MCHS Newsletter

September, 2020


As we begin the 2020-2021 school year we want to welcome everyone back to school. MCHS is the only public high school in McHenry County that is offering face-to-face instruction, and we are very proud of our staff and students, who are working hard and engaging in healthy habits this year. The health and safety of our students and staff is critical to providing this educational opportunity.

We should not be surprised, however, when/if positive test results are identified within our school or community. We assume this will happen eventually, and this is the reason why we have implemented so many precautions for reducing COVID-19 exposure. Marengo High School has structured every space and classroom in accordance with the guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education to ensure the lowest possible risk for infection and spread of COVID-19. It is also why maintaining social distance, masking, and frequent hand washing are all still very important during and after school hours for students and staff.

Please do not send your student to school if they have been in “close contact” (within 6 feet for more for 15 minutes), cared for someone with COVID-19 within the past 14 days, or if your student or a family member are being tested or have any of the CDC identified COVID-19 symptoms, which are asked of students entering the building daily.

If you have any COVID-19 questions, please contact the school nurse at 815-568-6511 x1102, call the Illinois COVID-19 hotline at (800) 889-3931, or email

Regarding any positive cases in the school: Marengo High School is working closely with the McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) and MCHS will be notified about every confirmed cases in our school. If your student is determined to be a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19, you will be contacted directly by our school nurse and MCDH with specific instructions for your student.


Students who are in groups A and B must physically be in the building on their assigned face to face days and may not choose to attend remotely. If your student is ill and will not be in attendance, either in-person or remotely, you must contact Mrs. Seemann at 815-568-6511 x1302 to report their absence and the specific symptom(s) which your child is experiencing so that we may monitor illness trends and report to the MCDH. Students who are ill but still able to participate in remote learning are highly encouraged to do so to ensure continuity in their education. We understand this procedure is different from that last spring; please call us if you have any questions or concerns.

Wednesdays will vary from class to class and week to week. Teachers should be discussing the weekly expectations frequently, since this will fluctuate on a regular basis. Teachers and students will be working together at the same time or synchronously on some Wednesdays, and on other Wednesdays, students may be working on homework or class activities individually or asynchronously. Each Wednesday, students should be using their time to work on academics as guided by their teachers. This is a day that many students will be able to shift their activities as needed in areas where they may need more time and focus. Teachers are available throughout the day for assistance, either one to one or in groups. There may also be times that teachers may be asked to attend school or department meetings, or professional development to further advance their skills, so it is helpful for a student to check with their instructor for specific available times when needed.

I encourage everyone to utilize our Return to Learn website page here to look through the parent and student FAQs and to find answers to many questions that other parents and students have had.

Stay safe and have a great school year!


Our Back to School Fall Conference Night, originally scheduled for Wednesday, August 26th, 2020, will be presented to you virtually beginning September 8, 2020. Staff will be preparing video recordings, syllabi, and other pertinent information to post on our Fall Virtual Open House webpage, which will be available for you to view on September 8, 2020. The page will be organized by department, course, and teacher. Beginning September 8, 2020, and at your convenience, you may view presentations as follows:

1. Log in to your parent portal, click Documents on the left side menu, and then click Student Schedule to identify your student’s courses and teachers.

2. Go to the Fall Virtual Open House page (>Menu>Fall Virtual Open House) and click on the courses and resources you wish to view.

We encourage you to view these presentations with your student to prompt conversation, ask them questions, and orient yourself to your child's educational expectations and the demands of their courses this year. If you have specific questions after viewing the presentations, please email your student’s teacher directly. Their email addresses are located on the Staff Directory page (

Counselors will be sharing a video with information related to post-secondary planning (the importance of the high school transcript, FAFSA, Career Exploration and Xello, etc.), standardized testing, general test-taking skills, and organization and time management strategies. The School Social Worker and Psychologist will be presenting information on providing parent support in maintaining mental health during COVID-19 and the social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum that will be taught during Advisory. Guidance staff can also be reached on our Staff Directory page should you have any questions related to these topics being shared virtually following the Open House.


We are proud of the following students who achieved Honor Roll and High Honor Roll last semester (Spring, 2020). Keep up the great work!

Class of 2021 High Honor Roll

Chloe Alejandre, Daniel Antonson, Rachel Barron, Zachary Bittenbender, Elizabeth Bowen, Gretchen Casper, Logan Chanthalansy, Jason Chavez, Kiley Christopher, Riley Coudal, Cole Davis, Steven DiMaria, Isabella Dominguez, Ariel Drolen, Saul Escorza, Kiersten Fischer, William Fischer, Emma Gailloreto, Salvador Garcia, Michael Gochis, Madalyn Halfacre, Cari Hasse, Grant Heinberg, Jennifer Heinberg, Harrison Hoffman, Michael Jennett, Lilly Johnson, Madison Johnstone, Olivia Kalter, Kelly Karczewski, Brooke Kennebeck, Ethan Kilmartin, Justin Lechner, Brant Lesher, Diego Lopez, Thomas Lulinski, Blake Martin, Faith Martynowicz, Jack McMenamy, Rebecca Millard, Tyler Mirtl, Aaron Moehrlin, Jack Morse, Isabella Neurock, Landon Oine, Sebastian Palka, Aaron Phillips, Connor Ray, Bryce Ritter, Jacob Ritter, Kayla Santiago, Zachary Secor, Katelyn Shambo, Maggie Simons, Lucas Simpson, Samantha Smith,

Jacqueline Snyder, Alexa Stallings, Savannah Swanson, Benjamin Taylor, Zachary Trotz,

Dayla Villegas, Caroline Westmoreland, Zachary Winter, and Jake Yeager.

Class of 2021 Honor Roll

Rebekah Addis, Brendan Anchor, Tenley Bachochin, Katie Barradas, Fatimah Becovic,

Brooke Bertrand, Daniel Chicoine, Angelina Cottone, Dawson Ditzler, Erin Ferreira, Jordan Gerhke, Abigail Gerhke, Nolan Hopper, Kyle Klenske, Joshua Koteles, Alexis Kunde, Mitchell Kunde, Karli Liebmann, Alexandria Mateja, Lukas Maxwell, Eleny Morales, Tyler Nelsen, Jonah Pace, Kyle Peters, Owen Resenbeck, Timothy Scholl, Spencer Slavin, Gina Spilotro, Alec Tuohey, Jenna Turner, Zachary Walsweer, and Kimberly Zarate.

Class of 2022 High Honor Roll

Karli Adamson, Michael Ashbaugh, Preston Bailey, Ambria Baker, Evan Barkman,

Sarah Bohlander, Alexendra Botzoc, Sarah Cederlund, Ryan Clark, Morgan Coffman,

Alexis Elqunni, Ruby Escorza, Jacqueline Euker, Nicole Fitch, Julissa Gonzalez Montillo, Natuayle Grays, Jack Heinberg, Courtney Jasinski, Payton Korst, Summer Kunzer,

Jacelynn Lambert, Crystal Lopez, Nicholas Martin, Kathryn Meinecke, Kylie Miller,

Madeline Morse, Alexis Mortimer, Cameron Palmer, Diya Patel, Andrea Perez, Hailey Perez, John Riedl, Colton Sauder, Andrew Schermerhorn, Gabriel Schmiegelt, Audrey Schubert,

Evan Shepard, Ty Sierpien, Isabella Simonini, Lauren Snelgrove, Nikiyasha Sobusiak,

Dylan Stolz, Callahan Struck, Carson Vandello, Matthew Volkening, and Elizabeth Webster.

Class of 2022 Honor Roll

Brock Adamson, Collin Aubry, Allison Cassan, Bethany Christiansen, Kyle Clavey,

Samantha DiMaria, Avery Fashingbauer, Alexandra Fernandez, Grace Gentleman,

Mercedes Gonzalez, Anastasia Guzman, Evan Hartmann, Samantha Hober, Isabella Laino, Owen Lohff, Mario Lopez, Jordan Lucio, Isabela Magallanes, Ashtyn Martin, Taylor McGibbon, Samuel Montgomery, Riley Pankow, Amber Rinaldi, Abigail Rohe, Kennedy Salazar,

Isabella Sanchez, Bryden Steele, Emma Tekstar, and Benjamin Toby.

Class of 2023 High Honor Roll

Gianna Almeida, Michaela Almeida, Sophya Anbar, Leo Bankel, Jason Bloom, Abigail Burman, Madeline Christopher, Ella Davis, Elizabeth Dominguez, Grace Durkin, Jessica Elqunni,

Aubrie Ettner, Caleb Fast, Richmond Fredrickson, Almea Giovannini, Chloe Gochis, Lily Goode, Carter Heimsoth, Joshua Holst, Addie Johnson, Sydney Koplin, Fiona Kriner, Joseph Leibrandt, Mia Lulinski, Kailey Mazur, Jessica Minogue, Devin Moehrlin, Tzitlali Montes,

Mackenzy Mueller, Kyle Northcutt, Vanessa Perez, Araceli Popoca Leuth, Aspen Rado,

Valeria Rivera, Evelyn Ruiz, Reese Samuelson, Aleah Sauder, Patrick Signore, Kalee Skow, Hunter Smith, Eduardo Solis, Omar Timoumi, Amanda Trotz, Camden Weirich, Cheyenne Welker, Zoe Whetham, and Grace Wzientek.

Class of 2023 Honor Roll

Meredith Angelo, Wyatt Bergbreiter, Alexandra Brackmann, Trevor Bruski, Wesley Cederlund, Jade Chavez, Karen Cruz, Hayden Gieseke, Christian Graves, Mariah Grindle, Noelle Haas, Nakaria Hall, Royal Hazlerig, Jose Herrera Herrera, Luke Kacprowicz, Nathan Kagan,

Mallory Lesher, Zanfina Ljumani, Juan Lopez, Erin Manning, Cassandra Martin, Micah Meade, Emily Pedroza, Samantha Plaza, Gunner Quatroke, Savannah Shacklee, Cooper Simons, Jonathan Snelgrove, Ethan Struck, Nicholas Walter, and Ava Zoldos.


If your student qualifies for free or reduced price meals, they may purchase one breakfast and one lunch per day. Five components are included in meals. They are: grain, meat, fruit vegetable and milk. In order for a lunch to qualify for free or reduced pricing, your student must have three of the five components offered and one of the three components must be a fruit or vegetable. If a student purchases a la carte items, a second meal, or extra milk they will be charged at the per item price regardless of free lunch eligibility.

Parents can set up a low balance reminder to notify them to replenish their student’s account. This reminder is located in the parent portal under the notifications menu. Per the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-296), we are required to inform you that when a student’s funds are in a negative balance, a reminder phone call will be sent to the student’s parent(s). State law allows the Building Principal to contact parents/guardians to attempt collection of the owed money when the amount owed is more than the amount of five lunches. If a parent/guardian regularly fails to provide meal money for the children that he/she is responsible for in the District and does not qualify for free meal benefits, the Principal will direct the next course of action. Continual failure to provide meal money may require the District to notify the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and/or take legal steps to recover the unpaid meal charges up to and including seeking an offset under the State Comptroller Act, if applicable.


Congratulations to Dr. Sarah Shanks, who earned her Ph.D. in Nursing Education last May from Walden University. Dr. Sarah Shanks’ dissertation topic was: Relationship of personality with turnover and job satisfaction for long-term-care nursing assistants.
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MCHS graduate and former MCHS teacher Lynnea (Loudenbeck) Bahm was among 100 recipients of Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Two outstanding educators were selected from each state. Lynnea is currently a math teacher in Arizona. Her parents are Laverne and Betty Loudenbeck.

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If your student becomes employed but is not yet 16 years old, they must apply for a work permit through Student Services, who will submit your information to the State of Illinois Department of Labor. Items needed to apply for a work permit include:

1. A letter of intent from the student’s employer.
2. A letter from the student’s parents giving their permission for their child to work for the employer.
3. A copy of the student’s birth certificate.
4. A copy of the student’s social security card.
5. A copy of the student’s current physical.


Meningococcal Vaccine Required

The Meningococcal vaccine is required for students entering 12th grade. The Illinois Department of Public Health is requiring that all student entering 12th grade show proof of two doses of meningococcal vaccine unless the first dose was administered after 16 years of age. In this case, only one dose is required.

October 15th, 2020 is the deadline for Freshmen and Seniors to have met vaccine requirements. Contact your healthcare provider and make your appointment today. #VaxToSchool

Reminder: Students who have one COVID-19 symptom, are being tested for COVID-19, or have an immediate family member being tested may not attend school in-person. Their parent/guardian must call their absence in to Mrs. Seemann at 815-568-6511 x1302. In order to monitor illness trends within our school community we are asking parents to inform MCHS when their students are ill by calling in their absence. This includes both in-person and remote learners. All call-ins for illness will have a follow-up call from the school nurse. The nurse can be reached at 815-568-6511 extension 1102.


NEW ILLINOIS GRADUATION REQUIREMENT starting with the Class of 2021

Public Act 101-0180 requires that, beginning with the 2020-21 school year, the parent or guardian of each student must (1) file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or an application for state financial aid, or (2) file a waiver form with the school district indicating that the parent or guardian understands what FAFSA and application for state financial aid are and has chosen not to file an application. These same requirements also apply to any student who is at least 18 years old or legally emancipated. They are a prerequisite for a student receiving a diploma from a public high school and are in addition to any other graduation requirements. If choosing to file a waiver of this requirement, students and families must file the following form with the school district: Should you have questions regarding this requirement, please email

FAFSA Application Avaliable October 1, 2020

Description: FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Need help filling out your FAFSA? Participants will go line by line through the FAFSA form. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form used by the U.S. Department of Education to determine the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) by conducting a “need analysis” based on financial information, such as income, assets, and other household information. The form is submitted to and processed by a federal processor contracted by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The results are electronically transmitted to the financial aid offices of the schools listed on your application. FAFSA is the application used by nearly all colleges and universities to determine eligibility for federal, state, and college-sponsored financial aid, including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs.

Class of 2021:

Complete the FAFSA at OR fill out the Nonparticipation Form.

Apply for a FSA ID (one for the student, one for the parent) at FSA ID link.

Have the following with you. Failure to do so may result in not being able to complete the application.

1. Student’s 2019 U.S. 1040 and W-2 forms

2. Parent’s 2019U.S. 1040 and W-2 forms

3. Student’s driver’s license and social security card

4. Parent’s social security cards

5. Records of total untaxed income for 2019 (i.e. public aid, social security, Veteran's benefits, child support)

6. Student’s alien registration number, if a permanent resident

7. Records of current asset information (i.e. saving account, checking account)

8. Month and year of marriage, separation, divorce or other change in marital status

Records of net worth of investments for both parents and students

Note: Net Worth = Current Value minus Debt

SAT TESTING FOR SENIORS September 23, 2020

MCHS will administer the official College Board SAT with Essay on September 23rd, 2020 to all seniors. Students will be tested in the assigned Advisory groups unless there are pre-approved assessment accommodations.

PSAT 8/9 FOR FRESHMEN September 23, 2020

Freshmen students will be taking the PSAT 8/9 on September 23rd, 2020. Students will be tested in the assigned Advisory groups unless there are pre-approved assessment accommodations. There will be no remote learning for grades 10 and 11 on September 23, 2020.


Junior students will be taking the SAT this year as a part of the state of Illinois assessment program. In order to provide students opportunities to familiarize themselves with the test, MCHS has scheduled practice tests for Sophomores and Juniors. On October 14th, Sophomores and Juniors will take the PSAT/NMSQT. This is a National Test and may qualify students for scholarships. The results will be posted online through the student’s College Board account. There will be no remote learning for grades 9 and 12 on October 12, 2020.

Schedule a meeting with your student’s counselor or the social worker by clicking here. Counselors are available for virtual or face to face meetings with parents and students. No walk ins will be allowed at this time. Also, starting September 6th Counselors will begin Senior meetings to go over graduation requirements, post-secondary plans and much more.


Welcome back to high school sports and activities. While football, soccer, and volleyball have all moved to the spring with the adjusted IHSA calendar, we still have Boys and Girls Cross Country, Boys and Girls Golf, and Girls Tennis competing this fall. There are many students taking advantage of new opportunities to play different sports and it’s great to see. We are currently in the process of developing plans for our next sports seasons, clubs, and other student groups. While there will be adjustments to activities, this new normal is providing an opportunity for our groups to be creative and find fun new ideas to offer our students. More to come!

On Thursday, August 20, 2020, the Girls Tennis Team traveled to DeKalb for their match against DeKalb High School. This was our first athletic contest since last March. Congratulations ladies!

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