photo by Morgan Woods
Starting fourth quarter, Thursday late starts will be removed this year, so that seniors have enough hours to graduate on May 12.
This year’s SMSD calendar included two and a half days less than last year, leaving seniors short of the state graduation requirements for attendance. All other SMSD schools are affected by this change and are also making adjustments to the amount of late starts this year.
Without the late start, Thursday seminars will be extended to two hours long as opposed to the normal 50 minute block. According to Principal Dr. Scott Sherman, right now there are no plans set for how the two hour long seminars will be used, but he plans to meet with the other SMSD schools to discuss possible ideas. Sherman said the extra time could be valuable for students who need more time to study for tests or meet with teachers.
“Kids will have AP and IB tests coming up in the spring, so it gives them more time to study for those tests,” Sherman said. “Some of the teachers might [also] have whole study sessions during seminar too.”
While senior Emory Apodaca understands the reason behind the loss of late starts, he is frustrated with the potential loss of free time.
“It definitely upsets me because Thursday mornings are good ways for me to catch up on sleep or if I have a lot of work that I didn’t get done the night before I can do it then,” Apodaca said. “It helps me maintain my health.”
Juniper Drive and Linden Lane are currently under construction as part of Prairie Village’s annual residential street repair program, which started in early August.
13 streets have already been completed, and Tomahawk Road, Aberdeen Road, Eaton Street and 87th Street to Mission Road are all scheduled for reconstruction soon.
Inclement weather and discovering more extensive damage than originally expected has caused delays on two streets so far, resulting in some projects being extended. According to Senior Project Manager Melissa Prenger, if certain roads can’t be completely finished by the end of fall, then construction on those roads will not begin until next spring.
With the residential street repair program’s annual budget of three million dollars, streets were inspected last fall by the city, and those in the highest need of repair were chosen for reconstruction. Potholes, deteriorating curbs and missing or damaged sidewalks were all taken into account. According to Prenger, the most common problem found this year was damaged asphalt.
During the summer, informational flyers were posted on residents’ doors, alerting them about the upcoming construction and how they might be affected. Neighborhood meetings were also held to give more detailed information about the construction and allow residents to ask the contracting company, O’Donnell and Sons, any questions.
Prengers hopes for patience from residents as work continues and the construction teams work through unexpected delays.
“If you’re being asked to be displaced from your driveway for five days while we reconstruct your driveway with a new sidewalk or a new apron while we tie in the things, it’s inconvenient and it can be tiresome,” Prenger said. “We always appreciate the residents having some patience with us while we make improvements to their neighborhood.
It was announced on Aug. 21 that Sony and Disney failed to reach an agreement over the joint ownership of the Marvel character, Spider-Man, resulting in the character currently being forced out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
In 2015, Sony, the sole owner of Spider-Man, entered a deal with Disney-owned Marvel in order to allow Spider-Man to be a character in the MCU. The original agreement established that Sony would finance all of the Spider-Man solo films and receive 90% of the profits. In exchange for granting Spider-Man entrance into MCU films, Disney would then receive 10% of the solo movie profits and the rights to Spider-Man merchandise.
Earlier this year, Disney asked to change their agreement to a 50:50 profit cut, but Sony refused. After months of negotiations, the two companies failed to reach a new agreement, leading Disney to pull Spider-Man out of the MCU.
Both companies’ failure to renegotiate their joint contract could mean that Spider-Man would no longer be able to appear in any future Avengers films, and the storyline in his solo films could not be associated with any Avengers characters or plotlines.
Long time Spider-Man fan senior Jane Sonnechson said the pulling of Spider-Man from the MCU could be a big loss for Marvel fans.
“After Endgame, he’s the original link to all the characters everyone loved so much,” Sonnechson said. “So to have this part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that people are so familiar with go away, I think it’s going to be really sad and hard because suddenly he’s just not there anymore.”
Tom Holland, the actor currently portraying Spider-Man, has expressed an optimistic attitude towards the character’s new direction.
“Who knows what the future holds?” Holland told Entertainment. “All I know is that I’m going to continue playing Spider-Man and having the time of my life. The future for Spider-Man will be different, but it will be equally as awesome and amazing, and we’ll find new ways to make it even cooler.”
The deal has not been settled yet, so many fans still have hope for the two companies to reach an agreement.