Volume XX Bloomingdale High School 1700 E. Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, FL 33596

discover. tomorrow. today. September/October 2009

Faced with the threat of a swine flu outbreak, Hillsborough County decides to modify the exam exemption policy
By: Sloane Hovan
On August 11, the Hillsborough County school board unanimously decided to drop attendance-based exam exemptions, due to the H1N1 hysteria. The person to recommend the change, was MaryEllen Elia, superintendent of the school board. At a press conference discussing the issue, she stressed that the student’s health should take top priority. Elia also highlighted the fact that keeping the exemptions as they were would only send the wrong message to sick students. “We wish we weren’t facing the H1N1, but we are,” Elia commented. With the imminent spread of the swine virus, rewarding high schoolers for outstanding attendance has become too risky. The goal of taking away exemptions is to ensure the safety of all students in Hillsborough County, not to punish them. However, this sudden surprise has aroused much uproar from students and parents alike. Many upper classmen are confused by the changes they are facing with exams, especially now that the tests are being administered at later dates. Not to fear though; member of the school board, Dorothea Edgecomb, assured the public that the decision is temporary, and suggested data be collected to see just how much the adjustment will affect high schoolers. Also, seniors will still be able to exempt second semester if grades and behavior permits. So how will this change be accepted at Bloomingdale? “The absence of exam exemptions hasn’t affected the school much so far. There’s some discontent with the upperclassmen, but that’s all,” states Principal Mark West. The administration says the main objective is

What's Up With Exam Exemptions?
What Was The Prior Exemption Policy? The exemption policy allowed students to opt out of four exams 1st semester and 3 exams 2nd semester, if they attended all classes achieving perfect attendance.

that sick students stay home, so that those who are virus-free can continue participating in class. So far it is difficult to tell whether or not the lack of attendance incentive has kept the swine at bay. Student responses to the exemption deal have been mixed. Some say that the virus will spread despite the extra precaution, while others think the school will be empty of all disease now that many people aren’t going for perfect attendance. “It also depends on the students class load,” remarked senior, Noelle Miller, “I will probably come to school even though there are no more exemptions. I can’t afford to miss my AP classes.” Then there is the issue of what to do if students, who are perfectly healthy, start to stay home too often. Will there be other incentives? Will there be different rules? As for now, there seems to be no need. “We (the administration) have been told not to have an attendance incentive persay, because this is hopefully a temporary thing,” answers Mr. West. Regardless of what your view is on the matter, it is a fact that the change was made to protect the students and teachers by attempting to keep a healthy school environment. Exam exemptions will be missed, but at least some of us still have our health. You know what they say… you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Sophomore, Kathryn Haase and Junior, Kelsey Lay double check their tests before turning them in.

Chipping It In
By: Tracy Mare
Although the Golf Team here at Bloomingdale is not recognized as often as other sports are, its members are working diligently to ensure a great season with a victorious record. Daily practices are just a small portion of their efforts towards triumph. Golf players also spend countless hours at the local driving ranges, take lessons, and play rounds over the weekends. So far, the team has had a somewhat rough start, facing schools with very strong teams, but players are confident that their hard work is going to pay off, and they will be very successful in their endeavors. Brandon Placke, a senior on the team, says, “The team is looking pretty good and we’re looking forward to what should shape up to be a good season.” Optimism is a key factor in the game, as with any other sport. Players need to believe that they are capable and will win. Confidence, just as well, is another major aspect of playing a great round. According to sophomore Cassidy Erickson, “Believing that you can do it is probably one of the best things you can do for your game. Golf is 90% mental and only 10% physical.” In golf, there are several components that transform a player from good to great, from fine, to fantastic. The main two, however, seem to be driving and putting. The best way to begin a hole is with an outstanding drive, heading straight down the fairway. Drives with direction are essential to playing a low number of shots on any given hole. Furthermore, putting has proven to be even more important than having a perfect drive. As said by senior, Ryan Smitz, “Putting is the most important aspect of the game. If you are not hitting your driver and irons as well as you should be, you can always make up for it on the greens.” All in all, the golf players here at Bloomingdale are ready for an exciting season full of victory, and are ready to display their Bull Pride against every school they face.
Senior Griffin Isabel putts in a par, while team mate and fellow senior, Brandon Placke converses with him over the shot.

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