Category Archives: News

Vaccine rollout begins for teachers and administrators

Illustration by Morgan Latko

By Jianelle Ramirez, News Writer

With the approval and distribution of early COVID-19 vaccines beginning in winter of 2020 and early 2021, teachers and school administrators are now able to receive a vaccine under Phase 1B of the national vaccine rollout. 

Although there has been skepticism about the overall safety of students and staff during in-person learning, allowing school staff the opportunity to be vaccinated has inspired hope for a sense of safety and, eventually, normalcy. Continue reading

Updated schedule allows for on-campus lunch, full-day in-person learning

The new cafeteria (formerly the art courtyard) is scheduled to be ready for students next month. In the meantime, students can eat in the old cafeteria, C107, and C101. (Photo by Beth Kosiorek)

By John Biagi, News Editor

On Jan. 19, administrators implemented a new schedule to provide students with two full days of on-campus learning each week. The modified schedule, similar to the schedule from the 2019-2020 school year, adds two lunch periods–one during the first third and one during the last third of the extended seventh and eighth block periods. 

Students will continue to attend in-person classes during their assigned A or B group. However, some less populated classes will combine A and B groups giving students the chance to attend those classes every time they meet.  Continue reading

In-person attendance drops for second round of hybrid

With two minutes left in the passing period before 7th period begins on Dec. 8, the first floor A-wing hall is nearly empty of students.

By John Biagi, Lilli Breshnahan, & Beth Kosiorek, News Editors

The second round of hybrid learning, which began on Nov. 30 and ends on Dec. 11, has seen a decrease in numbers as students returned from Thanksgiving break. 

We had 335 students on campus [Dec. 1] , and for a reference, we had over 500 on Nov. 16,” Dr. Collins said. 

“Being in person, I have noticed the drop in attendance,” junior Audrey Beckman said. I would say at least a third of the students who attended in-person school the first week, have not been here the second week.”  Continue reading

Bus service changes force students to adapt to new commutes

The 240 Pace bus passes by Maine South on its southbound route. Some students have had to find alternate transportation to school due to the new limited schedule. (Photo by Millie Diaz)

By Jessica Beck, Editorial Assistant

Pace Suburban Bus Company temporarily discontinued its school routes to Maine South, Maine East, and Maine West as of Aug. 4. This route change, among others, was implemented in an effort to minimize the number of passengers and maintain social distancing guidelines on buses while meeting the needs of the rest of the community.

This change directly impacts the Maine South community, as many students and staff rely on Pace as their mode of transportation to and from school during a typical school year. Although there has been a much lower demand for transportation to school due to the adoption of the e-learning schedule in August, some have attended for special in-person learning opportunities or for in-person classes after the hybrid schedule began. Continue reading

Contact tracing in D207 helps prevent coronavirus outbreaks

By Jake Snyder, News Writer

(Illustration by Ana Zrnic)

With the global pandemic and having closed schools and businesses for months, increased safety procedures have become necessary to keep everyone healthy. Increased sanitation of desks, masks, and social distancing have all become key methods for combating the virus. One procedure, contact tracing, has become a crucial part of limiting the transmission of the virus at Maine South. Continue reading

Local restaurants struggle with pandemic restrictions

Park Ridge restaurants like Shakou are no longer allowed to have indoor dining. They have recently transitioned to outdoor heated patio dining, carry out, delivery, or curbside pick-up. (Photo by Aly Trunzo)

By Luke Olafsson, News Writer

On October 28, Governor J.B. Pritzker’s new restrictions on restaurants went into effect, requiring reservations and banning inside seating. 

“The situation here in all of Cook County, city and suburbs alike, is bad and it’s getting worse,” Gov. Pritzker said.

According to the CDC, “On-site dining with indoor eating capacity reduced to allow tables to be spaced at least 6 feet apart” is “higher risk,” while indoor seating without social distancing of 6 feet is “highest risk.” Continue reading

V-Show 2020 showcases student talent in online format

by Ella Melcher & Kristen Meyer, Editors-in-chief

Forced to adapt to the circumstances of this year, the Maine South Fine Arts Department is presenting this weekend’s V-show, titled “Go for the Gold,” in an online setting. With help from the WMTH camera crew and other backstage crew members, the V-show has been filmed and will be streamed for the first time ever. 

“There was comfort in the familiarity of the process,” film teacher Mr. Mason Strom said. “This year, we tried to keep the process similar, but had to make certain changes in order to keep it safe for everybody, but also to adapt the show to an online format.” Continue reading

Construction at South progresses despite pandemic

Photo illustration by Millie Diaz/Photos by Emma Crosson

As Maine South in-person instruction came to a halt last year, the construction work continued full steam ahead. With the building vacant, several improvements were made to each part of the school that students will be able to enjoy as in-person learning continues. Southwords got a behind-the-scenes view of our new and improved school, including renovations in the A-wing, the new B-wing, C-wing, V-wing, and athletic departments.  Continue reading

Covering the curriculum can be challenging during remote learning

By Chloe Clark, News Writer

Virtual learning has raised concerns about courses having enough time to cover the entire curriculum, especially AP and dual credit classes. 

E-learning has emphasized the importance of staying on task because it is less efficient than being in person. 

Illustration by Eden Wening

“It’s forced me to really hone in on what you need for the next class,” math teacher Ms. Monique Clark said. “I’ve had to really narrow down and make sure we are just doing what you need to know for the next year.” Continue reading

Virtual Student Support Center modernizes peer tutoring at South

Senior Nelly Hadlaw works in the newly renovated support center. With the support of Ms. Zanfina Muja and Ms. Julianna Cucci, she helped to create a virtual peer tutoring site for students who aren’t able to receive support in the building. (Photo by Aly Trunzo)

By Lilli Bresnahan, News Editor

The Virtual Student Support Center was created this year in order to give students a resource when they are struggling with their classes and need a tutor. Senior Nelly Hadlaw established this program with supervisors Ms. Muja, an English teacher and academic literacy specialist, and Ms. Cucci, the English department chair. Hadlaw’s fellow intern on this project was senior Jordyn Porter.

“As a tutor in the math lab since I was a freshman, that’s something big I was doing at Maine South, and to not be doing it this year, I started thinking of ideas of what we could do to keep it going and implement it,” Hadlaw said. Continue reading