Thornton Fractional Township HS District

  • Garden Planting at TF South
  • South High School Rebel Patch Garden in mid-July

Model Communities Grantee

Thornton Fractional High School District 215

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Grantee Summary

Thornton Fractional High School District (TFHSD) 215 is located in the Southeastern corner of suburban Cook County and includes two comprehensive high schools and one alternative school that together serve 3,719 students from four neighboring communities. The district’s attendance area includes students from Burnham, Calumet City, Lansing and Lynwood, and is economically and racially diverse.

Policy, System and Environmental (PSE) Changes

TFHSD 215 is utilizing the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program (HSP) Framework for most of the policy changes they are working to implement with their Model Communities award. These include the following PSEs:

  • Installation and maintenance of school gardens at TF North and TF South, and integration of gardening in several areas of classroom curriculum, including the culinary arts program;
  • Adoption of policies or procedures that increase opportunities for students, staff and community members to be physically active during and outside the school day;
  • Adoption of policy or procedures that support healthy eating and active living in the district wellness policy.

Highlights and Successes

  • Gardens at both schools yielded hundreds of pounds of produce, which was incorporated into the culinary arts curriculum as students learned to prepare and preserve fresh produce.
  • The gardens have been integrated into many aspects of the schools, including biology and chemistry classes, special education classes and after school garden clubs.
  • Workout rooms have opened at both schools and are available for teacher use during the day and student and community use during after school hours.

Sustainability of PSE changes

  • The raised beds for both gardens were built by the shop classes and will last several years. Teachers and students are invested in the continued success of the gardens and have learned how to take care of them. Produce and herbs from the gardens have been integrated into the culinary arts program, which has big plans for the continued growth of the gardens.
  • Partnerships have been created with community organizations, such as the Lansing Food Pantry, which sent volunteers to help with the garden during Summer 2011, and took in hundreds of pounds of donated produce to feed hungry families.
  • Funding from the Model Communities program has allowed the district to purchase equipment to create a fitness room at each school. These rooms are available for staff to use during the school day, and they are also open to the community certain days of the week. Staff has been trained to supervise the rooms and opportunities to use the rooms are being promoted in the schools and the community. District policies or procedures are being reviewed to support the continued usage of these rooms.

Contact Information

Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215

1601 Wentworth Ave., Calumet City, IL 60409
Contact: Brett Bartlett - Special Project Coordinator
Phone: 708-585-2315
Technical Assistance Partner: Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Seven Generations Ahead