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Students, parents and teachers across Illinois have an opportunity to participate in the seventh annual statewide Illinois 5Essentials Survey between now and Feb. 15.  The survey is designed to generate a detailed picture of the inner workings of your student’s school and gathers data related to five indicators that can predict important student outcomes. Additionally, Hawthorn District 73 has chosen to provide the optional Parent Supplemental survey. Your participation in the parent portion of the survey will help us understand the conditions at your student’s school and guide improvement. To take the survey, please visit the 5Essentials Survey webpage and select the appropriate survey to begin.

Students in art class

Hawthorn is excited to bring another year of summer programming designed to expand the education horizon for our students. We are offering many new types of project based learning courses and opportunities in the areas of core academics, the arts and athletics. The program, open to all kindergarten through eighth-grade Hawthorn District 73 students, will take place at Townline Elementary, 810 N. Aspen Drive in Vernon Hills.

  • Session 1 (grades 1 – 8) July 8 – July 19 Fee: $280
  • Session 2 (grades 1 – 8) July 22 – August 2 Fee: $280
  • Kindergarten dates: July 8 – August 2 Fee: $560.00
  • Hours: 7:55 a.m. to 11:55 a.m.
  • Hawthorn will be offering before care in the Townline cafeteria from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Cost: $100 per session

For more information and to view the course descriptions in English and Spanish, visit the HEI page of our website. If you have questions, please call: 847-489-5598 or email:

Students studying Ice cores
The seventh grade science classes at Middle School South have been studying climate change and performed a lab analyzing ice cores. Ice cores are cylinder-shaped blocks of ice taken from glaciers and ice sheets used by climatologists to compare today’s climate to the past. The class ice cores were created over a period of two weeks, with each layer containing a different substance. Students were asked to generate observations and inferences about each layer to determine past climate conditions and environmental features.
students in classroom

Eighth graders at Middle School South have been busy this week! They started by simulating the stock market crash in a competitive game and then participating in a Great Depression themed BreakoutEDU Escape Room to build up their background knowledge for the next unit!

students with their characters

Sixth grade advanced language arts students read a novel of their choice with their Literature Circle groups. As they read, they had different roles to prepare for their group discussions. As a culminating project, students created a “Life-Size Character” of the protagonist of their novel by incorporating skills that they’ve learned so far this year. On these characters, students used textual evidence from their novel to include a character analysis, a character comparison, a plot diagram, a persuasive summary, the theme of the novel, and an analysis of symbols and allusions incorporated in the novel. Students had a fun time creating and presenting their Life-Size Characters!

Group shot

Middle South’s 8th Grade Boys Basketball Team DOMINATED in the championship game last night, prevailing over Barrington Prairie 54-24. So Friday during homeroom, the boys ran the K with their second championship trophy, as they have earned back-to-back championship trophies in 7th and 8th grade, as well as going undefeated both years.


Students in Class

Today, Mrs. Corush, Miss Eiter, and Mrs. Byrne’s Language Arts classes at Middle School South participated in a Socratic Seminar. For two days, students prepared for the open discussion by finding evidence from various texts, videos, and novel excerpts in and out of class. On Thursday, 12/13, all students came ready with their discussion questions and answers and had wonderful ideas on Personal Freedoms. One student stated, “I loved hearing the different answers. They really made me think about what I prepared. I noticed that I was able to elaborate on other people’s ideas. Today was so much fun.” It was a great experience, and the teachers plan on having more Socratic Seminars this school year.

World War I Presentation

Eighth-grade students in Mrs. Duhig, Mrs. Maier, and Ms. Schiemann’s language arts and social studies classes just completed an interdisciplinary reciprocal teaching unit where they researched poets/poems from WWI in addition to a WWI legacy and then taught it to their peers! They learned a lot from the deeply personal stories of shell shock and use of war dogs to the creation of blood banks and plastic surgery.

students performing

Middle School South seventh-grade students did a fine job performing with Vernon Hills High School students on Tuesday at the Orchestra Festival. The guest conductor was Deborah Peot, Visiting Assistant Professor and Director of Music Education at Elmhurst College.  Congratulations students on an excellent performance!

Students in class

Last week, students used logic, ELA and social studies skills to break out of Middle School South for Thanksgiving break with a BreakoutEDU kit from the Key to 73 Foundation! Thank you Key to 73 for providing an engaging and joyful activity for our students.

Girls on the Run/Heart and Sole 5k

Twelve amazing girls at Middle South participated in our inaugural season. Over the past 10 weeks, they all trained and learned together, as they built their confidence and social/emotional skills through a great curriculum. Saturday marked the end of our season with a 5K run in Grant Park. Although it was snowing/raining, that did not dampen their spirits!  A number of parents came to support the girls, as well as a cheering section made up of Hawthorn staff!  A big thank you goes out to everyone that participated in some way. There have been new friendships forged, and some great lessons and memories throughout our journey together.  We are thankful!