Vol 1 Issue 6 --- January 26, 2023
From the desk of the Superintendent:
Dear District 126 Faculty and Staff:
District 126 is proud to support a Career and Technical Program (CTP) Center as our vision centers on preparing individuals for high-skill, high-wage, in-demand employment. With pride, I salute all District 126 faculty and staff for providing our students with the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to thrive in college, careers, and, most importantly, life. Our CTP is an example of that work. We emphasize real-world skills driven by the idea that our scholars gain practical knowledge while discovering their unique talents and preparing for future success. We understand that success is intentional and that our District focuses our assets on ensuring that success happens in all deeds by design, not by chance!!!
I am proud to share that our lead administrator of the ZBTHS CTP Center reports our Center is operating with students and teachers settling into the facilities through the hard work of faculty, staff, and professional contractors. It is also known that certifications are underway, and meaningful experiences are being created to prepare students for college, career, and life!"
Points of Zee-Bee P.R.I.D.E
Future Business Leaders of America
Our Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) students participated in the regional competition at CLC against 700+ students from area schools such as Stevenson, Lake Forest, Grayslake, Vernon Hills, and more. We had four first-place winners and 16 students who placed in the top 4 of their events!
Video Production 1 & 2
Our students animated and produced professional videos through a partnership with community leaders that included CEOs and Elected Officials as part of the curriculum in collaboration with our graphic design teacher. The opportunity for real-life experiences for our students and staff in partnership with our community was achieved as a result of this activity.
NJROTC Rifle Team
The NJROTC Rifle Team competed in the Illinois State Rifle Championship in Kankakee, IL. The team scored a "Personal Best" of 2223 out of 2400 points. The ZBs earned GOLD for the 18th time in the last 20 state championships. In February, the Rifle Team will compete in the Navy National Championship in Sandy, Utah.
With Zee-Bee Pride,
Dr. Jesse J. Rodriguez
Superintendent of Schools
- Saturday, January 28th - Zion Leadership Group Community Event 10:00 am PAC (all Executive Cabinet and Management Team encouraged to attend)
- Tuesday, February 21st - Business, Bid, and Finance Committee 4:30 pm
- Tuesday, February 28th - Regular Board of Education Meeting 7:00 pm
Did you file your taxes and need to make changes?
W-4 forms are available in the Business Office on display in front of Kathy Zimmerman’s Office
A direct link to state and federal sites are listed below:
Federal 2023 Form W-4 (irs.gov)
State of Illinois W-4_Illinois.pdf
While Payroll cannot give you tax advice, our SDS Web Office Financial can show you exactly what your changes will have on your check.
Project your pay
Make changes in the middle of the screen to Increase or Decrease:
1. Tax Shelter amounts such as 403b or 457
2. Change withholdings - Be sure to select W4 2020 or later for W4 version
Compute and see the new estimate side by side.
· Installed new basketball backboard
· New exhaust fans for the main gym delivered. Will be installed once roof curbs come in.
· Setup 8 division NSC Cheerleading Competition
· Patch and paint areas of CCC
· Hung whiteboards in the 400s hallway
· Learned how to monitor and maintain the new main gym exhaust
· Passed school insurance walk-through inspection
· Cleaned out New Tech fieldhouse storage building
This month we have installed our new ovens in both the North and South Kitchens at the main campus. We are also in the process of replacing the oven at New Tech. As we introduce our new whole muscle chicken sandwich options, we are also rolling out a new built-to-order Salad Bar available in the North Cafeteria.
This month is our Black Bean Nacho Limited Time offer; this will be available to students on Thursday, January 26th.
New Zee-Bee Member!
It is our pleasure to introduce Mrs. Jessika Pencak, who started this week at Zion-Benton Township High School, in her new role as the Human Resources and Communications Support Specialist. Mrs. Pencak brings many years of experience within the educational system in roles as Human Resources Specialist, Coordinator of Family and Community Engagement and PreK Parent Educator, English Learners Data Specialist, and Psychologist & Compliance Specialist.
Please join us in welcoming Mrs. Pencak to ZBTHS D126.
Program Highlight- Zion Alternative Program (ZAP)
The Zion Alternative Program (ZAP) is a Special Education program designed for students who require a fully self-contained environment for behavior or emotional concerns. This program is designed for students who require a higher level of support and supervision than can not be provided at the ZBTHS campus. The Zion Alternative Program is located on the New Tech Campus at the corner of Bethesda Blvd. and 22nd Street in Zion. Students who are placed at ZAP have access to a high level of social-emotional support during the school day.
The ZAP team includes:
Department Head of Alternative Programming- Jenn Lang
Teachers- Mark Henry, Patrick Swanson, Erica Gorr, Andrew Lucky, James Captain
Social Workers- Kayla Sullivan and Kira Busses
Instructional Aides- Taron Williams and Adam Mischichowski
Student Support Specialist- Timothy Grant
Secretary - Amy McCleary
Are you working on a degree for employment advancement? Are you a leader in your current role with greater aspirations? Zion-Benton Township High School District 126 is committed to supporting your efforts and professional goals. Please send me an email if you are continuing your education, interested in other opportunities in the district, and/or simply seeking leadership support/mentorship. I want to assist in any way I can to help you succeed. Thank you. Chris.Pawelczyk@zb126.org
The D126 Interactive Dashboard is live for public viewing. This supplement to our Strategic Plan is intended for families, community members, and visitors to our school district. It is our story of growth and achievement while we continue our efforts to meet the goals of our strategic plan.
The 2023 improvements to the Strategic Plan were presented to the Board of Education on January 24, 2023. Modifications were made to the 6 goals and many of the strategies designed to meet those goals. Use this link to the 2023 Strategic Plan Updates & Edits Slide Presentation to view the changes highlighted in yellow. The Strategic Plan document will be edited and out soon as the 2023 2.0 version.
District 126 Technology
The 2023 3-Phase Technology Planning Committee started meeting this week with the goal of creating a 3-Phase Technology Plan to cover the years 2023-2026 in alignment with the current District 126 Strategic Plan. The committee is chaired by Dr. Cheri Bridge, Director of Technology. Members of the committee are as follows: Steven Angelos, Cheri Carter, Ryan Geary, Esmeralda Gomez, Shan Kazmi, Jasey Kolarik, Robert Knowles, Kate Hudgins, Chris Pawelczyk, Jeanne Sanchez, Sama Saed, and Spence Voss. There will be more to come from this group over the next several months.
Stay connected to the ZB-IT "HiveNet" Technology pages on the district website. We have updated the look and added important compliance information to the site. Be sure to check out the ZB-IT HiveNet Staff page to get acquainted with our team!
We have just launched a brand new EdTech resource site specifically for faculty and staff. This site includes a variety of helpful resources such as tips for using educational technology in the classroom, professional development, and more. The information is limited right now but it is a living resource that will grow throughout the year. Bookmark this site and check back often!
Online Course Selection via Skyward Dec. 22 - Jan 20
Classroom Teachers and Advisors Assist Jan. 9 – 20
Current Freshman ℅ 2026 Jan 23 - Jan 27
Current Juniors ℅ 2024 Jan 30 - Feb 3
Current Sophomores ℅ 2025 Feb 6 - Feb 10
Freshman Orientation - Feb 8 - 6:30PM in the PAC
College and Career Fair - Feb 8 - 6:30PM in the Fied House
ACCESS testing will continue through Friday, February 3rd. An assembly was held to encourage students to achieve and excel. Testing has been going well. Excellence is our standard.
Chambers Singers & Bassoonist John Rivera to Perform at IMEC
The ZBTHS Chamber Singers and senior band student, bassoonist John Rivera, were selected to perform at the state conference — Illinois Music Education Conference (IMEC). IMEC is the annual state music conference in Peoria, attended by over 12,000 music teachers, students, and clinicians in Illinois. The association is the state's largest and most prominent music association. It is equivalent to "going to state." The Chamber Singers recorded two numbers and submitted an audition to perform at IMEC. The selection to perform at IMEC is an honor and a first for ZBTHS! Both John and the Chambers Singers will perform in Peoria this Thursday, January 26th. To celebrate these Zee-Bees, there will be a State Send-Off in the South Commons on Tuesday, January 24th, during 8th period.
AP Microeconomics is Underway
Our newest AP class is proving to be the most economical. AP Economics provides students the opportunity to study both Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. The bonus? Students will get to take both AP tests with the potential of earning two credits. Students are beginning their studies of circular flow models that illustrate how goods, services, and money move through the economy. This bidirectional cycle helps students see how goods and services move from businesses to individuals and how funds move from individuals to businesses in the market economy.
The MTSS Team is in the process of conducting conferences with parents of students who can benefit from additional support. These meetings are designed to let families know we really care about our students and their personal & academic success. During these conferences, students have the opportunity to share their strengths and interests. We are using an asset-based approach.
Trust and Communication
No Updates This Week
Semester 1 Closeout Event: 'Hot Cocoa with the Principal' featuring "Bee # Band"
Semester 1 Highlights
Upcoming January Events
January 9th - Teacher Institute Day
January 11th - Union Meeting/ Culture and Climate Committee
January 18th - Parent Advisory Committee/ Early Dismissal
January 20th - Senior Picture Retake
January 25th - Faculty Meeting
January 30th - Teacher mentor meeting
NEW TECH UPDATES
A Note From the Principal...
Ms. Felske emailed this to all District staff on 1/19/23. The linked list of strategies has already been viewed 88 times.
Work in Progress
- Completed four Recruitment nights for the Class of 2027!
- A total of 130 families and we even had a fellow educator from Shiloh Park drop by.
- Outreach to foundation middle schools for high school readiness to begin in February.
- SIP NT Branding/School Identity-initial school logo drafts produced; next meeting 2/8/23.
- Along with the New Tech Culture and Climate Committee, Mr. McKnight has collaborated with Athletics to sponsor a food drive on 2/15/23 during a boys basketball game.
- TECH CAMPUS UPDATE - 20 new students from New Tech will be attending the Tech Campus next year, joining the 10 students that are returning for their senior year.
Principal's Welcome and Introduction to New Tech/ZB East!
New Tech Calendar
Zion-Benton Township High School District 126
Location: Zion-Benton Township High School, West 21st Street, Zion, IL, USA
Phone: (847) 731-9300