New teacher representatives confirmed, update on symbol search and more at October LSC meeting

Lane Tech LSC representatives meet during their October meeting.

Alex Burstein

Lane Tech LSC representatives meet during their October meeting.

By Alex Burstein, Editor-in-Chief

With a camera broadcasting from the side of Room 113, the Lane Local School Council (LSC) met on Thursday, Oct. 22, for their October meeting. The meeting was live streamed because their last meeting was held in-person with no virtual options and the LSC  received complaints about having no online way to watch their September meeting. The meeting had several components different from recent sessions, with the return of resolutions, representatives from many major Lane organizations and the return of teacher representatives. Student Representative Dayana Bautista was the only absent member. From updates of the Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA) to the removal of the LSC Facebook page, the meeting featured lots of new information. Here’s a full recap:   NEW MEMBERS The September LSC meeting was missing two key roles — teacher representatives. After Teacher Representatives Katharine Gomez and Daniel Law resigned from the LSC over the summer, the LSC found trouble getting applicants to replace them. But, an election to get new representatives was held on Oct. 15. There were only two candidates, Rebecca Daly and Mario Nunez, so both automatically won. Daly got 80 teacher votes and Nunez got 84. Before the LSC voted to officially approve the two new members, LSC Chairperson Emily Haite talked about how important she thinks it is to have teacher voice on the council. The LSC unanimously voted to approve both Daly and Nunez.   RESOLUTIONS The LSC brought back resolutions after not having them for the past year due to the pandemic. Parent Representative Benjamin Wong presented them.   Principal Edwina Thompson The first resolution was for Thompson in honor of Principal Appreciation Month. Wong thanked Thompson for helping all students succeed. “Ms. Thompson is responsible for promoting education and building relationships with parents and teachers to ensure that each student receives services that allow them to excel in the classroom,“ Wong said in a speech.   Michael Smith Lane’s head of security was honored for his actions during Lane’s football game on Oct. 15. Smith was informed a Lane student had passed out in the stands and then helped the student and went to the hospital in the ambulance. “Mr. Smith’s heroic actions played a crucial role in saving the student’s life,” Wong said in a speech.   Natalie Cortes The final resolution was for 2021 Lane graduate Cortes, who was an Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association (IWCOA) state champion. Cortes was the first Chicago Public League girl to win a IWCOA state series title. “Ms. Cortes has added her name to and enhanced the legacy of Lane Tech as the School of Champions,” Wong said in a speech.   PUBLIC PARTICIPATION  Lisa Applebaum complimented the school on their curriculum night. She also asked what would be discussed in old business, as the agenda didn’t indicate it. Haite said she received emails about livestream access for the meeting beforehand. She also received two emails about The Champion’s Student Online Personal Privacy Act (SOPPA) problems. Haite said she has no answers.   REPORTS Principal Thompson split her speech into five parts based on different competencies. In Competency A, she discussed SOPPA, and made clear it is not that Lane doesn’t have the money to pay, but companies aren’t approved. Competency B regarded guaranteed learning systems. Thompsons mentioned examples such as Alpha seniors mentoring underclassmenand administrators doing walkthroughs of classrooms to help teachers. Competency C was about college and career readiness. Thompson said she had a group of stressed parents in her office the day before with college deadlines approaching. She also said the University of Illinois is doing a Latinx presentation at Lane. In Competency D, Thompson discussed how Curriculum Night was highly successful, with 207 of 241 staff members at the virtual event. The staff members who were there will have time off on Nov. 5, a non-attendance day for students. Additionally, Thompson said she’s working on a welcoming video for open house, where they have 100 student volunteers. Competency E was about valuing and accepting. Thompson mentioned how it is breast cancer awareness month, mental health awareness month and energy awareness month. She said the Student Voice Committee did a dating violence awareness lesson during advisory, and a video on it was sent out to parents.   Professional Personnel Leadership Committee (PPLC) At LSC meetings, the teacher representatives will report on the PPLC. Since the teacher representatives were just approved at the meeting, Thompson said she will work with the new representatives about the PPLC.   Friends of Lane (FOL)  A representative from FOL gave a brief report. She said that Friends of Lane had donated a lunch from restaurant Smoque to the administration for principal appreciation month. Additionally, she talked about the group’s golf outing held this past weeked. The representative said FOL’s Annual Appeal is up and running, which helps pay for major projects and school needs at Lane. According to the representative, FOL is still looking for volunteers for the open house and for people to help with the spirit store. She ended her presentation stating the teacher grant application was moved from the spring to the fall, and teachers can now request up to $750, up from $500. Already 20 applications had come in. FOL’s next meeting will be on Nov. 1, focusing on college planning year by year.   Alumni Association Alumni Association President Michelle Weiner gave this month’s Alumni Association report. She reported that the association’s scholarship program awarded $184,500 to 24 students in early June. Also in June, Samantha Quinones, a 2008 Lane grad, started as the association’s director. This summer the association’s offices flooded, so they have been digitizing their collection as they dry out the archives, Weiner said. According to Weiner there will be two new groups starting in 2022 for the Alumni Association, the NextGen group, which is looking for alumni 21 years and older and Varsity Coffee Hours, for older alumni who may not have many classmates still alive. The association assisted with four reunions this fall, including showing a virtual tour of the school Weiner said. They also had their first in-person event of the year on Sept. 3, a golf outing. Five days later, on Sept. 8, there was a plaque dedication to celebrate the 50th anniversary of women at Lane. The association is also hosting a virtual discussion series to commemorate the anniversary. The deadline for teacher grants was last Friday, and the association also hosted a drive through food pantry drop off for the student food pantry. Weiner concluded her report talking about the City Lights and Sights events on Nov. 23, and said the effort to dedicate the field at Lane Stadium after Fritz Pollard is ongoing. They are currently surveying students with the goal to kick off design and fundraising during the winter.   NEW BUSINESS Check Approvals The LSC approved four checks. The first was $13,549.90 to techline for Texas Instruments-84 calculators for AP math classrooms and take-home use for kids who can’t get one on their own. The second was $178,441.75 to Follett for textbooks. This approval was only given if Lane’s Savice book order is not approved. Currently, the SABIS books are not in stock. Because of request for quotation forms, SABIS books might not be approved until February 2022, and the books won’t get here this school year. Follett does cost $21,000 more than SABIS. The third check was approved for $17,531.91 to CDW which will be used for cameras in AP Photography . This was paid for by student fees. The final check was $17,080 to Pivot, an interactive program used by science classes.   Fundraisers Two fundraisers were approved. Thee first was for the orchestra programs selling cookies and cake through a fundraiser from Oct. 22 to Nov. 9 to support the program The second was for the FOL golf outing to help build community awareness of their organization and raise money on Oct. 23. Clerk Jill Woods, who read the fundraiser and check approvals, said they are only missing 175 family income forms. All the other ones, along with all fee waivers, have been processed. They are trying to get the rest of them by Nov. 1. She also mentioned that the school is currently being audited.   Facebook page The LSC voted unanimously to get rid of their Facebook page. Haite said the LSC doesn’t have a good way to turn off comments on the posts, so they have been trying to hide all comments, but sometimes they miss some comments, which has led to ethics and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) problems. Parent Representative Anne Lokken talked with the CPS Ethics Department, and said it dawned on Lokken they were not being careful enough for the page. Daly said she doesn’t really see why a Facebook page is needed. The LSC still has a permanent page on the Lane Tech website, and agendas are sent out to the community via email, as well as being posted on the school doors.   OLD BUSINESS The LSC continues in their pursuit to find a new symbol for Lane. Haite said that a new committee needs to be formed, as the old one basically fell apart. The goal for the committee is to narrow the choices down to 10-15, send out a survey, then narrow it down to three choices, before surveying the students for a final choice. The exact layout of the new committee is yet to be decided, but the LSC seemed to be leaning towards having Haite, Community Representative Maureen George, Alumni Association President Michelle Weiner, two staff members and two students on the committee. The hope is that at least one of the teachers will be an alum, so that the committee has additional alumni representation on it.   ANNOUNCEMENTS Haite concluded the meeting with a couple of reminders. She reminded everyone of a series of upcoming events, including the football game the next day, the alumni association food drive on Sat., Oct. 23, the fall play from Oct. 27-31, the open house on Oct. 31 and Senior Oktoberfest on Oct. 29. Other dates Haite mentioned were the Cradles to Crayons Coat Drive on Oct. 30, the FOL meeting on Nov. 1 and all the days of non-attendance for students in November (Nov. 5, 11, 18, 25 and 26). The LSC will still have a meeting on Nov. 18, Haite said, the same day as parent-teacher conferences. Parent teacher conferences will have both virtual and in-person options this year, according to Thompson. Thompson also announced that COVID-19 testing has been increased, now to be from 9-3:15 every Tuesday. Parents and staff members can get tested too. The administration is currently collecting the names of staff members who have not submitted any information about vaccines. They are doing an internal survey that Thompson said was going out the next day, seeing if people need help to get the vaccine without being legally allowed to ask if they want to or are planning to get it. Thompson said getting 25% of responses would be huge.