TF South Principal Gourley expresses pride in staff, students

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TF South High School
TF South High School is located at 18500 Burnham Avenue in Lansing, Illinois. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

LANSING, Ill. (April 17, 2020) – At the end of the first week of remote learning days, TF South Principal Jake Gourley released the following statement, which was soon followed by an update that is also included below:

1:22pm

Dear T.F. South Family,

As you know, this week marked the first of several that have been designated remote learning days by the State of Illinois. At TF South, this means that assignments are being recorded and credit is being awarded toward Fourth Quarter (Q4). In the current quarter (Q4), our teachers are entering percentage scores that result in grades of A, B, C, D, and INC (Failure/Incomplete). If a student receives a grade of INC, he/she may resubmit work to improve his/her Fourth Quarter grade through May 29 (May 13 for Seniors). Additionally, we have kept Third Quarter (Q3) open. This means students have the opportunity to resubmit assignments to improve their Q3 grades as well. So, if your scholar received an F or other undesirable grade for Q3, he/she still has the opportunity to improve that grade. Please encourage him/her to reach out to his/her teachers to develop a plan to ensure the attainment of a passing grade for Q3. This is essential for success and, combined with Q4 work during our distance learning days, to ensure the awarding of credit at the end of the semester.

I don’t think I have ever been prouder of our staff and students as we navigate these unprecedented times. I see lots of creativity, flexibility, and grace being extended to scholars and families to make sure learning continues and that they will be ready for their next chapter, whether that be next year’s classes or life beyond graduation.

We are continuing to look at options for end-of-year rites of passage like Prom and Graduation, which at this time are postponed indefinitely. As more information becomes available, including guidance from the State, we will continue to provide updates to families about things like outstanding fees, book return, distribution of caps/gowns, etc. I am also happy to announce that we will be providing each member of the Class of 2020 with a yard sign to celebrate his/her accomplishments. Details on all matters will be forthcoming. For now, like all Americans, we are watching and waiting.

For questions about distance learning technology, please email [email protected].

For questions about school closure issues in general, please email [email protected].

Updates are continually posted on social media on Facebook, the district website, and on Twitter @TFSouthTweets. I will also continue to make updates via SchoolMessenger emails such as this one.

As an important reminder, our cafeteria staff has been at work throughout the closure to prepare free, daily meals for any district student from age birth through 18 years. We hope you will consider taking advantage of this service at the following times and locations Monday through Friday: TF South Cafeteria Entrance Doors – 10:30-12:30 p.m.; Lynwood Baseball Field – 11:00-11:30 a.m.; Riverwood Apartments – 11:45-12:15 p.m.

Lastly, I am attaching a disclosure letter regarding technology. While we know it is important for our students and staff to interact virtually, there are always privacy concerns with digital platforms. Our teachers using Teams, Zoom, and Google classroom have been made aware of all privacy precautions that should be taken to protect our students, but that does not stop the presence of “bad actors” in the digital world. My recommendation would be that you check in regularly with your student during his/her distance learning experiences, as well as remind him/her to engage in safe practices such as not providing email, passwords, images, or other communications to anyone outside of known classmates and faculty members.

Once again, I could not be prouder of the creativity, flexibility, and grace I witness daily. Thanks for all you do to support your scholar and his/her teachers and staff as we navigate unthinkable times. Stay safe and, whenever possible, stay home.

Sincerely in Your Service,

Jake Gourley, Principal

3:11pm update

Dear T.F. South Families,

As you may have heard, Governor Pritzker has just announced the suspension of traditional in-person schools in Illinois for the remainder of the 2019–2020 school year.

This means the District 215 team will need to enter a new phase of planning to address many topics moving forward, including fees/fines, materials in lockers, book return, rite-of-passage activities, and many other issues. We pledge to keep you informed as decisions are made in the days ahead.

In the meantime, we will continue our distance learning procedures that began on Monday, April 13 for the foreseeable future. Please express to your scholar(s) the importance of signing in daily and staying on top of learning activities as we continue to explore creative and flexible ways to support them.

While I feel terribly for our students and staff who were all hoping to return soon, I am committed to ensuring that the loss of what was expected does not mean we lose our sense of family and community and that we find new and creative ways to honor the accomplishments of the Class of 2020. Please stay tuned for future developments, and I encourage you to join us on Facebook Live next Wednesday evening at 6:30 for a panel discussion about closure-related issues.

Sadly, yet Forward-Looking,

Jake Gourley, Principal

TF South High school is located at 18500 Burnham Avenue, Lansing, Illinois.