Headshot photo of Superintendent Jim McKay

Superintendent's Note

From the desk of Jim McKay, Ed. D.

Posted: October, 11, 2019 - 11:00am

WHAT WE SAY and DO MATTERS…...A LOT!

Bullying, harassment, racism, sexism, and hate speech have NO place in Community High School District 117.

I want to use the metaphor of two sides of the same coin to explain the complexities of education in Community High School District 117.

On one side of the coin, the start of 2019-20 school year has been strong and positive.  In recent months, U.S. News and World Report and Niche have both recognized Community High School District 117 as among the top school districts in the state of Illinois.  Similarly, both Antioch and Lakes Community High Schools achieved the summative designation of Exemplary, as measured by the Illinois State Board of Education.  Given the district and school performance criteria employed by these organizations, Community High School District 117 appears to be doing very well, and I agree we are trending in the right direction.  Beyond student academic achievement data, our fall athletic teams are doing very well and are highly competitive, the District’s Fine Arts programs continue to produce amazing performances/products, and our extracurricular activities afford rich and unique experiences to our students.  We should be proud of the opportunities and experiences students have at both of our community schools, and the incredibly dedicated staff that afford those opportunities and provide those experiences. 

On the other side of the same coin, Community High School District 117 does have challenges and certainly has room for growth and improvement.  Recently, the Administration had the opportunity to discuss with some families their views and perceptions regarding policies and practices that directly impact the school environment and ultimately, the experiences of our collective students.  The open, honest, and rich dialogue revealed some potential school shortcomings and possible opportunities for improvement.  The exchange of stories and ideas was moving and helpful, shedding light on a variety of topics.  We learned that while most of the student body appears outwardly happy and well adjusted, privately, some are hurting deeply.  The source of their hurt stems from hateful comments made by their peers and by some adults, the inability to see parts of our learning environment as safe spaces, and a lack of an authentic and genuine sense of belonging.  Being seen, heard, accepted, safe, and cared for are human rights that every single student deserves.  I know and trust that we all understand that a school environment that is not welcoming or safe does not allow for optimal learning.  Moreover, most people want and expect the school learning environment to protect students from negative or damaging influences.  Surely, we all can agree that our most valuable and vital resource is our students.  Educating them to understand right from wrong, respect from hate, and good from bad is a fundamental responsibility of us all.

Community High School District 117 is committed to creating a rich, equitable, and respectful learning environment for all.  We believe in our mission statement: Ignite passion and discovery in every student.  We will continue to develop ways to extend the thinking, learning, and opportunities for all of our students, staff, and families.  To that end, it is critically important that we are explicit in stating that bullying, harassment, racism, sexism, and hate speech of any and all kinds are not acceptable and have NO place in our District.  Please work with us to discourage, report, and address these hurtful behaviors. 

Yours for better education,
Dr. Jim McKay

post Archive
  • Posted: August, 12, 2019 - 8:18am

    Welcome Back and While You Were Away

    This is my 10th year of having the privilege to be the first to say welcome back; we are honored and happy to serve you and our communities!

    This time of the year is always invigorating and full of possibility.  Welcome the incoming Freshman Class of 2023!  We also welcome our upperclassman and anyone new to Community High School District 117; we truly look forward to ensuring that every student is offered the opportunity to grow and learn in a positive, safe, and engaging environment. Our dedicated and talented staff strives to realize our mission of Igniting the Passion and…

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  • Posted: June, 18, 2019 - 8:08am

    Looking Back Helps Us Move Forward

    I am hoping families are able to enjoy the adage lazy days of summer.  Many may think the adage applies to school districts as well; in fact, it is a very busy and important time of year.  Summer is a critical time for professional and programmatic reflection and preparation to ensure a successful start to a new academic school year.
     
    Simultaneous to conducting summer school which serves approximately 600 students at both Antioch and Lakes Community High Schools, teachers and administrators are reflecting on which practices and procedures of the past year worked…

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  • Posted: November, 1, 2018 - 5:43pm

    Illinois New School Report Card

    The Illinois State Board of Education just released the 2017-2018 Illinois Report Card. This year, the report card is new and improved, with a ton of great new data, including a new school rating system that helps offer schools much needed supports.

    Take a look at the joint stakeholder press release.

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  • Posted: October, 9, 2018 - 10:22am

    Both Antioch and Lakes Community High Schools earn an Exemplary School designation from The State

    Every School in the state of Illinois will receive a designation on their annually issued school report card.  The Illinois State Board of Education’s vision of Illinois is a state of whole, healthy children nested in whole, healthy systems supporting communities wherein all people are socially and economically secure. Bringing this vision into reality requires all of us—the state, districts, schools, educators, families, and communities—working together. Illinois’ system of support and accountability helps us identify which schools need the greatest assistance to meet our shared…

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  • Posted: August, 10, 2018 - 8:03am

    Welcome Back And While You Were Away

    This is my 9th year of having the privilege to be the first to say welcome back; we are honored and happy to serve you and our communities!
    This time of the year is always invigorating and full of possibility.  Welcome the incoming Freshman Class of 2022!  We also welcome our upperclassman and anyone new to Community High School District 117; we truly look forward to ensuring that every student is offered the opportunity to grow and learn in a positive, safe, and engaging environment. Our dedicated and talented staff strives to realize our mission of Igniting the Passion and…

    read Post
  • Posted: February, 20, 2018 - 5:29pm

    School Safety Letter To Familes

    To our District 117 Families,

    Our hearts go out to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community and all the families affected by the senseless shooting. We are greatly saddened by another instance of school violence that has devastated the community of Parkland.

    For Community High School District 117, the safety of students and staff continues to be a top priority.  As a District, we have built strong relationships with the Antioch, Lake Villa and Lindenhurst Police and Fire Departments. We are grateful for their leadership and input which helps guide our mission for…

    read Post
  • Posted: October, 31, 2017 - 10:13am

    2017 Illinois Report Card shows upward trends

    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the 2017 Illinois Report Card at http://webprod.isbe.net/ereportcard/publicsite/getSearchCriteria.aspx. The annual Illinois Report Card shows the performance and progress of schools, districts, and the state overall on a wide range of educational metrics. The www.illinoisreportcard.com interactive website will go live on Friday, Nov. 3. The Data Quality Campaign and the Education Commission of the States have praised the Illinois Report Card as comprehensive and easy to understand.

    State-level data on the 2017 Illinois…

    read Post
  • Posted: September, 29, 2017 - 7:56am

    Advanced Placement data show results of state’s focus on equity

    SPRINGFIELD – The College Board released non-accountability reports of Advanced Placement (AP), SAT, and PSAT results from Illinois students statewide. State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D., issued the following statement:

    “The Advanced Placement (AP) data released by the College Board show increases across the board in the numbers of students taking AP exams and in the percentages of students performing well. The State Board committed to increasing access to AP classes and exams, especially among underrepresented student groups. School teams across the state embraced…

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  • Posted: September, 7, 2017 - 3:07pm

    U.S. Department of Education approves Illinois ESSA Plan

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - The Illinois Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Illinois State Board of Education officials say the state’s ESSA Plan incorporates feedback gathered from thousands of online comments and 100 in-person forums and meetings.  Under the Illinois ESSA Plan, multiple indicators of school quality and student growth will be collected and examined, and will be used to help schools perform better under a plan that specifically meets their unique needs. 

    Additionally, the Illinois ESSA Plan…

    read Post
  • Posted: August, 9, 2017 - 11:44am

    Welcome Back and While You Were Away

    Let me be the first to say welcome back, we are honored and happy to serve you and our communities!
    I would like to welcome the incoming Freshman Class of 2021!  We also welcome our upperclassman and anyone new to Community High School District 117; we truly look forward to ensuring that every student is offered the opportunity to grow and learn in a positive, safe, and engaging environment. Our dedicated and talented staff strives to realize our mission of Igniting the Passion and Discovery of Every Student.  We are very proud of our unwavering commitment to student growth…

    read Post
Ignite passion and discovery in every student
  • District 117 Logo

    Community High School District 117

    1625 Deep Lake Road

    Lake Villa, Illinois 60046

    Phone: 847-395-9001

    Fax: 847-395-7553

  • Antioch Community High School Logo

    Antioch Community High School

    1133 Main Street

    Antioch, Illinois 60002

    Phone: 847-395-1421

    Fax: 847-395-2435

  • Lakes Community High School Logo

    Lakes Community High School

    1600 Eagle Way Drive

    Lake Villa, Illinois 60046

    Phone: 847-838-7100

    Fax: 847-838-3670