Lunch: Should students be allowed to leave? (Con)

By Ellen Burgess

Despite students’ common belief, the faculty keeping students from leaving lunch early is not because of a desire to torture students and make them sit through an entire lunch period; members actually have a reason why students are not allowed to leave lunch early: safety.

Although it might be nice to slip out of lunch before the bell rings, maybe go to the bathroom before class or just get there early, allowing students to do so would decrease safety throughout the school.

“Students aren’t allowed to leave because of safety issues. If they leave, we don’t know exactly where they are in the school, and if anything were to happen, that would not be okay,” Assistant Principal Paul Murphy said.

Because teachers are assigned to certain lunches, the faculty members monitoring the lunch have access to how many students, and the specific students themselves, who are supposed to be in the cafeteria at a time.

If students could leave at will, they would be at risk of not being accounted for in the case of an emergency.

“We need to know where students are at all times. That’s why we do attendance. We need to know where students are just in case anything were to happen,” Murphy said.

Aside from going to the bathroom and getting to class early, students have no reason to leave lunch early. It might not be a favorite place in the school, but the cafeteria is definitely bearable for less than a half an hour. Plus, aside from study hall, students are allowed to socialize as loudly as desirable in the cafeteria.

Students are allowed to go to the bathroom during lunch, as long as they agree to return to the cafeteria after finishing, which eliminates that reason for leaving early.

Some argue that it can be difficult to get to class on time after lunch, but not only do faculty members do not only release students a few minutes early from lunch, but students are also given the additional four minutes between bells. If students are able to get from class to class on time, they are surely able to get to class promptly after lunch.

Students who attempt to slip by the monitoring faculty members are not accomplishing anything; they are putting themselves at risk.

Because they are putting students’ safety first, the faculty is justified in preventing students from leaving lunch before the bell rings.

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Diversity Alliance holds toy drive for HAWC, Wellspring

By Ellen Burgess

With help of Diversity Alliance, the school collected the “largest amount of gifts ever brought in from one location” to Wellspring, according to Assistant Principal Paul Murphy.

Students were asked to bring in unwrapped, un-opened toys to donate to Wellspring and Toys for HAWC during Dec. 5-16.

According to Wellspring.com, this organization is devoted to psychotherapeutic healing and is non-profit. The Diversity Alliance began working with Wellspring last year.

Toys for HAWC has been part of the Diversity Alliance’s donation list since Gandolfi became the adviser of the club, according to junior club member Laurel Barrie.

Rather than conducting separate collection periods, the Diversity Alliance decided to combine the weeks to collect toys, and just split the amount in half at the end of the drive.

“It was a little last minute, but we pulled it off,” club adviser M’Lena Gandolfi said.

After the first week, the club members decided to extend the collection period because they thought more people would participate.

“It was amazing how many more people participated after the first week. We had almost one full box at the end of the first week, but by the end of the second week, we had two and a half boxes full,” Barrie said.

“I love doing this during the holidays, because it gives me the feeling that I’m giving back and makes me feel better about myself,” she said.

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Harassment, negative attitudes fail to dampen Pep Band’s spirit

Morgan Kennedy Photo

By Ellen Burgess

Independent Editor

What goes better with a home football game and school spirit than members of the high school band performing songs intended to “pep” the crowd and team up? The answer: nothing.

After Manchester Essex and opposing fans heckled the band at the Homecoming game against Hamilton Wenham, the band left in poor spirits.

During the Homecoming game, opposing fans were taunting the band members, telling them to look at the scoreboard because the Hornets were losing to the Generals regardless of the fact that the band cannot control whether the Hornets’ head coach attempts to run the ball when the team realistically doesn’t have strong blocking.

“We aren’t playing on the field. We can’t control the score. We’re there for the fans’ enjoyment and shouldn’t be getting harassed,” senior band member Savannah Repucci said

 Practicing three days per week for one hour per day, the band plays the songs throughout the football season. 

“A lot of people don’t recognize the amount of time we put into rehearsals. We work really hard,” Repucci said.

After the harassment from the opposing fans, a Manchester Essex parent asked the band to stop playing because she wanted to hear the game.

“I was confused because the point of a pep band is to get pumped up while you’re playing. It was kind of frustrating,” senior band member Sebastian Wooding said.

According to senior Connor Bergmann, although the football would rather have its warm-up CD playing during the game, the members support the band.

“When we’re on the field, we don’t necessarily listen to the band because we are focusing on the game, but from what we can hear, they sound good,” Bergmann said.  According to band director Joe Sokol, despite the negative attitudes, the band is proud of the music it produces and will continue to confidently play at the football games.  “We work too hard to let a few people completely change what we do and how we perceive our music,” Sokol said.

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iPhone 4S: New features include iCloud, Siri

Apple.com

By Ellen Burgess

Independent Editor

“I’m locked out.” “How do I get to the Marriot Hotel from here?” “I need a recipe for chocolate cupcakes.” All of these questions and more can be answered using Apple’s newest product: the iPhone 4S. 

Available for the Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint networks, the iPhone 4S, the next version of the iPhone 4, offers many new elements.

According to Apple.com, the iPhone 4S has new features that enable the phone to have better graphics in applications while surfing the web and also a better camera.

One of the new features is called iOS 5. The new operating system for the iPhone can be downloaded for older versions of the phone, so if new software is what you are searching for, buying an entire new phone is not necessary.

A second new feature is called iCloud. This enables you to store music, photos, documents, and more on all of your Apple devices, wirelessly without syncing. Along with iOS 5, iCloud is also available for older versions of the iPhone.

Perhaps the most prominent element of the new device is a program called Siri, which answers questions verbally.

According to Apple.com, Siri makes phone calls, sends messages, schedules meetings, sets reminders, and more.

Siri is considered “the intelligent assistant that helps you get things done,” according to Apple.com.

“It actually works. When I asked it to give me directions to Dunkin Donuts, it did. I couldn’t believe that I can actually talk into a device and have it correctly respond to me,” senior Melanie Tognazzi said.

According to Tognazzi, Siri does make mistakes, for example when there is background noise, but for the most part it is extremely accurate.

The price of the product is its biggest downfall. Ranging from $199-$399, the starting price is for the device alone. On top of that, the customer must pay the specified rates for a given network.

If you desire the newest technology and the most up-to-date software, then the iPhone 4S is definitely a good investment. If having Siri is insignificant, the less expensive iPhone 4 is the better choice.

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Co-teaching helps students comprehend information

 

 

By Ellen Burgess

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

Co-teaching is a new model of collaborative teaching in the classroom that the school has recently adopted. In most college prep level classrooms, a special education teacher works with the academic teacher to help students with an IEP (individualized education program) to better understand the material.

  The new head of the special education program for the district, Allison Collins, is helping to further incorporate this new program into the schools.

  One of the teachers incorporating co-teaching into the classroom is sophomore biology teacher Dr. Maria Burgess. She is working with special education teacher Jared Harvey.

  “It’s definitely very different. We’re still in the beginning phases, so it’s a little awkward right now, but I think when we’re more used to the program, it will definitely help a lot of students,” Burgess said.

  According to Burgess, the main goal of the program is to help students in the classroom by presenting the information in a number of different ways. The new method is not restricted to students with IEP’s but helps all students who may have different learning styles.

  “In a classroom, there is a content specialist, the core teacher, and a skills specialist, the co-teacher. They use multi-modal instruction, which uses visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile instruction in the classroom,” Harvey said. 

  Sophia Guerriero, one of Burgess’s sophomore students, said the new method of teaching is working.

  “I think the way the two teachers teach together is really working. It helps explain the material in a different way so that people with different learning styles can understand it,” Guerriero said.

  High school math teacher Sarah DeLuca is co-teaching with Robert Garrett in her freshman and sophomore classes.

  “During one lesson, Mr. Garrett and I broke it up into two parts, so he was teaching the formula, while I was teaching why it works,” DeLuca said.

  According to DeLuca, student feedback was positive, saying they liked the contrast of the two teachers and activities.

  “The ultimate goal is for co-teaching to be used in all classrooms. The program is relatively new, but we caught it early, so our school is incorporating cutting-edge technology before most others,” Harvey said.

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Early Prom stresses are causing unnecessary drama

Prom season has already begun, and maybe a little too early. This year more than ever, people are becoming more obsessed with what they will wear and who they will attend with.

By Ellen Burgess

INDEPENDENT STAFF

  Prom season has already begun, and maybe a little too early. This year more than ever, people are becoming more obsessed with what they will wear and who they will attend with.

  Recently, there have been several situations where a boy heard that a girl he wanted to ask to prom is going to be asked in a unique way, but he decided to get to the girl first, usually asking impersonally, such as on the phone. This has created an immense amount of drama throughout the high school.

  Asking someone to prom should not be considered a race. It is not fair for a girl or boy to ask someone simply because he or she heard someone else was going to do it too. If the original person already has something planned, it is unfair to take that away from him or her just because it’s now considered a “race” to see who can ask another person to prom first.

  Along with the race to ask someone to prom, there have been numerous incidents regarding girls and their dresses. If someone wants a dress another girl already has, it is considered “off limits.”

  When it comes down to it, prom is a high school dance. Being formal could minutely change the value of the dance, but numerous people becoming stressed out is ridiculous. People should have the goal to just have fun at prom and not worry about how they are going to do their hair, which dress to wear, or who they will attend with.

  Prom is about having fun, and if someone wants to go with another person that they genuinely enjoy, it shouldn’t matter whether or not going to the dance is considered an actual date. Taking a date to prom is not the most important thing in the world. People shouldn’t consider going to prom with a friend as out of the ordinary.

  The stress about who to go to prom with, who is wearing the same dress as someone else, and how a girl is going to do her hair adds unnecessary stress to what is supposed to be a fun school event.

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Citylab successfully extends student’s knowledge

Boston University’s interactive student program, “Citylab,” visited the biology classes to aid students in hands-on lab experiments.

By Ellen Burgess

INDEPENDENT STAFF

  Boston University’s interactive student program, “Citylab,” visited the biology classes to aid students in hands-on lab experiments.

  Citylab came to the school in a bus loaded with the equipment necessary for the experimental lab students would be performing. The bus remained parked in the teacher parking lot for the duration of the week. 

  “Citylab’s purpose was to enhance the bio curriculum by providing hands-on experience in biotechnology,” high school biology teacher, Dr. Maria Burgess, said.

  “Citylab can also offer our students the opportunity to perform high-end bio tech labs,” high school biology teacher, Erica Everett, said.

  According to Burgess, students from the CP level to the AP level classes participated in the event, although performing different labs. The sophomore biology classes studied hemoglobin protein structure, a protein that carries oxygen in the red blood cells of vertebrates, while the AP students studied gel electrophoresis, a process used to compare the size of different strands of DNA.

  “We had specific goals. For the AP students, we performed a lab important for the AP exam, and for sophomores we did an electrophoresis lab involving sickle hemoglobin and normal hemoglobin,” Evertt said.

  This year was the sophomore students’ first time attending Citylab; however, AP students attended the lab while sophomores, resulting this year in their second time in the environment.

  “I would say it was pretty cool that we got to use real samples from people with anemia,” sophomore student Kurt Statz-Geary said.

  “I did the same lab last year in Boston, and doing it again was interesting since it was in a bus that still had all the equipment necessary. Though it was the same, it felt new and different since it was in a different location,” AP Biology student junior Jeffrey White said.

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Citylab successfully extends students’ knowledge

Boston University’s interactive student program, “Citylab,” visited the biology classes to aid students in hands-on lab experiments.

By Ellen Burgess

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Boston University’s interactive student program, “Citylab,” visited the biology classes to aid students in hands-on lab experiments.

  From Feb. 7-11 the Citylab bus came loaded with the equipment necessary for the experimental lab students would be performing. The bus remained parked in the teacher parking lot for the duration of the week. 

  “Citylab’s purpose was to enhance the bio curriculum by providing hands-on experience in biotechnology,” high school biology teacher Dr. Maria Burgess said.

  “Citylab can also offer our students the opportunity to perform high-end bio tech labs,” science department chair Erica Everett said.

  According to Burgess, students from the CP level to the AP level classes participated in the event, although performing different labs. The sophomore biology classes studied hemoglobin protein structure, a protein that carries oxygen in the red blood cells of vertebrates, while the AP students studied gel electrophoresis, a process used to compare the size of different strands of DNA.

  “We had specific goals. For the AP students, we performed a lab important for the AP exam, and for sophomores we did an electrophoresis lab involving sickle hemoglobin and normal hemoglobin,” Everett said.

  This year was the sophomores’ first time attending Citylab; however, AP students attended the lab while sophomores, resulting this year in their second time in the environment.

  “I did the same lab last year in Boston, and doing it again was interesting since it was in a bus that still had all the equipment necessary. Though it was the same, it felt new and different since it was in a different location,” AP Biology student junior Jeffrey White said.

  “I would say it was pretty cool that we got to use real samples from people with anemia,” sophomore student Kurt Statz-Geary said.

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High school students have new opportunity with recently formed volleyball club

Volleyball is a sport most commonly found in areas outside of New England; however, a sophomore student is bringing it to the school, beginning April 26.

By Ellen Burgess

INDEPENDENT STAFF

  Volleyball is a sport most commonly found in areas outside of New England; however, a sophomore student is bringing it to the school, beginning April 26.

  Sophomore, Ellie Mortillaro, is starting a spring volleyball club for any high school student to join.

   “I wanted to get a volleyball club started because a bunch of people I’d talked to also wanted to play, and I thought it’d be a great sport to learn. I feel like the club is going to be really fun and a good chance to get to know new people,” Mortillaro said.

  High school math teacher Sarah DeLuca received the position of head coach for the team.

  According to DeLuca, there will be two practices per week, Tuesday and Thursday, and the expectation is that participants to treat the practices as if they were at the varsity level. Members must attend practices and be on time.

  The Gordon College Varsity volleyball team is planning on coming to the practices to host various clinics, DeLuca said.

  “Ultimately, I would love for volleyball to be part of our interscholastic sports during the fall, but I don’t see that happening in the next four years,” DeLuca said.

  Optimistically looking forward, DeLuca said, “We are going to try to scrimmage other club teams in our area within the next few years.”

  Junior Jelisa O’Hara said many students have been talking about participating in the new club, and 18 student’s attendance at the first meeting was extraordinary.

  “Although we don’t really get to play teams, I think it’s a great way to start a volleyball program that could possibly expand and get more popular in future years,” O’Hara said.

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Second Drive to donate more blood to Red Cross

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion. In order to keep up with this demand, there needs to be 38,000 donations every day. For this reason, the Student Council is hosting the second American Red Cross Blood Drive on Friday, March 18.

By Ellen Burgess

INDEPENDENT STAFF

  Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion. In order to keep up with this demand, there needs to be 38,000 donations every day. For this reason, the Student Council is hosting the second American Red Cross Blood Drive on Friday, March 18.

  Students may be timid about participating, but donating blood can save someone’s life.

  “It was my first time. I was really nervous, but I’m glad I did because I know it might have saved someone’s life. I can’t wait to do it again at the next blood drive,” junior Julia Toby said.

  “I’m really excited to donate this year. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished someone bigger than myself,” junior Gina Caponigro said.

  According to the American Red Cross, there are many restrictions on who can and cannot donate blood. These are based on age, height and weight requirements, whether the donor has recently traveled to a malaria infested area, and the amount of iron in the bloodstream.

  The shorter a human is, the more he or she must weigh in order to be eligible to donate. For example, a female who is five feet tall must weigh at least 138 pounds. These requirements are to ensure the safety of donors. This is necessary because if a human weighs too little, the amount of blood taken can cause him or her to faint, become weak or dizzy.

  If one has traveled to an area in which malaria has been found, he or she must wait twelve months in order to be eligible to donate blood again.

  If the iron levels in the bloodstream are low, a person is not eligible to donate. In order to increase the levels of iron in the blood, one can take iron supplements or eat iron rich food, such as red meat, spinach, fish, and beans the week before the donation.

  A multitude of people are eligible to give blood. Donors must be at least 17 years old; however, a 16-year-old can donate with a parent or guardian’s signature.

  “Diabetics can give blood as long as their blood sugar levels are healthy on the day of the donation,” Student Council adviser Sarah DeLuca said.

  According to DeLuca, on the day of the donation, faculty and students planning to donate should drink plenty of water, eat a healthy breakfast, and arrive rested.

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