Thursday, September 24, 2015

Curriculum Changes for 2016-17 Approved

The District 125 Board of Education on Monday approved adding a second online course to the school curriculum for the 2016-17 academic year. The Personal Finance class offered by the Applied Arts Division will have the same curriculum as the current Consumer Education course, and will satisfy the state’s consumer education graduation requirement. Personal Finance will join Advanced Placement Government as online courses offered at SHS.

Other curriculum changes approved for 2016-17 include:

  • Music Industry and Production will be added to the music curriculum, replacing the Composing and Arranging course dropped in 2014. In the one-semester course, students will learn an instrument (guitar, bass, keyboard, drum set or ukulele) and work collaboratively to perform cover songs, create and record original music, and present a live concert. Throughout the course, students will engage in the creative processes of professional music production, artist management and marketing.
  • Chinese 4 Accelerated will join the Chinese curriculum, which currently has four levels: Chinese 1, Chinese 2 Accelerated, Chinese 3 Accelerated, and AP Chinese Language and Culture. The new course will benefit heritage speakers, who already are fluent in Mandarin Chinese, as well as non-heritage speakers. Heritage speakers who want three years of World Language credit (which is required by some universities) could begin their studies with Chinese 3 Accelerated, then take Chinese 4 Accelerated and finish with AP Chinese Language and Learning. Non-heritage speakers, meanwhile, will benefit because they would have two years to learn the language before entering the classroom with heritage speakers.
  • A second level of Teaching Young Children will be added in Applied Arts. Teaching Young Children 2 will allow students who have taken the course to extend their knowledge and refine their skills of teaching and guiding the development of young children.
  • 12th-grade students will be allowed to take Lifeguard Training and Certification, a course currently open only to sophomores and juniors. The change will allow students who have taken the course as a sophomore to take it again as a senior and renew their lifeguard certification, which is valid for two years.
  • Two academic credits will no longer be awarded to students who completed Spanish at a consortium junior high school after they finish one year of Spanish 2 or Spanish 2-3 Accelerated at Stevenson. These credits are the only instance in which students receive credit from the high school for work done in middle school. In fact, Stevenson is the only area high school to offer such credit. Eliminating the credits brings the World Languages Division in line with the other academic divisions at SHS, and also provides greater student choice in language courses.
  • Several courses will receive name changes: Information Processing will become Business Technologies 2; Advanced 2D Art will be known as Advanced Painting, Drawing, Studio Art; the Guitar and Piano Technique and Musicianship courses will be shortened to Guitar and Piano, respectively; and the existing Teaching Young Children course will be known as Teaching Young Children 1 with the addition of Teaching Young Children 2.

District Cutting Spending By 5.5% This Year

District 125 will cut its spending by 5.5% under the 2015-16 budget approved by the school board on Monday. However, the education fund won’t be impacted. Instead, spending will come down due in large part to a reduction in capital improvements and the 2014-15 payment of $4.9 million in the bond and interest fund to pay down outstanding debt. The budget also calls for a 3.78% increase in revenues, which will result in a budget surplus of $3.5 million. The surplus is expected to offset an anticipated property tax freeze in Illinois for the 2016-17 fiscal year. Click here for a summary of the board’s other major actions at Monday’s meeting.

Color Fun(d) Run Raises $13K

Last Sunday’s third annual Color Fun(d) Run drew approximately 400 participants and raised about $13,000 for the Stevenson Foundation’s Kids In Need Fund and its new Stevenson to College program.


Click here to see today’s athletic schedule

It’s No. 3 vs. No. 3 in Homecoming Football Game

The Patriot football team’s Homecoming clash comes Friday night against an undefeated Libertyville squad with a major chip on its shoulder. The Wildcats are 4-0 and ranked No. 3 in Class 7A, but have lost their last six games to Stevenson. The Patriots, meanwhile, are 3-1 and ranked third in Class 8A. Today’s Daily Herald has a preview of the game (registration required), which will feature two of the top quarterbacks around: Jack Sorenson for SHS and Riley Lees for LHS. Although currently excelling behind center, both QBs are expected to play wide receiver in college; Sorenson for Miami University in Ohio, and Lees for Northwestern University.

No Coat Drive Friday Night

Tuesday’s Digest contained a link to an article which reported that winter coat drives are being held at all home football games this fall. The article was incorrect. There will be no coat drive at Friday’s Homecoming game.

New Boys Bowling Coach Selected

Cody Mathias has been named the new boys bowling coach at Stevenson. He replaces Barry Lapping, who resigned earlier this year after leading the Patriots to their most successful season in program history. Click here for more on Mathias’ background.

Mathias will inherit a team that finished eighth in Illinois in its first-ever state tournament appearance. Five of the eight bowlers who participated at the state tournament return, led by junior Richy Zenner, who placed 14th. He will be joined by classmates Zach and Josh Singer, and seniors Eddie Mendrala and Ted Tapas.

Mathias will hold a boys bowling informational meeting for student-athletes and their parents at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the West Staff Dining Room.

The boys bowling team wasn’t the only one that made noise at state last year. Senior Kaitlyn Rudy finished third at the state tournament, the first Stevenson bowler to earn a medal at state. She helped Gina Johnson’s crew win the regional championship.

Volleyball Team Benefitting From Taborek’s Return

Senior Jordyn Taborek has overcome a knee injury that derailed her 2014 season, and has become an important piece of the girls volleyball team’s attack. She’s also one of the squad’s fiercest competitors. “If I’m putting in 110-percent effort, my teammates know they have to step it up to match the rest of us,” Taborek told Pioneer Press. “If anyone gets down, I will go up to them personally and say, ‘You have to do this. Trust yourself.’ I keep pushing us competitively.”

Hockey Team Back in Action Tonight

Even though the temperature is still in the 70s, the boys ice hockey season has begun. SHS split its first two games of the season, beating Mt. Carmel last Sunday, 2-1, after falling to a co-op team from Buffalo Grove, Hersey and Wheeling, 6-3, in its opener last Thursday. The Patriots return to action tonight at 8:40 against New Trier White at Twin Rinks Ice Arena. Stevenson was ranked No. 11 in Ross Forman’s state preseason poll.


Want Homecoming Tickets? Buy Them at the Door

The only way to get tickets for Saturday’s Homecoming Dance is to buy them at the door for $30 each. You can pay in cash, use your school ID to pay through your Patriot Dollars account, or with a check made out to Stevenson High School. Only SHS students can buy tickets at the door. Non-SHS students may not buy tickets at the door. The dance starts at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Field House.

Parent Information Meeting for Trip to Iceland

The parent information meeting for next summer’s “Fire and Ice” trip to Iceland will be held at 7 p.m. tonight in the Recital Hall (Room 4100). This opportunity is open to sophomores and juniors who have taken or are currently enrolled in AP Geography or any science course. Join us Thursday to learn more about this exciting trip abroad. Visit the Iceland trip website.

Graduation Cap and Gown, Announcement Orders

Seniors can order their graduation caps and gowns, and graduation announcements Thursday and Friday, October 15-16, in the Patriot Lobby by Room 2400. Orders can be placed any time at Seniors will have their graduation meeting during the activity period on Thursday, October 8.

Class Ring Orders for the Class of 2018

Sophomores can order their class ring Thursday and Friday, October 1-2, during the lunch periods in the Wood Commons. Can’t wait? You can also order a ring online at

Student Art Contest for Room 8080

The Mathematics and Science Divisions are sponsoring a student artwork contest to decorate their newly renovated office in Room 8080 of the East Building. The artwork will be displayed prominently on glass panels behind the division assistant’s desk at the entrance of the room. Artwork should capture the artist’s interpretation of students’ learning experiences within Stevenson’s Mathematics and Science classes. Students can submit artwork ideas individually, or as a team. Multiple submissions are allowed. Click here to see contest details. The deadline to submit artwork is September 30. Interested students are encouraged to visit Room 8080 to see the glass panel.

Learn About the ACT’s Updated Writing Section

Did you know the writing section of the ACT exam has changed? Any students that would like to review the new format or practice the new writing section can visit the Communication Arts tutors: Ms. Rabe and Mr. Kramer in the ILC, and Ms. Olkanetskaya in the ELC. For more information on writing section changes, click here.


Attention all members and potential members of Psychology Club: We will be meeting today after school in Room 2612 to discuss memory activities that can help with school and other vital information to be remembered. Join us, all are welcome.

Want to eat Israeli and Russian food? Want to show off your cooking skills? Join Club Israel and the Russian Club for a special cooking event! We will be making falafel, shakshuka, Russian beet salad, and farm cheese crepes from 3:30 to 5:30 today in the Culinary Arts Lab, Room 1406.

Interactive Gamers Club meets today after school in Room 1204. If you’re a fan of role-playing games, come by to play games and learn about events here at SHS. If you’re interested in more information, or if you’re a beginner that would like to try playing any of those games, come to the meeting or email

Do you love animals? Do you want to help a great cause? The Animal Welfare Club will be making fleece blankets for local animal shelters at its next meeting on Tuesday. Come out to help support our local shelters while getting a community service hour! The meeting will be at 3:45 in Room 2500. We hope to see you there!

Come to French Club on Tuesday! Enjoy delicious French snacks! Practice speaking French! Learn about cultures of the French-speaking world! Meet us in Room 2632 at 3:30.

Ted-Ed Club: Have you ever been inspired by a TED talk before? If so, why not create your own? Join the Ted-Ed club! Our first meeting will be on Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. in Room 1414.


Open Field Softball is available every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30-5:45 on the JV softball field. All softball players are welcome. Click here for the fall schedule.

Open Diamond Baseball for today has been cancelled.


Interested in participating in a Career Shadow? The Career Exploration Program can connect you with a professional that will host you for a day-long job shadow in a number of different areas, including healthcare, business, engineering and others.  Career shadows provide you the opportunity to experience what it is really like on the job, and can connect you to lifelong mentors that can help guide your career direction and future. Please visit the Career Exploration web page and fill out a Career Shadow application or email Mrs. Willock in the College and Career Center at


The College of Lake County is hosting an Engineering Night for juniors and seniors at 6 o’clock tonight. If you are interested in science, technology, engineering or math, this would be a great opportunity for you to explore your college and career opportunities. Doors open at 5:30. Register for up to three presentations by various colleges and universities. You can pre-register on the CLC Stem website:

Attention juniors and seniors: Learn about the academic programs, on- and off-campus resources and opportunities, and the admission process for the University of Wisconsin-Madison during a special program at 7:30 tonight at Libertyville High School.


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The Daily Digest is compiled and edited by Jim Conrey. To subscribe or unsubscribe, contact him at

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