Vol 1 Issue 4 --- December 16, 2022
From the desk of the Superintendent:
Dear Zion-Benton Leaders,
As we are just days away from Winter Break, I want to thank each of you for what you do for the school district, more importantly, what you do for the Zion-Benton community. We truly live and work in a great community – a community that values family, friends, education, and excellence.
Our school leaders are finishing the fall semester strong by pursuing the goals of the Strategic Plan. But just as important, many of our students and staff continue participating in Christmas events such as plays, performances, Cocoa and Karaoke, Cocoa with the Principal, and our annual Pop-Up Santa Shop. Again, this is why our school community is so great – helping neighbors in need and giving back to those who are less fortunate. What makes it even more genuine is the look of pride on the faces of our staff and students as they volunteer or perform on stage in front of their classmates, parents, guardians, grandparents, and neighbors or provide goods to those in need. I am always amazed by the leadership behaviors relative to “giving” and the support of our administrators, faculty, and staff. The more we think about, the greater good and less about ourselves, the better and stronger we become collectively.
On behalf of the District 126 Board of Education and Zion-Benton Township High School District 126, I wish you a great Winter Break. Please have a safe and relaxing break, and we look forward to seeing everyone on Monday, January 9, 2023. The spring semester is extremely important as the district strives to continue to challenge the status quo and promote excellence, as highlighted in our strategic plan. Your commitment and dedication to our school district is evident and appreciated.
Our journey continues…
Dr. Jesse J. Rodriguez
Superintendent of Schools
- Monday, December 19th - ZBTHS Holiday Luncheon 10:20-1:00 pm (Faculty Lounge)
- Tuesday, December 20th - Board Meeting 7:00 pm (Holiday Celebration all management team invited)
- December 23rd, December 26th, January 2nd - District Closed
- Tuesday, January 10th - Curriculum Committee 5:30 pm
- Thursday, January 12th - Personnel Committee 4:30 pm
- Tuesday, January 17th - Business, Bid, and Finance Committee 5:00 pm
- Tuesday, January 24th - Regular Board of Education Meeting 7:00 pm
- Saturday, January 28th - Zion Leadership Group Community Event 10:00 am PAC (all Executive Cabinet and Management Team encouraged to attend)
SIP Supported Instructional Program
The Supported Instructional Program (SIP) is a cross-categorical, small-group instructional program designed to meet students with moderate cognitive and specific learning needs and who require a highly supportive instructional setting. The program focuses on a modified curriculum with instruction and therapies (speech/language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social worker, etc.) delivered in small and large group settings. Students do integrate into general education.
The dedicated SIP staff:
Certified Staff: Mrs. Katie Mckim-Metz, Ms. Ridonna Ridley, Ms. Esmeralda Gomez
Support Staff: Ms. Samantha Oliveras.
Reminder: Next Management Team meeting is Monday, January 9, 2023.
Block your calendars Management. The remaining 22-23 meetings are scheduled for: 2/6/23, 3/6/23, 4/3/23, 5/1/23.
The D126 Interactive Dashboard for our Strategic Plan is under construction. Log in with your d126 credentials. This is not live for the public yet.
Strategic Plan edits and improvements will be presented to the Board of Education Curriculum Committee on January 10, 2022.
The 2023 improvements to the Strategic Plan will be presented to the Board of Education for approval on January 24, 2023.
The D126 Strategic Plan interactive dashboard will be live and viewable by the public on January 25, 2022.
District 126 Technology
From Thursday, 12/8/22, Dr. Bridge shared great news...all staff and students can now enjoy the benefits of a Canva for Education account.
If you have an account already with your school credentials, your projects will automatically transfer over for you.
Canva is a graphic design tool. Use it to create social media posts, presentations, posters, videos, logos and more.
College and Career Center Opportunities
Dec 15 - FAFSA Workshop
Dec. 19 - Tech Campus Application Deadline
Dec 20 - 22 - Mindfulness Activities in the College and Career Center
Dec. 21 - Pop Up Santa Shop
Wildcats vs Panthers
On Sunday, December 11th, fifty-four students and 10 staff members attended a Northwestern Basketball game sponsored by Mayor McKinney. Students are looking up fun facts about Northwestern and their opponent, Prairie View A & M. Although this trip focused on social emotional learning, students also researched the universities. Students had an opportunity to take a picture on the basketball court. Police Chief Barden, Township Supervisor Neal, and Board member Champine were among the community members who also attended.
In the Classroom (and out)
The IMC hosted the Forensic Science Fair on Friday, December 9th. Student displays included fictional crime scenes with “who done it” style mysteries solved by visiting students.
World Language - The World Language Fair will be held in the IMC Friday, January 13, 2023. Come see interactive student presentations focused on global cultures and try some tasty treats.
Zion Bilingual students are preparing for this year’s ACCESS test in both their English and Resource classes. The test will be given in late January and early February.
Adventure Ed working on their semester final. Students are utilizing teamwork, safety, communication, belaying and climbing skills learned throughout the semester. The goal is to work as a group for the climber to be able to stack 80 risers.
MTSS has started the Peer Leadership program for the second year. 9th and 10th-grade students are paired with 11th and 12th-grade students to help them establish connections and build positive peer relationships. The ultimate goal is to help the underclassmen grow in their ability to lead and become mentors in the future. Upperclassmen have an active role this year as they are responsible for planning and facilitating meetings. The program runs bi-weekly on Thursdays in the peace room during lunch/advisory periods.
Four ZB math teachers attended the annual Illinois Council of Teaching Mathematics conference this semester. During the conference, they had the opportunity to hear Peter Liljehdal, author of “Building Thinking Classrooms,” present his ideas on creating a more engaging, student-centered classroom through the use of vertical whiteboard spaces. Teachers were excited and eager to read the book themselves and started implementing the “Building Thinking Classroom” strategies the week after. Their classrooms have been transformed from students sitting in desks to students working collaboratively to make mathematical connections up at whiteboards. Teachers have seen an increase in engagement and overall, a better classroom community. Two of the teachers have proposed a ZB University book study on how to create a “thinking” classroom so they can spread the word and share their experiences as they begin this journey themselves.
Trust and Communication
The winter season continues with very high participation numbers from our students. With the winter break right around the corner, our Bees are preparing for holiday tournaments where they will face some of the best teams in the state. Our boys basketball team will play in the Proviso Tournament as well as a tournament at Carthage College, while our Lady Bees will compete in the St. Viator Tournament. Our other winter sports will continue to work during the break in preparation for the second half of the season after the break.
On 12/16, the Zee-Bee Athletic Boosters and Zee-Bee Athletics will host a holiday luncheon for all coaches. Coaches will receive some awesome gifts in appreciation for their dedication to our student-athletes.
Visit our website for schedules for all upcoming events.
As we wrap up this first semester it is important to look back on where we have come from. Our latest school report card was posted this semester and showed growth in several areas. Freshman on Track, Graduation Rate, and Chronic Absenteeism all presented positive growth on the Illinois State Board of Education School Snapshot. Despite the challenges from the pandemic our school has weathered many of the circumstances that large comprehensive high schools dealt with. We thank you for your support and belief in our educators to guide your students towards success. We believe that every child can succeed with hard work and dedication. We will remain committed to supporting our students towards their goal.
Pass in Review
The NJROTC held their annual Navy inspection and Pass in Review on Thursday, December 9th.
The Pass-In-Review is a formal, time-honored ceremony that dates back to before the Civil War. It honors the cadets' hard work and dedication.
Kiwanis Student of the Month (December) Jared Dawkins and Junique James
December 14th - Faculty Meeting/ Huntington
December 16th - Hot Chocolate with The Principal during all lunch periods. Music performance by Mr. Livingston, students, and staff.
December 15/16th - Holiday Fine Arts Festival
December 19th - Teacher mentor meeting
December 20- 22nd - Final Exams
December 23rd - Winter Break
NEW TECH UPDATES
A Note from the Principal...
CHECK OUT OUR DECEMBER PARENT BULLETIN!
Work In Progress:
Finalize NT final exam bus schedule for 1:04, 11:25 dismissal on 12/20, 12/21, 12/22
Fresh./Soph dismissed at 10:54 on Tuesday 12/20/22:
Jr/Sr dismissed at 10:54 on Wednesday 12/21/22.
We will serve breakfast and lunch Tuesday/Wednesday
January Recruitment nights: Wednesday 1/11/23, Tuesday 1/17/23, Thursday 1/19/23, and Monday 1/23/23.
2023-24 New Tech Course Guide-completed and submitted to Mr. Carlson.
January- SIP discuss Final Exams for 2nd semester at New Tech and/or district
Outreach to foundation middle schools for high school readiness Dec./Jan.
12/14/22- SIP New Tech Branding/School Identity meeting 2:30 - 4:00 PM.
Mr. McKnight and Mr. Niemi are collaborating on a New Tech sponsored student leadership service initiative during an upcoming basketball game…more to come.
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