Category Archives: News

The latest and greatest and most hard hitting of information.

Students will face more ISBOE graduation requirements

by Mariam Elassal and Analicia Cass/Staff Writers

Photo: Photo is from Greenfield Central High school’s Instagram account. This picture was the State Board of Education meeting regarding the Graduation Pathway changes.  

With recent alterations to graduation requirements by the Indiana State Board of Education (ISBOE), the Class of 2023 will be facing a new set of regulations in order to earn their high school diploma. The State Board’s motivation for approving this modification is to create a system that would ensure students are prepared for life after high school. The board’s decision to vote on the proposal in December surprised many people.

These new regulations will change graduation requirements significantly. Instead of the regular Core 40 plan, in which students complete their core classes and a few fine arts classes, with the option of continuing onto getting their academic or technical honors, this new plan greatly expands the process of graduating. In addition to the expectation of achieving Core 40, the students are expected to do one of the following: 1) achieve an honors diploma of choice: technical OR academic, 2) take the SAT or ACT or ASVAB, a military qualification test, 3) complete a state-, industry-, or federally- recognized apprenticeship, and the list goes on to a few more choices that are more difficult. This is what the BOE is calling the “Post-secondary Ready Competencies.”

The ISBOE wants students to be able to acknowledge and demonstrate independence and employability skills. To do so, there are three main choices that are broken down into more choices for students to choose from. These choices include project-based, service-based, and work-based. Within the project-based choices, students have to pick either the completion of a course capstone, completion of research project, completion of AP capstone assessment, or the completion of Cambridge International Global Perspective and Research. For the service-based option, students must choose one of the following: participate in meaningful volunteer experience, engage in school based activity: extracurricular or sport for one academic year, or other options approved by the ISBOE. For the work-based option, the available options to choose from are to complete course capstone, complete an internship, obtain a job outside of the school day or other options approved by the State Board.

GC administrators and staff have been paying very close attention to the new requirements proposed for Graduation Pathways. “My initial thought was ‘concern,’ ” said Dr. Harold Olin, superintendent of Greenfield-Central schools. “I am trying to understand the urgency for the quick changes to the graduation process that are being recommended by the state board of education. That being said, I am going to quickly change to a problem-solving mentality and create the setting for G-C students to succeed in the new environment.”

Teachers and school administrators are also concerned about the learning and demonstrating employability skills portion of the regulations. “(The ISBOE) talks about having different work experience or service experience. Those are difficult for me to understand. How do you track that? If we have a student that can’t do that after school, they are expected to do it during school. We have kids that have special circumstances. What does it look like for those kids?” Mr. Jason Cary, GCHS  principal asked.

 

In the 2015-16 school year, Indiana schools prepared to give a different standardized test than the ECA, which had previously been given.  Sophomores in that academic year were given the ISTEP along with the ECA in a multitude of assessments. Ethan Kile, 12, said, “We were the guinea pigs and were bombarded with standardized tests. In middle school, we were told all we need to graduate was ECA. I thought all I had left was the SAT and when I came in freshman year, I heard about all these new tests.” From the 2017 ISTEP scores at GC, only 34.6 percent of students passed both math and reading. Mount Vernon’s passing rate was only slightly higher at 38%, and New Pal sophomores passed both reading and math at a rate of 43.5 %. In contrast, Warren Central’s passing rate was 20.4% and Lawrence Township’s scores were 25.9%. Overall, scores of this new ISTEP test were low.

As we look to the new stipulations for graduation coming up, Dr. Olin also stated that he estimates that about 70-75% of students will not have trouble completing these new requirements, meaning that 25-30% of high school will struggle to achieve a diploma. According to an article indystar.com wrote in 2015, 5-10% of high schoolers in Indiana did not graduate. This new pathway would potentially jeopardize the diplomas of triple that number of students.

Cary also discussed the challenges for some graduates. “Our top 50% of kids are going to be fine but for the kids that study already and have obstacles, it’s going to be a lot for some of those kids. In theory it was a good idea but one of our biggest complaints was that the board did not have a single counselor on their team,” said Cary.  Additionally, several members of the ISBOE do not have experience in the classroom, and they are generally the members who voted for the the new pathway program.

Indiana educators and administrators will have to wait to see how the new regulations will affect their students.

 

Picture: Picture is from Greenfield Central High school’s Instagram account. This picture was the State Board of Education meeting regarding the Graduation pathway changes.  

GC speaks out on FCC proposal to reverse net neutrality

by Megan Schoonover/Staff Writer

    How often do you use the internet? In today’s day and age you most likely do very often. Net neutrality allows us to have freedom on the internet and do the things we do every day. Net neutrality, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, is defined as,”The idea, principle, or requirement that Internet service providers should or must treat all Internet data as the same regardless of its kind, source, or destination.”

    The net neutrality we know has been around since 2015. It allows us to go to whatever site we want (and not have to pay a fine to go on it) and every site uses the same internet speed. So what happens when we don’t have these freedoms?

    On this upcoming Dec. 14 the FCC will vote on the plan (created by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai) that is trying reverse net neutrality. If they do, our internet will be very limited. Companies will control our internet so it will no longer be an open place. Certain sites will be blocked, get no traffic because companies will decrease their bandwidth, or have to pay a toll to just have a normal running site. Besides the site owners having to pay we will also have to pay to just use our everyday site. These companies will also have control over our internet speeds.

    Greg Thompson, technology operations director at GC, explained, “I liken the current (FCC) proposal to the following: Imagine if you bought a new Samsung Refrigerator for your kitchen replacing your old Kenmore fridge. Your Power Company has a special contract in place with Kenmore to provide 100% of the power needed by that Kenmore Fridge, but Samsung has decided not to pay your Power Company extra money to guarantee that its fridges also get 100% of the power they need. So your power company only sends 50% of the power needed by your new Fridge unless you agree to pay them extra to get the 100% needed. Sounds far fetched? That’s because: 1. The power company can’t actually do this legally since they are classified as a Title II Common Carrier.2. The technology to limit Power Delivery doesn’t exist (I believe it would if they could).”

    Thompson said, “In the end getting worse service for more $$ is never a good thing, and could have a negative effect on the people of Greenfield, and unfortunately I think the FCC will pass this new proposal.”

Savannah Watts, 12, commented, “I think that we should have the ability to surf the internet freely, without any one person or company telling consumers what to look at or what to search.”

     When asked how he felt about the proposal, Mr. Dan Naegeli responded, “ I feel that the internet has become a necessity in the daily life in the average American citizen.  I feel that it should be regulated like a utility.”

    Mr. Jonathan Hudson, Radio/TV department, commented on the plan, “Imagine if you are AT&T or Comcast, and providing internet to a household. It would be in your best interest to slow down content streaming websites like Netflix, Hulu, and others as to push your own streaming services and slowly take revenue away from the aforementioned companies. This is the problem without Net Neutrality, the ISP’s will always look out for themselves and their parent companies, and other third party companies with no major affiliation with always be confined to limited traffic on less bandwidth.”

    Elaine Hilton, 11, tech cadet who is also in AP Computer Science, responded to the possibility of reversal of net neutrality. “I am very concerned about the proposal because it will change life as we know it today. Our access to the internet will be limited by companies that are trying to make money. We will have to pay for access to our favorite sites just like we pay for tv channels now. I am definitely against the proposal the FCC is trying to pass because it will turn the internet into an industry rather than a resource for everyone.”

   Hilton also brought up another good point. “This will definitely impact the people of Greenfield-Central because it will become too expensive to purchase internet access for 1,500+ students. This will also limit what resources students will be able to access, which will limit educational opportunities.”

    When asked about how reversing net neutrality will affect the students, Aarika Foster, 10, said, “I think the students would be enraged. Most of the students are aware or at least have heard of it. Since we are all becoming young adults it affects us a lot. We have to know about these things but I do think they will pass this proposal.”

    Eric Mitchell, 11, said, “If this proposal is passed the good side of it is that people will be forced to go outside more often because they won’t be able to use their internet as much.”

    If this plan goes through we may have a very big change ahead of us. This change would apply to anyone who uses the internet.

    Ethan Baker, 11, said, “I think they will pass the proposal. The (FCC chairman) who proposed it, Ajit Pai, seems to be pretty set on this. He has also made statements that no matter how much we protest it is likely that it is still going through.”     

    Baker also said, “I think that if this goes through we will see less MacBook use because the internet will be a lot more expensive. I’m sure it’ll affect the youth in general too because we use the internet for just about everything.”

    Noah Engle, 11, said in response to the FCC’s proposal, “I don’t like the FCC’s proposal whatsoever. I am very against getting rid of net neutrality, mainly because I really don’t want to pay even more money for internet and it’s just ridiculous in general. Without net neutrality, companies would be able to control what we can see on the internet. More than likely censoring some people from voicing their opinions or posting news articles that are pro-net neutrality and infringing on their rights of free speech.”

   Hilton said, “I think it is likely that they will pass the proposal because members of Congress often hold large stocks in internet companies, so they stand to make a lot of money if this is passed. For this reason, they will work much harder to get it passed in order to receive their own financial gains.”

   However Hudson believed, “I strongly believe taking down Net Neutrality is an attempt to for the FCC to try to regulate the internet,  in which they previously have been unsuccessful. I ultimately believe that Net Neutrality will stand despite the greed and conflict of interests that lie within major ISP’s.”

   It seems to be a coin toss, but actions are being taken.

   New York Times writer Cecilia Kang, in “Net Neutrality Hits a Nerve, Eliciting Intense Reactions” wrote, “Public interest groups like Free Press and organizations like Mozilla, the nonprofit behind the popular Firefox browser, said they were prepared to file suit against the plan as soon as the vote on Dec. 14.” and “… start-ups such as Airbnb, Twitter and Reddit, which joined dozens of smaller start-ups on Monday warned that the rules would hurt innovation and the economy.”

    Engle said, “The FCC will more than likely pass the proposal, but Congress recently has set out a bill to stop the FCC from taking away our internet,  (House of Representatives Bill 4585.)”

    The bill is being sponsored by Sean Patrick Maloney, Democrat from New York. The bill may not be able to have an impact because of such a quick turnaround time, but it is promoting more discussion of the topic of net neutrality.

(Link to bill) https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/4585

 

 

    

  

 

   

 

Students build career, college prep experience

by Mariam Elassal/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Trystan Ailes, Jonathan Brown, and Evan McLaughlin, all 11, study for the SAT test coming up in December. 

Don’t Fear the Future Day took place on Oct. 24, when freshman went on a field trip; sophomore and juniors proceeded to take PSAT or Accuplacer in preparation for the standardized test that all high schoolers are required to take prior to graduation. Seniors also went on college visits in search of their potential future schools. Don’t fear the future day is intended to prepare sophomores and juniors for the SAT. By taking the PSAT, students get an idea of the SAT and how test day will look like.

Test day can be very stressful but taking the appropriate steps at the right time can be crucial to not only lessen test anxiety but to also help students plan for a bright future after high school. Mr. Tim Horsman, counseling department, recommended that students take advantage of the resources on collegeboard.com.  “For the PSAT in particular, every student that signs up for the test gets a full practice exam and student guide in order to help them prepare for what they will see on the test,” Horsman said. “It is also important to give oneself enough time to study for the test without being rushed or pressured,” Horsman said.

After the test has been taken and scores are received, students are given a booklet to compare the answers. This gives them the opportunity to see what they got wrong and how to improve. Mrs. Jill Slinker, English department, also recommended, “To prepare for the test, it is great to take practice exams, and work on timing. Khan Academy Online works with the College Board to provide excellent practice materials that are free to use.” She also stated that students should get a good night’s sleep, bring a watch, all registration materials, and to dress in layers as the weather in test buildings can be unpredictable.

Kori Dixon, 12, has taken the SAT twice. “I was fairly satisfied with my scores, especially since most colleges accept a super scored test.” A superscored test means colleges will take the best score a person received, regardless of the amount of times a person took the test.

Dixon said, “I’ve been accepted into Indiana Wesleyan University and plan to attend this college during fall of 2018.” Dixon stated that she found the most effective way to study is to take practice SAT tests.

Test anxiety is an issue that, unfortunately, can affect almost everyone at one point. Horsman advocated that students go into the test room confident and calm. Slinker stated, “The best way to combat test anxiety is to be prepared. Know the format of the test and questions, and have a strategy to attack the questions ahead of time.” She also suggested that after the test, test-takers not think about the test until the scores come in.  

Don’t Fear the Future Day was a busy day, but GC administrators and counselors plan this day to prepare students for their future whether it be testing, going on job shadows, college tours, field trips, etc. The idea behind the day is to build confidence in students as they take steps to advance after high school.

War on Terror continues, affects GC families

by Analicia Cass/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Private Jacob Ramey, picture taken after his graduation from boot camp in Fort Benning, Georgia.

The War on Terror, while it may be mentioned a lot in America, is a subject that many people may not fully understand. Many others may also not realize how the war affects a soldier’s family.

The War on Terror was declared by President George W. Bush after the horrific happening of the 9/11 terrorist attack, as the United States was left stunned from the outcome of the attack. President Bush wanted to make sure terrorists knew the U.S. wouldn’t stand for it nor would they let it hurt their patriotism. The declaration of war was aimed towards the end of terrorism in America, specifically the group al Qaeda. The terrorists were in a few countries in the Middle East already, so the idea was to stop it before it spread out even more.

Although we were triumphant over al Qaeda, another well known group came to light, ISIS. There are many other smaller terrorist groups in the Mid-East, too. Our attempts of abolishing terrorism are far from complete, but we will continue to fight against it until it is terminated. Even if that means gaining help from unlikely sources.

The old saying goes: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The U.S. is using this as one of their tactics against terrorism. U.S. troops have made accommodations with the Taliban to help rid the Mid-East, and everywhere for that matter, of ISIS. The Taliban is working in Iran to create a buffer zone where ISIS cannot go to war in Iran. “Iran has contributed troops, weapons and funds to counter ISIS since the jihadists’ lightning advance in 2014, making it a reluctant, yet effective partner of the U.S,” wrote Newsweek writer Tom O’Connor in a July 10 article, “U.S., Iran, Syria and Russia finally agree: Iraq’s victory over ISIS praised around the world.”

Due to recent events in Afghanistan, political action has taken place. The biggest non-nuclear bomb the US has was dropped on ISIS, ordered by Pres. Trump. He said that he is determined to end the war in Afghanistan “by committing more US troops” to the cause, according to an Au. 22 Telegraph article, “Donald Trump commits more US troops to Afghanistan and calls on Britain to follow suit.” He has called upon the United States’ NATO allies, such as Great Britain, to increase their troop numbers the same as the U.S. Trump’s bold decisions have upset some, but made others more comfortable with their loved ones being overseas in the Mid-East.

Many of our own students here at GC have a family member, a friend, or a significant other in the military. Although not all soldiers are deployed to Afghanistan, the students are all still affected in some way.

Cole Gwin, 10, has both his father and brother in the military. “My house is fairly empty and it leaves my mom to deal with most of our problems alone,” he said.

Having not one, but two family members in the military makes a change in the overall function of the household. Ethan Kile, 12, has a brother and soon-to-be brother-in-law in the military. Kile says, “Active duty often gets in the way of family functions, it is weird not seeing them there.”

Not having a close family member with you at family outings can be difficult at times. Even though the soldiers are gone, their families still have a somewhat hard time adapting to the changes. After acclimating with the soldier not being there, the families must get used to the lack of contact.

The families don’t usually get to see or even contact their soldier often. The soldiers only have so much time when they are able to talk. Gwin said, “Hypothetically I can talk to them whenever I need to, although talking in person is a few times a month, sometimes less.” Not seeing or speaking to a family member for months can, at times, be challenging. The same goes for soldiers who are across seas that aren’t able to speak with their family or friends as much as they used to.

Private Jacob Ramey is a former student at Greenfield-Central who decided to go into the infantry in the army after graduation. Ramey said the separation from family is tough. “The lack of talking to family brings down the morale around here.” When a soldier doesn’t speak to their family and friends for extended amounts of time it can make them feel isolated.

When troops are in war torn countries, the government must have a plan to keep them safe while achieving the goal of them being there. Ramey said, “Our plan is just to push ISIS back to Pakistan so we don’t have to worry about them being in Afghanistan.” The idea is to push ISIS into Pakistan and prevent them from going over into Iran. Iran and the Taliban have teamed up in some ways to get rid of ISIS, creating a buffer zone that prevents the violent terrorists from going into Iran.

Gwin stated, “While the cause is something we need to pursue, after so long, this way of going about it can not continue without revision.” The new plan of just pushing ISIS back is a revised one, as for how well it’ll work in the long run, it cannot be anticipated.

The War on Terror, which is mostly centered in Afghanistan at this time, has been ongoing for the past 16 years. “There are currently around 6,000 US troops on ground in Iraq and Syria, according to Military Times, though even that number does not tell the whole story since the Pentagon assigns troops to the region on a ‘temporary’ basis that does not contribute to its total count,” wrote Business Insider writer, Paul Szoldra. With this many troops in war torn countries, it’s difficult not to be concerned about the War on Terror. The war is still a serious one, however it is doesn’t have the attention it used to. The ongoing war has changed over time and has escalated in different ways due to technological advances. The need for troops in these Middle Eastern areas affects the soldiers and their families in many ways.

 

The Scoop on Principal Cary: How he’s adjusting, what faculty think, his goals

by Megan Schoonover/Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Connie Entrekin: Principal Jason Cary works in his office in his first year at GC. 

“They didn’t hire Steve Bryant Jr., they hired you.” This was a piece of advice given to our new principal from our previous principal, Steve Bryant. Principal Jason Cary has had a smooth transition into our new school.  

“The kids have been great, the teachers have been great, and everybody has been really nice. This has made my transition a lot easier,” he said.

At first Cary was worried that not everyone would get his personality. “ I like to laugh and have a good time.”

Mr. Tim Horsman, counseling department, said he likes Cary’s funny side.  “He’s always making a joke, which is great because I function that way too. It’s not fun to work with someone who is always serious. His Twitter is almost always funny, too and I think it’s a great way to communicate with the students especially.”

Mrs. Connie Entrekin, administrative secretary for Mr. Cary, has also noticed his light-hearted side. “Yes, he does funny things…stay tuned…you never know what to expect.”

Aubree Cole, president of student council, explained, “I really like Mr. Cary’s Twitter. Not only is it very informative, but it also gives me a good laugh sometimes.”

Cary said he doesn’t expect very many changes. “If we get any input from the students or staff then we may look at things and ask how we can make this better.”

Entrekin said, “He is always positive and wanting to make GCHS the best school we can be.” However, Principal Cary does have one major goal for GCHS. “My big goal is getting our graduation rate higher,” Cary said.  “If kids leave here with a diploma, they leave here with an opportunity.”

This is his big goal and is hoping to get the graduation rate from 91% to 95%. After that he said, “Then we can move onto something else.”

Before his year started here he hoped to go to sporting events. He has definitely fulfilled that hope. He has been to “almost every sport more than once. It’s been nice seeing the kids and hanging out,” Cary said. The most exciting game he’s been to was the volleyball game against West Point. “That was a really competitive game and I got to ring the siren at the end, so I may be a bit biased on that. There’s always something exciting about all of them, though,” Cary said.

Cole stated that she liked Mr. Cary’s involvement in school activities. “My favorite thing about Mr. Cary is his school spirit. He is at almost every school event, and is constantly supporting all groups and teams.”

Cary so far has been “a great principal who cares about the students and the teachers,” said Entrekin.

Horsman stated,“He’s very focused on making things better for the students and everything I have seen has been really positive. You can tell he’s got a heart for kids…He’s focused on the business of the school and the academics but really it comes down to is what’s in the best interest for the students.”

Cary will provide ‘fresh eyes’ as top admin at GC

by Grace Gray/Staff Writer

After almost two decades at Greenfield Central, principal Steve Bryant will be retiring this year. After a successful run from Bryant, the search was on for a candidate who could fill Bryant’s shoes, the replacement being Jason Cary.

Cary has spent the past seven years at Peru High School, four as principal and three as assistant principal. Coming from Peru, a school of about 660 students, he will now be overseeing a school of around 1,500 students, the largest high school in the county. “My initial thoughts on GC are how nice everyone is and what a great community it is” said Cary. “I can’t wait to move my family down here. It seems like a great place to have a family.”

Assistant principal Susie Coleman said Cary should be a great fit for the administrative team. “I think we are ready for a fresh pair of eyes here.”

As for athletics, all are hoping for a smooth transition. Freshman dancer Kaelie Kinder said, “I hope we get someone in here that cares about sports like Mr. Bryant does. If that happens I don’t think we will have any problems.”

“I love going to sporting events, so I can’t wait to put on my blue and gold and cheer on the kids.” said Cary.

Junior football player Zack Kennedy said, “I’m excited to see what a new pair of eyes will do for GC athletics this year.”

“I think this is what GC needs, some new insight and new eyes, and we are hoping for a smooth transition,” said Coleman. “He fits with this staff very well, and we are hoping for the best.”

As for changes next year, “There is nothing broken here at GCHS. There are no major issues. We just need to approve upon what is already great,” said Cary.

 

Photo courtesy of Peru High School website

https://www.peru.k12.in.us/

 

Flex Day presents benefits, drawbacks

by Eric Morales/Staff Writer

How efficient are Flex Days?

The answer lies within teacher and student feedback. Do people just like you believe that Flex Day is efficient?

First of all, what is Flex Day? “Flex Day is a day when students are allowed time to work on assignments from the comfort of their own home,” said Ben Grimes, 9.

Flex Day is when you stay home and do most of your work from home,” said Estelle Smith, 9.

Flex Days give students an opportunity to work at their own pace independently. For some it’s good, but for others it might be a struggle.

Based on questions to students and staff comments, whether or not many students completed their Flex Day assignment during that day seemed to be in question. On the previous Flex Day some students did their work on the weekend. Some teachers don’t even like to make their Flex Day assignments public until it is officially Flex Day.

Mr. Gary Cerqua, business teacher and technology specialist, collected data to show how the efficiency in Flex Day compares to a normal classroom setting. “The vast majority of high school and junior high teachers said that the work completion percentage was very similar to that of a typical class day,” he says. “The vast majority of high school and junior high teachers also said that the quality of work very closely mirrored that of a typical class day.”

Mr. John Rihm, a science teacher at GC, talked about whether students should do their work on that day, or if it mattered. He said that he doesn’t care if students do their work before, just not after. “What difference does it make,” Rihm stated. “The work is getting done, right?”

This may be somewhat inefficient, but that doesn’t mean that Flex Day is ineffective. It just means people procrastinate. Many teachers did have students who didn’t do their work until the last minute. This fact helps present some of the hiccups of Flex Day.

Jayden Cave, 11, said he didn’t do the Flex Day work on the actual day. “It’s like a President’s Day, really. I don’t do any of my work.”

Bailie Puckett, 11, had a different perspective. “I do all of my work. I definitely like to be home, though,” she said.

Although Flex Days can have inconveniences, it is believed to be necessary. “I think Flex Days are necessary once in a while because it shows if kids can do work without the help or supervision of a teacher,” said Smith.

Some said it gives the student more independence and shows his or her dedication and independence.

Maddy McDaniel, 11, said she knew what to do during Flex Day for her assignments. “I understood the assignments because the teacher explained it the day before,” she said.

Charles Thomas, 11, says, “Flex days do have their inconveniences, but it’s great to relax at home and do your work there.”

Some students think the reason students might procrastinate is the amount of work given.

Makayla Sexton, 11, said, “I think teachers assign too much Flex Day work. It’s long assignments, not short.”

Cave agreed. “There is a lot of work. I had an hour and a half of work per class. Sometimes I feel like teachers don’t know we have another life outside of school.”

Cave said another drawback was that you can’t ask questions, although he said you could email or call your teacher.

Sexton said, “If you have computer problems at home, no one can fix it, unless you are a tech cadet.”

A simple solution to ensure students do the work suggested by Smith was a way for teachers to check student progress. “Maybe one suggestion to improve Flex Day is maybe the teachers can monitor whether or not the students do their work,” Smith said.

Flex Day currently is experimental. There are ways to fix and make Flex Day more efficient, so fewer people are pushing their assignment to the last minute. 

The benefits and drawbacks of Flex Day depend on the person’s perspective. “I think Flex Days are efficient depending on the person and if they use their time wisely,” Smith says.

“No, Flex Day is inefficient because doesn’t give students access to teachers directly and it just slows learning,” Grimes said.

Others like the pace of Flex Day.

“I like that you can do it on your own time,” Sexton said.

“You do your work on your own time at your own speed,” Puckett said.

ISTEP replaces ECA

by Mariam Elassal / Staff Writer

Photo Caption : Students review key concepts prior to ISTEP test in Mr. Smith’s College Entrance Prep class.

 

Sophomores in Indiana will have to take the ISTEP+ this year as a replacement of the ECA.

Some people support the change, but others say the test is more difficult than the ECA was last year. After gathering and comparing some opinions from not only teachers, but students as well, opinions are very mixed.

Aaron Smith, math teacher at GC, doesn’t see it as a stressful test, but rather that it is a test to show what students know. He tells his students to relax, and if they don’t know the answer, to just make an educated guess. Smith also said that if students pay attention in class and listen to their teachers, they will be fine during this test as it is just a review of what they learned before. Nothing new or unseen will show up.

“Looking at last year’s test, the ISTEP+ did seem more rigorous than the ECA. It covers a more broad range of question, it has both Algebra and Geometry whereas the ECA only had Algebra, and the questions go more in depth. Again, if students are listening to their teachers, and putting forth the effort to understand the concepts, they will be fine no matter what test they are taking,” Smith said.

Krysha Voelz, English teacher at GC, stated, “ISTEP+ differs from ECA in format, subjects tested, and in the nature of its questions. Therefore it may be perceived by some to be more difficult. However, both tests require students to read critically and write fluently. As long as students stay engaged, read actively, and write with supporting details, they should perform well.” Voelz also encourages her students to get a good night’s rest along with a proper breakfast. While taking the test, Voelz recommends that students “pace themselves, check their responses, and use all their allotted time on the test.”

GC cheerleaders take state, focus on future

by Sam Kihega/Staff Writer

Picture: Varsity cheerleaders Maci Montgomery, 11, Khloe Shockley, 10, and Marissa Gallo, 11,  lead the Cougars in a cheer during football season.

Greenfield-Central Cheer has had a year that was worth watching. They won state with all their hard work from not only the cheerleaders, but also from their coach, Ms. Laken Peal.

“Winning state gives us a chance to not only celebrate our accomplishments but also to set a standard for our program. It acknowledges the hard work and athleticism that is required to be successful in cheer, and it helps to reaffirm our program’s ability and potential. More specifically, now, we work on skills we want to accomplish for next year’s competition season.” said Coach Peal.

Ava Dickmann, 12, said she was proud of the cheerleaders’ accomplishments as well.

With this being my last year, winning state is bittersweet. I could not have asked for a better end to this season because we accomplished what we aspired to,” she said. Dickmann followed that statement saying after every practice the team would break on the word  “rings” because when you win state, you get rewarded with rings.

Coach Peal spoke about the future after winning state. “With basketball, we are looking forward to working in tandem with our Pep Band. They are they best supporters we have at basketball games, and we love hearing them play as well as chanting with them. They truly get in the Cougar spirit, even when others have a hard time doing so,” she said.  

Another varsity cheerleader, Paige Towle, 9, talked about how different this year was from last year. “It is very different. At junior high practices it was a lot more laid back. This year I felt more pressure, since I was a freshman. The actual routine itself was so much harder this year.”

Towle added that the atmosphere at games and competitions was also a change from the past. “Last year, you were lucky if the football players at least looked near you while you were cheering. This year we have students in the stands to cheer with us. It is more fun to make faces at your friends while you do the motions to a cheer than staring at an empty section in the bleachers,” she said.

Towle also pointed out what she would like to see happen in the future for the cheerleaders. “I think that throughout the years, I would like to see us work on being cleaner and making everything perfect. Even when we hit everything in the competition, we weren’t as tight as we know we can be. I think when we learn to be tighter and make everything hit, people will think very highly of our team.”

Students, staff weigh in on Flex Day

by Matt Haggard and Rayne Guyer/Staff Writers

Picture by Matt Haggard/ Bailey Lyle, 11, works on her schoolwork for Flex Day, a technology e-learning day at GC.

 

The Flex Pilot Day on Wed. Nov. 16 was a test day for future e-learning days.   Students did not have to attend school. Instead, they accessed their classes from an online learning management system (LMS) like Google Classroom or Moodle. There were then assignments, readings, or video lessons the students were to complete during the day.

As this is the first flex day at Greenfield Central High School, many teachers were curious how students would handle the day. Mr. Paul Grizzard, the choir teacher, said, “I think that that administration has prepared the teachers well and from what I’ve seen is teachers have prepared the students well.”

Mr. Todd Degler, a math teacher, said, “I thought students and staff handled the flex day well.  Students were able to receive their assignments from their teachers through Google Classroom or Moodle.”

In choir, the regular day consists of singing, sight reading and more. Since many kids had choir on the flex day, what would the choir kids do? In Mr. Grizzard’s class, students were assigned a Google Form that consisted of music theory, musical terms, and general music knowledge questions. The students were also given videos and lyrics to the “Madrigal Dinner” songs to memorize for a test.

Mrs. Rebekah Cerqua, science department, said that she runs her classes on “the flipped model,” which means that the students already watch lectures at home. The only problem that she had was trying to rework her schedule to find an activity that would fit on Flex Day.

For Mr. Degler’s class, “Students needed to view notes and examples I had posted on Moodle as well as doing the assignment on Big Ideas Math.  Since it was not a review assignment students had to take a more active part in learning the material for themselves.”

         One concern was that teachers would need to have resources for students who might have technology issues or lack of access to technology.

Mr. Degler said students would be mostly familiar with the technology. “I already use Moodle as a regular part of delivering resources and assignments to students.  I was able to respond by email to a few students’ questions.”

Another concern was about the student work getting completed.

Mr. Grizzard said, “I would be curious to see how students handle it in terms of being self motivated because it’s sometimes hard to motivate yourself to do something at home while you have many more distractions.”

Mrs. Cerqua said, “I think the biggest concern is if the work is going to be done,” and Mr. Degler stated, “I was concerned more students would not do the assignment or not try to learn the new material and then expect me to take an extra day to get them caught up.”

Mr. Grizzard spoke about the benefits of Flex Day. “I think that this Flex Day will prepare students for (future) opportunities.”

Mrs. Cerqua agreed.“One of the biggest benefits for students is that this kind of mimics online learning course,” Mrs. Cerqua said.

Mr. Degler said, “It allowed us to count the school day as well as give time for teachers to collaborate in professional development.”

Students weighed in on their thoughts for Flex Day as well.

Before Flex Day, Gabriel Barnes, 11, said, “I don’t think it will be effective. Most students will most likely forget to do their work during the day. They will just go on like it was a day without school. Even so, some students don’t have internet access at home. Sure, it’s effective to have (Flex) days in the school year, but I don’t think the students will follow through with it very well.’’

After Flex Day, Barnes commented, ‘’(Flex Day) was good. I did the work that was due at the end of the day. I did not do the work that is due tomorrow, though. I want more of those days so I can sleep in and be able to do more work at my own pace.’’

Ethan Nicholas, 10, said he wasn’t sure about having more Flex Days because “if we have too many Flex Days, I feel like kids won’t do their work and will just sit at home doing nothing.”

Jolie Smith, 10, said, “Flex Day would be more beneficial on like snow days instead of how we had it. I thought it was a great way to be able to take your time and not be rushed.’’ Both Barnes and Smith think the idea of more Flex Days would be a good idea just because most students used it to make up some of their work and to do the work that is due.

Nicholas agreed with Barnes and Smith on liking Flex Day. “I like it because you can do your stuff at home and not worry about how long you take on an assignments.’’