August 1, 2023
Teaching and Learning
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Communication, Collaboration and Community
Securing the Future
August 1, 2022
Dear students, parents, and staff.
Welcome to the 2022-2023 School Year! I hope everyone had time to relax, and enjoyed spending time with their friends and family this summer. Fenton had a busy summer, too. Shout Out to Mr. Castro for doing an amazing job as our Summer School Principal. Approximately 200 students attended our summer school and programs, and those who took credit-bearing classes earned over 414 credit hours. Awesome!
One of the highlights of the summer was the visit from Dr. Carmen Ayala, Illinois State Superintendent. She visited classrooms, where our students asked her questions about her journey and her vision for all students in Illinois. On numerous occasions, Dr. Ayala shared her observations that Fenton has a welcoming culture and that it’s a diamond shining bright with success. It was a fantastic experience.
As you read in Principal Bentsen’s letter last week, our first day of school is Monday August 15th. His team worked very hard this summer to launch a positive and exciting new school year for our students, parents, and staff. I cannot wait to see all of our students in the hallways, cafeteria, classrooms, gyms, and on our fields and stages starting Monday, August 15th.
Our staff is committed to guiding our students and our school toward the best possible future. The start of a new school year is the best time to review and jointly commit ourselves to our common goals. Please familiarize yourself with everything Fenton and start the year Bison Strong!
Below are a few important updates:
Our Welcome Back Spirit Week is August 22nd through 26th. This is an opportunity for our school to have fun, make new friends, dress-up and be silly, and to show their Bison pride. I encourage our students and staff to start planning ahead and join in this fun activity.
STRATEGIC PLAN 2.0
Last fall we created the second version of our Fenton Strategic Plan, with much help from the students, parents, and staff who volunteered on the steering committee. The plan formally began on July 1st.
A Strategic Plan is important because it acts as Fenton’s roadmap for the next three years, and guides important decisions in the following areas:
- Teaching and Learning
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Social-Emotional Growth
- Student Life
- Communication, Collaboration and Community
- Securing the Future
Having goals to strive toward is critical, and with the beginning of the school year we will make our first strong push into the new set of three-year goals aimed at elevating our students and strengthening our school.
More information on the Strategic Plan can be found on our website under the district tab or by clicking the link below:
We want all of our students to be successful at Fenton, both academically and social-emotionally. MTSS stands for Multiple Tier Support System and it has been in place at Fenton for many years. MTSS is a systematic district plan of support that allows Fenton staff to work alongside our students and families in a multitude of ways. We have teams of staff members meeting weekly to bolster these supports in place to help our students with whatever needs they may have, from attendance and academics, to behavior and social emotional needs. Support should be personal, research-based, and data-driven. We are doubling down on our MTSS efforts because of the academic and social emotional effect of the pandemic on our students and families.
988 CRISIS LIFELINE
The new 988 phone line is an easy-to-remember three-digit number for accessing mental health crisis support 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. This mental health lifeline is a resource for students, parents, staff and/or community members to use during a crisis. Examples of a crisis may include suicidal thoughts, substance use, mental health crisis, and/or any other kind of emotional distress.
How is 988 different from 911? Although the police are often not necessary or appropriate for mental health crisis situations, police are typically the first responders activated by 911 calls. When someone dials 988 on their phone, all calls are handled by counselors from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Click here to read more information about the new 988 Crisis Lifeline.
Fenton will continue to follow the COVID guidelines from the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). As we have learned in the past, the guidelines will probably change depending on COVID data. As we begin the year, please familiarize yourself with our Student COVID Expectations. It’s also important to know that we will continue to provide free testing at Fenton. I am asking that we all continue to stay positive and collaborative. We got this and we are going to have a great year.
FREE AND REDUCED LUNCH
Over the past few years breakfast and lunch has been free to all of our students thanks to COVID relief funding. This year, the biggest change is that we are going back to pre-COVID procedures and everyone must apply for free or reduced price meals on an annual basis. Families can fill out the Free or Reduced Price Meals application online using the MealTime website (click here). Parents can also print the application and return it to school. Click here to download the application in English O haga clic aquí para descargar la aplicación en español. Eligibility in the program also provides students with indirect benefits through other fee reductions or waivers, as well as Fenton receiving additional federal funding.
If you have any questions about the Free or Reduced Price Meals program, feel free to contact Ms. Reina Esquivel in the District 100 office by calling 630-860-6258 or sending an email to email@example.com.
Again, Welcome Back! If you have questions please call us at 630-766-2500 or email us at Fentonhelp@fenton100.org
Let’s GO BISON!
James Ongtengco, Superintendent
August 12, 2021
Dear Fenton Families and valued community partners,
School is back! And I mean that in more ways than one. We are excited to have ALL of our students in the building again. This pandemic isn’t completely over, so please be mindful of any safety guidelines we put in place, but the path moving forward is very optimistic!
As we move more toward normal, I encourage all our students and their families to explore the clubs and teams Fenton has to offer, and look through our events calendar for the various concerts, homecoming events, and parent outreach meetings. This is an incredible community, and I’m so glad we are together again.
We at Fenton are building upon the successes of 2020-21. Even during a pandemic, our students, their families, and our staff accomplished:
- Karissa Lara won speech state championships in TWO events (third consecutive year Fenton has had a speech state champion)
- Noelia Vazquez won a girls wrestling state championship for the first time in school history
- The Bison Baseball team won a regional championship for the first time in known school history
- Eric Moreno was the very first winner of the Chicago Bears’ new volunteer award, the High School Community All-Stars
- Nickolas Benn was the third overall recipient of the Chicago Bears’ new volunteer award, the High School Community All-Stars
- Anna Micor and Xochitl Quiñones received Certificates of Superior Writing from the 2021 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Achievement Awards, while Emanie Kashif was also among the select few accepted into the competition
- Mark Sisco served as a teen advisor to Argonne National Laboratory
- The Illinois State Board of Education selected Fenton’s Paul Wedemann as the 2020 recipient of the Thomas Lay Burroughs Award for extraordinary leadership on behalf of education at the local level
- Football Coach Matthew Lynch was named the NFL’s High School Coach of the Week prior to a November 2020 nationally broadcasted Chicago Bears game
- Social Studies Teacher Kelly Mullins was named a Chicago Bears Classroom Champion by Bears Chairman George McCaskey.
- Applied Technology Teacher Mark Drelicharz was named a finalist in the B’laster Instructor of the Year contest, which recognizes exceptional automotive technology instructors
- Fenton distributed more than 219,608 meals during the pandemic
- Fenton coordinated and hosted vaccination drives that resulted in 7,000 students, staff, parents, and community member receiving two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
- Our staff continued building a district wide equity action plan to ensure better serve all of our students
Our staff and administrators did a phenomenal job this summer of planning for our full return to the building. We expect to achieve just as much or more this year, and we can’t wait to take that journey with you.
If you have any questions as the year progresses, please feel free to contact us by sending an email to Fentonhelp@fenton100.org
Let’s GO BISON!
James Ongtengco, Superintendent
August 4, 2021
Dear Fenton Families,
We are less than a week from the start of the school year. I cannot wait to see the buzz of activity approaching our main entrance next week, whether it’s students hopping off the buses, students cruising the neighborhood sidewalks from every direction, or students exiting their very own cars after driving themselves to school for the first time. We are also beyond excited to see all of our students and staff back in our school building together, studying in the ARC, eating in the cafeteria, and performing and competing on the athletic fields, stages, and auditorium.
We are confident we will have a successful start to the school year, even during this ongoing global pandemic. As promised from my last letter, below is our Final In-Person Learning Plan.
In-Person Learning and Layered Mitigations
One of our priorities is in-person instruction for all of our students starting August 11th. We are going to run our pre-pandemic schedule, which includes an 8-period class days, and utilization of all of the facilities on our campus. This includes the weight and locker rooms, fitness center, ARC, cafeteria, auditorium, fieldhouse, and student lockers in the hallways. We are confident that we can do this successfully through our layered mitigation efforts and because we have more experience and knowledge about COVID and how it spreads.
What is layered mitigation?
Layered mitigation means using more than one safety precaution at the same time. Fenton’s layered mitigation efforts include: masking, social distancing, washing hands, vaccination, deep cleaning and disinfecting our building every day, availability of hand sanitizers, ionization through our air handlers, increasing airflow in the building, screening and testing, and staying home when sick. All of us must commit to these layered mitigations; everyone will be safer for it.
In-Person Learning Safety
As you all know, safety guidance from our public health departments are subject to change based on changing public health conditions. Below is Fenton’s In-Person Plan:
- We will continue to promote and provide opportunities for students, staff, and the community to be vaccinated.
- Masking for all students, staff, and visitors while inside the building, regardless of vaccination status.
- Masks must be worn on buses and in school vehicles.
- Masks are not required while outside.
- Parents will certify their commitment to monitor student health every day.
- Stay home when sick.
- Maintain a distance of more than 3 feet as much as possible.
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Continue layered COVID mitigation.
- Follow CDC/IDPH/DCPH/ISBE guidance and protocols.
- Lastly, pandemic conditions change day-to-day and week-to-week; therefore, changes in guidance from federal, state, or local health officials - or an increase of illness at school - could cause changes to our plan.
Fenton Return to Learn: Student Expectations
Principal Bentsen will send an email to our students and parents later on this week pertaining to student safety expectations in the building, in our vehicles, classrooms, extracurricular activities, labs, etc. It will also include information in relation to COVID-19 Self-Certification, Isolation, and Contact Tracing.
Vaccination Verification Form
In addition, we have already sent and will resend a confidential Vaccination Verification Form to our students and staff to identify who is fully vaccinated. The information collected is essential in assisting Fenton in keeping our students and staff safe, and implementing our COVID response to potential positive COVID incidents, which includes contact tracing, communicating with the DuPage County Health Department, and potential quarantining of students and staff. If you are interested in receiving a COVID vaccine, please email us at Fentonhelp@fenton100.org
Again, we are excited to have all of our students back in the building! We are going to have an awesome school year!
If you have any questions, please email Fentonhelp@fenton100.org
Let’s GO BISON!
James Ongtengco, Superintendent
August 12, 2020
Dear Fenton Families,
School is back! It is unbelievable that the 2020-2021 school year is here. And we are ready to launch our Remote Learning 2.0 and to welcome all of our students. I am asking each one of you to continue to be supportive, positive, and flexible. We are going to be ok and we will get through this together. We continue to live in a COVID-19 global pandemic, and will remain consistent with our priorities:
- Safety and Wellness for our students, their families, and staff
- Learning: Provide a rigorous and engaging learning experience for our student whether we are in a remote learning or hybrid learning environment.
- Communication: Communicate with our students, parents, and community partners in a timely and accurate manner.
We at Fenton are building upon the successes of 2019-20. In particular, the “Great Class of 2020.” Some of those success include:
- Our graduation and attendance rates remain high, 93%
- 9th Grade On-Track to Graduate is 97%
- 38 graduates earned the Illinois Seal of Biliteracy
- 27 graduates were Illinois State Scholars
- Victor Aristakessian was given Bensenville’s prestigious volunteer award
- Governor JB Pritzker visited Fenton to announce his proposed expansion of a grant program, referencing Fenton as a prime example of improving accessibility and performance in Advanced Placement classes
- Malien Tingpalpong won a speech state championship (second consecutive year Fenton has had a speech state champion)
- Staff members Cameron Kopp, Deomara Velez, and Demetrea Danigeles received Those Who Excel awards from the Illinois State Board of Education
- Counselor Paul Welsh received the Government Relations Award from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
- We began the process addressing our aging facilities
- We created a joint Portrait of a Graduate with Bensenville School District 2 and Wood Dale School District 7,
- We came together as one to continue quality learning amid a global pandemic,
- We distributed more than 73,000 meals during the pandemic
- Underwent a district wide equity audit to better serve all of our students
Our staff and administrators did a phenomenal job this summer of planning for all COVID-19 related scenarios (Remote Learning 2.0; Hybrid Learning; In-Person Learning) in this new 2020-21 school year. We expect to achieve just as much or more this year.
Whether your students are learning remotely from home, here at Fenton, or in a hybrid mix, we truly hope they are able to focus on the lessons our amazing teachers have prepared.
Below are a few tips for starting the year strong, in whatever format we find ourselves in.
- Create a Routine: Establishing and sticking to a routine for your children is a great way to keep them motivated, engaged, and productive.
- Create a To-Do-List: Be deliberate and intentional by creating a daily and weekly to-do-list.
- Minimize Distractions: Buckle down, keep focused and stay on task. Put away the video games, cell phones, and squeeze out all the work out of you during your work hours.
- Create a Workstation: Designate a place for working at home and corner it off. That way, when you are there, your brain is ready to focus on the work. And when you need a break or the end of the work day comes, walking away will help you mentally leave work behind until the break is over or the next day.
- Practice Self-care: Take care of yourself by eating properly, getting enough exercise, and sleep.
- Free and Reduced Price Meals: Beginning on the first day of classes (Today, Wednesday, August 12) Fenton will resume serving free and reduced price breakfast and lunch using our bus lane for a grab-and-go style distribution. Just like every other year, students who are eligible for free or reduced price meals need to register for the federal meal program.
- Ask for help: If you are uncertain about a topic and/or do not understand, email the teacher and/or email us at Fentonhelp@fenton100.org
Specifically, when school is occurring in the building or when you are visiting the building for any reason, we strongly encourage everyone abide by the three Ws:
- Wear a mask
- Watch your distance between others
- Wash your hands
Please continue to monitor your email and our social media accounts for more updates as the school year progresses.
James Ongtegco, Superintendent
January 1, 2020
Welcome Back Students, Parents, Staff, and Community Members!
On behalf of the Board of Education and administrators, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you back from winter break and wish you a Happy New Year. Let’s make 2020 an amazing year by doing what’s best for our students. Students will resume school on Monday, January 6th. Classes start at 10:00 a.m. Below are a few topics I want to summarize and make you aware of.
FENTON’S 5 ESSENTIALS OF EDUCATION SURVEY
Tell us what you think about Fenton and how we can improve by participating in Fenton’s 5 Essentials of Education Survey, which is managed by the University of Chicago. As parents, this opportunity will allow you to share your thoughts on the important elements of school effectiveness in a confidential survey about your child’s school. Please visit https://survey.5-essentials.org/Illinois/ and select the appropriate survey to begin. We are aiming for 100% participation from our Fenton families.
FENTON FACILITY AUDIT
Our district architect, STR, is conducting a comprehensive facility audit of our campus. This audit includes but is not limited to bricks and mortar, grounds and drainage, heating and air conditioning, electrical and technology, plumbing, classrooms and kitchens, roofs, hallways, and entrances. STR architects will present their preliminary and final findings on January 29 and February 25 respectively.
2020 CENSUS: Everyone Counts!
The United States Constitution requires that every person living in the U.S. is counted every 10 years for the purpose of ensuring fair representation and distribution of resources. The process begins this spring. The census provides foundational information that will be used to make policy decisions for 10 years. Billions of dollars in federal funding are distributed based on population and demographics data collected in the census and Fenton, like many other school districts and municipalities, rely on those funding resources. In March, every household will receive a mailing from the U.S. Census Bureau with instructions to visit their website. You can also complete the census by telephone or mail. This is essentially a routine population count, so please participate without hesitation. National Census Week will take place the week of March 23, and Census Day will be celebrated on April 1st. Fenton is planning on hosting a Census Night in the spring for anyone who needs assistance or wants more information.
CANNABIS IN ILLINOIS
On January 1, 2020, people 21 years and older will be able to legally use limited quantities of cannabis or cannabis-infused products. No person under 21, which includes our students, is allowed to purchase, use, possess, transport, grow, or consume cannabis. Fenton is a Smoke-Free and Drug-Free campus. Violations will receive disciplinary actions. Fenton will continue to teach the negative effects of drugs, such as cannabis and alcohol.
Again, welcome back and bring on 2020! Let’s make Fenton an awesome place for our students to learn and thrive, parents to connect with educators, and staff to work and grow.
August 6, 2019
Welcome Back and Bienvenido Students, Parents and Community Members! On behalf of the Board of Education and staff at Fenton, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome each one of you to the 2019-2020 School Year. It is going to be a great year!
We accomplished many things this past year: Advanced Placement District of the Year, IHSA State Speech Champions, improved student success rates, enhanced after-school programming, balanced budget, implementation of our Strategic Plan, initiated Summer Matters program for our students new to the United States, provided relevant
In addition to our accomplishments, we are excited to be a new member of the Upstate Eight Conference (UEC). Since its founding in 1963, the UEC has been one of the strongest athletic conferences in the state. We are proud of the success we had in the Metro Suburban Conference for the last 13 years and are looking forward to future success in the Upstate Eight. professional development to staff, formed a Fenton PTO, and received the 21st Century Grant which funds our new after school and Saturday enrichment student programs.
Facilities’ improvements this summer included resurfacing the parking lot, replacing the floors and adding new LED lighting in the fitness center, replacing the floors by the fieldhouse, improving LED lighting in the auto shop, resolving the drainage issue by the practice field, and repairing a section of the roof. Lastly, all incoming 9th graders will receive Chromebooks.
Our amazing students will be back at Fenton on Wednesday, August 14th, heading to class, stepping on stage, and/or taking the field! I’m excited to be part of their incredible journey and excited to see our seniors, juniors, and sophomores show our freshmen “The Bison Way” in action all day, every day. Inside the walls of Fenton High School is a safe, caring, and empathetic environment. We believe in each other and respect everyone. We grow together and we hold each other to high expectations. We work together so that our students become leaders and innovators of the future.
On behalf of the Board of Education and staff at Fenton, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the 2018-2019 School Year. I hope your summer was a time where you found the opportunity to relax, reflect, and have fun with your family and friends.
We accomplished many things this past year, most notably a Strategic Plan and Mission Statement for our district for the next three years:The mission of Fenton High School is to cultivate successful, passionate learners through rigor, relevance, and relationships. Our work will always center on students and their academic and social emotional growth. The six Strategic Plan Themes will be utilized to support student growth, and move our district towards being one of the best high school districts in the State. It goes without saying that the plan is meaningless if it is not implemented collaboratively with all stakeholders. Therefore, I ask all of you to embrace and support our plan.
In addition to the Strategic Plan Themes, the summer has been busy with facility work, professional development and curriculum work, technology updates, hiring of new staff, and analysis and reflection of our past year. One of the things I reflected on was my 2017 Welcome Back Letter to all of you. It stated that Fenton will work to improve our District’s graduation rate, Freshmen-On-Track (graduate in four years), state assessments, and success rate in the classrooms. I am happy to report that our graduation rate, Freshmen-On-Track, state assessment scores, and classroom success rates have increased.
Facilities improvements this summer included resurfacing of the stadium track and front gym, replacing the floors in the auditorium hallway and four classrooms, repaving and restriping the parking lots, and repaving the bus lanes. Technology projects included upgrading the entire wireless system throughout the building, updating PowerSchool to the new PowerTeacher Pro, and distributing new Chromebooks to all ninth graders.
Our students will be back in the Fenton hallways, classrooms, athletic fields, and stage on Monday. I am looking forward to seeing all of them and be part of their journey this school year. It is going to be a great year.
Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships.
En nombre de la Junta de Educación y el personal de Fenton, me gustaría aprovechar esta oportunidad para darle la bienvenida al año escolar 2018-2019. Espero que en su verano haya tenido la oportunidad de relajarse, reflexionar y divertirse con su familia y amigos.
Este año pasado logramos muchas cosas, especialmente un Plan Estratégico y una Declaración de Misión para nuestro distrito los próximos tres años: La misión de Fenton High School es cultivar aprendices exitosos y apasionados a través del rigor, la relevancia y las relaciones. Nuestro trabajo siempre se centrará en los estudiantes y su crecimiento académico y social emocional. Las seis Temas del Plan Estratégico se utilizarán para apoyar el crecimiento estudiantil, y moverán a nuestro distrito a ser uno de los mejores distritos escolares del estado. No hace falta decir que el plan no tiene sentido si no se implementa en colaboración con todos los interesados. Por lo tanto, les pido a todos ustedes que acepten y apoyen nuestro plan.
Además de las Temas del Plan Estratégico, el verano ha estado ocupado con el trabajo en los edificios, el desarrollo profesional y el trabajo curricular, las actualizaciones tecnológicas, la contratación de nuevo personal y el análisis y la reflexión del año pasado. Una de las cosas en las que reflexioné fue sobre mi Carta de Bienvenida de 2017 a todos ustedes. Estableció que Fenton trabajará para mejorar la tasa de graduación de nuestro distrito, Freshmen-On-Track (graduarse en cuatro años), las evaluaciones estatales y la tasa de éxito en las clases. Es mi placer informarle que nuestra tasa de graduación, Freshmen-On-Track, puntajes de evaluación estatal y las tasas de éxito en las clases han aumentado.
Las mejoras a los edificios este verano incluyeron la repavimentación de la pista del estadio y el gimnasio, el reemplazo de los pisos en el pasillo del auditorio y cuatro salones de clases, la repavimentación y la nueva distribución de los estacionamientos, y la repavimentación de los carriles de autobuses. Los proyectos tecnológicos incluyeron la actualización de todo el sistema inalámbrico en todo el edificio, la actualización de PowerSchool al nuevo PowerTeacher Pro y la distribución de nuevos Chromebooks a todos los alumnos de noveno grado.
Nuestros estudiantes estarán de regreso en los pasillos, clases, campos de atletismo y escenario de Fenton el lunes. Espero verlos a todos y ser parte de su viaje este año escolar. Va a ser un gran año.
Rigor, relevancia y relaciones.