A New Kind of Bus Tour
SCHOOLS | May 2, 2020
A New Kind of Bus Tour

How One South Side High School Celebrated its Students’ Academic Achievements

Principal Femi Skanes is known to go above and beyond to celebrate her school’s accomplishments. So, when one of her students from Morgan Park High School on Chicago’s South Side asked how the school was planning to induct new students into its National Honor Society, she and her team put their heads together to come up with a creative solution. The end result? A day of personally congratulating each student with a visit to their home and a customized sign. The school even got to show off its colorful new bus that was donated earlier this year. 

“Even while my students are at home, I’m always thinking about ways to keep the rest of their school year as normal as possible for them,” said Principal Skanes. “When visiting our students, we of course want them to stay safe and practice social distancing, but you can do that and still bring out your cameras and blow up social media to celebrate.” 

While National Honor Society inductees are known for their impressive academic standing and their commitment to civic engagement, Principal Skanes recognizes that it can be easy to get distracted and difficult to stay motivated during these times. She has been encouraging her students to focus on learning rather than just their grades, even creating the hashtag #MustangsKeepLearning on social media. To keep students thinking about civic engagement, the school has partnered with buildOn to create a virtual service project for students in National Honor Society. 

“It’s important for my students to remember that National Honor Society students do what other students may not want to do,” said Principal Skanes. “That might be through serving the community, or by engaging in remote learning when you’d rather be playing Fortnite.” 

Even though Principal Skanes and her staff would love nothing more than to have their students back in the building, she says that nothing is more important to her than their safety. Thus, the Morgan Park team is working hard to engage students in other ways, such as continuing to coordinate social and emotional learning opportunities and holding regular office hours. 

“It’s easy to say that you want things to go back to normal, but at what cost?” said Principal Skanes. “Our students need to say safe, but we do miss them so much. It’s just like that old adage: you don’t miss the well until the water runs dry.” 

To see some pictures of Morgan Park High School’s newest National Honor Society Inductees, as well as other highlights across the district from the past week, check out the video below. 

Stay connected while we #StayHomeSaveLives.

Thank you to our CPS students, families and staff for continuing to support each other while we’re apart. #TheBestAreWithCPS

Posted by Chicago Public Schools on Friday, May 1, 2020