September News

MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL

The first two weeks of school have been very positive and productive. Students and staff are becoming accustomed to the additional space and finding our way to teachers assigned to different classrooms.

Feedback on our Welcome Back Bus, Back-to-School Night, and Opening Day with Students has been very positive. We plan to use many of the same ideas again next year. The students seemed to enjoy all of these activities.

BUILDING GOALS

  • Overarching Goal: Increase the number of students meeting Bomber-on-Track criteria to 95% for the 2023-24 school year.

Bomber-on-Track definition: Students are considered to be on track when they successfully pass every core course on their schedule (English, math, science, history) and they earn at least 5.5 credits for the year.

  • Supporting Goal: Increase student attendance rate to at least 94% for the 2023-24 school year. 

NEW FACULTY

We would like to introduce our new faculty members:

  • Justin Ellison- Physical Education
  • Shane Hill- English
  • Shelli Jennings- Special Education
  • Dustin Lambert-Special Education
  • Dylan Leasure- Spanish
  • Jared Papach- Science
  • Angie Schauble- MTSS Coordinator

When you meet them, please congratulate them and give them a warm welcome to Macomb!

SCHOOL SAFETY REMINDERS

VISITORS TO THE BUILDING

When visitors arrive at the building, we ask that they enter the exterior door and approach the office window. Most business can be handled at the window, without entering the office. Visitors that need to attend to business inside the building, such as a meeting or classroom visit, will be asked to submit a form of picture ID.

BACKPACKS & LOCKERS

Students are allowed to use their lockers as needed during each passing period. This coincides with our expectations for backpack use again this year. Students will keep their backpacks in their locker throughout the day. We ask they not carry bags and backpacks to classrooms. See the Parent-Student Handbook, p. 5.

IMPORTANCE OF ENGAGING IN LESSONS

CELL PHONES

Parents, we are seeking your support and assistance in our efforts to improve engagement during instructional time. The primary barrier we are experiencing right now is the prevalent use of cell phones by our students. While the handbook rule and expectation from teachers is that cell phones are not allowed during class time, many students consistently sneak peaks at their devices over and over throughout the day.

We ask that parent's consider the following to help improve student engagement:

  1. Have a deep conversation with their student(s) about what constitutes appropriate use of their cell phone. Emphasize the importance of learning over social media, texting, Netflix, etc. 
  2. Model appropriate use of cell phones by not messaging or calling students while they are in class.
  3. Support the teachers as they implement procedures to prevent student cell phone use during class. Examples might include "phone hotels" and other strategies. Support the administration if your student is asked to turn in their phone, serve a detention, leave the device in their locker, vehicle, at home or other any other appropriate consequences for not following expectations. Review the handbook policy on cell phones on p. 18 of the handbook. 

Thank you for your help. We appreciate it.

Mr. Sullivan

ATTENDANCE INFORMATION

UNDERSTANDING EXCUSED ABSENCES

Essentially, we treat excused absences in two ways. (1) Parent request--we accept up to 9 days, and (2) absence confirmed by a medical provider, death in the family, and religious holidays.

  1. Parent Request for Excused Absence: Parents should request an excused absence when their student is ill (but is not planning to see a physician), for a pre-arranged family vacation, or for other valid reasons. We accept a parent call, note, or email message as a way to excuse their student up to nine (9) days for the entire school year. Excused absences that do not count towards the 9 days are: medically verified absences (i.e., provide a Dr. note), absences due to a death in the family, and religious holidays. Once a student has accumulated nine (9) days of excused (parent requested) absences, every absence after the ninth will only be excused with a confirmation note from a medical provider.
  2. Other Excused Absences: Absences confirmed by a note from a medical provider do not count towards the nine days accepted from parent requested absences. For this reason, parents/students should turn in a note from a medical provider every time possible.

Attendance Flyer (13)-page-0Truancy Welcome Back

UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

Absences are going to happen during the school year. Our hope, though, is that each absence a student has is an excused absence rather than unexcused. A student's absence is considered unexcused when they are not in attendance for valid cause. The two most common reasons that result in unexcused absences are: 

  1. A parent/guardian does not contact the attendance clerk to verify the absence and reason.
  2. The student has already used all 9 days in which their parent can request an absence due to illness or other.

ATTENDANCE SUPPORT SERVICES

If a student has missed school for an unexcused absence and it appears they might be headed towards chronic absenteeism or truancy, it's best to intervene right away. Parents and school officials need to work together after the first occurrence to ensure a return to consistent attendance. When parents & students find themselves in a situation where regular attendance is not occurring, a first point of contact is their school counselor. See the contact information below under Social-Emotional Supports.

MENTAL HEALTH DAYS

 PA 102-0321, 105 ILCS 5/26-1 Student Mental Health Days
Parents/Guardians may request up to five mental or behavioral health days per school year on behalf of their student. A medical note is not required and students can make-up any missed work during the absence.  

To request a mental health day, parent/guardians should first contact their student's counselor. The counselor will notify the attendance clerk of the absence. The contact by the parent with the counselor provides them with the opportunity address the concerns right away. Together, they can determine what level of supports are needed immediately and in the future.

STUDENT SUPPORTS

COUNSELORS, SOCIAL WORKERS, SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST

Besides teachers, your counselors, Mrs. Huston & Mr. Johnson, the social worker, Mrs. Fink, and the school psychologist, Mrs. Keck are available to help.  Reach out for support; we are here for you.     

Mrs. Huston (hustons@mcusd185.org)

Mr. Johnson (johnsonj@mcusd185.org)

Mrs. Fink (finke@mcusd185.org)

Mrs. Keck (keckr@mcusd185.org)

Mrs. Schauble (schaublea@mcusd185.org)

EXTRACURRICULAR ELIGIBILITY

SEMESTER ELIGIBILITY

In order to be eligible to play a sport or participate in an activity this semester (1st semester of 23-24), the student must have passed every course on their schedule last semester (2nd semester of 22-23).  To be eligible to play next semester, the student must pass every course on their schedule this semester.

WEEKLY ELIGIBILITY

The IHSA requires that we conduct a weekly check of student grades to make sure they are making adequate progress. This process is different than the semester eligibility written above. To be eligible each week, a student must maintain passing grades in all courses. Any student failing to meet academic requirements will be suspended from the sport or activity for one week. The eligibility report runs each Friday. If the report shows that a student has an “F” for a current overall semester grade in any course, the student will be ineligible for the next academic week. The academic eligibility week runs Sunday through Saturday. The student will remain ineligible until the end of an academic week, even if they bring a grade up to passing at some point during the week. Privileges will not be restored until eligibility is determined again at the run of the next week's eligibility report. 

EARNED CREDITS & GRADE LEVEL PROMOTION

This is an area that can be an adjustment in how some think of moving from one grade level to the next. High School is a credit based system with an ultimate goal of earning 24 credits during the four years of attendance. While we do classify students as freshmen, sophomores, etc., being promoted (or not promoted) does not work the same way it does in lower grades. For example, let's assume that a student is not promoted from 6th to 7th grade. This is very rare, but is possible. In this example, the student would repeat the 6th grade the next year most likely with a different homeroom teacher. However, at the high school course selections and schedules are entirely based on courses passed and courses failed.  Let's use a 9th grade scenario at the high school. Our pretend freshman student is taking 6 courses. The student passes 5 of the 6 courses taken. The student would then still be classified as a freshman because they had not earned enough credits to be considered a sophomore. But is important to note that the student does not "repeat" freshmen year. Instead, they will likely have a schedule the 2nd year with mostly sophomore level courses and with makeup courses for the semesters failed the previous year. Other factors do come into play such as a student's ability to leave campus for lunch (freshmen cannot leave campus) and taking driver education.

CREDITS 

Classes meeting Monday through Friday, one period per day, for one semester are assigned one-half credit. One-quarter classes are assigned one-quarter credit. Exceptions include vocational classes which meet two periods per day, and are assigned one credit per semester. 

ADVANCEMENT (PROMOTION)

We calculate grade level advancement at the end of each semester based on the latest courses a student has passed.

The scale for advancement is as follows:
Freshman: 0 to 5.49 credits earned
Sophomores: 5.5 to 10.99 credits earned plus one full year of attendance
Juniors: 11.0 to 15.99 credits earned plus two full years of attendance
Seniors: 16.0 and above credits earned plus three full years of attendance

EMAIL ON RECORD, SKYWARD ACCESS, & NOTIFICATIONS

In order to be informed of what is taking place at Macomb High School, we ask that parents keep their email up-to-date. A significant amount of our program notifications are sent from the Skyward Message Center.

Skyward Notifications

Skyward allows for Parent Notifications for unexcused absences, missing works, and more. In the right-hand corner guardians and students will see a link called My Account. The My Account area is organized into three sections: Account Settings, Email Notifications and School Directory. Guardians and students can see their information in the account settings.  If you scroll down slightly users will see the option to opt in to receive email notifications on daily attendance, grades, progress reports or when food service balance is low.  These email notifications are dependent on your role as a guardian or student and also on the school building you attend. 

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

AFTER SCHOOL HOMEWORK HELP & TUTORING

"Opportunity Knocks" was started last year; we are happy to announce the program will continue so that students can benefit from help on missing assignments, tutoring in specific subject areas, and credit recovery courses after school. We intend to offer an after school session, supervised by MHS staff, from 3:05-4:00. Transportation home after the sessions can be arranged.

MHS Parents, you can email Michelle Rossmiller at rossmillerm@mcusd185.org for more information about the program.

SPECIAL DAYS-ALTERNATE START/DISMISSAL

WEDNESDAY LATE START  

We hold Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) activities on the dates listed below. All MHS faculty are involved in a PLC. On these dates, the building opens at 8:50 for non-bus riders. 1st period begins at 9:00 and we follow the "Late Start" schedule.  Bus riders can still ride the bus at their usual bus time in the morning. Those students arriving by bus will attend a study session in the Commons until 8:50.

Late Start Wednesdays
Aug 23
Sep 6, 20
Oct 4, 18
Nov 1, 15
Dec 6
Jan 10, 24
Feb 7, 21
Mar 6, 20
Apr 3, 17
May 1

FRIDAY SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT (SIP)

School improvement activities will be held on various Friday afternoons throughout the school year. This time is set aside so that our professionals can participate in building and/or district planned training activities. At the high school, we run an alternate bell schedule which begins at 8:05 and ends at 11:33. Students are free to leave at 11:33. Typically, the busses do not leave the high school until 12:05 on these days. Lunch is served from 11:35-12:00 for those waiting for a bus or choosing to stay for lunch.

SIP Fridays
Sep 15
Oct 6
Nov *none this month*
Dec 8
Jan 26
Feb 16
Mar 28
Apr 19
May 10

GRADUATION

Graduation is scheduled to be held at Western Hall at 7:30 pm on May 18, 2024. We have secured a reservation with Western and plan to host a traditional graduation ceremony.

Important to Remember

--to read the Student/Parent Handbook . 

--to have a physical and immunization record on file when school begins.

 --to call the Attendance Office at 833-2484 by 10:00 a.m. the day of the absence.

 --that all vehicles parked at MHS must be registered by September 5. The cost is $40.

 --that school pictures will be taken—Tuesday, September 5

OFFICE HOURS & PHONE NUMBERS

Macomb High School Office 837-2331 (Grades 9-12) 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

Attendance Office 833-2484 (Grades 7-12) 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

WEBSITE https://macomb185.org/176/Macomb-Senior-High-School  

Work Based Learning:

Students at Macomb High School have the opportunity to participate in Work Based Learning this year. A WBL experience provides students the opportunity to extend their learning to an off-site employer for a portion of the school day. Partnerships with employers can provide either paid or un-paid internships, depending on the agreement. In addition, students will earn high school credit for their successful experience in WBL. A desired outcome is that WBL will help develop career skills that can be applied to future employment. Here are some of the partners we are working with this year:
  • U of IL Extension- Lisa Torrance
  • MDH -Sports Medicine/Physical Therapy-Marc Kessler
  • MDH-Pediatrics-Julie Bartlow
  • McDonough County Humane Society-Zach Welch
  • Martin Tractor-Amy Nelson
  • Martin Tractor-Amy Nelson
  • Graham Hospital, Macomb-Jake Green

Thank you Partners!

Choir News


 Macomb High School Choral Department  

From Mrs. Butcher 


 

♫♪♫ SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER ♫♪♫ 

Please become a member of the Macomb Choir Boosters. (Membership forms can be found: http://macombchoirs.org/boosters) Membership dues can be mailed to Macomb Choir Boosters, P.O. Box 117, Macomb, IL, 61455.  Levels of membership include “Soloist”-$25, “Barbershop Quartet”-$26-$49, “Vocal Ensemble”-$50-$99, “Chamber Choir”-$100-$249 and “Choral Society”-$250-up. 


 







Date  






Event  






Place/Time  






Who is involved?  






Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023  





WIU ILMEA District 4 Audition Prep Workshop 





WIU  

9:00am - 2:00pm  





Interested students  






Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023  





Deadline for ILMEA District/All State Music Virtual Audition Submission  





Virtual Audition videos will be submitted by this date.  





Interested students  






Thurs., Oct. 5, 2023 





Stunt Night- Choir will sing 





MHS Gym- 7:00 pm 





9-12 Grade Choir members-required  






Tues., Oct. 10, 2023 





HS Fall Choir Concert  





Fellheimer Auditorium 

7:00pm  





9-12 Grade Choir members-required  






Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023  





Culver-Stockton Honor Choir  





Culver-Stockton College  

9am-3pm  





Selected students  






Oct. 17-Oct. 31, 2023  





Choir Annual Poinsettia Sale   





N/A   





All Choir students  

grades 6-12   






Sat., November 4, 2023  





ILMEA District Festival  





WIU- all day  





Selected students   






Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023  





Choir Poinsettia Distribution   





Fellheimer Auditorium-   

2-5 pm   





   






Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023  





WIU Holiday Festival of Choirs Performances  





Wesley Church- all day  

morning rehearsal-TBA  

2:00 pm performance  

7:30 pm performance  





Concert Choir and Madrigals- required  






Wed, Dec. 6, 2023 





HS Winter Choir Concert  





Fellheimer Aud.     

7:00pm  





9-12 Grade Choir members-required  






Jan. 24-27, 2024  





IMEA All State   





Peoria, IL   





Selected Students-9-12 grade   






Thurs., Feb. 8, 2024  





Circa’ 21 musical and workshop  





Circa’ 21 Theater   

Rock Island- 9am-3pm  





Madrigal, B. Bellas and B. Basses  






Mon., Feb. 12, 2024 

 





6-12 grade Pops Concert  





Auditorium-  

5:30-8:00pm  





9-12 Grade Choir members-required  






Sat. March 2, 2024  





IHSA Solo and Ensemble   





Place: TBA  

Time-All Day   





Interested Students   

 






Thurs-Sat, April 4-6, 2024  





MHS Spring Musical, Oklahoma 





Fellheimer Auditorium  





Interested Students  






Fri/Sat., April 12/13, 2024 





IHSA Organization Contest 





TBA 





9-12 Grade Choir members-required  






Wed., May 1, 2024 





HS Spring Choir Concert  





Fellheimer Aud.   7:00pm  

 





9-12 Grade Choir members-required  






Wed., May 8, 2024 





6-8 Grade Spring Choral Concert 





7:00 pm 

Fellheimer Auditorium 





Bomber Bellas & Bomber Basses 






Sat., May 18, 2024 





MHS Graduation-Concert Choir will sing  





Western Hall-7:30pm  





Concert Choir-required  


Educational Travel Opportunity to Spain

¡Vamos a España!
Please join us for an information meeting about our upcoming educational travel opportunity to Spain, Summer 2024. The meeting will be held in Mrs. Hamer's room 169 at the high school on Thursday, September 14 at 6:30 p.m. You do not have to be a current high school student to enroll. At the meeting we will discuss what we will see and do, travel logistics, how to earn high school or college credit, affordable payment options, and how to enroll. To register for the meeting or get more information, please visit https://bit.ly/457kpZb

Asbestos Management Plan Notification

ASBESTOS CONTAINING BUILDING MATERIALS MANAGEMENT PLAN – This is to notify you that Macomb Community Unit School District #185 has submitted its Management Plan prepared pursuant to the requirements of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA, 40 CFR 763) for Macomb High School. Copies of the Management Plan are available in the Administrative Office of the School District and in the Administrative Office of the school building. These plans are available for your inspection during normal business hours of the office (Monday thru Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) and during other times by special arrangements. We request that appointments be made with us to review the plans. To make arrangements, please contact Scott Sullivan, Principal at (309) 837-2331.