In today’s ever changing world, McHenry Elementary School District 15 educators are making sure students are well-prepared for college and careers even though their career choices are as yet undefined. The innovative development team in McHenry, has worked collaboratively creating a district-wide STEM and STEAM curriculum that is showcased in breath-taking STEM Labs, STEAM Studios, Innovation Centers, Video Production Hubs, and redesigned Learning Media Centers. These accomplishments bridge together the teaching of Digital Literacy and Information Literacy in McHenry District 15.
“It’s a vision for a learning experience that is centered on the learner and evolves technologically as quickly as they do,” states Dr. Josh Reitz, Superintendent of Schools. “We are providing our students with an educational opportunity that fosters engagement, interaction, and achievement through cutting-edge technology in a personalized learning approach.”
McHenry School District 15's new innovative learning spaces are constructed Makerspaces that have no boundaries. A place with no boundary means students can exceed anything you've ever expected.
STEM EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNER
District 15's Parkland School was named the number one middle school in the nation for STEM, STEAM, and Innovative Programming at the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC). In achieving this award, Parkland was chosen among schools from all across the nation as the top middle school that provided the best programming and learning spaces for its students. We are extremely proud of Parkland for receiving this award. Please click on the video below to hear more about this prestigious honor from our Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Alan Hoffman.
McHenry School District 15’s Superintendent, Dr. Josh Reitz, was selected as a 2022 Superintendent to Watch by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). Dr. Reitz joins just 24 other superintendents nationwide who were selected for the honor in recognition of their innovative and effective use of technology to engage and inform the school community, and to expand two-way communication and outreach efforts.
Honorees are school district leaders who have fewer than five years of experience as a district superintendent and who demonstrate dynamic, fast-paced leadership with strong communication at its core.
McHenry District 15 received two Golden Achievement Awards from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) for exemplary public relations in the fields of curricular programming and construction of eye-catching, innovative learning environments for students. The district also received an Award of Merit for the dynamic experience our website offers our consumers and two awards for distinguished achievement for two videos produced in-house for marketing and public relation purposes.
In 2023, McHenry School District 15's Board of Education President, Mr. Chad Mihevc, received a Distinguished Service Award of Excellence from the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA) for serving as an ambassador for public education while being committed to increased, timely, two-way communication with all stakeholders.
In 2022, District 15 received two Distinguished Service Awards of Excellence from the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA) for their exemplary communication efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Superintendent, Dr. Josh Reitz, received an Award of Excellence for his priority and commitment to providing timely communication to all stakeholders. Additionally, the District's communication team received an Award of Excellence for their strong collaboration in the area of public relations and their efforts to effectively tell District 15's story.
District Administration Journal is honoring McHenry School District 15 for their innovation in educational technology initiatives as part of the Schools of TechXcellence program. TechXcellence is sponsored by HP and Intel and sets forth to recognize schools that have implemented innovative, effective and replicable technology programs that contribute meaningfully to student or operational success.
Locally Designed, Internationally Recognized
McHenry School District 15 was internationally recognized and presented with the Making IT Happen Award for their STEM/STEAM programming and innovative Staff Development initiatives by ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) and ICE (Illinois Computing Educators).
Students Voices Finalist for Outstanding School District
Every year, the State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA) Student Voices Award honors an outstanding K-12 school or district that has leveraged technology to dramatically improve the educational experiences and achievement of their students. McHenry School District 15 was nominated by the Learning Technology Center of Illinois and SETDA as a top five finalist in the nation to showcase how their school programs offer students a digital edge while also empowering them to become actively engaged within their school district and community.
Innovative Learning Opportunities
McHenry District 15 thinks outside the box to provide students with engaging, collaborative learning that includes LEGO Education. LEGO Education has a huge focus on digital literacy and information literacy and whether it’s EV3 or WeDo 2.0 or StoryStarter, everything that LEGO Education offers is complementary to the core curriculum. For more information on the LegoEDU program please click here.
District 15 was featured in the winter edition of the ASCD Magazine for their innovative makerspaces and curriculum. Click on the image below to read the article.
STEM Achievement Award
Parkland Middle School and McHenry Middle School were nationally recognized for their exemplary model of STEM curriculum! In recognition of this distinction, students and staff were presented with a STEM Achievement Award by Creative Learning Systems.
Nationally Recognized for Digital Content, Curriculum, and Staff Development
McHenry Elementary School District 15 was one of three recipients in the nation to earn the Digital Content and Curriculum Achievement Award in the medium school district size category. This award, from the Center for Digital Education, recognizes school districts that successfully use digital content and curriculum to improve instruction and student engagement. McHenry Elementary School District 15 developed a weekly on-going staff development program (Staff Development Wednesdays—SDW) utilizing technology as the driving force. The school district's efficient and innovative deployment of digital curriculum has revolutionized professional development and changed the quality of teaching and learning forever in McHenry.
The Illinois Association of School Boards Educational Journal
McHenry School District 15 is featured in The Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) educational journal and is recognized as a model school district for schools across the state of Illinois looking to capture best 21st Century learning practices.