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D155 High Schools Rank in Top 4 in McHenry County
Shannon Podzimek

Chicago magazine recently named the best public schools in the suburbs and all four District 155 schools earned the top four spots in McHenry County. Crystal Lake South High School ranked first, followed by Crystal Lake Central, Prairie Ridge, and Cary-Grove. The top 200 best public schools is featured in Chicago magazine’s September issue.

The methodology used included spending per pupil, SAT scores, 5Essentials, attendance, and graduation rate. Data from the Illinois State Board of Education’s 2017-18 school year was used to determine performance measures.

All four District 155 high schools also have been ranked in the top 10 percent nationally by U.S. News & World report and Niche.com.

Class of 2019 Pursues Education in 26 States
Melina Weil

Eighty-nine percent of graduates in the class of 2019 will continue their studies at four-year colleges, two-year community colleges, and vocational and technical schools. 59 percent of students are pursuing degrees at four-year colleges and universities. The class of 2019 will continue its studies at post-secondary institutions in 26 states. 

McHenry County College, Illinois State University, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign are the top three schools the class of 2019 will attend this fall. Students are most interested in studying health/non-medical science, business, and engineering. Twelve students plan to serve in the armed forces. 

Ninety-two percent of students say their experience in school allowed them to learn more about themselves and their personal aspirations. 

Eighty-seven percent of the class of 2019 participated in at least one extracurricular activity. 

  • 32% - Arts
  • 55% - Academic

  • 59% - Athletics

Sixty-nine percent participated in volunteer/community service project not sponsored at Cary-Grove. There were 411 graduates in the class of 2019. 

Community High School District 155 has conducted a uniform, district-wide senior survey for the last 12 years. 

 

District 155 Summer Construction Wraps Up
Melina Weil

All District 155 schools opened successfully on August 14 after substantially completing 22 construction projects this summer. The Board of Education approved $14,552,000 in capital projects for the summer of 2019, including kitchen classroom remodels, tennis courts replacement, air conditioning, and parking lot replacements. 

"We want to thank the community and taxpayers for their support as we continue to enhance our learning spaces to give our students and staff the opportunity to be successful in their future endeavors,” said Steve Olson, D155 superintendent. “We understand the importance of showcasing these projects with our community so they can see how their tax dollars are being spent.”

The district communications office in collaboration with the operations department produced 10 videos to highlight construction updates which were viewed more than 24,000 times and totaled more than 79 hours. Videos are available to view on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @CHSD155 or visit the website to view the projects that were completed.

District 155 Ranks First in McHenry County for Best School District
Melina Weil

Community High School District 155 was named best school district in McHenry County by Niche. Rankings are based on data from the Department of Education, the US Census, and multiple reviews from parents and students. D155 earned the top spot out of 15. 

A senior who wrote a review said, “District 155 cultivates students to be great, and consistently demonstrates excellence. All of the staff are amazing, they always encourage students to do our best.”

Nationally, the district ranked in the top nine percent for best school districts, and placed in the top four percent for the best teachers. In the state of Illinois, D155 ranked eighth out of 638 schools for having the best teachers and placed in the top three percent for the best district. 

One parent review said, “The districts fundamental approach to the student’s education is constantly challenging the teachers and staff to put forth our ideas and experiences to better the way education is presented.” 

Every month, millions of people use Niche to choose the right schools or neighborhoods. Niche has report cards, rankings and reviews that are calculated from public sources along with reviews from parents, students, and residents.  

D155 Board Approves Balanced Budget
Shannon Podzimek

Community High School District 155 held a public hearing and approved a balanced budget at its regularly scheduled August 20 board meeting.  

"We've managed to produce balanced budgets now for five consecutive years," said Jeremy Davis, assistant superintendent of finance & operations. "We've been able to do that while holding our operating tax levy flat multiple times. We're proud of our record with regard to responsible taxation and money management."

District 155, like most Illinois school districts, receives the bulk of its revenue from property taxes. District 155's 2019-2020 budget forecasts $101,163,396 in operating fund revenue. Property taxes make up about 72.7 percent of that revenue. State and federal revenue comprise approximately 15 percent of district operating revenue. District 155's budget also forecasts $100,073,742 of operating expenditures. Salary and benefits make up 77 percent of those expenses.

The full budget and budget presentation can be viewed on the district website at www.d155.org in the finance section.  District 155 first discussed and tentatively approved its 2019-2020 budget in June 2019, prior to the beginning of the district's fiscal year on July 1.