School readies new schedule for next year

Changes to the high school class schedule will take effect for the 2015-2016 school year. The schedule will continue to rotate but in two different segments, according to Principal Patricia Puglisi. “We’ll be locking the beginning of the day,” she said. The last four blocks of the day will be the other locked section, according to Puglisi. “Class periods will still remain the same amount of time, and we’ll still have A through G. The only difference will be that the blocks don’t rotate all the way through the day. The first three blocks will be an A, B, and C rotation, and the afternoon classes will also rotate with each other,” Puglisi said. The two separate rotating blocks will allow the school to hire more part-time teachers. “[The schedule change] gives us the opportunity to more easily hire part-time staff,” Puglisi said. Regarding the addition of part-time staff members, French teacher Erin Fortunato said that the change would make scheduling easier for prospective part- time staff because they would hypothetically be able to schedule their classes in one of the two rotating sections. “It would just make it easier for a person to have a part- time position. The change is in the hopes that we will be able to find a part-time teacher, which is already difficult as it is,” Fortunato said. There are some challenges that the school will have to overcome as a result of the changes to the schedule. “We’re separating our staff from the middle school, so there are two challenges that we’ll face; we’ll need to hire additional 0.6 teachers, and also music will still be shared [with the middle school],” Puglisi said. Although the schedule will have logistical benefits for the school, junior Nathan Evans said that he thinks the system will be difficult to grasp at first. “It’s always hard to learn a new schedule, and I think it will be especially difficult for high schoolers who are used to the current schedule,” Evans said. Junior Chris Milne also brought up a possible fallback to the new schedule plan. “It definitely might be difficult to go through difficult classes when they are only in the morning and before lunch. I feel like kids will constantly be tired so grades might be worse in the morning classes,” he said. The bell schedule will be reevaluated for after next year’s trial year, according to Puglisi.

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Hornet pride reaches new height in the school

hornet pride 2Between Spirit Week, pep rallies, and athletic success and support for our teams, Hornet pride and school spirit is running rampant through the Manchester-Essex community.

This year’s Spirit Week featured some of the most active classes ever. Whether it was Movie Day, Decade Day, Twin Day, or Spirit Day, students and teachers alike could be seen all over the halls of the high school in creative and spirit-filled costumes.

On Color Day and Hornet Spirit day, nearly everyone, regardless of grade, showed spirit by donning specific colors as well as the traditional green and white.

The last day of Spirit Week, which was topped off with the fall sports pep rally, truly showed how the school has transformed with regard to school spirit. The gymnasium boomed with cheers, applause, and even laughter during the school’s inaugural quidditch match.

At this point in the fall season, the teams that walked down to the center of the gym were met with thunderous encouragement from high schoolers and middle schoolers alike.

As the season continued, so did the explosion of school spirit. Achievements of all of the fall teams, clubs, and individual students fueled this wave of Manchester-Essex Pride.

Golf, boys’ soccer, girls’ and boys’ cross country, and field hockey all moved on to achieve post-season success. Especially in the case of the boys’ soccer team, MERSD students, parents, and faculty supported the Hornets with vigor.

Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even the infamous Yik Yak, buzzed with encouraging and congratulatory updates that both filled athletes and students with pride and also fostered more excitement throughout Manchester-Essex.

The atmosphere of school spirit has brought positivity and unity to the entire school. School spirit and Hornet pride has given students, and even the local community as a whole, an avenue to become more involved and enthusiastic about Manchester-Essex.

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Students learn about other cultures through International Week

inter weekInternational Week brought new and unique presenters to students in order to expand both their knowledge of foreign language and other cultures, according to foreign language department head Michelle Magaña.

  This year, this special week took place from March 11 to March 14. Each day in that range featured a different country from around the world. Tuesday was Italy Day, Wednesday was Mexico Day, Thursday was Thailand day, and Friday was Brazil Day.

   The main purpose of International Week is to encourage high school students to branch out and travel abroad Magaña said.

  “We like to hold International Week each year because we want to inspire students to travel to different places to explore different countries and practice the language that they are learning,” she said.

  Sophomore Devin Depaolis said that International Week helps students to learn more about other countries and their cultures.

  “The presentations help to teach people about various cultures around the world. It’s interesting to learn about cultures you don’t know about,” he said.

  Sophomore David Reid, agreed with Depaolis, specifically saying that presenter Mike Dyer presented on a region that he barely knew existed. Dyer presented on the Basque country, a region that is located on the border of Spain and France.

“Before Mr. Dyer came presented, the Basque country wasn’t even something I had heard of. It was very interesting to learn about an entirely new foreign culture,” he said.

  Depaolis also acknowledged that the presenters and presentations are often useful to improve students’ skills and knowledge in foreign language, whether it be French or Spanish.

  In addition to the presentations, students are able to try foreign foods in the cafeteria each day, an easy and fun way to learn about another country, junior Ben Bichet said.

Among this year’s presenters were a woman who traveled on the religious pilgrimage El Camino de Santiago, the students who traveled to France over April break last year, and even Principal Patricia Puglisi presented on her experiences in China, Magaña said.

  “The foreign food in the cafeteria is an enjoyable way to learn about the cuisine of different cultures,” Bichet said.

  For example, this year’s foods included an Italian pasta dish and Thai chicken with rice.

  Magaña also added that in order to recruit and have diverse presenters, she covers all the bases by posting in media sources like The Cricket and the principal’s newsletter.

  “We really like to avoid having teachers present because we want students to see other people who have traveled, so we try to get as much community involvement as we can,” she said.

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