Eight students representing District 155’s four high schools participated in the American Legion’s ‘A Day to Remember’ ceremony on September 11 at Union Cemetery in Crystal Lake. The day marked the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
All D155 News
In District 155, 89 percent of graduates from the class of 2021 are continuing their education at four-year universities, two-year universities, technical/vocational schools, or trade and apprenticeship programs. The class of 2021 includes 1,311 graduates who earned $15,162,993 in scholarships.
This summer, District 155 completed $7,478,454 in capital improvement projects at all four high schools. D155 has been committed to necessary repairs and renovations to continuously improve the district’s facilities. Numerous major projects were completed this summer that will better the educational experience for students and staff.
Community High School District 155 received national recognition for district and school communication efforts from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA).
Community High School District 155 finalized the sale of Haber Oaks Campus for $700,000 to a local developer on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. The Board of Education plans to use the proceeds of the sale to continue to improve district facilities.
Bryan Peckhart, the Industry and Careers division leader at Prairie Ridge High School, organized a unique opportunity to give students hands-on experience with machinery while improving school facilities through donations from local manufacturers.
Summer construction projects in all four of our buildings have officially begun in preparation for the 2021-22 school year. The D155 Board of Education approved approximately 13 major projects across the district to maintain basic upkeep of facilities and improve the learning environment for students.
U.S. News & World Report ranked all four District 155 high schools in the top twelve percent of high schools ranked nationwide and all four high schools earned a spot in the top 100 in the state of Illinois.
Fifteen District 155 students earned over $2.1 million in scholarships from various colleges and institutions through the 9th Annual Illinois High School Art Exhibition (IHSAE).
As we approach the final stretch of the 2020-21 school year, we’d like to provide you with an update regarding end of the year events for our senior class.
All District 155 high schools are excited to present their 2021 spring musical productions. Find streaming dates and ticketing links for each performance below. Thank you for supporting our students!
Rosecrance has announced the 2021 schedule for Coffee and Coping: A Virtual Parent Discussion Group. Sessions are held virtually and links will be provided upon registration.
District 155’s Board of Education estimated and approved a tentative 1.37 percent tax levy increase while agreeing to rebate $1 million back to taxpayers in the form of a debt service abatement during its regular Board meeting Tuesday, November 17.
District 155 has an opportunity to save taxpayers money by refunding and refinancing its current debt service structure. On November 17, the Board of Education adopted a parameters resolution that authorized the refunding of its $9.1 million Series 2014B Bonds. The bonds will be refinanced at a lower interest rate than when issued in 2014 at an average rate of 4.48 percent, which will result in lower interest costs.
The National Merit® Scholarship Program named five District 155 seniors as 2020 National Merit® Semifinalists. The semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and are the highest-scoring students in each state.
Two seniors at Crystal Lake South High School, Aiden Cornett and Matt Brown, have secured internships at Mastertek Auto Repair in Algonquin, IL. With the help of autos teacher, Steven Dempsey, and Mastertek owner, operator and manager, Dave Hinz, Brown and Cornett are gaining relevant industry experience in their positions at Mastertek.
On Tuesday, November 17th , Your Choice to Live, Inc. will present Wake Up Call, a substance abuse educational program, virtually from 7:00-8:30 PM. This event will be a live virtual event and attendees will be able to access the event from the comfort of their home. Attendees will remain anonymous during the event.
Stiljan Agolli, an autos teacher at Prairie Ridge High School, is using a GoPro to film his lessons for students during remote learning. Agolli records lessons and live demonstrations for his students in Autos I, Advanced Autos, and Autos Seminar. In addition to having class over Zoom every day, Agolli uses his videos to supplement his students' learning and simulate hands-on experiences.
Eighty-nine percent of graduates in the class of 2020 will continue their studies at four-year colleges, two-year community colleges, and vocational and technical schools. Sixty-five percent of students are pursuing degrees at four year colleges and universities. Students earned $14,986,460 in scholarships.
Meals will be available for pick-up at Crystal Lake Central High School, located at 45 W. Franklin Ave. in Crystal Lake (field house entrance off Walkup). Beginning Monday, August 17, food will be provided Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Five District 155 students were recognized for their performances in this year’s musicals by the Broadway in Chicago Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards. Over 200 students submitted entries, and 24 students across the state received the Outstanding Actors and Actresses Award.
Devon Hubbard Tessmer, a 2001 Crystal Lake Central graduate, has co-founded Project Front Line McHenry County, a grassroots coronavirus relief effort with a mission to aid local restaurants and give back to workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. Tessmer and a committee of four other community members have raised nearly $45,000 towards the cause.
With the unexpected transition to remote learning, District 155 summer construction kicked off early this school year. The accelerated schedule will allow for projects to be completed sooner, with time to “deep-clean” to ensure buildings will be ready prior to fall semester.
Registration for the 2020-2021 school year is now open. It’s important to follow the three-step process to complete registration to ensure a faster process. Please note, student information can be completed without payment.
If you are new to the district, please contact the Student Services office of the school your child should attend.
For further registration information, please visit the Registration webpage.
Art students across district 155 have partnered with Project Front Line, a grassroots coronavirus relief effort, to design thank you notes for front line workers across McHenry County during the COVID-19 pandemic.
D155 high schools will host a Friday Night Lights parade for seniors and their families to honor the Class of 2020 on Friday evening, May 15. The formal graduation ceremony is rescheduled for Saturday, July 25, 2020. We are hopeful that by late July we can gather, pending guidelines from the Governor, CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Emily Landon, MD, graduated from Crystal Lake Central High School in 1995. She is now the Executive Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at UChicago Medicine and has gained popularity for her impassioned speech at Governor Pritzker’s COVID-19 press conference on March 20.
25 district 155 students earned over $2.8 million in scholarships from various art schools and the Illinois High School Art Exhibition (IHSAE). Eleven Cary-Grove students were awarded $1,700,000, five Crystal Lake Central students received over $500,000 in scholarships, five Prairie Ridge students received scholarship offers totaling $684,000, and four students from Crystal Lake South recieved $570,000 in scholarship offers.
Meals will continue to be available for pick-up at Crystal Lake Central High School, located at 45 W. Franklin Ave. in Crystal Lake (field house entrance off of Walkup). Food will be provided from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays (May 5, 12, & 19).
CAMP ChiroTherapy is located in Algonquin, IL and was started by Crystal Lake South graduate, Amanda Gerke. Gerke attended Marquette University with the intent to go to medical school and progress her career in the sciences. Over time, her trajectory changed and she uncovered a passion for chiropractic care.
D155 recognizes our responsibility to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). We continue to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and we are following guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the McHenry County Department of Health as we make decisions. We understand it’s a fluid situation and we will provide timely communication to staff, students, parents, and our community as we receive updates.
The safety and well-being of our students and staff remains our top priority. We are working to develop an FAQ and provide you more information about the district’s plan moving forward.
The CDC recommends the following:
Stay home if you are sick until at least 24 hours after your fever* (temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius or higher) is gone.
Temperature should be measured without the use of fever-reducing medicines (medicines that contain ibuprofen or acetaminophen).
As a parent or guardian, you ultimately make the decision to keep your child home. If you choose not to send your child to school, please call the attendance line to have your child’s absence recorded as excused.
Chelsie Tamms graduated from Bradley University and in the same year launched her own business, Lettering Works. Tamms was able to harness her passion for graphic design into a company that specializes in custom lettering and uniquely designed products. Her work can be found all across Chicago, most notably in the Field Museum.
District 155 invited local real estate professionals to Prairie Ridge High School on February 25 to visit with administrators, teachers, and students at the annual D155 Realtor® Event. Realtors were also given a unique opportunity to tour the building, learn about the programs district 155 offers, and see hands-on learning
This semester, both Cary-Grove High School and Prairie Ridge High School invited numerous businesses, careers and schools to attend the annual Tech and Career Fair at PR and the Job Fair at CG. As students move towards life after high school, district 155’s College & Career Centers are working to shift how we frame opportunities in the workforce.
Michael Stonis and Nathan Yorke both graduated from Prairie Ridge High School in 2002. After years working in the field of technology and software development, the two founded Eight-Bot, a mobile application development company based in Chicago, IL.
Each high school in district 155 is home to its own College and Career Center, a unique resource designed to help students prepare for life after high school. There students can begin applying to college, scope out internship or scholarship opportunities, discuss the many options that exist in the workforce, and much more.
Joey Certo and Tyler Schneider were both a part of Cary-Grove High School’s work program before becoming full-time employees at Fabrik Molded Plastics, Inc. in McHenry. They are now furthering their education in the manufacturing field with the support of Fabrik, Inc. CEO, Keith Wagner.
District 155’s STRIVE program provides students with the opportunity to continue their education in functional academics, vocational skills and independent living skills while working towards employment. Last semester, Which Wich, a sandwich chain in Crystal Lake, and NCR Corporation donated two registers to the STRIVE program in order to give students another way to prepare for the workforce.
The Board of Education approved student fee increases for driver education and student parking. The district has not increased fees for driver education or student parking since 2012.
Carlo Nasca graduated from Crystal Lake South High School in the fall of 2004 with no plans to start a restaurant. In the years since, he has founded his own business and become a widely recognized chef. His business, Fat Tomato, Inc., began with a traveling food truck and has now expanded to a cafe in Rosemont, IL where Nasca serves tacos and other cuisine.
District 155 hosted mock interviews at Crystal Lake Central on December 4, 2019 and at Prairie Ridge High School on December 5, 2019. Mark Rzepecki’s students in the Language Academy and Christine Graham’s speech class participated in the event at Central, while Steve Karlblom’s students in the work program took part at Prairie Ridge.
District 155 is excited to launch Workforce Wednesday with Susan Powalowski, a 2007 Cary-Grove graduate who now works as a Search Automation Specialist at Google in Chicago, IL. After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2011, Powalowski began her career at Google in June of 2014.
District 155 received a $240,000 state grant to expand learning opportunities for students by incorporating a 21st century learning kitchen into Cary-Grove High School. These kitchens give students the chance to explore different career options by using equipment that is current and will be used in the future.
Two hundred D155 seniors were recognized as Illinois State Scholars for their superior academic achievement by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.
Illinois State Scholars represent approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors from 726 high schools across the state. Students are selected based on a combination of exemplary ACT or SAT test scores and sixth semester class rank.
Sixth through eighth-grade girls have a unique opportunity to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at the D155 GEMS Conference. Sixth-to-eighth-grade girls in District 155 feeder schools are invited to attend the free conference! The fifth annual conference is Saturday, January 25 at Cary-Grove High School.
District 155’s Board of Education approved a 2.75 percent tax levy increase to provide funds to cover the ongoing work to install air conditioning at Cary-Grove and Crystal Lake Central High Schools. The district has developed a three-year plan to air condition both schools.
Three District 155 high schools rank among the nation’s Best High Schools in science, technology, engineering and math. Prairie Ridge High School, Cary-Grove High School, and Crystal Lake Central High School earned spots in the top 16 percent on Newsweek’s list.
Eighty-eight students and parents had a unique opportunity to explore local manufacturing careers during the second “Made In Your Own Backyard” event on October 10. The event aims to increase awareness of products manufactured locally; and educate parents and middle and high school students about the diverse manufacturing field.
Four District 155 seniors were selected to participate in the All-State production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida as a part of the 45th Annual Illinois High School Theatre Festival. Cary-Grove senior, Allan Lopez, and Crystal Lake South high school students, Daniel Marable and Gabrielle Urbina earned spots in the company’s ensemble. Prairie Ridge High School senior, Nicholas Lingner, earned a place in the orchestra.
The National Merit® Scholarship Program named four District 155 seniors as 2019 National Merit® Semifinalists. The semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and are the highest-scoring students in each state.
The state’s school public relations association (INSPRA) recognized District 155’s communications department for its summer construction social media campaign, recently redesigned websites, and the 2017-18 annual report.
School public relations professionals from across the country judged 158 entries.
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.
Bob Chikos, a Crystal Lake Central special education teacher, was one of 27 teachers in the state, selected to be part of the 2019-20 Illinois Teaching Policy Fellowship. Fellows are expected to serve for a 10-month period from August 2019 until June 2020.
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 and tennis court replacement.
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.
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. Over 50 percent of students are pursuing degrees at four-year colleges and universities.
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.
D155 summer projects are underway at all four high schools as part of the 2019 Capital Improvements Project. The Board of Education approved $14,552,000 in capital projects, including kitchen classroom remodels, tennis courts replacement, and air conditioning.
District 155 is pleased to announce the approval of a new four-year agreement with its support staff union, CHESS.
All District 155 high schools earned a spot in the top 100 of Illinois’s Best Public High Schools for 2019. The annual list conducted by U.S. News and World Report is determined based on six factors.
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) selected Michelle Ponsolle-Mays to receive the Jeannette Bair Writer’s Award at its national conference. Mays co-authored the article, “Enriching kids’ lives: Addressing the effects of poverty on the health and well-being of school-aged children and their families.”
Twenty-three District 155 students earned $2,732,272 in scholarships from various art schools and the Illinois High School Art Exhibition (IHSAE). The sixth annual IHSAE featured the best student artists from more than 125 Illinois high schools.
Crystal Lake South High School’s Virtual Enterprise, Unwind, will travel to New York City next month to participate in the National Business Plan Competition as part of the VEI Youth Business Summit.
Registration is now open for summer school courses. The deadline to register for semester one is April 26 and the second semester registration deadline is May 31. With the exception of driver’s education courses, all summer school courses will be held at Crystal Lake South High School.
Tony Moretti, a Special Education Teacher at Haber Oaks Campus, is the Star 105.5 and Home State Bank Teacher of the Month for January. He won the award after a former student, Gillian wrote a special nomination letter.
The D155 Board of Education approved the teachers’ contract on Thursday, January 24. The D155 Education Association, district administrators, and the Board of Education have been working collaboratively toward a new collective bargaining agreement since August.
The District 155 Board of Education approved 22 major summer construction projects across the four high schools and the district office on Thursday, January 24.
The Board of Education approved Lori Ratliff as vice principal at Crystal Lake South High School and Kevin Koeppen as vice principal at Prairie Ridge High School. They will begin their roles on July 1.
District 155 will host its first Realtor® Event at Crystal Lake South High School on Wednesday, February 13. Local real estate agents are invited to meet with administrators, teachers, and students to learn about programs and opportunities the district offers.
District 155 offers early registration for select summer school elective courses. The following summer school courses are available for early registration: Consumer Education, U.S. History, and Visual Arts and Technology.
D155 will host its 11th Annual Parent University on Saturday, February 16 at Prairie Ridge High School from 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Register for the event and learn more about the sessions offered.
Prairie Ridge's "TheComplete History of America (abridged)” fall play received a nomination for the 44th Annual Illinois High School Theatre Festival (IHSTF).
Community High School District 155’s Board of Education approved the purchase agreement for the eventual sale of Haber Oaks Campus with Elm Tree Properties, LLC. The board agreed to sell the property in August.
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) recognized 260 D155 students from the graduating class of 2019 as Illinois State Scholars, a prestigious honor. Students are selected based on a combination of exemplary ACT or SAT test scores and sixth semester class rank.
Please Save the Date for 8th Grade Night on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. If you have any questions regarding the event, please contact your future school's student services office.
Shannon Levitt, a Crystal Lake Central High School teacher, and a ten member team made up of Illinois teachers, were national finalists for Most Actionable Research at the “Eddies” for their published work on school discipline reform and restorative discipline tactics.
The fourth annual GEMS conference is at Cary-Grove High School on January 26, 2019. Parents are invited to participate in the college and career expo as well as the opening activity.
District 155 students are one step ahead of their peers gaining valuable certifications and college credit in the Culinary Arts program at Crystal Lake South High School. The program offers students the opportunity to earn two certifications, the Food Handler Certification and Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification, which gives students the advantage when applying for jobs.
The National Merit® Scholarship Program named thirteen District 155 seniors as 2019 National Merit® Semifinalists. Students will find out if they have advanced to Finalist standing in February. Beginning in April, National Merit Scholarship winners will be awarded.
Daisy Kucharski, a Prairie Ridge High School junior, and Aditya Khandeshi, a Crystal Lake Central senior, both earned perfect scores on the ACT the first time they took it. The students learned about the rare accomplishment over the summer.
Cary-Grove High School’s CNC Precision Machining and Manufacturing Lab will teach students how to prepare for potential careers in manufacturing and engineering. Students will gain experience with a variety of machines including a computer numerical control (CNC) mill, CNC lathe.
Ninety percent of graduates in the class of 2018 will continue their studies at four-year colleges, two-year community colleges, and vocational and technical schools. Over 60 percent of students are pursuing degrees at four-year colleges and universities.