US Census

Get Counted! Complete Census Now!





Dear D219 Families,

Time is running out!

The 2020 Census will be wrapping up operations on September 30. While most households self-responded and many others have cooperated with in-person interviews, there are still some that have yet to respond. 

If you have not responded, please do so now online at, by calling 844-330-2020, or by filling out the paper copy you received in the mail now.

An accurate count of our population is essential to ensure we receive the funding our community needs to properly care for our community and provide critical services and programs. The failure to count everyone decreases funding for schools, public transit, food support, Medicaid, and other critical human service programs. Even a one-percent undercount could result in our communities losing millions in state and federal funding over the next decade.

This the last chance for the next 10 years to be counted.  The Census is safe.  The Census is confidential.  Your Census response cannot be shared with law enforcement or immigration officials.  Please, cooperate with census takers.  Respond today. 

We can’t wait another decade.  Everyone counts!


Dr. Steven Isoye

Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Karen Ritter

Principal, Niles West High School

Dr. James Edwards

Principal, Niles North High School

D219 Default Announcement logo

Important Notice for Seniors & Their Parents

Illinois high school graduates in the Class of 2021 and beyond will be required to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or an alternative state form created by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) as part of their requirements to be eligible for their high school diploma. The new law was approved last year by the State of Illinois and takes effect this year.  Louisiana and Texas have similar legislation for graduation requirements.

The law hopes to achieve greater completion rates in post-secondary education, including community colleges, universities, and vocational and trade programs.  The legislation provides for a few exceptions due to extenuating circumstances.  Students should check with their school counselors if they have concerns.

Jerry Pope, Dean of College Counseling for D219, sees this graduation requirement as a big step forward.  According to Pope,  “Every year we have students that miss out on financial assistance because they fail to complete the FAFSA.  Some colleges now require the FAFSA to be eligible for merit based scholarships.  I encourage every family to fill out the FAFSA form.”
District 219 will host their “Financial Aid Night” on Wednesday, Sept. 30th, “virtually” via zoom starting at 6:30 pm, and will feature a nationally renowned expert on financial aid.  Please check your emails.
The new FAFSA is available on Oct. 1st, 2020.  Students and their families will be using their 2019 tax information.

D219 students and their parents can also meet one on one “virtually” with a member of the Illinois Scholarship Assistance Commission (ISAC) to receive help with FAFSA questions or concerns.
Niles North artist Ilhana Kisija

Niles North Artist in the Running in Greeting Card Design Contest

A Niles North student is asking the community for votes in the online art and design competition hosted by The Gallery Collection Greeting cards. Ilhana Kisija, an AP Studio art student, is in the running to have a greeting card printed based off of her original painting. If she gets the community’s support, her design could be on greeting cards and she could win a prize, as well as the school. 

This voting round is public. The top 10 designs with the most votes by October 7 will advance. A facebook account is needed to place a vote. Ilhana’s design is #670 and a copy is below. Vote here: 

Ilhana Kisijic Greeting Card Design

American Chemical Society logo

Niles West’s Swiercz Receives 2020 Teacher Excellence Award in High School Teaching

Congratulations to Rachael Swiercz, teacher at Niles West High School, the winner of the 2020 Teacher Excellence Award given by the Chicago section of the American Chemical Society. The purpose of the award is to recognize, encourage and stimulate outstanding teachers of high school chemistry/chemical science in the Chicago section. Swiercz will receive a $1,000 award, a certificate and one year membership in the American Association of Chemistry Teachers. She will be presented with the award at the Chicago section’s Education Night later this month.

Algunos Actividades Permitidos de Afuera

18 de Septiembre, 2020 

Queridas Familias del Distrito 219, 

Después de consultar con el Departamento de Salud de Skokie con respecto a sus recomendaciones para una reanudación segura del uso limitado al aire libre de nuestros respectivos edificios por parte de clubes, deportes y actividades, hemos decidido expandir nuestras actividades (enumeradas a continuación) con las limitaciones apropiadas sobre el tamaño de los participantes y el alcance de actividad. El tema principal de cada actividad aprobada será garantizar la seguridad y la salud de nuestros estudiantes y personal participantes. Las actividades a continuación son puramente opcionales tanto para los estudiantes como para el personal. Además, el equipo administrativo reserva el derecho de cancelar cualquier actividad basada en protocolos de salud y seguridad comprometidos o la amenaza de clima adverso. 


Los “Días de Contacto” comenzarán la semana del 28 de Septiembre y están limitados a instalaciones al aire libre únicamente. Estas actividades atléticas se adherirán a los protocolos del campamento de verano 2020 para la salud y la seguridad, incluidos todos los participantes que usen máscaras. Como resultado del requisito de actividades al aire libre, es posible que algunos deportes no encuentren la opción del “Día de Contacto” pertinente para su deporte. El registro de 8 to 18 para su deporte específico comenzará a principios de la próxima semana y los exámenes físicos válidos deben estar archivados en la oficina de deportes para poder participar. La participación en los días de contacto es voluntaria para los estudiantes y el personal. Todos los participantes deben cumplir con el distanciamiento social y los protocolos del campamento de verano 2020.

Clubes y Actividades

Los patrocinadores pueden solicitar acceso a nuestras instalaciones al aire libre y realizar eventos para recaudar fondos en la acera. El espacio es limitado, por lo que el uso diario será limitado. Estos son puramente opcionales para los estudiantes y el personal y todos los participantes deben adherirse al distanciamiento social y ponerse máscaras en cada evento. También habrá límites en el número de participantes según las recomendaciones del Departamento de Salud de Skokie.. 

Bellas Artes

Un número limitado de clases de bellas artes basadas en presentaciones pueden acceder a nuestras instalaciones al aire libre. Debido a la naturaleza aerotransportada del uso de instrumentos y voz, habrá límites estrictos en el número de participantes y el tipo de formaciones permitidas según las recomendaciones del Departamento de Salud de Skokie. Para reiterar, estos eventos son opcionales para los estudiantes y el personal, y todos los participantes deben respetar el distanciamiento social y el uso de máscaras en cada evento.


Los participantes deben proporcionar su propio transporte hacia y desde la escuela. Cuando concluye la actividad, los participantes deben abandonar el recinto escolar. No se permite congregarse en los estacionamientos por razones de seguridad y salud.


Dr. James Edwards
Director de Niles North 

Dr. Karen Ritter
Directora de Niles West 

Dr. Steven Isoye
Superintendente de Escuelas 

En Progreso

Criterios Separados para Actividades / Bellas Artes

Cualquier patrocinador de clubes y actividades completará una solicitud de uso de las instalaciones que será aprobada tanto por el director como por el director. Estas solicitudes deben incluir;

  1. El transporte es por su cuenta.
  2. El propósito del evento
  3. Protocolos Covid-19  (¿Se refiere a preguntarle al solicitante cómo seguirá / garantizará los protocolos adecuados?

Some Outside School Activities Allowed for D219 Students

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September 18, 2020

Dear District 219 Families, 

After consulting with the Skokie Health Department regarding their recommendations for a safe resumption of limited outdoor use of our respective buildings by clubs, sports, and activities, we have decided to expand our activities (listed below) with appropriate limitations on participant size and scope of activity.  The overarching theme for each approved activity will be to ensure the safety and health of our participating students and staff. The activities below are purely optional for both students and staff. In addition, the administrative team reserves the right to cancel any activity based upon compromised health and safety protocols or the threat of adverse weather. 


“Contact Days” will be starting the week of September 28th and are limited to outdoor facilities only. These athletic activities will adhere to the 2020 summer camp protocols for health and safety, including all participants wearing masks. As a result of the outdoor requirement, there may be some sports that may not find the “contact day” option pertinent to their sport. Registration on 8 to18 for your specific sport will begin early next week and valid physicals must be on file in the athletic office in order to participate. Participation in contact days are voluntary for students and staff. All participants must adhere to social distancing and the 2020 summer camp protocols. 

Clubs and Activities

Sponsors may request access to our outdoor facilities and to conduct curbside fundraisers. There is limited space so daily use will be limited. These are purely optional for students and staff and all participants must adhere to social distancing and the donning of masks at each event. There will also be limits on the number of participants based on recommendations from the Skokie Health Department. 

Fine Arts

A limited number of performance-based fine arts classes may access our outdoor facilities. Because of the airborne nature of the use of instruments and voice, there will be strict limits on the number of participants and the type of formations permitted based on recommendations from the Skokie Health Department. To reiterate, these events are optional for students and staff, and all participants must adhere to social distancing and the donning of masks at each event.


Participants must provide their own transportation to and from school. When the activity concludes, participants must leave school grounds. Congregating in the parking lots is not permitted for safety and health reasons. 


Dr. James Edwards
Niles North Principal

Dr. Karen Ritter
Niles West Principal

Dr. Steven Isoye
Superintendent of Schools

National Merit Scholarship Program

D219 National Merit Semifinalists

Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. 

There are 17 D219 National Merit Semifinalists. (North) Farkas Ferincz, Kyle Kenmotsu, Kalliope Kobotis, Alyssa Levin, Abigael Parrish, Diana Shklover, Jeanjuella Tipan and Devin Zakeri. (West) Anthony Avram, Lily Carey, Richard Chen, Theodore Clarke, Gabriellle Feliciano, Henry Gussis, Leah Ju, Christian Montgomery and Alex Thoppil. 

Steps in the 2021 Competition
Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. 

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and write an essay. 

From the approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. 

Logo for HHMI BioInteractive

West Educator Selected for HHMI BioInteractive Ambassador Academy

The 2020–2023 Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) BioInteractive Ambassador Academy members, 30 thoughtful, passionate, and dedicated education professionals committed to high-quality life and environmental science teaching, were announced. Congratulations to Niles West science teacher Britt Czupryna on being selected. 

These outstanding high school and undergraduate educators participated in an extensive application process that focused on their teaching approach and experience. Academy members were selected from almost 400 applicants and represent a variety of educational contexts in 22 U.S. states and Canada. 

Over the next three years, Academy members will engage in professional learning experiences to equip them to promote and support evidence-based teaching practices, drive change in science education, and elevate the professional and scholarly profile of science teaching. They will work with HHMI BioInteractive to share inclusive and equitable science teaching practices that incorporate our classroom resources, approach, and values. Those who complete the Academy will engage in a variety of activities as part of BioInteractive’s efforts to empower science educators and inspire their students, including designing and facilitating professional learning for other educators.

D219 Canvas login screenshot

Parent/Guardian Access to Canvas

What is Canvas?

Canvas is a learning management system (LMS) that allows teachers to provide instructional support, class calendars, assignments, and resources for students in a safe online environment. Canvas is being used as the primary course connection between students and teachers with Remote Learning in the 2020-21 school year. Once we return to traditional in-person classes, Canvas will continue to be an integral part of classroom instruction. 

Canvas Use

Canvas can provide you with specific information about your student’s curricula, so you have a better understanding of the work that teachers and students are doing.  Assignment detail and student scores are available in your student’s Canvas account.

What is the Parent Observer Role in Canvas?

Observers have limited permissions that allow them to see what is going on in a course and a calendar of assignments. 

What can Parent Observers view in Canvas? 

Below are the features available to Parents. Please note that not all courses use all features. 

  • Set your Notification
  • View the Dashboard
  • View the Course Syllabus
  • View prompts but not participate in Discussions
  • View but not submit assignments
  • Preview and download some Files
  • View the Modules Page
  • View Canvas Grades
  • View the Calendar
  • Communicate with the teacher 

Students and Parents can access Canvas through a web browser or on a mobile device using the Canvas Student/Parent app.

Start Here / Instructions

November 3rd Declared State Holiday, No School. Become an Election Judge!

This June, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Public Act 101-0642 into law, designating November 3, 2020 as Election Day, a state holiday. As a result of this, Niles Township High School District 219 schools will be closed on this day, and it will be a non-attendance day for students for remote learning.

This state legislation also creates an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors who meet certain qualifications to serve as an Election Judge on that day.

To qualify as a student judge, you must:

  • Be a high school senior or junior
  • Maintain at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Be a U.S. citizen by the next election
  • Able to speak, read and write English fluently
  • Successfully complete an election judge training course conducted by the Clerk’s office
  • Have written consent from your principal and a parent or legal guardian. 
  • Reside in Cook County

Election judges receive $200 for their work. This compensation is paid to students who attend training, pass the test and work on Election Day. All three conditions must be met.

For more information on how to apply and be selected as a High School Student Election Judge, visit the following link: