Club News Editor
Club News Editor
On Friday, March 20th, a small group of 10 freshman and sophomores students were selected to attend an annual event at the Lockheed Martin location in Manassas called Engineering for Minorities. The students spent the day attending several workshops and learning about various positions at Lockheed Martin such as software engineers, scientists, and even individuals who specialize in submarines, fighter jets, and other aircrafts.
The eBackpack initiative is part of MPCS Connects, a 1:1 initiative where students will be provided with a personal digital device. In time, every student in the school system will be provided with a tablet. The full roll out of this program is scheduled to begin February 23, at the high school with the freshman, sophomore, and junior classes. Over the course of the next few years, the program will be rolled out to the other three schools in the district. Stage one of the e-backpack initiative is nearing completion which has teachers and students reflecting on the different changes in their classrooms.
A pilot was conducted this past fall with freshman and sophomores in Pre-AP and ESOL level 1 classes. Pilot teachers Mrs. McCracken, English; Mr. Bouchillon, Science; Ms. Beauregard; History; and Ms. Meitzler; ESOL have all had the opportunity to experiment with a 1:1 learning environment in their classrooms this year, in which they used Dell Venue tablets. With this, came a chance to implement new learning strategies and take advantage of the advanced technology while students enjoy being able to use their own tablets and work more independently.
Since the day we all found out that Mr. Toland, our Student Support Coach, has pancreatic cancer, the whole school has been bereaved. He joined the school staff in August and in that short time, he has been the nicest, most respectful person. It is a fact that everyone has been touched by his presence, and we wouldn’t want to see him go. We all know that he wouldn’t want us to be fazed by his absence and he would want us to go on with our lives and be successful. Being shaken by this unfortunate news has not taken our spirit though, as loyal Cougars, we have been supporting him through all of this.
The idea of moving to a 4 by 4 schedule is considering being adopted next year and if approved by the School Board, will go into effect for the 2015-2016 school year. The plan is to have four classes taken every day, for one semester and then four different classes every day for the next semester. The 4 by 4 schedule is different than the current A/B schedule where students have one set of classes on “A” day and another set of classes on “B” day. The School Board will be voting on this Monday, February 23rd.
By: Nafeesa Lodi
Manassas Park recently received a $50,000 grant to explore school calendar options, which may include year-round school.
The Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) conducted a report analyzing SOL scores from 2001-2009. When results were compared with several Virginia year-round schools, it was observed that students tended to perform better academically than those in traditional schools. In response to the JLARC’s report, The Extended School Year Program was created.
“The purpose of the grant is to allow the school or school system to gather a team to spend the year doing research around how to better use the calendar when planning the school year,” said Dr. Bergeron, principal at MPHS.
By: Jessica Smith
We all know how parent-teacher conferences usually go, a long, exasperated groan from students and a stressful sigh from their parents. Most parents don’t even end up coming and the ones that do get lectured about all the things their child is doing wrong, not what they’re doing right. This just adds unnecessary pressure on the student, making them feel like they’re not doing well enough.
The administration and teachers of MPHS are striving to change that this year, by initiating student-led conferences which will be run by students, not teachers. They’re hoping this new method of conferencing will increase parent participation and help them see how their child is progressing in a positive way.
English 9 and theatre teacher, Ms. Ignatius said, “These new conferences will be very helpful as the old style of conferences didn’t mesh with all of the new changes made this year.”
By doing this style of conferences, parents will see student progress and how they are growing. Students will show their strengths and what they are excelling in, as well as where they need to improve, and what they can do to improve in that area. Students will choose work that they want to show to their parents, and give them their point of view on their work.