PHS Board Memo October 5, 2015

I have put together some information regarding the use of unique learning spaces (extended learning areas, STEM lab,
and the theater) Our learning environment has been transformed by the structure of the new building. The staff is
beginning to adapt to the new spaces and are beginning to realize some of the possibilities that exist as far as learning
experiences they can provide their students.
Saturday night, October 3, The Paris Center of Fine Arts hosted
the Tons of Fun Band for a two hour concert. It was attended by 90
very well entertained patrons. The band play pop music standards
of the 60s,70s, 80’s, and 90’s. The band’s music highlighted the
acoustics of the new theater and showed the venue’s versatility for a
variety of entertainment. The lead singer mentioned multiple times
during the show that the theater is top notch facility with amazing
sound! The lighting for the show made it look like something done
at the Kennedy Center (well, maybe I am getting carried away). It
did look very good. Chris Benefiel was responsible for setting up the

During the day on Saturday, October 3, the Paris High School Gymnasium
hosted the first annual Tiger Classic volleyball tournament. We hosted ArmstrongPotomac, Chrisman, Lawrenceville, Tuscola, and West Vigo. Tuscola defeated West
Vigo in the championship. Our very competitive team finished 5th. We lost our
two matches going to the third game in each match and defeated Lawrenceville in
to games to win the 5th and 6th place game.

On Friday October 2, Cherie Lehman, a Physics instructor from Eastern Illinois University came to PHS to conduct a lab
with Mr. Happ’s Physics class in the STEM lab. Below is her account of the day:
The students were full of energy and very quickly picked up on what was going on and how to use the sonar devices
along with the software. They worked in teams to apply physics concepts learned in Doug’s class. It was fun interacting
with them and listening to them discuss the graphs and their meaning and translating that meaning into their own
movement. Doug’s students displayed creativity in the ways they marked off distances on the floor and in the ways they
positioned the sonar devices. One group put down white board markers, another used shoes, etc. Another group used a
chair and some books as a lab jack. PHS physics students showed ingenuity, curiosity, and understanding.
Doug had set up his three computers with the interfaces on one side of the STEM lab, and he had three other interfaces
on the other side of the lab waiting for me. Upon arrival, I quickly fired up my computers and made the connections.
Because the lab required that the students have space to move around, one of the groups decided they needed more
room and carefully moved their table to another location. The fluidity of the furniture arrangement is an excellent
feature of the lab, and the students know how to utilize it without being told.

I have attached some pictures that I took with my phone so that you can get the flavor of the lab. We’re going to wrap
up the lab on Monday. I look forward to working with Doug and his students this year.

Also on Friday, October 2, PHS Biology classes attended a lecture
by PHS alum Stew Raley, who is a practicing crime scene investigator
in the state of Arizona. Our students were able to see and hear Stew
and a couple of his co-workers discuss their careers in crime scene
investigations and how their science education is used in their chosen
We used GoToMeeting, an Internet application, to connect with
Mr. Raley. Approximately 90 students were able to take part in the
interactive presentation. Our students, using the sound system in the
auditorium, were able to ask questions during the nearly 60 minute
presentation. This activity illustrates our commitment to attach
careers in our academy approach to dividing our student into areas of
career interest.

On Wednesday, September 30, we held the Fall kickoff for our STEM
lab. The goal of the kickoff was to have PHS staff and students meet
with Eastern Illinois University Science staff to show current activities
PHS, Marshall, and Charleston students are involved with in
conjunction with EIU. Our PHS students (Faith Fox, Jacob Graham,
Molly Meister, Sydney Trover, Claire Woods, and Danny Allanson) gave
description of their projects and showed their EIU sponsors their

Dr. Hong Shan He, noted how impressed he was with the progress of Danny
Allanson’s photocell project. He was quit taken by the fact that Danny had
working photocells producing electricity!. He did not anticipate that a high
school student could get them going on their own.

A student from Marshall high school and a student from Charleston high school talked about how they spent time this
past summer working with EIU instructors this past summer doing similar things for no credit because their schools did
not have the facilities or the flexibility to allow their students to work on these activities during the school day. They
both emphasized how lucky PHS students were to have these opportunities! The event was attended by all of the PHS
Science staff, Mr. Smith, Mrs. Howard, Mr. Cox and Mr. Meister. TEN INSTRUCTORS from EIU attended the event and
are making plans with PHS staff for activities and presentations in the near future. (the first of which was Mrs. Lehman’s
visit last Friday)
Dr. Stephen Elledge, PHS Alum, Harvard Research Scientist, and recent recipient of the Albert Lasker Basic Medical
Research Award, has indicated that he wants to connect with PHS STEM students Claire Woods, Molly Meister, and
Danny Allanson to discuss their work in scientific research as well as highlight his career for them. They will be
connecting using our “Think tank” technology in the STEM lab.
Mr. Cox shared with me that two instructors from Eastern that were not able to attend our kickoff have scheduled a day
to tour our lab and meet with PHS students. It is a very exciting time to be involved with education at PHS!

Above are pictures of the library and one of the extended learning areas. These spaces are rarely unoccupied during the
day. Teacher and student are finding the spaces are conducive to small instruction groups and group projects.
And finally, a picture of our cafeteria after it was transformed into a dance venue for the Homecoming dance. We have
such a flexible structure and our students and staff are very lucky to have the opportunity to use it!

And finally, a link to a video on you tube that shows the progress on the baseball diamond, the greenhouse, and the
maintenance building. Sod will be laid on the infield of the baseball field this week. The greenhouse is finished except
for hooking up the gas, electric and water services. Those should be finished by the end of next week.
Link to video