Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021

Senior Named Regeneron Scholar
This year, senior Sayalee Patankar was named one of the top 300 scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search which is one of the nation’s oldest science and mathematics competitions for high school seniors.
This talent search provides students with a national stage to present original research. Patankar’s research project was titled Deep Learning-Based Computational Drug Discovery to Inhibit the RNA Dependent RNA Polymerase: Application to SARS and COVID-19.
For the project, Patankar explained that she used machine learning and other computational tools to propose five potential drugs to treat COVID-19. She completed this project as part of the Science REACH club which she has participated in the last four years.
The SHS Science REACH club helps students to complete individual or partner science research projects and enter state, national and international contests and symposia. Science teacher Christina Palffy serves as the club sponsor and each year approximately 50-70 club members complete research projects.
When notified of this award, Patankar wanted to thank sponsor Palffy who served as her research advisor, science teacher Cristina Higgins, counselor Lindsay Jurjovec, and mentor Dr. Pathum Weerawarna from the Silverman Lab at Northwestern University.
Congratulations Sayalee!


Campus Access and Arrival Procedures
For students planning on coming to campus for Hybrid Learning beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 19, there are three entrances you can use to enter the building:

  • The Point or Forum Entrance off of Parking Lot B for student drop-offs
  • Door 18 Entrance off of Parking Lot D (Please note that the Fieldhouse Entrance is closed)
  • The Sports Center Entrance off of Parking Lot E

The location of each parking lot can be viewed on this campus map.
We recommend that students recheck their schedules in Infinite Campus and bring a printed copy with them to school. Students also report that it is helpful to save a screenshot of their schedule to their cell phone home screen. Some room numbers have changed over the last week so it is especially important to double-check schedules in Infinite Campus prior to coming to campus.
As a reminder, follow the Hybrid Learning Checklist when coming to campus:

Prior to arrival

  • Complete your health screener prior to leaving home. If your screener results in a thumbs down or you don’t feel well, stay home and consult our Health & Safety Plan for next steps. Students may want to save the health screener app to the home screen of their phones to easily access this app.
  • Pack your iPad/charger, headphones, a clean mask and new color-coded ID.
  • Double-check your schedule on the COVID-19 Updates webpage.
  • If it’s the first day of the week you are coming to campus, follow the Population Testing instructions and bring your spit sample to school.

Upon arrival

  • Know your drop-off location (Parking Lot B) and entrances (Sports Center, the Forum
  • and door number 18 in the East Building Addition).
  • Seniors only: Know where to park (Parking Lot D and E).
  • If it is your day to drop off your population test spit sample, drop your testing kit in the collection bin located at each entrance.

During the day

  • Wear your mask and ID at all times.
  • Maintain a distance of six feet from your peers and adults at all times.
  • “Wipe in” and disinfect your seat and desk prior to the start of each class.
  • Practice good hand hygiene.

For those students who will be on campus next week, we look forward to seeing you!


Winter Sports Update
The Illinois High School Association Board of Directors met yesterday. Some of the announcements from that meeting include:

  • IHSA sports remain in a pause until notification is received by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Potential rollbacks by region could be seen on Friday, but a chance exists that the status of sports may not change even if rollbacks occur.
  • The Board approved the resumption of “contact days” in all IHSA sports that are not in a season as soon as IDPH allows. That could mean that the state allows winter sports to start practices and fall/spring/summer sports could begin conducting contact days. It could also mean that the state rolls back mitigations, but not enough to begin any winter sports, at which point all IHSA sports could be eligible to conduct contact days.
  • Given our current pause, the Board did not think it was prudent to set the schedule for the remainder of the year, although they realize time is drawing short. They hope to do so on Jan. 27.

The full recap of the meeting can be read on the IHSA website.


Pandemic Brings New Appreciation for Early Childhood Educators
Many families, fellow educators and the general public have a new appreciation for the role early childhood educators and child care professionals have in daily life and for a smoothly functioning economy. Early childhood education advocates and practitioners are taking a fresh look at how educators are credentialed, receive training and advance their careers.

Enrollment Increases at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
An increase in enrollment of Black, first-time college students at HBCUs in states where hate crime reports increased has been reported. Several HBCUs have seen strong enrollment figures in the last several years including North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and Albany State University in Georgia.

CPS Teachers Face Sanctions for No-Show Protests
Approximately 150 Chicago Public School employees were docked pay and locked out of their school buildings and computers earlier this week for failing to show up for work. A number of Chicago teachers receiving sanctions demonstrated Wednesday.

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