By Adelisa Badzic
This year at East High, we’ve been through many changes such as a change in the class sizes. Many people have not realized this, but a lot of our classes are above 22, which is the ideal size for a class.
As a scholar at East, I need to ask questions for reassurance on certain topics. With more kids in classes, it is hard to get the answers I am looking for. Some kids fool around, some actually want to learn and be able to prosper. Principal Blocker stated, “My challenge is what will scholars do to make sure that their classmates are not impeding their ability to learn by holding them accountable to enrich the learning environment.”
Having more people in one class can expand what our minds are exposed to. But also having more people can mean more distractions. I believe smaller class sizes should be a priority. Senior Madison Smith agrees with the smaller class size idea. She stated, “I think it is harder to learn and get one on one time with the teacher when there are so many students in the class. Which makes it more difficult to learn and get help.”
In one of my classes, I always feel interrupted so I can imagine how the teacher feels. In my opinion, I should not have to hold my classmates accountable when in fact we are all there for the same reason: to get our education.
Big Improvements at Metal’s Cafe
By Alisa Pirko
The Culinary program is unique to East High. Recently, the space has undergone many renovations and innovations. It has a new expanded teaching kitchen with a demo area and a new dining facility for guests. They also offer a new series of menu and a new style of service that’s more like a kitchen. A little sneak peek into the menu: we will be having a hot food station along with a salad bar and a panini bar. The renovation gives students first-hand experience of learning food preparation and food production. It gives students more practical experience to use in a new way in the kitchen. It also is a more realistic feeling teaching in the kitchen. Chef Jeff’s plan moving forward is to bring more chefs and to engage with more local business owners, and Chef will continue to use the power of food to continue not only with the students but with the teachers and the community.
Changes in Cafeteria Please Students
By Josh Figueroa
Many changes in the cafeteria encourage kids to like eating lunch at school. Before the U of R came in and updated East, the cafeteria wasn't really an appealing place to eat, and there wasn't really much variety in the food.
Coming from a student who has been attending East since 7th grade, Nazier Mcdonald says, “Before there wasn't really much of an option in foods. It got to the point where kids would stop going to the cafeteria for their lunch.” Since the U of R took control, the food has improved significantly with the addition of more choices. Some items that were added to the menu are containers of salads, meatball sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, tater tots and also chicken patties. Most recently, the school has implemented a Subway Line in the cafeteria, giving students the opportunity to experience a Subway-like feature in school.
In addition to the changes in food, the cafeteria underwent a major interior design, and colors on the floor were changed from green to white, gaming systems were added into the cafeteria as a way for kids to enjoy lunch more. As a result of these additional improvements, more kids are going into the cafeteria for their lunch.
No More Sight Difficulties
By Tahaara Gazali
For many students around our town, their failing eyesight at first seems quite unmanageable until they connect with Vision Care. To see the Smartboard, some students willingly move to the front of the classroom, but many find indignity in the problem that they are facing and refuse to recognize it or can’t afford the cost for glasses.
Eventually, after four years of observing student’ sight difficulties, Mr. Conrow, a physics teacher at East High School, came up with the idea of creating a class where students learn how to construct glasses; the collaboration with Mr. Newman made it easy and stable.
Mr. Newman and Mr. Conrow recognized the problems students were facing and made a big difference in the city of Rochester. Mr. Newman states, “A boy in an elementary school had 15 referrals over a marking period before getting glasses and after he received them he only had six in the next marking period.” Newman also states, “A middle school girl went from three sight words without glasses to 30+ sight words within a month after getting her glasses.”
Mr. Newman offers services to every child in the city school district. Each week he repairs five to fifteen glasses. Over the course of years that Vision Care has existed, Mr. Newman and East high school students have made 42,200 pairs of glasses. Mr. Newman states, “I am very proud of what we have accomplished here at East and hope to continue making differences in every kid’s life in the Rochester City School District.”
By Amina Hassan
A huge part of East is its diversity with many students coming from different parts of the world with English as a second language. To help these students a big change has been added.
In previous years during exams, such as Regents, ENL (English and a New Language) students had accommodations like extra time, translators, and separate locations. Last June East High introduced a new accommodation which allows students who have 2 Regents exams in one day to take the other exam the next day and continue on from where they left off. ENL teacher Ms. Casarett says, “In the past students can spend 12-15 hours sitting for exams which is exhausting for students and teachers proctoring the exam. Many Muslim students would be fasting during the exams and that’s not okay for a student too be sitting that long while not having any water or food.”
The new accommodation is very beneficial but students are just getting used to it. Junior Puja Magar says, “The new accommodation helped me a lot because before it was overwhelming to take 2 exams in one day. With the extra time I would often spend about 6 hours taking each exam and that's a total of 12 hours of sitting and taking an exam my brain was hurting and I was not thinking straight and could not focus. But last June the accommodation helped a lot because I was able to think better and refresh my mind and was not overwhelmed with the fact that I had to take 2 exams in one day.”
East High School has a variety of students coming from places like Somalia, Puerto Rico, Kenya, Nepal and many more. East High has specialized teachers who help these students with the language barrier. Teachers follow the curriculum which structures a lesson to help English language learners to navigate the language while still learning the language.
By Lora Thomas
The new “Z” that was recently added to the gradebook has made a huge impact on East High school students. The students were wondering what the new “Z” is for and why it was added to the gradebook. Registrar Mr. Crandall said that the new “Z” was put into the gradebook to inform teachers that the students currently has a grade that falls below a 49%. But the school policy says we do not give any students a grade below 49% on a grade quarter.
The new “Z” also gives students a chance to get a passing grade in other quarters and maybe even allowing overall passing grades on the course. With the letter “Z” it will also work as a flag for administrators of the building when viewing and verifying grades at the end of each quarter. The admin staff will now see that when the grade “Z” that this will let them know that they need to make adjustments to the students grade so that it does not fall between a 0-49%. With this being said the district is hoping that with the new Z grade in place that when teachers go to look at grades that the students will be less likely be overlooked with failing grade below 50%.
East Now Recycles
By Anna Burton
We at East have started a new recycling program with good reasoning. This program is run by Mr. Taylor and Mrs. Michaud. This program is not that easy to maintain for two reasons. One, some students don't read the signs near the recycling bins and put trash in there. Two, no one is there to help them with the recycling process. We need more students to be involved.
Many schools in the RCSD don't recycle even though it’s mandated for each school to recycle. According to Green school-recycling and more, “Public and private schools, institutions of higher education and any other educational institutions in New York State are required to recycle materials collected in their local recycling program.” This mean we already should have been recycling.
Mrs. Michaud said it is too early to tell how the new initiative is affecting the school. She wants some of the students to take recycling out into their future. So far the program has made $30, which means they recycled 600 cans this year. This isn't just to make revenue; it’s slowly saving our planet. According to Mrs. Michaud the reason why the recycling program came alive is because we didn't have one and the landfills are so big that it’s scary. If we recycle it will reduce what goes to the landfill, which leaves some more room for trees and other plants to grow. We truly need more trees because all of our forests are being burned down intentionally. She believes that recycling is important, but we should also reuse and reduce, which can help stop the problem a lot better.
New Technology Creates New Music
By Jaheim Jones
Out with the old and in with the new, is what music teacher Scott Weber said when looking at the old music equipment collecting dust in the back of the room. Since 2016, Mr. Weber has successfully run the class Intro to Music Technology in the “A” wing room A114.
In an interview, Mr. Weber stated, “I was looking for a new option for students who needed their art or music elective who had missed the opportunity to study music on an instrument or in an ensemble.” We have other unique ways to make music than the traditional instrument so why not explore the possibilities? Although Mr. Weber is the teacher, Mr. Graham and Dr. Meier also helped put the Intro to Music Technology class together, and now it is an elective for East Upper Students.
Mr. Weber, Mr. Graham, and Dr. Meier were so interested in getting scholars to engage in music, he had a vote on it based on the students' voice. With a majority of the votes of students wanting to have a modern approach to music, the Intro to Music Technology class was born. Even with the success the class is getting, Mr. Weber himself said, “Modifications are still being made to the curriculum.” Right now Mr. Weber is looking for a possible way to have more than 15 students in the intro to music technology class so more students can find their interest in modern music. This class isn't for everyone; this class is for the scholars that wants to pursue a career in recording and live sound, most importantly music production.
A Uniform Decision
By Elisha Jenkins
Some students are under the impression that it is unfair how often their team gets new uniforms. An anonymous East High athlete states, “I feel like it’s unfair because we don't ask for a lot, all we wanted was uniforms.” I don’t disagree with what this student is saying because I felt the same way, but our athletic director Mr. Robinson says, “it's on a rotation, each team is supposed to get new uniforms about every 5 years,” meaning each year a couple of different teams get new uniforms. Like last year the football team and soccer team got new uniforms. Robinson also states, “Football gets uniforms more often because it’s a physical sport and all the wear and tear on the uniforms.”
This year the basketball team is getting new uniforms. The tennis team was supposed to too but in the beginning of their season the coach wasn’t sure if there was going to be a team. Next year the tennis team, volleyball team, and lacrosse team will be getting new uniforms. Robinson has a budget for the teams’ uniforms each year. He lets the coaches chose the designs of the uniforms and then he orders them for that team. He orders about 15-20 uniforms for each team that get new uniforms. He does this to make sure everyone on the team will actually have one that fit them. So while at first it might seem unfair, there is a reason to the way teams are selected to get new uniforms.
Hope for Track and Field
By Jacai Sanders
East High’s Track and Field team has been on a downward spiral as of the past 5 years, but there's hope! According to “Section V Track and Field” there have been 18 different male competitors and 16 different female competitors from East that made it to sectionals since 2015. Compared to other city schools that is a drastically low amount of people. For instance Edison has had 31 different male competitors and 20 different female competitors compete in sectionals in the past two years alone. This goes to show that Track and Field has become irrelevant here at East for the past half-decade.
East now has a couple of new transfer students and they're looking to contribute to the team instantly. The team is filled with a good mix of youth, experience and a bunch of hard workers to go along with some exceptional coaches. Coaches that never put you in a predicament to fail and if you do fail they’re always on your back to make sure that the next time you step on the track you will prevail. Maybe this is the year that East gets back on “track” and achieves the goal of winning a championship.