Recent News
Weekly Update for May 22, 2020

Dear Highlands Families and Staff, 

Happy Friday of Memorial Day Weekend! 

Thank you, families, for all you have done in helping us complete the 2019-2020 school year! We could not have done it without your help, assistance, and feedback! Speaking of feedback, please be on the lookout for our parent and student surveys that will be arriving next week. 

Our team continues to plan for three different scenarios for a return to school next fall.  

  1. Regular Opening-school opening on August 19, 2020, for students and staff, to return to the building. 
  2. Hybrid Opening-school opening on August 19, 2020, students are split into two groups of 10-12 students. Students rotate attending school in full-day shifts. Group 1 (M, T) W- Remote Learning- for a building deep clean; Group 2 ( Th, F).  
  3. Remote Learning-school opening on August 19, 2020, to a remote learning environment. 

At this time, we are waiting for guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health. We have heard this guidance will be coming around June 1, 2020. We will continue to refine our plans once we receive guidance from these organizations. When finalized, we intend to hold virtual town hall meetings so that you have opportunities to learn more about the return to learning for the 2020-2021 school year. 

From our Technology Department

This is a reminder that if you want to purchase your laptop, you must do so by midnight on May 26th.  If you have purchased your child’s laptop by then, log-in to the district website, and on the “My Account” page, you will find a link to download a program to remove all district applications and settings from the laptop along with directions on how to use it.  If you have chosen not to purchase the laptop, please return it on June 1st.

Please be on the lookout. The Principals will be sending you more information about what is happening at our buildings on June 1st. 

Have a great Memorial Day!

Dr. Warke

May 12, 2020 Board Briefs

The May 12, 2020 Board Briefs are now available.

Download 5-12-20 Board Brief, reviewed

Kindergarteners Give Community Compliments!

Highlands kindergarteners care about their community workers. They made special videos for essential workers to spread kindness in the community. Here is the link to watch.

Update for May 15, 2020

Hello, Highlands Families and Staff, 

It was nice to see the sun come out this afternoon! We hope this message finds you safe and well. Thank you so much for your help with the supply pick up. We appreciate your assistance with getting the supplies back to your children. We are still working on a process for our lost and found items so that they find their way back to your homes! Stay tuned!

Students Last Day of Remote Learning

At the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, it was announced that the students' last day of remote learning would be May 27. Elementary students' virtual award ceremony is May 29. Please look for information from Ms. Magruder about the celebration. 

Report Cards 

Report cards will be sent home on June 2. Due to remote learning, teachers will be giving feedback to students for the third trimester with suggestions and thoughts for what students can work on during the summer months.

District devices allowed to remain with students for the summer. 

We have had numerous requests for students to be able to keep devices over the summer. We have worked out a plan to allow that to happen for all our students. Devices will enable students and families to continue to work on reading, writing, and math throughout the summer. Please look for more information from Ms. Magruder.  

 2020-2021 School Calendar 

The calendar for the next school year was approved at the board meeting on Tuesday evening. You can find it on the District's website or click here for quick access. 

Stay safe!

Dr. Warke

2020-2021 School Calendar

The official district calendar for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year can now be viewed here.


Live Stream for Tonight's Board of Education Meeting

The live stream for tonight's Board of Education meeting can be viewed at


Any public comment can be sent to

Purchase of laptops by families of graduating 8th Graders

An email has just been sent to all families of graduating 8th-grade students with detailed instructions on purchasing the laptop their child has been issued for the past four years.  If you did not receive the email or need assistance please contact

Thank you for the opportunity to serve your children...

Eric Callis and the Technology Team

Update for May 8, 2020

Dear Highlands Families and Staff, 

When you look out your window and see the spring flowers in bloom, the leaves budding on the trees, perennials sprouting from the ground, the earth does not seem to know how different the world is right now. Typically, we would be having our spring band, orchestra, and choral concerts, our 8th graders would be having their traditional end of the year trips and celebrations, our hallways filled with projects, and everyone would be talking about their summer vacations.

Instead, we are conducting interviews for new teachers over zoom. Our conversations are about what the opening of school may look like next school year, if we can hold concerts or after school activities, when our school opening day will be, and what the "new school normal" is with COVID 19 in our world. Nothing that we want to talk about, but conversations that we have to have to prepare for our children and their learning experiences. 

Over the past eight weeks, you have been on a journey with us that none of us expected. If you are like me, I’ve been grieving the fact that we are not physically at work, with our work families experiencing the day to day interactions of that environment. For us educators, it is why we do what we do. It brings us joy to be with children every day, to see the lightbulb moments of learning, to hear the children explain learning a new concept in their own words, to see them walk in the hallway in pairs delivering items to the office, or picking up things they inadvertently left at home.  We were not prepared for the level of uncertainty and routine we knew to come to a grinding halt. I have been trying to establish a new routine. I must say, it has been challenging, and my children are grown! 

I wanted to take a moment to address a few of the questions we have received about project-based learning. Questions that I have heard are, “Why introduce Project-Based learning at this time?” and “Why not continue with what we know?” There were several reasons for the implementation. One was feedback not only from our parents but also from our teachers. Two, there was additional guidance received from the State on remote learning. Three, our e-Learning plan was designed for snow days, or emergency days, not extended periods like learning through a pandemic. Four, we needed to incorporate more standards into the students’ learning experiences to minimize the learning loss. 

The District had a team of stakeholders work from October to February to develop a new Strategic Plan. This plan will guide the District and its decisions for the next five years. Our new mission, By empowering students as partners in learning, the District 106 community fosters academic ownership, dynamic learning experiences, and empathetic citizens supports project-based learning by allowing students to own their learning with scaffolded support and actionable feedback from their teacher. PBL projects, plus instruction in reading and math, allow for the students to read, write, analyze, reflect, and interpret information. These projects promote higher-level skills producing critical thinkers and problem solvers. We know and recognize this is not traditional learning in the sense of education as we know it when we went to school, but we know that research supports this method of learning with teacher support and feedback. 

We also know students need routine. Your feedback has allowed us to improve our programming for our children throughout this crisis. We appreciate the feedback. We do not know what we do not know. Together we can make this a better experience. We will have a final survey at the end of May to help us continue to plan and strengthen our programming. 

Other questions we hear right now are, “What does next school year look like?” When will we be starting?” The short answer is, at this time, we don’t know. Information is still changing at a rapid rate. We can have an answer one day, and then the data can change the next day. What I can tell you is that we are developing three plans. 1)A plan to return as normal, 2) A plan for a hybrid of in-person and remote learning, and finally, 3) A plan for remote learning. I will continue to communicate information as we learn more information. 

Sadly, we have canceled our enrichment summer programming. We are sending a survey out to families of students who previously qualified for our summer achievers programming. We intend to run our achievers programming beginning July 20-August 13. 


Next week is student supply pick up. Below is the information for pick up. 

How will I pick up my child(ren)’s belongings/classroom supplies?

Please place your last name on a sign in the front and side window of your vehicle. Your child(ren)'s belongings/supplies will be brought to you using a no-contact system similar to grocery stores. No student pick up of materials is permitted. To ensure the safety of everyone, we ask that no parents or students exit the vehicles during this pick-up time.

Families with students in both buildings will need to stop at each school entrance to receive student materials.

Elementary School

Supplies will be packed up into bags with student names. Tables will be set up outside for each letter (e.g., there will be a table marked "A," "B," etc.). Please pull up to the appropriate table, and a district staff member will bring your items to your vehicle (e.g., into your trunk).

We are collecting library books and Leveled Readers for K and 1. Label these items with your child’s name and teacher’s name. Please put any items in your trunk, and these items will be taken out of your trunk by the person putting your child’s belongings into your trunk. 


Middle School

Your child’s school materials and P.E. uniform will be placed in a plastic bag with his/her name on it. For 8th grade students, relevant graduation materials (cap/gown, diploma jacket, etc.) will be included as well. Tables will be set up outside for each letter (e.g., there will be a table marked "A," "B," etc.). Please pull up to the appropriate table, and a district staff member will bring your items to your vehicle (e.g., into your trunk).

We are collecting library books. Label these items with your child’s name and teacher’s name. Please put any items in your trunk, and these items will be taken out of your trunk by the person putting your child’s belongings into your trunk. 


Monday, May 11:

9:00am - 12:00pm -- Last Name A-D

1:00pm - 4:00pm -- Last Name E-I


Rain Date: Tuesday, May 12


Wednesday, May 13:

9:00am - 12:00pm -- Last Name J-M

1:00pm - 4:00pm -- Last Name N-Q


Rain Date: Thursday, May 14


Friday, May 15:

9:00am - 12:00pm -- Last Name R-U

1:00pm - 4:00pm -- Last Name V-Z


Rain Date: Monday, May 18


Note: Please email your building principal if your assigned date/time doesn't work for your schedule.

The teachers deserve a huge thank you, especially during this week, Teacher Appreciation Week for all they do every day. Now more than ever, we know how hard they work for our children. Thank you for your partnership in learning. 

Stay safe and well, 

Dr. Warke

May 12, 2020 Board of Education Meeting Agenda

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Education will be held on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, a virtual meeting will take place. A link will be posted on our website the evening of the meeting. The agenda for the meeting is available by going to Administration --> Board of Education --> Agendas

2020-2021 School Registration Now Open

Student registration for the 2020-2021 school year is now open! Click HERE to begin...

  • Registration information is available solely online!
  • Registration will be open from April 27 - May 31. (Late fees may apply after this date to any unfinished registration.)
  • Payments by credit card, check, or cash accepted.
  • Questions? Contact the Administration Office at 708-246-3085
Friday Video Message

Hello, Highlands Families and Staff! 

Here is a video message for the week.

Dr. Warke

April 21, 2020 Board Briefs

The April 21, 2020 Board Briefs are available, see the attached document.

Download 4-21-20 Board Brief