Tag Archives: education

Summit Rainier now offers Ethnic Studies as a course

By Judy Ly

Staff Writer 

Summit Public Schools has been open for 15 years, and this is the first time the course Ethnic Studies has ever been offered at the Summit Public School: Rainier campus in Eastside San Jose.  Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary curriculum that teaches about other ethnicities’ significant social impact on U.S. history.  Here at Summit Rainier, we welcome the curriculum with open arms; however, in places like Arizona, politicians did not only dislike the idea of this class, they fought to ban it and succeeded in doing so.  

In class, Rainier students watched the Independent Lens documentary Precious Knowledge.  The film takes place in Arizona and shows how a group of students, most of whom are of Latinx descent, become empowered through the curriculum once they start learning about the history of themselves.  Even with the positive effects the program had on the students, conflict soon arose between politicians and the students.

In an excerpt of the documentary, Tom Horne, former politician and Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction at the time, critiques the Ethnic Studies curriculum by saying, “There are better ways to get students to perform academically and want to go into college then to try to infuse them with racial ideas.” When asked if he thought Ethnic Studies was doing anything right, he added, “I really don’t, no. I think they should be abolished.”

House Bill 2281, the ban on Ethnic Studies in Arizona that got passed in 2010, claims the course teaches pupils to “resent or hate other other races of people.” In the ban, it also says it prohibits any class or program that seeks to “promote the overthrow of the United States government.”

Despite what the ban claims, students within the documentary say the class had only helped them understand themselves better and unify.  Students at Summit Rainier joined the class with the same objective.

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Rainier junior Alan Do

When asked why he joined Ethnic Studies, Rainier junior Alan Do said, “I wanted to learn more about the history of marginalized people, and I also want to explore my own identity.”  He continued, “I think going to a class that teaches everyone about each other’s history and each other’s people really allows me to understand people’s backgrounds a lot more.”

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Rainier senior Michelle Thai

Rainier senior Michelle Thai said, “It’s important because you’re learning about your own identity, and that’s really empowering because I feel like people these days, especially minorities, don’t feel as empowered in America.”

The Ethnic Studies instructor at Summit Rainier, Angel Barragan, is hoping for students to not only feel empowered but also to have the academic benefits that come alongside with being enrolled in an Ethnic Studies course. In a study of 1,405 ninth graders, conducted by Stanford and San Francisco Unified School District, students who had eighth grade GPAs below 2.0 were automatically enrolled in Ethnic Studies, while the students who had eighth grade GPAs above 2.0 were able to choose whether or not to enroll in that specific class.  Stanford News states, “The researchers found that attendance for those encouraged to enroll in the class increased by 21 percentage points, GPA by 1.4 grade points and credits earned by 23.”

When the students in Arizona heard that local politicians, including Mr. Horne, were advocating to ban the course by law, they began protesting. They even caught wind of the local politicians having a meeting to discuss the ban and went into the building to protest for their right to the education that made a difference in their lives.

Rainier senior Edwin Escobar said, “I’m not a big protester, however, I think that what really inspired me the most was the people who were low-income, who are minorities.” He added that many minorities are going through a financial struggle, are immigrants, or come from a single-parent household, “so these students are already struggling to just


Rainier senior Edwin Escobar

work well towards the system, to have a working system for them … when they find the Ethnic Studies class, these kids got engaged, and they sort of left behind all the problems they had, and they focused on what matters to them. They developed a recognition to the importance of studying about their history, and they fought for it and that’s what really inspired me.”

Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed HB-2881, banning classes for a specific ethnic group, which basically shut down Ethnic Studies. This resulted in the Tucson Unified School District shutting down their Mexican American Studies program. In addition, politicians also ruled to ban certain books.  In 2017, there was an article published by NBC News saying Judge Wallace A. Tashima claimed that these bans on books and Ethnic Studies courses were “unconstitutional.”  

When asked why he thought the Ethnic Studies curriculum is so controversial and why politicians might feel the need to ban it, Mr. Barragan answered, “[The politicians] say that the classes are the ones in fact racist, that they were teaching students to overthrow the government, about being with your own race and not mixing with others, but all those things are false.  All these classes are about becoming good 

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Ethnic Studies teacher Angel Barragan

Americans and what it means to be united through our different struggles. I think that’s why; I think they’re afraid of students being able to find their strength and power.”

When asked why Ethnic Studies was important, Escobar said, “What builds America is diversity; and, if you have diversity, there’s history behind diversity.” Escobar explained how if the United States was just a white country, then its history would mainly be about white history. In most schools, the curriculum is still mainly about the dominant culture’s history. For the people of color who crucially influenced American history, their stories weren’t told because they aren’t as powerful as the dominant culture. Ethnic people were totally disregarded from U.S. history, and Ethnic Studies curriculum seeks to address that imbalance. 

Escobar concluded, “If history is such an important concept in America, then why is it that we only have to learn one type of history and it’s the only type of  history permitted in America?”

The Summit News team will be following this class throughout the year.  

Featured image (at the top of this post):  The Ethnic Studies teacher, Angel Barragan, hosted an event called Why Ethnic Studies Matter when he was president of the Ethnic Studies Student Organization at San Francisco State University.  PHOTO CREDIT: Angel Barragan.

Davis speaks on the community

By Alejandra Gomez and Jasmeet Kaur 

Staff Writers

The definition of community runs far deeper than simply a group of people who live in the same place. Community is a feeling that gives the members a sense of belonging, united through a particular interest and having greater strength together than as an individual. These are all aspects of a strong community which can be found represented by the students and staff at Caroline Davis Middle School.

Davis’ community is very diverse and brings all types of students together. The students more often than not come from middle-class or low-income families, and that aspect brings all the children together, eliminating the social class discrimination found in lots of schools. Staff reported that there is a great diversity in ethnic backgrounds between students, and that seeing them all get along and have cross-racial friends warms their hearts.

Davis is a very supportive, caring, welcoming and extremely “tight-knit” community, treating each other like family. Many students, and even teachers, attending Davis have had parents or even grandparents who have gone to this school, and the teachers often are able to recognize siblings, or even children, of their previous students.


Davis eighth graders Patrick Opilla and Jordan Cooper 

One student in particular described his family’s history at Davis. Patrick Opilla, a 13-year-old eighth grader at Davis, talked about how when he was merely a 3-year-old infant his father coached the boys soccer team and his mother coached the girls team. Following their parents’ path, Opilla’s siblings all went to Davis, and now he attends the school that has been in his family since the day he was born.

This concept of history at Davis transfers to the teachers too. Samuel Barocio, now a history teacher at Davis for three years, talked about how he graduated from Davis, and his previous eighth grade history teacher is now his colleague. Brett McCleary, Mr. Barocio’s previous history teacher, described how when he became a teacher at Davis there were a handful of teachers still there who had taught him when he was a student at Davis, and now he was teaching alongside them as their colleague.

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Samuel Barocio, seventh grade history teacher

When Mr. Barocio became a teacher at Davis, Mr. McCleary, along with his brother Greg McCleary, who teaches eighth grade science, described how it felt being on the flip side of that situation. He said, “We’re the old guys now. For me, the big turn around is just seeing that time really has passed.”

Even though more than 15 years have passed for both brothers, day after day the McCleary brothers are drawn back to Davis because of one sole purpose: the kids. They said, “The kids give us energy. The eighth grade organism is a special age. There’s still a little bit of kid left in them, and there’s a lot of trying to grow up and being an adult and they’re all trying to figure stuff out – really fun group of kids to work with.”

From a history perspective, Brett McCleary explained how recent political landscapes, such as the presidential election, have transferred over to his classroom. He said, “I feel a reinvigorated charge into bringing purpose into why I teach kids civics, Constitution, government, and trying to encourage political involvement, and concern about what’s going on in this country to become a better citizen. Getting up and getting to work is easy now when I realize I gotta roll up the sleeves; I got a lot of work to do. I have to get these kids to understand their roles, their responsibilities and their contributions they’re going to make some day, and that fires me up.”

Greg McCleary, eighth grade science teacher; Brett McCleary, eighth grade history teacher

Mr. McCleary went on to talk about the results of their hard work as teachers. He said, “It’s always cool to see as you get older into teaching you run into ex-students teaching at school with you, or other ones that are researchers for Stanford or they’re working as an engineer, whatever it might be, the whole spectrum. It reminds you that the work we do now, we don’t see the benefits until much later down the road, but, when you see them, it’s like – that’s why we do the job we do.”

The staff at Davis is very caring; they love their students and the vibrant, “family” vibe they feel going to work every day. Many teachers at Davis, although for different reasons, have been at Davis for a very long time. Mike Coleman, a P.E. teacher for eighth graders, has been at Davis for 34 years.

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Mike Coleman, eighth grade P.E. teacher

He said what brings him back every day is the challenge and atmosphere of being a P.E. teacher. Mr. Coleman explained that being a PE teacher isn’t as easy as some would believe. He said, “I have to figure out, just like everyone else, ways to engage students, to motivate students, and I have a game plan every day. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, and I usually will try to do a self-evaluation to see what worked and what didn’t. I just try to bring my A-game every single day.”

Mr. Coleman went on to explain that having a Physical Education class is very important for students because, besides all the health benefits and healthy habits they take with them, P.E. teaches kids skills they won’t learn in a classroom such as teamwork, leadership, perseverance and real-life problem-solving skills. It also helps children at this age of 12 or 13 to develop camaraderie, which is vital in building strong relationships as they move into high school.

His views on P.E. are shared with his colleague, Nicole Benson, who is also an eighth grade P.E. teacher. When asked what brings her to work every day, Ms. Benson replied, “It’s one of those jobs that doesn’t feel like work. It’s a part of what you do every day.” She said that the kids at Davis are very compassionate and respectful toward all the P.E. teachers, and, along with them, the community, her colleagues, and sports drive her to come back every day to instill healthy fitness habits in all of her students.


Nicole Benson, eighth grade P.E. teacher

She also believes that P.E. should “100 percent” be offered in all schools, not only because of health benefits, but because of the fact that many kids don’t know much about sports, and the exposure to sports at this age teaches them about the accountability that comes with being on a team, which transfers into real life when they will have to work with a team and know how to take responsibility for their actions.


Angela White, seventh grade P.E. teacher

Along with helping develop skills needed to move forward into their lives, teachers try to develop a healthy student-teacher relationship that they hope will last a lifetime. Angela White, a seventh grade P.E. teacher, described her relationships with the students. She believes that at the middle-school level, kids are wanting adult interaction from people other than their parents because of the fact that in elementary school they are always around adults, so in middle school they want to get to know the adults and establish a friendship.

Davis employs some teachers that are very young, and the students have a chance to get to know them on a more friendly level instead of just the “you’re my student; I’m your teacher” relationship. Mrs. White explained that she likes to keep in touch with her students even after graduation because she really gets to know them and she becomes their friend, not just the woman who made them run a mile every week.

Along with healthy student-teacher relationships, student bonds at Davis seem to be decent as well. Davis’s “team system” brings together many students who might not have ever spoken to each other before.

The team system at Davis started four years ago, and students are randomly put into groups — accounting for IEPs (Individualized Education Programs), English Language Learners and GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) students — for a balanced team. Each team has a group of four teachers for the core classes of math, English, science and history, and all students in the team have the same four teachers. Teachers reported that this was a great step in a positive direction because it allowed them to get to know their students better and offer more support to kids who need that extra push.

Students love the team system because they get to spend more time with the friends they make in these teams, and there are competitions between teams to see who has the most spirit, bringing the students closer through teamwork and the desire to achieve a common goal: to be the best team.

In addition to the team system, student bonds and the community are strengthened through school spirit days and rallies. Davis has many fun and engaging spirit days, including Pajama Day, Disney Day and Crazy Hair Day, that help connect the students in an entertaining way. When asked about rallies, eighth grader Jordan Cooper shared, “Rallies are the things that get you hyped up – once you’re done with your class and you’re tired, and you wanna get hyped up, go to a rally and it’s really fun. You can just go see some of your friends.”

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Green Team at the rally

Along with school spirit, Davis provides students with many opportunities. Some programs offered at Davis are art, foreign language and also the chance for eighth graders to be a teacher assistant, teaching them about responsibility and working with people outside their age group.

Students say that the art program is really fun and engaging, and I, being a previous student enrolled in the art program at Davis, believe that art class is very fun and gives you confidence in your own skills because of the way it’s broken down to help students get more advanced over time. Davis offers kids the option of Spanish or French for foreign language, which gives the kids more variety as to which language they’d like to learn.


Art work from art class

Some more programs offered at Davis are band, GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) and CJSF (California Junior Scholarship Federation). Davis has a very advanced band program, which has won many first place trophies all around the world. They travel far, to places such as Disneyland, to perform and compete. The GATE and CJSF programs allow students who excel the opportunities for scholarships in college.

On the flip side, Davis teachers also offer students who need extra help the support they need, by staying after school or during lunch to help anyone who asks for it. The McCleary brothers talked about how Davis’ partnership with the Boys and Girls Club also helps the students and them in providing the students more help.

Brett McCleary said, “There’s a Boys and Girls Club next door that has an actual homework center, and most of the kids get the help they need there.” Greg McCleary said that this lightens the load on teachers and described their partnership with the Boys and Girls Club as a “luxury,” and stated, “I appreciate that, and I’m sure the kids do too.”

Davis also offers a variety of sports to their students such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, track and field and cross country, for both boys and girls. They also have a softball team, which is offered to only girls. Students talked about how much they love the sports teams at Davis. Many kids are very committed to the sports they play, and they said being a student athlete puts a lot more pressure on their school life.

“Being a student athlete is more difficult than being an average student,” Kahary Redmond stated. “Basketball affects me because it makes me want to work harder as a student and an athlete. You have to focus on your grades because, if you don’t focus on your grades, that means you can get cut from the team, and you don’t want that.”


Eighth grade basketball team, 2016-17

Cooper also talked about how being a student athlete affects his school life. “You gotta do your best just to stay on the team. As a student you gotta focus on your grades, and as an athlete, you gotta focus on your skills. You have to find a good balance.”

Dominic Price, a seventh grader, said he comes to school every day because of basketball, and it makes him want to do better in school to stay on the team.

A lot of changes have taken place in the 50+ years that Davis has been around, especially to the campus. Kim Kianidehkian, the principal at Davis, talked about the “Beautification Process” that took place. She said when she arrived at Davis, she started meeting with the superintendent and creating a plan for what was needed at Davis in order to create an “equitable, safe, clean and attractive” environment.

She continued, “Because of the budget crisis that’s been going on in California for a long time, the exterior of our building was neglected. Our district was able to pass a bond that allowed us to bring an influx of money into school beautification, so we created a plan with the superintendent.” She also explained how the original plan was supposed to take only a year but has turned into a four-year process for transforming the exterior of Davis. There have been changes in landscaping, restoring covered walkways for rainy days, and a fresh coat of paint for the school, along with decorative fencing around the school that also helps in lock downs, if needed.

The art students at Davis also contributed to make the campus pop. They have given ideas for some of the walls and murals that have been painted.

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In addition to campus, the community and spirit at Davis have also changed a lot. Mr. Barocio talked about his experience from when he was a student at Davis to now being a teacher. He said, “The amount of spirit here has been greatly increased from the time I was here. Things like teams have really helped to improve the spirit, and rallies – we didn’t have that when I was here. Just seeing the kids wearing their different team colors, it’s definitely a cool thing to see. The campus spirit has increased drastically, and I believe it’s for the better.”

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Rally Games (SOURCE: davis.schoolloop.com)

Overall, many changes have come upon Davis, but the one thing that stayed the same is the community. The vibe at Davis has always been welcoming and bright. The community is very supportive, caring and hardworking. They are determined to make the experience the best they can for the students, and, if someone slips, someone else is always there to pick up the slack and fix it. Greg McCleary explained that this is his favorite aspect about Davis. “You gotta make do with what you got. You don’t hear people here complain. They just roll up their sleeves and fix it, and that’s what I love about this community.”

Here are some additional photos of the Davis community as it undergoes restoration:

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New course seeks to teach adulting skills

By Rylee Storms

Staff Writer

“My mom’s an accountant, but I don’t want to rely on her to do my taxes forever.” This is what Shawn Wilson responded with after being asked why he participates in Adulting 101 at Everest Public High School in Redwood City, CA. The senior student is just one example of the many who take this helpful class.

Wilson explained his motive for signing up saying, “I thought it would give me useful information that would be applicable to my life after Everest.” The class is a new offer this year at Everest, created after being requested by students.


Everest senior Shawn Wilson

A second student taking Adulting, Anayely Magana, responded when asked if information given in Adulting was new to her, saying, “I already know some of the steps to get a job. The part that is adding to it is it’s helping me do interviews.”

The mock interviews take place at Everest and involve local resources in order to provide a realistic experience to learn how interviews work. Resumes will also be checked and read to provide help. Interview topics discussed in the class included typos in a resume, interests, effort, background and illegal questions.

In addition to the realistic questions and analysis, students are also required to dress formal in order to impress whoever is interviewing. This is useful as it gives them a sense of professional visual appearance and its impact.

Magana explained that her real interview was on the same day as the mock interview, saying, “I applied for a job, so I’m hoping that the mock interview will help me. I hope that the resume will help me too.” The mock interview involves volunteers coming to the school and acting out very realistic interviews.


Everest senior Anayely Magana

The teacher of this class, Zoe Marinkovich, said the class was designed after “students asked for help with getting driver’s licenses, jobs and paying taxes, so I tried to build a course that would cover as much of that as possible.” The teacher added that the course was originally just an idea that she believed couldn’t happen due to the diversity of requests.

Ms. Marinkovich explained her hopes for the students, saying, “I hope they vote and read the news. I hope they make smart choices about money. I hope they know their rights as employees. I hope they have some confidence that they can figure out adult problems and make good choices.” The course is designed to provide real experiences with volunteers and guest speakers.

In response to a question about the age range of students and what students are most interested in Adulting, Ms. Marinkovich speculated, “At first I thought ninth graders wouldn’t be interested, but some of my best, most curious students are ninth graders.” As mentioned previously, freshmen are the second most abundant group in her class next to seniors, Ms. Marinkovich having only a one person difference between the two grades.

When asked about who she would recommend the class to, Magana said, “I would to anyone who just wants to learn any skills that are important.” Magana concluded that the class was useful to students from any grade level.

A recommendation of grade level was also given by Wilson, stating,  “I would recommend this class to people who are worried about knowing what to do after high school, or people who don’t have a lot of support at home learning about the real world.” The class includes nine freshmen, two sophomores, three juniors and 10 seniors this year.

When asked about the first round of Expeditions, Wilson said, “The first round was all about well-being, and I think I’ll hopefully be applying that throughout my life in order to be a happier person.” This provided insight on how this class originally started off.

Well-being was prioritized, centering on making yourself happy and being proud of who you are. It also focused on mental health, being brave and overall fulfillment. Ms. Marinkovich taught her students “power poses,” in which students pose in a way that helps them feel brave and ready before interviews and projects.


Ms. Marinkovich shows her power pose to the students before their mock interviews.

Wilson explained, “This round I’m learning more about the path I want to take in college and after college.” The students at this time were designing a resume that would be reviewed by volunteers, along with searching for job opportunities. The resume lessons include learning about appropriate times to use color on resumes, fonts, formatting, unique styles, and the overall process of creating and updating a resume.


Students work quietly as they prepare for a mock interview.


Another lesson in the current round  involved Erin L. McDermit, a volunteer speaker who came to Everest Public High School to discuss legal matters at work. She mentioned many factors that involve young adults just starting in the work field. Dating in work was mentioned and so was sexual harassment.

Legal protection was a large part of the speech, including the factors that protect new workers in open employment. It was stated that you can’t be fired for illegal reasons such as race, opinion, etc.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing were two organizations that were discussed in order to raise awareness about writing complaints in a workplace. McDermit discussed situations of harassment that she experienced at work. She discussed preventative methods in order to not harass people or be harassed.  After the speech ended, students went back to work on their resumes.

Ms. Marinkovich explained that some of her students face unique obstacles: “The world is not a fair place we live in; for my undocumented students, a lot of things we do don’t apply to them. They’re not eligible for Social Security.” The class, however, still teaches every student these skills, no matter if they can or can’t use them.


Adulting teacher Zoe Marinkovich

After being questioned if she was prepared when it came to jobs, Ms. Marinkovich said, “For my field – yes. I’ve been working with young people and schools forever. I recently became a classroom teacher, but it was an easy enough transition since I had worked in schools for years. I think how I have managed money, debt and student loans is another story. I hope my students learn from my mistakes.” 

Schools interact with the community

By Ilse Diaz and Carmin Vera 

Staff Writers

When you walk into a school, you expect your child to be learning and doing work, but schools do much more than that. You walk into different schools and the students are doing lots of interesting activities that let them interact with the community around them.


Nancy Alvarez, who works in the Family Center at Fair Oaks Elementary School, said, “We have this day where we beautify the school, and an organization came, and they worked with the families and they help to clean the school with the help of volunteers, families, the kids. That’s how we bring together community.”

Ms. Alvarez added that there are many other events and programs that happen on campus; for example, a fall festival, coffee with the principal, Learning Together (a program in which the younger kids get read to aloud), after school programs, food distribution and fundraisers (in which they mostly sell food).

Other local schools do the similar things.


Claudia Reyes, business director at Connect Community Charter School, said her school hosts events “because it shows to them that they have power in their community and they can make a difference in their community no matter their ages.”

Mrs. Reyes gave examples of some events students participate in, such as World Savvy, Math Festival and weekend workshops. She said this year science and art teachers are working together to allow art to be part of the Science Fair.

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Nancy Naranjo, office assistant at Summit Preparatory High School, said her school involves the community through “monthly spot meetings in which parents can discuss what’s going on in school and what the school can change.”

Ms. Naranjo added that last year there was a car wash in which the teachers and students came together, as well as Multicultural Day, which is sort of like a potluck where parents volunteer to bring food. This year, they beautified the school on Sunday, Nov. 5, when families, teachers and students came together to clean the school. They also have their annual camping trip during the first month of school in which the students interact with each other and their mentors.

Summit Prep’s official podcast is live

By Nick Reed and Armando Sanchez

Staff Editors

Tangled Headphones Podcast #1 is now live! The official podcast for the Summit News team features sophomores Nick Reed and Armando Sanchez, as well as David Tellez, a Summit Prep History teacher.

On Tangled Headphones, we will discuss everything from the local community to larger scale topics.

We decided to start this podcast when Sanchez interviewed Mr. Tellez for a project; they both found this to be extremely entertaining, and they had a mutual interest in talk shows and wished to be on one. After the interview, they agreed to start a podcast club.

On the first episode, the three hosts discuss teaching philosophy and what education should be all about, as well as their individual views on teachers and the school world.


Summit Prep students show their families what they have learned in Expeditions

By Kristian Bekele 

Staff Writer  

On May 25, Summit Prep students demonstrated all that they have learned to peers and parents in what is known as the Celebration of Learning showcase. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., students from the Expeditions classes Education Pathways, College Readiness and Sociology of Law showed off what they learned in the eight weeks of Expeditions.

Education Pathways 

In Education Pathways, students learn about the educational system and its flaws from an educator’s perspective. Students went to schools and shadowed teachers as they learned about the achievements and problems of educational systems.

For their final product, students got to choose between modeling their career pathways and how they would achieve their goals or highlighting a specific flaw in the educational system.


Summit Prep freshman Armando Sanchez and sophomore Brandon Kerney look over Kerney’s final product.


Summit Prep junior Angela Chung shows her plans to attend Cornell University and Harvard in order to achieve a career as an architect. She said that the reason why she wants to be an architect is because she likes how architecture combines various elements such as math, drawing and design to make structures.


College Readiness 

College Readiness is a mandatory course where juniors learn about college and the application process. Summit Prep juniors showcased their college applications to fellow classmates, teachers and parents. As part of their final product, students made a slideshow demonstrating what colleges they wanted to go to, the necessary qualifications and their reasoning for choosing those schools.


Summit Prep junior Paola Godoy presents her college plan to her mentor Bree Hawkins.



Summit Prep Dean Mary Beth Thompson talks to her mentees, Juan Reyes and Jesus Pichardo, about their college choices.


Sociology of Law 

“There is no such thing as a good person or a bad person, only good and bad choices.” S. Dawson’s quote is something the Sociology of Law class learns from the moment they step inside the classroom commanded by Expeditions teacher Lissa Thiele, who also serves as a Juvenile Justice Commissioner.


Sociology of Law teacher and Juvenile Justice Commissioner Lissa Thiele

During Celebration of Learning, the class had a Socratic Seminar involving parents and students debating whether armed guards were allowed in schools. The topic was thus because the class had been studying the Second Amendment and mass shootings. They had watched a documentary on Columbine earlier in the round, and the documentary was still fresh in their minds.

During the Socratic, the group discussed mental health because a majority of school shooters have been shown to have mental issues. The topic of damaged masculinity was also brought up early in the conversation.

Damaged masculinity is when a man’s masculine qualities are destroyed by someone finding and exposing their weakness and ridiculing them for it. Because most mass shooters are men, this damaged masculinity plays a huge role in the number of youth dying per year from mass shootings.

At the start of the Socratic, parents and students who participated seemed to agree on one thing: In different situations, people feel safer with armed guards, but they don’t feel safe with an armed guard in the school.

Staff Writers Micah Tam, Tyler McGuire and Darya Worsell contributed to this report. 

Students are spending too much time on social media

By Darren C. D’avila
Staff Writer

At Summit Preparatory Charter High School, most of the students spend their time using social media. When you walk around the school, you mostly see everyone on their phones seeing posts on social media, and there is only a small handful of students from grades nine through twelve who never touch their phones during break or lunch. Here are seven reasons why I personally think social media is a waste of time for students:

1. It affects your school life. In every class I go to, I see at least a small amount of students on their phones when the teachers are talking, explaining, or when students are supposed to work on projects. It takes up their time and that only leaves them a couple of days to complete the project, while others who use their time wisely have weeks to complete each project and also have time to work on other projects from different classes.

2. It can get you in trouble with teachers. I have seen many students getting their phones taken away by teachers many times, but it’s the students’ responsibility to take care of their phones, and they shouldn’t put themselves in that position. When their phones are away, the only thing that runs through their mind is the messages they’re missing, leaving people on “read,” a statement people use when someone reads a text but doesn’t reply, or if the teachers will send an email to their parents about them misusing their time at school.

3. It can affect your grades. When on social media, you mostly forget what you’re doing at school and forget what the teachers are explaining. Later on, you can’t remember anything about what to do for your project, and you get a bad grade on it.

4. It can affect your friendships with teachers and students in real life. You can say that you have friends online, but if you only believe in that, you can’t have physical time with others. If you hang out with others in real life, you can play games, go to restaurants and movies, or just chill with each other. Through social media, you can only view and like posts. Even though many companies are adding games to their products, there is no fun playing with someone from a distance.



These are the results of a survey of Summit Prep students who disclosed how many friends/followers they had and how many of them they talk to offline.


5. You can be lead into danger. There have been many incidents where students are being tricked into thinking that strangers are their “friends,” and that leads to many problems for the student and his or her family. Tyler Cohen Wood, a public speaker and author of “Catching the Catfishers,” said, “It’s very important that parents with younger children are aware of what apps their kids are using and what those apps do.” Mr. Wood also said, “A lot of those applications that target young children have a social media aspect to them. People trying to target children will use those apps, as well.”

6. You get put into drama. Drama has been around for awhile, and it just keeps spreading. I’m always away from it because I don’t have social media, but it’s annoying to hear every piece of drama going on during school. On social media, most students are friends or followers to each other, and, when someone posts a comment to someone, everyone sees it, and that’s the only thing people talk about at school.

7. Social media was not made for everyday use. Social media was made to interact with people you know who live far away or to share something interesting with others. We shouldn’t make social media mandatory for our lives. We should only make social media as a backup thing if life is going slowly, or if you are alone for the moment, but not when you’re around a group of friends.screenshot-2017-02-28-at-11-04-32-amscreenshot-2017-02-28-at-11-04-43-am


These are the results of a survey of Summit Prep students who disclosed how much time they spend on social media.

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