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Volume XX Bloomingdale High School September/October 2009

1700 E. Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, FL 33596

What's Up With Exam Exemptions?

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 aroused much uproar from students and parents alike.
board unanimously decided to drop attendance-based Many upper classmen are confused by the chang-
exam exemptions, due to the H1N1 hysteria. es they are facing with exams, especially now that the What Was The Prior
The person to recommend the change, was Mary- tests are being administered at later dates. Not to fear
Ellen Elia, superintendent of the school board. At a though; member of the school board, Dorothea Edge- Exemption Policy?
press conference discussing the issue, she stressed that comb, assured the public that the decision is tempo-
the student’s health should take top priority. Elia also rary, and suggested data be collected to see just how
highlighted the fact that keeping the exemptions as much the adjustment will affect high schoolers. Also, The exemption policy allowed
they were would only send the wrong message to sick
students. “We wish we weren’t facing the H1N1, but we
seniors will still be able to exempt second semester if
grades and behavior permits.
students to opt out of four
are,” Elia commented. With the imminent spread of the So how will this change be accepted at Bloom- exams 1st semester and 3
swine virus, rewarding high schoolers for outstanding ingdale? “The absence of exam exemptions hasn’t af-
attendance has become too risky. fected the school much so far. There’s some discontent exams 2nd semester, if they
The goal of taking away exemptions is to ensure with the upperclassmen, but that’s all,” states Princi- attended all classes achieving
the safety of all students in Hillsborough County, not pal Mark West.
to punish them. However, this sudden surprise has The administration says the main objective is 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,” re-
marked 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 stu-
dents 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.

By: Tracy Mare

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