How full-time schedule differs from hybrid schedule

Opinion Story by Kaia Monaco – Staff Reporter

 

Despite having only been back to a full-time schedule for two weeks, it is already clear how different school will be from now on. Not only will students be adjusting to a schedule they haven’t experienced in almost a year, but will also have to adapt to going to school with 2,000 other students once again. 

Now that everyone is back, the lunchroom is uber crowded. Despite the gym also functioning as a lunchroom, students are still not very separated. Everyone is sitting right next to someone else, with their masks off to eat, so this seems like a super spreader for Coronavirus. 

The worst part of having all 2,000 students back is the hallway congestion. Students are packed into the hallways and onto the stairs to the point of almost not moving. You are constantly right next to someone, and it is impossible to know what they have been exposed to. Plus, in the hallways and lunchroom alike, it is incredibly difficult to contact trace. 

The effects of all students being back are seen outside of the building just as much as inside. The traffic coming to and leaving the school has returned to its normal, hectic state. It is now incredibly difficult to get out of the parking lot at the end of the day, making me really miss the hybrid schedule. 

Overall, now that we’re back to a full in-person schedule, school is much more crowded. This was a given, however, I was not prepared for the volume of students that would be attending school once again. It is nice to be working with teachers and other students again, but it is stressful being surrounded by so many people at all times.

Freshman year is not what I expected

Opinion story by Morgan Hubert – Staff Reporter

 

As a freshman at Lee’s Summit North, I came expecting an experience much different than what I received.

   I had dreamed about growing up and going to high school when I was younger. I had a grand idea in my mind that I would love it and it would be the best years of my life. I thought that I would hang out with my friends all the time, have a ton of freedom and love all of my classes, but everything has changed now that I am here.

   Going into freshman year I had no clue that I would have to start off my high school experience with online school, eventually, go into hybrid learning, and then go four days a week. I had no clue that I would have to wear a mask while being at school and not be attending school with all the students at Lee’s Summit North. 

   At first, I was not able to see most of my friends because they had to show up in the second group. Now that we are back to four days a week, I see my friends more than I did, but now that there is no Bronco Time, I still do not get to see them as much because there is no time in the day to socialize with them. One of the best parts of the school days is seeing my friends and now I do not get that long to do so. Covid-19 has changed high school expectations and experiences for everyone. Now that the LSR7 district is offering online school completely, many of my close friends have moved online or are planning to. 

This year has definitely been a rough start to the four years that I will be here, but I am pushing through the struggles. I am still working hard in school and trying my best to learn through these times. During the hybrid, it was mentally exhausting because I was so overwhelmed with the work that I was having to do. Every assignment was due at 11:59 pm and if it was not submitted, you would get counted off. It was hard to keep up with the work as well as keep track of every single assignment. It felt like the same day over and over again and that was hard. Now that we are four days a week, it is a lot easier but I still sometimes get stressed with everything going on and on Wednesdays, I still have work to do for all of my classes and I still have problems losing track.

   I sometimes hear upperclassmen talking about how they hate the new class schedule and how they want the “real” and “first” one back. I always wonder what was so great about it because I have never got to experience it. I have never got to see how high school really is. I have not got to see what the original schedule was like and why students liked it so much better. I hope to get to experience that some time and see what high school is really about.

   

Innovation Track: putting you on the road to success

Story by Katie Langle – Junior Editor

 

 If you want college credit at an affordable price, Innovation Track might be the right fit for you. The Innovation Track gives students a way to earn up to 30 hours of college credit at Longview Community College. These courses count for both high school and college credit. All credits transfer directly to any public two and four-year university. 

   “[I joined the Innovation Track because] it was a way for me to only attend high school part-time as a junior. It also allows me to complete college credits for a lot lower price than if I were to take them at a university,” Sophie Richardson, junior, said. 

   The Innovation Track has a variety of benefits that come with it. One of the major benefits of the Innovation Track is the cost. Innovation Track allows students to take classes for $53.50 per credit hour. The regular tuition rate is $107 per credit hour. Qualifying students also receive free textbooks and tuition. If Transportation is a problem, students have the option to ride the bus from Lee’s Summit North to Longview. 

   There are a few requirements to join this program. Students must be a junior or senior and have a minimum 2.5 GPA. A qualifying ACT or Accuplacer score is also required. Students must submit an application to be considered. 

   “I believe LSN set a deadline for Feb. 24th.  However, I will take applications later.   I would like students to apply early so we can meet during enrollment conferences (March 9-11) to discuss classes.  MCC class enrollment for Fall 2021 opens the first week of April.  I want students to get first choice of classes,” Erin Barnett, LSR7 Innovation Track Coordinator, said. 

   If you are interested but missed the open house on February 9, an informational video can be found on the LSN enrollment page. More information about the Innovation Track can also be found on the Innovation Track’s website. 

The Lee’s Summit North Theater Department wants you

Story by Maria Smith – C0-Editor-in-Chief

 

   The Lee’s Summit North Theater department not only puts on plays and musicals they are also a club with a ton of activities and people who support one another. The club is getting a bit of a makeover this year. With a new teacher and a mission to recruit some new members, they are using this time to their advantage to change up how they work. 

   “Currently, one of our main focuses is preparing for next year’s season/activities. While we are also working hard on our Spring show, we’re trying to make our department bigger, more self-aware, more diverse/inclusive, and even more of a home environment,” Elaine Watson, senior, said. 

   They are still finding creative ways to meet and do some of their annual traditions despite the pandemic. 

   “It has been an adventure this year depending on if we’ve been virtual or in-person. We’ve had virtual events, such as our Tea Time social and Kahoot Party tri-social that we hosted with LSH and LSW. We’ve done a no-contact White Elephant gift exchange. We also completed our community service project, TOTSeat, in October where we collected canned goods for Lee’s Summit Social Services while still maintaining limited in-person contact,” William Palmer, theater teacher said. 

   There is one thing that the club wants you to know. That you are welcome no matter your experience level or the time of year. 

   “We accept anyone and everyone. There is truly a place for everyone here. Whether you want to be on stage or not. Boss people around or not. Have previous theatre knowledge or not. Our differences are what bring us together the most. Even if you can’t be a part of our family, we could use all that support we can get,” Watson said. 

   They meet the first Tuesday of every month and more information about the club is available on the theater website which is accessible from the LSN homepage. It is never too late in the year to meet a new group of friends so get out there and find your place.

Bringing out the best potential in her students

Story by Prajukta Ghosh – Copy Editor

 

Education is a weapon that can lead to a battle of progression and ultimate defeat of ignorance in one’s lifetime. It could be ideal for kids to rant about the struggles of being a student, however, it is even more challenging to be a teacher and not let personal frustration and annoyance take over their student’s time to learn. Mrs. Tracy Wrisinger, Math teacher at North is celebrating this unique profession of tutoring students and being a part of their daily struggles with a positive aura and radiance. She is constantly striving to make sure students make the best out of her classroom and find new ways to resolve consequential problems. 

   “I loved teaching, but my first job was not in an ideal scenario. I left teaching to work on my MBA and my law degree. However, I continued to find an outlet for my teaching. I taught at a number of community colleges and at my alma mater, William Jewell College,” Wrisinger said.  

   She had attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where she planned to study journalism, for two years before she made her decision to transfer to William Jewell. She had earned her bachelor’s degree in both Mathematics and Education along with a master’s in business education and her Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University. She has come to love teaching more than ever and every day in her classroom she tries to ensure that students develop and master skills that will be best for them once they graduate from high school. 

   “I have always had the mantra that no matter what I’m facing, someone is facing something worse. I also try to assess whether it will matter in five years. If not, it’s not worth worrying about now,” Wrisinger said. 

   She is also the head coach for Avid. She tackles seniors for the avid classes. Her actual journey to learn how to study in college began when she learned several skills from one of her peers that now she teaches students in her avid class. 

   “I actually didn’t learn how to study until college. I had a friend who taught me a lot of the skills we learn in AVID. My grades improved dramatically,” Wrisinger said. 

   Her motive is to help students earn full credit for their accomplishments and enjoy their high school and college experiences the best possible way they can.

Wednesdays in the 2020-2021 school year

Story by Lily Temple – Staff Reporter

 

 This year, the LSR7 school district, along with others, has been having no school on Wednesdays. It has been a time for students to catch up on assignments or to get tutoring from their teachers. Teachers have been able to use the time to plan and to talk with other teachers about the upcoming days and work with online students. Several students and teachers rave about this alternate schedule and hope it continues next year. 

   “Personally, from a teacher’s perspective, I have really enjoyed Wednesdays as asynchronous school days this year.  In previous school years, I would work on weekends or stay late after school to finish grading and preparing lessons for the future units in my classes.  But now I’m able to do a lot of that work on my Wednesdays.  I think students have also benefited because Wednesday has become the built-in day each week to do any individual or small group tutoring.  In a way, those days have made up for the missed Bronco Time,” Kevin Krumrey, Science Teacher, said. 

   Having the extra time on Wednesdays allows students and teachers to get more done. With the constant changes this year students and teachers have appreciated having Wednesdays as a constant. 

   “It has been very helpful because with all of the changes Wednesdays have stayed the same and allowed students time to get help and get caught up on school,” Ellie Stafford, sophomore, said.

   Wednesdays have been a day for students and teachers to relieve their stress. Whether that means, catching up on assignments, or getting ahead, students have shared that Wednesdays take a lot of stress off their shoulders.

   “It is helpful to have an extra day to not stress out and just get caught up on all work no matter what the class structure is like,” Sarah Green, junior, said.

People seem to love Wednesdays and would be very happy if a four-day week was the new normal.

   “I would LOVE to continue having no school on Wednesdays! Even though we have experienced a lot of shifts this year, I feel like having a whole day each week dedicated to lesson planning and collaboration has helped me improve my teaching this year. In turn, this also improves learning experiences for my students. I think students wouldn’t mind having a day off to catch up on school work. I think we all need a breather sometimes,” Abby Fossey, English teacher, said.

   Students and teachers alike have expressed how much they love having extra time on Wednesdays. It is clear that no one would be opposed to making the four-day week permanent.

 

Virtual snow days

Story by Morgan Hubert – Staff Reporter

 

 Throughout last year and this year, students and teachers have been doing the most to figure out how to keep moving through school and keep teaching students while the students are able to learn. With Covid-19, it has been hard but they found a solution. The solution being, virtual learning, otherwise known as AMI days. 

   Along with starting the school year fully virtual, they also made a new rule about snow days. The rule being, if the district has made an announcement for a snow day, we have virtual learning. We can have up to five virtual learning snow days before we do not have required work and they will start adding school days to the end of the year.

   “I personally like the new virtual snow day rule. Last year I enjoyed all the snow days but since they turned into AMI days I like that we will only have five,” Ashley Farmer, freshman, said. 

   In the past, there had been many days added to the end of the school year and even though some students liked the snow day, they did not like making the days up at the end of the year.

   There are times when teachers have planned to do something in person that can not be done online. Therefore, they have to give alternate work or no work at all.

   “I feel like it is much less work compared to being in school,” said Famer. 

   Even though school will be online through the AMI days, teachers might now give as much work as they usually would. This causes teachers to have to fit more things into their schedule since no more school days are added at the end of the year. 

   This school year has brought many new ideas including virtual snow days, and it looks like it will be sticking around for a while.

 

The effects of the Covid vaccine

Opinion story by Mia Gatti – Staff Reporter

 

Now that the Covid-19 vaccine has been released, how is it actually affecting people from a variety of age groups? Coming from a family that has been vaccinated, this vaccine has affected every single one of my family members differently. As we know there are two different vaccines that you can receive if you choose to. My family started off very hesitant about getting the vaccine not knowing how it would affect them but knew in the long run that it could prevent them from being carriers of the virus and would allow us to not spread it more. My mom and my grandma both received the Pfizer vaccine a couple of weeks ago and had very similar reactions to it.

They both felt a little weak and tired with a mild headache not feeling their best and knowing the vaccine had an effect on these slim symptoms. On the other hand, my grandpa and dad had been set up to receive the Moderna vaccine, and this one had a little different outcome. The first shot for my grandpa had zero symptoms and felt fine but after having his second shot he did not feel very good at all. The chills and slight fever did not last long but they were definitely worse for him than his first shot. My dad ended up having chills and fever for his first shot and feeling fine for his second shot.

This Covid-19 vaccine will certainly not affect everyone that chooses to take it the same, but if it is chosen to receive then it could also help to keep our family and friends safe and healthy.

Sophomore earns prestigious scholarship

Story by Katie Langle – Junior Editor

 

   Blake Horner-Ogle has been working toward becoming a candidate for the United States Air Force Academy since the sixth grade. He joined JROTC his freshman year and has stood out since. His hard work has paid off as he is one of 230 cadets worldwide picked to receive a scholarship to the Flight Academy. 

   “I won a scholarship to the Flight Academy, which is a group of colleges being paid by the Air Force to teach students to fly. The scholarship gives me an opportunity to earn my private pilot license over the summer,” Blake Horner-Ogle, sophomore, said. 

   With 1,340 other applicants, Blake had to stand out from the rest. He worked to have a well-rounded resume. He has a commitment to not only his physical fitness but also his academics and community service. 

   “I have had many conversations outside of school hours with Blake. He is absolutely dedicated to the personal goals he’s set. His work ethic is beyond reproach! He participates in several co-curricular activities in the Corps, and has already begun preparing to apply for leadership positions in next year’s Corps,” Jim Woods, Aerospace Science Instructor, said.

   With this scholarship, Blake will earn his private pilot’s license, this is a major step in the right direction as he eventually applies to join the highly competitive Air Force Academy. 

Challenges of transferring to a new school

Story by Robert Hurst – Staff Reporter

 

Transferring to a different high school is a difficult experience for anyone. When a student is moving to a new school, they are leaving many cherishable people and places behind. They have to say goodbye to their school, their friends, and their favorite places. Joining a new school and environment creates a lot of pain for the student. The anxiety of starting a new school and seeing new faces while also being a teenager, which is already difficult enough, can be frightening. 

Finding new friends is by far the most difficult task. Regular students at the school have probably already found their group of friends which they are comfortable with. Talking to another student who has never seen your face before is tough, trying to joke around or talk about something takes time and effort, the other student already has other friends with their own inside jokes and experiences they have shared. It could be a lonely few months at the start. Patience is key and soon enough everything will return to normal. 

Ms. Durnell, the broadcasting teacher, moved three times during her high school career.

“It was a major cultural shift, I moved from small to big schools. Every time it brought a new experience with its struggles, but with patience, I found friends and made lifelong connections,” Durnell said. 

It took Ms. Durnell time to settle. “ It usually took two to three months until I could routinely talk to other students and have good laughs,” she said. 

 These experiences have a positive side as well. You learn to adapt to new environments and create connections faster. Having connections in many different places may be important in the future. A person who lived in the same city or town may feel comfortable and at ease, but they might find it more challenging to make new friends from different places simply because they had the same connections their whole lives. Transferring is difficult and is terrifying, but in due time it has its perks. A lesson to teach to veteran students is please be nice and talk to the new kid.