Category Archives: News

AP tests to be offered digitally

By Tania Stefanov, News Writer

The College Board has recently announced that Advanced Placement (AP) tests will be offered in an online format for the 2020-2021 school year, excluding specific language, math, and science classes. 

Previously, all AP tests were administered at Maine South in a paper and pencil format. This year, many tests will only be offered digitally and students will have the option of taking their digital exams from their homes or from school.

The digital exam schedule has left many students with mixed feelings. 

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2021-22 school year brings a new class schedule

By Molly Shannon, News Writer

On March 30th, the schedule for the 2021-2022 school year was released. The most significant change of this new schedule was the addition of a full week block schedule. Mondays are going to be a full block period day instead of an eight-period day. 

“There were elements of the block that everyone liked from this year and last year,” Dr. Collins said. 

Many teachers and students are enthusiastic about the new schedule.

“I personally am happy about the change as it gives us an extra day to do homework and we won’t have to worry about doing eight periods of work any day,” junior Harry Fogel said. 

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Senior events round out unprecedented year

By Lexi Stacy, Commentary Editor

As graduation approaches, Maine South seniors will have numerous opportunities to celebrate their past four years. The Maine South Senior Class Council’s Instagram posted a list of the main events: Senior Tailgate on May 14, Prom on May 15, the car parade on May 15 at 10 a.m., Senior Honors Night on May 19, Senior Sunset on May 21, and Graduation on May 22. 

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District 207 offers free meals to students

By Gigi Scarpelli, News Writer

As a response to the pandemic, District 207 schools have been offering free meals to students. 

The program is available to all district students and there is no registration or income verification required to qualify for the program. The only requirement to receive these meals is that they must be ordered in advance through the MyMealOrder system the Thursday night before a family intends to pick them up. 

“Families in Park Ridge that have children under the age of 18 are able to pick up pre-packaged meals each week,” Associate Principal Mr. Berendt said.

The program offers seven days of meals for both breakfast and lunch. Families are able to pick up the meals on Monday 2:00 pm-5:00 pm, Wednesday 7:00 am-10:00 am, and Thursday 2:00 pm- 5:00 pm. 

The district is expecting to be fully reimbursed for the costs of the meals through federal funding such as the emergency relief funds and The Seamless Summer Meals plan. There have also been community donations to the program, which amounted to more than $96,700 by the summer of 2020. 

A number of families are taking advantage of this program at Maine South, though there is room for more to sign up.

The program provided 27,091 meals to students in January and 26,195 meals in February, “the number of meals has increased since it’s beginning a year ago,” said Associate Principal Dave Berendt. 

Valentine’s Day cards delivered to senior citizens

(Photo courtesy Mr. Marsicano)

By Tania Stefanov, News Writer

This Valentine’s day, local senior citizens had a smile on their face, thanks to the Maine South Underclass Council. The club organized a card drive, which collected over 175 valentines for nursing homes, including the Summit Square in Uptown Park Ridge. 

After Underclass Council member Mia Mastrolanardo came up with the idea to hold a card drive, the Underclass Council decided to make it a reality.

 “Due to the pandemic, these facilities aren’t letting residents’ loved ones and family visit,” vice-president Juliana Duddles said.

 “We wanted to give them special Valentine’s Day cards to show that we care for them,” said president Jose Cantu. “We believe that with these cards, we can make their day and put a smile on their face.”  Continue reading

Students return to campus

(Photo by Kelly Croke)

By John Biagi, News Editor

Students were allowed back on campus for full days of in-person learning on Jan. 19 after an “adaptive pause” of two weeks of remote learning. Since then, administrators have been developing plans to safely maximize the number of students learning at school. 

“The first week, we had a little less than a quarter of our students coming in, and I think that was really promising,” Associate Principal of HR and Instructional Operations, Dr. Iris Smith said. 

During the week of Jan. 19, a range of 355 to 525 attended in-person classes. Class periods one, two, seven, and eight were the most populated, accommodating between 378 and 525 students during any given class period. Administrators want those numbers to increase. Continue reading

News brief: New Google icon expectations set for second semester

By Emily Keller, News Writer

At the beginning of the semester, an email was sent out to students detailing the new requirements for their Google icon. In the email, Maine South administrators wrote that students’ Google icon should either be the student’s initial or a current image of themselves. Further emphasizing the importance of this memo, during first period on Jan. 5, teachers went over the guidelines for students’ Google icons. 

 In the email sent out by administration, the importance of using the Google icon as a way to show their ‘true identity’ was emphasized. Continue reading

Winter play ‘Puffs’ presented online Feb. 26, 27, and 28

Senior student director Erin Weiss is one of the few people who gets to watch the winter play live in the Watson Auditorium this year. Due to Covid restrictions, the play is being presented online this weekend. (Photo by Aly Trunzo)

By Jenna Marchuk & Andrea Smith, Entertainment Editors

This year’s Winter Play, “Puffs,” will not be performed live, but will instead be available to stream digitally, similar to the Fall Play. Unlike the Fall Play, however, the Winter Play presented unique production restrictions that prevented the play from being filmed like a movie, with many cuts. 

“The filming decision was two fold,” director Mr. Brennan Roach said. “One, we were contractually obligated to shoot the show as a play and not a film because of our agreement with the rights holder. Second, with the school year moving closer to full steam, there are a lot more active projects on the table for WMTH and the broadcasting classes, and it wouldn’t have been equitable to put such a massive undertaking on the table.”  Continue reading

District 207 joins class action lawsuit against Juul Labs

Illustration by Eden Wening

By Emma Crosson, Sports Editor

The District 207 Board of Education unanimously voted on Jan. 4, 2021, in support of a class action lawsuit against Juul Labs, an American electronic cigarette company. Juul Labs is responsible for the production, marketing, sale, and distribution of e-cigarettes and vaping devices.

District 207 is one of over three hundred districts involved in this lawsuit. The lawsuit is being led by the Frantz Law Group in California, and the lawsuit has support from school districts across more than 21 states. Additionally, there is no cost to the district to pursue this lawsuit. Continue reading

District 207 changes graduation requirements

Illustration by Millie Diaz

By Jake Snyder, News Writer

District 207 has made changes to graduation requirements in 2021. The most significant changes are that Communication Arts and Driver’s Ed are no longer required by the district. In addition, a Financial Literacy class is now mandatory for all students.

“We want all students to understand what they want to do beyond high school, and we want them to know how they are going to pay for it and what long-term impact financing their education will have on them,” Mr. Shawn Messmer, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Innovation, said. Continue reading