Category Archives: Prep

Uniform schedule impacts students lives across Bay Area campuses this school year

By Evelyn Archibald and Judy Ly  


Denali senior William Torborg said it is hard for most students to stay focused for long durations. He pointed out that as a student with ADHD, it is harder for him to maintain concentration in class. 

“It’s not like, the most fun to sit through four and a half hours of class and then get a break,” Torborg said. 

In a majority of interviews, students echoed similar concerns in response to no longer having brunch as a form of a break in their daily bell schedule. 

For the 2019-20 school year, a new uniform bell schedule was introduced to students across all Summit schools in California.

Here is a Story Map of all the school sites mentioned in this article. 

One of the changes to the schedule included a new breakfast block before classes started. 

Replacing brunch with breakfast

Brunch, which previously acted as a 15-minute break, in the first portion of classes, was removed. Instead, breakfast was implemented before students start their first block of the day: Mentor Self-Directed Learning (SDL). This class aims to essentially be a study hall for students with their mentor groups. 

Summit Public Schools Superintendent Anson Jackson said the purpose of having classes back-to-back until lunch time, was to make sure teachers had a consistent schedule and workload. Students would in return have a more consistent flow from project to project and class to class, without disruption from a break in between.

“The idea [for students] is to minimize the changes throughout the day and minimize the breaks of cognitive load,” Superintendent Jackson said. 

Rainier Senior President Madelin Morales said she noticed less productivity happening in the classrooms without having a break in between classes. 

Rainier students walk back from the restroom as another student approaches it. PHOTO CREDIT: Judy Ly

“Kids have to use the restroom a lot more during — like during our regular classes, solely because, like, during our break, or what we used to have as brunch, a lot of people use that time to use the restroom,” Morales said. “I definitely noticed a lot more students having to go, like one after another. And it doesn’t seem like they’re doing it just for fun, but they genuinely — because they have to.”  

Hailey Kaufman, a senior from Summit Prep, said her peers have been “losing focus” in class. 

“We’ve lost that break to kind of reset before our next class,” Kaufman said.  

According to Superintendent Jackson, another reason for having brunch removed was so students can start off their day with breakfast. 

A Prep student gets breakfast in the cafeteria before school starts. PHOTO CREDIT: Jonathan Garvin

“Adding breakfast as opposed to taking away brunch is kind of the idea; not to take away anything but to add something,” Superintendent Jackson said. 

However, Tahoma Executive Director Jonathan Stewart said the implementation of breakfast has not been effective on Tahoma’s campus. 

“We have fewer people taking breakfast in the morning than we did people taking brunch last year,” Mr. Stewart said. 

Calvin Andrews, who acted as the student body president for Summit K2’s 2018-19 school year, said brunch was more suitable for students. He explained that brunch allowed students to buy food items between classes, making it more accessible to students who showed up close or late to start time. 

K2 has also implemented a new lining up policy in which students need to line up at a certain area on campus before going to class. Andrews claimed this policy makes it harder for students to buy breakfast before school starts. 

K2 students start their school day by lining up. PHOTO CREDIT: Hannah Kim

K2’s new Executive Director Cythnia Jerez said one of the goals of the lining up policy is to inspire students to get breakfast. 

She said, “Our campus is next to the field where students are, like, lining up. So that encourages, actually, them to actually go to the cafeteria and grab breakfast.”

Superintendent Jackson addressed this concern of students not arriving early enough to access meals and being hungry between classes and lunch. He said teachers are able to provide snacks to students near the end of the morning Mentor SDL block. However, teachers providing snacks is not a normalized standard across all campuses. 

“It’s not an expectation,” Superintendent Jackson explained, “but that is the flexibility of the time.”

By gathering input from local administration at school sites, Superintendent Jackson said drafts of the schedule were created. Later on, three proposed schedule structures were sent to teachers and faculty to gather feedback. 

In the initial drafts made by Summit Leadership (executive administration) and school-site-based administration (principals and deans), the focus was on the scheduling of Mentor SDL time and the structure of core class time. The switch from brunch to breakfast wasn’t included or discussed. 

However, he added that the idea of replacing brunch with breakfast was a joint decision between “school leaders” based off feedback and experiences on campus during brunch. 

“Adding breakfast to the schedule was not a part of that proposal at the time,” Superintendent Jackson said. 

There is a petition circulating to reinstate brunch, as a way to reinstate a morning break, at Rainier’s campus.  

Changes to lunch time

Lunch was altered as well, having the standard lunch time moved to be from 12:30 p.m. until 1:00 p.m. For campuses like Everest and K2, their lunch was shortened. 

Everest students pass through their hallways. PHOTO CREDIT: Molly Pigot

Everest senior Molly Pigot said the response to the reduction has been mostly negative. “Our lunch break was reduced from 45 minutes to 30 minutes, which I think a lot of students are really upset with.” 

For Summit Prep students, Kaufman said lunch is now later in the day than previously. 

Pigot mentioned the students at Summit Everest attempted to stage a walkout against the changes; however, they were met with faculty pushback and students were not allowed to participate.

The lunch break is now earlier for students at Tahoma, Denali, and Shasta compared to last year. 

Shared space concerns

Most Summit schools have their own facilities and campuses for students to attend; however, some school sites are co-located with another school. 

Ernesto Umaña, a middle school math teacher for Summit Tam, said the bell schedule did not heavily impact their shared spaces. Tam’s middle school and high school share a campus, blacktop and gym with Aspire Richmond California College Preparatory Academy. 

He also noted that Tam Middle School now has minimum days on Wednesdays, which has been received positively by students. 

However, in the South Bay, students at Tahoma and Rainier no longer have access to the blacktop area and basketball courts, previously shared with their home school, due to having coinciding lunch times. 

Tahoma students settle into their lunch break. PHOTO CREDIT: Nethan Sivarapu

Mr. Stewart said Tahoma was already considering revoking the access to blacktop usage due to past student behavior issues. The new bell schedule caused Oak Grove High School’s blacktop to be an off-limit space as default. 

At Rainier’s campus students protested against the restricted blacktop usage and bell schedule changes. 

Edwin Avarca, former assistant director and current executive director at Rainier’s campus, said the reasons why Rainier students have to be separated from Mt. Pleasant’s campus are due to safety concerns in regards to student interaction in a shared space. 

Blacktop space and basketball courts are now off limits for Rainier students during their lunch break. PHOTO CREDIT: Judy Ly

“That’s like a large concern that we have as a whole,” Mr. Avarca said, referencing each school’s administration. “How could they support if there’s a potential conflict? I think that that is the biggest concern is ensuring student safety if we’re sharing the blacktop at the same time.”  

Mr. Stewart also said Tahoma’s lunch on Wednesdays is scheduled from 1:10 p.m. to 1:40 p.m. because KIPP, the second school Tahoma is co-located with, has their lunch from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays.  

Denali students slowly trickle in for the school day. PHOTO CREDIT: Ellen Hu

By default, classes start at 8:20 a.m. and end at 3:20 p.m. across all Summit campuses this school year. At Denali’s current high school campus, the school had to adjust their start time. Denali students start their classes at 8:35 a.m. due to an agreement with the City of Sunnyvale. 

Denali Executive Director Kevin Bock explained that the permit Denali has with the city allows for their campus to start no earlier than 8:35 a.m. There is an elementary school across from Denali, meaning the two schools need to stagger start times due to concerns regarding morning traffic. 

Denali students also have lunch at 12:45 p.m., 15 minutes past the default time. 

Continued debate about bell schedule changes

Superintendent Jackson said the Summit Public Schools leadership team prioritized the betterment of students and teachers on the job when creating the uniform bell schedule. 

Andrews disputes this claim, saying that in reality, the opposite effect is happening based on his experiences at K2. He explained that students’ lives can be very different when campuses range from Richmond to San Jose to Daly City. He continued to explain that life for students in Richmond differs greatly from their Summit peers in other cities. 

“We’re two different schools, from different backgrounds, from different economic backgrounds, different racial backgrounds, living in different areas where our lives are different,” Andrews said. “We all have different needs; we all have different wants; we all have things that are affecting us in different ways. And by Summit sort of putting us under an umbrella of, ‘Oh, this works at one school, it will work at another.’ It’s just not working.”  

Featured image at top: K2 students walk to their first class after lining up in the morning. PHOTO CREDIT: Hannah Kim 

Denali Editor-in-Chief Ellen Hu contributed reporting to this article.


Schedule change at Summit Shasta affects students

Newly implemented schedule troubles Rainier teachers

BREAKING NEWS: Rainier students protest in response to new restricted blacktop usage during lunch break

Why “Metro 2033” is such an important development in the world of video games

By Nick Reed

Arts Editor

The idea of video games being an artistic medium to be taken seriously by major news outlets has not always been widely accepted. Since the days of “Pong” and Italian plumbers jumping, video games have more often than not been seen as unimportant brain candy, a filler to keep you entertained but not to be taken seriously.

Over the decades, this began to change. With some video games pushing the envelope of storytelling and visual effects, opinions began to change. Today video games are often widely regarded by news outlets as a medium to be taken seriously.

Some games, such as “Red Dead Redemption 2,” received accolades for its fantastic visuals and incredible storytelling, with the New York Times going as far as to call it “true art” and saying, “The season’s best blockbuster isn’t a TV show or movie. It’s a video game.”

However, much like in the worlds of music or film, the perspectives explored in art are usually similar to my own: western and white. It’s not often that a non-English speaking artist rises to the top of the world charts or a movie reaches audiences outside of its own country. 

This obviously has no impact on the validity of non-western artists; there are many important pieces of art from every corner of the world, and I think it is important for people to explore these on their own. It is important to shift our perspectives from those comfortable to use to see the world through another lens.

While names like Haru Nemuri or BTS come to mind in the world of foreign music, I myself can’t name many video games I enjoy that didn’t come from a western (or Japan by extension) source. Although not well-versed in the world of video games, I thought I could at least come up with something.

Many gamers have heard of Bethesda Studios famed “Fallout” series, a game set in America after the events of a nuclear armageddon. With this, many have wondered what is going on across the pond.

That’s where “Metro 2033” comes in. Produced by Kiev and Malta based studio 4A Games, Metro examines exactly that perspective from a uniquely Russian viewpoint.

Set 20 years after a nuclear apocalypse, “Metro” follows protagonist Artyom, and his fight to save his home. What makes this game unique, however, is its setting. “Metro” is, unsurprisingly, set in the ruins of the Moscow metro system, the only place safe from the radiation and hellfire.


A map of the Moscow metro PHOTO CREDIT: Sameboat

Within the winding metro system come several factions. The factions of the communist Red Line and the Nazi Fourth Reich, which are both explored more in depth in the following game “Last Light,” are pitted in a constant war for seemingly no reason, an allegory all to familiar to us and especially impactful for the people of Russia whose country experienced this first hand.

This is one of my favorite elements of “Metro.” The futility of the conflict and the constant fighting for no end goal. Although showcased before, coming from a Russian perspective this has a different impact. It is important to realize that Russia lived through this exactly, and the political allegory that 4A is trying to tell is heart wrenching to say the least.

As well as this comes the Hanseatic league, the de facto America of the metros. A giant in both size and might, Hanza often treads over its own people to accomplish its goals.

One of the most fascinating parts of “Metro” is its unique gameplay. Artyom often finds himself sneaking through winding tunnel systems, fighting his way along the tracks and narrowly surviving the mutant hoards. Along with these segments come the above ground segments as Artyom navigates across the surface of Moscow, donning a gas mask with a finite amount of oxygen, which severely accentuates the anxiety that comes with the game.

This anxiety cannot be downplayed; this is a horror game after all. The dark winding passages often have monsters, and even humans, lurking around every corner. Every bullet and gas mask filter seems to count as they dwindle from your inventory, and the oppressive darkness of the tunnels only drive home the loneliness and isolation you feel as you navigate toward your end goal. 

Above all these elements is the narratives 4A tries to tell with “Metro.” As Artyom had wished his entire life to see the outside world, even plastering his wall with postcards, he often finds reality confounding his dreams. Flashback segments play throughout the game, such as in an above ground apartment as you watch people living and breathing within their homes, all before it fades back to an empty, long abandoned wreck.

Artyom has never known a life outside of his tiny station on the frontiers of the metro. He dreams of leaving, of experiencing something else. The game showcases just how much more he got then he had bargained for. 

He sees his friends and allies torn to shreds, entire stations massacred, an endless war being waged for seemingly no reason, and he begins to question every decision that is made. Artyom begins to way his decisions, who he saves and who must be left behind. He learns truly of what mortality and sacrifices for the greater good really mean.

“Metro” is a truly unique game. It cannot be stressed just how important it is to pay attention to non-western developers in the world of entertainment. So many fascinating stories can be explored, and many of them simply could not be told by a British or American or even Japanese developer. “Metro” is a story that can only be told by this group of Russian developers. 

Russia is a country we think about a lot, as it is in our news constantly. However, I would ask you how often you look at Russia with a sympathetic eye and not with contempt or judgment. Russia is full of people, just like you or me who live their lives day-to-day.

people on metro

People on the Moscow metro PHOTO CREDIT: Christopher Michel

“Metro” is not the story of any government, of any faction of any group. It is the story of people, of the Russian people. A people who are often not showcased in art. No American story would feature vodka so heavily; no British studio could so accurately depict the stations and life of the Red Line; and no Japanese person could so thoughtfully engineer the boxy Soviet architecture of Moscow.

It is too easy to ignore other countries in the world of art. This is a trope you can’t fall into. Explore other countries, look into the film, drama, music, and especially the games of other countries. You’ll learn something new a documentary could never have told you.

I advise anyone who feels tired of the meta with first person shooters to go out and experience “Metro” for themselves. This truly unique and fascinating take on the world of video games is simply not one to be ignored.

Featured image:  Metro 2033 Redux Review PHOTO CREDIT: BagoGames


Summit Prep prepares for Good Morning America feature

By Kai Lock

Summit Prep Editor-in-Chief

This was not just another week for Summit Prep; in fact it might’ve been one of the most exciting weeks this year has to offer for both faculty and students. Diane Tavenner, the founder of Summit Public Schools, has recently written a book, “Prepared”, which mentions Summit Prep. Correspondingly, Good Morning America came to do a feature on the book and film Prep’s students and teachers. 

The feature will be aired on Sept. 17, in the 8 a.m. block. For more information, see the video below regarding the preparation Summit Prep did for the feature piece:

Preparation for the school required faculty to take charge on various fronts. Lucretia Witte, the Expeditions Executive Director, stated that they were “moving furniture, taking down old posters, [and] rehanging things in the hallway.” The second front they were preparing for was the student interviews.

Good Morning America interviewed a selected few students from the school to learn more about what they thought of the school. Vanessa Carrillo, a Summit junior, explained how she prepared for her interview: “We’ve had two meeting with the PR, and she’s asked me a couple questions about myself and similar questions to what I’ll do in the interview.”  

Jonathan Garvin, a Summit Prep senior, talked about his excitement to hold an interview with Good Morning America: “I’m most excited about talking about my school and speaking my truth.” While this seems like an exciting time for everyone, both faculty and students have faced some challenges as well. 

Witte explained one of the challenges she’s faced throughout this process was the short time the Expeditions have spent at Prep. “I don’t feel like we’re totally settled in.” Carrillo stated that one of the biggest obstacles she faced was “trying to get in all of my thoughts in before we shoot.”

Witte said that overall, “I just feel really excited and proud that they are coming to observe our schools especially Summit Prep, and it makes me happy that Expeditions gets to be here when that’s happening.” 

Update: Click here to see the finished Good Morning America feature!


Seniors use final Expeditions to explore future careers

By Jon Garvin and Eliza Insley


Expeditions gives students a chance to explore areas of interest to help students find their true passions. During Summit Prep seniors’ final year, they are taking this opportunity to begin pursuing possible future careers through internship and independent study. 

According to Melissa Thiriez, the supervisor of internships and independent studies, 96 students from Summit Prep are enrolled in an independent study or internship. 

An internship or independent study is a path offered within Summit Expeditions. It allows students to choose a possible passion and explore it further. 

An independent study course is an opportunity where a student, or group of students, chooses something they are interested in. They then make a contract with a plan and complete projects to learn more about their subject. They also have a supervisor to oversee that they are on-task. 

Summit Prep senior Will Hill knows exactly what he wants to do: work on cars. As an intern at European Motors, he says he works on anything “from a basic oil change to rebuilding your entire engine if you need.”


Summit Prep senior Will Hill

When asked why he chose to intern there, Hill responded, “It’s my passion. It’s probably what I’m going to do for the rest of my life, just working on cars and making them go faster, making people happy.”

Another Summit Prep senior took a similar interest in working with cars: Jorge Zamora took an internship at a hot rod fabrication shop. 


Summit Prep senior Jorge Zamora

Zamora said, “I chose this internship because I am interested in fabrication and anything mechanical to do with cars … I work there, so I decided to, might as well, make my own little projects as I work there.”

Zamora explained his internship ranges from cleaning up around the shop to changing oil to pulling motors out of cars. When asked why he chose this, he explained, “I chose internships over Expedition classes just because internships let me get out into the world and actually let me see how jobs are and what I want to do later on.”

Summit Prep senior Lily Yuriar decided to partake in designing and producing this year’s yearbook as her independent study. She collaborates with four other seniors to reach their goal of publishing and selling the yearbook.


Summit Prep senior Lily Yuriar

Yuriar said, “We’ve seen kind of similarities between the different themes in past years and want to make it different and bring more of the feedback from students who have been here for more than a year and get what they want to see more in the yearbook.” 

Yuriar explained that she is interested in multimedia and thought it would be a fun project to work on. She can see herself using skills she’s been learning in her future education and career paths.

Some seniors chose internships not specifically because those jobs are their desired career, but because they are interested in developing the skills associated with the job. 


Summit Prep senior Marvin Vasquez

Marvin Vasquez, a Summit Prep senior, interns at the gym Obstacouse Fitness. He described his role as organizing and supervising classes, creating workout plans and helping people with their form. 

Vasquez chose to intern there because he felt it would be a good opportunity to grow his people skills. Vasquez wants to pursue a career in medicine and thinks building his people skills will help him with patients in the future. 

Another Summit Prep senior working on real-world skills is Alana King. She is interning for Expeditions Director Lucretia Witte.


Summit Prep senior Alana King

King has her own interns as well, supervising another senior and a junior, helping Ms. Witte out with organizing paperwork and making her role as Expeditions Director easier by doing some of the more tedious work. 

King said, “When I actually do get a real job, it’ll be good to have these leadership skills under my belt.”

Redwood City mayor visits Summit Prep journalists

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Friday, Sept. 6, Redwood City Mayor Ian Bain came to Summit Preparatory Charter High School for a press conference to answer student journalists’ questions about his role in the community.

Ian Bain introduces the importance of local politics in Redwood City

By Jovani Contreras, Fabiana Munoz and Rosie Esteverena 

Staff Writers

Ian Bain believes that local politics are one of the most important facets of government. 

Mayor Bain started his Sept. 6 press conference at Summit Prep with a long, but informative introduction; he told of his perseverance and of his campaigns that failed for years before he was finally able to sit on the council to the point of maxing out his terms.

Mayor Bain wanted students to know he had dedicated his life to being a public servant.

However, his most important point in this was the relevancy of local politics in our day-to-day lives. The government is an essential part of how things function seamlessly, and Mayor Bain believes that much more work is done on a local level than any other.

The Redwood City mayor expressed how cardinal it is to get involved in the community being that council decisions greatly impact the daily lives of people in the city. He had a lot to say about the role local politics plays the city.

Mayor Bain said, “The laws we make here locally — even the court house events — that impacts your life, and I wish more people understood that and would get involved.”

Mayor Bain’s changes in his 18 years on the council included: making great strides in the beautification of Redwood City, implementing a public dog park and leading environmental initiatives resulting in a 22% decrease in electricity since 2005.

These changes have affected the Redwood City community greatly as far as helping beautify the city and improve the quality of life for its citizens. Mayor Bain said, “When Redwood City is nice, beautiful and welcoming, think of me.”

Mayor Bain is very proud of his achievements and the effect they have had on Redwood City, and he has further plans to better Redwood City and the lives of those living in it.

Mayor Bain has created a “respectful tone for local government.” He said, “I hope you learn to love Redwood City as much as I love Redwood City.”

 Mayor Bain works to better the community 

By Victor Aguilar, Cristina Ramirez, Salette Vazquez and Jorge Zamora 

Staff Writers

Redwood City Mayor Ian Bain reminisced about the days of bowling alleys, roller rinks and mini golf and hoped to bring family recreation back to the city.

On Sept. 6, Mayor Ian Bain came to the journalism class at Summit Prep to discuss things that are happening in the community of Redwood City.

As the mayor said in the press conference, he wants to “bring back family recreation.”

He said he wants to bring more entertainment to Redwood City, as there is zero to none right now for kids and adults to do in the community.

The mayor talked about many places that have been taken down. For example, the roller rink in Redwood City. The roller rink was taken down on Sept. 30, 2017; it was loved by many people. It was so loved by people that the mayor has teased that “they’re in talks with a roller rink operator.” He mentioned to not get people’s hope to get up, but it is a sign of change that the talks are happening in the first place.

When asked the question, “How would you improve Redwood City?” one of the places he mentioned taking his kids to was a place called Malibu Grand Prix. This place was always a mainstay in Redwood City, as it was open for 35 years. The thing is though, as mentioned in the Mercury News, it had to close down since of the rising cost.

The bowling alley, as known as Mel’s Bowl, was open for 40 years before being demolished for a 141-unit apartment. It was a staple of Redwood City, as many people that grew up around the area have said that “was the place that started my bowling obsession”

Mayor Bain has already began making changes to the city with the building of the Main Street Dog Agility Park. He was very proud of his work and even said that whenever he drives past the park and sees dogs playing he feels proud. One of the others ways Redwood City has improved is with connecting families through the events in downtown Redwood City. There are many events there, such as the Salsa Festival that lets people enjoy the culture and the setting of Redwood City.

Mayor Bain wants to reinvent areas of Redwood City that were there before to make them feel like a more family environment, where people can engage more with their community.

Ian Bain cares about Redwood City

By Morgan Dundas, Nina Gonzalez and Elizandra Zelaya

Staff Writers

Redwood City’s Mayor Ian Bain came to visit Summit Preparatory High School to spark dialogue with the students of the Multimedia Political Journalism class. He spoke about everything from housing prices to bringing back the famous roller rink to the community.

Mayor Bain engages with the community to form a genuine connection with the people he’s overseeing. He cares about helping others, which pushes him to do the best he can to make sure the people’s wants and needs are satisfied. 

Mayor Bain accomplished building the important court plaza, which stands for a large space for everyone in the community to gather and connect, regardless of someone’s race, religion, or sexual orientation. This area can be found near Redwood City’s downtown, which holds a special place in the community’s hearts.

Mayor Bain is also responsible for building the newest dog park on Main Street. He is grateful for the opportunity to complete this project and is satisfied with the work he has done. Driving by the park every day and witnessing everyone enjoying downtime with their family and friends, in turn bringing together the community, brings a smile to his face.

The mayor’s early drive for politics came from a connection to the young group in his community in which he can see himself and is proud to stand as an inspiration for many.

Mayor Bain is also proud to have helped a local group to get a street light near their home because there were many complaints of disrespect to the street due to the darkness. According to the mayor, one complaint said, “I come out every morning, and I find trash, slurpee cups, used condoms; it’s disgusting.” 

Mayor Bain followed up by stating how he “made a few phone calls and was able to find the status of the street light, and a year later I got an email from him saying, ‘Hey the street light just went in, it looks great, all my neighbors are thrilled, thank you so much for helping us.’ Those are the kinds of things that really keep me going.”

Mayor Bain makes sure he has open arms to everyone, he makes everyone feel safe and welcome to the community.  He said, “I talked about diversity and how we expect it here. We don’t report people who are in the country without documentation.”

Redwood City has a 32% Spanish speaking rate versus the national average of 13%, highlighting the diversity in which Redwood City holds

Mayor Bain shows a lot of intense eagerness and enjoyment toward the projects he has completed throughout the city and is more eager to start planning the new ideas he has to add to the city. He hopes that this will bring more entertainment and attraction to Redwood City.

The mayor is trying to add some new attractions to the city, such as a new roller rink and a bowling alley. He is trying to restore some of Redwood City’s attractions due to the roller rink closing down along with other attractions.

Redwood City Mayor Ian Bain talks about gun control

By Giselle Maldonado, Hannah Murrieta and Yoeli Romero

Staff Writers

Lately gun control has been a heated issue because of all the shootings that have happened in the past year. The Redwood City Mayor Ian Bain visited Summit Prep to talk about a variety of topics surrounding the city as well as larger problems.

Gun violence is a common topic discussed in politics. Even though people usually talk about it on a national level, Mayor Ian Bain, a local politician had a lot to say about it.

The mayor believes that gun violence is a major issue and some things need to be done to stop it. Responding to a question about the walkouts, the mayor said that “we need a new president … because the one we have currently doesn’t do anything about gun violence.”

More than ever, young people like Summit Prep students have had opinions on gun control. Students from schools all over the Bay protested.

According to Summit News, on March 14, 2018, students from Summit Prep, Everest, and many more from the Sequoia District joined the walkout from 10 to 10:17 to pay respects to the 17 victims. When the students arrived at the downtown area, Redwood City Vice Mayor Diane Howard gave a speech to support the students for their safe and encouraging protest. Afterwards, the students continued to yell out their chants one last time.

On March 24, 2018 students from all over the United States walked to prevent gun violence. The March for Our Lives movement started by students to advocate for sensible gun reform.

Students are willing to take a stand against gun control since it is such a big issue in the United States. So many lives have been affected by this issue, so students are trying to make a change to make our communities a safer place. 

Many people, including Mayor Bain, agree that changes need to be made to our current gun control policy. Although there are restrictions, it seems that the policies are not preventing gun violence. According to CNN, there has been about 22 school shootings so far in 2019. 

The 2020 presidential candidates take a stand on climate change

By Sam Gurdus
Staff Editor

As the 2020 election grows closer, more attention is being paid to the presidential candidates’ plans surrounding the environment and, more specifically, climate change. Climate change is quickly becoming one of the most important issues of this election.

According to the Washington Post, as of Sept. 10, fourteen of the 20 Democratic candidates support the Green New Deal resolution, while all 20 believe the United States should rejoin the Paris Agreement. That near consensus shows how significant this issue is to the presidential candidates and their voters. The Green New Deal and the Paris Agreement are both initiatives targeting climate change. The Green New Deal is a proposed piece of legislation for the United States, while the Paris Agreement is an agreement reached in 2015 between 195 countries.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks about Green New Deal with Sen. Ed Markey on Feb. 7, 2019. PHOTO CREDIT: Senate Democrats

What is climate change?

Climate change is a change in the Earth’s climate and weather from its historical patterns. Global warming is a major factor in climate change. Global warming can be traced back to the mid-20th century, when a British engineer first proposed the idea that the Industrial Revolution was a major factor in the warming of the United States and North Atlantic region. 

Here is a breakdown of where the top five Democratic candidates stand on specific climate-change-related issues:

Setting a price on carbon
An oil jack stands against cloudy sky in May 2016. PHOTO CREDIT: skeeze / Pixabay

According to the Washington Post, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren both support setting a price on carbon.

Bernie Sanders believes that if a price on carbon was implemented, it must be part of a larger strategy that transitions the economy away from fossil fuels and prevents negative impacts on low-income families and communities of color. 

If elected, Kamala Harris would set a price on carbon. Her climate plan states: “A price on pollution is not a silver bullet, but by placing a progressively increasing fee as far upstream as possible, we can drive down pollution while raising government revenues that can be used to address the harms of greenhouse gas emissions.” It continues, “However, history shows us that reliance on market mechanisms alone can often leave communities behind. That’s why Kamala will involve frontline communities in the fee development process, and would ensure that the fee revenues are invested back into those communities.”

Pete Buttigieg supports a tax on carbon. In a CNN climate town hall, he told the audience, “There is a harm being done, and in the same way that we have taxed cigarettes, we’re going to have to tax carbon.” Buttigieg also believes that the revenue collected should be distributed back to the people “on a progressive basis, so that low- and middle-income Americans are made more than whole.”

Ending fracking
As a result of fracking, a dense pattern of roads, clearings and pipelines break up the grasslands in Wyoming in May 2006. PHOTO CREDIT: EcoFlight

While Biden said he would not support a ban on fracking, he does support ending all oil or gas drilling on federal lands.

Warren told the Washington Post that she supports a ban on fracking.

Sanders has taken a strong stance against fracking. According to a campaign spokesman, “Fracking is a danger to our water supply. It’s a danger to the air we breathe. It has resulted in more earthquakes. It’s highly explosive. And, to top it off, methane from natural gas is contributing to climate change. Safe fracking is, like clean coal, pure fiction. … No amount of regulation can make it safe.”

At a CNN town hall, Harris said, “There’s no question I’m in favor of banning fracking. And starting with what we can do on day one around public lands, right? … The residual impact of fracking is enormous in terms of the impact on the health and safety of communities.”

In response to the Washington Post, Buttigieg wrote, “I favor a ban on new fracking and a rapid end to existing fracking so that we can build a 100 percent clean energy society as soon as possible.”

Putting an end to fossil fuel exports
An oil tanker in the Houston ship channel returns for more cargo. PHOTO CREDIT: Roger W. / Flickr

In response to a question regarding the banning of fossil fuel exports, Biden said, “I think we should, in fact, depending on what it is they’re exporting for what they’re replacing.”

Warren has stated, “I support re-imposing limits on crude oil exports and I opposed lifting the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil.”

According to a campaign spokesman, if elected, Sanders would ban all fossil fuel exports.

Harriscampaign website states, “We must begin intentionally and deliberately transitioning away from fossil fuels, shifting from being an exporter of fossil fuels to an exporter of clean energy technology.”

While Buttigieg has created a climate plan including a pathway to a net zero emissions economy, he has not made it clear if he would support a ban on fossil fuel exports.

Stopping fossil fuel subsidies
Crude oil fills pipelines at Bryan Mound in Aug. 2014. PHOTO CREDIT: U.S. Department of Energy

According to his climate plan, Biden would “demand a worldwide ban on fossil fuel subsidies.” He believes that “there is simply no excuse for subsidizing fossil fuel, either in the United States or around the world.”

Warren believes in ending fossil fuel subsidies. Her climate change plan states, “For too long, Big Oil has been allowed to suck down billions of dollars in subsidies at the expense of the environment and working families. Elizabeth supports eliminating fossil fuel subsidies and using that money to invest in clean and renewable energy and infrastructure.“

Sanders supports ending fossil fuel subsidies. In a tweet he posted this past May, he stated, “It’s time to end all subsidies for oil and gas companies. These companies lied to the American people about the very existence of climate change. They committed one of the greatest frauds in our history.” He continued, “When we are in White House we’ll rapidly transition to renewable energy.”

According to her climate plan, if elected, Harris “will end federal subsidies for fossil fuels and hold Big Oil accountable for its role in the climate crisis.”

Buttigieg’s climate plan calls for ending subsidies for fossil fuels.

An honorable mention

Jay Inslee made his signature issue the well-being of the environment. While he has officially dropped out of the presidential race, his campaign helped to bring a significant amount of attention to this issue. His climate plan included ending fossil fuel subsidies, making polluters pay through a climate pollution fee, putting an end to fracking, and stopping fossil fuel exports. In an article posted to the New York Times, Inslee stated, “The science is clear: We must take major action to reduce carbon pollution in the next decade, or our communities and our children’s lives will suffer dramatic and irreparable harm.”

On the other side of the political spectrum, here is where the two major Republican candidates stand on climate change:

President Donald Trump has not released any plans to combat climate change. In fact, his administration has done much of the opposite. In June of 2017, President Trump announced that the U.S. would be leaving the Paris Agreement. Additionally, President Trump’s campaign website notes a number of his administration’s other accomplishments. For example, it states he “signed an Executive Order to expand offshore oil and gas drilling and open more leases to develop offshore drilling.” The website also says, “President Trump directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to rescind the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP).”

In contrast, William Weld, a former Massachusetts governor, has taken a more environmentalist position on climate change. In a speech in February, Weld said, “there’s a pressing need to act on climate change.” He also added, “The United States must rejoin the Paris climate accords and adopt targets consistent with those of other industrialized nations.” Weld’s campaign website can be found here.

Featured image above: Smoke stacks release white smoke into a blue sky. PHOTO CREDIT: Pixabay

Internships at Summit Prep prepare students for the real world

By Garrett Kelly and Carter Reid

Staff Writers

Internships at Summit Preparatory Charter High School are what help separate Summit Prep from the average high school. Internships at Summit Prep offer a wide variety of different topics, and students are given the opportunity to guide themselves on a course they most likely created themselves.

In order to fully understand what an intern goes through on a day-to-day basis, we followed the Juvenile Justice Commissioner’s intern around for a week. We shadowed Rob Wilds, a senior who has been interning for the past two years.

Wilds’ responsibilities are helping the commissioner with whatever she needs. This often consists of analyzing juvenile justice data and creating slideshow presentations for inequality conferences.

During the third Expeditions round this year, Wilds attended and presented in a social justice conference held at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The conference was primarily focused on the inequalities and racial minorities experience.

“It was a great experience, and I learned a lot about the experiences others have had and the privileges that I possess,” Wilds said. 

Wilds clearly enjoys being involved with the commissioner and feels he’s helping his community. “I have loved this opportunity to be an intern during school hours as it has given me the flexibility and freedom to explore my interests and get real-world experience.” 

Expeditions Dean of Instruction and School Culture Kalyn Olson explained: “Internship opportunities are a chance for a student to examine their skills against what will be expected of them in the real world; they will be able to compare themselves to college students and young adults getting jobs in these careers and in professional fields.” 

According to Ms. Olson, interning is a “little bit of the student experiencing what it’s like to go into the real world and what it’s like to manage time on a day-to-day basis.” 

After shadowing Wilds for two weeks, it is understandable how the process of becoming and working as an intern has a correlation to real-life scenarios. If you’re interested in becoming an intern, it’s a great opportunity to build connections and learn what it takes to be a professional in the outside world. You can learn more at

See below for a video about one student’s internship experience:

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