‘Facing School’ Hopes to Shed Light on a Historic Year

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Margaret Jemian, Staff Writer

If students had been given any idea as to what school was going to look like in 2020, there may not have been any takers.

Nonetheless, here we are, having ended a year with remote learning in the spring, survived yet another endless summer, and now, after conquering nearly three months in fully remote learning, students have begun entering LFHS, adhering to an e-Hybrid schedule. 

No matter how irritating and stressful attending school amid a global pandemic may be, it is so important, and frankly, a lot more engaging to focus on the bigger picture: history is being made. Documenting experiences within our current situation via written and visual works, among others, is a unique way to record the historic return to school for LFHS students. And that is exactly what the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff History Center is set on achieving. 

With the launch of a new website entitled “Facing School 2020,” the History Center has created an online portfolio in which students, teachers, administrators, and parents can submit their stories, photos, and reflections about the facing school experience during the Fall of 2020. 

“It all started with a phone call from Melissa Oakley at the Lake Forest School District,” said Nini Lustig, a member of the History Center team that helped to develop and launch the site. “She expressed her feeling that something should be done to address this historic return to school and wondered if the History Center had any ideas.”

It was Executive Director Carol Summerfield that then gave the suggestion of crafting an online platform – a “digital exhibit,” as Lustig put it. “We hope to create a living archive where people can share their reactions, realities, solutions, creativity, concerns, service and hopeful moments during this extraordinary time.” 

Content and overall exhibit mechanics and design are overseen by Curator Laurie Stein.

 

Within the site itself, multiple different forms of media are accepted and supported– from journal entries and artwork, to photos and short videos– which is a unique element that broadens the scope of submission types. The History Center’s mission is to research and showcase the history of the communities of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff via a diverse range of voices and experiences. 

Lustig envisions the site influencing a wide variety of people, saying that she anticipates that “historians, scholars, researchers, educators, and filmmakers will access this digital archive for years to come.” 

“It’s an incredible way for everyone to be a part of history and stay connected!”

Anyone can submit content; it only takes about three minutes to do so. “Facing School 2020” will be accepting and curating content through the end of the year.