Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019

Pertussis at Stevenson: It’s Not Over

Pertussis persists at SHS, more than a month after the first cases were reported. Two new cases were reported Monday, raising the number of cases since late September to 35.

The illness is hanging on due to two factors, according to the school’s nursing staff:

  • Although pertussis is also known as “whooping cough,” the coughing coming from a student’s mouth may not have a “whooping” sound. Parents and guardians whose students have a persistent cough may assume it’s not pertussis without the whooping sound, and are not seeking medical attention.
  • Some area doctors have misdiagnosed the illness, or have refused to conduct pertussis testing. Stevenson’s nurses and the Lake County Health Department have been working with local medical offices to raise awareness.

There also is concern that parents have let their guard down in the wake of a recent visit to Stevenson by Centers for Disease Control researchers. The researchers’ work is not connected to treating infected students. Rather, the researchers are conducting a study to test the hypothesis that pertussis-prevention vaccines used since the late 1990s have lost their effectiveness. The majority of Stevenson students diagnosed with pertussis had received the recommended vaccines.

Parents and guardians whose students have a persistent cough are urged to seek medical attention immediately. They should tell their medical provider that pertussis cases have been reported at Stevenson. This letter from the Lake County Health Department provides more guidance. For more information, contact the SHS nursing staff at nurses@d125.org.

Alumna Appears on WGN Morning Show
2010 alumna Donna Lee, a story artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios who worked on “Frozen 2,” was interviewed on the WGN Morning News Monday morning. She talked about her journey from Stevenson to Disney, and even drew a sketch of Elsa the Snow Queen. “Frozen 2” opens in theaters on Nov. 22. Lee was in Chicago to participate in DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts Visiting Artist Series Monday night.

How to Raise Compassionate Kids
No parent wants to raise a jerk, but it’s not enough to just hope for the best. Parents have to put in the work if they don’t want their child to fit into anyone’s definition of the term. Join Social Emotional Learning Coordinator Molly Gosline for the next parent breakfast meeting, “Raising Compassionate Kids,” from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Monday in the District 125 Administration Center. She’ll discuss what people need to be happy and successful in today’s world (without becoming a jerk), and offer ideas on what parents can do to prepare their kids for a world of rapid change. She’ll be joined by Parent Engagement Coordinator Mara Grujanac.

For tips on raising nutritionally sound students, come to the Parent Engagement Series session on “Eating to Succeed” at 7 p.m. Thursday in the West Auditorium. The program will feature 2010 alumnus Alex StollerRegistration is requested.

Band Fundraiser Thursday Morning
The Band Parents Organization is holding a breakfast fundraiser from 6:30-11 a.m. Thursday at Strawberry Field Pancakes and Cafe, 410 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Lincolnshire. Mention “Stevenson Band” when ordering, and 20% of the sale will go to the band program. Thursday is a late arrival day.


JV Girls Swim Team Wins Conference Title
The junior varsity girls swimming and diving team captured the North Suburban Conference championship last weekend. SHS easily outdistanced runner-up Lake Forest, 335-272, and five other schools. Stevenson won nine of 12 events and set JV conference records in four of them.

Freshman Anna Ryaguzova won two events and was part of two first-place relays. She set a new conference mark in the 200-yard individual medley (2:17.31), and also was part of the record-setting 200-yard medley relay (1:54.54) with juniors Brianna Liu and Anna Gates, and senior Hanna Cloeter. Anna also touched first in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.04), and swam a leg in the 200 free relay (1:43.58) with Hanna, sophomore Sana Arvind and freshman Elizaveta Kolbunova.

Junior Maria Mossakowski also won two events, the 200 free (2:02.86) and 500 free (5:32.77), and swam in the victorious 400 free relay (3:49.72) with Brianna, Elizaveta and Sana. Stevenson’s other JV conference records were set by Brianna in the 100 backstroke (1:01.12) and sophomore Nora Kowalski in 1-meter diving (347.40).

Football Alumni Part of Major Big 10 Storylines
Three Stevenson football alumni were part of three significant Big 10 stories on Saturday:


FMP Information Meetings During Lunch Periods Friday
The Freshman Mentor Program will host informational meetings for potential new members on Friday. The meetings will be held during every half-period lunch in the Recital Hall. All are welcome.


The Consumers Cooperative Association is offering 15 $2,000 scholarships for families that have been a member of the Consumer Credit Union for a minimum of one year in good standing. Seniors must plan on attending an accredited two- or four-year school. Applications are due by Dec. 31. Interested seniors can find more information at this link.


All 25,000 Chicago Teachers Union members will vote in secret ballots Thursday and Friday to accept or reject the tentative contract agreement reached the last week of October with Chicago Public Schools. Unlike the strike authorization vote, contract ratification needs only a simple majority. If members accept the deal, the strike — which at this point has only been suspended — is officially over. But what happens if they reject it?

As Chicago’s test scores have flattened, fewer schools are earning the city’s top rating, according to data released Friday for 2018-2019. Only 146 schools received a Level 1-plus compared to 185 the year prior.

The controversy that rocked Lake Park High School over a volunteer football coach could have been avoided at several points if the head coach and two top administrators followed the school’s accepted practices for conducting background checks, Superintendent Lynn Panega said Friday.

First-generation students make up about half of all college students, but only 27% complete a bachelor’s degree in four years — about half the national average for all students. North Central College in Naperville has seen extraordinary success with its Cardinal First program, which helps first-gen students adjust to college life. For students who started in the program in 2015, 81% graduated in May 2019 — earning their degree in four years.

The U.S. Department of Education last week announced it was canceling the student loan debt for people in Illinois who attended the now-shuttered Illinois Institute of Art. The Chicago and Schaumburg campuses — not related to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago — were among dozens that were closed throughout the U.S. last December.


The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today over whether the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program should continue. The key question isn’t about the program’s merits but whether the Trump administration two years ago tried to end it in the right way. The program allows young immigrants brought illegally ​to the U.S. as children certain protections from deportation as well as permission to work. Nearly 700,000 people, often referred to as “Dreamers,” are enrolled in the program.

The head of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents has broken decades of precedent by appointing a search committee for the next UW System president that does not include any faculty members or academic staff. The nine-member committee is the smallest in number and least diverse presidential search committee going back at least to the early 1990s.

A federal program to bolster science, mathematics and engineering at minority-serving colleges has been caught in a partisan tug of war in the Senate, where inaction and gridlock are starting to have real-world consequences. Stuck in the Senate’s morass is $255 million a year that both parties want to give historically black colleges, tribal colleges and higher education institutions that serve Hispanic students to help bolster science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — over the next two years.

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