New Changes to PSHS

Emily Sherrill, Business Manager

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Every year, students returning to South notice the new changes from the summer.
Many hard to ignore upgrades were made to the school over summer break including new computers, stairs, updated math curriculums, and student murals.
Rich Golminas, an assistant principal who helps oversee the renovations each year, says he sits down with Principal Yanello and the district office every year and they allocate the money at those meetings.
The upgrades are on a five year plan, so a change as simple as the stairs was decided five years ago and finally implemented this summer.
The media center, computer labs, and laptop carts have all been upgraded to more modern technology. Computers have larger monitors and a smaller console which allows them to occupy less space. Laptops are smaller and touch screen now, making it easier for students to work with.
“It’s easier to get to one page from another now that they’re touch screen,” said Jackie Kujawa, a junior. “It’s also really nice that they don’t have problems logging in anymore.”
Culinary arts classes have also received a major renovation to their classroom. Previous to this year, the foods room resembled a more domestic type of kitchen whereas now it has a more commercial look.
“It’s more of a commercial application now, so it’ll be more beneficial if they’re going to pursue the culinary arts,” said Tom Fitzpatrick, the head of maintenance at South.
This new layout of the classroom allows students to have a better introduction to what the food industry actually looks like, leaving them more prepared for the future.
Some of the stairways have also been renovated. This was a much needed fix since many of the staircases were falling apart and were not very kind to the eye.
“I think it makes people a little happier coming into the building when they know they have nice things. It’s hard to have pride in a building that isn’t kept up; it’s hard but we do what we can,” said Golminas.
A mural was also added to the main hallway to add diversity to the walls. It was created by South alumni, David Chapman. The mural is not yet finished, but Chapman will continue to work on it later in the year.
Another very prominent change is the new math curriculum. New Springboard textbooks were given to all the honors and regular leveled math classes. This curriculum, written by the College Board, also writes the SAT and AP exams.
Sandra McKinney, the Division Chair of Math and Science, said, “Since Illinois moved to the SAT for college admissions, we wanted something that would also satisfy [the test requirements] as well. Who better to do that than a textbook company that actually writes the SAT test?”
This curriculum is more challenging to students, forcing them to solve problems without teacher’s guidance and setting the classroom up with values aligned with Common Core’s.
“One of the things that colleges and the industry have expressed concerns about is that students who come to college, or even after they graduate from college, not being able to think on their own, not being able to problem solve or use critical thinking skills,” she said. “Education is evolving in that direction and this is a good way for us to assist in that process.”

 

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New Changes to PSHS