Make Some Noise Graphic for Wk May 18 2020

Niles Township Celebrates the Week of the Graduate Beginning May 18

Make Some Noise Graphic for Wk May 18 2020

All 11 public school districts that serve Niles Township will celebrate their 8th graders and high school seniors the week of May 18, which marks The Week of the Graduate, Class of 2020.  Community members are encouraged to head out to your front porch or come to the front lawn on Wednesday, May 20 at 8:20 p.m. (20:20 in military time) to “Make Some Noise for the Class of 2020”: sing your favorite song, bang some pots and pans, and give the Class of 2020 the round of applause that they deserve.

On May 20, schools will also turn all their lights on from 8 to 9 p.m. to “light up the night” for the Class of 2020.

The Week of the Graduate is sponsored by the Niles Township Superintendents Association, in partnership with the Village of Lincolnwood, the Village of Morton Grove, the Village of Niles and the Village of Skokie.

The schools are providing lawn signs or window signs for their graduates to display at their homes, and residents are encouraged to celebrate the Class of 2020 students the week of May 18 by tying a ribbon of their high school’s color on a tree by their home (red for Niles West and purple for Niles North).

“With the COVID-19 pandemic taking away the usual forms of celebration for this year’s graduates, we think it’s important that our community find a way to come together to honor and congratulate the Class of 2020,” said Dr. Margaret Clauson, Superintendent of Skokie/Morton Grove School District 69.

Residents and businesses can make a sign to display in their window or business, and residents can change out their porch bulb to a red or purple bulb for the week.


Dr. Beth Flores, Golf School District 67

Dr. James Garwood, Skokie School District 68

Dr. Margaret Clauson, Skokie — Morton Grove School District 69

Mr. Brad W. Voehringer, Morton Grove School District 70

Dr. John Kosirog, Niles School District 71

Dr. Cindy Whittaker, Fairview South School District 72

Dr. Scott Thompson, East Prairie School District 73

Ms. Kate Donegan, Skokie School District 73.5

Dr. Kimberly Nasshan, Lincolnwood School District 74

Dr. Steven Isoye, Niles Township High School District 219

Ms. Tarin Kendrick, Niles Township District for Special Education 807

Week of the Graduate Flyer

Make Some Noise Flyer

D219 Default Announcement logo

Graduation Communication 4.30.20

Sent April 30, 2020

Dear D219 Students and Families,

The highlight of every school year is graduation. It presents us with the chance to recognize the achievements of our seniors and to highlight future plans as you embark on your early adventures as young adults. We recognize how important it is to each of you to mark the passage of this important milestone. It is also an important opportunity to come together as a community and celebrate with parents, friends, and extended family. After careful consideration, which took into account the social distancing and mass gatherings parameters set by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and current guidance against in-person graduations recommended by the Illinois State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Carmen Ayala, here are D219’s plans for graduation. We appreciate your patience during this process.

Virtual Graduation

D219 will be conducting a virtual graduation for the Class of 2020 on Sunday, June 7 Sunday, June 14. Although not all the details are set, a virtual graduation would look like this:

  • Graduates would submit a photo of themselves wearing their cap, gown and any cords.
  • The pictures would then be compiled into a presentation in which each photo would be displayed.
  • All student and staff speeches that are part of a traditional graduation would be submitted digitally to be integrated into the graduation.
  • The graduation presentation link would be made available to our students and their  families. (We will provide more details in a future communication.)

Physical Graduation (tentative, based on developing conditions)

In the event that the guidelines for social distancing and mass gatherings change, we have tentatively scheduled a physical graduation (with possible restrictions) on Sunday, July 19 at the Rosemont Theatre. Times will be communicated as we receive more details.

We acknowledge the profound disappointment that our seniors have faced during this historic health challenge in our country and around the world. That being said, we are confident that we can honor their contributions to D219 in one, and hopefully two, dignified graduations.


Prom is a very important event, particularly for seniors, to mark the end of their high school careers with a celebratory and exciting night of dancing and fun. Unfortunately, we are going to cancel prom for this year because our original dates are still under the umbrella of the “stay at home” order. However, if the guidelines change, we are looking at the possibility of an end of year senior sendoff in late July. Like you, we are very disheartened that this type of decision had to be made, but do look forward to the senior sendoff if circumstances change.

Cap and Gown Pickup

Details on cap, gown, cords, and yearbook pickup as well as locker cleanout and item return information will be communicated early next week.

Dr. James Edwards, Niles North High School Principal
Dr. Karen Ritter, Niles West High School Principal
Dr. Steven Isoye, Superintendent of Schools

A Song of Hope composed by Sachio Nang

A Song of Hope – Composed by NW Student Sachio Nang

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and a song to carry you through….

The following song was composed by Niles West senior Sachio Nang and created with 100+ tracks from musicians from around the world, from places like Thailand, Malta and New Zealand.

A Song of Hope is the song we all need now. Please enjoy:

A Song of Hope

Green virus graphic

Remote Learning to Continue Rest of School Year 4.17.20

Sent April 17, 2020

Dear D219 Students and Families,

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced this afternoon that all schools will be closed to in-person learning for the rest of the 2019-20 school year. Based on this decision, we will continue remote learning for the remainder of this school year. Our entire staff remains committed to learning and engaging with all students through remote learning, as well as continuing with our food distribution program.

Like you, we are saddened by the reality that our students will not be able to complete the rest of this school year in the conventional manner because of this public health crisis. After all the hard work so many of our students have put into both the classroom and extracurricular activities, we know today’s announcement will disappoint many.

This decision will result in significant scheduling changes in our district. As Governor Pritzker just made his announcement this afternoon, it will take us time to finalize some of the important decisions we have to make, including alternate plans for graduation, and when students will be able to pick up their personal belongings from school. Please be patient as we work as a district to get information to you in the next several weeks.

These past few weeks have proven that our school community is more resilient, more capable and more compassionate than what we may have previously realized. We are confident that we will continue to offer productive learning experiences for our students for the rest of this year, and we appreciate the ongoing and enthusiastic participation of our students.

We know this is not the school year that any of us expected or imagined, but we want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we have dealt with this unprecedented situation together. This period of Remote Learning offers us new ways to learn and grow.

On another note, below are some items of importance that we wanted to communicate to our D219 community.

Light The Night

Tonight, every school in the Central Suburban League Conference (and many schools across the nation) are turning on their stadium lights as a sign of our support for those spring student-athletes who are unable to compete due to the coronavirus pandemic. Niles North and Niles West will be joining in to “Light the Night” to honor all of the hard work being put in by our spring athletes, especially our seniors, during this unprecedented time. We want them to know that they are in our hearts and minds. In addition, we turn on our lights to #LightsForTheFight to show support for all the healthcare workers, first responders, and all other essential workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.

Niles North will have its stadium lights turned on from 8:20 p.m. (20:20 in military time) to honor the Class of 2020) to 8:40. Niles West’s stadium will be lit from 8 to 9 p.m.

Please understand that this is not a school-sponsored event. This is only a drive-by-opportunity so please continue to follow the social distancing guidelines and remain in your cars if you drive by the stadium/s.

Members of the D219 community are encouraged to participate at home by turning on your outside house lights tonight as well.

Progress Reports

Progress reports will be posted on Monday, April 20. During this time, you will be able to view your student’s 14-week progress on Campus Parent Portal. Any student who is not currently passing a course will be issued an “INC” (incomplete) instead of “F” (failing grade).

If you see an incomplete grade on your progress report, it means that students can continue to work towards improving their grades so that a passing grade can be issued in place of the incomplete grade at the end of the semester. During remote learning, no student will be impacted negatively by grades. Students’ grades can only improve during remote learning. We encourage all students to remain engaged in their learning throughout the rest of the semester.

Appropriate Zoom Usage

Remote learning has provided students and staff with new ways to learn and teach. Therefore, all students will adhere to the D219 handbook on appropriate classroom behavior during remote learning sessions. This includes teleconferences (Zoom meetings) and/or any form of communication. Students are expected to follow classroom guidelines on conduct and respectful behavior.  Unacceptable use of remote learning communications or any behavior, such as inappropriate comments, gestures, or acts found to be disruptive or disrespectful to the educational setting, will be addressed by the teacher, dean, and/or building administrators.

Today, Friday, April 17, all students received their daily Student Attendance Survey link which included an additional acknowledgment of our District’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).

June 2020 SAT

The June 2020 SAT administration has been cancelled. If it’s safe from a public health standpoint, the College Board will provide weekend SAT administrations every month through the end of the calendar year, beginning in August. This includes a new administration in September and the previously scheduled tests on August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5. Students will be able to register for these administrations beginning in May.

It’s important we continue to work together and support our students. We can’t thank you enough for all that you are doing as we all work together through these challenging times. Take care and be well.


Dr. James Edwards, Niles North
Dr. Karen Ritter, Niles West Principal
Dr. Steven Isoye, District 219 Superintendent

D219 ECSB Dept Making Face Shields

ECSB Dept Designing PPE to Assist Health Workers During Crisis

D219 ECSB Dept Making Face Shields

Please click link to watch video of how the Engineering, Computer Science & Business Department is using innovation to design and create prototypes of Personal Protective Equipment to assist health workers during this crisis. 

The video was created by Robert Henderson with assistance from Chris Powell, Robb Barton and Angela Hankes.

D219 Engineering, Computer Science and Business (ESCB) staff are working with students to design protoype Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) devices to help during the current crisis. Thank you to faculty:  Angela Hankes, Tim Sullivan, Robb Barton, Chris Powell, Rob Foster, Ben Brzezinski, Ken Albert and Kyle Thomas.

D219 Default Announcement logo

Remote Learning Survey | Please give us your feedback!

We know how challenging it is for our school community during this COVID-19 pandemic, and we are conducting a survey to gather feedback from students, their families, and staff members to get your thoughts about how District 219 can best serve you. We invite you to participate in this survey, which should only take 3 to 5 minutes to complete.

Please complete the survey and submit it by Wednesday, April 22.

If remote learning continues beyond April 30, we will re-administer this survey to obtain your ongoing opinions. Your responses will remain anonymous, and they will help inform our next steps. For languages other than English and Spanish, please work directly with your family liaison.

Your comments and suggestions are important to us.  Thank you.


Dr. Karen Ritter, Niles West Principal
Dr. James Edwards, Niles North Principal
Dr. Steven Isoye, Superintendent of Schools

D219 Default Announcement logo

Principal letter to seniors re. end-of-year activities 4.10.20

Sent April 10, 2020

Dear D219 Class of 2020 Students and Families,

We know that you have been wondering about the status of end-of-the-year activities, including our annual student awards ceremonies, prom and graduation. We understand how important these events are, not only in and of themselves, but also because they mark such important milestones in a year that has already been altered beyond anyone’s expectations by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are sending this note to let you know that we are actively investigating a number of possibilities and alternatives, including having some “virtual” events.  In the end, the question of whether we will be able to hold any in-person gatherings, and, if so, when those can take place, will be determined at state and local levels, and we may not have much control over these decisions. Just yesterday, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said large public gatherings should probably not take place this summer, and probably not even until an effective vaccine is available.

That being said, here are some of the things we can tell you about the options we are considering. 

Senior Recognition Awards
We are proceeding with our awards and recognitions for seniors. Although neither event will be held physically at the schools, Niles North will have its Awards of Distinction, and Niles West will have its Accolades recognitions, albeit in a different format this year. Both schools will recognize seniors for their outstanding contributions over their high school careers. Our faculty and staff members are working with our administrators to develop a vehicle that will spotlight the significant accomplishments of so many of our students.

Prom is a very important event, particularly for seniors, to mark the end of their high school careers with a celebratory and exciting night of dancing and fun. Because the original dates are so close to the “stay at home” order and we have not received guidance on what the limits on large gatherings may be after that date, we are unfortunately going to cancel the May prom dates. We are heartbroken to have to make this decision. We are considering the possibility of  holding a physical prom later in the year at one of our schools. We are also looking at possibly holding some kind of senior send off sometime in the summer. All of these alternate events would be contingent on the determination that it is safe for people to gather in groups by this time. 

The highlight of every school year is graduation. We know it is as important, or maybe even more so, for families as it is for students to mark this milestone. It is also an important opportunity to come together as a community and celebrate with parents, friends and extended family.  Our current date of graduation is scheduled for Sunday, May 24. Because of the uncertainty of whether mass gatherings will be allowed in late May, we are planning for alternative ways to mark graduation while adhering to the “stay at home” rule, should it be extended. 

Since seniors have already ordered their caps and gowns, we will develop plans to get those ceremonial garments to our graduates. Those distribution plans will of course, adhere to the social distancing guidelines that are currently in place.

One possibility is to hold a “virtual” graduation. Another possibility is to still have a physical ceremony later in the summer. We will keep you informed as developments unfold, and we will  continue to look for ways to celebrate these important life-marking events for our students at the same time we must all address the profound challenges that we are facing at this unprecedented time in our country and around the world. 

Please stay home and stay safe. We will get through this together!


Dr. James Edwards, Niles North Principal
Dr. Karen Ritter, Niles West Principal
Dr. Steven Isoye, Superintendent of Schools

D219 Default Announcement logo

Letter to D219 families re. Zoombombing

Sent April 1, 2020 – 9:15pm

Dear D219 Students & Families,

We are sorry to report that a few remote learning sessions today at Niles North and Niles West were disrupted with incidents of “Zoombombing.” This problem is not unique to our district. Zoombombing refers to uninvited intrusions into video conferencing sessions, for example, by hackers using graphic images or hateful language. This has become a problem across the nation as more people turn to the use of video conferencing as a result of the physical distancing we are observing in response to COVID-19.

We want to exercise caution so that student remote learning sessions are not negatively impacted by any such disruptive or upsetting incidents. Therefore, we are asking our faculty and staff members NOT to use video conferencing sessions for their classes for the remainder of this week, while our Information Technology team puts in place additional safeguards that will greatly reduce the chance of such Zoombombing incidents. Class activities will continue with Google Classroom this week.

We are sending you this message to let you know about the problem. We are working as quickly as possible to come up with a plan that both allows our teachers to use remote learning methods that enhance their class offerings, while also protecting our students from inappropriate comments or content.

We are sorry to alert you to this problem at a time when we know our students are already undergoing such challenging times because of COVID-19. It is also unfortunate that we have to worry about such a thing at a time when our teachers and paraprofessionals are working so hard to develop remote learning plans that help our students move forward academically.

This is an opportune time for all of us to practice responsible digital citizenship. We encourage all of our students to remember that they should exercise online the same respect for each other and for their teacher that they would in person.

Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation.

Dr. James Edwards, Niles North Principal
Dr. Karen Ritter, Niles West Principal
Dr. Steven Isoye, Superintendent of Schools