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News Briefs: 9/10

Schedule Changes

At the beginning of this school year, the schedule changed to add more block days to increase seminar time, but now East is being forced to change some of the block days back to 7-period ones. Last fall during the first semester, students only had seven seminars out of almost 20 weeks of school. The administration saw that students and staff were struggling to connect, and teachers didn’t feel they had enough time to help students with their school work.

Before the forced schedule change, the schedule this year was planned to be almost 60 percent one 7-period day followed by four block days, with the remaining weeks a mix of 7-period and block days. This schedule was made after a discussion between all of the SMSD high school administration who agreed it would be beneficial to allow students to have more seminar time by all adopting a common schedule.

East originally strayed from the common schedule, planning to have even more block days than any of the other SMSD high schools; by district order, our schedule is changing again. Adding more 7-period days will put East on a similar schedule to the rest of the District.

East has changed only two days of the first quarter from block days to 7-period days. The semester in total has only changed a few more days back to 7- period days to add to that. The biggest change will come in January when counselors will be trying to use seminar as an enrollment hour opposed to taking students out of class.

“I personally love having more block days because I have more time to get ready and finish my homework for the next day.” junior Mary Grace Poskin said.

East received more block days by making most of the weeks a 4:1 schedule to accommodate early releases, pep assemblies and more.

“I like block days because I feel like we can get more done, there is more comprehension and kids don’t feel so rushed, and they don’t have as much homework,” math teacher Jennifer Horn said. ““I would prefer if they didn’t switch our block days back to 7-period days.”

The issue with block scheduling is that East needs to have more teachers for student supervision during the day. If East goes back to block scheduling permanently in the future the district would have to hire around five new teachers, which is difficult due to the financial issues East is having now.

“I’m definitely a proponent of the four by one schedule, opposed to the three by two schedule because it makes the stress on students less.” Principal Dr. Karl Krawitz said.

The schedule being changed back to a few more 7-period days for the year should not cause issues with any school activities, but more may be added back in depending on how the district feels about East’s new schedule changes.

Share Sign Ups

The SHARE sign up for East wasn’t as glittery and loud as it has been in years past. Normally the “SHARE Fair” is held during seminar and is used to let students explore the projects and decide which one(s) they want to be a part of, all while dancing and receiving candy.

“Dr. Krawitz thought that the SHARE Fair was too party-like so he took it away.” Share Executive Addie Anthony said, “That kind of bothered me.”

Students had to find a new way to decide which of the 80 projects they wanted to sign up for. The SHARE Executives decided to show a few of the project options to students with the dress code presentation in seminar during the first week of school.

“We figured out a way to still talk to students, it just wasn’t as fun.” Anthony said.

This year, the sign up was held Sept. 4-7. Seven tables were lined up in the hallway and each table was for a different category. There were different lists for each category to sign up for, like kid projects, art projects, pet projects and more. This was changed to make it easier for students since they were not able to get a closer look at individual projects like they would have in years past with the SHARE Fair. Once students put their name on the list, they were automatically placed in all SHARE projects in that specific category.

“I think the way SHARE has changed will make it so less kids show up to their projects,” junior Shaina Stasi said, “They won’t want to go to all the projects they signed up for with the new category system.”

Bev Timmons started SHARE at East more than 20 years ago and now around 1,200 East students are involved in Share project every year.

“It’s just nice to help other people and get involved,” Anthony said.

Students are also awarded to kids who have a certain amount of hours get the bronze, silver or gold award.

If you did not make it to the SHARE sign up you can talk to a Share executive during 3rd hour in the SHARE room, located on the 4th floor in the North stairwell.

Missouri State Rep. Holds His Tongue

The Republican Senate nominee, Todd Akin, has been in the spotlight thanks to the comment he made on Sunday, Aug. 19 in St. Louis. When asked in an interview with KTVI-TV about his views on abortion, he replied: “If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has a way to try to shut the whole thing down.”

Akin’s name immediately became infamous and splashed across headlines around the country. Tweets, letters and messages bashed Akin’s comments and antics.

Women sent him mail explaining how they personally have been raising their children conceived through “legitimate rape.” It was even brought up as hot topic at the Republican National Convention.

“In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview, and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year,” Akin said in a Jaco Report interview. “[…] But I believe deeply in the protection of all life, and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action.”

The voting for Senate and other political occupations will occur on Nov. 6. With all of the negative publicity Akin is receiving, voters may think twice before checking his name.

Dress Code

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Julia Seiden

Julia is a junior this year and a staff writer for her first yea of being on The Harbinger staff. She enjoys traveling, being with friends and being part of The Harbinger. Read Full »

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