Best of SNO

Black at NCS: How an Instagram Account is Exposing Racism at NCS

Profile picture for the  Black at NCS Instagram account. The fist is a reference to Black social justice movements and the purple and gold color usage alludes to NCS' school colors.
November 23, 2020

From the story of a white student who asked her Black peers to twerk for her, to the testimony of a Black girl whose St. Albans date refused to take pictures with her at Winter Formal, the Black at NCS...

Election Incites In-fighting Among Progressive and Moderate Democrats

When asked why progressive policies are popular even in traditionally Republican states, Social Studies Teacher Stacy Filocco said
November 20, 2020

In the aftermath of the 2020 election, the Democratic party faced serious losses in the House of Representatives, having lost seven seats, and fumbling Senate races in key states, despite going into the...

Relief, frustration, confusion among student reactions to cancellation of SAT testing locations, California public universities’ decision to not require scores on college applications

Many public colleges, including California State University, Fullerton, have decided against requiring an SAT or standardized test score on college applications, as College Board testing centers have been closed throughout much of California because of the coronavirus pandemic.
November 20, 2020

With COVID-19 positive cases still being reported in much of Southern California, the College Board has yet to reopen any of its SAT or SAT subject testing locations, forcing students -- especially seniors...

Virtual School Heightens Inequities for ESL Students

Left: Diego Ijom from Guatemala. Right: Ruth Diaz from the Dominican Republic. Mr. Robert Pacheco cites both students, who are sophomores at Allderdice, as great helpers in his online classroom.
November 19, 2020

As the pandemic has forced school to move from Shady Avenue to hundreds of computer screens, all Allderdice students have had to adjust to online learning. Most of them, however, have not had the challenge...

Partial reopening of in-person school is cancelled after LA Covid cases spike

PAUSED: New tents in the parking lot last Thursday night waited for students who would have started on-campus Judaic Studies classes yesterday if not for a last-minute cancellation.
Oct. 28 court ruling allows for Judaic classes in person, but school is still (mostly) closed
November 19, 2020

At a meeting that lasted less than an hour, school officials decided Sunday to cancel yesterday’s scheduled reopening of on-campus Judaic Studies classes because of a sudden steep spike in local cases...

What’s Happening to Charlie Crusader?

Jesuit students pose with an early rendition of Charlie Crusader.
November 17, 2020

In light of recent racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter Movement, sports teams and schools have been more receptive to changing offensive, racially insensitive team mascots to ones less inflammatory....

Grady’s and Wells’s descendants excluded from Grady’s name change

Henry Grady III, the great-great grandson of Grady High School's current eponym, and Tiana Ferrell, the great-great granddaughter of Ida B Wells, one of three contenders for Grady High School's new name, share their thoughts on Grady's prospective name change.
November 17, 2020

The process of Grady's prospective name change has focused primarily on the interests of various stakeholder groups, including students, staff and community members. However, as students are scheduled...

Many Americans are leaning against getting the COVID-19 vaccine

With a COVID-19 vaccine hopefully near, many people are wondering how many people would willingly take it when it becomes available.
Conflicting information about vaccine creates skepticism among much of the population
November 17, 2020

Skepticism about the coronavirus vaccine has steadily been on the rise as concerns about the legitimacy of a vaccine have been widespread throughout the American population. The prospects of a vaccine...

Breaking: Trump supporters stage protest at Clinton home in Chappaqua, NY

November 16, 2020

Hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump descended upon Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Chappaqua, N.Y. residence on Sunday evening in protest of the results of the 2020 Presidential election.  ...

CUSD Proposes Cultural Proficiency Plan To Address Inequality on School Campuses

Members of CUSDAgainstRacism participated in and sponsored the Woman March back in October. CUSDAgainstRacism has been placing pressure upon the district to adapt more anti-racist policies.
November 16, 2020

After receiving pushback from youth groups, such as CUSD Against Racism, the CUSD Board of Trustees designed a Cultural Proficiency Plan to take the necessary steps to combat inequality on campus, all...

From the U.S. to Nigeria: Nigerian immigrant and mother of junior Chiemelie Chinweuba shares stories on the fight against police brutality among Nigerian youths

Since October protests against the Nigerian police force SARS or the Special Anti-Robbery Squad has rocked the nation reeling from corruption, joblessness, and hunger.
November 16, 2020

Precious Chinweuba, a college student at Prairie View A&M University, was sitting at her desk. Exams were on the horizon and she was determined to pass. But then, she got a call. She picked up the...

New Supreme Court pick puts legal abortion in jeopardy

Legal change may be on the horizon with the new confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Locals discuss the future of abortive care
November 16, 2020

This year marks the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a case that made abortion legal on the federal level in 1973. And yet, many people across the country wonder if reproductive rights may soon be limited...

Biden wins presidency, community reacts

The current electoral map shows President-elect Joe Biden above the 270 vote threshold required to be elected the next president. Biden’s running mate Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be the first woman of color elected to the vice presidency.
November 13, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the U.S. Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes swung in his favor midday Nov. 7, propelling him above 270.  After a drawn-out counting process...

Blue Ridge Fire forces evacuations

Math teacher Jennifer Collier's parent’s house at the edge of the Silverado Fire in Irvine. Tens of thousands of Irvine, Brea, and Chino Hills residents were evacuated due to the fast-moving dual fires -- Blue Ridge and Silverado.
November 13, 2020

Over 15,000 acres burned, over 70,000 residents were evacuated, and sheets of ash blanketed cities throughout Orange County due to the Blue Ridge and Silverado fires this week. The city of Brea issued...

Are breakout rooms really beneficial?

Many students turn off their cameras while in Zoom breakout rooms, making it difficult for everyone to collaborate and communicate with classmates.
Teachers and students struggle to make this Zoom, Google Meet feature more engaging
November 12, 2020

Sophomore Praneeta Agrawal sat in silence and stared awkwardly at the black boxes and muted mics on her screen. She took it upon herself to start the conversation by essentially asking, “Hey guys, what...

Students travel out of state to take college placement tests in time for applications

TESTING CENTERS CLOSE: Because of the risk of the Coronavirus spread, most SAT and ACT testing centers in the state of California have closed, leaving students with no choice but to travel out of state if they wish to submit a test score with their application.
November 12, 2020

College application season, especially taking standardized tests, is undoubtedly one of the most stressful high school experiences, and this year, many local seniors are under even more pressure: Because...

SRV student who had COVID-19 petitions district to delay reopening

San Ramon Valley High senior Nic Prescott tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 19 and has since created the Compassionate Reopening petition, which calls for the reopening of San Ramon Valley Unified School District campuses only when the district can ensure the safety of everyone.
Senior Nic Prescott thinks schools should wait to let students back on campus after his challenging experience with the coronavirus last month
November 11, 2020

Feeling nothing out of the ordinary on Oct. 17, San Ramon Valley senior Nicolas Prescott went about his normal routine by going to work and grabbing a bite to eat. In the early morning hours of Oct....

Students call for better representation in English curriculum

The classic novels “Of Mice and Men” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” - displayed here in Cal High's library - have the attention of some students, who are pushing for the district to remove them from the freshmen required reading list because they include offensive racial slurs such as the N-word and are deemed by some to be too discriminating.
Increased awareness to racial injustice spotlights derogatory terms in required books
November 11, 2020

Black Lives Matter is a movement that many people have heard of, but not many are aware of the effect this could have on the English curriculum. Students from the district’s four high schools are...

Online learning brings new challenges regarding academic dishonesty

With the switch to online learning, the opportunity for academic dishonesty among classes has been widened. Apps such as Photomath have made using outside resources during tests and quizzes more accessible.
November 11, 2020

During remote learning, teachers and students have had to adapt alternate learning techniques. One area that has required extra thought by educators is how to control academic dishonesty. Officials at...

The 2020 election results provoke varying reactions

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar speaks to the crowd as she introduces Bernie Sanders March 2. Omar was reelected to represent Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District.
Minnesota state, federal candidates reelected
November 10, 2020

After discovering former Vice President Joe Biden was declared the projected winner of the 2020 election, junior Semona Robel said she felt an overwhelming sense of relief, as she believes Biden will work...

Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States, defeating Trump

Joseph R. Biden won the 2020 presidential election, defeating incumbent President Donald. J. Trump as he crossed the threshold of 270 electoral votes with a win in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes).
Kamala Harris to be first female vice president of color
November 10, 2020

Joseph R. Biden won the 2020 presidential election, defeating incumbent President Donald. J. Trump as he crossed the threshold of 270 electoral votes with a win in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania...

Election 2020: Live coverage

After months of campaign stops, policy proposals and debates, Election Day is finally upon us. Harker Aquila is launching our Election Day coverage on Nov. 3 with regular live updates and community reactions starting at 4:30 p.m. as polls begin closing on the East Coast and results start coming in. Check in with this package to stay informed tonight as incumbent President Donald Trump battles former Vice President Joe Biden in this historic presidential election.
November 10, 2020

Current electoral vote count: Biden 290-214 Saturday, Nov. 7 5:30 p.m. President-elect Joseph R. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris addressed the nation at 5:30 p.m. PST at the Chase Center...

Students Disappointed by Winburn Principal’s Controversial Social Media Post

The school was built in 1970 on land in northern Fayette County formerly owned by historian Winston Coleman and his wife, Burnetta.
Principal Mike Hale implied that COVID-19 was a Democratic hoax and that Biden's election would lead people to turn against first responders, angering many.
November 10, 2020

On the evening of Nov. 4, President-Elect Joe Biden continued to pull ahead in the polls, Principal Mike Hale of Winburn Middle School took to Facebook.  In a post that has since been deleted, Hale wrote,...

Israel, Sudan normalize relations

Israel and Sudan have agreed to normalize relations in a deal brokered in a three way call with the U.S. Oct. 23. This agreement makes Sudan the third Arab country to reach peace deals with Israel in the past two months, following the United Arab Emirates and The Kingdom of Bahrain.
November 9, 2020

Israel and Sudan have agreed to normalize relations in a deal brokered by the U.S. Oct. 23. The Israel–Sudan normalization agreement makes Sudan the third Arab country to reach peace deals with Israel...

Ms. Troy leaves McCallum over safety concerns

After 14 years of teaching, 12 in Austin ISD and less than two at Mac, Cassandra Troy is leaving Mac and Texas to move to Colorado, citing health concerns over COVID and the district's response to it.
English, women's studies teacher feels district should not implement a plan where social distancing isn't guaranteed
November 9, 2020

Cassandra Troy is leaving not only McCallum or AISD, but all of Texas. It's not the people or community she's trying to escape but rather the situation. The English and women's studies teacher feels the...

A voter’s guide to the 2020 election

US President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden start exchanging during the first presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29, 2020.
November 9, 2020

The Candidates The Conventions The Debates Vote var config = { "logo": {"type":"default"}, "official-only": true }; var loadVIT...

History teachers say Biden faces a difficult path with divided nation

Former Vice President Joe Biden was officially elected as the 46th president of the United States.
November 9, 2020

Fans of President-elect Joe Biden may be in for a rude awakening after he is sworn in, since he might not be able to accomplish many of his legislative goals without controlling the Senate, Baldwin history...

Biden declared 46th president, Trump promises legal challenges

President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris greet the American people during their acceptance speech. This event drew a massive crowd to the the stage in Biden's hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
November 9, 2020

Fueled by an increased early and absentee turnout in the crucial battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden will be the 46th President of...

A look into the Los Altos Police Task Force

The Los Altos Police Task Force is charged with finding a solution to the presence of SROs at LAHS.
November 9, 2020

In September, the Los Altos City Council put together a police task force to provide recommendations regarding the presence of school resource officers (SROs) at Los Altos High School and improve the process...

Demonstrators gather downtown to protect the vote

As part of a demonstration that began at Woolridge Square and continued to the Texas Capitol, a hundred protestors gathered to insist that every ballot be counted in the 2020 election after the president argued that elections officials should stop counting ballots after Election Day.
About a hundred Austinites march from Woolridge Square to the Texas Capitol to demand that every vote cast be counted
November 6, 2020

"This is what democracy looks like!" This was just one of the chants that rang out on the streets of downtown Austin on Wednesday, following the election. The demonstration of about 100 people was organized...

Most Sunny Hills seniors eligible to vote opted to mail in their ballots during COVID-19 pandemic

Seniors eligible to vote this year were given the option of voting in-person, by mail or by drop box.
November 6, 2020

With a black pen in hand, senior Andrew Miller sat at his dining room table signing documents, checking boxes and reading over propositions before leaving his ballot in the mailbox early last month. ...

Baldwin students, like Americans everywhere, keep checking for election updates

Baldwin students were checking their phones throughout the day for election updates.
November 6, 2020

Like many people across the United States, senior Layne Dunsey has been regularly checking her phone today for updates on the presidential election.  “I was checking my phone pretty constantly, especially...

LucStrong spirit perseveres despite cancellation of video and seminars

Oak Park families gather in front of the Luc Bodden Tree located at the entrance of Red Oak Elementary School on Luc Bodden Day.
District expresses discomfort regarding topics to be discussed during Luc Bodden Week
November 6, 2020

Instead of the usual Luc Bodden Day, the week of Sept. 14 through Sept. 18 was deemed Luc Bodden Week, and was hosted by the LucStrong Foundation.  Bodden was born with sickle cell anemia and later...

Flattening the curve of fake news

In the presence of fake news, the brain struggles to distinguish between what is true and what is false.
November 5, 2020

The media has evolved to become the public’s largest source of information. Especially in recent years, people have become increasingly aware of fake news, though it is not always easy to distinguish...

Students form cultural awareness groups to combat racism, provide support

Senior Isabella Fallahi speaks to students and staff at the racial equity meeting hosted by the Black Student Alliance on Sept. 24. “I think the meeting as a whole was productive because not only were we able to voice our opinions and what the facts were and how we felt about that situation, but it was also a time where the people in charge had to sit down and listen,
November 5, 2020

Like most students her age, Gabi Bradley, Black Student Alliance (BSA) member and freshman, is in the process of becoming familiar with this school. However, throughout her education at Carmel Clay Schools,...

Hybrid entails a balancing act

Hybrid entails a balancing act
Teachers tasked with simultaneously teaching distance and in-person cohorts
November 5, 2020

As Park starts to return to in-person learning, teachers have been faced with an unprecedented situation in which they have to teach students online and in person at the same time. According to history...

“Chaos Seems to Be the New Norm”: Students and Staff React to an Inconclusive Election Day As Voters Anticipate Final Results

November 5, 2020

An unconventional year has brought with it an unconventional presidential election, as Americans still await voting results in several critical states, crossing fingers, biting nails, and scanning news...

Mobile voting units offer convenience

One of the two new Fulton County mobile voting units parked in Piedmont Park on October 27. Social-distancing markers lined the sidewalk and
November 5, 2020

Fulton County’s new mobile voting precincts offered early voting in 24 different Fulton County locations, including Ponce City Market, the Atlanta History Center, and Piedmont Park. The units are large...

YEAR OF THE YARD SIGN: Election’s conflicts and tensions are playing out on area front lawns

RECOVERED: Stolen political yard signs were set up on the front lawn of Amanda Kogan in Beverlywood Oct. 5 so people could pick them up. Ms. Kogan posted on NextDoor that she'd found the signs, which had been dropped in a pile on Wooster and 18th streets.
November 5, 2020

Jill Lefferman woke up early Oct. 5 to discover one of the political yard signs had been stolen off her lawn in the heart of Beverlywood. It was a Biden-Harris sign, with the phrase “B’H,” an abbreviation...

Students can vote in election for the first time

USING HER VOICE: Senior Taylor Bruder poses with her “I Voted” sticker after voting in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. Bruder posted her photo to her Instagram story to promote awareness of the election, which will take place on Nov. 3. “I’m going to vote because I’m concerned about our country,” Bruder said. “People’s rights are on the line. I’m voting to protect my rights and other minorities rights.”
Students are now voting-eligible for the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. Students and teachers advocate for these voting-eligible students to perform their civic duty and use their right to vote.
November 5, 2020

As Election Day on Tuesday approaches, students who are voting-eligible this year will come together with the rest of the nation to decide on a president. “I think voting is very important...

Politicians, students advocate importance of teens in local politics

Volunteers for Indiana senator Victoria Swartz's congressional campaign pose with campaign signs at Spartz's campaign headquarters.
November 5, 2020

As the election gets closer, the bids for presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden come up in most everyday conversations. Debates between candidates have become heated as have debates between...

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Protesters gather at the 135th and Metcalf intersection on June 12 to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
District responds to controversy following social media post regarding racism
November 5, 2020

Blue Valley lacks a diverse range of backgrounds among its staff, students and community. With a little over 70% of the racial makeup being Caucasian/White, according to the district website, students...

Many colleges move to test-optional amidst extended pandemic

Students across the globe were forced to forego sitting for standardized tests due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But what does that mean for students applying to colleges now?
November 5, 2020

Students across the globe study for hours upon hours, and oftentime spend thousands of dollars, preparing to take standardized tests; and, in early March of 2020, thousands of students had been doing just...

Response from the community

The Board of Education's decision to retire the Pascack Valley and Pascack Hills mascots and nicknames was faced with backlash and support from the community. Several petitions were created in the months that followed.
The reaction to the retirement of the mascots
November 5, 2020

The Board of Education’s decision to retire the Pascack Valley and Pascack Hills mascots, the Indians and Cowboys, on June 22 was met with support and backlash from the public. Many community members...

There is no planet B — a timeline of climate change legislation

Goals have been set to combat climate change, but current efforts are not nearly enough to curb its drastic effects.
November 5, 2020

Picture this: a city sits at 122 degrees Fahrenheit — more than halfway to boiling. Outside in the empty streets, all is silent except for the turbulent humming of power grids, straining to meet...

Biden holds slim electoral lead over Trump; Presidential race remains too close to call

With the presidential race still too close to call, many eyes are on the City of Atlanta and its surrounding counties.
November 4, 2020

With many vital battleground states still counting ballots, there is still no clear winner to the 2020 Presidential Election, arguably one of the most historic presidential races in modern American...

One local election’s impact on the BVNW community

Caroline Diederich and Albers at a party in May of 2017.
The election for Johnson County District Attorney holds importance to friends of former BVNW student John Albers, who was shot and killed by the police.
November 4, 2020

Coming home from their respective colleges to vote together, a group of BVNW class of 2019 graduates gather at the polls. Not only would it be this group's first chance to vote, but the election for Johnson...

Don’t expect a winner on election night

The traditional Electoral College map generally shows a clear winner on election night, but that might not be the case this year because of so many people voting by mail.
Mail-in ballot counting could delay outcome for weeks
November 4, 2020

Election day is Nov. 3, which means that’s when Americans will know who becomes the next president of the United States, right? Not necessarily. This year, many ballots are being submitted by mail...

“Cultural genocide”: Uyghur Muslims face oppression, internment by Chinese Communist Party

Clad in dark blue shirts, Uyghur protestors gather in Washington D.C. on Oct. 1 on the Global Day of Action. The Chinese government has detained between 1 million and 3 million Uyghurs, a Muslim Turkic minority native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, also known as East Turkestan, in Northwest China, in over 380 internment camps since 2017.
November 4, 2020

Clad in matching light blue hats, the color of the East Turkestan flag, and dark blue shirts, a multitude of Uyghur protestors posed in front of the Capitol, some holding up pictures of family members...

Power to the people: 2020 election preview

A Joe Biden campaign sign sits in a Coralville lawn.
Ahead of election day, WSS analyzed recent polling data and spoke to students, both eligible and non-eligible, about why they felt voting in this year’s election was crucial.
November 4, 2020

After what feels like years of campaigning, the 2020 presidential election is coming to a close. More than 30 candidates, 12 debates and countless rallies have boiled down to two months of in-person and...

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