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School District 25

This is community – this is personal

In District 25, this word carries weight. In District 25, being a part of a community is defined by more than mere proximity and location. Being part of a community is a feeling, rather than a boundary. And, the feeling one gets when walking into one of the district buildings is of care, dedication, safety, warmth and growth.

Because the school is a part of the Arlington Heights community, District 25 has a responsibility to neighbors to work toward furthering the goal of creating connection among fellow members of this village.

Not only does District 25 responsibly and personally take charge of educating the young people of Arlington Heights, which adds value to the village at large, but the district is also a community of teachers, staff members, students and families, all of which are passionate about learning and growing.

The values and responsibilities taught in the classrooms embody what this community is all about. Being a good neighbor by caring for others is shown through large-scale efforts and student-led, yearly, philanthropic campaigns at every school, and also shown by something as simple as teaching the morals and ways to be a supportive and empathetic classmate.

Students learn the skills needed to be academically successful, while also learning how to be successful human beings who will contribute to society at some point in their life.

District 25 takes the responsibility of educating students, your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, seriously. The academic education students receive extends beyond our classroom, and often into the community. In District 25, the importance of the journey of learning is not lost on students, and it can often outweigh the significance of the results.

Beyond test-taking and grades is a world full of learning and all year the community is invited into buildings to showcase that. Parents, experts, local business owners, high school students, local college students, the library, park district, village and fire and police departments, are invited into classrooms throughout the school year to add perspective, spark interests and further any passions students may have.

It is meaningful when students see, first hand, how what they are learning in the classroom applies to the outside world and the community. These community members leave quite an impression on students. The opportunity created for students to ask these experts specific and unique questions fosters their passions, creativity and opens their eyes to what is possible.

Knowing that there are people within their community who embody the passions of the district’s students is meaningful, and students and teachers benefit greatly.

The feeling of Arlington Heights runs through district buildings, hallways and classrooms. Faculty and staff feel supported and trusted to do their job from a personal place every day. Creating a safe, caring and fun environment to learn from and grow within all while encouraging students to follow their passions is what is brought to the classrooms.

School District 214

District 214 is placing a major emphasis on offering internships and other work-based learning experiences to as many students as possible.

District 214 encourages juniors and seniors to participate in either traditional or micro internships. Full, traditional internships give students 60 hours of work experience; the micro versions offer 30. Both offer extensive hands-on experience.

The district has made great progress in growing our internship opportunities with the generous help of community partners who agree to host and mentor our interns. To expand these opportunities, District 214’s Center for Career Discovery is seeking even more community assistance.

Right now, District 214 is seeing a groundswell of student interest in information technology, engineering and architecture. So District 214 is actively looking for community partners in these fields. In addition, the district is looking for mentors in the areas of business and health sciences. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the role of an internship host may contact Partnership Manager Kathy Wicks, at kathy.wicks@d214.org or (847) 718‑7483.

Why is this so important? Because community businesses, organizations and local units of government play a critical role in supplementing and complementing the work done in classrooms. District 214 is developing an array of internship opportunities that are as varied as student interests. Having this wide variety of community partners enables District 214’s Center for Career Discovery to design customized experiences that are aligned with students’ career interests.

Veterinary offices. Machine shops. Village government offices. Marketing firms. Retail stores. Police departments. Medical offices. Hotels. Law offices. Real estate firms. Park districts. Physical therapy sites. Pharmacies. All of these and many more have agreed to host District 214 students for internship experiences.

Students benefit from internships in numerous ways. Learning the importance of professional conduct in a workplace, from such obvious matters such as reporting to work on time to more nuanced details, such as how best to communicate with the varying personalities found in almost any workplace. How to network. How to work as part of a team. How to work with clients or customers effectively and how to solve challenges.

Internships build on what students have learned in classrooms. Sometimes they confirm a student’s interest in a career, paving the way for further study. Sometimes, they have the equally beneficial effect of showing a student that a certain career is not right for him or her after all. What a valuable lesson that is, especially before a student’s family spends money on advanced training only to discover later that he or she does not really enjoy a particular career.

“This is the crux of why we do what we do here in 214,” said Megan Knight, 214’s director of academic programs and pathways. “We want students to leave our doors with a clear path to their futures, to make sure they are not wasting time or money later. These opportunities would not be possible without our incredible community support.”

District 214 has long played a leadership role in Redefining Readiness – more accurately gauging students’ readiness for next steps beyond high school. In this regard, few factors benefit high school students more than gaining first-hand experience in a career and workplace that interests them and the district appreciates the community’s support in this endeavor.