On behalf of the faculty, staff, and administration at Maine South, welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! As we look to the future for our students with enthusiasm and excitement, the importance of a positive beginning to the school is paramount. We look forward to getting to know our new students, challenging our current students, and supporting our class of 2019 as they make important decisions about their futures. Here is a brief highlight and update to what’s new this year:
- Construction on the remodeling of the school will begin sometime in March. I will have updates during 2nd cup of coffee and any other parent events on what’s happening and we will host tours of the construction site once it kicks off.
- There is more and more evidence that the use of cell phones is having negative impacts on learning. Therefore, we are taking a school-wide approach to cell phone usage where students will have to place their device in a classroom pouch when they arrive to each class. Teachers have discretion for when and if students might retrieve their phones during class. Last year, we piloted this in many classrooms and it’s a common protocol in many high schools that has proven effective. There is also growing research on the impact cell phones have on mental health for adolescents which you know is something I am very concerned about as a principal.
- We are rebranding our Hawk P.R.I.D.E. framework to stand for Purposeful, Resilient, Inclusive, Dependable, and Engaged. A group of parents, students, and staff met through last year to work on that and you’ll be hearing more in the future.
- Our required intruder drill is on Friday, August 16th. This is now an annual drill for all public schools in Illinois. I will have a separate direct email to all of you on Wednesday, August 14th about safety.
- The first day also brings a very busy drop-off situation at the front entrance. Every year there are very long lines of cars waiting to pull in because of the number of arrivals occurring at once. Please plan accordingly and remember that you may drop off your student at the District 207 office (corner of Dee and Devon), where they have a two-minute walk to South.
- We hope you will take a look at our vast calendar of events in fine arts, athletics, civics, and other service-oriented clubs. Our students excel in every aspect of life, and their unique talents and abilities are always on display at the highest levels. We look forward to seeing you at a future event!
- Freshman parents: Please attend the New Parent Boot Camp (even if you’ve had a student at South before)!! We spend time preparing you for the year and previewing what’s coming and what’s new. Sign up on the website here.
I look forward to serving you and your students as we begin a successful school year.
Dr. Ben Collins