PPLC survey shows students hesitant on some aspects of block scheduling


Alex Burstein

LSC Teacher Representative Mario Nunez presents findings from PPLC block scheduling schedules at the January LSC meeting.

By Alex Burstein, Editor-In-Chief

A new survey conducted by the Lane Professional Personnel Leadership Committee (PPLC) revealed many students of Lane want one aspect of block scheduling, but possibly not the whole schedule.

“It just seems to me from this that the students don’t necessarily want block scheduling, they just want study hall,” LSC Chairperson Laura Symons said after watching a presentation from LSC Teacher Representative Mario Nunez on Jan. 19 at the January LSC meeting.

The results, which were first presented to the PPLC in late December, showed over 81.6% of the 2,937 students who took the survey thought a study hall/period would be an advantage, but 75.2% thought longer class periods per day were a disadvantage.

Teachers were also polled, with 71.2% of 158 teacher respondents saying they were interested in learning more. In a “Key Takeaways” part of the presentation, both subject dependency (“the impact on a math class may look different than a history class,” the presentation read) and adolescent attention spans were listed as common concerns.

The PPLC now plans to send out another survey to the teachers to decide whether to continue pursuing scheduling options or to focus attention on other issues. The PPLC recommends any scheduling changes to the Professional Problems Committee (PPC) and a staff vote on any potential changes would follow in May.

Nunez said any changes would not happen until 2024.

Here’s what else happened at the January meeting:


Purchase Orders and Fundraisers

School clerk Jill Woods had three purchase orders and ten fundraisers for the LSC to approve.

Purchase Orders:

  • $25,070 to Jostens for Graduation Regalia
  • $13,150 to DSM Sports for LTAC uniforms (using CPS/CTU funds)
  • $35,835.44 to Jostens for remaining money for 2022-23 yearbooks


  • Boys and Girls Track and Field Run-A-Thon fundraiser through March 9
  • Girls Basketball fundraiser at Pinot’s Palette
  • Boys Baseball online fundraiser March 1 through April 1 
  • Music winter band concert (fundraising form submitted this month)
  • Girls Basketball booster club Snap Raise fundraiser (already happened)
  • Chorus booster club T-shirts
  • Spring chorus concert (one fundraiser for reserve admission and one for general admission)
  • Chorus winter concert (one fundraiser for reserve admission and one for general admission)

All purchase orders and fundraisers were approved.


Community Surveys

The LSC is responsible for sending out three surveys regarding the school to parents, students and teachers every school year.

The LSC voted to reuse last year’s surveys, with small changes, including the addition of the school mission statement at the top of the survey and changing the wording of the question regarding school climate. Chairperson Symons also will reach out to CPS about adding a possible incentive for people who take the survey.

Symons will lead the teacher survey, while teacher representative Rebecca Daly and student representative Sean Groh will lead the teacher and student surveys, respectively.

The survey will run from Feb. 6 to Feb. 20, with the possibility of extending the deadline by a week if more responses are needed. 


Principal Evaluation

One of the LSC’s top responsibilities is a yearly principal evaluation. The LSC unanimously voted to hold a special meeting for the evaluation in April, though the date is yet to be determined.

Since Symons will not be on the LSC next year, Parent Representative Ben Wong volunteered to help Symons with leading  the evaluation this year to help ease the turnover.


LSC Resolutions

There were three resolutions read by Wong.

Senior football players Finn Merrill (all-city and all-area), Zach Shashoua (all-area) and Casey Joyce (all-city honorable mention) were honored for their post-season awards.

Boys Basketball Head Coach Nicholas LoGalbo got a resolution for being honored as the USA Basketball 3X3 coach of the year. LoGalbo is head coach for the U18 boys and girls 3X3 World Cup teams.

Finally, Boys Bowling was honored for winning back-to-back CPL and IHSA Regional titles.


Principal Report

Principal Edwina Thompson began her report giving thanks to the Senior Natalia Caid, who brought the mercury found in the building to her attention and to the assistant principals who stayed up late with her on video call to sort out the situation. She said that the problem had been completely mitigated. A former Lane teacher was leading the investigation, according to Thompson, and in a message to the school on Friday, Thompson said all areas of the school had been given the all-clear.

Following the mercury update, Thompson, per usual, addressed how Lane is working toward the five CPS framework competencies.

For competency A, Thompson announced the freshman and sophomore off-track rate is very encouraging. Thompson said that for African-American males, one of Lane’s priority groups, only one ninth grader is off-track. Of all sophomores, only 28 are off-track, a low number according to Thompson. 

For competency B, Lane is currently offering 8-week sessions for students based on mental health needs. Students can be recommended for these groups by teachers or parents.

For competency C, Lane recently hosted an alumni fair and has an upcoming college fair. Thompson said that 92.3% of non-cluster program seniors have applied to at least one college.

For competency D, Thompson acknowledged Lane’s recent Alpha science fair and the strength of Lane’s Alpha program.

Finally, for competency E, Thompson said that she is currently discussing with the assistant principals how to use a $12,000 grant that Lane could use on practically anything before June. Thompson gave examples of teacher overtime and funding a mural as possible uses of the grant.


Friends of Lane Report

Second-year FOL board member Susie Hauser delivered a report. She started by mentioning that the annual appeal has raised $320,000 with between 300 and 400 donors. The donations are expected to start tapering off over the next few weeks.

FOL hosted the annual teacher holiday luncheon on Dec. 2, and FOL gave a $25 Amazon gift card to 393 staff members and other custodial staff.

Hauser mentioned that teacher grants of up to $750 have gone out now. There were 57 applications this year, according to Hauser. She closed by saying that the annual Lane parent gala will be on May 5, while the teacher bartender event will also return this spring.


Student Report

Student Representatives Groh and Youmou Lu gave a brief student report. Groh said that SAT prep for Lane juniors gets underway on Jan. 30. Lu said that the Alpha and Omega programs at Lane are currently working on a joint event, and gave an update that Alpha has begun science fair mentoring during Champions Hour.


Alumni Association Report

Lane Tech Alumni Association President Michelle Weiner delivered a brief report. She opened by saying that over 400 winter clothing items were donated in a drive for the Winter Essentials Pop Up Boutique for Lane students.

On the topic of college admissions, Weiner said the Alumni Association is projecting $260,000 in scholarships for seniors this year. The scholarship applications will open April 1, Weiner said. The Alumni Association is also currently funding multiple college bus tours for Lane students.

Weiner wrapped up her report mentioning that the second class of Lane alumni hall-of-famers will be announced soon. She announced that John Chambers, from the class of 1941, will be one of the inductees. Chambers was a pioneering makeup artist who won an Oscar, created the “Star Trek” Spock Ears and assisted the CIA on the Canadian Caper mission before his death in 2001.



The meeting, which was the longest yet this school year as noted by Symons, ended with a note from Thompson that the winter musical, “Matilda,” opens Feb. 8.

The LSC will meet next for their February meeting on Feb. 9.