School News

Fun with STEM and Harvest Hope

On Saturday, November 14, North Chicago Community Partners (NCCP) and Lake Forest Academy (LFA) hosted a two-part event at A.J. Katzenmaier School (AJK), Fun with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and Harvest Hope. Throughout the day, 65 AJK students and their LFA buddies were engaged in hands-on, STEM education activities and more than 190 members of the AJK School Community shopped for holiday-dinner themed groceries. In addition, the LFA families and parents contributed to the day’s events by hosting a food drive and pancake breakfast.

Non-Perishable Food Drive
In the weeks leading up to the event, LFA students collected 2,239 individual, non-perishable food items including brownie mix, macaroni and cheese, canned fruits and vegetables and more! As if that wasn’t amazing enough, a LFA parent coordinated a donation from ACH Foods of 1,000 individual items.

Pancake Breakfast
LFA parent volunteers got the morning started by preparing the most important meal of the day. Together, AJK and LFA students enjoyed pancakes, sausage, milk and fresh fruit before diving into the STEM-fun!

Fun with STEM
AJK students had the opportunity to engage as young scientists, engineers and mathematicians for the day. Introducing the concepts of gravity, air resistance and propulsion, the students and their LFA buddies designed parachutes to save their eggs from cracking, built mini cannons to launch marshmallows and used Lego candies to solve math problems! At the conclusion of the morning, students were able to take home a bag of STEM-related goodies, generously funded by an LFA parent, to continue the STEM education at home.

Harvest Hope
The afternoon concluded with the opening of the Harvest Hope grocery store. In addition to the items donated by the LFA community, NCCP purchased an additional 4,000 pounds of meat, produce, bread and more from the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

None of this would have been possible without the 75 helping hands of Lake Forest Academy students, parents and staff members. North Chicago Community Partners is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to partner with Lake Forest Academy, for the fifth consecutive year, to make Fun with STEM and Harvest Hope an incredible learning and relationship building opportunity for all involved.

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AJK and AdvancED Partnership

A.J. Katzenmaier has spent the last couple of months preparing for a visit from AdvancED.  AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world. They are a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of PreK-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. While their expertise is grounded in more than a hundred years of work in school accreditation, AdvancED is far from a typical accrediting agency. Their goal isn’t to certify that schools are good enough. Rather, their commitment is to help schools improve.

A.J. Katzenmaier went through a pre-accreditation review to see where we currently are in order to create a school improvement plan that would highly impact our cadets’ learning in the classrooms as well as the culture and climate of the building. The results were as follows:

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1st Parent Night… A Huge Success!

We had an amazing time at our 1st parent night!  Parents discussed and shared thoughts and ideas for our school, while students and staff engaged in fun activities.

Teacher of the Month!

November’s Teacher of the Month:1030150803 Brian Eck, for his involvement in creating a PBIS system of support that involves all stakeholders and makes ownership a key to our success.

Putting A Cap On Drugs

downloadfile-2During Red Ribbon Week, AJK celebrated saying no to drugs by signing a pledge to be drug free.  Each day this week, we had a different “themed” out of dress code day to support this pledge.