New Bridges Facility Grand Opening

New Bridges Facility Opened Sept 9

New Bridges Facility Grand Opening

Niles Township High School District 219 formally inaugurated its new Bridges Adult Transition Center in Lincolnwood on September 9, when it held a Sneak Peek Preview tour for Bridges faculty and staff members followed by an afternoon Grand Opening ceremony for community leaders and community partners. 

The Bridges program is for young adults ages 18 to 22 years old with special needs who have met high school graduation requirements and are transitioning to adulthood. The program was previously housed in Niles North High School, and is now moving to a dedicated facility designed to address the needs of the Bridges program. The new facility is the result of the reconstruction of a former manufacturing facility. The 49,000-square-foot building allows for various vocational skills and independent living skills training in different simulation labs and classrooms. Some of the labs included are: Apartment Lab, Laundry Lab, Kitchen Lab, Superstore Lab, and Office Lab.

With D219 students attending school via remote learning the first semester because of the covid pandemic, Bridges students are not yet in the new building, but the Bridges faculty and staff members look forward to welcoming students back in person as soon as health guidelines permit.

Here is a link to a short video about the new Bridges facility:

Link to Bridges Video

For more information about the Bridges program, please visit the website at:

Bridges RoomBridges AptBridges Waiting
Bridges patioBridges Activity AreaSchool Board
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Open House To Be Rescheduled

Our District-wide Open House evening originally scheduled for Thursday, September 3, will be rescheduled due to the pandemic and remote learning schedule. As a result, Friday, September 4 will be a regularly scheduled school day with no late start. We will be working with union leadership on the details for the future Open House event, including date/time and format.

American Writers Museum Logo

North Students Win OnWord Writing Awards

Niles North High School students Ysa Quiballo and Nina Artwell received the OnWord 2020 Writing Competition Award for their pieces submitted to the American Writers Museum. The contest was open to students who toured the Chicago museum during the 2019-2020 school year. They were tasked to respond to the prompt “My America is . . .” Each student received $1,000 and a membership to the American Writers Museum. In addition, they were recorded reading their pieces and were honored at the virtual OnWord 2020 benefit on September 1.

Watch the benefit and listen to award winners here.

sandwich and juice

D219, Quest Make Meals Available for Students

D219, Quest make meals available for students during first semester

In recognition of challenges our families are facing with the COVID-19 pandemic, D219 and Quest Food Management Services, our onsite food service provider, is offering free breakfasts and lunches to students throughout the first semester, as remote learning continues. 

Meals are available on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following locations:

Niles West High School, 5701 W. Oakton Street, Skokie

Door 13 (South Lobby)

Niles North High School, 9800 N. Lawler Avenue, Skokie

Door 12 (Athletics Entrance)

Julia S Molloy Education Center, 8701 Menard Avenue, Morton Grove 

Front Entrance

Please note that, in the event a holiday falls on a Monday, meal pickup up days will be moved back one day (i.e., Tuesday and Thursday) that week. So, for example, this year, when Labor Day falls on Monday, September 7, students can pick up meals on Tuesday, September 8 and Thursday, September 10. 

Meals are available for all D219 students. Meals for young adults ages 18 to 22 are also available at Molloy Education Center. 

At each distribution, D219 and Quest will provide two or three days’ worth of meals including: breakfast foods, cold entrees (such as sandwiches and wraps), cold sides (such as pasta salad, cole slaw, bagged chips), fruit and beverages. 

Distribution will take place outside each school building (reference the door number above) to ensure the safety and sanitation of the building during this shutdown. Students or their families may simply approach or drive up to the distribution point, and quickly pick up the meals

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Statement Against Racism

Dear Niles North Family,

As a school community, we are mortified by the events that occurred on Sunday evening in Kenosha. Most importantly, our thoughts and prayers go out to Jacob Blake and his friends and  family during this difficult time. This incident has had a far reaching effect on our community as Jacob attended middle and high school in Evanston. This tragedy was clearly another example of the manifestation of systemic racism in American society and serves as a reminder of the struggles that all People of Color, especially Black Americans face on a daily basis to retain their humanity in the face of abject racism.

As an organization that aspires to be anti-racist, we have much work to do to create an environment in which all voices are elevated and everyone is treated with the respect and dignity they deserve as human beings. To achieve racial justice in our school community requires a movement, not a moment. Let us ponder how we can collectively use each one of the moments throughout history in which Black lives were deemed expendable to create that “movement” to eradicate institutional racism and all of its insidious iterations. One of those movements is to frame racist actions as threats to the health and well being of our school community.  As a school administrative team, we also reaffirm that Black Lives Matter.

We want to impress upon our students and staff that Niles North is a safe space for dialogue about race. In the coming weeks there will be virtual spaces for students to engage in conversation on ways Niles North can be an inclusive and supportive place for the diverse identities of our community. The conversations will be ongoing, challenging and extremely necessary. As students and staff process these events, we want to ensure that we are providing spaces for you to speak openly about this event. Although we are in a remote learning environment, creating space for racialized trauma is imperative and our student services team will be working on creating those spaces of support. We look forward to working with all school stakeholders on this difficult, yet most important work. Now more than ever, we must truly all be in this together.

The Niles North Administrative Team

Kim Rivas - Dir of Instructional Learning

New Dir of Instructional Innovation/Learning Joins D219

Kim Rivas - Dir of Instructional LearningKim Rivas will join Niles Township High School District 219 in the new position of Director of Instructional Innovation and Professional Learning, after the D219 Board of Education approved the appointment at its August 18 special meeting. In that role, as part of the Curriculum & Instruction team, Rivas will provide leadership and coordination in the use of instructional innovation and technology at the district, provide curricular consultation on equity-focused pedagogies, supervise the schools’ professional development centers (PDCs) and promote instructional coaching.

“As a district, we have been talking about how to more effectively integrate innovative pedagogies and digital learning into our curriculum, while also focusing on culturally relevant teaching,” said Dr. Sandra Arreguín, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction. “This pandemic is forcing us to act more quickly on how we do this. I am confident that our teachers and support staff members have the knowledge and the heart and the will to respond to this challenge for the benefit of our students. Having Kim Rivas join us in this new role at this uncertain but critical time will help us meet this challenge and help us move forward as a student-centered organization.”

Rivas comes to D219 from University of Illinois at Chicago, where she has served as Post-Secondary Instructional Designer and Learning Strategist since 2015.  She served on UIC’s Educational Technologies committee as the co-chair and met monthly with campus leaders and instructional designers to discuss issues of equity and access. Rivas led initiatives to develop e-learning modules for faculty with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Rivas worked at Columbia College in Chicago for two years as K-12 Digital Learning Strategist and Research and Evaluation Manager. In this role, she was able to experiment with a variety of online communities and found these spaces to be essential for teacher development, particularly with digital media integration.

Rivas previously worked for eight years as Qualitative and Design-Based Researcher, also at UIC.  For five of those years she was also a Teaching Assistant at the university, where she designed and implemented a blended course using online platforms as well as professional learning community structure within face-to-face classroom settings.

Rivas started her career in education as a Social Studies teacher; her first full-year teaching job was at Amundsen High School in Chicago, but she actually started before that as a Global Studies teacher in Summer School at Niles North High School. She is a proud graduate of Niles West High School.

Rivas completed PhD coursework in Learning Sciences at UIC. She earned a Master in Education, Secondary Education, from DePaul University and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from UIC.

Lance Soltys

D219 provides friendly curbside pickup for Chromebooks

District 219 is welcoming incoming freshmen by providing them with the latest model of Chromebook, which can be used as a laptop or a tablet, has a touch screen, and comes with a stylus. Students who will start school at Niles West and Niles North in mid-August were invited to come by Niles West on July 22 or 23 to pick up their personal Chromebooks, which they will use for their academic work throughout their high school career.

At the curbside pickup event, members of the D219 Information Technology team, properly “masked up,” met each student’s car and asked for the letter sent to that student. A code on the letter corresponded to a registration number for that student’s computer, which allows the district to “enroll” the Chromebook so the district can support the device over the next four years. The district provides basic insurance for each device, which includes one free repair per year, if necessary.

In order to receive their personal Chromebook, a student’s family must have completed the district’s required residency verification, a process that proves the family is living within Niles Township boundaries. An added benefit to having students pick up their Chromebooks in July is that those families who have not completed the residency verification have the incentive to do that, so their student can be properly enrolled in classes by the start of the school year.

"We were pleased to offer all of our incoming freshmen a safe and convenient way to pick up their Chromebooks for high school," said Chief Technology Officer Oyin Idowu. "I would like to thank the entire IT team for making this such a seamless process."

Lance Soltys

Lance Soltys, Student Technology Support specialist at Niles North, gives a snazzy new Chromebook and case to its new freshman owner.

Utter, Scholl

IT Technicians Mike Utter (left) and Ryan Scholl provide friendly and efficient curbside customer service as incoming D219 freshmen pick up their new Chromebooks.

James Vernola

CFC Appoints First K-8 Instructional Coordinator

James Vernola

James Vernola: CFC's First K-8 Instructional Coordinator

The Niles Township High School District 219 Board of Education approved the appointment of the first K-8 Instructional Coordinator for the Classrooms First Collaboration (CFC).  James Vernola will serve in the role, where he will facilitate the implementation of K-8 STEM and Literacy programs developed by the CFC team.

Vernola is currently a Teacher and Team Leader at Community Consolidated School District 62, which is headquartered in Des Plaines. Vernola has designed and led multiple professional development opportunities, engaging a learning community in math, literacy and arts integration. As a systems thinker, Vernola redesigned and implemented recess structures and procedures and believes in creating systems where students and teachers feel supported and successful.  He has designed and led training on Kagan Cooperative Learning strategies, as well as training on CHAMPS, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and restorative practices. Vernola is passionate about leadership, specifically building trust and authentic relationships.

Vernola has also served for the past two years at Maine West High School as Assistant Band Director, leading 150 band members through many community performances and shows and co-leading all athletic bands.

Vernola previously served Milwaukee Public Schools, where he coached and mentored teachers and led teams in alignment with various district initiatives.  As an MBA student, Vernola developed a peer coaching and mentorship program that was later adopted by Milwaukee Public Schools through an $80,000 grant. Vernola is passionate about equity and ensuring every student and staff feels supported, and has access to the tools they need to be successful.

Vernola earned an MBA in Education Leadership from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education with an endorsement in Special Education from University of Wisconsin at Whitewater.

“CFC began as a small initiative and has evolved into an extraordinary collaboration amongst partner school districts in Niles Township,” said Christine Gonzales, Executive Director of K-12 STEM & Literacy. “The Instructional Coordinator positions support our goal of developing a cohesive, guaranteed and viable K-12 curriculum and assessment program.  In addition to working with teachers to connect content to individual classroom contexts and build a common understanding, the Instructional Coordinators will support teachers in learning and using skills and strategies for innovative instruction, differentiation, and the effective use of technology to improve student learning.”

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Residency Approval/Verification Letters – July 2020

The online portal is now open. This Residency Upload video tutorial will provide instructions on how to get to the Residency Upload as well as the upload process.  Unless pre-approved, please upload your four original documents. Translation services are available at:

Category 1

one document required

- 2nd installment property tax bill (homeowners)
- Mortgage statement or closing papers (homeowners)
- Signed and dated lease (renters)
- Current homeowners’/renters’ insurance policy and premium payment receipt


Category 2

three different documents required
limit one per document

- Cable bill (within 30 days)
- Internet bill (within 30 days)
- Gas bill (within 30 days)
- Electric bill (within 30 days)
- Phone bill (within 30 days)
- Water bill (most recent)
- Credit card bill or bank statement (within 30 days)

For assistance please contact:

ResidencyFee WaiverHealth
Niles West847-626-2929
F: 847-626-3700
F: 847-626-3520
Niles North847-626-2024
F: 847-626-3340
F: 847-626-3375

For new student registration, please contact


Prior Communications:
June 2020 web posting
Pre-Approval Letter
Residency Verification Required Letter

Maroe Named New K-8 Science Director for CFC

Maranda Maroe has been named as the K-8 Science Director for the Classrooms First Collaboration (CFC). The Niles Township High School District 219 Board of Education approved Maroe’s appointment at its June 23 special board meeting. Maroe will coordinate articulation of the science curricula for the elementary school districts that are part of CFC and will work closely in collaboration with the science directors at the D219 high schools.

Maroe brings to the CFC role her strong experience in teacher leadership development along with a background in middle school science curriculum development. For the past year she has been serving as Assistant Principal at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy in Los Angeles.  In this role, Maroe engaged the science teachers through professional learning communities and led the pilot of three science curricular programs.  Prior to that, Maroe was Manager of Teacher Leadership Development for three years for Teach for America (TFA) in Los Angeles. In that post she worked with 38 teachers among 18 TFA partner schools, conducting consistent coaching cycles to strengthen individual teaching practices and implement culturally relevant pedagogy.

Before TFA, Maroe was a middle school science teacher for five years at schools in the Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC) Charter School Network in Los Angeles. She co-created curriculum maps for 6th, 7th and 8th grade science and led teacher trainings for the network. She also served as the science department lead and created an annual science fair program across the schools.

Maroe earned a Master of Arts in School Leadership & Administration from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and also earned a Master of Arts in Urban Education and Educational Policy from Loyola Marymount. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development from the University of California-San Diego.