Tuesday, November 27, 2018

New Bathroom Passes - Convenient or Not?

By: Natalie Stefankiewicz
As many of you know, our school has a new policy when leaving the classroom. In years past, and for as long as I’ve been attending North Warren, students have always used an agenda provided by the school to sign out for the bathroom. This year that system has completely changed. Each classroom now has two plastic bathroom passes, the room number engraved on each.

In the past, many students have abused their bathroom privileges, so our school decided this was a solution. By using these passes our school believes we will be able to keep track of who is out of each classroom and limit the number of people wandering the halls. This is definitely a good point, but these passes also have negatives to them.

In many rooms that I have classes in, there is now only one pass due to students being irresponsible and losing the other. This means that only one student can be out of the classroom at each time for that specific class.

The real question is, what do our students think is best for our school? While talking to some friends at lunch I got their personal opinions. When asked the question “What is your overall opinion on the new bathroom passes” Ava Tanis replied “I think the bathroom passes are effective, however, I prefer agendas.” When asked why she felt this way she replied “Agendas are much more sanitary than passing the same pass around to different students each period.”

When asking Alana Vitiello the same questions she replied, “I think the new passes have their purpose, but agendas are more sanitary and would work better. I would rather have an agenda because not only is it your own, but you don’t have to wait for the other people using the passes to get back to the classroom.” Erin Fowles agreed saying “I think that they are inconvenient and if you lose one in a classroom; then, only one person can go to the bathroom at a time.”

I got a different perspective when interviewing Ms. Ritchie, Dean of Students here at North Warren. She said “This year we formed a committee of staff members and we call it the Academic Review Committee. The committee looks at things that we want to change and gives us their opinion. This summer we met a bunch of times with this group of staff and one of the things I presented to them was the pass system. The way it came up was that the agenda books were causing the teachers a lot more disruptions during their classes. The kids would walk up to the teacher and hand them the book. This would lead the teacher to being interrupted. We want kids to be more independent, so the academic committee came up with an idea that students could just go up and log out somehow and grab something and leave. That’s how the plan was formed. I personally believe that the new passes are a less distracting method that teaches students responsibility and how to be independent.”

The majority of the answers I got from students were the same. The new bathroom passes are not as efficient, sanitary, and overall well liked compared to past systems. From what I collected from the teacher stand point is that these new bathroom passes are more efficient in the classroom. Although there are some positives to these new passes many students do not like how the new system works. Will the system ever change? This is something we won’t know for a while. If there are more positive results with the new passes then my prediction is that they will become permanent.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

AP Class Drops Add to Student Frustration

By: Jack Swistak and Sam Dwornikowski
This year, North Warren dropped some of its AP classes and in general, students are upset. After speaking with students, we concluded that most were disappointed because something they were passionate about was taken away; they had been working their entire high school careers for exclusive AP classes. This is not good for several reasons. Let’s say student needs a specific AP class for college, but by the time he or she reaches senior year that class was dropped. Some colleges require certain courses for students to partake in independent study, and that students is now out of luck.
So, what is the point of dropping the classes? Of course, a low number of students makes it difficult to run; however, if both the student and the teacher are eager and available would it not be possible for them to have the class? If time did not allow it, why can’t a private study still count for official credit? Why shouldn’t students be able to showcase time management, work ethic, and most importantly, passionate initiative?
Abby Sikkes, a senior who planned to take an AP Studio class says, “I feel like ultimately, it's a failure on the administration’s part, that they don't regard the arts at a high enough level to run the class. They felt, for whatever reason, that it was reasonable enough to cut it.” Furthermore, she states, “This cut has drastically affected me. I must juggle other AP classes, personal life, a job, my senior year, as well as find time to do art. I don’t have a period dedicated to only art which saddens and frustrates me. I have study halls, but I use them for AP work. Over all, I was really, really looking forward to a senior year with AP studio; however, I got jipped. I'm missing out on a big opportunity to improve my art and to learn in a classroom environment.”
According to Ms. Richardson, school guidance counselor, the administrators have control of the classes, and drop classes that have less kids, and basically “What they say goes.” There is a thought that they could possibly rotate every year so that more AP classes are covered.

Perhaps soon, the administration will allow private studies to count for credit or find a way to allow smaller classes, so that their students can finish high school knowing that they have accomplished all that they desire, and all that they need to prepare them for their next journey.  

It’s Never Too Late to Join a Club

By:  Mary Reduzzi and Xavier Starrs

Last month, North Warren held its very first club fair during unit lunch to advertise the various organizations and clubs that make up our school community. There was a great student turn out and we are able to provide some helpful club information for you all:

The School Store club is headed by Mrs. Baier and welcomes members of all grade levels. Our school store aims to spread North Warren spirit and positivity through selling apparel, school supplies, and much more available to the students. Open every day during unit lunch, our school store hopes to see new faces supporting its club and its mission.

The Robotics Club, headed by Mr. Biery and Mr Snyder, is divided into a high school club and a feeder middle school club. The club is excited to compete and to hopefully win some more competitions and is looking for members of all ages to help with their quest.

WNWR, the club infamous for its morning school announcements, is advised by Mr Biery. Open to all high schoolers and operating during unit lunch, WNWR hopes to bring the North Warren news to you in a funny and creative way, every day. The small club is currently looking for members interested in photography, video editing, and filming.

Spanish Honor Society is a prestigious club for all students with a knack for the Spanish language. Advised by Mrs. Abbiate-Tirado, the club looks to impact its school and community through the Spanish culture. Each year the SHS hosts the multicultural fair, a huge community event. To join this club you have to be nominated as a freshman or sophomore by one of your Spanish teachers for your academic excellence, and only then can you be inducted into the society.

The Patriot Press, the club coming to you with this piece, is advised by Ms. Koppinger and Mr. Steingall. The club aims to give you its take on the world around us, from our school community, to our world community in the form of creative writing posts. The club meets twice every month during unit lunch.

The Junior Statesmen of America Club (JSA) is headed by Mrs. Murphy and is the political club of North Warren. The club debates hot-button issues and learns the workings of the United States government. In previous years, JSA has held mock elections for president, mayor, and other issues. Currently, the club is looking for more politically savvy students to diversify their debate community.

The Leo Club, another community service club, is advised by Mrs. Matash. The club aims to impact the community as the school’s Lions Club. The club hosts a table each year for the safe trick or treat and does collections of items to give away. They also meet once a week. Joining the Leo Club is a great way to give back to your school and community.

Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club (GSA) is a club dedicated to create a safe environment for people of all orientations. The club aims to create an awareness in our community and to ensure the equality of people with all different interests. The club is recognized by their rainbow flag and pride for their differences.

Math League is a competitive club headed by Mrs. Pergola. Every few weeks a competition is held to see who knows their math the best. The competitions cover everything from algebra to geometry to pre-calculus.

The FBLA Club (Future Business Leaders of America) aids students to prepare for careers in business through leadership development and educational programs. Headed by Mrs. Baier, this club welcomes members of all grade levels and takes part in fundraising and competitions periodically. Students that join FBLA are eligible for benefits that include: scholarships, publications, and award and recognition programs.

The Art National Honors Society is an organization open to high school students passionate about drawing, painting, and pottery. Anyone taking an art class qualifies to join the club, led by Ms. Dewey. This society is perfect for the expression of creativity and individuality.

It’s the perfect time to join the ski club! If you like to ski or snowboard all winter long, take some trips with the North Warren Ski Club open to grades 7-12 and see advisor Ms. Abbiate-Tirado for information.

The German Club, led by Mr. Bridge, is the best place to connect with the German culture and language. This club welcomes all grade levels, with all different levels of experience, and meets a few times a month to enjoy traditional German foods and to immerse itself in heritage, arts, and literature.

Mrs. Scocozza and Ms. Roman head the Peer Leadership Club, a group dedicated to reaching out to help younger students in our school community. Feel free to join fellow peer leaders even if you are not a member of this club, and take part in field trips, service programs, and leadership seminars. All high school students are welcome to join.

The Friends of Rachel Club was founded in memory of Rachel Scott, the first student attacked in the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. This club is based upon reducing violence, serving others, and spreading positive messages to those who may need it most. It is open to all grade levels 7-12. If you want to take part in helping your local community, see Mrs. Richardson for information.

The North Warren Yearbook Club is always looking for some assistance on half days to sell snacks and drinks in order to fund our school’s yearbook production, and Mrs. Wetzel and Mrs. Harris welcome all high school students interested. In the yearbook club, students will be able to take pictures for, design, and advertise the school yearbook.

Ms. Abbiate is the head of North Warren’s Interact Club, where students volunteer hours of their time to local groups and individuals in need. Occasionally working with the Blairstown Rotary and Blair Woman’s Club, the Interact Club is a widespread and renowned organization, open to 8-12 graders. If you want to dedicate your time towards something fun while feeling great about it, grab a friend and go to a meeting, held every Tuesday morning in room 27!

Shooting for the stars this school year? Join the Astronomy Club, a group of amateur astronomers who take part in public meetings and astronomical observing sessions. Led by Dale Skran of the NWJAA, this club is open to any highschool student, just submit your name, mailing address, email, and phone number to info@nwjaa.org. Meetings take place 6 times a year: April - June, and September - November, and are held at Alan's house, near Blairstown.