School District U-46 Opens Doors on Aug.15
#U46FirstDayReady focuses on updated health records, registration, academic preparedness
ELGIN - Classes resume Aug. 15 for more than 39,000 kindergarteners through twelfth graders across School District U-46. The school year promises continued innovation and excellence, including the District’s universal play-based Full-Day kindergarten program, the addition of guidance counselors to middle school, and, at the high school level, an upgraded math curriculum and the expansion of its award-winning Dual Language program.
“Staff members across the District have spent the summer preparing our buildings, classrooms, curriculum, and resources for the 2018-19 school year,” said U-46 CEO Tony Sanders. “We are excited to welcome back our students on August 15 for another year of learning and growth.”
The District will distribute more than 13,000 Chromebooks to middle and high school students in August. This Board-approved technology purchase will bring our high schools to 1:1 as each ninth through twelfth grader will be issued a dedicated Chromebook to use throughout the school year. In addition, all middle school students enrolled in an Algebra 1, Algebra 2, or Geometry course will be issued a Chromebook to support their learning as part of the District’s updated math curriculum and move to an online platform in fall 2018.
The District’s Dual Language program, which moved up to eighth grade last year, will now be available to freshmen at all of the District’s five comprehensive high schools. The plan is to add a grade in each of the subsequent years, maintaining U-46 as home to one of the largest Dual Language programs in the United States. More than 10,000 U-46 students are on their way to becoming bilingual and bilerate, better ready to build careers in a global society.
U-46 will also continue its partnership with Elgin Community College to offer a full-time Dual Credit program for seniors. These students, who must demonstrate certain college readiness benchmark scores for acceptance, take all of their courses at ECC. They earn both high school and college credit for each class. In May 2018, 42 graduating seniors were honored for their participation in this valuable program.
For the first time since the national fiscal crisis-fueled cuts of 2009, the District is restoring middle school guidance counselors to each of the eight middle schools. Additionally, the District will give middle and high school students access to Naviance, a web-based college and career readiness platform, to help them explore their strengths and interests and create a plan for the future.
New this year, students who qualify for bus services will find their bus pick-up times and locations posted on the Parent Portal under the “Transportation” tab starting Aug. 10. Families with questions about busing can call the Transportation Department’s special “back to school” call center beginning Aug. 13 at 847-888-5095.
For the fourth year, U-46 will offer a free career expo for students, but for the first time, it will be offered on a weekday, and eighth grade students will ride buses with their teachers to the event. Explore 2018: A Community, Curriculum and Career Expo is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 12 at a new location, the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. It is specifically aimed at educating students about the connection between U-46 middle and high school classes and opportunities that best prepare them for further education and careers following high school graduation.
With the support of Alignment Collaborative for Education (ACE) and the Citizens’ Advisory Council (CAC), Explore gathers local business and industry leaders to showcase career options, demonstrate skills used in those fields and explain what courses will prepare students to work in a particular area.
As part of the #U46FirstDayReady campaign, U-46 has been urging parents to use the last weeks of summer break to ensure their children meet health-related requirements, including having up-to-date physicals and immunization records. Students starting pre-school, kindergarten, sixth, ninth, and twelfth grades must show proof of meeting specific health requirements by the first day of school. The policy aims to ensure a healthy environment for all students. The requirements and necessary forms can be found here and within the menu of the Health Services page on the District website at www.u-46.org.
To support the District’s policies, Health Services will host a Health Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9 at Streamwood High School, 701 W. Schaumburg Road, Streamwood. Advocate Healthcare, VNA Health Care, Jewel-Osco, CVS Minute Clinic and Greater Elgin Family Care Center will provide physicals and immunizations on a first-come, first-served basis to U-46 students. Providers will offer a range of options for students with private, public, or no insurance.
The District also strongly urged families to register their children for the new school year via the online “Parent Portal.” But for parents and guardians who needed help, U-46 scheduled a variety of walk-in events over the summer at the Educational Services Center, individual school buildings, and for the first time, at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin. Families who still need help registering are encouraged to call the school their child will be attending to set up an appointment.