411 on 115 - 3.8.23
March 8, 2023
Following a year and a half of collaborative work with our community, teachers, staff, students and administrators, we are proud to share our five-year District 115 strategic plan with our LFHS school community. As a collective vision, this plan articulates the strategic direction for our community’s aspirations for every LFHS student, sets our educational priorities, and focuses our work over the next five years.
The development of this plan strengthens our Lake Forest High School’s mission: the passion to learn, the insight to know oneself, and the courage to make a difference. This plan also connects our Portrait of a Learner with actionable and measurable goals and objectives. Our Portrait of a Learner envisions students who think critically, communicate effectively, adapt positively to changing priorities, and demonstrate confidence and resilience. The academic growth and success of all students are the primary goals of Lake Forest High School. Our District 115 Strategic Plan places emphasis on building systems and programs centered on readying students to succeed in college or in their post-high school career. This emphasis includes enriching student experiences through engaging and authentic programming.
An important and emerging aspect of this work is the exploration and understanding of personal, civic, and global responsibility. These aspirations are supported by the One Lake Forest High School Statement, which recognizes and affirms the importance of fostering an inclusive environment for all students, families, and educators. This inclusive environment honors shared and diverse perspectives and experiences, all of which support academic success and healthy and collaborative relationships.
At last night's District 115 Board meeting, the Board approved the adoption of this five-year strategic plan. We will use this plan as a strategic foundation for action planning this summer. I will bring a proposed District 115 Action Plan to the Board no later than September, 2023.
A special note of gratitude to all who served on our Portrait of a Learner, Strategic Plan Design, and Strategic Plan Writing teams. Your investment of time, intellect, and heart contributed immeasurably to this process.
Ask the Chief Operating Officer!
We checked in with Dr. Jennifer Hermes, District 67 and 115 Chief Operating Officer to answer another question from you about the D115 Referendum.
Dr. Hermes has a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Administration. She is the Vice Chair of the Illinois School District Liquid Asset Fund and the Vice Chair of the Collective Liability Insurance Cooperative (CLIC), in addition to sitting on the Executive Committee of the Northern Health Insurance Cooperative. She has previously served as the President of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Concordia University Chicago. Dr. Hermes’s role at the District includes several key functions including budgeting and finance, Board relations, employee and labor relations, and the oversight of District 67 and 115 facilities, transportation, food services, technology, and early childhood programs.
Your Referendum Questions Answered
Why do the proposed improvements cost so much?
The proposed improvements within the 88-year-old high school include the renovation of 130,000 square feet of the school, including approximately 54 learning spaces throughout the building (approximately 50% of the total amount of learning spaces). The scope of the proposed improvements includes:
Strengthening safety and security, including adding a rapid-lockdown system, exterior door sensors, and partition systems to prevent full access to the high school after hours.
Replacing major mechanical systems that are more than 30 years old, including HVAC, plumbing, and electrical.
More than 90 pieces of HVAC equipment need to be replaced, including unit ventilators, rooftop air handling units, boilers, cooling towers, sump pumps, exhaust fans, and chillers
Approximately 50 electrical panels have reached the end of their useful life
Fire suppression sprinklers through the high school need to be extended
Aging windows and doors would be replaced
Updating almost every restroom in the high school
Addressing ADA upgrades throughout the historic building
Reconfiguring student support service spaces
Improving acoustics and replacing outdated lighting, technology, and furniture in more than half of the instructional spaces, including all labs as well as classrooms not addressed by the previous referendum
The cost to update the high school is significantly less expensive than replacing all or parts of the building.
Why not build a brand new building instead of renovate the existing one?
It is far more cost-effective to maintain the existing building. Lake Forest High School’s East Campus is about 500,00 square feet in size. In order to build just the school building alone, without any furnishing or amenities, it would cost roughly $250M to build a brand new building.
Why not use existing tax revenues to address the proposed improvements?
The District has worked hard to maintain Lake Forest High School within its current operating budget. However, there are major capital facility investments and building updates that fall outside the scope of standard yearly maintenance projects, such as replacing outdated plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems.
Why not simply use existing savings?
District 115 carries very little in cash reserves relative to its peers. This is intentional as it was/is the Board’s desire not stockpile taxpayer money. They instead judiciously ask taxpayers to fund capital projects when needed. We have a BOE policy on fund balance that outlines a floor AND ceiling to our fund balance. Even if we were to deplete all of our current reserves, it wouldn't even be a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed.
Draining District savings to address capital facility needs would be a mistake. These funds play an important role in the strength of our Aaa bond rating and in our ability to borrow at the lowest possible cost.
For answers to additional questions, visit the Referendum FAQ webpage.
Categories of Improvement: Specialty Spaces
The Lake Forest Community High School District 115 Board of Education is pursuing a $105.7M referendum on the April 4, 2023 Lake County election ballot.
One of the main categories of improvements is traditional classrooms including science labs. Suggested improvements include the improvement of outdated labs and bringing the last remaining classrooms to the same capabilities as those updated in 2006, including acoustics, lighting, instructional technology, furniture, and related upgrades.
Many Ways to Vote
Vote by Mail
You Can Now Request Your Vote by Mail Ballot. Mail in Your April 4 Election Ballot Ballot Before Spring Break!
Vote by mail application requests are now available HERE. The Lake County Clerk will start sending out vote by mail ballots on March 17 to the address you provide.
Vote by Mail applications can be requested until 5pm on March 30. Get your request in now to vote by mail and ensure your vote counts in the April 4 election!
Early voting in Lake County begins Monday, March 20 and runs through Monday, April 3, 2023. Early voting at Lake Forest City Hall begins Monday, March 20 and runs through Saturday, April 1, 2023. For more information on early voting, visit the Office of the County Clerk, Lake County.
CLC College Fair
College of Lake County will hold a regional college fair featuring more than 140 college and university representatives on Thursday, March 9, 6:00 - 8:00 PM. Open to all students.
Thursday, March 9, 2023
Physical Education Center
19351 W. Washington St.
Grayslake, IL 60030
Here is a link for additional information: College of Lake County College Fair
Donate to Project Safe Prom
The Junior Class and the APT have been excitedly planning the "Dancing in the Moonlight" traditional Prom at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare for Saturday, May 6th since the beginning of the school year. Now it is around the corner!
Project Safe Prom officially launched last week and we need your support. Did you know the LFHS Prom is completely self-sustaining and we rely solely on ticket sales, junior class fundraising and your generosity? Your donations will help fund a truly magical experience for our LFHS students. Each ticket will remain $95 per person, which includes plated dinner, entertainment, transportation, and security. However, the actual cost to host prom far exceeds the ticket price. We are looking to our generous community to help raise $35,000 to underwrite various costs associated with this event, such as the transportation and security.
Any contribution you are able to make is tax deductible and greatly appreciated! Click the link or scan the QR code to get started. THANK YOU!
LFHS Foundation Grant Day 2023
LFHS Foundation is thrilled to share they will be funding twelve new grants and one standing grant in 2023. These grants represent a total of approximately $137,000 that will be invested in educational excellence at LFHS. Next week we will share more details about all of the grants with our school community.
2023 LFHS Summer School Catalog
HOT OFF THE PRESS!
Please see our newly released Summer School Catalog for the upcoming school year. You will have several weeks to consider selections and registration will begin on Friday, March 17th on our district website. We will also share registration information on that same day in the Friday Fanscout. Registration for Summer School closes on Friday, May 26th as we need to decide, based on enrollment, which courses will run.
Please see the link to our catalog below:
Senior Commemorative - Deadline Extended
Congratulate your 2023 senior and express your pride and love with an ad in the 2023 yearbook! Please look in the back of past yearbooks for an idea of what these look like when printed.
1/8 Page Size Pricing:
$85.00 February 1 - March 15 (Deadline Extended!)
HOW TO SUBMIT ONLINE:
Enter order number: 8581
Follow the prompts to design your ad.
Add it to your cart and purchase it.
Your ad is not complete until you add it to your cart and complete the checkout process!
ALL orders are processed ONLINE through the Herff Jones web orders.
TECH SUPPORT Contact Herff Jones Technical Support: 877.362.7750
The Forest Trails Yearbook Staff