Best of SNO

Challenge Continues for Online Learning

An infographic showcasing common words used related to online learning.


October 1, 2020

For junior, Mariela Rodriguez, going to school online was necessarily not the best option because she lives in a household of nine family members.   As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many schools in California, including Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) remain closed. When schools...

Eversource response to Tropical Storm Isaias frustrates Westport, elicits PURA investigation

Tropical Storm Isaias was the fourth biggest storm to hit Connecticut, following Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene. The majority of Westport lost power for an extended period of time.

By Natalie Bandura '22, Staples High School

September 30, 2020

The aftermath of tropical storm Isaias has elicited an investigation into Eversource’s storm preparation and response rate by the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), in light of widespread discontent with the efficiency of Eversource’s power line repairs among both private citizens...

Ethnic Studies: Giving a voice to the voiceless

Ethnic Studies is designed to expose students to a more diverse understanding of culture and history.

By Sophia Harimoto, Granite Bay High School

September 30, 2020

As social inequalities have gained media attention over the last couple of months, advocating for racial reform has increased respectively as a result. Included within that agenda is diversifying school curriculums, among which the new course offered at Granite Bay High School— Ethnic Studies— intends...

Conducting local elections during pandemic

Coppell parent Dan Koller has written over 100 postcards since July as part of Postcards to Swing States, an initiative encouraging voter participation in the 2020 election. Postcards to Swing States is a nonpartisan initiative that encourages people to vote in 14 swing states, including Texas.

By Shivi Sharma, Coppell High School

September 30, 2020

I vote in every election because... Each of the over 100 letters Coppell parent and former 2018 Coppell ISD Board of Trustees candidate Dan Koller signed as part of Vote Forward, a nonpartisan initiative that encourages people to vote by mailing letters, has this prompt for volunteers to write a per...

COVID-19: A data dive

A data-driven dive into the effects COVID-19 has had locally, nationally, and globally.

By Aditya Singhvi, The Harker Upper School

September 29, 2020

259 days. That’s how long it’s been since the World Health Organization (WHO) determined that a novel coronavirus caused a pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, China. And since then, the staggering numbers have continued to pile up. 29 million cases worldwide. Over 900,000 lives lost. In the United Stat...

Elementary returns to in-person learning; RSD exploring ways to bring secondary students back safely

During her 1st Hour AP Environmental Science class, Gretchen Whelan begins her Zoom session. Teachers have been working from the building unless they were given permission to work from home due to a special circumstance like a health condition.

By Juli Mejia and Hannah Fitts

September 28, 2020

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), younger school-aged children (under 14 years old) have a lower risk of transferring COVID-19 to others. In light of this and other data, the Rockwood School District (RSD) has decided to move forward with allowing Pre-K through...

Menlo Park protesters march in reaction to Breonna Taylor indictment

JT Faraji calls to the crowd through his bullhorn. On Friday, September 25, protesters gathered in Menlo Park, reacting to the grand jury indictment in Breonna Taylor's case.

By Anika Sikka and Mira Sundar

September 28, 2020

Protesters took to the streets of Menlo Park yesterday at 6 p.m. in reaction to the grand jury indictment in Breonna Taylor’s case. On Wednesday, September 23, Brett Hankison, one of the officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor, was indicted with three counts of wanton endangerment, warranting...

Nonprofit sues MCPS over changes to middle school magnet program admissions

The AEF sued MCPS on September 1, citing discriminatory admissions practices of middle school magnet programs.

By Lily Freeman, Walt Whitman High School

September 28, 2020

The Association for Education Fairness, a Montgomery County parent coalition, filed a lawsuit against MCPS on September 1, claiming that recent changes to the admissions process for the county’s middle school magnet programs discriminate against Asian students. The AEF alleges in its complaint that...

ASB takes down announcements containing “model minority myth” video

EagleTV airs a video depicting the model minority myth, causing backlash. Administration responded.

By Bailey Andera and Emily Francis

September 28, 2020

EagleTV featured a video created by Diversify Our Narrative on the model minority myth on Sept. 11. This video discussed the model minority myth which is the stereotype that Asian Americans have gained success in social and economic regions and that their success is concurrent with white standards of achi...

@dear_fsha: The Tolog community reacts

The @dear_fsha account is part of a trend of Instagram accounts — like @dearmayfield, @dear__poly and even @dearstanford_ — that recount racism and other forms of discrimination at private schools.

By Ella Kitt, Flintridge Sacred Heart

September 28, 2020

Spurred by the fervor of the Black Lives Matter protests that swept the nation starting in May, activists have taken to social media to continue to raise awareness for their causes. As a result of this wave of activist zeal, advocacy-themed social media accounts have surged in popularity. One such...

CUSD Drops Plan to Postpone Hybrid Reopening of High Schools

Parents opposed to an extension of online learning for high school students gathered outside the district office on Tuesday.

By Samantha Freeman and Ella Villar

September 28, 2020

UPDATED: An agenda item on whether to extend online learning to January or return to classrooms on Oct. 13 using a hybrid model of instruction was abruptly dropped from Wednesday night’s board meeting. A message from the superintendent and board president was sent to parents of high school students...

Virtual school challenges students with learning disabilities

Students with learning disabilities have to combat many mental challenges with virtual learning.

By Maddie Shaw, Henry W. Grady High School

September 28, 2020

A student sits at their desk, eyes strained from looking at her computer. While struggling to keep up with assignments learning virtually, there is another obstacle holding her back: her learning disability. Not only does she not have a physical interaction with her teachers, she must also work harder...

RJUHSD students advocate for social equality on campuses through Diversify Our Narrative

On Instagram, @diversifyournarrativerjuhsd posts infographics, petitions, and testimonials to help educate the community on injustices.

By Mareesa Islam, Granite Bay High School

September 25, 2020

Amidst the “resurfacing” of  racial tensions, many students have begun to express their voice on fragile issues through social media and other activism platforms. Diversify Our Narrative, a student-led organization, works to combat systemic racism and educates students on racial injustices.   ...


Amidst the pandemic, wearing masks in public has become a political debate.

By Sabine Kanz, Granite Bay High School

September 25, 2020

In an empty room, the lights come up on an older man. He smiles into the camera, connecting with viewers all over America.  Former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden opens his mouth, to instruct his audience  “Just judge this president on the facts,” said Biden in...

Inappropriate behavior in Zooms

Students acting appropriately while remaining on task in a Zoom breakout room.

By Ava Cherry, Aspen High School

September 25, 2020

During the second week of online learning, Zoom bombing and the use of hate-speech and images in class prompted stricter security measures and guidelines for Zoom calls. In the preceding weeks, a few AHS students, predominantly underclassmen, decided to air inappropriate and distasteful background...

Fulton County and Atlanta spar over use of abatements for development

The development of a 274 key hotel by Peachtree Hotel Group at 271 17th Street in Atlantic Station received a .7 million tax abatement from the Development Authority of Fulton County. This decision sparked a resolution from the Atlanta City Council.

By George Lefkowicz, Henry W. Grady High School

September 24, 2020

The Atlanta City Council adopted a unanimous resolution Sept. 21 demanding that the Development Authority of Fulton County cease offering tax abatements within the City of Atlanta. On Aug. 25, the county approved three abatements: $3.7 million for a hotel in Atlantic Station, $3.3 million for a residential...

California wildfires rage on, cause families to prepare for evacuation

Smoke covers the California sky, as the

By Gabriella Winans, Prosper High School

September 24, 2020

Thousands of families across California are prepared to evacuate their homes, while many have already evacuated, following the severe "El Dorado" wildfire that has burned across the state since Sept. 5. As the wildfire continues to spread, residents like Menlo School senior Sareena Sandhu are left with...

Seniors plan to graduate early under unusual circumstances

GBHS alumni Zach Bader walks the stage during his graduation. Some seniors who are graduating early this year may experience something similar before the rest of their peers.

By Maggie Delaney, Granite Bay High School

September 23, 2020

For many seniors, that last spring semester is when they make their last memories of highschool. By that time many seniors are finally relaxing. College applications are over, SAT and ACT tests are done, and seniors finally get to enjoy spending one last semester with their peers before college.  ...

Breaking News: Vegetation fire forces community evacuations

On Monday afternoon, the Cipriani neighborhood was crowded with emergency personnel.

By Rachel McCrea and Allison Raisner

September 23, 2020

As record-setting wildfires burn across the state, a brush fire broke out in the San Juan Canyon in Belmont, causing evacuations in the nearby community.  The first report of the fire was called in at 3:44 pm, Monday afternoon, crews arriving within six minutes, noticing the fire climbing up the...

Social isolation affects teen social development

Computer screens are connected, but not connected at the same time. Some teens fare well at home, but others do not.

By Elizabeth Park and Sharlene Chen

September 23, 2020

Isolated, scared and unsure — just a few of the emotions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Humans are naturally social. With the COVID-19 crisis calling for social distancing, though, teens are getting fewer chances for face-to-face interactions with their friends. Teenagers are at a stage...

Unmatched use of #blacklivesmatter and the age of online activism

A screenshot of the Black Lives Matter official Twitter account.

By Katelyn Newton, Rio Americano High School

September 23, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic forced citizens across the globe to spend more time at home - and consequently online - online activism has been on the rise since March. Almost overnight after the death of George Floyd, social media apps like Twitter and Instagram became hubs to spread social awareness and...

Fighting for justice for all

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died from pancreatic cancer in Washington, D.C. on Friday. Ginsburg advocated against gender discrimination and was the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

By Shivi Sharma, Coppell High School

September 22, 2020

Since the 1970s, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pioneered the fight for women’s rights through her work on equal pay and sex-based discrimination cases. At the time of her appointment in 1993, Justice Ginsburg was only the second woman to serve on the court. On Friday, at age 87, Ginsburg...

Raging Wildfires, Sudden Power Outages, and a Worldwide Pandemic: Finding Hope in the Uncertain

High winds exacerbated a brush fire causing devastation to parts of Oregon City (KPTV)

By Reet Chatterjee, Jesuit High School

September 22, 2020

Principal Paul Hogan joined local school districts—including the Portland Public Schools—to cancel classes on Friday, September 11 due to disruptions caused by wildfires in the region. The announcement came as a relief to disorderly times, as students enter the school year battling wildfire evacuations,...

“My heart sunk”: Whitman community mourns the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an inspiration to many Whitman students, passed away September 18.

By Aleydis Barnes, Walt Whitman High School

September 22, 2020

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at her home in Washington D.C. Friday night due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer, according to a Supreme Court press release. While technical director of the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU from 1972 to 1980), Ginsburg advocated for women’s rights, leading the Supreme Court to recognize the unconstituitonality of sex-based discrimination. In 1993, she became the second woman ever appointed to the Supreme...

Students Group Engages District Leaders for Change Against Racism

Student advocates for CUSDAgainstRacism call upon the Capistrano Unified School District school board to address the widespread discrimination and racism occurring in CUSD schools. The crowd watching the students are all current or former CUSD students, parents, and teachers.

By Sandhya Ganesan, San Juan Hills High School

September 21, 2020

During a summer of protests in the name of the Black Lives Matter movement, students and alumni of CUSD have created a movement to speak out against racism faced by many Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the community.  CUSDAgainstRacism core organizers Solei Sarmiento, Olivia Fu,...

Accidental arson sparks new wildfires in California

The fires across California paint an ominous orange sky, casting a smokey shadow over the Bay Area.

By Erwan Pal, Carlmont High School

September 21, 2020

California’s shocking year of wildfires is the worst in state history; 3,154,107 acres of land have been scorched across the state this year, with more expected to burn. Currently, over 7,000 fires are burning throughout the state, one of which was sparked by a gender reveal party.  Jenna Karvu...

Disproportionate discipline of Black students in SRVUSD threatens equity

The disproportionate suspension of African American students in SRVUSD suggests potential inequity

By Sanjana Ranganathan and Jade Wang

September 21, 2020

“I have been called to the office four or five times for things that I didn’t do. One time I was even threatened with suspension and I had nothing to do with it [the infraction],” Dougherty Valley High School (DVHS) senior Ashraf Abdelmagid said, referring to his time at Gale Ranch Middle School...

Minstrel roots of “The Eyes of Texas” ignite debate within UT community

The Longhorn Band performs at a pre-pandemic football game. At the Texas football season home opener against UTEP last Saturday, the alma mater was played over the loud speaker because the band was not in attendance. Photo originally accessed on the losays Flickr account. Reposted here with permission under a creative commons license.

By Samantha Powers, McCallum High School

September 21, 2020

For years, the University of Texas’ alma mater, “The Eyes of Texas,” was widely viewed in the community as a song of unity and togetherness. Austin high school band students dreamed of one day setting foot on the field of the Darryl K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium and proudly playing the university’s...

Medical professionals weigh in on online learning

Medical professionals emphasize how important it is to exercise for both your mental and physical health.

By Dana Richie, Henry W. Grady High School

September 18, 2020

Students and faculty are spending five hours a day in front of a screen for online instruction plus potentially more hours for independent work and extracurriculars. Virtual learning, though deemed by medical professionals as a much safer alternative to in-person education during the COVID-19 pandemic,...

Distance learning forces elementary students to adapt quickly

With remote learning in action, playgrounds at Fox elementary are also temporarily closed.

By Amber Chia, Carlmont High School

September 18, 2020

A young girl eagerly waits for her first day of kindergarten to arrive. She vividly imagines television-like scenarios of how her first day of school would play out. Her school supplies were purchased and ready to use, anticipating that she will be using them inside a classroom with her future classmates....

FUHSD community pushes for antiracist curriculum and climate

Despite the evident lack of diversity in FUHSD, recent racial justice movements have spurred community members to host town hall meetings, send letters and write resolutions to promote anti-racism and equality within the district.

By Mei Corricello and Sruthi Medepalli

September 18, 2020

With the recent rise of racial justice movements such as Black Lives Matter (BLM), FUHSD has been pushed to speak up in the anti-racism conversation. Students, teachers, administrators and community members are hosting town hall meetings, sending letters and writing resolutions to promote anti-racism...

From backyard minyans to distanced dinners, Covid Rosh Hashanah will look and feel different

OUTSIDE: Rosh Hashanah starts tomorrow night. With synagogues closed, many Shalhevet community members will be praying in socially distanced groups outdoors.

By Olivia Fishman and Tehilla Fishman, 10th Grade

September 18, 2020

Shalhevet Dean of Students Rabbi Ari Schwarzberg thinks that it will be especially difficult to connect to God during the High Holidays this year. “There is a certain mood and certain energy that happens in shul, where if you walk in and you are not prepared, you can go from a five to a 10 pretty...

Wildfire smoke causes disruptions to Woodside Teachers and Students

An orange, hazy cover of smoke is seen above the Woodside traffic circle and PAC on September 9th, 2020. The large amounts of smoke from the fire have been causing a variety of inconveniences for Woodside students and teachers since the fires were started less than a month earlier

By Cedrik von Briel, Woodside High School - CA

September 18, 2020

As California’s fires rage on, one obvious problem to those nearby has been the smoke, which has been disrupting both life and the distance learning experience for teachers and students at Woodside. Ever since a dry lightning storm hit California on August 16, hundreds of fires around California...

UPDATE: What you need to know about Colorado’s wildfires

The sky from Toepfer Park Aug. 11. The sun set at 8pm and appeared to be pink.

By Maddy Merritt, Rock Canyon High School

September 17, 2020

Orange, purple, and pink pastels paint the sky. The sun, a bright fuschia orb, makes its way below the horizon. Stunning, right? It’s actually the result of wildfires currently sweeping through the Centennial State, the Pine Gulch Fire in Grand Junction the biggest in the state’s history and at 87%...

Following George Floyd’s Death, Students Mobilize for a Summer of Protests, While Equity Work Continues at La Salle

Over the summer, many La Salle students participated in protests throughout the city.

By Maddie Khaw, La Salle Catholic Preparatory High School

September 17, 2020

The sights and sounds of Portland's summer were seen across the country: people crowding the streets in various areas of the city each evening, brandishing cardboard posters on sidewalk corners or marching through the streets, fists and voices raised to propel a movement that has grasped America’s...

Parents Protest, Want Option for In-Person Instruction

Protesters taped a handmade banner outside the FCPS building on Main Street.

By Sadie Bograd, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School - KY

September 17, 2020

On the evening of Sept. 14, a group of around 50 parents and children gathered outside the office of Fayette County Public Schools to protest Fayette County’s virtual learning policy. The protest was scheduled to coincide with the FCPS Board’s monthly virtual planning meeting. However, the board announced tha...

Staff votes ‘no confidence’ in superintendent

SDTA shared a press release detailing their concerns with Dr. Streshly.

By Allison Raisner, Carlmont High School

September 16, 2020

Teachers and administrators from the Sequoia Union High School District issued a Vote of No Confidence against the superintendent as they question her trustworthiness and actions as a leader of the students, staff, and community.  Over summer break, SUHSD Superintendent Mary Streshly’s leadership...

Confrontation between Tiburon police and shop owner sparks backlash against police

Yema Khalif's clothing store in downtown Tiburon where the owners were the target of a confrontation with police on August 21, 2020.

By Henry Pratt, Sir Francis Drake High School

September 16, 2020

On Friday, Aug.  21, at approximately 1:00 a.m, a racially-charged confrontation between Tiburon police and black store owner Yema Khalif occured, later causing backlash against the police from local residents. During this incident, former Sergeant Michael Blasi, supervising officer on scene, voiced...

First student COVID-19 case documented at Homestead

Homestead High School has recorded its first student case of COVID-19.

By Hannah Kennedy, Homestead High School

September 16, 2020

Students, parents, faculty and staff were notified on Sunday, Sept. 12 that a student had tested positive for COVID-19. The Mequon-Thiensville School District (MTSD), working with the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department, began contact tracing for students who had been a close contact of the positive...

The Redwood City Police Department’s Role in Helping with the Fires

Image from Fires rage in Boulder Creek, California on August 21.

By Emma Montalbano, Woodside High School - CA

September 16, 2020

After an intense thunderstorm passed through the Bay Area on August 16, several fires sparked as a result of the lightning, dry soils, and high winds. As the fires spread, first responders were sent out to assist with the fires and help residents in the affected areas. California’s wildfire season...

English curriculum highlights authors of color

BIPOC authors of three new books being introduced into the English curriculum

By Charlotte Nicks, Oak Park High School - CA

September 15, 2020

A national push for increased inclusion of figures of color in public school curriculum has become local. The campus may be quiet, but that doesn’t mean the student body isn’t bustling with activity. In the wake of nationwide protests, many students and faculty have become involved, or intensified...

WeChat and TikTok to be banned from the United States

National security concerns prompted President Trump to issue two executive orders banning U.S. citizens or permanent residents from transaction with the owners of WeChat and TikTok. The orders go into effect on Sept. 15.

By Irene Yuan, The Harker Upper School

September 15, 2020

On Aug. 6, President Trump issued two executive orders that prohibit U.S. citizens or permanent residents from transacting with the owners of WeChat or TikTok, citing national security concerns as the reason for the orders that would take effect on Sept. 15. This essentially gave American companies 45 days to purchase the U.S. operations of TikTok, especially placing pressu...

SROs and ethnic studies — a closer look

The Talon interviewed students, staff, police, board members and school administrators to take a closer look at some of the problems that MVLA campuses face regarding racism, and possible alternatives to foster a more inclusive community for all students.

By Mira Sundar, Anika Sikka, and Cedric Chan

September 15, 2020

A handful of Mountain View and Los Altos community members presented a petition to the district board asking to eliminate the presence of student resource officers (SROs) on campus and adopt a mandatory ethnic studies curriculum. The two groups — Los Altos Students, Alumni and Educators (LA SAE)...

Tarrytown Back the Blue rally displays strong support for law enforcement, President Trump

Former Westchester County Executive and candidate for New York State Senate Rob Astorino speaks at a Back the Blue Rally in Tarrytown on Sept. 12. The rally and ensuing convoy drew a crowd of a few hundred.

By Logan Schiciano and Mitch Fink

September 14, 2020

“Make America Great Again” and “Thin Blue Line” flags were scattered throughout the crowd at a Tarrytown “Back the Blue” rally on Saturday afternoon, as several prominent law enforcement officials and local politicians took the stage to denounce violence in Democrat-run cities, and voic...

What does shelter-in-place mean when shelter is unaffordable?

Only a chain-link fence separates the Joe Rodota Trail, a pedestrian and bike path, from California State Route 12 in Santa Rosa. Over the month of January, city officials relocated over 250 individuals living at the trail encampment, sending some to shelters across the city and some to temporary “pallet buildings” with bunk beds, heat and electricity in Los Guilicos in East Santa Rosa, a two-hour drive from the trail.

By Eric Fang, Lucy Ge, Nina Gee, Varsha Rammohan, Arushi Saxena, Alysa Suleiman, Anna Vazhaeparambil, Sara Yen, and Gloria Zhang

September 11, 2020

'Like pouring on gasoline': Bay Area’s pandemic response complicated by ongoing affordable housing crisis On March 16, Bay Area officials in six counties announced shelter-in-place directives, mandating that residents only leave their homes for essential purposes. But what does sheltering in place look...

DGS students, administration respond to “Zoom bombing” incidents

Zoom bombers pose a threat to the privacy and security of remote learning.

By Alex Miranda, Downers Grove South High School

September 10, 2020

Since the beginning of the semester on Aug. 17, instances have occurred where unauthorized individuals entered scheduled Zoom calls and engaged in inappropriate behavior. The offense, coined “Zoom bombing” by students and staff, has raised questions related to security and ethical concerns in the...

Fleeing fires: Evacuated community members face challenges with new reality

Upper school English teacher Beverley Manning's house was burned to the ground by the CZU Lightning Complex Fire, which has now burned over 86,000 acres. Manning evacuated from the wildfire with her rescued animals.

By Lucy Ge, The Harker Upper School

September 10, 2020

Since a heat wave struck California on Aug. 14, over 900 fires have rolled through 1.8 million acres, destroying at least 3,400 structures, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom during a press conference today.  Californians experienced extreme heat over Labor Day weekend, with Newsom declaring a state o...

A race for change

Natalia Alvarez and Tania Sims, members of Ready Set Reform, speak before Oviedo protestors. They led a march in Oviedo on the Park to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

By Lukas Goodwin, Hagerty High School

September 10, 2020

On June 13, a small group of college students rounded together the voices of Oviedo to march for the Black Lives Matter movement that took the nation by storm following the murder of George Floyd. When University of Central Florida senior Tania Sims, the face of BLM Oviedo which would become known as Rea...

Anonymous Cal student posts racist comment during class on the first day of school

The beginning of the 2020-2021 remote school year has brought forth a new set of challenges that Cal staff and students alike have to face.

By Angela Deanne Paloma and Ronnie Gogoi

September 10, 2020

Cal High was once again attacked by an anonymous act of racism when a student submitted a racist comment in a virtual lesson on, of all days, the first day of school. In a letter emailed to the school community Thursday afternoon, Principal Megan Keefer wrote that a student posted, “I wish...all...

Trace of concern

Sophomore Leylani Neris scans back into her classroom so administration can track where she has been and what she has touched.

By Charlotte Mansur, Hagerty High School

September 9, 2020

The person to your right has been gone all week. Your third-period teacher was teaching from home while you watched her from the classroom. Rumors have been swirling throughout campus, making speculations as to who was the first to fall victim to COVID since the start of the school year and how they...

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