Stay connected with LTHS. Enjoy this edition of The Porter.

The Show Must Go On!

Putting on a theatrical performance during a pandemic is no small task. This fall the Lockport Theatre Porters Players, though challenged, were undeterred. They set about to produce Shakespeare in the ‘Port: A Shakespearean Comedy Collection, a variety of comedic scenes and monologues from some of William Shakespeare’s best works that shaped modern storytelling. Auditions were done through video submissions. The casting was done to ensure that actors were on the same daily hybrid schedule so that they could rehearse together after school. Rehearsals were done on campus but also by video conferencing.

To ultimately produce Shakespeare in the 'Port, a series of short live performances were strung together. Actors performed for approximately three minutes, four times each, rotating to four locations—the auditorium (before the camera), cafeteria, gym, and the multipurpose room. For this limited event, the audience, comprised of approximately 75 parents mostly, entered through separate entrances and were directed to their assigned, properly distanced seats. Though they wore masks, the Porter Players’ faces were still expressive and their voices clear.

On November 14th, after a bit of video editing, the digital curtains parted for the streaming public performance. The Porter Players presented monologues and scenes in the Elizabethan language with moments of modern-day narration to set the scene. In this time of uncertainty, Shakespeare in the ‘Port certainly provided the audience with the comedic relief everyone needed!  

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Special Education – Coping during Covid

Change is hard. Change can be even harder when you have a disability. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced a lot of change on everyone, but the staff at East Campus serving the Special Education modified program has worked hard to limit the change for students as much as possible. Students in the program have been able to continue to learn on campus four days a week throughout the semester to keep that one variable consistent. Students have core classes with teachers who are happy and excited to continue to work with their students in the classroom. 

Many students in the program had difficulty engaging in online learning during the state’s stay at home order in the spring. Due to those concerns, the Special Education Department began planning for the fall. They reduced class sizes, purchased or constructed plexiglass dividers in classrooms with the valuable assistance of the LTHS maintenance department, and purchased a variety of PPE (KN-95 masks, isolation gowns, and face shields) for students, teachers, and teacher aides who work in these classrooms. Along with these added protections, teachers and teacher assistants continually safeguard students by working with them on social distancing, wearing masks, frequent handwashing, and hand sanitizing.  

Students have also had the opportunity to attend a virtual field trip to the Shedd Aquarium as part of their Science class. Many students have also participated in Special Olympics Club activities such as mindfulness, Yoga class, mini-golf, and individual basketball skills—all physically distanced.  Best Buddies has also held virtual meetings as well as their annual trunk-or-treat event in the school’s parking lot.  In addition to face-to-face classes and activities, teachers and staff have provided remote instruction for students who participate in full-time online classes in the modified program. While not “back to normal,” the LTHS Special Education Department continues to make every effort to provide programming and services to meet the individual needs of all of its students.  

 
LTHS Student Equity Action Committee

Student Equity Action Committee

The Student Equity Action Committee (SEAC) is a newly formed activity that includes both students and staff who work alongside each other to increase cultural literacy and foster a deeper appreciation for diversity at LTHS.  Since August, the group has met every Friday via video conferencing to take action on celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15-10/15), October’s LGBTQ History Month, and Native American Heritage Month for November.  Activities included the creation of headers for teachers to display in their virtual classrooms, messages and slides to highlight the contributions of members of these cultures, videos spotlighting LTHS students’ cultural identities, song playlists, and guest speakers from Argonne National Lab.  In October, the committee welcomed Ms. Shruthi Mathur, Indian-American journalist/actress/writer, who spoke about careers in film, building leadership skills, and making a difference in our community and country.   

Besides honoring different groups and hosting guest speakers, SEAC also facilitates courageous conversations about important issues.  The meetings begin by providing the facts and strategies for every participant to feel comfortable contributing to the discussion.  The student leaders, Zach Dalton, Nuvia Hernandez, Trinity Newell, Uche Onyenemezu, Anise Puckett, and Alisha Thomas, along with co-sponsors, Andrea Cobbett and Robert Beach, and other staff including other teachers and administrators lead these discussions in virtual breakout rooms.  The group has tackled topics of mental health awareness and suicide prevention, the death of Justice Ginsburg, the verdict in the Breanna Taylor case, and most recently the 2020 presidential election.  

Going forward, SEAC will continue to support LTHS as departments reflect on their curriculum, instruction, and grading practices for equity and will be collaborating with local middle schools and junior highs as well as welcoming the Lockport Police Department to speak.  The SEAC is committed to the LTHS mission and vision of honoring the dignity, humanity, and heritage of all of its students.

 

Day of the Dead

The LTHS Spanish students have a tradition of honoring those who have passed away every year through the Day of the Dead celebrations. The tradition continued this year, despite challenges, with the Porters still participated enthusiastically in several ways.

They brought in non-perishable food items to donate to those in need to honor the memory of the deceased to East and Central. They hung up a paper cempasuchil flower with the name or picture in memory of whom was honored. Deceased faculty members, family members, or loved ones were honored by the ofrenda (memorial table) in the Central Media Center. Staff and students brought in pictures, books, food, flowers and candles. Deceased victims of Covid-19 and the first responders who have lost their lives were honored through an ofrenda arranged by the LTHS Interact Club. The Student Equity Action Committee honored those who have lost their lives as they have worked for justice, or those who have lost their lives to injustice through an ofrenda.

Student groups went for multisensory tours to appreciate the student and club ofrendas and crafts. On their tour, students learned about nahuales and copal incense, participated in the tradition of the monarch butterflies through planting milkweed seed and making origami butterflies and ate sugar skulls as they listened to traditional music.

 

National Merit Scholars

Lockport Township High School senior Austin Molitor was recognized for achieving the status of National Merit Semi-Finalist Recognition by the National Merit Scholarship Program. Seniors Shams Alshabani, Brian Eide, Evan Littmann, Patrick Mungcal, and Logan Nommensen, were recognized as Commended Students in the program.

According to the National Merit Scholarship Program, approximately 1.5 million juniors, from about 21,000 high schools entered the program. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1% of the U.S. high school seniors, while just over 3% are Commended students and receive an honorary certificate.

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National Honor Society Induction

LTHS honored 193 juniors and 4 seniors who were inducted into the James McKinnon Smith Chapter, National Honor Society on November 12th. For a list of the students honored and the virtual ceremony, please visit LTHS National Honor Society.  

 

Acts of Kindness

Members of the Interact Club have reached out to lift the spirits of area seniors during the pandemic. They have written letters to 91 senior citizens living at a nursing home in Joliet. Students hope to help the residents feel encouraged and connected.

 

 

Lockport Township High School District 205
1323 E. 7th Street  | Lockport, Illinois 60441
815-588-8121 | PublicRelations@lths.org

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