PARENT 411 on 115 - 5.10.23
May 10, 2023
As a District, we are always working to provide our students with the tools they need to learn, innovate, and thrive in the future.
With this in mind, I am thrilled to share that beginning with the 2023-2024 academic year, our students will transition from Chromebooks to MacBooks, making MacBooks the primary devices used by Lake Forest High School students. This change was approved by the District 115 Board of Education on March 7, 2023. A staff and student presentation about the transition to MacBooks was shared during the March 7 meeting.
This change reflects years of research, testing, and planning. My gratitude goes to our Chief Technology Officer Jordan Salus and all those involved in this endeavor. Jordan shares details below.
A Message from the Chief Technology Officer, Jordan Salus
Goodbye, Chromebooks - Hello, MacBooks!
The transition to MacBooks comes about after four years of extensive research and analysis, comparing the benefits and drawbacks of various personal devices in a high school education setting. This includes taking into account the feedback from our student surveys and pilot (“Beta”) program. Based on these factors, we determined that MacBooks offer a more comprehensive and superior learning experience for our students.
Some of the key reasons we believe MacBooks are a better fit for our high school students, supported by our research, are:
Enhanced Performance: MacBooks offer significantly better performance compared to Chromebooks, especially when it comes to multitasking and handling resource-intensive applications. This is crucial for our students as they often need to work simultaneously with various programs and tools.
Greater Software Compatibility: MacBooks have a wider range of compatible software, including many professional-grade applications that are commonly used in various industries. This will better prepare our students for their future careers by familiarizing them with today’s industry-standard tools.
Enhanced Collaboration Opportunities: MacBooks effectively support advanced collaboration tools, making it easier for students to work together on projects and assignments, both in-person and remotely. This encourages teamwork and effective communication, essential skills for success in college and the workforce.
Improved Accessibility and Inclusivity: MacBooks come with a range of built-in accessibility features designed to cater to diverse learning needs, including students with disabilities. These features ensure that all students have an opportunity to succeed, while also streamlining the process of accommodating individual needs for our educational staff.
Higher Quality Digital Content Creation: MacBooks enable students to produce high-quality digital content across various media formats, including video, audio, and graphic design. This fosters creativity and innovation, providing students with valuable skills that will serve them well in their future careers.
The feedback from our pilot program, which involved 80 students over the course of the 2021-2022 school year, was overwhelmingly positive. A remarkable 100% of students preferred the MacBook over the Chromebook, and 85% of students felt that MacBooks were the best tool to prepare them for success in college, career, and beyond.
District-Issued MacBooks Required
As a part of this transition, beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, personal student devices will no longer be supported at Lake Forest High School. This means that all students will need to use their district-issued MacBook during school hours. This decision has been made for several key reasons:
MacBooks offer a significantly higher level of performance than Chromebooks, ensuring that all students have access to a high-quality device that can handle the demands of their coursework.
There has been a substantial increase in testing requirements, including Advanced Placement (AP) and SAT exams, necessitating the use of a more powerful and reliable device.
By providing all students with district-issued MacBooks, we can offer a consistent technology platform for our educational staff, streamlining lesson planning, and providing more efficient technical support. This consistency will enhance the overall educational experience for both students and staff.
We are committed to ensuring a smooth transition for all students and staff. In the coming weeks, we will share more information regarding Chromebook return, MacBook distribution, training sessions, and resources to ensure success with the new devices.
Thank you for your understanding and support as we continue to strive for the best educational experience for our students.
National Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week 2023
There is no better time to celebrate the hard work of our District 115 teachers and staff than during National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 8-12). This week provides us an opportunity to acknowledge, appreciate, and support the professionals who dedicate themselves to serving our Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Knollwood students and families. Today and everyday, let's thank them for bringing what makes them truly special: their love for learning, their passion for professional development and growth, their ability to adapt and be flexible, and their dedication to every learner in our District.
You may have noticed the green ribbon adorning our school sign. The ribbon was placed by the District to raise awareness about Mental Health Awareness Month, which is a national movement to help fight the stigma, provide support, educate the public, and advocate for policies that support the millions of people in the U.S. affected by mental illness.
If you would like additional information, please visit the websites below.
For support in our schools, please the LFHS website.
To support a loved one in crisis:
Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741
LEAD Text-for-Help is a mental health crisis text hotline that is available 24/7, fully confidential, and staffed by licensed mental health counselors.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Dial 988
Safe2Help Illinois Helpline: Dial 844-4-SAFEIL 24/7, Free & Confidential
Capital Projects Advisory Committee Update
With the passage of the Lake Forest Community High School District 115 $105.7 million 20-year bond referendum, District 115 will now move into the next phase of planning with the assembly of a District 115 Capital Projects Advisory Committee to provide community consultation on projects funded by the bond. Thank you to all of our community members who applied for our committee. The District is currently reviewing applications and will announce the Committee members the week of May 15.
For more information about the bond, please visit our District 115 referendum website.
At last evening's meeting, the District 115 Board of Education acknowledged the receipt of the Lake County Election Results Regarding School Board Election, swore in the newly elected Board members , and appointed Officers.
While no new members joined the Board, we want to congratulate President, John Noble, Vice President, Jenny Zinser, and Secretary, John Venson on their newly appointed leadership roles.
We also want to thank LFHS Student Council President, Pride Haggerty, and Vice President, Lainey O'Neil, for their service to the Board over the course of the 2022-2023 school year. They were thanked for their outstanding reports on student activities with a resolution honoring their roles. Thank you, Pride and Lainey!
Thank you to all of our Board members for all of their hard work and dedication this year. We look forward to continuing to partner with the Board during this upcoming school year and beyond to positively impact our students, families, and staff.
Prom 2023 Was a Huge Hit!
Our students had a wonderful time on Saturday evening at their Prom! From the decor to the music, it was truly a Starry Night to remember. Thank you to our many generous parent volunteers and to our wonderful LFHS APT for all of their hard work and generosity.
Thanks to them, our students had a fun surprise - a flash mob that got the dance floor going! They also arrived back to LFHS where we had a building projection system (courtesy of the LFHS Foundation!) displaying our prom artwork on the front of the school. It takes a village to pull off a spectacular event and we are grateful to our community for their support!
P.S. If you missed the Red Carpet, check it out below!
Big Fish at LFHS!
Congratulations to the LFHS Theater Department including Directors John Wanninger and Kelly MacBlane, our students, and our tech crew wowed our community with their wonderful spring musical - Big Fish!
Thank you to everyone who came out to see the performance and stay tuned for next year's show schedule!
Parents/Guardians - Please Volunteer to Help with the Wellness Walk!
This year, the LFHS Wellness Walk takes place on May 15. High school students, faculty, and staff will walk together to celebrate community, congratulate graduating seniors, and give a final thanks to retiring LFHS faculty and staff. The walk kicks off at approximately 9:45 am and will encompass two miles of Lake Forest. At the walk’s completion, everyone traditionally gathers on the front lawn of the high school for food and music.
Please use the link below to volunteer your time to support our students!
Zoom registration link: www.bit.ly/HershfieldFANSponsor
We've all had the desire to travel through time and see what our lives will be like later in life. While we want the best possible future for ourselves, we often fail to make decisions that would truly make that a reality. Why are so many of us so disconnected from our future selves?
Based on over a decade of groundbreaking research, Hal Hershfield, Ph.D.’s new book "Your Future Self: How to Make Tomorrow Better Today" explains that, in our minds, our future selves often look like strangers. Many of us view the future as incredibly distant, making us more likely to opt for immediate gratification that disregards the health and wellbeing of ourselves in the years to come. People who can connect with their future selves, however, are better able to balance living for today and planning for tomorrow. "Your Future Self" presents the science, describes the mental mistakes we make in thinking about the future, and gives us practical advice for imagining our best future so that we can make that a reality.
Celebrate Our Retirees!
This year, our “graduating class” of 17 talented teachers and staff members represent a total of 411 years of service. Together, they have taught and supported thousands of students during their LFHS careers. Each 411, we have been sharing several of their profiles. Please join us in thanking and congratulating them!