York Community High School

MAKING THE MOST OF YORK: A Parent to Parent Guide

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Making the Most of York


A publication of the
PTSA Academic Boosters Committee

Updated yearly with information
for the coming school year

Click to open the Guide!

Table of Contents


This remarkable booklet is filled with mentoring information from parents who've been there - and are ready to help you navigate four extraordinary years at York High School!


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York offers a wide range of courses in many different academic areas. Families should create a four-year plan to map out a course of study that includes students’ favorite areas of interest and meets all graduation requirements.  Then, each year, students can reevaluate this plan and make adjustments as their interests develop.  Visit the Academic Boosters’ web page for a sample planning template.


York offers courses that provide students with opportunities to explore and discover interesting new fields. Many courses are in core areas like English, Math, Science, and Social Studies—and students might also consider Art, Business, Family and Consumer Sciences, Industrial Tech, Performing Arts and World Languages. Encouraging your student to try out an interest or pursue a passion each year at York is well worth it. Students benefit from balanced schedules that include hands-on courses. Some students may need to take summer school courses in order to fit in classes. Keep track of requirements, review the course guide in starting in October/November, and update the four-year plan with your student each November, when course selection for grades 9-11 begins for the following school year (8th graders will select courses in January).  Note that this timeline for course selection is new for 2018-19.


For a template 4 year plan that you can download and work with, visit

york.elmhurst205.org > Parent Resources > Academic Boosters (PTSA) .


 The Counselor’s Role

At York, counselors have three roles:

1.     To provide academic planning and scheduling assistance;

2.     To help with personal challenges which may arise;

3.     To assist with college and career planning.

Counselors help students select courses during registration and resolve scheduling conflicts. It is a very good idea for students to get to know their counselor and what they can do. Students generally have the same counselor all four years at York.


In May, your student’s course requests will be available on PowerSchool. This is an opportunity to verify that your student’s course requests are correct. Contact your student’s counselor if problems arise. Counselors have limited availability over the summer, so it is best to contact your student’s counselor before the end of the school year to resolve problems, rather than waiting until the first day of school in August.


 Course Selection

Earning College Credits while at York: 


AP Courses: York offers AP level courses in all departments.  Students take AP exams during the first two weeks in May to measure mastery of college-level work.  AP exam fees are posted on the College Board website at apstudent.collegeboard.org/takingtheexam/exam-fees, and are typically around $95 per exam.  Colleges and Universities determine when and under what circumstances credit is awarded.  Students should check specific college websites to understand these unique circumstances. See the chapter on TESTING for further information.



Dual-Credit Courses:

Review the chapter on Dual Credit Courses in the York Coursebook for information on current offerings.


College of DuPage:  Offered in Business, Family and Consumer Sciences, Industrial Tech     and Heritage Spanish.  Students do not pay for these courses, but do receive dual COD credit.


Indiana University ACP (Advanced College Program):  Students may earn IU college credits for grades while completing York courses.  Visit the ACP page in the dual credit section of the digital coursebook for current ACP course offerings at York.    There is a GPA and attendance requirement, and enrollment is capped in these classes.   

Electives: In addition to core academic classes, electives offer students opportunities to learn new things about themselves and encourage exploration.  Today’s elective course may be tomorrow’s college or career interest.

Outside credits:

          On-line courses:  Students may transfer up to two credits to count toward graduation from other institutions

of learning (i.e. online, summer or evening classes taken outside of D205). Check with your student’s counselor in advance in case any special permissions or circumstances may prevent credit from transferring.

          York seniors may take from 4 – 12 semester hours at Elmhurst College, and these credits can count as York credits as well.  Students must be accepted to Elmhurst College and pay for all related expenses.  Consult your counselor in advance to determine if there are any special permissions or circumstances which may prevent credit from transferring.

          York students may attend the Technology Center of DuPage (TCD) during junior and/or senior year and have these classes count as York credits as well.  York provides transportation to the TCD.  Spots in this program are selective. Check with your student’s counselor in advance in case any special permissions or circumstances may prevent credit from transferring.

Please speak with your counselor in advance to be sure the credit will transfer.

Sequencing: Some classes have prerequisites.  It is sometimes possible to waive the prerequisite course. Speak to your counselor or relevant department chair about waiving.

Freshman Orientation and Guidance (FOG) 

All freshmen participate in a curriculum led by York staff and counselors during half of their lunch period for the first semester of freshman year. Topics include study tips, planning your four years at York and more.

The program also includes tours of all of York’s elective departments including Art, Business, Family and Consumer Science, Industrial Technology, and Performing Arts. This is a great time to start talking about career interests. You can find the FOG topics on the Counseling website at http://york.elmhurst205.org/counseling


Fitting It All In: Summer School

In addition to using summer as a credit recovery opportunity, many students enroll in summer school to fulfill graduation requirements like consumer education or practical arts, or to try out an interest area like business, music or art. Others enroll in full year academic classes to “open” their schedules up for electives like music or a study hall. Drivers Ed is available in the summer as well.  Offerings vary from 3 weeks to 6 weeks. Not all classes are offered in the summer, and whether a course runs or not is dependent on sufficient enrollment. Classes are not always taught by York teachers. Registration occurs in the spring, and courses offered for summer school will be listed on the York website prior to registration. Please note, there are fees associated with summer school, including registration and books.


 Fitting it All In: Special Scheduling Considerations

AP Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Physics B) require an extra lab either before school or during half of a lunch period. They typically are only offered during specific periods and sometimes it is difficult to fit these in, especially if your student is also enrolled in another class that requires lunchtime activities. If your student is considering these courses, develop a plan for junior and senior year that considers these labs. Have other courses in mind in case an AP science does not fit.


Athletic Eligibility for Division I and II Colleges and Universities: Course requirements are detailed in the York Course Offering Book. If your student aspires to play athletics at the Division I or Division II level, be sure they have enrolled in all of the courses required. Some of these requirements exceed the basic York graduation requirements and not all courses offered at York meet these requirements.  Search “NCAA” in the York Coursebook to find approved courses.


Freshman Mentor Program: Students are selected for this program as sophomores, juniors and seniors and help with the Freshman Orientation Guidance (FOG) program.  Participation requires half of a pre-determined lunch period, so students with lunchtime conflicts may not be able to participate as mentors.  Pay attention to school announcements (have them emailed to you from PowerSchool) for the application period.


Invite to Teach: Typically taken in the senior year by students with strong interests in the teaching field. Courses requires two class periods. Both include an internship placement outside of York.  Plan well ahead to fit these in after ensuring your student has met graduation requirements.


Performing Arts


•Taking Choir and Band or Choir and Orchestra is difficult, but not impossible. It may be necessary for your student to enroll in summer school to fit it all in, especially if your student is also enrolling in a foreign language.


     Concert Choir requires half of a pre-determined lunch period.


•Marching Band is offered during the first quarter and requires half of a pre-determined lunch period (typically fifth period). Marching Band is optional for Concert Band and required for Symphonic Band. Band members who are marching are waived from PE during first quarter.  Marching Band starts in sophomore year.


•Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Band each require half of a pre-determined lunch period. Time is spent either in rehearsals, Marching Band or, after marching band season is over, playing in ensembles. A sectional practice is also required and meets once a week after school. Some students may have to make special arrangements with club advisors or athletic coaches regarding after-school sectionals.


Medical Careers: Typically taken in the senior year by students with strong interests in the field. Course requires two class periods and includes an internship placement outside of York.  Plan well ahead to fit these in after ensuring your student has met graduation requirements.


Physical Education: Six semesters of PE are required, plus one semester of health (generally taken freshman year) and one semester of Driver Education (generally taken sophomore year). If Driver Education is taken privately, students will be required to take gym. Waivers are available in special circumstances. Zero-hour gym is offered for some swim-related activities and begins at 6:45 a.m. Please see your counselor.


Singletons are courses that are only offered one period of the day, due to limited enrollment. If your student enrolls in one or more singleton course, it may affect the scheduling of other course requests. Talk with counselors in making 4-year plan and thinking ahead about how to layer courses into junior and senior years to avoid scheduling difficulties.


Student Council requires participation during half of the pre-determined lunch period four days per week. This may present a conflict for students who also wish to enroll in classes that require lunchtime labs or practice time. Counselors will try to resolve conflicts as they arise. 


Technology and Applied Arts- Career Internships:  Students can gain experience in a career field of their choice, earn York credit and earn money for work experiences.  Students work up to 15 hours per week.  Details are on the Technology and Applied Arts Department website and in the York Course Offering Book. 


Technology Services Internship – Student Tech Services Helpdesk

Students with the skill and/or desire to learn how to repair computers can apply for this internship.  TSI Helpdesk interns repair student and teacher Chromebooks, troubleshoot hardware, and repair other devices.  Students earn professional certifications.  This internship provides class credit, hands on experience, and is unpaid.  Interested students should complete an application, available on the Technology and Applied Arts Department website. Note: the TSI Helpdesk Internship can more easily fit into schedules, as it is offered multiple times a day.


York Publications and Media: Many different outlets of journalism and media are available, such as the newspaper (York-hi), yearbook (Y’s Tales), and morning television announcements or Friday television features (YTV). Y’s Tales and YTV are classes your student will need to plan to fit into his/her schedule. York-Hi is offered both as a for-credit class as well as a club, York-Hi Club. See the English page on the York website for information.


Find out more information in the York Coursebook, on the York Student Services Webpage, or from the York Counselors.





At York, academics are the first priority. Courses are offered at varying levels of rigor to meet the academic needs of all students. Students can move up or down levels at the end of a semester.  Work with your counselor to determine what courses are available if you need to switch.


   Grades and PowerSchool

Course grading is primarily based on student performance on tests and quizzes, homework assignments and class participation. On average, semester grades are the average of two quarters (80%) and a final exam (20%). The English and World Language Departments use Standards-based grading to assess student progress in specific skill areas. 


Most academic classes will include a final exam encompassing all units at the close of each semester. Exam grades typically count for up to 20% of the final grade. Teachers often distribute study packets, which are well worth completing. Cramming is rarely productive, so encourage your student to start early, perhaps preparing unit review cards as the semester progresses. Students may prioritize studying in their most difficult classes or in classes where their exam score could make a big difference.  The Learning Commons at York is staffed with York teachers every period of the day.


PowerSchool  offers key features that are very useful:

•PowerSchool is the online record of all grades at York.  Parents and students can logon to review status of assignments, quizzes and tests.  Not all teachers use PowerSchool in the same way.  Some post upcoming assignments and test dates, others do not, but all assigned work is recorded.  Starting in 2017-18, York classes are set up in PowerSchool to calculate grades over the entire semester (rather than quarterly).  You will see one column for the current semester grade and one column for the final exam.  If you have multiple students, each will appear by first name as a separate “tab” at the top.

•You can sign-up within PowerSchool to have grades, attendance and/or daily school announcements sent to your email address. Try not to panic about every grade in PowerSchool.  PowerSchool information can be a starting point for conversations about school with your student.  Having the school announcements come to your inbox each day is a great way to learn about activities going on at York and to talk to your student about them – they may or may not be able to hear the announcements while at school.

•You can check on course requests for the coming school year under “Class Registration”.  These are not courses that have been scheduled for your student, but the courses that you’ve requested.  It’s good to check early to make sure your requests were captured correctly.


You will not receive York grades mailed to your home. If you wish to keep a record of your student’s grades each year, be sure to print a copy from PowerSchool, especially at the end of the school year, once final grades have been posted. Grading information is wiped out at the end of each school year, before summer school begins. All grades at York are reported on your student’s official transcript, and you may request a transcript from the Registrar to receive this information.





Time Management

Students should learn to manage their time wisely, work ahead, and avoid waiting until the last minute to complete assignments.  Balancing homework, sports, clubs, and other activities can pose a challenge.  It is a good idea to encourage your student to speak to coaches, teachers, and club sponsors EARLY about conflicts.  Students should try to take advantage of downtime to work ahead.  All teachers have websites - or use Google classroom - where they post upcoming work assignments.    



Academic Help at York

The Learning Commons   is a versatile place on York’s campus that contains multiple resources to support student learning outside of the classroom. Located on the second floor of the “C” building, it houses most academic resources. It offers a variety of rooms and work areas for students to study individually, work in groups, meet with faculty or peer tutors, conference with teachers, and conduct research. Students and teachers have access to traditional and digital knowledge resources, e-readers, presentation venues, and more. The Learning Commons is open from 6:40 a.m. until 5:15 p.m. every day except for Late-Arrival Wednesdays when it opens at 7:30 a.m., and Fridays when it closes at 4:15 p.m. Visit the Learning Commons page on the York website for more information.




The fiction collection is located in the English Writing Center of the Learning Commons. Non-fiction books are located in the Learning Commons North and are organized by department resource areas. For example, one will find all the social science, world history, and U.S. history books in and near the Social Studies Resource Center. 


Learning Commons North


Department Resources – The LCN has tables for students to work or conference with teachers. LCN is staffed by a teacher from the Science, Social Studies & English department most periods of the day.  The website has a schedule showing the content area specialists who are available during specific periods.

(york.elmhurst205.org > Parent Resources > Learning Commons)


The English Writing Center is staffed by one English teacher every period of the day, students can bring in their essays and other writing assignments to have reviewed and edited.


Study Tables – Students who need additional structure and help in organizing and prioritizing their academic work can be assigned to check in and work with a teacher in Study Tables during the school day.


Study Seminar Room – Located just north of the English Writing Center.







Learning Commons South


Housing the Test Makeup Center (TMC) and a student tutoring network, this large room is also designed for students who need to work or study quietly. When students miss a test or quiz due to an absence, teachers often send the assessments to the TMC for students to make up on their own time. The TMC is open every day from 6:40 a.m. until 4:10 p.m. except for Wednesday late start days when it opens at 7:30 a.m. Students must present their ID and bring all necessary supplies such as pencils, paper, and calculator. Students may take tests after school; however, no tests will be started after 3:30 p.m.


Math Lab: The Math Lab opens at 7 a.m. It is located in room A263 in the second floor math hallway of the “A” building. The sign on the door says “Mathematics Resources.” It is staffed by math teachers on Monday-Thursday from 7:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. and on Friday from 7:00 a.m. – 3:06 p.m.


Students may get a pass from their math teacher to come in for help during their study hall or they may come without a pass during half of their lunch period. This is a great place to work on homework or projects and to ask questions. Computers are available for math work only (this is not a full computer lab).


Teachers: Students can meet with their teachers and ask them directly for help. Teachers can often be found in their department offices before school, after school and during their free periods. E-mail is another easy way to ask for help from York teachers. Teachers expect that students will reach out, so do!


Tutors: Private tutors can be hired to assist students with specific courses. Ask teachers, neighbors or other students for recommendations. Many tutors meet with students at the Elmhurst Public Library after school hours.


 Homework Considerations

Expect daily homework in math, world languages and science classes. Students should expect to read every day for English and social studies. Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses involve a great deal of homework, as well as frequent individual and group projects.


English: It is a very good idea for students to ask their English teacher to look over their first draft of a paper before turning it in. Teachers are thrilled when students want to improve work before turning it in.


Math: The Math Lab is an excellent place to get homework help. Computer programs are frequently assigned as homework in math courses.  It is best to print out computer programs the day before they are due. Getting to the math lab early, at 7 a.m. is best. By 7:10 a.m., your student may find all of the computers occupied.


Visit the Mathematics page on the York website to register students’ calculators. This service can be a great help if a student loses or misplaces an expensive calculator!


Science: Teachers are the best resource for science questions.


Social Studies: Socials Studies involves a fair amount of reading, especially at the AP level. AP social studies courses involve large group projects. Students may choose to take certain social studies in the summer to make room for additional electives during the regular school year.


World Languages: Students should go over vocabulary daily, aloud. Classes, especially at the Honors levels, may move at a more rapid pace than students are accustomed to in middle school.

Study Halls

Study Halls, when requested, are built into a student’s schedule and are held in large classrooms. If your child plans to participate in a sport or extra-curricular activity that demands a lot of time, it is a good idea to try to schedule a study hall during the school day. Many students take summer school classes in order to fit in a study hall during the school year.


Students can get a pass from an academic teacher to go to the Learning Commons, Math Lab, or department offices during their study hall period. Also, Study Halls are good for incoming freshmen to ease students into the workload of high school.

Where to Find Out More:

•York website: http://york.elmhurst205.org

•Math Lab york.elmhurst205.org > Mathematics Department

•Learning Commons: http://york.elmhurst205.org/lc




All students at York are required to own a District-issued Chromebook, which is used for classroom management and all manner of coursework, as well as some electronic textbooks.  Note that not all publishers have produced electronic texts, so Chromebooks cannot be considered a “textbook replacement”.  Some teachers also develop their own digital resources for instructional use, which are accessed via student Chromebooks. 


Additional information may be found within PTSA Academic Boosters program notes on the presentation by York Instructional Coaches, under the Administration section of the Academic Boosters web page york.elmhurst205.org/ABExploreDepts


Upon graduation, student Chromebooks may be released from District oversight by following the instructions at yorktsi.com/alumni/.

For further information, visit the District 205 Mobile Learning Initiative (MLI) web site at https://sites.google.com/a/elmhurst205.org/d205-mli-parent-information/home






This section provides an overview of high school tests and college entrance exams.  Not every college entrance exam listed is required.  Colleges, universities, and community colleges differ widely in their use of tests for entrance and placement.

Create a testing plan that integrates with your 4-year course plan to determine when it is most beneficial to schedule tests.  Consider both classes the student has recently finished that will help on test performance, and how many tests your student can handle in a time period.  Some test date options are “fixed”, such as AP tests (almost always during the first half of May), while others offer more date choices (SAT, ACT, SAT Subject tests).  Read each section below for more information.


 College Entrance Exams - Overview

College entrance exams are typically taken during junior year or fall of senior year.  Students may take entrance exams once or several times, choosing best score(s) to send to selected college(s). There is a fee to take these tests outside of York.  Students do not need to take all of these tests, and should refer to college admissions websites for guidance as to which tests a college requires. 


GOOD TO KNOW: While certain competitive colleges are now “test optional”, it is generally recommended that students applying to such schools submit test results.  Consider your entire application profile as you evaluate this choice.


By your student’s junior year, s/he should plan which college admissions tests they will take and when. In addition, you may wish to consider test preparation, whether at home, online, or through one of the many private companies offering classes and tutoring.  York’s College & Career Counseling offers a list of test prep resources on their web page.


ACT  :  Includes four academic sections- English, reading, math and science, plus an optional writing section.  Scores are reported by section, plus a composite score.  There is no penalty for guessing.  A perfect composite score is 36.


SAT  : Newly revised in March 2016, the SAT includes two sections – 1) evidence-based reading & writing and 2) math.  An optional essay is also included.  A perfect score is 1600 (800/800), with a separate score for the essay (800). There is no penalty for guessing.


SAT Subject Tests  : One-hour multiple-choice tests designed to assess academic readiness for college in specific subject areas.  Some colleges and specific majors require SAT Subject Test scores for admission.  A perfect score is 800.  Read more in the “Tests Given Outside of York” section of this chapter.


Advanced Placement Exams

 AP (Advanced Placement): Indicates a college level course with a high level of academic rigor.  There are various reasons why students may elect to take AP courses:

1.     To be challenged by rigorous coursework

2.     To enhance college applications

3.     To possibly earn college credits or to use for college placement (this is potentially a significant money saver, or can open a schedule for a double major, or early graduation.)

AP courses include AP tests, which are administered at York during the first two weeks of May.  Tests are scored 0-5 (5 being the highest score). Colleges and universities may give full or partial college credit (usually for scores of 3 or higher, but this depends on the college or university) and may use AP scores for placement.


Fees for each AP Exam for this year can be found at https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/takingtheexam/exam-fees.  For each AP Exam taken by students from low-income families, the College Board will provide a fee reduction per exam.  Parents should inquire with counselors for help offsetting AP fees.  Exam dates can be found at https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/takingtheexam/ap-calendar#examDate.

 Other Tests

 ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL) and Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP) 4S:  Offered in September & January, these tests are used to determine eligibility for the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy. York offers the AAPPL test in Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.  York offers the STAMP test in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and traditional), French, German, Hebrew, Japanese and Spanish.  There is a fee. York students awarded the Seal are recognized at graduation.

  American Mathematics Competitions (AMC): offered in February, this test is used to increase interest in mathematics and to develop problem solving through elective competition. Competitions are optional to math students throughout their York years. Students usually have to have permission to miss another class period as the tests run 75 minutes. There is a fee.

 PSAT (Preliminary SAT/NMSQT): The PSAT, or Practice SAT, was revised in 2016.  The PSAT has three sections, Math, Reading, and Writing and Language.  However, the Reading section and the Writing/Language section are combined into one score. The highest possible combined PSAT score is 1520 (760/760).  Unlike the SAT, there is no essay portion of the PSAT.  For juniors, the PSAT is the qualifying exam for the College Board’s National Merit Scholarship program.  Only scores from the junior year are used for the National Merit Scholar competition. 

 Tests Given at York





                                                                        AAPPL and STAMP language   proficiency (State Seal of Biliteracy).


AMC – American Math Competition


                                                                        PSAT 8/9………………………………..……….

PSAT10 …………………………………………..

State Administered SAT with writing ….


                                                                        AP Tests by Subject                                       

                                                                        Illinois Science Assessment (ISA)                 


Tests Given Outside of York

York does not offer ACT or SAT prep classes, but the CCRC has a list of available private test prep centers and tutoring options. Prices vary significantly and can be quite costly, so it pays to investigate.  Bookstores also sell review books, CDs and DVDs, some of which are also available at the York and Elmhurst libraries.   The Elmhurst Public Library has free test prep for both ACT and SAT for library card holders.

ACT: A college admissions exam. Your student may view current test dates, register to take the test, or partake of free test prep resources at www.act.org.   


a.      Sign up early to be registered at a location that is convenient for your student.


b.     ACT registration fees for the current year may be found at http://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/registration/fees.html.  It is possible to get a waiver for the test fee in some cases, contact York’s College & Career Resource Center (CCRC) or your student’s counselor for more information. (york.elmhurst205.org/ccrc)


c.      When registering, your student can automatically have scores sent to up to four colleges for free. However, if your student does not elect to send scores at registration, there is an additional fee per college to send scores later. It might be advantageous, however, not to send the scores. You may decide to wait and send only the best scores, if your student takes the test more than once.


d.     The ACT website posts a sample “question of the day” and has several other free resources to help students prepare for the test.  A student may prepare using ACT resources, both free and fee-based.  Visit https://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/test-preparation/act-online-prep.html



 SAT:  A college admissions exam. In April, all York Juniors will take this test as part of the Illinois state-mandated testing regimen. The York-administered SAT is required for a junior to be promoted to a senior.  There will be no fee for this York-administered exam. Your student may use results from this administration for college applications. Your student may wish to take the SAT more than once, and can register for the SAT via using the College Board website,  http://www.collegeboard.org/.


a.      Sign up early to be registered at a date and location that is convenient for your student. 


b.     SAT registration fees for this year are listed at https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register/fees.  It is possible to get a waiver for the test fee in some cases, contact the CCRC or your student’s counselor for more information.


c.      You can send your student’s SAT scores to up to four colleges for free at registration. If you choose not to send the scores sight unseen, there is an additional fee per school to send later. Score Choice offers the option to choose which scores (by test date) you send to colleges — in accordance with each college’s stated score-use policy. So, if your student does better on the Math section in October, but better on the Reading and Writing sections in January, you can pick to send specific scores from each test.


d.     The College Board website has many free review materials available online, including the SAT “question of the day”, which can be emailed directly to you or your student. They also have a smart phone app to help students prepare (search “Daily Practice for the New SAT”).  To prepare students for the test, the College Board has partnered with Khan Academy to provide free test preparation materials.

 SAT Subject Tests: These are one-hour multiple-choice tests designed to assess academic readiness for college in specific subject areas within the general categories of English, History, Math, Science and World Languages. Some colleges and specific majors require subject test scores for admission.  Your student may sign up using the SAT website:  http://www.collegeboard.org/.


a.      Check with the CCRC or college websites to determine requirements, and then decide whether your student should take SAT Subject Tests. 


b.     The best time to take these tests is right after a student has completed the related course; for example, taken the SAT Subject Test in American History right after US History. Students may want to begin taking Subject Tests as early as end of freshman or sophomore year, depending on their coursework. For instance, students taking Honors Biology as freshmen may want to take the SAT Biology Subject Test at the end of their freshman year, as the test does not cover higher level content as contained in AP Biology.  Or, a freshman finishing Enriched Advanced Algebra/Trig Honors may want to take the Math 1 Subject Test, or a sophomore finishing PreCalc may take the Math 2 Subject Test.  See https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat-subject-tests/subjects for recommended test prerequisities.


Examine the SAT Subject Test calendar early in the year as not all subjects are offered every test date.  For example, foreign language tests with listening are only offered in November, so you must consider timing if your college or major requires that particular test.


c.      Even if a college does not require the SAT Subject Tests, or only requires a math and science test, it may be       beneficial for your student to take the tests anyway. For instance, if your student takes the Spanish SAT Subject Test (say, after finishing Spanish 4 or 4H as a junior), it could be used by a college to either place your student in the correct level of Spanish in college or even to place out of a required language class, similar to the way an AP test does.  This is meaningful as AP classes & test scores taken in senior year cannot be submitted for credit/placement because of the timing of their administration.


d.     SAT Subject Tests last one hour.  Your student can take up to three tests in one day, but not on the same day that your student takes the regular SAT test. Registration and price information is available through the College Board website (collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat-subject-tests/register/fees-payments/fees). Fee waivers are available through the College Board.


e.     For more information:

View this YouTube video  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg4jHUcPuss&feature=youtu.be)

and visit the College Board web site subject tests page



 Scheduling the tests: Students who are looking to apply to highly selective colleges and universities may wish to take these tests more than once.


     ACT (generally offered in September, October, December, February, April, June, and July).

     SAT (generally offered in August, October, November, December, March, May and June).

     SAT Subject Tests (generally offered in August, October, November, December, May, and June).  Note that not every subject is offered on every test date.

Where to find out more:

     York College and Career Resource Center: york.elmhurst205.org/CCRC 

     ACT: www.act.org

     SAT and SAT Subject Tests: www.collegeboard.org


GOOD TO KNOW: Sometimes the ACT and SAT have an extra section on test day, especially if you are not taking the Writing portion of the test.  This extra section is comprised of experimental questions and does not count in your score.



This section provides suggestions on how to take some of the stress out of college and career planning by helping your student to start early to think about life beyond York. Our strongest advice is to encourage your student to keep their options open as long as possible. There is no one place your student will be happy – don’t allow s/he to believe that admission is a certainty anywhere.


Academic Boosters hosts an annual event entitled “Life After York Q&A: Parent to Parent Advice.” Browse the Academic Boosters website for resources and tools for college planning - and parent advice!


 College Application Prep: A Mini-Calendar for Your Student

In late summer, check out the York College and Career Counseling web site for their calendar of preparatory events for parents and students:  york.elmhurst205.org/ccrc

See also the PTSA-AB printable month-to-month planning guide by grade at york.elmhurst205.org/ABChecklist.


 Freshman Students Should:

     Ask your counselor to help you find the right amount of rigor to match your capabilities, as well as an elective or two that allows you to explore an interest area. Grades, rigor and balance are important to colleges.   Create a 4-year course plan to help map your journey to graduation. 


     Read voraciously: Books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs – choose whatever engages you and remember to look up unfamiliar words.


     Get involved: Join organizations, extracurricular activities and competitions that are genuinely interesting to you. Make time for volunteer work.


     Start an activity resume: Keep a record of activities, jobs, volunteer work, leadership roles, and accomplishments and continually update it so you don’t forget details. (Such records, as well as sponsor signatures for community service activities are also required for the National Honor Society application and membership.)


 Sophomore Students Should:

     Consider an AP course: Review options and consider enrolling in an AP course for great preparation and experience.


     Get some practice taking college admissions tests: Will you take the PSAT this year? If there is an opportunity to take a practice ACT or SAT, take it seriously. You'll get a sense of where you stand when you take these college admission tests early.


     Make the most of your summer. Work, volunteer, play sports or take a class. Find an activity that builds on a favorite subject or extracurricular interest. Check out colleges (formally or informally) while on a family vacation just to gain exposure or for comparison.


     Use a college tracking/planning tool of your own, or the tools within Naviance to organize your action steps for the college application journey.

Sample template: york.elmhurst205.org/ABCollegePlanner, or the “Staying Organized” worksheet within Naviance.


 Junior Students Should:

     Update and work to fill in gaps in your activity resume. Round out your extracurricular, work, and volunteer experiences and develop leadership opportunities.


     Think about teachers who might write recommendation letters. For many colleges, you will need to ask one to two teachers to write recommendations. Make requests by the end of junior year to ensure all is in place in time for fall application deadlines (which approach fast).


     Plan your testing calendar: First up, the PSAT which is the qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Then, as needed, take the SAT and/or ACT in fall, winter or early spring.  For the SAT and ACT, don't worry if you don't get your ideal score the first time; you can try again. The SAT subject tests are also an option for May or June in areas where you shine or in subjects you covered sophomore and junior year.  Some colleges require subject tests for admission to certain degree programs.


     Use the planning tools within Naviance and start building your target college list: once you have a handle on your test scores, talk to a counselor and start your list of match, reach, and safety schools. Explore college websites and online resources. Resources like Naviance, Career Cruising, College Board, and other online search tools have information on entrance criteria, student profiles, etc. 


     Make some college visits: spring break and summer vacation are ideal times to check out a few campuses.  Also try to attend college fairs and talk with the folks behind the tables.


o   Each junior and senior is allowed two excused days each year for college visits. Paperwork must be completed and advance notice given to ensure it is an excused absence. Your student must obtain and submit confirmation of the visit, on the college’s letterhead with the date of the visit.


     Review high school coursework before senior year begins. Make sure you're completing all of the requirements for graduation, as well as course requirements of the colleges on your list.


 Senior Students Should:

     Write draft college essay(s): Aim to have first drafts done by Labor Day. Share them with an English teacher or counselor. Get a start over the summer on essay writing, especially if you’re applying via the Common Application (Common App – see glossary), which is usually posted by August 1.

     Get a head start during the summer on completing sections of the Common App, if you’re using this mechanism for your college choices.  It typically goes live August 1.


     Check application requirements for schools on your list. Before the academic year even starts, become familiar with the Common Application and know whether schools on your list require a supplemental application, an audition tape or portfolio, or interview.


     Check into college fairs and/or take advantage of visits scheduled at York.  Before investing in a visit, you can obtain lots of helpful information about prospective colleges by visiting information sessions nearby or attending college fairs.


     Finish testing: In the fall of senior year, if you still think you can improve your scores, retake the SAT, ACT or sign up to take SAT subject tests. The early fall test dates will give you time to apply early. Again, some colleges also ask for SAT subject tests. Be sure to check your college choice requirements.


     Ask for recommendation letters: Early in the school year, ask two teachers who can offer different perspectives on your performance if they are willing to write a letter on your behalf. Choose teachers with whom you have a good relationship and who will effectively communicate your academic and personal qualities.


     Apply: fill out each application carefully, and ask someone to look over your essays with a critical eye. Check that your colleges have received records and recs from your high school, and have your SAT or ACT scores officially sent in. A month from the date you submit your application, call the college and confirm that it is complete.


     Follow the money: many colleges require Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and/or CSS/Financial Aid Profile.  These forms open on October 1st. To maximize your chances for state and federal grant money, submit your forms as early as possible.  Data for the CSS profile is a superset of the FAFSA, so if your schools require the CSS, you may wish to fill it out first, then fill out the FAFSA.


     Make the choice: Explore the colleges where you've been accepted. Visit their campuses again, talk with alumni, attend an accepted student reception or overnight. Then confidently make your college choice official by sending in your deposit.




College Career Resource Center (CCRC) 


The CCRC is located on “C” building’s first floor, across from Student Services (between the main entrance and York Commons). Services and information are available both in-person and via their website, www.york.elmhurst205.org/CCRC.


The CCRC hosts a wealth of college and career information, knowledge and resources including college applications and scholarships. The CCRC communicates with juniors and their parents in preparation for the college application process and seniors during the college application process via multiple in-person and online/hard copy information materials.


The CCRC also hosts representatives from numerous colleges, universities, military branches, and technical schools at York throughout the year. Juniors and seniors may request passes to attend presentations by school representatives.


 College Planning Events at York

The CCRC hosts annual college planning programs for students and parents of all grade levels.  Check their web site in late July for the coming school year’s event dates. Presentations alternate year to year between information on financial aid (even years) and comparing public four-year, private four-year and community colleges (odd years). 


The CCRC offers a half day workshop – typically on a Saturday morning in the early fall – for seniors and their families to help plan the college application and financial aid processes. Check the website for dates, times, and topics to take advantage!


 Considering Colleges and Majors – What’s the Best Match?

Foster an environment of two-way communication. Have your student try different courses, clubs and activities. Encourage conversations with neighbors and relatives with potential areas of interest and careers. If possible, expose your student to the actual work required in a career to ensure it truly is something they can envision doing. If possible, explore outside enrichment during the school year and/or summer, including internship opportunities, volunteering, coursework and job shadowing.


 Guidance Counselors

A great family resource; engage them early in your planning. Counselors can leverage their knowledge to help your student navigate their college and career exploration. Most colleges require a recommendation letter from your student’s counselor.



Naviance & Career Cruising are a great tools offered through the high school that will get your student thinking about and understanding the value of their own unique aptitudes, interests, personality, and learning styles. The more “in tune” they are to these areas, the better choices they will make for career and college. Students will receive a password and access code to each in Freshman Orientation and Guidance. Naviance is also the vehicle for requesting transcripts and letters of recommendation that are sent directly to colleges. Parents may also access the sites--request a login from your student’s counselor.




The CCRC keeps an active list of scholarships on its website. Many community organizations and interest groups offer scholarships. York students typically garner thousands of scholarship dollars. Encourage your student to apply and do not discount your eligibility based on financial need. Also, encourage your student to have another adult (might be better to ask a relative or neighbor) review applications and essays for typographical errors and completeness.


 Special Requirements – Portfolios, Auditions, Videos, Interviews

If your student is exploring a major in performing arts, architecture or creative arts and/or looking to participate in collegiate competitive sports, a portfolio, audition, or video may be required. Some colleges require interviews, some do not. Again, check individual college websites.



Official: Seniors will need official transcripts released to colleges they choose to apply to.  Seniors should use the green photocopied form from the CCRC.  Seniors can sign this form once for the whole school year, then, they turn in the CCRC’s pink request form for each individual college application request. Talk to your counselor about whether your student wants ACT and SAT scores to appear on transcripts. You can opt out. Note: there is a $4.25 fee for each transcript released.


Unofficial: Students and families may request unofficial transcripts from their counselors if needed to apply for summer programs, drivers’ licenses, etc.


York Profile: This is a two page overview of academics, demographics, etc., pertaining to the requirements for the current senior class, which is sent to post-secondary institutions with your student’s official transcript.  It may be found at york.elmhurst205.org/yorkprofile .


Additional planning resources

College Board:  When you create an account, the College Board offers a planning organizer that integrates your SAT test scores, your colleges of interest, your calendar, career exploration and more, under your profile. www.collegeboard.com






Career Cruising

Career Cruising is an online program with career assessments, as well as college and career research tools. Freshmen receive a password and access code and learn to use this, as well as Naviance, in Freshman Orientation and Guidance.



                                                                      Explore Careers: Students can search for career information by keyword search, school subject, career cluster, or by taking a short survey, "Career Selector" which will create a list of career possibilities based on each student's preferences.

                                                                      Explore Education & Training: This section of Career Cruising provides comprehensive college, university, and vocational school information to help plan for future education and training.

                                                                      Explore Assessments: There are several inventories that can provide insight for students regarding which careers are a good "match" based on their interest, skills, and/or learning style.

                                                                      Employment: Students have access to resources designed to help them prepare for the job search as well as the interview process.

Project Lead the Way

Engineering and Medical Pathways will be introduced at York High School in 2019-20 as part of the launch of Project Lead the Way.  Visit the following links to look ahead:







Making the most of your student’s high school years means helping them explore possibilities and find a rich balance of academics, activities and social experiences. York has much to offer, as does the surrounding community. Summer camps and courses, online courses, college offerings (College of DuPage has a wide array of summer courses, as well as night and weekend courses), and enrichment opportunities such as community-based music groups, theatre and dance troupes and mission trips can all add to a rich high school experience.


Beginning in 8th grade, encourage your student to be involved and try new things outside of their usual interests.


TIP:  Be sure to sign up in PowerSchool to have daily announcements e-mailed to you. This is a great tool to encourage your student's participation in extracurricular activities. Typically, announcements are made during 2nd period, but some courses are not conducive environments to hearing announcements (i.e., PE), so make sure your student knows when a club or activity is meeting or starting up by sharing announcements that may be of interest!



There are over 75 clubs at York – representing academics, intramural sports, performing arts, service, leadership, music, etc. The complete listing can be found on the York website under Clubs and Organizations. Your student should explore various clubs related to their favorite subjects. Students often find clubs are a great way to make friends across grade levels as well as a good way to identify interests and passions.


Note: Just as when athletic teams travel, travel to competitions for academic clubs is covered for your student.


 A sampling of the academically-oriented clubs at York:


     General Academic: Scholastic Bowl, National Honor Society

     Art: Mural Club, Photography Club

     Business: DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America)

     English: Mirrors (plus Java Live), Speech Team, Slam Poetry, Book Club, York-hi Jounalism & Media Club

     Family and Consumer Science: Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA),

     Industrial Tech: Auto, Skills USA

     Math: Math Team, STEM Club

     Performing Arts: Amateur Musicians and Recording Club, Drama Club, Sketch Comedy, Fine Arts Week, Record Club, York Music Outreach Program

     Science: Ecology Club, Science Olympiad, STEM Club, Model Rocketry

     Social Studies: Amnesty International, Economics Club, Empower, Future Diplomats of America (FDA), Law Team, Military History Club, Model United Nations, and Young Politicians

     Technology & Applied Arts: National Technical Honor Society

     World Languages: Chinese Club, French Club (Le Cercle Franςaise), International Club, Italian Club, Spanish Club, Latina Dreamers, Hispanos Unidos, Indo-Pak Club, Multi-Lingual Mixers


 College Offerings – Online, Summer and Weekends

There are many colleges around the Chicago area and the country that offer courses and online programs for students to explore while still in high school. This is a great way to identify interests.




Your student can become a member of one of the many York Clubs that offer competitions such as:

•Industrial Technology Skills USA/VICA

•Family and Consumer Science FCCLA

•Law Team

•Math Team

•Model United Nations

•Speech Team

•Performing Arts


•Science Olympiad

•Business DECA

There are also national tests given at York (for a fee) in math, Chinese, French, Italian and Spanish (see section in this guide on Testing|Tests Given at York). There are also national and state-level competitions for individuals (not sponsored by York) in art, science, and writing – just about every subject. Browse the Academic Boosters website for some enrichment ideas or do your own online research.



Explore elective courses to help your student balance their educational experience and further explore various subjects of interest. Adding a course in business or art may uncover talents and interests not previously known to the student. Suggest that your student talk to teachers in elective areas, guidance counselors and other students.


If it fits in your family’s schedule and budget, summer school at York is another way to either explore an elective or take a graduation requirement to free up time to take an elective during the academic year.  Contact your counselor and/or social worker to inquire if fee waivers are available.



There are lots of ways for your student to develop leadership skills at York. Your student might look into serving as a Freshman Mentor or York Ambassador or apply to be a member of Student Council or one of the York Student Advisory teams. Athletic teams and clubs also provide outstanding leadership opportunities.


 Summer Camps and Courses

Summer camps and courses can complement and provide more depth of subject matter knowledge in your student’s areas of interest. Many camps are listed on the PTSA Academic Booster website. Colleges will be interested in candidates who have a depth of knowledge in specific areas of study. Many colleges now offer “early college” in-residence summer programs on their campuses.



York sponsors several band, choir, orchestra, dance and drama performing arts groups.  Some of these groups are for-credit classes, which satisfy the Fine Arts Requirement at York, and some are extra-curricular clubs.  The exceptional nature of the York Performing Arts Department led to its designation in 2013 as a National Grammy Gold Signature School.  To learn more about the Grammy Program:  http://www.grammyintheschools.com/programs/grammy-signature-schools


The York Performing Arts Department has its own page on the York Website.  All concert dates are listed on this page: Visit York.elmhurst205.org > Departments/Divisions > Performing Arts, or click here.


All students involved in competitive extra-curricular activities sign the Code of Conduct at registration.  They are expected to follow the rules and guidelines stated in the York Student Handbook.


York Music Boosters

A parent volunteer organization that assists the music program by raising funds for summer camp scholarships, distributing uniforms, hosting post-concert receptions, and facilitating department trips.  York Music Boosters sponsors the “Greens Sale” in the fall as their primary fundraiser. For more information, see their website:  york.elmhurst205.org/YMB

Link to Join York Music Boosters:  

Visit elmhurstparents.revtrak.net > Shop > Boosters > York Music, or click here


York Drama Boosters

A parent volunteer organization that supports the York Drama Club by raising funds to enhance drama club productions and for scholarships for college bound students who plan to study drama.


York Band

The following classes/groups are for-credit: 

•Cadet Band (freshmen only)

•Concert Band

•Symphonic Band


Students are placed in one of three large, performing ensembles, by audition.  Concerts are held in the fall, winter and spring.  Uniforms are provided by York (girls are expected to provide their own long-sleeved black top; boys provide a tuxedo shirt and purchase a black bow tie from the bookstore).  There is an optional trip in the winter (fees are charged).  Students are expected to perform at Band Solo Night and, as scheduled, All District Band Festival.

Marching Band:  In the fall, Symphonic Band (required) and Concert Band (optional) students also participate in Marching Band.  The Marching Band performs at all home football games.  The Marching Band also participates in the St. Patrick’s Day and Memorial Day Parades.  There is practice the week before the start of school.  Marching Band students must have periods 4 & 5A assigned for practice.  Marching Band fulfills the PE requirement for 1st quarter of Fall.  Marching Band starts in sophomore year.

Flags:  Flag team members perform at all home football games, and practice on Monday evenings.  Students need periods 4 and 5A in order to participate.  Flags membership fulfills the PE requirement for 1st quarter of Fall. 

Small Group Ensembles:  In winter and spring, all students in the Concert and Symphonic Bands are assigned to a small group chamber ensemble.  Small ensembles perform in the community throughout the year.

Extra-Curricular Band opportunities: 

Jazz Band Opportunities:  There are four jazz bands:  Two non-audition bands, Jazz Lab Band and Jazz Combo II; two auditioned bands, Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo.   Jazz Lab Band meets Monday and Friday before school and Jazz Ensemble meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before school.  Jazz singers may perform with the combos.  The auditioned jazz groups often perform outside of York at community and private events. 

Pep Band:  Pep Band members perform at 10-12 home basketball games, York Pep Rallies and at the Cross Country State Meet (transportation provided).  No practice required.

Musical Pit:  Selected musicians perform in the pit for York musical performances, alongside professional musicians.

Summer Elmhurst Community Band:  This is a summer band opportunity for York students as well as members of the Elmhurst Community.  Sign up through the Elmhurst Park District. 

York Musical Outreach:  This club organizes performances in the local community for York small group ensembles.


The following classes/groups are for-credit: 

•Cadet Orchestra

•Concert Orchestra

•Symphony Orchestra

Students are placed in one of three large, performing ensembles, by audition.  Concerts are held in the fall, winter and spring.  Uniforms are provided by York (girls are expected to provide their own long-sleeved black top; boys provide a tuxedo shirt and purchase a black bow tie from the bookstore).  There is an optional winter trip (fees are charged).  Students are expected to perform at Orchestra Solo Night.  Symphony Orchestra members often perform with the Concert Choir, Advanced Dance concerts and at York’s graduation ceremony. 

Small Group Ensembles:  All students in the Concert and Symphony Orchestra are assigned to a small group chamber ensemble.  Ensemble concerts are held in the fall.  May orchestra ensembles perform in the community and for private events.

Extra-Curricular Orchestra opportunities:

Musical Pit:  Selected musicians perform in the pit for York musical performances, alongside professional musicians.



The following classes/groups are for-credit: 

•Cadet Chorus

•Choraliers (auditioned sophomore – senior girls)

•Concert Choir (auditioned junior and senior girls, auditioned sophomore – senior boys) 

Students are placed in one of three large, performing ensembles.  Concerts are held in the fall, winter and spring. 

Extra-Curricular Choir opportunities: 

Madrigals, a Cappella, Jazz Choir, Vida (must be in a curricular ensemble – auditioned in fall)


York Drama is an extra-curricular club.  It presents Fall, Winter and Spring shows. Since 2011, a York Alumni show has been periodically presented in June.

Stage Crew:  Students create lighting, props and sets for all plays. 


The following classes/groups are for-credit: 

•Beginning Dance

•Intermediate Dance

•Advanced Dance

•Urban Dance

These dance classes satisfy either the York PE requirement or the Fine Arts requirement.  Advanced Dance students also participate in the Performing Arts Department Collage Concert, the Fall Dance Concert and Fine Arts Week in the spring.  York Dance Company produces 1-2 shows yearly and participates in other Performing Arts events.

Extra-Curricular Dance opportunities:

York Dance Company:  Dance troupe that focuses on student choreography and performance.  Various dance styles are represented. 

Yorkettes:  Performs with the Pep Band at most home basketball games and marches with the Marching Band in the St. Patrick’s Day and Memorial Day Parades. 

Competitive Dance (Poms): Poms is part of the Athletic Department and performs at all home football and basketball games, and competes at State.  Varsity and JV teams.  Practices are held in the Black Box Theater/Dance Studio.  Tryouts for the next school year are held in the early spring – visit york.elmhurst205.org/poms for further details.  In winter 2016, the York Dance Team placed 11th in state.  In 2017 they placed 1st. 




Other Performing Arts Extra-Curricular Groups:

Amateur Musicians Club: Students write and perform their own music, or cover other bands, both solo and in groups.  “Java Live” performances are held in the York Commons on several Fridays.  Several concerts are also held at Fitz’s Spare Keys in Elmhurst.  Selected songs are included in an annual York Album. 

Fine Arts Week:  Held in very early spring.  Outside professional groups are brought in to York for performances.  Includes York Talent Show.  York performing arts groups perform and a Visual Arts Show will also be held.  Students may volunteer to help organize this week. http://yorkfaw.com

Speech Team:  Students participate in competitive speech tournaments, where each performer is judged against performers from other schools.  Various events include Extemporaneous Speaking, Humorous Duets, Impromptu Speaking, Oratorical Declamation, etc.  The season runs from November through State finals in February in Peoria.  Visit sites.google.com/a/elmhurst205.org/yorkspeech/home for further information.



Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA):  Band, Chorus, Orchestra, Jazz and Composition.  Selected students try-out for ILMEA District 1.  York provides transportation for the students to and from try-outs.  For student composers, there is a composition deadline.  The District 1 Band/Chorus/Orchestra performances for selected winners are held in November.

Highly placed musicians are invited to perform at the State ILMEA Music Education Conference in January at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, IL.

Visit the ILMEA site:  http://www.ilmea.org

Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival:  Held at University of Illinois.  The York Symphonic Band has been annually selected to participate in this invitation-only Festival.

Concerto Competition: Held in September. Students may choose to audition a solo concerto or aria, with an accompanist.  Any piece should be pre-approved by York’s orchestra director to ensure it can be performed by the York Symphony Orchestra.  Selected Concerto Winners perform their concerto with the York Symphony Orchestra at the Fall, Winter or Spring Concerts.  Open to band, orchestra, and choir students.  Students may audition a piano concerto.





 Academic Department Awards

Each academic department announces annual awards for outstanding students (typically juniors and seniors) at the May Awards Night. If your student has a specific interest in an academic area, it’s never too soon to start specializing and standing out!



•Outstanding Accounting Student

•Outstanding Computer Technology Student                                                           •Outstanding Management Student

•Outstanding Marketing Student


•Corrine Johnson Memorial Scholarship                                                                   •David A. Beuter Department Award


•Culinary Arts

•Early Childhood Education

•Education                                        •Fashion Design

•Hospitality Management

•Interior Design


•Auto Technology

•Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)

•Graphic Arts                                    •Principles of Physics Technology

•Woodworking Technology


•Dr. Eric K. Lossin Memorial Scholarship

•Excellence in Competitive Mathematics                                                                •Del  Meitz-Tucker Nelson Award


•Louis Armstrong Award (Jazz)

•John Philip Sousa Award (Band)

•Arion Choral Award (Choir)

•National Orchestra Award (Orchestra)                                                                   •Paulus Scholarship (to a student planning to major in music)

•Inez Mettelstadt Orchestra Service Award


•Student of the Year                         


•Social Studies Department Award

•Neisha Vavilikolanu Human Rights Award                                                            •Susan Leander Memorial Award


• Fermilab Awards                           


•3D Book Award

•Drawing Book Award                       •Photo Book Award


•Chinese Award

•French Award

•Italian Award                                   •Spanish Award

•The Fernando Mendoza Memorial Scholarship

•Outstanding ELL Student Award





AP Awards 

Advanced Placement tests are given in May of each year. Tests are scored on a 0 – 5 scale. The AP program offers levels of awards:

     AP Scholar: Students who receive a score of 3 or higher on three or more exams.

     AP Scholar with Honor: Students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more exams.

     AP Scholar with Distinction: Students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more exams.

     National AP Scholar: Students who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP exams taken and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more exams.

     AP Seminar and Research Certificate:  students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research.

     AP Capstone Diploma:  Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP exams will receive the AP Capstone Diploma.


 Athletic Department Awards

•Clarence D. East Award- This award honors academic and athletic success in graduating seniors.  Criteria: Academic performance in top 5% of senior class, plus participation in at least one sport both junior and senior years of high school.

•Outstanding Senior Female Athlete

•Outstanding Senior Male Athlete

•Four-Year, Three-Sport Athletes         •Paul & David Myers Manager Scholarships

•Val Cothern Outstanding Junior Female Athlete

•Tom Bash Outstanding Junior Male Athlete


Citizenship Awards 

Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Elmhurst, Rotary Club of Elmhurst and the Spring Road Business Association. Two students (one boy and one girl) from each class are selected each year after a peer nomination and application process. Awards are announced at the May Athletics and Academic Awards event.


 Honor Rolls

There are two honor rolls at York:

     Honor Roll: GPA of 3.0 – 3.499.

     High Honor Roll – GPA of 3.5 and above.


 IHSA Awards

•IHSA All-State Academic Team – Top Award given by IHSA – 13 male and 13 female high school senior  athletes are selected each year, plus 50 honorable mentions.  Nominees must possess a 3.5/4.0 GPA, participate in at least 2 sports or activities for two years, and demonstrate outstanding citizenship.

•All State – competed at the Illinois State level in at least one sport.

•West Suburban Conference All-Conference—selected by WSC coaches.

•West Suburban Conference All-Academic – Participated in a varsity level sport, with at least a 3.0 GPA.



Illinois State Scholars 

Designation granted to the top 10% Illinois senior high school students. Students must be in the top 50% of their class after six semesters and score in the top 95% on either the ACT or SAT test. Specific criteria are detailed on the Illinois State Scholar website.


Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy and Commendation toward Biliteracy  

Students must meet standards in English on an accredited standardized test, such as the ACT or SAT, as well as demonstrate that they have developed a proficiency level of Intermediate, High, or Advanced in all four domains of the target language (interpersonal speaking, presentational writing, interpretive listening, and reading). The Seal is affixed to students’ high school diplomas and is listed on their transcripts. Students must demonstrate proficiency on the ACTFL's Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL) exam.  Starting in 2017-18, a memo will be added to transcripts of students who qualify for the Seal, so it is noted in time for Early Decision or Early Action college applications.


 Lois Hammerschmidt Awards

Awarded in memory of a beloved District 205 teacher to a senior student in each academic subject area in May of each year: Art, Business, English, FCS, Industrial Tech, Math, Performing Arts, PE, Science, Social Studies, Student Services and World Languages.


National Honor Society 

Juniors and seniors with a 3.5 Grade Point Average and above are invited to apply for NHS. Nominees prepare an application (submitted in the fall) that must include service activities, service hours and signatures of the responsible party. Induction is typically held in early November. It is very helpful for students to begin tracking service hours in freshman year. Additionally, students should develop leadership skills in a leadership position during their sophomore year.  Successful applicants demonstrate excellence in Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character. This is an active society and students must continue service hours to remain in good standing.  A list of inductees can be found here on the Academic Boosters web site.


National Merit   Finalists, Semifinalists & Commended Students, and National Hispanic Recognition

York junior students who take the PSAT/NMSQT in the fall may qualify for the competition. Mathematics and Reading, Writing/Language skills are tested. Scores are reported on a scale of 160 to 760, on each test. A perfect score would be 1520. Results are reported in December. In September of senior year, students nationwide are notified of recognitions. Semifinalists may submit an application to become Finalists by October of senior year. They also must register for and take the SAT before December of senior year (NMSC urges students not to wait until December). Finalists may be awarded a National Merit Scholarship.


  National Technical Honor Society

Recognize junior and seniors who have achieved excellence in Industrial Tech and Family and Consumer Sciences coursework. Students may be eligible for national scholarships.





National Chinese, French, Italian and Spanish Honor Societies

These groups recognize foreign language students who have received A’s in all Honors level language classes and not less than B’s in all other classes.  World Languages Honor Societies hold induction ceremonies in the spring. View a current list of York student members and an overview of eligibility on the PTSA-AB website.


President’s Awards for Educational Excellence and Educational Achievement 

These awards recognize seniors and consider Grade Point Average, specific school criteria and performance on either the ACT or SAT. The Education Achievement award also considers growth and effort.


Academic Recognition

Commencement photos, ceremony programs and videos for the recent graduating class can be found at york.elmhurst205.org > Parent Resources > Class of 20nn




 Awards Night:  Academic -- including Illinois State Scholars & National Merit Scholars,  Athletic, Citizenship, Department, and Lois Hammerschmidt Award-winning students are recognized at this May 2nd evening ceremony. Visit the PTSA Academic Boosters web site to see the honorees: york.elmhurst205.org/ABaaAwards

 NHS Induction: New and returning National Honor Society students are honored at a November evening ceremony each year. See above for more.  Also see the NHS club page under Clubs and Organizations.

Scholarship Night: Students awarded external scholarships by local foundations and groups (i.e. PTA Council, Lion’s Club, Elmhurst Memorial Hospital) are honored at a April 23rd evening reception.

 World Languages Honor Societies hold induction ceremonies in the spring of each year.

Student of the Month :  Each York department selects one student to be recognized each month based on criteria such as improvement, service to others, attitude, etc. Students and their family members are invited to attend an honor breakfast.  Visit the PTSA Academic Boosters web site to see the honorees: york.elmhurst205.org/ABStudentofMonth


In addition to events, York recognizes academic excellence and growth in the following ways:

Honor Roll:  Communicated via email to families in January and June.  District 205 publishes honor roll names by class in the Elmhurst Independent.

National Merit Scholars:  These students are recognized over York Announcements’ public address system, and their photos are hung in a gallery near the school entrance.


Lanyard Recognition:  Students are recognized by their teachers for intra-semester academic growth with a pin for their lanyard.  This may be homework completion, participation, an improved grade, effort, or other marker. 






York sponsors 32 athletic teams, including 2 Special Olympics teams.  On-line registration, payment of the appropriate fee (varies by sport), and a physical exam must be completed before the first day of practice/tryouts for all York Athletic teams.  Uniform costs are often additional. Student athletes must be enrolled in and passing five classes to participate.  Most teams have a parent email group.  Each York Athletic Sports team has its own page on the York Website:  York.elmhurst205.org > Athletics > Team Pages, or click here.


All students involved in athletics and competitive extra-curricular activities sign the Code of Conduct at registration.  They are expected to follow the rules and guidelines stated in the York Student Handbook.


Of the 32 teams at York, the following are “no cut” sports:


•Boys and Girls Cross Country

•Boys and Girls Swim/Dive

•Boys Tennis


•Girls Bowling

•Boys and Girls Track

•Boys and Girls Water Polo

•Boys Freshman and Girls Freshman Lacrosse



York competes in the West Suburban Silver Conference.

Teams in our conference include: 

•Downers Grove North

•Glenbard West

•Hinsdale Central

•Lyons Township

•Oak Park/River Forest

•Proviso West



IHSA Sports – are governed by the Illinois High School Association. 

Information may be found at:   http://www.ihsa.org


York Athletic Boosters is a parent volunteer organization that raises funds to support the York athletic department.  The YAB annual fundraiser is called the Green Scene.  For more information, see their website:  https://york.elmhurst205.org/yboosters









York offers several courses that teach practical skills. As a parent, you may order goods and/or services from the following York micro-businesses:


 Automotive Shop

Offers a wide range of services for York faculty and friends. Students enrolled in the York Auto Tech courses and members of the York Auto Club, with instructor supervision, offer services throughout the year. This program has been a tremendous success over the years and we have serviced over 200 faculty vehicles, both foreign and domestic. Services listed below, but others as requested may be available. To schedule or for more information, please email Mr. Ronald Robak rrobak@elmhurst205.org


     OIL CHANGE SERVICE (every 3 months or 3,000 miles) includes a courtesy check of all fluids, belts, & hoses.

     PREVENTIVE MAINTANENCE ANALYSIS (PMA) 52 point complete visual vehicle inspection.

     BRAKE SYSTEM SERVICE (cost varies by job performed & vehicle) inspect brake system & hydraulics, replace pads & shoes, re-surface rotors & drums.

     COOLING SYSTEM SERVICE (2yrs or 30,000 ml) cooling system performance check, check all belts & hoses, flush and fill cooling system. *Sealers extra.

     SPARK PLUG MAINTANENCE REPLACEMENT (Minor electrical Tune-Up) Replace spark plugs, inspect ignition wires, fuel filter, air filter, performance check battery, starting & charging system & emission controls. *Fuel, Air Filters, Ignition Wires, & OBD components are extra.

     A/C PERFORMANCE CHECK A/C system performance check & inspect system for leaks. *Freon replacement based on market price.

     VEHICLE WASH AND DETAIL (Option 1) Hand wash vehicle, vacuum interior, clean windows (Option 2.) Hand wash, wax & machine buffed, vacuum interior, shampoo floor mats, clean windows, armor-all interior.


Vehicles may need to be left overnight to complete some services.

LaBrigade Restaurant, Bakery and Catering Service 

Located in room A126 and staffed by students enrolled in the Food and Restaurant Management class at York High School.  To make a reservation, schedule a function, or more information please email labrigade@elmhurst205.org or visit york.elmhurst205.org > Family & Consumer Sciences > La Brigade Restaurant


Services include:

     Open Luncheons (by reservation) during York lunch periods listed below on specific offered dates (usually once or twice a month. Check the website for dates, times, menus or get on the e-mail distribution list to get notices of upcoming lunches. Only cash and checks accepted.

o     5th period

o     6th period

     Private Luncheons (by arrangement) during York lunch periods. La Brigade can accommodate groups from 20-35.

     Catering: Made to order items. Schedule fills up quickly so contact for availability, and pricing!

     Dinner “to-go”: As the schedule permits, La Brigade periodically offers a popular “La Brigade at home—dinner to go” promotion. Reservations are required, and menus and reservation forms are distributed via email.

     LaBrigade Cookbooks:  LaBrigade sells cookbooks featuring all their recipes from each year. Email LaBrigade@elmhurst205.org to purchase.


Also see online: bit.ly/LaBrigadeYORK


Little Dukes Preschool 

Little Dukes Preschool is staffed by students enrolled in Child Development, with instructor supervision. The curriculum includes art projects, storytelling, supervised learning centers, and coordinated games and lessons. Operates three days/week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) for 13-weeks from early February – early May. The program is open to children between the ages of 3 - 5 who are toilet trained. More information at

york.elmhurst205.org > Family & Consumer Sciences > Little Dukes Preschool


 Print Shop

Students enrolled in Advanced Graphic Production, under instructor supervision, prepare and produce shirts and other printed materials for student groups and District 205 events. Examples of items produced: business cards, printed tee shirts, printed sweatshirts, posters, window decals, multi-copy receipt forms, and printed envelopes. Prices for printing services vary depending on the work requested. For more information, please contact Mr. Joseph Stolz III, jstolz@elmhurst205.org


 Specialty Items from Transition Center

The York Transition Center is located off-site, at 324 N. York Rd. This program, mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), provides services for eligible students between ages 18 – 21. As part of the program, students make and sell various items. Contact Jill Mueller, jmueller@elmhurst205.org, (630) 617-8001.









Academic Boosters (PTSA-AB): A committee of the York Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) dedicated to raising school and community awareness of academic achievement at York High School.

See york.elmhurst205.org/welcometoacademicboosters


ACT: College entrance exam typically taken in junior year or fall of the senior year. www.act.org The ACT is no longer administered by York. It has been replaced by the SAT for spring administration to all Juniors.


Advanced College Project (ACP) through Indiana University.  Begun in 2015, York is the first Illinois high school to partner with Indiana University through its ACP.  Accepted students may earn IU college credits for grades while completing York courses.  All ACP courses are taught by York teachers who hold adjunct lecturer status with Indiana University.  All ACP courses earn York honors credit.  IU college credit (no grades) is transferable to most major universities.  Students should verify transferability with any potential college or university they plan to attend upon graduation from York.  Eligible students need a 2.7 GPA and must complete an application.  The college credits for ACP classes have a cost per “credit hour”.  For current ACP offerings at York, visit the digital coursebook ACP page in the Dual Credit section of the coursebook. 


Announcements:  Daily school announcements are read during 2nd period each day.  However, you may receive the announcements via email.  Sign up for this option through PowerSchool.  You have the option of receiving the announcements daily, weekly or monthly.  It is a good way to stay in touch with happenings at York.


AP (Advanced Placement): indicates a course that is at college level. Students taking AP courses are exposed to a high level of academic rigor to explore what college courses are like and to better prepare for college. York students enrolled in AP classes take a standardized exam (fee required) to potentially earn transferable college credit. See http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc for more information.


AP (Assistant Principal): York has three assistant principals, handling Curriculum and Instruction, Student Services, and Student Activities and Finance; each with a different role. See York Administration web page.


AP Capstone Program:  A two-year commitment.  Students enroll in AP Seminar the first year, and AP Research the second year.  Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in these classes will receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.  If students also receive a score of 3 or higher on four additional AP exams, they will receive the AP Capstone Diploma. 


Athletic Boosters: A group of York parents and community members dedicated to supporting athletics at York by raising funds, cheering on teams, and much more. See http://york.elmhurst205.org/yboosters


Career Cruising:  An online program with career assessments, as well as college and career research tools. Freshmen receive a password and access code and learn to utilize this, as well as Naviance, in Freshman Orientation and Guidance.


CCRC (College and Career Resource Center): Planning center available to York students to assist them in preparing for life after high school. See http://york.elmhurst205.org/CCRC


Common App: The Common Application (informally known as the Common App) is an undergraduate college admission application that applicants may use to apply to any of 517 member colleges and universities in 47 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.


Dean: The Deans develop and implement policies to ensure proper student conduct, safety, and health. Deans monitor attendance, discipline students and communicate regularly with Student Services to resolve conflicts to ensure adequate academic progress. They supervise student activities, participate on school committees, and evaluate teachers as assigned by the Principal.


Drama Boosters: A parent committee dedicated to supporting York drama productions. For more information see Becky Marianetti, York Choir Director.


Dual credit: Some courses at York offer both high school credit and college credit through the College of DuPage, or Indiana University.


Duke Decision Day: Annual York event held on or around May 1st to celebrate seniors’ symbolic commitment to the university of their choice.


Enriched:  Identifies the highest level of honors math. See York course guide, math department pages, for course sequences and descriptions of enriched courses.


Fair Share: To raise funds for the many programs and events that the PTSA sponsors, families are requested to make an annual donation in lieu of fundraisers (about $25 per student).


Fine Arts Week: Annual spring celebration at York. Students attend various events, which show case student art, music and theatre performances as well as performances by outside groups. Events are held during school.


5 Essentials Survey: The Illinois 5 Essentials Survey identifies five indicators that lead to important student outcomes, including improved attendance and larger test score gains. The five indicators that positively affect school success are: Effective Leaders. Collaborative Teachers, Involved Families, Supportive Environment, and Ambitious Instruction.  All district schools throughout Illinois, including alternative schools that fall under the district’s domain, are required by legislation to participate in the survey at least every other year. For York’s 2014 survey results visit https://illinois.5-essentials.org/2014_public/s/190222050260003/


Freshman Orientation and Guidance (FOG): All freshmen participate in a curriculum led by York staff and counselors during half of their lunch periods for the first semester of 9th grade. Topics include study tips, planning your 4 years at York and more. For more information visit http://york.elmhurst205.org/counseling


Freshman Mentors: Part of a comprehensive transition program for freshmen. Mentors, selected via an application, play a role in guiding freshmen through the FOG student-focused curriculum. Mentors attend training sessions and receive .5 credit for successful completion of a full semester of service. See http://york.elmhurst205.org/cms/page_view?d=x&piid=&vpid=1279762916708


Honors “Bump”: Courses that have an “honors” designation, “enriched honors” designation, and Advanced Placement designation carry with them a .20 added weight for grades of A, B or C. For example, a student with two honors classes and four regular classes who has earned a grade of B in every course would have a GPA of 3.40 (6x3/6 gives an average of 3.0. Add .20 for each of the two honors classes).


Indiana University ACP: Advanced College Project through Indiana University.  Begun in 2015, York is the first Illinois high school to partner with Indiana University through its ACP.  Accepted students may earn IU college credits while completing York courses.  All ACP courses are taught by York teachers who hold adjunct lecturer status with Indiana University.  All ACP courses earn York honors credit.  IU college credit (no grades) is transferable to most major universities.  Students should verify transferability with any potential college or university they plan to attend upon graduation from York.  Eligible students need a 2.7 GPA and must complete an application.  ACP classes have fees associated with courses.  To view the current ACP course offerings at York, visit york.elmhurst205.org/ACP 


Instructional Technology Coaches: York employs two full-time Instructional Technology Coaches whose role it is to facilitate student learning through the use of technology. The coaches offer teacher assistance in the areas of problem solving, team teaching, website development, curricular team planning, lesson demonstration, and differentiation support. See their website at: https://sites.google.com/a/elmhurst205.org/yhstech/


Invite to Teach: Juniors and seniors who apply and are accepted, earn credit working in local schools as teaching interns. See Family and Consumer Sciences course descriptions and requirements. http://york.elmhurst205.org/fcs


Java Live: Java Lives are sponsored through Mirrors, a club at York. Events are held in the York Commons. Java Live is an open-mic night for musicians and writers to perform in a coffee-house setting.


La Brigade: Restaurant located at York. Students enrolled in higher-level culinary courses in the Family and Consumer Science Department plan, prepare and serve meals (catering is also offered). Reservations are accepted and charges apply for guests. See  http://york.elmhurst205.org/fcs


Learning Commons: Resources including library, technology, study areas, and academic supports. Located on the second floor of the main C building. Quiet areas, faculty support, group study areas, and more are available before and after school for students to work, receive assistance, and collaborate.


Literacy Coaches: The role of literacy coaches at York is to help teachers infuse literacy into their curriculum. The literacy coaches work as a resource for teachers, assisting them with literacy development and literacy strategies with the goal of facilitating student achievement within content-specific curriculum. The coaches do not alter curriculum. Rather, they help teachers add activities to help students become more engaged and to understand topics/readings most fully.


Little Dukes Preschool: The Little Dukes preschool is staffed by second semester students enrolled in Child Development through the Family and Consumer Sciences Department. Open to children ages 3 and 4 from the local community. The curriculum focuses around play-based learning. See http://york.elmhurst205.org/fcs


Lunch Labs: Some courses require student activity during half lunch –i.e. many AP science courses and music. See course offering book for specific requirements. Students interested in Student Council (which also meets over lunch) may find a conflict with lunch-lab course requirements.


Master Schedule: Refers to the computer-generated schedule of all York courses offered during a year including available times, instructor assignments, and class sizes.  The Master Schedule is impacted by many complex variables.


Math Lab: The Math Lab is a place where students can do math homework and get help if needed. It is located in room A263 on the second floor math hallway of the “A” building (Academic building). It is staffed by math teachers on Monday thru Thursday from 7:00AM – 4:15PM and on Friday from 7:00AM – 3:06PM. See York’s Math Department website.


Mirrors: Mirrors is a club at York High School that produces an annual magazine compiled of student prose, poetry, artwork, and photography. Mirrors also sponsors a number of open mic nights, called Java Live, in the York Commons. Java Live is a night for musicians and writers to perform in a coffee-house setting. http://york.elmhurst205.org/Mirrors

Mobile Learning Implementation (MLI): MLI is a D205 program wherein each student in grades 6 through 12 will have access to a computer in every class (1:1 computing).  The computing technology for MLI is the Dell Chromebook. York students will purchase their own Chromebook and take it home with them daily. MLI represents the move to provide digital resources and learning opportunities to D205 students and ongoing professional learning for D205 teachers. See the District 205 website for further information:  https://sites.google.com/a/elmhurst205.org/d205-mli-parent-information/home


National Merit Finalists, Semifinalists & Commended Students, and National Hispanic Recognition Students

Determined by the National Merit Board and based on PSAT/NMSQT test results taken in the fall of junior year. The test can help earn scholarship dollars and is good prep for the spring SAT. Find more information in the Testing section above.


Naviance: Naviance Family Connection is an online software program that allows parents and students to access college and career information. Students can perform detailed searches of colleges and universities, research scholarships, complete questionnaires useful for college and career planning. Students at York receive unique password and user information to access the system. Naviance is also the vehicle for requesting transcripts and letters of recommendation that are sent directly to colleges. Parents may request family login credentials.  Ask your counselor. https://connection.naviance.com/family-connection/auth/login/?hsid=ychsil


PE Waivers: If your student meets certain qualifications s/he may qualify for a PE waiver. Please discuss with your student’s counselor.


PowerSchool: Computer-accessed confidential system to access student grades and attendance for grades 6-12. Parents and students have protected passwords.  Please note there is a separate portal for Summer School PowerSchool. (apssummer.elmhurst205.org/)


PSAT (Preliminary SAT): Standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT. Tests math problem-solving, and reading/language/writing skills. See the chapter on Testing  and National Merit Scholars program.


PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association): PTSA supports student and teacher activities including the National Honor Society reception, teacher appreciation week events, senior scholarships, school dances, produces the school directory, provides a forum for parent information meetings, and helps sponsor school-wide speakers, among other things.


Rubric: Rubrics help teachers communicate expectations and evaluate student performance by setting out specific criteria. Narrative descriptions outline expectations for the highest level of performance and progress to the lowest. Each level describes degrees of proficiency.


SAT: The SAT is a college admissions test and is still the most popular test with colleges and universities on both the east and west coasts (https://sat.collegeboard.org/home). York administers the SAT in the spring to all Juniors as part of state-mandated testing regimen.


SAT Subject Tests: College Board also offers SAT Subject tests, which are required by some colleges and some majors within colleges. SAT Subject Tests are one-hour multiple-choice tests that, like the SAT, are designed to assess your child’s academic readiness for college. SAT Subject Tests focus on very specific subject areas within the general categories of English, History, Math, Science and World Languages.


Seal of Biliteracy: The Seal is affixed to students’ high school diplomas and is explicitly listed on their transcripts. To be awarded this distinction, students must meet standards in English on an accredited standardized test, such as the ACT or SAT, as well as demonstrate that they have developed a proficiency level of Intermediate, High, or Advanced in all four domains of the target language (interpersonal speaking, presentational writing, interpretive listening, and reading). Students must demonstrate proficiency on the ACTFL's Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL) exam.


Singleton: A class that is only offered one period per day (i.e. only one section). Singletons may restrict flexibility in student scheduling. For example, band, orchestra, choir, advanced dance, perhaps some AP foreign languages, among others are singletons. If your student is interested in more than one singleton, additional scheduling difficulties may occur and a student may have to make a choice if both are offered the same period.


Standards Based Grading: Standards-based grading measures student knowledge of course content over time by reporting the most recent, consistent level of performance against specific course standards (i.e., making a claim, presenting evidence in an argument).


STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math): References courses and careers in related fields. STEM careers are expected to be high growth over the next decades.


Student Advisory Council: Student group convened monthly by York administration to hear from students about issues facing York students.


Student Council: Twelve members from each class (application process in February) serve students, as well as represent students to the York administration and to District 205. Student Council participation helps to train students in leadership and service. Student Council is considered a class and members receive a quarter of a credit per semester (Not counted in students' GPA). Members meet four days a week, during the first half of a predetermined lunch period (which may conflict for students enrolled in courses requiring lunch labs or rehearsals). See Student Council webpage (access via york.elmhurst205.org > clubs/activities > clubs and organizations) for more information and application form.


Student Tech Services HelpDesk:  Student staffed repair site for all Chromebooks and other devices.  Open at 7:15 a.m. (at 8:30 a.m. on late arrival Wednesdays), during the first 20 minutes of non-lunch class periods, during all lunch periods and until 3:30 p.m. 


Technology Services Internship:  Students staff the TSI HelpDesk, repair Chromebooks, and earn certifications.  Applications for this internship are available on the Technology and Applied Arts website.  This internship is not paid, but students can earn credit.


York Advisory Team: Student-faculty-parent team convened monthly to discuss strategic planning initiatives at York. YAT meets the first Monday of every month, in the evening.  Freshmen may apply at the end of freshman year for openings during the sophomore year.


York Ambassadors: Student volunteers who help transition and support transfer students or students new to District 205. Ambassadors are also trained in peer mediation to help resolve conflicts between students in a constructive manner. Applications are available through the Counseling Department.


York-hi: York’s Newspaper. Credit bearing class or club opportunity available– see English Department and course guide for more information.


York Music Boosters/YMPA (York Music Parents Association): Parent group dedicated to supporting music at York. The group helps raise funds for summer music camp scholarships, distributes uniforms, organizes post-concert receptions and facilitates student music-related trips and activities. http://york.elmhurst205.org/YMB


York Profile: Two page overview of York HS academics, demographics, etc., pertaining to the requirements of the current senior class, which is sent to post-secondary institutions with your student’s official transcript.  It can be accessed from the York webpage.


YSET (York Student Enrichment Team): Established by parents, administrators and faculty in the District 205 community, YSET was formed in the summer of 2011 to assist financially challenged families with course fees, book fees, and extracurricular fees.


Y’s Tales: York’s yearbook. Credit bearing class – see English Department and course guide for more information.


YTV: York’s broadcasting station. YTV broadcasts the daily announcements which are prepared and produced and presented by students. Credit bearing class – see English Department and course guide for more information.


Zero Hour P.E.: The hour before first period begins. Credit may be offered for specific zero hour PE activity associated with swimming (lap swim, lifeguard) during this time. Inquire with the PE Department or look in the Course Offering book. 








•Awards Night:  Partnered with Athletic Boosters to host and provide refreshments and food for the reception before this event (fourth year).


•Academic Boosters Website:  Fantastic communication tool which has spurred increased communication about York academic successes, academically- oriented club successes and York individual student academic successes.


•Career Day: Academic Boosters worked with York Counseling on the second annual Spring 2018 Career Day for Freshmen and Sophomores in April.  Keynote speeches, activities and a career fair in the Commons were among the day’s events.


•Clarence D. East Award:  Worked with the Athletic Director to reinstate this award in Spring 2015, to honor academic and athletic success in graduating seniors.  Students were recognized for a fourth year in Spring 2018.


•Life After York Q&A:  For the 5th year, hosted parent-to-parent roundtable discussions to share tips about approaching the college search, application and scholarship process.  Over 100 parents attended, with “expert” volunteers staffing the tables.


•Duke’s Decision Day:  In partnership with the York CCRC, helped host the eighth annual senior event.  PTSA Academic Boosters provided parent volunteer support, distributed pens to seniors to mark the occasion, helped with thermometer of scholarships and helped seniors pin their post-high school decisions on a map.


•Happy Fall Testing Day: For the third year, students were greeted on all-school testing day with treats and an encouraging smile.


•8th Grade Activity Night:  Hosted 7th year of York’s Amazing Race which promoted the diversity of clubs at York, including academic clubs; offered a raffle of York Spirit wear to participants; handed out MMY Guide.


•International Manufacturing Technology Show: 400 York Physics students, accompanied by York staff and PTSA and Academic Booster parent chaperones, attended the bi-annual IMTS at McCormick Place on September 17th, 2016 to get a flavor of the application of physics in real life and in careers.


•Graduation Recognition:  Gold Honor cords were distributed to and worn by York’s top academic graduates whose GPA placed in the top 5% of all graduates (6th year).


•Honor Roll:  The 2-tiered honor roll continues. York sent notification emails to all parents acknowledging honor roll status. The honor roll was posted on the York website.


•Making the Most of York (MMY): Parent Guide:  Academic Boosters’ signature guidebook.  Updated with new material for every school year, distributed over 500 copies at Open House as well as at 8th grade activity night.  The guide is also posted online.


•Programs:  Hosted Administration, Department Chairs, and District Leadership for a variety of presentations and discussions throughout the year.  Academic Boosters published summaries of each program in the PTSA newsletter which is emailed to each member family at York.  Summaries were published in both English and Spanish.


•Lanyard Recognition Program: Introduced in the fall of 2018, this program focuses on recognizing academic growth and success during a semester, with a star that can be to be pinned onto a student’s ID lanyard.



Academic Boosters (PTSA-AB) is the academic advocacy committee of the York PTSA, spotlighting those York clubs and PTSA events/activities which are academically-oriented.


By developing parent guidebooks, online tools, and organizing monthly PTSA-AB presentations

by York faculty and administration, PTSA-AB offers ALL parents a terrific way to learn about

the amazing environment at York, and how to navigate and balance the many academically

rich opportunities for their child.

Para leer la guía en español, haga clic aquí