News-11/20/09

Shortdays: Workdays at LHS

By Angelina Folchi
Features Reporter

Many students, along with their parents, have probably been wondering why the school has been having so many minimum days lately.
The last two minimum days, Oct. 29 and 30, were for the elementary school to have its yearly parent-teacher conferences, but high school teachers also took advantage of those days. Teachers are only contracted to two extra days each year, and since they are both used before the school year starts, minimum days provide extra time for professional development.Teacher Clip Art-1
Those two days at the end of October were used for discussion about standards and literacy.
Research shows that when all teachers in a school instruct using the same methods to teach reading, writing, and vocabulary, students learn more. That’s one reason why so many teachers are using PDP Cornell notes to teach their lessons. Last year, minimum days were spent working on a school-wide literacy program, and that effort continues this year.
The teachers talked about how they were preparing students for their future lives in college and careers. They also worked on their plans for Response to Intervention (RTI) that help students who are having trouble with behavior, attendance, or academics.
Throughout the year, there will be five more minimum days, and three of them will be spent in PLCs, or Professional Learning Communities. In PLCs teachers from all schools in the district work in groups to set goals for specific subject areas. Then they work together to evaluate progress toward these goals.
According to research, student learning significantly increases when teachers meet in PLCs. The minimum days are shown on the school calendar, which can be found on the district website.
When asked why we don’t have full days off instead of numerous minimum days, Principal Marla Stock remarked, “We’re required to hold school for a specific number of days and to meet a minimum number of minutes each year.”
She added that LHS usually has extra minutes, “but we never go over on our days.”
Some teachers have different viewpoints on whether or not these meeting are assisting the students.
Caleb Dorsey said, “It could be positive, or it could be a waste of time. I reserve my opinion for the end of the school year.”
Laura Calabrese commented, “I’ve gotten a new perspective. “It will take a lot of work, but eventually, it will help the students.”
Stock said that the district’s goal is that teachers keep up with their profession and continue to learn and improve.

Block L plans goals for rest of year

By Alex Folchi
News Reporter
Jillian, Kelsey and Chelsea
This year Block L, the club devoted to LHS sports, is making many efforts to promote school spirt and sportsmanship this year in LHS sports.
President Kelsey Scheckla, Vice President Chelsea Vaglivielo and Secretary Jillian Lane have all come up with interesting ideas to help contribute to this new goal.
The largest and most prominent idea for the Block L staff is to have a bulletin board for each sport at LHS to advocate for all sports and to list the times and places of the next games or matches.   These promotional ideas will consist of a large poster shaped like the instrument used in each sport.
For example the basketball bulletin board will be a large basketball in the hall with postings of when and where the next games will be held.
This advancement will not only let all LHS students know about the upcoming games, but also promote school spirit as more students will be more likely to attend the games.
Another idea coming out of Block L’s discussion is to stimulate sportsmanship in the sports world by presenting visiting teams with gifts after each home game.
Block L will also work with the Sierra Booster to research the past records of all LHS sports teams. Block L hopes to make banners with the sports accomplishments posted on them to decorate the gym.
Also, Scheckla said Block L would like to help advance school spirit and sportsmanship by purchasing little blue and white blocks to put into the fence around the football field to spell out “LHS” or “Grizzlies.”

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