Forest Ridge District 142 includes four schools within Oak Forest: Ridge Early Childhood Center, G. Kerkstra…More Elementary, Lee R. Foster Elementary and Jack Hille Middle School.
The district has approximately 1,700 students enrolled currently. Its schools accommodate children from early childhood development at Ridge School, through eighth grade at Hille Middle School. Its roots date back to one original schoolhouse built in 1863, that stood until 1880 when it replaced with the one-room schoolhouse Stone School. Earliest enrollment numbers record 28 students at that location.
The administration is led by Superintendent Dr. Margaret Longo, with a Board of Education. The Board meets the third Tuesday of every month, at 7 p.m.
One of Forest Ridge School District 142's four schools, G. Kerkstra focuses on a portion of the district's first-…More through fifth-grade student population. It was the district's second school to open, in 1962.
Located at 149th Street and Laramie Avenue, Kerkstra educates 402 students; 33 of those participate in the district's special education co-ops.
The school prides itself on an environment that promotes respectful, open, friendly and caring attitudes in its well-rounded students. Students are also eligible for the STAR program (Students' Talents and Abilities are Recognized). The program is designed to identify students who have mastered areas of the regular curriculum. Those students then are encouraged to participate in small group classes, special activities and projects.
Staff members also engage students in character education programs throughout the year. For more information on Kerkstra, visit the school's website.
Jack Hille is one of four schools within Forest Ridge School District 142.
Currently, 566 students in grades…More five through eight attend. Under the guidance of Principal Courtney Orzel, the school's 45 teachers provide a middle school education. The school's mission, according to the Web site, is to "provide every student an opportunity to master grade level skills and achieve his or her highest potential." The faculty also hopes to empower the students to love learning and remain active participants in the learning process throughout their lives.
The school's music program is well-known in the area and popular within the school; nearly 50 percent of the student population participates in band, choir or other aspects of the music program.
The school also offers clubs and extracurriculars for students. Art club, bowling club, computer club and energy ambassador club are just a few. For a full list of clubs and sports, see the school's Web site.