Summer Science project

D219 Summer School – an Intro to Life Science project !!

Incoming freshman students in Brad Greenspan’s Introduction to Life Science summer school class at Niles North are getting an introduction not only to subjects such as biology and botany, but also to what life will be like in high school. 


The students engage in a variety of hands-on learning activities, such as creating eco-columns, self-sustaining ecosystems that are made of plastic soda bottles. After constructing the columns, students water plants that grow in a terrestrial chamber, watch the water travel through a decomposition chamber and then observe the small fish that feed off the nutrients in the aquatics chamber. Students test the water’s pH levels to make sure the environment is hospitable for the living organisms.


“Summer school is a good way for us to experience what classes will be like in high school,” said Isabella Lopez. She said the course provides a fun variety of different activities, such as making cookies with different ingredients to study fundamentals of chemistry. 


“This class is good in preparation for freshman year,” said Idalis Perez. “We get to know some of the other kids who will be in our classes and get to know our way around the school, so we won’t feel lost when the new year begins.”

Life Science project 2019
Life Science project 2019

D219 Summer School – Theatre Workshop 2019!!

Some of the students in Sam Rosenfeld’s Theatre Workshop class this summer are already planning to take four years of theatre classes at D219, while others may just be looking to get their Public Speaking class requirement out of the way.  But regardless of their future coursework, these students are getting some lessons in teamwork that should serve them well in high school and beyond.

At one session in late June, some 30 students, arranged into three different working groups, were challenged to figure out how each group would land a tennis ball on a section of open PVC pipe, with the ball balanced on a ring that had to be stretched with even tension by ropes held by each team member. The volume in the room rose sharply as some students offered suggestions or directions — some politely, some more vociferously.  But then a hush descended when the groups got close to their objective, the rope-holders quiet with concentration.

After each of the three groups got the hang of it, Rosenfeld, who the students call “Mr. Rose,” announced the final challenge: all three groups would have to work together to land their respective balls on a PVC configuration that held three different landing points at different levels.

After less than five minutes, and using a combination of verbal instructions and physical cues, the students had accomplished the goal — and had become an ensemble.

This was just one of many team-building challenges Rosenfeld introduces to the students during the first half of summer school. When they return for the second half in July, Rosenfeld turns to more conventional theatre topics, including “telling your story and ” “finding your voice,” which he frames through a lens of social justice.  As a final project, students prepare and perform a final monologue.

After the ball-and-rope challenge, Rosenfeld gathered all the students in a circle in the Black Box Theatre and asked each person to reflect on this question: “Pick one thing you can do personally to be a better member of this ensemble.” Each student then shared their answers with the group.

The self-awareness and candor expressed by the students reflected the strong sense of community Rosenfeld has already been able to establish in the workshop, an auspicious prediction of the work this ensemble will accomplish going forward.

Theatre Workshop Course 2019
Theatre Workshop Course 2019

President of China Writes Letter to Niles North Students

On Wednesday, April 3, the Consul General of China in Chicago delivered a special letter from the President of the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, to Niles North students.

In January, with the Chinese Lunar New Year approaching, Niles North Chinese teacher Limin Dove asked her students to write a letter to President Xi to wish him a happy Chinese New Year. The Chinese 1 (introductory level) students at Niles North, many of whom have never learned Chinese prior to this, selected the best written letter to send to the Consulate in Chicago. The letter was forwarded to Beijing to President Xi. On April 3, Zhao Jian, Consul General of China in Chicago, brought President Xi’s reply letter to Niles North.


Visit to Niles North by Consul General of China
April 3, 2019 – Visit to Niles North by Consul General of China
Visit to Niles North by Consul General of China - students with letter
Letter from President of China, to Niles North students
Letter from President of China, to Niles North students
Lincolnwood Bridge

Bridges Program to have new home in Lincolnwood

District 219’s Bridges program, which provides special education transition services to young adults, will have a new home in Lincolnwood. The Lincolnwood Village Board at its May 7 meeting gave final approval to the district’s proposal to locate Bridges in a building at 4700 Chase Avenue that D219 will now purchase.

The Bridges program provides young adults ages 18 to 22 with training in the areas of independent living, job and vocational skills.

Over the coming year, D219 will convert the existing office and warehouse space in the new location into a flexible learning and training location where Bridges participants can learn specific vocational skills that they can then apply to a real-life workplace setting. The program is currently located at Niles North High School but it has outgrown the space available there.

The new location provides approximately 50,000 square feet of space and ready access to public transportation. The large space will allow for the development of job training and life skills training.

“We are very excited to enter this new era for the Bridges program,” said Bridget Connolly, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services and Special Education. “We have received enthusiastic support from the Village of Lincolnwood and from its business community. Over the coming months we hope to identify a number of businesses that can become partners with us to employ Bridges workers.”

Bridges Program video: here

Adult Transition Services (“Bridges”) – Overview: here

The Bridges Team at the Village of Lincolnwood Meeting