Pekin Community High School is opening its doors to the community for tours to show off the facility where Pekin’s students have many programs and activities to choose from.

District 303 will host two tours — 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, and 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. To register for the tours go to www.pekinhigh.net. The tours last about one hour and there will be multiple tours going on at the same time.

“We do tours for outside people when they call,” said Superintendent Danielle Owens. “We’ll do tours for businesses if they’re trying to bring people to the Pekin area.

“I’ve long been a proponent of saying just reach out and I’ll give a tour or a principal will give a tour in terms of trying to get people to move to Pekin or entice them to come here (to the school). Class reunions will come sometimes and ask if I could do a tour on a Saturday. I did one recently for the class of 1967 — their 50th (year reunion). Most of the people who attended, most were living out of state and most had not seen the high school since they graduated. (The tours are) always exciting to do because they are always so complementary — ‘This place is amazing,’ ‘You guys have so much going on.’ I hope our community knows what’s inside the doors too.” 

The district’s student achievement committee met last year and established a new mission and vision statement for the school. At the same time, the committee discussed ways to bring people into the school, said Owens.

“When we started talking about our new logo, our new mission and vision, all of that was going to lead us into the work of better marketing ourselves and how to do a better job pushing out the positive to our community,” said Owens. “So in collaboration with the work that we did, we also have a new website this year.

“It’s more user friendly than it used to be. Along with the new website we have (an) app, so if people have a smart phone they can download the Pekin Community High School app, which allows us to push out posts of positive information on Facebook, Twitter and our website — all with the push of one button. And our staff can do it. We used to filter all of our posts for social media through our information specialist and she would post things.”

Teachers can take picture of activities in the classroom and post with the app.

The district is also putting a link on the website starting this week to allow alumni to register.

“One of the things we talked about last year was doing a better job of connecting with people who are graduates of Pekin High, many who are all over,” said Owens. She said a database can be created so that alumni can get information about what’s happening at the school, class reunions and so on. The alumni link will also allow the district to start awarding the Distinguished Alumni Award again. It has not been awarded for several years. Owens hopes to honor an alumni at next year’s homecoming game.

Follow Sharon Woods Harris at Twitter.com/sharrispekin