behind the many students who don’t have computers, home internet access or parents with flexible work schedules. The deep technological and wealth gap that exists nationwide between poor and affluent students has made the coronavirus outbreak even more challenging for school officials, who are wrestling with not only health and safety decisions but also questions about the ethics of school closures.

One year after the “Varsity Blues” scandal raised questions about fairness in college admissions, six leaders of some of the country’s most selective colleges say they, too, have questions. They take responsibility for some of the public’s mistrust of higher education. But they also say Americans’ obsession with being the best in all avenues of life is partially to blame.

An increasing number of black students in the U.S. say they are being penalized by schools for their hair styles. The problem lies in the policies, experts say, which don’t necessarily take into account an increasingly diverse student body, to the detriment of mostly black and biracial schoolchildren.

Two Kent State students shot and wounded by members of the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, have been selected as commencement speakers at the university this spring. Both students went on to careers in education after the tragedy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

SHS Third at State Academic Challenge
Stevenson earned a pair of third-place finishes at the annual Academic Challenge on Friday at Eastern Illinois University. SHS placed third in the 9/10 Division, and the 11/12 Division. The 9/10 roster included sophomore Spandan Goel, and freshmen Collin FanAndrey VlasovAadit JunejaBen Chen and Jack Chen. The 11/12 roster featured juniors Krishna PatelDoogyul LeePhyllis WangRichard BiAditi SinghSean LiLily Ma and Sophia Li. Academic Challenge is a test-based competition hosted by EIU’s physics department and pre-engineering program. Students solve real-world engineering problems using engineering, applied mathematics and science principles.

Conneen Featured in Daily Herald
Advanced Placement Government teacher Andrew Conneen, who has spent 22 of his 26 years in teaching at Stevenson, was featured by the Daily Herald on Monday. Conneen has helped to raise the profile of civics education not only at SHS, but around the country. He and retiring colleague Daniel Larsen helped write the “Suffrage at 17” law that allows 17-year-olds who turn 18 before a November general election to vote in the preceding primary. The pair also have been springtime fixtures on C-SPAN with their “Cram for the Exam” show aimed at students preparing to take the annual AP Government test.

Showcase, PPA-Sponsored Talent Show, Returns Saturday
Showcase, the annual student talent show sponsored by the Patriot Parent Association, will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Performing Arts Center. Reserved tickets are available for $10. You can purchase tickets online until noon Saturday through this link, or during all lunch periods via cash, check or student ID until noon Friday in the Wood Commons. Tickets will be $12 (cash only) at the door on Saturday.

Band Fundraisers Today and Thursday
The Band Parents Organization is holding fundraisers today and Thursday at two area restaurants. Today’s fundraiser runs from 4-8 p.m. at Panera, 447 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Vernon Hills. Thursday’s fundraiser takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Strawberry Field and Pancakes, 410 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Lincolnshire. Mention “SHS Band” when ordering at either location.

Marijuana’s Impact on the Teen Brain
Stevenson‘s Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, Dr. Cristina Cortesi, will share regular reflections during the school year in the Daily Digest. For more information on Dr. Cortesi and the substance abuse prevention program, visit her web page.

There have been numerous studies that demonstrate the harmful short- and long-term effects marijuana has on the teen brain. It can:

  • Impair thinking, memory, and learning functions.
  • Affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for learning.

It has also been linked to:

  • Reduction in IQ by an average of eight points.
  • Breathing problems and lung infections.
  • Mental illness including anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and schizophrenia.

For more information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse , click here.

PATRIOT SPORTS

Boys Basketball Sectional Semifinal Tonight
Two lengthy winning streaks are on the line when Stevenson takes on Zion-Benton in the Illinois High School Association Class 4A Prospect Sectional semifinals at 6 o’clock tonight at Prospect High School. Mundelein (29-4) faces Prospect (14-15) in the second semifinal at 7:30. The winners of tonight’s semifinals will play for the sectional championship at 7 p.m. Friday.

The top-seeded Patriots (27-4) have won 10 straight games, while the fifth-seeded Zee-Bees (21-10) bring a six-game winning streak into the contest. The two schools have met twice already this season, with SHS capturing both games: 57-44 on Dec. 13 in the Sports Center, and 61-51 on Feb. 1 in Zion.

Pre-sale tickets are available for $6 at the Patriot Superstore during lunch periods today. (Admission to the Stevenson game does not cover the second semifinal between Mundelein and Prospect.)

Will RJ Holmes Be Dunking in Atlanta? You Decide
Final-round voting for senior RJ Holmes in the American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk Championship begins at noon today at www.highschoolslam.com. RJ is matched against Kobe Jones of South Granville High School in Creedmoor, N.C. Voting ends at noon Tuesday, March 17. The winner of the final round will join several other peers in Atlanta, home of this year’s NCAA men’s basketball Final Four, for a live dunking competition next month. RJ talked about his dunking prowess with Pioneer Press correspondent Bob Narang.

Two Named Semper Fidelis Finalists
Two SHS student-athletes are among 13 Illinois finalists in the 2020 Semper Fidelis All-American competition sponsored by the United States Marine Corps. Haley Barnes and Jason Jagielo, both juniors, were among thousands of applicants for the honor, which rewards 11th-grade students who have a minimum 3.5 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale), are active in community service and at least one team sport, and who hold a student or community leadership position. Haley is a member of the SHS girls basketball team, while Jason is on the baseball team. Semper Fidelis All-Americans will be named in the coming weeks; those selected will be recognized for their achievements July 9-13 at the Battles Won Academy in Washington, D.C.

COLLEGE
The Palumbo Family Foundation, a local foundation offering scholarships to local high school seniors and college undergraduates, is accepting applications for 2020 until March 31. Last year, a Stevenson student received a $10,000 scholarship from the foundation. Approximately $125,000 in scholarships will be awarded this year. Apply online at www.palumbofoundation.org.

ILLINOIS EDUCATION NEWS

No students or other employees have tested positive so far for the new coronavirus at Chicago’s Vaughn Occupational High School, where a classroom assistant is hospitalized with the illness. However, two of the four new cases reported in Chicago on Monday are relatives of the Vaughn classroom assistant, state officials announced. Those two people — a woman in her 50s and a woman in her 70s — are not employees of Chicago Public Schools.

The chairman of the House Revenue and Finance Committee says that a task force set up last year to provide proposals for reforming the state’s property tax system was unable reach a consensus. State Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-Riverside, made his comment Friday in response to criticism leveled by House Republicans who complained the task force never issued a final report, which was due Jan. 1.

NATIONAL EDUCATION NEWS

As more schools across the United States close their doors because of the coronavirus, they are confronted with a dilemma in weighing whether to shut down and move classes online, which could leave behind the many students who don’t have computers, home internet access or parents with flexible work schedules. The deep technological and wealth gap that exists nationwide between poor and affluent students has made the coronavirus outbreak even more challenging for school officials, who are wrestling with not only health and safety decisions but also questions about the ethics of school closures.

One year after the “Varsity Blues” scandal raised questions about fairness in college admissions, six leaders of some of the country’s most selective colleges say they, too, have questions. They take responsibility for some of the public’s mistrust of higher education. But they also say Americans’ obsession with being the best in all avenues of life is partially to blame.

An increasing number of black students in the U.S. say they are being penalized by schools for their hair styles. The problem lies in the policies, experts say, which don’t necessarily take into account an increasingly diverse student body, to the detriment of mostly black and biracial schoolchildren.

Two Kent State students shot and wounded by members of the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, have been selected as commencement speakers at the university this spring. Both students went on to careers in education after the tragedy.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Scholastic Bowl Team Wins Masonic State Title
The varsity Scholastic Bowl team won the Class 3A Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl state championship in Bloomington on Saturday. This is the fourth Masonic Bowl state title for Stevenson, which also won top honors in 2000, 2011 and 2017.

The six-student roster of seniors Akash Kumar and Govind Prabhakar, and juniors Billy BrattonDaniel DingDavid Lee and Arjun Nageswaran went undefeated on the day, defeating the Illinois Math and Science Academy, 300-190, in the championship match. The team’s road to the title also included a 280-220 semifinal win over Barrington, four pool victories over Hinsdale Central (310-240), Rockford Auburn (340-130), Morton (410-120) and Dunlap (forfeit), and a 300-210 crossover triumph against Springfield. The boys received $1,500 for winning the championship.

Next up for Stevenson is the Illinois High School Scholastic Bowl regional tournament today at Fremd High School. The Patriots are among eight teams in the regional. The regional winner advances to the sectional tournament, also at Fremd, on Saturday. Stevenson is the No. 1 seed in the Fremd Sectional.

Two 3D Archers Win State Titles; SHS Second as a Team
Stevenson placed second as a team and had two individual champions at the Illinois Scholastic 3D Archery Indoor State Championship at Wabash Valley College in Mount Carmel. Senior Caitlin Goldberg won the High School Female Barebow title, while junior David Bayer captured the High School Male Barebow crown. Junior Rayna Finn and sophomore Alicia Zheng were second and third, respectively, in Caitlin’s division. Junior JP Gordon was runner-up to David, while sophomore Jackson Esposito was second in High School Male Olympic Recurve. Also, senior Madison Higgins, shooting for the Kenosha Bowmen team, placed third in High School Female Bow Hunter Compound. Students placing first, second and third received scholarship offers.

Science Olympiad Teams Claim Regional Crowns
Stevenson swept the Illinois Science Olympiad regional tournament Saturday at the College of Lake County, winning the varsity and junior varsity divisions. The varsity, defending state champions, breezed past 14 other schools, defeating runner-up Vernon Hills, 33-133. SHS will defend its title at the state competition April 18 at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

The varsity won 18 of 23 events at CLC, while the JV also captured 18 in its division. Here were the winning teams, by event:

  • Anatomy and Physiology: Senior Radha Patel and sophomore Greycen Ren (varsity); junior Hannah Liu and freshman Joshua Song (JV).
  • Boomilever: Juniors Emily Liu and Phyllis Wang (varsity); freshmen Eleana Liu and Iris Li (JV).
  • Chemistry Lab: Freshman Kevin Qian and sophomore Jonny Abraham (JV).
  • Circuit Lab: Junior Richard Bi and senior Joshua Tsai (varsity); freshman Srikar Venkatesan and Kevin Qian (JV).
  • Codebuster: Joshua Tsai, and seniors Eric Gan and Roy Zhou (varsity); junior Chaitanya Vengali, Joshua Song and Srikar Venkatesan (JV).
  • Designer Genes: Hannah Liu (JV).
  • Detector Building: Juniors Sneha Mohan and Krishna Patel (varsity); freshman Siddhant Sen and sophomore Felix Lu (JV).
  • Disease Detectives: Radha Patel and Greycen Ren (varsity); Siddant Sen and Hannah Liu (JV).
  • Dynamic Planet: Senior Anna Wang and junior Jared Machtinger (varsity); freshman Alisha Kulkarni and Felix Lu (JV).
  • Experimental Design: Chaitanya Vengali, Eleana Liu and Jonny Abraham (JV).
  • Forensics: Jonny Abraham and sophomore Ben Mun (JV).
  • Fossils: Anna Wang and Emily Liu (varsity).
  • GeoLogic Mapping: Anna Wang and Jared Machtinger (varsity); Felix Lu and Alisha Kulkarni (JV).
  • Gravity Vehicle: Krishna Patel and Radha Patel (varsity).
  • Machines: Richard Bi and Jared Machtinger (varsity); Felix Lu and Kevin Qian (JV).
  • Ornithology: Emily Liu and Sneha Mohan (varsity); freshmen Trisha Mondal and Anthony Kholoshenko (JV).
  • Ping Pong Parachute: Sneha Mohan and Krishna Patel (varsity); Jonny Abraham and Srikar Venkatesan (JV).
  • Protein Modeling: Roy Zhou, senior Shannon Kang and Eric Gan (varsity); Siddhant Sen, Hannah Liu and Anthony Kholoshenko (JV).
  • Sounds of Music: Senior Erin Yuan and Joshua Tsai (varsity).
  • Water Quality: Anna Wang and Erin Yuan (varsity); Iris Li and Josh Song (JV).
  • Wright Stuff: Sneha Mohan and Krishna Patel (varsity); Siddhant Sen and Eleana Liu (JV).
  • Write It Do It: Erin Yuan and Roy Zhou (varsity).

PATRIOT SPORTS

Boys Basketball Team Wins Regional Championship
The boys basketball team defeated Highland Park, 37-31, on Friday for the IHSA Class 4A Stevenson Regional championship. The title was the second straight for SHS, its sixth in the last eight seasons, and its 13th in program history.

Stevenson (27-4) will face Zion-Benton (21-10) in the Prospect Sectional semifinals at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Prospect High School. The teams met twice during the North Suburban Conference season, with SHS winning both contests. Pre-sale tickets are available for $6 at the Patriot Superstore during lunch periods today and Tuesday, and before school Tuesday. (Admission to the Stevenson game does not cover the second semifinal between Mundelein and Prospect.)

Friday’s victory was the 10th straight for Stevenson, and the 450th in the career of head coach Pat Ambrose. The Patriots, the top seed in the sectional, bolted out to an 11-0 lead and never trailed. However, the ninth-seeded Giants (19-11) refused to quit, eventually pulling within two points, 27-25, with 6:08 remaining. Stevenson responded with a 5-0 flurry that featured a basket by senior Matt Kaznikov and a 3-pointer from classmate John Ittounas. Matt finished with 10 points, and also had six rebounds and two assists, while John added seven points and four assists. Senior RJ Holmes recorded 10 points and 11 rebounds for Stevenson, which outrebounded Highland Park, 28-10. – NFHS Network replay | Daily HeraldNews-Sun

Friday’s Varsity Results

Boys Track and Field
Stevenson 64, Cary-Grove 31, Vernon Hills 10: Senior Shane Johnson won the 55-meter and 300-meter dashes in the Field House for the Patriots. He posted times of 6.4 seconds in the 55 and 38.9 seconds in the 300. Other individual winners for SHS included freshman Stephen Freihammer in the high jump (5 feet, 8 inches), junior Asher Mason in the 55-meter intermediate hurdles (8.2), senior Anthony Rodriguez in the 1,600 (4:42.5) and senior Jahleel Perrin in the 160 dash (18.8). Stevenson also won the 640 relay (1:16.1).

COLLEGE
The law firm of McKinney, Tucker and Lemel is sponsoring a scholarship contest connected to lowering drunk driving rates. The firm will be offering two scholarships for the top two essays or “video essays” responding to this question: “Have you or someone you know been affected by drunk driving? In what ways has it made or would it make you a safer driver?” Submissions are due by Friday, June 5. The winners will be announced on July 3. Click here for more details.

ILLINOIS EDUCATION NEWS

Loyola Academy canceled classes on Monday after officials at the private high school in north suburban Wilmette learned that a student and the student’s family had contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus. Classes also have been canceled at Vaughn Occupational High School in Chicago, after a special education assistant was hospitalized with the virus.

Northern Illinois University is partnering with Rock Valley College in Rockford on an engineering program aimed at growing the pipeline of trained workers in the state’s engineering and manufacturing industries. The program also is including high-schoolers, some of whom will be eligible to take courses.

Buffalo Grove High School on Friday officially opened its state-of-the-art Saul Ploplys Automation and Technology Lab, named after a now-retired AP Physics teacher at the school and made possible by a $1 million donation by one of his former students.

A Nobel Prize-winning physics professor donated papers from more than 50 years of work to the University of Illinois Archives, the university announced last week. Anthony Leggett was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics for contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids. He has been a physics professor at the university since 1983.

NATIONAL EDUCATION NEWS

College completion rates are rising in most states, according to data released last week by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Of the 45 states for which recent data were available, 43 showed increasing completion rates. The states with the largest increases in completion rates were Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, New York, California, Utah, Iowa, Nevada and North Carolina.

Governors’ annual State of the State addresses are windows into what’s likely to be at the top of state education agendas in the coming year — and what’s not. A Georgetown think tank’s analysis of 41 gubernatorial speeches delivered so far this year found that while every state leader highlighted the importance of education, the governors talked a lot more about expanding educational opportunities than improving the performance of the nation’s schools and colleges.

The Dallas Independent School District has approved plans to install video cameras in all special-education classrooms. The cameras are intended to improve safety for students and help officials investigate incidents if they occur, but some say there are concerns related to privacy. The school board’s move was over the objections of Superintendent Michael Hinojosa.

A high school graduates only 65% of its students. Does that mean it’s a bad school? Most would assume yes. In fact, federal law requires that high schools with graduation rates below 67% be flagged as low-performing. But what if that high school serves only students who were unlikely to graduate at all? Is that school actually doing a worse job than the school with a 90% graduation rate serving mostly affluent students? In a new report, researchers argue for a different way to judge high schools.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Math Team Finishes Second in League
Stevenson concluded its North Suburban Math League season on Thursday, finishing second out of 53 schools. The Patriots were runner-up to Naperville North after the five-meet season, with a final team score of 1,537-1,491. Stevenson captured the freshman division, was third in the senior and sophomore categories, and placed sixth in juniors and 11th in orals.

Seven Patriots had perfect papers at the final meet on Thursday: seniors Philena LiuRichard Liu and Josh Tsai, junior Ram Potham, sophomore Andrew Liu, and freshmen Ben Chen and Jack Chen. Philena also won the John Benson Award, named in honor of one of the league’s founders and its president from 1977-2008. The award is given to the student in each division who “best exemplifies (his) love of mathematics and his passion to share his enthusiasm and knowledge with others.” She had the fourth-highest point total among all seniors this season. Collin Fan was fourth among all freshmen, Lillian You placed seventh in the sophomore division, junior Gyeongwon (James) Kim was eighth in orals, and Ram finished 10th among juniors.

The SHS math faculty members serving as freshman coaches are Eric AndersonAnna RenkenMegan TrantTerie daPonte and Mary Smaga.

St. Baldrick’s “Brave the Shave” Fundraiser March 14
The National Honor Society will hold its biannual St. Baldrick’s fundraiser from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 14 in the Wood Commons. St. Baldrick’s seeks to increase awareness for various forms of childhood cancer and raise funds for related research efforts. Two years ago, 26 people at SHS raised more than $30,000 by having their heads shaved (or dyed). If you would like to make a donation, click here.

Alumna’s Group Expands Prevention Efforts
Stevenson alumna Chelsea Laliberte Barnes (Class of 2003), co-founder and executive director of the substance abuse prevention group Live4Lali, unveiled its new mobile outreach program recently. The group’s first vehicle, the Stigma Crusher, will provide support and harm reduction services in high-needs areas within the northern and western collar counties. The vehicle will carry supplies such as the overdose reversal drug naloxone, clean needles, Benadryl and other basic medicines, plus clothing and food. Live4Lali is named for her brother, Alex Laliberte (Class of 2007), who died from a heroin overdose in 2008.

Junior Writes Fashionable Look at “E-Girls”
“Why are teens suddenly walking around with black hearts under their eyes and dressed like modern-day Jane Lanes?” That’s the provocative lead sentence in a piece sophomore Victoria Feng wrote recently for New York magazine, which has gained additional traction after being shared by Apple News. Victoria talked to several online influencers to find out their latest fashion favorites.

PATRIOT SPORTS

Boys Basketball Team Seeks Regional Title Tonight
The varsity boys basketball team takes on Highland Park for the Illinois High School Association Class 4A Stevenson Regional championship at 7 p.m. tonight in the Sports Center. The winner of tonight’s game advances to the Prospect Sectional semifinals at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The Patriots are the No. 1 seed in the sectional, and carry a 26-4 record into tonight’s contest. SHS is seeking its second straight regional title and sixth in the last eight seasons. A victory tonight would mark the 10th straight for the Patriots, and the 450th of head coach Pat Ambrose’s career.

The ninth-seeded Giants are 19-10, winners of four in a row, and going for their first regional crown since 2014. The two teams have not met this season. Last year, Stevenson defeated Highland Park, 49-37, in the Lake Forest Regional semifinals during its run to the Class 4A supersectional. A livestream of tonight’s game can be seen at Stevenson’s NFHS Network page.

Quick Hits
Three girls basketball players were named to the Daily Herald Lake County All-Area Team today: Senior Avery King and sophomores Ava Bardic and Simone Sawyer. Junior Nikki Ware received honorable mention. Avery and Simone earned the honor for the second time. … Senior RJ Holmes is poised to reach the final round of the American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk Championship, but his quest for the title will be delayed. Contest organizers announced that the website went down for around 90 minutes on Thursday, the final day of voting in the third round. The voting window will re-open for the third round from 10:30 a.m. to noon Monday at http://www.highschoolslam.com/. Voting for the fourth and final round will start at noon Tuesday, and conclude at noon Tuesday, March 17.

One Acts Audition, Crew Information Online
Anyone interested in being part of the Patriot Theatre Company’s annual One Acts this spring can find all the information they need in this document for cast and crew. Crew sign-ups are open until Wednesday, March 18, and auditions will take place on Monday, March 16.

CLUBS
The Breakfast with Books Club is meeting at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday in the upper ILC. All students are welcome; the only requirement is a love for reading!

COLLEGE
Hundreds of college representatives will be in attendance at a pair of college fairs next week. The Illinois Regional College Fair will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the College of Lake County’s Grayslake campus. On Saturday, March 14, the Spring Suburban Chicago National College Fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. Register for free at www.gotomyncf.com.

CAREERS
Students are invited to attend the annual Summer Job Fair during all lunch periods Friday, March 13 in Room 2104. Many area employers will have representatives on hand, including Chick-fil-A, Code Ninjas, several day camps, local park districts, North Suburban YMCA and more. For questions, contact Mrs. Willock at dwillock@d125.org.

ILLINOIS EDUCATION NEWS

Italian American civic groups on Wednesday said the Chicago Board of Education broke the law by dropping Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples Day because there was no prior notice of the change. However, the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans stopped short of threatening a lawsuit.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s fourth Day of Giving on Wednesday raised more than $1.6 million, officials said. The total reflects more than 2,441 individual gifts from 43 states and 10 countries.

Student journalists say proposed updates to Naperville District 203’s policy on student publications goes against the law passed by Illinois a few years ago to protect students’ free speech rights. Administrators and the district’s attorney are taking another look at the policy’s language after students from the district’s two high schools appealed to the school board at a recent meeting.

District 105, which serves south La Grange, Countryside and Hodgkins, has selected Brian Ganan as its new superintendent. He comes from District 94 in North Riverside, where he has served as superintendent since 2015.

NATIONAL EDUCATION NEWS

After decades of declining enrollment, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are seeing an uptick in new applicants, especially among Latino and international students.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is emphasizing mediation as a way to quickly resolve Title IX complaints from victims of sexual violence as well as those accused of it, according to Education Dive. The impetus behind the department’s actions is unclear.

Although cheerleading is second only to football in injuries sustained by high school and college athletes, it is not officially recognized as a sport by the NCAA or federal Title IX guidelines. Title IX, the section of the Education Amendments of 1972 requiring that men and women be treated equally academically, prohibits gender-based discrimination in sports.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Wednesday announced that same-sex romantic behavior is still “not compatible” with recent changes to the honor code at Brigham Young University.

Purdue University and its president, Mitch Daniels, are objects of curiosity and even wonderment in the world of higher education. Since his arrival in 2013, tuition and fees have remained the same, and the price of food service and textbooks has declined.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Summer School “Deadline” is Friday
Friday is a “deadline” of sorts for families thinking of enrolling their students in summer school. After Friday, course sections will be determined and staff hired based on enrollment figures. Students registered for a summer school course by Friday are much less likely to face a class cancellation due to insufficient enrollment than those who enroll after Friday. All registrations will be handled on a space-available basis after Friday. See our summer school web page for the 2020 course catalog and to register.

Winter Play Opens Tonight
Oscar Wilde’s classic play, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” is the Patriot Theatre Company’s winter production for the 2019-20 school year. The play will be performed at 7 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday in the West Auditorium. Tickets are $6, and can be purchased online or at the door. Here is a PDF of the playbill, which includes a listing of cast and crew.

Former SHS Teacher is Artist of the Month
Professional artist, graphic designer and former Stevenson art teacher Donna Stewart Hickman is the SHS Art Department’s Visiting Artist of the Months of March and April. An exhibition of her paintings will be on display in the Visiting Artist Gallery through April 24, and she will discuss her work and her career during an ARTalk at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 12. Her website is www.donnastewarthickman.com. She worked at Stevenson from 1998 to 2010.

Juniors Taking Illinois Science Assessment Next Week
All juniors will be taking the Illinois Science Assessment on Monday or Tuesday. Some students will be tested Monday and the others on Tuesday; some will take the exam in the morning and some in the afternoon. Students should check their SHS email for details. Juniors will use their Stevenson iPad for the exam, and need to do the following:

  • Update the iPad operating system (OS) to 13.3.1.
  • Remove the ISA 2019 app.
  • Install the ISA 2020 app from the Self Service app, which is already installed on the iPad.

Juniors also will need to bring these for the exam, in addition to their iPad:

  • Wired headphones that plug into the iPad if they want to use text-to-speech
  • Their school ID
  • Non-science reading materials in case they finish early
  • Calculator (following SAT guidelines)

Juniors should make sure their iPad has 100% power prior to taking the exam. Anyone needing help can visit the SMARTdesk (Room 3014 in the Link) before 4 p.m. Friday.

Capturing the Festive Atmosphere at Night Market
Pioneer Press reporter-photographer stopped by Saturday’s D125 Night Market, an event featuring foods from more than a dozen East and South Asian countries. Several students were interviewed, including seniors Sarah Zhou and Dylan Chae, who helped organize the event. Others featured in the piece include one of the school’s Chinese language teachers, Janet Wang, plus juniors Yu Min KimErica Zhang and Diane Bi, and sophomores Alice Lua and Raine McClory.

PATRIOT SPORTS

Winter ESPPA Award Nominations Due by Wednesday
Have you seen a Patriot student-athlete or team have a great game or a great season this winter? Is there a team manager or fan that deserves to be recognized? Nominations are now being taken for the Athletic Division’s Exceptional Stevenson Patriot Pride Award (ESPPA). Several categories are available. To make a nomination, fill out the form at this link. The nomination deadline is Wednesday, March 11. Winners will be recognized at the Winter Sports Awards Night on Monday, March 16.

Quick Hits
Senior Avery King and sophomore Simone Sawyer were named to the all-North Suburban Conference girls basketball team, while sophomore Ava Bardic earned honorable mention. … One year ago, Aidan O’Connell was buried on the Purdue football depth chart. Now, the 2016 graduate is in the running to be the Boilermakers’ starting quarterback.

Community Service Honor Deadline Next Week
At the 2019 commencement ceremony, 60 students were honored for their extraordinary commitment to community service throughout their four years at Stevenson. Will you join them in May? The Senior Service Recognition application is now open. Click here to apply. Applications are due by Friday, March 13.

Want Your Doodle Featured on Google?
Would you like to see your artwork featured at Google.com? Students are invited to enter the annual Doodle for Google contest. This year’s contest theme is what kindness means to you. Click here for details. The contest closes Friday, March 13.

COLLEGE

Kids’ Chance Inc. of Illinois is accepting applications from students with a parent or guardian who was seriously injured or killed on the job. The application deadline is June 30. Click here for application details, and to apply.

ILLINOIS EDUCATION NEWS

Two people at Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95 voluntarily have quarantined themselves since they each live with a Northwest Community Hospital employee who came into contact with the patient who recently tested positive for coronavirus. The two individuals have connections to May Whitney Elementary School and Lake Zurich Middle School North.

Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 employees and students who stayed home from school earlier this week due to a possible coronavirus exposure have been cleared to return, the district’s superintendent said Wednesday.

The president and vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union announced Wednesday that they were personally endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination. The show of support is the latest in a flurry of personal endorsements from top teachers union leaders, even as the unions they run have hesitated to get behind a single candidate. A few weeks ago, a large body of Chicago teachers union members voted not to endorse Sanders and to remain neutral in the primaries.

A top administrator in the University of Illinois System on Wednesday was named the 28th president of the University of Wyoming. Edward Seidel, currently vice president for economic development and innovation, is expected to sign a three-year contract with a base annual salary of $365,000.

NATIONAL EDUCATION NEWS

A nationwide debate over dyslexia is underway—what it is, what it means for children, and how schools should address it. The public struggle is between those who decry the use of the word “dyslexia” and the heavy focus on phonics instruction, and the parents and disability advocates who argue that schools and teacher preparation programs are not doing enough to help children learn to read.

The University of California at Santa Cruz has fired 54 graduate teaching assistants after they refused to submit fall-quarter grades amid a strike for increased pay. The teaching assistants, fired on Friday, had been given until Feb. 21 to submit the grades amid a months-long strike over a requested cost-of-living wage adjustment that led to some protesters’ arrests last month.

The principal of New Jersey elementary school uses her life story of being a homeless teenage mother to inspire and encourage her students. She shares with them the obstacles she had to overcome and says her mantra is “Shake it off, pat it down, and rise a little higher.”

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Mock Trial Team Finishes Fourth in County
The Stevenson Mock Trial team placed fourth out of 20 teams at the 16th annual Lake County High School Mock Trial Invitational on Saturday at the Lake County Courthouse. The team included seniors Manal SyedHaley RubinJenny HellwigLisa SilversteinLauren Malenfant and Annabel Panayotov, and juniors Noah SevcikCarson EzellErin Hamann and Stella Mechkova. Stevenson will compete in the Illinois State Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitational March 14-15 at the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign.

Spanish, Polish Celebrations Set for Friday
The Spanish Honor Society is holding Salsa y Salsa Night from 4:15-6:15 p.m. Friday in Multi-Purpose Room 5044 (near the circle drive entrance). Anyone attending is asked to bring non-perishable foods, toiletries or money for donating to Santa Maria del Popolo Catholic Church in Mundelein. The event will include food (especially salsa and guacamole), and salsa dance lessons from Michael Zaslavskiy and his dance partner.

The Polish Club is sponsoring Polish Community Night from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Friday in Room 2104 in the West Building. Polish food, music, games and culture will be featured, along with DJ Daniel Djdannyg Gancarczyk. The evening also will include a pierogi eating competition. Admission is $5.

Eight Capture Super Smash Bros. Matches
Eight eSports team members won their Super Smash Bros. Ultimate matches during the fifth week of Winter Open action. The winning players were senior Andrew Furman, sophomores Isaac Borkhovik, Tony Valtchev and Juan Gonzalez, and freshmen Selman Celep, Santiago Morales, Christoper Reyes and Majid Abdelkareem. The varsity Counter Strike: Global Offensive team had a 16-16 draw with the Charter School of Wilmington, Del., while Stevenson’s five other eSports teams all won by forfeit.

PATRIOT SPORTS

Tuesday’s Varsity Results

Boys Basketball
Stevenson 33, Lake Zurich 21: Senior Matthew Ambrose scored 12 points — all 3-pointers — grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists as the host Patriots (26-4) held off the Bears (9-21) in their IHSA Class 4A Stevenson Regional semifinal in the Sports Center. The victory was the 10th straight for SHS, which will face Highland Park, a 33-32 winner over Lake Forest, for the regional championship at 7 p.m. Friday. Stevenson held Lake Zurich scoreless until the 7:07 mark of the second quarter. Senior RJ Holmes scored six straight points in the third quarter to give the Patriots a 21-11 lead. He finished with seven points and nine rebounds. SHS secured the win by hitting a trio of 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter. Senior Matt Kaznikov contributed six points, and classmate John Ittounas had five points and six rebounds. – News-Sun | NFHS Network replay

Junior Qualifies for Canadian Olympic Swim Trials
Junior Alex Eastmond finished second in the female 15-and-under 200-meter backstroke at the GTA Skins Invitational in Ontario, Canada last month, qualifying for the Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials on April 4. Alex, who made a verbal commitment to Virginia Tech earlier this semester, had a personal-best time of 2:22.66 in the 200 back. She also swam in two other events at the GTA Invitational, setting personal bests in each: the 100-meter freestyle (59.81) and the 100-meter back (1:06.83). In November, the Canadian native qualified for the Illinois High School Association state meet in four events, winning medals in the 100-yard backstroke and the 200-yard medley relay. In addition to swimming for Stevenson, Alex is a member of the Patriot Aquatic Club.

Junior Named to Blackhawks All-Star Team
Junior Abby Benjamin was been named to the 2019-20 Chicago Blackhawks Alumni High School Girls All-Star Team. She and other the other all-stars will be honored at the Chicago Blackhawks Alumni Association’s annual Keith Magnuson Scholarship Luncheon on Monday. Abby plays for the Lake Forest High School co-op team, which is in the midst of two postseason tourrnaments. The Scouts will play Maine Township for the Metro Metro Girls League Founders Cup championship at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Lake Forest College. On Sunday, Abby and her teammates will take on Loyola Academy in the quarterfinals of the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois Blackhawk Cup state tournament.

Peer Helpers Applications for 2020-21 Now Open
Applications to be a part of Peer Helpers for the 2020-2021 school year are now open. Peer Helpers undergo extensive training that consists of leadership and communication skills, team building activities, and a variety of topics affecting SHS students. The program offers support for all students by providing peer counseling and school-wide campaigns. In addition, Peer Helpers are responsible for staffing the Student Lounge, which is a safe place where all students can go if they want to talk, relax, or just eat their lunch. Peer Helper applicants should be individuals who demonstrate good character, maturity, responsibility, leadership, empathy, a healthy lifestyle, and show a commitment to peers, school and community. The application deadline is midnight Friday, April 3. Click here to apply.

COLLEGE

The Jean Paul Ohadi Foundation is offering scholarships to seniors with evidence of academic achievement and involvement in the LGBTQ community. The application can be found at www.pflagdeerfield.org. The application and supporting materials must be postmarked by April 1.

ILLINOIS EDUCATION NEWS

Several Illinois universities are ending study-abroad programs and bringing students home amid the coronavirus outbreak. Programs in Italy and South Korea are among those affected, as the U.S. State Department now is advising people to reconsider traveling to those countries. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Loyola University and Northwestern University have told their students studying in Italy to leave, as the country faces a growing outbreak of coronavirus.

The parents of Special Education District Lake County student they say was sexually abused by a teacher’s aide filed a lawsuit Tuesday, alleging that the district created the circumstances that allowed the abuse to occur. The lawsuit alleges that the aide — who was charged in December with multiple counts of felony sexual assault and has since pleaded not guilty — abused the student “many, many times” over the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.

A state task force is recommending that schools eliminate kings and queens for homecomings and proms, drop reliance on traditional male-female gender descriptions, and train teachers to use more inclusive language when addressing groups of students. The Illinois State Board of Education, which convened the task force, will issue guidance to schools this month for creating policies based on the task force’s recommendations.

A new bill would require Illinois schools that want to keep using Native American mascots and logos receive approval from local tribes if they want to participate in playoffs, among other requirements. There are 52 high schools in Illinois that would be would be affected. A hearing on the legislation is set for today in Springfield.

One of the top administrators for Northwest Suburban High School District 214 has abruptly resigned after nearly two decades in the district. Kurt Laakso, associate superintendent for human resources since 2012, handed in his resignation last Thursday.

Huntley School District 158 issued a statement Monday in light of a petition calling for the reinstatement of a popular Huntley High School security guard and assistant football coach. The individual resigned last week after a physical altercation with a student that was witnessed by multiple staff members and filmed by security cameras.

NATIONAL EDUCATION NEWS

So far, the coronavirus response from schools and health officials has varied depending on whether a locality has confirmed cases – and experts’ views on how much action is appropriate is rapidly evolving. But the uncertainty of how far the virus will spread has put school leaders in a difficult spot of projecting a sense of calm while also acting with an abundance of caution for student safety.

Although most college graduates say their degree was worth the money, nearly two-thirds (61%) of them would change their major if they could do it again, according to a new survey. Also, 27% of millennials, who this survey considers as those between ages 24 and 39, say their undergraduate experience didn’t teach them skills they regularly use in their current jobs.

Stanford University said it will use a $55 million commitment from a California real-estate developer to ensure some of its medical students graduate without debt. The gift will be matched through other donations and school support to create $90 million in new scholarship funding over the next decade. Students will qualify based on need.

Two neighboring school districts in western Michigan illustrate how American education remains highly segregated by race and class. Instead of bringing Americans together, public schools—and the district lines that sort kids into them—increasingly accelerate the process of pushing them apart.

California’s physical fitness test, a fixture in schools for 25 years, is set to be eliminated because it measures students’ body fat, too often inciting shame and anxiety among students, under a proposal by Gov. Gavin Newsom. But some cautioned that eliminating the test altogether might lead to less accountability and lower expectations for physical education.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Two BPA Members Win State Titles
Two students won championships and 21 others qualified for nationals at the Business Professionals of America State Leadership Conference in Oak Brook last week. Senior Joie You captured her second state title in the last three years, winning the Advanced Accounting division. She claimed the Fundamental Accounting crown as a sophomore. Stevenson’s other state champion was sophomore Brandon Li, who won Fundamentals of Web Design.

The state champions automatically qualified for the BPA National Leadership Conference May 6-10 in Washington, D.C.. They will be joined by 21 other SHS students who qualified:

Senior: Jordan Pine
Juniors: Alex Bai, Jennifer Cheng, Brianna Cheung, Lindsey Hendler, Tarun Kalyana Sundaram, Sabrina Kozarovitsky, Sean Li, Bhavya Sharma, Arnav Srinivasan, Ian Zhang and Grace Zhu.
Sophomores: Chinmay Avsarkar, Adi Dalal, Yash Gangavarapu, Mehul Gautam, Shreyas Mishra, Keyur Panchal, Cole Rand, Daniel Saltzman, Clement Wang and Lillian You.

Joie will be making her third trip to nationals, while Alex and Bhavya qualified for the second time. The State Leadership Conference was held at the DoubleTree Hilton Oak Brook Hotel on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Eighty-nine Stevenson students competed in more than 60 business-related events. The competition included more than 40 high schools from around the state, with nearly 900 students competing.

Scholastic Bowl Team Second at NAQT State Tournament
The Scholastic Bowl A team finished second at the Illinois High School Scholastic Bowl Coaches Association/NAQT State Championship last weekend at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Stevenson won 12 of 15 matches to place behind University Lab School of Urbana, which went 14-1.

Senior Govind Prabhakar, who was named to the all-state team, led SHS with a fourth-place individual finish. Junior Arjun Nageswaran was 16th. They were joined by juniors David Lee and Daniel Ding, and freshman Aadit Juneja. The B team won the consolation bracket and finished with an 8-2 record. Its roster included senior Akash Kumar, sophomore Anish Arora, and freshmen Rishabh WuppalapatiArunabh Ganguli and Dhruv Pendharkar.

Seven Chosen for State Art Exhibition
Works by seven students have been chosen for display in the state’s largest high school student art exhibition, which opens today in Chicago. The seventh annual Illinois High School Art Exhibition, featuring works by 1,000 student artists from 105 high schools, runs through Friday, April 3 at the Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood. Artists submitted pieces in eight categories: drawing, painting, mixed media, design, photography, pottery, sculpture, and “time arts” (digital media such as animation).

Seniors Piper StarrXinting Guo and Ari Zaritsky, and juniors Emma PotockiBenna Li and Hannah Stewart, were selected for the General Exhibition, a “best of the best” show featuring more than 800 works of art from public and private high school students around Illinois. Ari and classmate Jasmine Lin will be part of the Senior Scholarship Exhibition, in which top student artists compete for more than $88 million in college scholarships. This is the second consecutive year Piper and Jasmine have participated in the show. Here is a link to view Emma’s short animated feature.

Pair Wins Top Honors at Mock Trial Competition
Four students won awards at the annual Illinois YMCA Youth and Government state mock trial competition in Springfield last weekend. Senior Victor Shi and junior Arjun Nageswaran won first place overall for their work as defense attorneys in the case of People v. McNeill, in which the defendant claimed he was wrongly accused of murdering a woman at a grocery store in Worth. Victor and Arjun finished second in the bench memo and oral argument categories, and their combined scores lifted them to first place overall.

Senior Advait Deoskar and sophomore Aditi Ambravan won third place for their bench memo written for the defense in the case of People v. Jones, in which the defendant claimed she had to kill her husband to defend herself and her two children. Also serving as defense attorneys from SHS in People v. Jones were seniors Janice Lee and Joanna Lee. Their sponsor was retired Social Studies teacher Richard Pierce. Oral arguments took place in the chambers of the Illinois Supreme Court.

Table Tennis Team Third at State Tournament
The varsity table tennis team finished third at the Interscholastic Table Tennis of Illinois state tournament on Saturday at Maine East High School in Park Ridge. SHS bounced back from a second-round loss to eventual runner-up Whitney Young to defeat Loyola Academy, 8-1, for third place. Naperville North won the title for the fourth straight year. Stevenson’s lineup included seniors Jason LeongPaul ParkSam Wang and Eric Wu, juniors Yoav Malka and Nikhith Rao, and freshman Srihas Rao.

The junior varsity placed second Friday at the ITTI Founder’s Cup, the consolation bracket of the state tournament, at Maine East. Stevenson tied Naperville North, which was awarded first place based on a tie breaker. The Patriot roster featured juniors Doogyul LeeBrad Locker and David Wallach, sophomores Jean Andre BondadFrank GaoJasmine Leong and Rithvik Mandumula, and freshmen Zack BadenLance Locker and AJ Stewart.

Winter Band Concert Tonight, Wednesday
The Winter Band Concert takes place at 7 p.m. tonight and Wednesday in the Performing Arts Center. Admission is free. Tonight’s concert will feature the Advanced Symphonic Band and Freshman Band. Wednesday’s lineup includes Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Honor Band. The concerts will be streamed live on the Fine Arts Division’s Vimeo page.

Alcohol and the Teenage Brain
Stevenson‘s Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, Dr. Cristina Cortesi, will share regular reflections during the school year in the Daily Digest. For more information on Dr. Cortesi and the substance abuse prevention program, visit her web page.

Research shows that young people’s brains keep developing well into their 20s. Alcohol can alter this development, potentially affecting both brain structure and function. Underage drinking may cause cognitive or learning problems, or make the brain more prone to alcohol dependence. This is especially a risk when people start drinking young and drink heavily. For more information from the National Institutes of Health, click here.

PATRIOT SPORTS

SHS Earns Three Medals at State Swim Meet
The boys swimming and diving team earned three medals at the Illinois High School Association state meet Saturday at Evanston Township High School. The 200-yard medley relay team of seniors AJ Carollo, Jack Zhang and Jake Kim, and sophomoreJosh Songplaced fifth with a time of 1:33.38. Sophomore Jack White finished sixth in 1-meter diving with a score of 457.90, and Josh added an eighth-place showing in the 100-yard butterfly (49.96).

Jack finished his career with four state medals. In addition to one this year, he was part of medal-winning 400 free relays in 2018 and 2019, and in the 200 medley relay last year. AJ earned his second state medal after swimming in the 400 free relay in 2019. All of Stevenson‘s other medalists this year were first-timers. – Official Results | Daily Herald

Boys Basketball Regional Semifinal Tonight in Sports Center
The boys basketball team’s second season starts tonight. The Patriots, seeded No. 1 in the Illinois High School Association Class 4A Prospect Sectional, will open postseason play on their home court. SHS takes on Lake Zurich in the Stevenson Regional semifinals at 6 o’clock in the Sports Center, followed by the second semifinal between Lake Forest and Highland Park. Lake Zurich defeated Waukegan, 53-48, in overtime Monday night. The Patriots carry a 25-4 record and nine-game winning streak into tonight’s contest. Stevenson faced Lake Zurich twice during the regular season, winning both games: 62-36 on Dec. 17, and 48-24 on Feb. 11. Tonight’s game will be streamed live on Stevenson’s NFHS Network page.

Saturday’s Varsity Results

Girls Track and Field
Stevenson at Wheeling Wildcat Indoor Invitational: Junior Camille Clay won the shot put with a throw of 42 feet, 3 inches, and the Patriots also received a first place in the four-lap relay from juniors Jade Cadichon and Jessica Qualich, sophomore Mia Mikolajczak, and freshman Ava Mecir (1:25.0). Sophomore Ella O’Neal was second in shot put (41-1) while junior Emma Finnegan was third in the 3,200-meter run (13:52.7). Other top-six finishes came from senior Karolina Rutyna, who was fourth in the 55-meter hurdles (11.0); Jade, fifth in the 200-meter dash (29.0); sophomore Livy Alton, fifth in the 800-meter run (2:38.4); Ava, sixth in the 200 (29.44); and freshman Katelyn Robinson, sixth in the 55 dash (8.22). Stevenson placed fifth out of 10 teams. – Official Results

Boys Ice Hockey
Loyola Academy 5, Stevenson 3: The Ramblers ended the Patriots’ season in the quarterfinals of the Blackhawk Cup state tournament at the Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville. Stevenson finished the season with a 29-24-2 record.

Friday’s Varsity Results

Boys Track and Field
Stevenson at Huntley Indoor Invitational: Senior Jahleel Perrin won two events and ran in a first-place relay for the Patriots, who finished third out of 13 schools. Jahleel captured the 60-meter dash (7.11) and the 200-meter dash (23.35), and was part of the winning 800-meter relay with classmates Jordan Vincent and Shane Johnson, and junior David Smolensky (1:33.47). Jordan recorded Stevenson’s other individual victory, topping the field in the 400 (51.73). David (7.15) and Shane (7.29) were second and fourth, respectively, in the 60, then comprised half of the second-place 1,600 relay (3:33.43) with Jordan and sophomore Jimmy Davis. Other top-six finishers included freshman Stephen Freihammer, who was fourth in the high jump (1.73 meters), and seniors Anthony Rodriguez and Corey Pacernick, who placed fifth (9:45.91) and sixth (9:56.87), respectively, in the 3,200 meters. – Official Results

Thursday’s Varsity Results

Girls Track and Field
Stevenson 68, Libertyville 30, Waukegan 25: Sophomore Mia Mikolajczak won two events for the host Patriots in their season-opening meet in the Field House. She captured the 55-meter intermediate hurdles (9.9 seconds) and the 55-meter high hurdles (10.0). Junior Varsha Vinod captured the high jump with a leap of 4 feet, 6 inches (one scratch), and sophomore Ella O’Neal won the shot put with a throw of 41 feet, 1.5 inches. Stevenson also won the 1,600-meter relay (4:59.6). In addition to winning five of the 12 events, the Patriots placed second in nine. Senior Karolina Rutyna was runner-up in the 55-meter high hurdles (10.43) and 55-meter intermediate hurdles (10.27). Junior Camille Clay was second in shot put (39-10.5) while classmate Jade Cadichon was runner-up in the 160-meter dash (22.46). Senior Alyssa Smith was second in high jump (4-6, two scratches) and freshman Katelyn Robinson was runner-up in the 55-meter dash (7.93). SHS also was second in the 3,200 relay (12:03), the 640 relay (1:38.8), and the 1,600 relay (5:02.51).

Best Buddies “Spread the Word for Inclusion” This Week
Best Buddies and Best Buddies Transition are holding their annual Spread the Word for Inclusion event this week. A booth will be set up in the East Glass Commons during lunch periods all week, and students are invited to sign the pledge for inclusion, buy Best Buddies merchandise, and more. All proceeds will go directly to Best Buddies International, which creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Next Blood Drive Set for March 13
The next Stevenson Blood Drive will take place Friday, March 13 during periods 3-8 in the Wrestling Room (Room 2111). Any student 17 years or older, weighing at least 110 pounds, and with a parent permission slip, may participate. Click here to sign up, to get the permission slip, and for more information. Stop by the Student Activities Office if you have questions.

Military Test Deadline is Friday
Sophomores, juniors and seniors are invited to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a multiple-choice test used to determine qualifications for enlistment in the United States Armed Forces, on Thursday, March 12 (a late arrival day). The test will be given at 10:30 a.m. in Room 6110 of the East Building addition; please arrive by 10 a.m. At the conclusion of the test, students will be provided pizza and then will return to class. Test results will be available Friday, March 13 at the start of each lunch period in the College Career Center. Pizza will be provided. Students must turn in this permission slip to East Student Services (Room 6064) by Friday to participate. An email with more details is scheduled to be sent today to all eligible students, and their parents and guardians.

COLLEGE

The Elyssa’s Mission Scholarship Program will be awarding up to $5,000 to juniors and seniors who have effectively applied the help-seeking technique ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell) for the benefit of themselves or a friend. Students can submit information as a narrative or as a work of art. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 20. Click here for details and application.

ILLINOIS EDUCATION NEWS

Getting a report card with letter grades A-to-F is such an ingrained part of American schooling it’s hard for many people to imagine school without it. But at the same time, schools are increasingly looking for ways to focus school more on learning — and not on simply getting an A. Enter the grade-less report card. An idea long associated with progressive schools, the movement is growing in traditional public schools, education experts say.

Chicago school officials bristled and responded critically last week to the city’s outgoing inspector general, whose latest report documented irregularities in the high-stakes annual tests administered to students. Board members and administrators maintained that test scores reflect higher achievement and disputed Inspector General Nicholas Schuler’s analysis that the report indicated some cheating and gaming of the system.

The Chicago Board of Education’s new policy for acquiring, maintaining and potentially removing art from schools has raised the hopes of those who want certain murals from the 1930s and ’40s removed. They say the art is racist. Some preservationists have argued that such art should be retained for its historic and aesthetic value, and as useful lessons in how attitudes and depictions have changed, with explanations of why the work is now viewed differently.

NATIONAL EDUCATION NEWS

The latest results of a respected international exam given to teenagers ranked the U.S. ninth in reading, but 31st in math literacy out of 79 countries and economies. America has a smaller-than-average share of top-performing math students, and scores have essentially been flat for two decades. One likely reason: U.S. high schools teach math completely differently than other countries.

A growing number of schools are turning to mindfulness to help students struggling with anxiety and other stressors. Its boosters claim all kinds of benefits, and there is research to back them up. But mindfulness in schools can mean many different things, and the explosion of interest has some researchers and proponents advising caution.

Virginia lawmakers last week passed an amended bill that will allow K-12 students excused absences for mental health issues and create uniformity for how Virginia school districts address emotional and mental health needs within its schools.

Oregon’s largest private university, Concordia University, will close its doors in April. The 115-year-old school’s leadership cited mounting debt and declining enrollment for its decision. A class action lawsuit alleges students were misled by Concordia officials about the school’s financial condition.