The Launchpad https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com The Student News Site of Pinkerton Academy Fri, 03 Dec 2021 18:43:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.2 Students, Teachers Prepare for Flex Period https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1327/astro-news/students-teachers-prepare-for-flex-period/ https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1327/astro-news/students-teachers-prepare-for-flex-period/#respond Fri, 03 Dec 2021 18:43:39 +0000 https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/?p=1327 School administrators and tech leaders have been working on the logistics to roll out a scheduling program, called Enriching Students, in preparation for flex period pilots that will occur the week of December 6 and the week of January 3. The FLEX period for this year is a prototype that will evolve as teachers and students experience this opportunity for connection and academic assistance.

The flex period will be a time for students to get extra-help from teachers. The designated 34 minutes between blocks 1 and 2 will allow teachers to pinpoint which students need extra-help and schedule them. Teachers will have 12 slots available to assist students in addition to their 12 assigned homeroom students. Unlike in a study when teachers may be teaching another class, the flex period allows teachers to utilize another intervention to help their students.

Because students will be receiving help from teachers, students will be moving around from room to room. To only have 12 students in each advisory will allow other students from other flex homerooms to go to a teacher they need and prevent classrooms from becoming too crowded.  The four pilot run throughs of the flex period schedule will reveal any issues to be addressed. The plan is that the flex schedule will be implemented at the start of the 2022-2023 school year.

Sangay Gurung enjoys the idea of this flex period because of past experiences from middle school.

“I love the idea of flex,” said Gurung. “I am already used to it since we used to do this in my middle school. Sometimes I felt like it saved my day because I could do some work I missed or I could get to recollect my thoughts and ideas before the rest of my classes occurred.”

Unlike Gurung’s excitement about the flex period, some students wonder how the flex period will work on a practical level.

“It is a good idea, but it may be difficult being only 30ish minutes to get wherever the class is, get the help and then get to your next class on time,” said Kaiden Audy.  “It won’t leave you the necessary time to get the help needed, especially if more than one kid is working with the teacher at once.”

In addition to the questions about the actual availability to get extra help when needed, some students are just concerned about having more changes to the school schedule.

“I think it would be fun to try, but I think it might be hard to adjust to,” said Sadie Thompson. “Adjusting may be hard but there have already been changes in the past year because of COVID, including us going to block schedule, online learning, etc.”

If students could decide when the flex period would be in the daily schedule, many expressed it be between blocks 2 and 3 or between blocks 3 and 4, so it wasn’t early in the day.  

“I think it should be a time spent for students to do what they want on campus,” Paige Sullivan said. “They don’t need to be in a classroom, they can go see friends if they want, see teachers if they want. I think the time to get help is already a study hall. Yet, some students feel they don’t need studies, so having that 34 minute block would give them that extra time in case they want to use it.” 

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‘Rollerball Rodent’ Greets Senior Office Guests https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1312/pinkerton-perspectives/rollerball-rodent-greets-senior-office-guests/ https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1312/pinkerton-perspectives/rollerball-rodent-greets-senior-office-guests/#respond Tue, 23 Nov 2021 17:16:19 +0000 https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/?p=1312 Walking into the senior office, students will often see a big plastic ball rolling around with a small fuzzy creature happily weaving through the administrators’ desks and offices. Many students have to blink a few times to fully understand that yes, there is an animal in this ball running around at 7:00 a.m. Guipetto, the three year old, gray hamster, is taking the office by storm in his little plastic ball, making everyone want to stop by the senior office. 

“You know, even as recently as today a senior stopped in and was like “oh my gosh is that a hamster” and laughed and joked [with the senior office staff about the hamster],” said Mr. Dannible, the original owner of the hamster.

Guipetto was not a planned member of the staff, as Dannible received the hamster through his son which has not been entirely clear on how he got ahold of the hamster, hence the name Guipetto after Disney classic movie Pinocchio

“[The] Original story that he told me was that it was a friend of his whose family wouldn’t allow him to keep it, so he took it for safekeeping”, commented Dannible, “but I’m not sure if that was 100 percent true.”

Guipetto stays on campus throughout the weekend, as Dannible always ensures that it is comfortable before heading home. However, for the longer breaks, Dannible explained that staff members decide who will take the hamster home to make certain that he is well taken care of, which many love to do. 

“This Thanksgiving weekend coming up, I do have a staff member who’s taking the hamster home so his grandkids can play with it, so there’s no shortage of people willing to take him for a long weekend.”

Dannible mentioned that Guipetto has definitely boosted morale “100 percent” within not only the senior office staff, but with the students visiting, providing joy and comfort to all those who see him. 

“We’ve had students who will only meet with their counselor down here so they can hold the hamster,” said Dannible, “because animals, you know, have that soothing effect and whatnot.”

When prompted with the question of if more areas such as the guidance counselor offices or even certain classrooms should have these comforting creatures, Dannible was more reserved in his answer. 

“I think there are pluses and minuses with [class pets], let’s just say that,” said Dannible. “I can see how students could benefit from it, and I can easily see how it can distract from what’s supposed to be happening here on campus.”

With the amount of joy and comfort Guipetto has brought to the senior office community, it is worth the time to really bring up the benefits that emotional support animals bring to students and staff alike. If anyone wants to visit Guipetto, the senior office is always open, and “[anyone] can visit anytime,” so stop in to see this adorable gray hamster!

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Class of 2022 Honors Local Veterans at the Annual Breakfast https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1306/astro-news/class-of-2022-honors-local-veterans-at-the-annual-breakfast/ https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1306/astro-news/class-of-2022-honors-local-veterans-at-the-annual-breakfast/#respond Tue, 23 Nov 2021 13:55:36 +0000 https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/?p=1306 The 27th annual Veterans Day breakfast to recognize US veterans was held last on the morning of Thursday the 11th in the freshman cafeteria. Members of the JROTC and Class of 2022 officers stood at the door greeting veterans and their families as they entered. 

The event was put on by the class of 2022 as their annual community service project that they have been doing since  freshmen year. Last year, the event took place outside the school in a drive-thru style due to Covid-19 precautions. Veterans from surrounding communities were invited to participate in the breakfast and to listen to speeches made by members of the faculty and student body. 

Members of the choir sang the national anthem, the JROTC color guard presented the colors for the pledge of allegiance and Veterans Day poems were read, including a speech from special education teacher Mr. Doug Gootee, who read ‘What is a Veteran.’

“Veterans answered the call when their country needed them. They served their country to help us keep our way of life safe and fought to protect us and our home. Freedom is not free – it is the Veterans who pay the price for us to enjoy our freedoms,” recited Gootee, recognizing the sacrifice veterans make for our country.

Speakers also recognized those who are still actively fighting for our freedom.

 “We should also salute those who are currently fighting [for] our freedom,” said Kristen Gulbrandsen, class of 2022 Community Service Coordinator, in her opening remarks.

A candle lighting ceremony was held to conclude the speakers’ readings.

“I light the red candle which is the symbol of the red in our flag, and stands for hardiness and valor and symbolizes the lifeblood of brave men and women. This is for those who have died in service who we can never repay for what they have done,” said Sydney Pelletier as she lit the first candle.

Most veterans at the breakfast have been attending the breakfast for multiple years. Connected by their alumni status, family of a student or a member of the surrounding communities. 

“I think it’s great that Pinkerton does this,” said alumni Ron Gagnon, who sat with his neighbor who is also a veteran. 

While Veterans Day is a day we get to stay home from school, it is important to think of why we get the day off. Because of the brave men and women who have and continue to fight for our freedom. 

In his remarks, Dr. Powers explained that on their way to breakfast he had asked his ten year-old daughter why Veterans Day is important. She in essence expressed it is important to thank those who have protected us and defended our freedoms.

“Today’s the day to honor you and thank you for all that you’ve done,” said Dr. Powers. “So from all of us thank you very much for all that you’ve done for us.” 

JROTC color guard present the flag to commence the annual Veterans Day breakfast. (Mr. Timothy Cain)
Mrs. Littlefield and Mrs. Worsman helped to prepare the breakfast so that class officers could serve the food to the veterans. (Mr. Timothy Cain)
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ASL Club Hosts Movie Night https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1307/astro-news/asl-club-hosts-movie-night/ https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1307/astro-news/asl-club-hosts-movie-night/#respond Thu, 18 Nov 2021 19:24:28 +0000 https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/?p=1307 Chunky’s Cinema Pub recently worked with the ASL Club to present A Quiet Place Part 2 for an American Sign Language (ASL) movie night on Monday, November 15. 

The movie night began at 6:30 and the group of attendees was diverse. UNH ASL students joined Pinkerton students and teachers; all interacted using sign language and enjoyed the movie together. 

A Quiet Place Part 2 is a horror movie in which the characters use ASL almost exclusively; however, the entire movie has subtitles so deaf and hearing people alike can enjoy all parts of it. 

Tickets were paid for at the door and cost $10. From this event, the ASL Club raised $135, all of which will go towards the ASL Workshop that they host in April. 

After the movie, Lauren Marsh, ASL student and the president of the club, said “It was a lot of fun. It was great to have an opportunity to connect with the deaf community!”

The ASL Workshop is an event that brings the deaf community together and helps to immerse American Sign Language students in that world. Members of the deaf community come to teach lessons and speak to students. 

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this workshop has been postponed for the past two years. The ASL Club is making every effort to bring it back on campus. Many more fundraisers are  planned by the club so students will be able to experience the ASL Workshop.

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2+ Genders: A Dive into the LGBTQ+ School Experience https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1301/pinkerton-perspectives/2-genders-a-dive-into-the-lgbtq-school-experience/ https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1301/pinkerton-perspectives/2-genders-a-dive-into-the-lgbtq-school-experience/#respond Sat, 13 Nov 2021 18:20:43 +0000 https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/?p=1301 How many transgender people would you say are students at school?  Two, three, four? I bet you would be surprised to know that it is likely that at least two transgender students are sitting in a study hall.

Like so many students across the country, members of the school community do not identify as the gender they were assigned at birth. For example, your friend, teacher, or peer may very well be nonbinary, the identity that exists outside of the two genders we’re all familiar with. 

Transgender people are people that don’t identify with the sex that they have been labeled at birth. An intersex individual is someone born with both male and female biological traits. A gender non-conforming person is someone that doesn’t adhere to gender stereotypes in the way they dress or present themselves. 

Transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming students are all around the school, and many people might not even know it. 

Despite transgender (intersex, and gender non-conforming) people being a bigger part of the population than one might think, these students constantly feel at risk. Whether it be harassment over the internet, verbal and physical assault, or recent online trends, it can sometimes feel like the world is against diversity. It is extremely important, especially during politically, divisive times, that students and staff respect each other’s unique identities.  

One of the biggest risks taken as a transgender person is going to school non-passing. Passing is the act of being seen as the gender an individual identifies. The risk of facing serious problems with classmates increases substantially when a transgender student doesn’t pass. Deadnaming and misgendering can be extremely detrimental to transgender students’ mental health. 

Findings from the U.S 2015 survey from the William’s Institute of Law report that the prevalence of suicidal thoughts and attempts among transgender people is significantly higher than that of the U.S. general population. More than half of transgender people who have encountered four instances of harassments have attempted suicide.

The internet isn’t a safe place to exist as transgender either. Whether it be Nazi inspired trends (such as the super straight “sexuality” that meant only excluding transgender people from your dating pool), or the fascist online comic creator Stonetoss, who constantly jokes about the transgender suicide rate, a student’s cellphone fails as an easy escape from the cruelties of school. Youth will often run into the same phrase: “There’s only 2 genders.”

People in our community experience these taunts first-hand. Sophomore Diego Jimenez, a band member and wrestler, has experienced this first-hand. Jimenez towers over the majority of his classmates and has a deep voice; no one would think “Oh, they’re definitely transgender.” But that’s just how he was born.

When entering Pinkerton, he worried about such things as “would they treat me differently for being transgender?” While only encountering minor harassment at school, he now knows that people are much braver on the internet than in person. 

“They were [apparently] going to beat me up for being transgender, saying things like ‘you’ll always be a girl,’” explained Jimenez. After a terrible encounter with an online harasser from school, Jimenez felt motivated to try and educate cisgender people on the struggles transgender people face in each facet of their life. 

A good portion of people share the same opinion on gender. Another student who asked not to be identified wrote, “respectfully- you are born a man or a [woman], [just] what I think.” This is a very common misconception. Not only do gender identities exist, such as those under the nonbinary umbrella, but intersex people exist. But, unfortunately, the world is built on the false narrative: two sexes, two genders. 

The number one thing that Jimenez recommends is “even if you don’t agree with [me and people like me], be respectful.” Transgender people experience discrimination often, whether it be online or offline, from friends or family. Jimenez states that “people misgendering me and finding my deadname” at Pinkerton was hurtful, but also not entirely surprising.

Some people will never understand the concept of being trans, intersex, or gender non-conforming. While taking it upon yourself to be educated on LGBTQ+ identities is encouraged, it isn’t necessary to be an accepting and kind human being.

“It’s perfectly cool if you don’t accept me [and people like me], just respect me as a human,”  said Jimenez.

It’s a minimum the LGBTQ+ community asks for, and by doing the minimum one can make a world of difference for many students all across campus. 

Combatting online propaganda and family values is hard. As Jimenez said, “Intolerance stems from your environment. Your parents’ beliefs form hateful thoughts and ideas in you, and you might not even realize it. The best thing you can do to be a good ally is refuse to be a bystander. If you hear someone being disrespectful don’t just let it happen, educate them.” By actively educating those around you on transgender identities and correcting misconceptions, we create a more welcoming environment: a place where everyone can be happy, no matter what you were born as. 

Teachers can be extraordinarily helpful or detrimental as the case may be to a student’s emotional growth and mental health. A majority of students have that one teacher who has impacted them in a positive way. There is a surplus of supportive teachers that accept another’s identity. Whether one is transgender, intersex, gender non-conforming, or any minority, teachers are supposed to be here to make us feel welcomed and appreciated. 

“The first thing I would show any outsider is the amount of safe spaces [indicated by posters on teacher’s doors] which have increased tremendously,” said Mr. Gagnon, Associate Dean and co-advisor of the LGBTQ Alliance with Ms. Putnam.

“To actually show support and have that welcoming message posted on your walls [as a teacher] is incredible,” said Gagnon. “Numerous LGBT Alliance members mention this being the push they needed to join the club. Acts like these from teachers really show the growing support.”

A number of teachers are currently participating in professional development about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. It appears that has the school community diversifies, efforts are being made to support all students. For transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming students, they can hold out hope for a bright and inclusive future.

“Being a member of the community, and a high schooler, is often a very difficult time. Anything that the people can do to help relieve some of this difficulty is awesome.  In recent years, club members seem to be much more confident and comfortable being themselves” said Mr. Gagnon.

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Pinkerton Music Spotlight: Victoria Volokitkin https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1266/inner-space/pinkerton-music-spotlight-victoria-volokitkin/ https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1266/inner-space/pinkerton-music-spotlight-victoria-volokitkin/#respond Fri, 05 Nov 2021 12:17:29 +0000 https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/?p=1266 Senior Victoria Volokitkin, a classically trained singer, expressed that she can’t escape music as she spends around 30 minutes to 2 hours outside of school, as well as in the music programs through school and her community.

Victoria Volokitkin sings soprano in the chorale and is known to be friendly, bubbly and an overall fun person to be around.

When asked about Volokitkin, Mrs. Sandra Olson had nothing but praise. “She’s a wonderful student; she’s very conscientious [and] expects a lot of herself.” 

Along with a high opinion of her personality, Mrs. Olson also spoke highly of her voice. 

“Beautiful soprano voice,” Mrs. Olson said.  

NH All-State judges seem to agree as Volokitkin has been involved in the selective audition-only choir for three years. She says this is her fourth year auditioning and third year getting into the highly selective NH All-State choir. 

Volokitkin has recently been experimenting with style and genres such as jazz, R&B, and artists like Ariana Grande, Harry Styles, Jordan Raki and a band called Daisy. 

With such a wide variety of musical styles, Volokitkin said, “I’m basically all over the place.”

Her drive to experiment genres speaks for her passion for music. Volokitkin is passionate about the school’s music programs. Her passion extends outside of the classroom and seeps into the workplace as she currently works at Let’s Play Music. 

Victoria expressed she “basically can’t escape music” and in a follow up email detailed “it’s something that I can never let go. ” She said her interest in music extends from her grandfather wanting her to sing at church and growing up with music in general. 

My parents have always supported me with my music by signing me up for lessons,” Volokitkin said. “They knew how much I loved it, and so they wanted to support it. They always want to see me on stage, and will support me with anything that I do about it.”

Every four years the Pinkerton Academy chorale goes to Disney World to compete in Festival Disney music competition. In 2019, the Pinkerton chorale earned two first place trophies. Volokitkin said the Disney trip is probably her favorite event of the year and enjoys going with her friends in the chorale. 

After Pinkerton, Volokitkin plans to continue with music and go into vocal performance for a career. Her goal is to sing for the “Boston or New England [Conservatories].”

For students who are interested in joining any of the music classes and extracurricular activities, it’s never too late to join. Several students in the music program also have participated in sports. While it’s quite the balancing act, the students are able to do both and love it. 

 Mrs. Olson said that students who are thinking about auditioning for a role or who are considering taking a music class should seriously consider it. 

“[You] won’t regret it,” said Olson.

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Astros Spirit Lives On https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1291/astro-news/astros-spirit-lives-on/ https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1291/astro-news/astros-spirit-lives-on/#respond Fri, 05 Nov 2021 12:04:28 +0000 https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/?p=1291 A huge part of the high school experience is school gatherings and events. The pep rally historically is one that most students enjoy attending. To ensure the health and safety of the students and staff, the student council organized and held an outdoor pep rally in the morning on Friday, September 24, under cloudy skies and intermittent rain showers.

Spirit week is commonly known as every student’s favorite week of the school year. Dressing up in funny, colorful clothes on Wacky Wednesday, imitating the vibrant clothes of the 80’s or street style of the 90’s on Throwback Thursday. Changes to the traditional spirit week themes reportedly left some students disappointed. Spirit week this year began with Meme Monday, Extraterrestrial Tuesday.  These two themes required students to be more creative, and in some cases, more elaborate. 

“The spirit week themes were hard this year and not a lot of people participated because people had to go out and buy items to participate, ”said junior Elise Saab.

To get a sense of how the students felt about the changes to the spirit week themes and pep rally, a survey was sent out to all students. A little more than 200 responded.

Most students who filled out the survey agreed with Saab. Many expressed they liked the  trustworthy Throwback Thursday theme rather than decade specific day, such as Y2K Thursday. Otherwise, the challenge of dressing the best was fun for some.

“I thought they were cool and I actually liked them,” said senior Sierra Edgecomb. 

Although most students understood the reason for holding the pep rally outdoors on the varsity baseball field, many expressed a return to the field house.

“It should be in the gym next year,” said junior varsity soccer player, Lindsay Blum, “because it will be good for the incoming freshman to see how the school supports the teams and for the sophomores of this year to experience a fun and rowdy pep rally with everyone being able to participate.” 

Blum has participated in past pep rallies and expressed that Covid-19 did change the dynamic of the rally. Social distancing changed the venue, which put a little bit of a drain on participation from the crowd. The added weather conditions, like the clouds and rain, also ruined the experience for both performers and spectators.

Although many students had a hard time seeing the acts performed on and in front of the staging area, issues, a majority thought the music was on point, and contributed well with the athletic teams’ performances. Twenty-four percent of those who responded to the school-wide survey thought the girls varsity volleyball performance was the absolute best part of the whole event. 

“My favorite part was probably the volleyball team’s performance; it was just really cool,” said freshman Ryan Zeno.

Administrators, student council members, and students all agree that some changes and improvements will need to be made to the pep rally if it will continue as an outside event.  

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Mack Plaque Win Reunites Students After Last Year’s Loss https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1264/athletics/mack-plaque-win-reunites-students-after-last-years-loss/ https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1264/athletics/mack-plaque-win-reunites-students-after-last-years-loss/#respond Fri, 05 Nov 2021 11:34:38 +0000 https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/?p=1264 After losing last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, the fall athletes reclaimed this year’s Mack Plaque in their week of games against Londonderry with lots of support from the student body. After Pinkerton’s 20 year streak was lost in 2020, students and faculty alike were unsure as to what the results of this year’s Mack Plaque would be.

“I don’t think last year’s loss really held any substance with the student body because they weren’t allowed to be there. We knew we lost but we weren’t really able to process it,” said Lani Buskey, Sports Literature teacher and varsity basketball coach.

The first Mack Plaque game was played in 1983, named after the Mack family with three generations of Pinkerton graduates. Since then, it has become increasingly clear that it isn’t just sport fanatics who care about it. The ongoing rivalry between the Astros and the Lancers encourages school pride and allows the fans to witness athletes compete at a high level. Almost everyone, including those who have never played on the field in their lives, gets excited about the games.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the only people allowed to attend the games last year were the families of the players. The student body’s inability to cheer for their home team last year contributed to a large number of fans supporting the athletes. Even though the football team lost to the Lancers, the fall athletes recaptured the Mack Plaque. The golf, boys and girls cross-country, girls volleyball, and girls soccer teams defeated their Londonderry opponents while the field hockey team tied to ensure the Plaque returned to campus.

Mack Plaque weekend for many at both schools is the highlight of the fall sports season, and this year it lived up to its hype. With less COVID-19 restrictions, the students came back to support the teams and can once again claim bragging rights now that the Plaque has returned to campus. Safe to say– the weekend of competitions and the homecoming dance Saturday night boosted the school’s morale.

“I think Mack Plaque is just a part of our culture here,” said Buskey. “It’s part of being a Pinkerton student. The rivalry can still be there even if you’re not really that into sports.”

 

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Administration Implements Restore and Renew https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1258/astro-news/administration-implements-restore-and-renew/ https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1258/astro-news/administration-implements-restore-and-renew/#respond Wed, 03 Nov 2021 17:46:09 +0000 https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/?p=1258 Perhaps you haven’t been called to the attendance office but a philosophical change in how students are being disciplined has begun. Administrators and teachers are working to change the school’s discipline system to give students a better chance at restoration and success both academically and personally. 

Restore and Renew is a program that has been implemented in place of standard Saturday detention. The program has been proven to reduce the rate of reoffending. It holds students accountable while helping them with responsibility.  Instead of punitive punishments, like a set list of punishments with corresponding consequences, such as losing recess or detention in the upper grades, administrators are taking a different approach. Rather than sending a student to detention for graffiti vandalism, they would have the student clean the area themselves. 

“The responsibility of taking ownership for your actions, taking responsibility for it and learning from that mistake,” said associate dean of students, Mr. Konstant.

Many educators throughout the country are viewing  traditional forms of punishment in schools as outdated and ineffective. This is evident also for Pinkerton students. Students who were assigned Saturday detentions would repeat the behavior that got them there. Many students did not attend their assigned Saturday detention; in fact,  less than 50 percent of students were showing up, which would often lead to a two day suspension. 

Administrators saw the problem and decided to make a change. With the new program in place called Restore and Renew, Saturday detention attendance went from less than 50 percent to 100 percent with the new program, according to Tartarilla and Konstant. Rather than sitting in a classroom for four hours, the new program starts at 9am and goes to 11:30am. Breakfast is provided and students are supplied with assignment trackers, a list from their teacher of work that needs to be completed. Students have a safe space where they complete work, meet with counselors, make up attendance, and learn about their mistakes in aim of fixing future behavior. 

Dean of Students and Supportive Services Mrs. Tartarilla believes that restorative instead of punitive action will correct future behavior.

“We’re in the moment, thinking out of the box, like rather than doing a detention, how can we address this restoratively and hopefully to keep the student from doing it again,” said Tartarilla.

One of the goals with Restore and Renew is to prevent the need for higher measures of discipline and to intervene before a situation escalates. Restorative practices are being applied to the classroom in hopes of being able to resolve issues before disciplinary action is taken. Ms. Gentile, a Pinkerton English teacher explained how Restore and Renew applies in the classroom. For instance, Gentile explains it is often better to remove a student from the classroom instead of immediately sending them to an administrator.

[I] “still maintain the boundaries but it’s less ‘I’m here to penalize you’ or ‘I’m here to get you in trouble’,” said Gentile. “But something is not right, let’s try to figure it out and make a plan.”

Associate Dean Mr. Roger Konstant agrees that a different approach is necessary to change behaviors.

“We used to give Saturday [detention] a lot,” said  Mr.Konstant. “We are doing other things, so rather than getting to a Saturday we might do something different with a student, to allow them to learn about the consequences.””

— Mr. Konstant

The Restore and Renew program is here to work with students, not against them. To ensure students understand that actions have consequences but to do so in a restorative way. 

“We treat them with the dignity that they deserve,” said Mr.Konstant.”Yes, they’re in trouble, but you’re still a Pinkerton student; were all in this together”

 

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Marching into the Fall Season https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1267/astro-news/marching-into-the-fall-season/ https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/1267/astro-news/marching-into-the-fall-season/#respond Wed, 03 Nov 2021 12:12:12 +0000 https://pinkertonlaunchpad.com/?p=1267
Flutists in the marching band performed at halftime of the Mack Plaque game against crosstown rivals, the Londonderry Lancers. (Timothy Cain)

It’s Friday Night Lights at Memorial Field. The fluorescent street lights poorly illuminate the blur of red and white jerseys running across the football field. All that can be heard is the deafening sound of peers chanting and cheering for their players, and the marching band playing a lively tune of “Raise Your Glass.” With the sunlight slowly leaving the sky, the familiar sound of drums and trumpets, spirit chants and good friends add together to create the ambiance of a high school football game.

Long before the excitement and cheers, the marching band has worked for months to prepare for the marching season. 

Band Camp

Each band member has everyday practices at school, takes time to perfect a piece at home, and participates in the carefully orchestrated “band camp” that occurs a few weeks before the start of school. Students learn countless drill sheets, music sets, and work on creating school spirit to pump up the crowd and lead the fans in various chants and cheers. The work that is put into band camp is evident as they light up the football field with their halftime performance at each football game.

“The two biggest components of marching season,” said senior section leader Jackson Crawford, “is the band – our music, and then the marching aspect, which Mr. Boccia, our band director, draws out different shows and sets (formations on the field).”

The commitment level of each band member puts in to practice a piece and memorize a drill sheet is vital for the success of each particular halftime show. 

Practices and Rehearsal

Each member has an allotted time in their schedules to practice their music as a whole. This is usually a block just like a regular class such as math or science. Students dedicate time daily to aid in the success of the halftime show and present school spirit to the fans. 

During marching season, every Tuesday after school, the whole band has a field rehearsal where they go over songs and formations on the football field, perfecting their intricate routine. 

The unity of each section of the band is important to allow the audience to feel school spirit and be filled with energy through their music and performance. Senior drum major Sydney Pelletier explains the importance of these practices.

 “We work harder and become more passionate for music after each rehearsal and each show,” said Pelletier.

Competition

Although the marching band hypes up the crowds and is a vital part of Friday night football games, each member works hardest for the ultimate presentation of their music and the highlight of the fall season at The Salem Band Show. 

This show is the biggest performance of the year. It is a battle between schools, much like a typical sports team competition. Each high school band gets a chance to present their halftime show to judges who score the teams with expertise.

This time of year the band room is buzzing with excitement and preparation for the Salem Band Show. Each year the band wows the audience with entertaining music. 

“The Salem Band Show is what we like to call our best show,” Crawford said.  “Going back and watching those old performances … it gives you chills!”

Although the members work hard to do well on the field and make their team proud, the real reward is within each individual band member. Sophomore Jamie Disalvo explains, “I think the feeling after you know that you did good out on the field, that’s what we do it for.” 

Aftermath

At the end of the competition last Saturday, the members of the marching band beamed with pride as they exited the field with drumline playing a triumphant beat.

“The band coming together on one field and playing their hearts out was such a significant moment for me,” said Pelletier.. “They are my family and I was so proud to see every single member with smiling faces and a determined glint in their eye. Even if Salem wasn’t our best show, the effort and love for music can be seen in every single person.”

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