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Green Horn - Volume 31, Edition 4

Green Horn - Volume 31, Edition 4

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Published by Springfield VT News
The March 2011 issue of the award winning student publication of Springfield High School in Springfield, VT.
The March 2011 issue of the award winning student publication of Springfield High School in Springfield, VT.

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Published by: Springfield VT News on Mar 12, 2011
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What’s Inside:
GreenHorn
The Award-Winning Student Publication of Springfield High School and the Tech Center 
March 15, 2011Volume 31, Edition 4
C
ollege-bound students want to carry a rigorouscourse load in high school to prepare for col-lege. However, some courses, such as AdvancedPlacement (AP) classes, may not be offered at SHS.
Online Classes
Dedication Meets Procrastination
By Maria Stern
See
Online
page 21
Online students Laurel Porter, Maria Stern, Olivia Thayer, and Alexis Esposito.
complete reading assignments and reinforcing activities,and engage in discussions.Virtual High School offers an accreditedcurriculum. 35 U.S. states and 42 countries participatein the program with 12,893 students enrolled in the 399course sections offered.
SHShasofferedonlineclassesforaboutve
years. Seven students enrolled in VHS classes during
therstsemesterthisyear,while13studentsenrolled
in VTVLC. Dues--paid by the school-- are required for access to VHS, while VTVLC is free.
SpringeldHighSchoolStudentswhoelect
to take online classes have had mixed results. Across theboard, students feel that online classes pose a challenge,either due to the curriculum or program.SHS senior Alexis Esposito enrolled in Art
HistoryonVirtualHighSchool.“Icouldn’ttart,which
is the only credit I need to graduate, in my school day, soI was forced to take it online,” she said. Esposito is givenpaintings to study, then creates work on her own that is
inuencedbythepiece.Shewasmailedasketchbookandpencilstoworkwith.Whennishedwithherwork
she scans it and e-mails it to her instructor.“I feel like I’m learning more about art,” sheTo compensate for this, SHS students enroll in VirtualHigh School (VHS) and the Vermont Virtual LearningCooperative (VTVLC). These programs require thatstudents log on to their accounts on a regular basis,
Winter Carnival
By Sarah Gray
Community & Friendship
W
hileSpringeldHighSchoolstudentswerelledwithanticipationconcerninganexcit
-ing February break, their fun actually beganbefore the last school bell rang. On Friday, February18th, SHS students attended classes through lunch timeand then spent the rest of their school day participatingin activities as part of the Winter Carnival.The Winter Carnival is a festival that features
activitiessuchasboardgames,wifeball,andsledding.
This array of fun was organized by the SHS StudentCouncil, with help from SHS faculty. By promotingthe Winter Carnival, student council members hopedto bring students together for friendly competition and
See
Carnival
page 22
A winter carnival favorite: tug of war.Spanish for thefuture,p. 4Armstrong'swonderfulworld,p. 13Girls basketballbeats Milton63-52,p. 17
 
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Green Horn Interview
By Laurel Porter
.
Nikka Bactad, Andrew Bladyka, Tabitha Celani, Justin Derosier,Alexis Esposito, Liza Fontaine, Lauren Fountain, Sarah Gray, Jessie Haskell,Chelsea Howland, Holly Hooke, Alexandra Johnstone, Vicki Kopidakis,Alexis L0cke, Angelina Mei, Cooper Naess, Jill Rushton,Jennifer Stein, Olivia Thayer, Sarah Vredenburgh, andMichael Whittemore
GREEN HORN STAFF
Layout Editor/C0-EditorC0-EditorCo-EditorPhoto Editor/Co-EditorSports EditorSamBenton
.........................
Kelsey Christensen
...............
Maria Stern
..........................
Laurel Porter
.......................
Courtney Downing
..............
----------------REPORTERS---------------
ielyShuck,afreshmanatSpringeldHigh
School, wants to supplant Meredith Vieira,graduate high school as valedictorian, and visitFrance, though not necessarily in that order. A native of 
Edison,NewJersey,SchuckmovedtoSpringeldduring
seventh grade when her father changed jobs. Schuck isan only child. She lives with her parents and the family’stwo cats, Sugar and Twix. The
Green Horn
interviewedSchuck and asked her about her involvement in dramaand other extracurriculars, her career plans, and her interest in writing.
What do you do for fun?
I absolutely love to read and write.
The Outsiders
, byS.E. Hinton, is one of my favorite books. And I alsolike
A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeline L’Engle.
What are your favorite genres of writing?
Ilikerealisticction.
A Wrinkle in Time
[is differentfrom that], but the protagonist is still just an ordinarygirl, and then stuff happens and she has to go on anadventure across the universe. I like Madeline L’Engle’sAustin series, too. Those are more realistic.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I would like to be either an author or a broadcastjournalist.
Do you write now?
I do write right now. I write stories and poems. My
storiesarerealisticction.
Have you written anything that you’re proud of?
I wrote a poem that I really liked. It was called “BuriedBeneath,” and I was really proud of it. It’s about howpeople have many layers to them, and you don’t knoweverything about them.
Why are you interested in broadcast journalism
specifcally?
Kiely Shuck on Reading,Writing, Drama, Math
I love being on stage. Also, I’ve been watching theTODAY Show since I was really little. I want to be ananchor on the TODAY Show.
What are your favorite extracurricular activities?
I enjoy drama club and mathletes.
Can you talk about mathletes a bit?
I love mathletes. In the beginning of the year, I wasthe only person on the junior team. It was a lot of fun.I got to hang out with the older team, but it was kindof lonely because I was the only one. My coach is Mrs.[Marlene] Allen. I sometimes go over the practice sheets[problems] at home, but I do most of my training atour practices.
What’s your favorite part about mathlete meets?
The food. I also really enjoy just sitting down and doingthe math problems during the competition.
What are you doing right now in the SHS DramaClub?
I’m playing Queen Aggravain in our spring musical,
Once Upon a Mattress
.
How do you feel about playing a lead role as afreshman?
I’m really proud, and I hope that I do a good job. I’mreally happy that I got the part, though.
What are some of the challenges involved in playingthe queen?
Well, she’s really mean, and I’m not. It’s out of char-acter for me.
Do you pursue drama outside of school?
[I do a summer day camp in New Jersey] called “AChildren’s Theatre Workshop.” We put on a semi-professional show, with costumes, props, and sets, inthree weeks. It’s really stressful, but it’s a lot of fun. Ireally like it. I’ve been doing that camp for about threeyears. I also did a different summer program called“Kids in the Park” for four years. We had two weeks toprepare a show, and it actually took place outdoors in anamphitheatre. It was less professional than the TheatreWorkshop, but it was still a lot of fun to do.
What are your favorite parts of these camps?
Both of the camps were great. My favorite part is atthe very end, when we put on the show. Everyonecomes to watch us. I also really like to hang out withmy friends there.
What was the most recent show you performed?
The most recent show I did was the musical Fiddler onthe Roof. I was Grandma Tzietel, and I really enjoyedplaying her. My character was a little old lady who wasa ghost, and I had a song to sing. I also liked the story,and the music is really great in that show.
A Change Is Gonna Come
Jeanice Gareld registers SHS seniors in early February.
The school budget squeaked by in early March.
 
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News
The Dropout Rate
A Serious Problem at SHS
By Vicki Kopidakis
S
tudents have heard it at least once in their highschool career from one of their peers: “I can’ttake this anymore. I’m just going to drop out.”However, what they don’t realize is that while somestudents may toss this statement around nonchalantlythinking it’s an empty claim, dropping out is a serious
issueatSpringeldHighSchool.
A reduced graduation rate led the VermontDepartment of Education to place SHS on a list of schools needing corrective action. According to theVermont Public School Dropout and High SchoolCompletion Report For the 2004-2005 school year,SHS had the fourth highest drop out rate in the state of Vermont at 6.04%. In 2010, with only a little more thata quarter of the year completed, 13 students withdrewfrom a high school population of 490.“I don’t like it,” said guidance counselor Kelly Ryan. “It’s a no-win situation. The kids don’twin and the school doesn’t win. It gives a bad imageof our school to the community.”The process a student follows to drop out issimple. Once a student turns 16, he or she simply needsa parent to sign a form to withdraw their child fromschool. At 18, students can sign these forms themselves.SHS Principal Bob Thibault intends to institute an exit
interviewinthedrop-outprocesstogiveschoolofcials
insight into what they can improve to make the schoola better place for students.Administrators and counselors plan to reduceor eliminate dropping out completely by developingstrategies and making options available for studentswho consider dropping out.“Our rate is high,” said Ryan. “But there area lot of things we’re doing behind the scenes to lower it.”For example, parent/teacher conferenceswere instituted in November to improve communica-tion between the school and parents. Also, to motivatestudents to do well in school, SHS Assistant PrincipalZach Mclaughlin hopes to create a Hall of Fame withrecently-donated funds. The Hall of Fame would featurephotos of successful SHS graduates. These photos maybe posted throughout the school or displayed in a trophycase.“We want the pictures to inspire students todo great things,” said Thibault. “We hope it’ll showstudents that a diploma from SHS means something.”The block schedule, which wil be used
nextyearatSpringeldHighSchool,isanotherway
the administration is trying to reduce the dropout rate.This schedule should help students who fall behind in,or fail, a class. Rather than repeat the class the nextyear, a student would be able to retake the course thefollowing semester, ensuring they won’t fall behind their classmates.“If students are doing well,” said Thibault,“they won’t want to drop out.”Despite administration efforts to encouragestudents to remain in school, however, dropping outoccurs too often. “Students aren’t thinking long-term,”said Thibault. “They get bored or they have a part-timejob they enjoy. They don’t realize the salary isn’t enoughto live on.”In other cases, students may be required towork. “A family may be in immediate crisis and needtheir son or daughter to get a job,” said Ryan.
Becauseit’simpossibleforschoolofcials
to force a teen to remain a student at SHS for thesereasons, they further offer three other options for stu-dents.“We work hard to provide options for stu-dents,” said Ryan. “The best is to stay in school, butwe need to provide other options.”
TherstoftheseoptionsinvolvesthePreci
-sion Valley Program, a program for students who areunsuccessful in a traditional classroom setting. PVP is
largelyproject-basedwithlearningenhancedbyeld
trips. Students who complete this program receive anSHS diploma.Job Corps is another option to ensure greater student success. In this government program, studentslive at one of the location sites, receive technical jobtraining, and conclude the program with a high schooldiploma from the state in which they live. According to
ehow.com
, any student 16-24 can enroll in the programonce they have met income requirements. If accepted,a student is assigned an admission counselor with whomthey will develop their Personal Career DevelopmentPlan.
Additionally,SHSofcialsoffertheHigh
Kelly Ryan says dropping out is ano-win situation. Bob Thibault will
initiate an exit interview to gure out
how to reduce the drop out rate.
School Completion program. Students who opt for thischoice must meet with the coordinator of the programand then pass an assessment test. In the High SchoolCompletion program, a student works directly witha Vermont Adult Learning coordinator to develop agraduation plan. This program allows students to takeclasses at SHS and graduate with an SHS diploma.
Whiletheseprogramsbenetstudents,theymaycontributetoagreaterdropoutrateatSpringeld
High School. “The programs count against the dropoutrate,” said Ryan. “But the students receive a Vermontdiploma so they’re not really dropouts.”
Despitetheseoptions,theSpringeldHighSchooldropoutrateremainshigh.Yetschoolofcials
continue to help students prioritize their education andcontribute to the SHS School Board’s mission of a 100%graduation rate.Once this goal of 100% graduation is
reached,schoolofcialsarehopingtoseestudentsuse
their SHS diploma to go on to great things. “Educa-tion is the only key to success after school,” concludedThibault.
1.2 million students drop out in the United States every year.12% of the nation’s schools, or approximately 2000 schools, produce half of the nation’s dropouts.40% of students in these schools drop out between freshman and senior year.Children from low-income families are 7 times more likely to drop out than children from prosperous families.Most students who drop out of high school have low grades and low attendance in middle school.
The Low Down on Drop-Outs

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