Amos Alonzo Stagg High School1621 Brookside Rd. Stockton, CA 95207
04.11.14 Vol. 57 No. 7
BottomLinetheFirst in the family to...
See pages 4&5
PromProm is Saturday, May 3, at the Scottish Rite Tem-ple, with a Great Gatsby theme. Tickets are $45 for singles and $75 for cou-ple, early bird prices for a week. They will be sold in the Student Activities Of-fice during lunch.
PowderPuffAnyone who is still in-terested in participating in the PowerPuff game should see Roger Esparza in room B-9. If partici-pants want to keep their jersey, a $20 fee must be paid to the Student Activi-ties Office.
Got talent?Pick up an application for the upcoming talent show at the Student Activities Office. Auditions will be held April 16. Tickets will also be sold at the Stu-dent Activities Office at lunch. Tickets are $10.
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Schedule to change next year
For years the campus has been vandalized and breached after school, on weekends and during the summer. The incidents were performed by students and strangers alike. This problem has pushed the school to acquire new security cameras this year through the S3 security grant. We have two main focuses on having these cameras up, Assistant Principal Gamal Salama said. Student safety and school entries. The new cameras cover the school entrances and most of the campus, especially where campus se-curity monitors cant always watch. This does not mean that CSMs will be replaced. Theyll still be around, Salama said. The cam-eras are just a tool to help keep a watchful eye over the students and keep them safe. Math Department Chair Andrew Walter said the cameras will be beneficial for the school to keep random people from walking onto school campus. He said that the schools multiple entrances make it pretty impossible to watch over everyone with few (CSMs) eyes. He himself even has a camera installed in his classroom. His main purpose for having the camera up is to help keep track of the materials he has avail-able for his students. Thefts play a factor in the installation of the cameras, as well. Both school property and personal possessions have gone missing, with classroom pro-jectors and laptops being the most common objects reported stolen. The cameras are linked to the SUSD Police De-partment. That means the police will have access to the security footage, linking them even closer to our school campus and further enforcing their pres-ence on school grounds. This can help them iden-tify criminals or suspicious people the police may be searching for. In addition to receiving new cameras, the school also updated to a new program to view their record-ings through Video IQ. This new program is Web based so it is easier to access by school personnel who are authorized to view the footage. Spanish teacher Raquel Chavez supports hav-ing the new cameras set up on campus for security purposes. Anyone could come in and start causing problems, she said, adding that the cameras could help put a stop to strangers entering the school. The old cameras have not been used for the past 10 years. The old system used to view the footage wasnt as good quality as the new ones. The new cameras also have a broader view of the area they are positioned to look over, making them more use-ful. This is not the end of the camera project, Sal-ama said. This is just the beginning. When we get more grants in the future, well look into adding new cameras.
When theres a broken tile in the hall, it is re-placed. When there is a broken board on a bench, it is replaced. When there is any safety hazard for students, it needs to be taken care of. The head custodian sends out a work order and a handyman comes and fixes what is broken. When the district office said the school would no longer be able to stay on a block schedule for next year, the teaching staff came together to address the problem. The district said that the current schedule isnt ideal because the nearly two-hour class periods are too long. Although fixing the schedule to their liking may not have as easy a solution as replac-ing a broken tile, to most teachers, it should still be treated with the same urgent care and attention. The students may not be physically harmed, but the education will be. The schedule that is chosen and up for a vote for next year ultimately affects the education all of the students receive. Over much discussion and voting, the new schedule to put up for a final vote was chosen last week. It includes three 1-6 days and two block pe-riod days. To pass, this new schedule will have to receive two-thirds of the staffs votes. If the vote comes up short, by default the new schedule will be 1-6 every day. Coach Rosslyn Halekakis, the one who intro-duced the schedule, said that including all stu-dents is key. I like the new schedule because you dont get stuck with the same teacher for too long, junior Angel Flores said. In some classes, you dont do much. Supporters of the block schedule say science classes with labs and some of the honors and Ad-vanced Placement classes need the extra time a longer period offers. However, critics say that the majority of classes dont always need a two hour period. They figure that when the lesson plans the teacher prepares are finished, the rest of the class time may disintegrate into socializing. You cant build anything in one hour in MESA, junior David Morales said. I could use the extra help in calculus. Same thing for anatomy, we need two hours to get stuff done. Halekakis understands the need for the block but said were on a Catch 22, especially with Com-mon Core for next year. If the schedule she introduced isnt chosen, there will be no block period days next year, which could be detrimental to both students and staff. Hav-ing to implement Common Core into their lesson plans requires longer instructional time to adapt to the new teaching and prepare for testing. Chemistry teacher John Steiner said he (likes) the added flexibility (the new schedule) gives since some of the classes require more time. From the start, it was a given that there was no simple solution to fixing the schedule that would accommodate everyones needs. The decision will be finalized at the staff meeting in May.
This lab in John Steiners AP Chemistry class deals with finding the levels of acidity in liquids. Including the setup and clean-up, labs like this require block peri-ods.
S3 Grant provides cameras, security
Block periods at the most twice a week to benefit science experiments, Common Core
Neon-colored posters hang on the hallway walls. Excited voices advertise the event in the morning announcements. Music pumps by the ticket sales win-dow, enticing students to buy tickets. The next week, the event is cancelled and the posters, voic-es, and music all fade away. This has become a common pattern with the events sched-uled on campus this year, but new school resource officer Don-te Butcher aims to bring a new mentality to campus. He wants to make this years talent show a success. A lot of people dont realize how connected I am to the mu-sic industry, he said. I saw what talent Stagg really has.
Butcher asked the help of sci-ence teacher Debbie Lebanik to spread the word and to boost ticket sales. The two are spear-heading the event and hope that ticket sales boost soon. To meet their minimum requirement, 100 tickets must be sold by next Friday. The proceeds are going to the school and the police associa-tion, she said. We are also invit-ing Edison and Chavez and other high schools in the district. The money made will go to a scholarship foundation in honor of Kimberly Pinto, an officer who was killed in a car crash in 2012. The talent show and dance will cost $15 together. The show alone is $10 and the dance alone
is $7. Lebanik hopes that with this event, the students will show more pride. Butcher aims to connect with students and teach them safety. He is also creating a new class in which he will teach students self defense to hip-hop beats music and hes trying to set up a basket-ball tournament where students can compete with police officers and celebrities. I think it gives a bond be-tween the students and police department, he said. Itll show them that were more than just officers. Itll bridge that gap be-tween students and us. Assistant Principal Linda Rob-erts is excited for the talent show and other events being planned and said its refreshing to have
Officer Butcher on campus. Students around campus hear the buzz about the talent show and are planning their acts, from music to magic to poetry. Jona-than Ivy, in particular, is going to do a musical act and said though he is nervous, its something that Stagg needs in order to boost confidence in our school. I think that we needed this. I see other schools hosting (talent shows) but were not usually like that. In order to have pride in our school, we need more things like this. The junior also looks for-ward to participating next year if possible. It definitely should be an annual event, and maybe they could have special prizes for peo-ple who won more than once.
Officer brings new events to campusaDriannaOwens
photo by Marcella hawkins
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If two-thirds of the teachers dont vote to support this schedule in May, then every day will be a 1-6 schedule. The schedule allows 10 minimum days and fall, winter, and spring breaks will still be in place. School will continue to start at 7:25 and end at 2:10.
School resource officer Donte Butcher ta