Updates from Dr. Zbrozek
May 12, 2022
Dear Iron Families,
NCHS Announcements: Continue to look at our NCHS Announcements, which are updated each Monday morning. There is information about club meetings and important upcoming events.
Standards-Based Grading 22-23 School Year: Please take a look at this document from the Unit 5 District Office regarding standards-based grading practices and procedures for the 22-23 school year.
Walk-in Registration: Please note that walk-in registration for the 2022-2023 school year will take place on August 9th, 10th and 11th. It will be split up by alphabet as it has been for the last couple of years. As a reminder, walk-in registration is a time when students and families pick up student schedules, check out textbooks, get their yearbook photo taken, purchase locks (if needed), receive their student ID, pick up a parking pass, etc. These are just a few of the items that take place at walk-in registration, so please plan on attending. Specific information regarding which students will attend which days will come later in the summer.
2022-2023 School Calendar: Please take a look at the 2022-2023 Unit 5 School Calendar. It outlines important dates for you and your child to be aware of regarding non-attendance days and the newly adopted district-wide half days. Please note that the first day of school for K-12 students is August 17, 2022.
As always, I appreciate your partnership as we bring the 21-22 school year to a close. We couldn’t do it without you!
Please take a look at the NCHS March 2022 Newsletter. Have a great day!
I hope everyone is doing well! Here are just a few informational items that I wanted to pass along to our Ironmen families:
5 Essentials Reminder: The district has sent out a few reminders asking parents to take the 5 Essentials Survey. We currently only have about 10% of our families who have filled it out and we need 20% completion in order to receive results. Please consider taking it if you have not already. Thanks for your consideration!
To take the survey:
2. Click on “Start here” under the Parent category.
3. You may enter your email address but that is not required. It is completely optional.
4. Enter “McLean” for the County.
5. Begin typing your child’s school name and you should see it pop up. Click on the appropriate school.
School Refusal Strategies for Parents & Caregivers: Are you having trouble motivating your child to attend school on a consistent basis? If so, here is a link to a webinar, sponsored by the Illinois School Psychology Internship Consortium with some strategies that might help. This webinar includes tips for talking with your child about refusal, adjusting activities and routines at home, encouragement of coping skills, and reinforcement/reward strategies. This webinar is available until March 16th.
IL Science Assessment (Juniors): Next week, all Junior students will be taking the IL Science Assessment. If your student is enrolled in a science class, that is where they will take the assessment. If they are not enrolled in a science class, they will take it in the IMC next week. Please remind your Junior students to bring their charged laptop to school each day. More information will be shared with students soon!
Monday Announcements: The announcements read over the PA system each Monday are archived on our NCHS homepage located here. They are updated weekly, and provide information about what events are happening in and around the building.
Upcoming Dates to Remember:
3/9/22: U5 Late Start
3/21/22 - 3/25/22: U5 Spring Break - No School
4/6/22: U5 Late Start
4/15/22: Board Holiday - No School
4/18/22: Institute Day - No School
4/23/22: Prom @ Park Hotel
5/4/22: U5 Late Start
5/28/22: Commencement Ceremony @ Grossinger Arena. 6:00 pm.
NCHS Parents & Guardians,
I hope everyone is staying warm in the midst of this winter season! Just a couple reminders:
5 Essentials: Consider filling out our 5 Essentials Survey for NCHS. We currently only have 2% of our parents who have filled this out. We need 25% of our parents to complete this in order for us to receive any results. Thanks for your consideration with this! Link for parents to take the survey: http://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/survey/parent/
Morning Drop Off: If you are dropping your child(ren) off in the morning, please only use the right lane along the sidewalk in the main parking lot. The left lane must be left open for student drivers to pull into the parking lot. Please pull ALL THE WAY UP to the end of the sidewalk as far as you can go before stopping to let your child(ren) out of the vehicle. Not following these directions is causing more congestion and the drop off process is taking longer and is dangerous for our students and parents.
After School Parent Pick-up: Please remember that students should only be picked up in front of our school, and not in the faculty lot / bus lane. Our faculty lot and bus lane are exclusively for our buses lining up to make an exit to get our students home.
Calling out your Student: As a reminder, if you need your student to be released from school early, you must call the attendance line - (309) 557-4450. With 2,300 students spread out all over our building, it is not possible to quickly retrieve students and have them ready for pick up without calling our attendance line first (60 minutes ahead). This allows time for us to process your call, deliver a pass to your student’s classroom, give them time to gather materials, and exit the building. Thanks for your continued help with this.
What’s happening at NCHS? Great question! If you are looking for information about large scale events, take a look at our NCHS Homepage. If you’re looking for more specifics for extra-curricular clubs/activities, take a look at the archived Monday Announcements that are updated each week. Lastly, I sent out an NCHS January Newsletter a week or so ago, so take a look if you’re interested.
Thanks for your continued partnership and have a great day!
Please take a look at the NCHS January Newsletter. Thanks!
This is a follow-up note to the district's email regarding Friday, January 7, 2022, with specific information for NCHS students.
- No students should report to NCHS for school on Friday, January 7th.
- Students should follow the directions and expectations given by each teacher. Teachers will either send an email to students or will post information in Google Classroom as to what students are to do for their class on Friday, January 7th.
- Students will follow the Secondary E-Learning Schedule for Friday, January 7th. (The HS schedule is the one on the left when you open the link.) I'll also post on our website.
- After-school (after 3:30 pm) meetings, practices, and games may still happen. Students should communicate with their coach about these events.
The end of the first semester is finally here! It’s been great having all students back in the building for the first time since early 2020. The first student attendance day for the Spring 2022 semester will be on January 4th and will follow a typical bell schedule for everyone. Please take a look at some information regarding the Spring as well as other items of interest:
1st Semester Grades: Report cards will be posted the week of January 3rd. We will notify families when these are available for viewing in Infinite Campus. At this time, we will not be processing any transcript requests. All transcript requests submitted through Parchment will be sent starting the middle of January once all transcripts have been updated in the system. The link to Parchment is on the NCHS Homepage at the top right-hand corner under “Transcripts”.
Final Exam Absences: If your child missed a final exam due to an unexpected absence this week, please make sure you have called the attendance line to report the reason for the absence. If it is an excused absence, your child will be allowed to make up any final exams when they return in January. Please have your child email the teacher to find out if the test will be taken in class with the teacher, or proctored in the main office. Please also note that any missed final exams will be entered as a Zero until the final exam is made up, then a grade change will be submitted for the student’s report card and transcript.
2nd Semester Schedules: All students should check their 2nd semester schedule in Infinite Campus before they return to school on January 4th. We will continue to make schedule changes up through the end of the day on January 3rd based on completion of prerequisites during 1st semester. Students will be able to view their updated schedule through the Infinite Campus portal on either their phones or laptops to follow when they return to school.
COVID Vaccination Information: Just a reminder that if your child has received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, we encourage you to send a copy of their vaccination card to the school nurse to keep on file. It can be sent electronically to the school nurse or a copy can be dropped off in the school office. A COVID vaccine is not required for children to attend school and submitting proof is voluntary.
Charging District Devices: Just a reminder to please encourage your students to charge their district issued devices over break so that they are fully charged and ready for January 4th. Most issues that occur with district devices to start the semester are due to laptops not being charged over break.
Attendance Line Reminder: Just a reminder to please call the attendance line if your child isn't going to be present at school or if you need them released before 3:30 pm. This number is (309) 557-4450. The line is completely automated, and the administrative assistant who takes attendance messages processes absences and early releases all day as they come in. However, please note that if we don't have at least 30 minutes to process the phone call and issue the pass for delivery, there will be a delay in your child exiting the building. We deliver passes as quickly as possible given the size of our building and number of students we have enrolled. Students must obtain a pass and check out with the greeter station, so please do not text or call them to meet you in front of the building without first calling the attendance line. Also, given that our greeter's station area is very small, you do not need to come in the building to get your student. We will send them out the front door right after they check out with Ms. Sharp! Remember, please do not send your student to school if they have symptoms of COVID 19.
Senior Families: Senior Brunch will be on May 6th at the Marriott. The Senior picnic is scheduled for May 12th with more information to be shared in the Spring. The Class of 2022 Commencement Ceremony is scheduled for May 28th at 6:00 pm at Grossinger Arena. At this point in time, there will likely be an 8 ticket limit per graduate. Certainly, information regarding graduation is subject to change, but we wanted to share what we know at this time. Students who graduate early in December may not attend the picnic or the brunch, as they are no longer students at NCHS. Early graduates can still attend commencement on May 28th.
Thank you all again for a great semester. I wish all of our NCHS families a terrific Winter Break and look forward to working with you all again in 2022. As always, I appreciate your partnership.
Dr. Trevor Chapman
I’m hopeful that all of our Ironmen families had a great Thanksgiving break. I know we are now looking forward to our Winter Break here in just a few short weeks. Below, you’ll find some important information that is needed to help us close out the semester and ready ourselves for the Spring 2022 semester.
Fall 2021 - Final Exam Information: Here is the SCHEDULE for final exams on December 15, 16, and 17.
- Any student with an ‘A’ in a class as of December 14th will be exempt from taking a final exam for that class (this does not include required exams for Heartland CC Dual Credit courses).
- If a student will be absent for any of the final exam dates and would like to take the exams earlier than 12/15-12/17, a parent/guardian must contact Mrs. Maurer for approval by calling (309)557-4650 or emailing email@example.com.
- If a student has an unplanned absence due to illness or emergency, a parent/guardian must call the attendance line to report the absence, then arrangements will be made for the student to make up the missed exams when they return to school in January.
- There will be NO PASSES issued for students to leave during a final exam period on December 15, 16, or 17. Students must remain in the classrooms for the entire final exam periods on these dates. Please schedule any appointments and transportation around this schedule as we will not interrupt final exams to dismiss a student from class.
Spring 2022 Semester: The first student attendance day in the Spring will be January 4th. It will follow a regular bell schedule. Many changes have been made to student schedules for 2nd semester since paper copies were distributed in August at registration. Students should check their schedules for the spring semester on Infinite Campus after December 13th. If students require a printed copy of the schedule, they should go to the IMC to print their own schedule as they will not be distributed to all students.
Athletics: As a reminder, if you have any outstanding athletic fees to pay from Fall or Winter sports, please try to get that paid through RevTrak as soon as possible. Please also remember that masks must be worn while inside the building at any event, including sporting events.
Weekly Announcements: As a reminder, our weekly announcements (read each Monday morning) are archived on the NCHS Homepage in a bubble in the center of the page. For any students looking to get involved, I would encourage checking out our website for extracurricular organization information.
December Graduates: Seniors graduating in December need to have their cap and gown ordered 12/2 & 12/3 with Jostens. The Senior picnic is scheduled for May 12th with more information to be shared in the Spring. Lastly, at this time, our Class of 2022 Commencement Ceremony is scheduled for May 28th at 6:00 pm at Grossinger Arena. At this point in time, there will likely be an 8 ticket limit per graduate. Certainly, information regarding graduation is subject to change, but we wanted to share what we know at this time.
Thanks again for all of your support during this Fall semester. It has certainly had its challenges, but we appreciate your continued partnership. Have a great day!
Dr. Trevor Chapman
I hope everyone is doing well! Homecoming was a great success last week and we had great levels of participation in all of the activities planned. Special thanks to all of the parent volunteers who assisted in making our Homecoming a success. Certainly large events, such as the Homecoming Dance, aren’t possible without your help! Speaking of your help, do you or someone you know have an interest in being a teacher, teaching assistant, substitute teacher, sub teaching assistant, sub custodian or sub food service in Unit 5? If so, please apply here and please share with anyone you know who might be interested!
Food Service Update: We wanted to make you aware of a change to the breakfast program we currently offer at both U5 high schools. Currently, all students receive free breakfast regardless of eligibility status. However, after consultation with the Illinois State Board of Education and given that we do not participate in the National School Lunch Program, we can no longer offer free breakfast to all high school students in Unit 5. This change doesn't affect items being sold during breakfast or lunch, but rather means that starting Monday, October 4, 2021, high school students will be charged for breakfast according to their eligibility status. Students who are currently free or reduced will continue to be free and reduced. Please refer to the Unit 5 Food Service website for price and high school meal program information.
If you have any questions, please direct them to:
JoAnna Rewerts, MS, RD/LDN
Director of Food and Nutrition Services
McLean County Unit District No. 5
1999 Eagle Road
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309.557.4437 l Fax: 309.557.4538
Lifetouch School Photos: If your child took their school photo during walk-in registration, you will be receiving a packet mailed home to place an order. Picture re-takes will take place on October 5th and 6th in Room 52 here at NCHS. If your student didn’t have their picture taken during walk-in registration, or needs to retake their photo, this would be their last chance. This is also the picture that goes into the yearbook.
Drop Off/Pick Up Lanes: We understand that the NCHS parking lot is congested before and after school and we are doing our best to keep everyone safe during drop off and dismissal. During drop off in the morning, please only use the circular drive in the front of the school and stay in the right hand side of the drive along the sidewalk. Pull up, drop off, and drive through. Do not pull up in the left hand lane at all as this blocks our student drivers from getting into the parking lot. During pick up, please make sure not to block any of Raab Road or the entrances/exits to the parking lot. The best option is to park in the lot and wait for your student to exit the building to your car. Thank you for helping us in our efforts to keep our students and families safe!
Parent/Teacher Conferences: Conferences will be held on Friday, October 22nd (no school on this date for students). These conferences will be held virtually using Google Meets. However, if you have an exceptional circumstance and require an in-person conference, that can be arranged with the individual teachers. A separate email with more information about how to sign up for conference times will be on its way to you soon!
Final Exams: Final Exams are scheduled for December 15, 16, and 17 using this BELL SCHEDULE. Any student (9th-12th grade) who has an A in a class will be exempt from the final exam for that class. Teachers will notify students no later than December 14th if they are exempt or must take the final exam for their classes. Students do not need to be present at school on December 15, 16, or 17 for the periods they have lunch, Study Hall, or are exempt from that final exam.
Athletics: Registration for winter sports is now open. All athletes interested in participating in basketball, boys swim, cheerleading and wrestling must have a current physical on file in the AD office and registered at the 8 to18 website. We have had some incredible success with our Fall athletic teams so far and we’re looking forward to winter sports just around the corner!
NCHS Weekly Announcements: As we begin to bring back many of the clubs and extracurricular activities that we had before the pandemic began, please encourage your students to check our website. Specifically, the weekly announcements are located in a bubble in the middle of our NCHS Homepage. Here is a direct link where you’ll find all of the announcements, in order, from the beginning of the year. In case your student misses the Monday morning announcements, they can always check here for upcoming events and opportunities to become involved here at school.
Social Media: Don’t forget to like our NCHS Facebook page, follow Dr. Chapman on Twitter @NCHS_Principal and/or Mrs. Maurer @nchironmen. These are great places to follow along with some of the great things happening with students and staff in our building!
Without question, the transition for many of our students back to full-time, in-person learning has been a challenge. Honestly, it’s a challenge for everyone involved. We appreciate your patience as we all work together to get ourselves back in the groove of a more traditional school experience. As always, we appreciate your partnership!
Dr. Trevor Chapman
We are off to a great start as we begin to wrap up our first full week of school! Please see below for some important information from NCHS:
Promise Council : The history of Promise Councils in Unit 5 schools began in 2009 with one elementary school. Over the years, by adding additional Promise Councils at schools, hundreds of children have benefited from the support of caring adults in our community. This year makes the 5th year for the Promise Council at NCHS and we need your help. The main goal of a Promise Council is to remove barriers to learning so that all students, regardless of socio-economic status, have the opportunity to achieve success and graduate from high school.
Already this year and as the year progresses, the staff at NCHS will identify items (food, clothing, household items, shoes, personal hygiene items, etc.) that students need. If you are interested in assisting the Promise Council to fill the student needs such as the ones listed, among others, please consider adding your information to this simple FORM . Our goal is to create a list of individuals who are willing to receive email requests to assist with fulfilling the requests. When a need arises, a mass email would go out to everyone with details of the request. Sometimes the request will be accompanied by an Amazon link so you could order items online and they would ship directly to NCHS! Other times it might be something like pillows, or bedding as a student may need that at home. Your email address will be kept confidential and only used for the purpose of the NCHS Promise Council. If you filled out this form in past years, please fill it out again. We are starting with a clean slate this year. Thanks for considering!
Homework for Absences : Please understand that the district is no longer allowing students to "remote in" to their classes. Therefore, when a student is absent, it is that student's responsibility to contact the teachers to receive make up work. In many cases, the materials and assignments will be posted in Google Classroom. However, there are some items that are not able to be shared online. In such cases, the teacher will place the materials at the Greeter's Station at the front entrance. Any family member or friend is welcome to stop by the Greeter's station during school hours to pick this up. Please make sure to confirm if the teacher has placed the items in the Greeter's Station prior to coming out for pickup.
Traffic Congestion : We appreciate your patience as you navigate to and from NCHS each day. It's been nearly a year and a half since we had all students back in the building, full-time. This, in turn, means that over 2,200 students are arriving at school in a personal vehicle or school bus each day. With only one entrance and exit to our student parking lot, maneuvering to and from school is a challenge. We also know that in the minutes before school starts that Raab Rd. is often backed up around the corner onto Airport Rd. towards Grove Elementary. We are essentially a large suburban high school situated in a rural setting with limited access points.
I mention this all to provide context for our challenge. With this, I would offer two suggestions:
Leave home earlier to allow more time to arrive at school on time. I consider the time period between 8:05am and 8:40am to be the busiest time of the morning in and around NCHS. Our building is open for zero hour at 7:25am, so arriving at school earlier than 8:30am is completely acceptable. Directing traffic on Raab Rd. would not assist with the flow of traffic because we need to allow 26 buses, twice daily, to enter and exit our bus lane and make their way down Raab Rd.
Consider coming down Raab Rd. from the east off of Towanda Barnes Rd. as a different option. I know Raab Rd. can become congested coming from that direction as well, but at least this provides a different option to even out the traffic coming from the west.
Again, we thank you for your continued patience. Unfortunately, like many suburban locations, traffic is unavoidable, so please plan accordingly based on your family's schedule.
Attendance Line : Just a reminder to please call the attendance line if your child isn't going to be present at school or if you need them released before 3:30 pm. This number is (309) 557-4450. The administrative assistant who takes attendance messages processes absences and early releases all day as they come in. However, please note that if we don't have at least 30 minutes to process the phone call and issue the pass for delivery, there may be a delay in your child exiting the building. We deliver passes as quickly as possible given the size of our building and number of students we have enrolled. Students must obtain a pass and check out with the greeter station, so please do not text or call them to meet you in front of the building without first calling the attendance line. Also, given that our greeter's station area is very small, you do not need to come in the building to get your student. We will send them out the front door right after after they check out with Ms. Sharp!
Remember, please do not send your student to school if they have symptoms of COVID 19.
Masks : As a reminder, masks must be worn by everyone (students, staff and visitors) while inside NCHS and while riding on a school bus/activity van. The only exception to this rule is when students are outside for PE or during lunch time. Our students have done a great job with this so far! If your student was to forget their mask at home, they can stop by the main office upon arrival at school and we'll provide one to them.
Athletics : If you're interested in our athletic schedule, please take a look at our 8to18 site. It will provide you with up to date schedules for all of our events. Masks must be worn by athletes and spectators for all indoor athletic events. Masks do not currently have to be worn outside by spectators or athletes.
We are off to a great start so far! We were all so fortunate to see all of our students, back in person, and ready to learn. Our Ironmen did an awesome job during our Code Red Evacuation Drill as well!
All Parents: Just a quick reminder that our "Back to School Night" is next Thursday, August 26th beginning at 6:30 pm. You will follow your child's schedule in the order of their day (Bell Schedule) so you can meet their teachers and learn more about the courses they are enrolled in. Please bring a copy of your child's schedule with you or download the Infinite Campus Parent Portal app on your smartphone as the schedule can be accessed there as well. We'll begin promptly at 6:30 pm with their first-period class.
Senior Parents: Feeling a little overwhelmed with your Senior student about what to do first this year with college applications, financial aid and more? Join Mrs. Karrin Hawkins, NCHS College & Career Counselor, at 6:00 pm on August 26h, for "Kickstart to College for Parents". This session will be held in the Cafe and will give parents of Seniors a quick look at what's to come this final year! Email Mrs. Hawkins (firstname.lastname@example.org), with any questions.
Hope to see you on the 26th!
We are excited to start the new school year with you all! Here are some important pieces of information as we begin:
1. Here is the First Day Bell Schedule for August 18th.
2. August 18th will also be our Code Red Evacuation Drill to Eastview Christian Church in the afternoon. This is noted on the bell schedule above.
3. Masks are required for everyone while inside the building. This includes students, staff, and any visitors who might be entering NCHS.
4. Students and families will not need to self-certify before school each day as you did last year. Please ensure that you do not have any COVID symptoms and to call your student in if they are feeling ill. The nurse will follow up, as appropriate.
5. Provided is a link to the 2021-22 School Year Plan. This information is intended to keep the Unit 5 community informed and reflects the most recent changes in guidance by the CDC, IDPH, ISBE. Please know, these plans are subject to change as the situation evolves. We greatly appreciate your flexibility, patience, and support as we work to ensure the health and education of the entire Unit 5 earning community.
6. As a reminder, Back to School Night is going to be held on August 26th from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Parents are invited to come and walk through their child's schedule and talking with their teachers along the way. There is no requirement to attend, but certainly encouraged!
We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow!
Next, here is a Welcome Letter that I prepared outlining some plans for the school year, some important dates/times to mark on your calendars as we begin the year, opportunities to follow us on social media, and a recap of our walk-in registration process.
We look forward to seeing you all soon!