Monday, December 11, 2017

Class Rank for Merit Scholarships and College Admissions

article by : Brianna Moores
edited by : Katelyn Dearborn

Class Rank was very important for colleges to look at to determine whether or not they wanted the student attending at their college. But then it was said to be bad, and most schools did away with it. People thought it was unfair for students to be considered #1 in their class, to be better than most of the students. Schools took action to that and either took valedictorian away, or started allowing multiple valedictorians.

Many school officials, according to The Washington Post, had said that they wanted their students to focus more on their own accomplishments without worrying about where they fell in terms of their own class. And with Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses - which can boost a student’s GPA to a 4.0 - highlighting class rank can push students to overload themselves during their high school years. College admissions officers had seen an immense drop in the number of applicants who came from a high school that provided class rank.

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Many deans and admissions officers of universities and colleges believe class rank should be given, as it offers another data point to help judge students' academic performances since the grading precision can be so unequal. But because of the lack in class ranks being provided, college admissions officers have been forced to look more closely at the student applications.

Massabesic High School was one of many schools who went away with class rank. As found on the Massabesic High School website, the school was planning on not providing class rank for the class of 2019 for a number of reasons. One was the fact that, “It eliminates worthy students from scholarship contention that are not in the set number of students chosen by Top Ten %.” Another was that using the Summa, Magma, and Cum Laude are more appropriate designations because they still recognize levels of superiority, without eliminating worthy students from the consideration of receiving scholarship awards.

In some ways however, class rank makes students work harder to get recognized as one of the top in their class, and creates a motivation-based competition. For other people, it just creates an unnecessary competition, which many people think is useless.

Recently, Massabesic has decided to completely bring back class rank. The members of the School Board, students, and parents all met on November 13, 2017, and again on November 27, 2017. Given the concern of parents and students over Merit Scholarships and admission to universities and colleges, the School Board has committed to taking immediate action on making class rank available through the Guidance Office. You can access this information to include on College Applications and when applying for scholarship awards. However, it has been changed from being used to recognize students for achievements and hard-work. “Class rank can hurt a student as much as it can help,” Mr. James Hand says. Class rank compares students with other students instead of measuring the student’s proficiency of graduation standards, as the school believes it should be. “In RSU #57, we want to recognize students for challenging themselves, taking a pathway that interests them and for meeting required proficiencies. By using the Latin Honor System, we can recognize all students that meet the proficiency criteria, without limiting it to the top 10 or top 10%.”

Most students, teachers, and parents have an opinion on whether or not class rank is crucial or useless to college admissions, and school achievements in general. How do you feel about this? Do you think that it is unnecessary and just causes a competition where everybody but one loses? Or do you think that it is important information to have in order to apply for scholarships and include in your college applications?

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Mustang Apparel Fundraiser for Class of 2021

article by : Mallory Mulrath & Riley Greenleaf
edited by : Katelyn Dearborn

Most of you all know that this past November, the Massabesic High School class of 2021 had a Mustang apparel fundraiser. But have you ever wondered why this fundraiser took place? Obviously we wouldn’t have a fundraiser for no reason. As you know, the high school classes have a class president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. The vice president and the president are the ones who do most of the planning and decision making, while the secretary usually helps with the process and setting up the different fundraisers and activities. The treasurer’s job is to count all of the money that the class makes from a fundraiser, store it, and keep it safe. There is also a student council, which is made up of 4 students. The student council members attend the meetings, and usually help with the thinking process, and the setting up of the finished plans. Each member of the class office has a very important role to play to help make our school a better community.

Before we get to the actual fundraiser, you’re probably wondering what kinds of apparel that the class of 2021 was selling. Well, there was a variety of items, colors, and styles to choose from. There was a wide variety of clothing such a t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, hoodies, vests, and sweatpants. Each of them had different styles to choose from, such as differently cut shirts for men and women, and different colors like gray, white, green, and gold. You can also customize your clothing items by getting your class printed on it. The prices of all these items usually ranged from $15 to $30. People could order as many items as they wanted from the catalog, and their orders would be delivered to them through the main office at the high school.

Here is an example of some of the apparel that was available for purchase

Clearly this event was organized to raise money, but why? We had this fundraiser to pay for things for the class of 2021. For example, they help pay for caps and gowns, yearbooks, and senior trips. All the money raised is organized by the class office. They are in charge of knowing how much money is raised and how much more we need.

So if you were wondering what these fundraisers were for, now you know. And if you couldn’t participate last time, there will be many more to come. So thank you to everyone who does take part in helping out the class of 2021!

Weighted Grades

article by : Zoe Steward & Gabriella Aubut
edited by : Katelyn Dearborn

Do you ever bother to look at those emails that Principal Hand sends at the end of the week? Why check them? They won’t affect you, right? WRONG! It may be hard to understand what is said, but what is said does affect you.

On November 15th, 2017, Principal Hand sent out an email to all of the Massabesic High School students and staff. The email was titled “Follow-up from 11.13.17 Parent Forum”. As I was skimming through the attached document, two words stuck out to me: weighted grades. As soon as I saw those two words, I was thrilled. I was even more ecstatic when I saw that it was under the “Immediate Action” section.

To most people, this may not mean anything - or they may not understand it. Heck, if it wasn’t for trading my study hall for APEX: College and Career Prep, I wouldn’t have known what it meant either. For those of you in AP (Advanced Placement), Accelerated, International Baccalaureate, or Dual Enrollment classes, this will affect you.

So many of you may be wondering what weighted grades are. Typically, our school’s GPA (Grade Point Average) scale ranges from 0 to 4.0, but weighted grades will boost the GPA of students in AP, Advanced, or Dual Enrollment courses.

Of course, this is to be excited about, because I’m in four Accelerated classes, so this was a huge opportunity to boost my GPA. It was nice to hear this, but there wasn’t much information about this at the time.

On November 22nd, Principal Hand sent out another email with four attached documents. The first attached document told us what percentage of your grade would be added to your GPA, but it only affected people taking AP courses and Accelerated Courses.

At first, I thought that that was it, but on November 29th, yet another email was sent out with five documents attached. The first one contained the percentage for a weighted GPA, but this time Dual Enrollment courses were included.

The document states that for AP Courses, you could get 10% of your grade added to your GPA, which mean you could get up to a 4.4 as your GPA in that class, and the same went for Dual Enrollment classes. Unfortunately, Accelerated classes only have the opportunity for 5% of their grade to be added to their GPA, getting them the ability to get a 4.2, but at least it’s a start.

Even if you’re not in AP, Accelerated, or Dual Enrollment courses this year, you could be next year. You should always strive to do your best, so you should consider trying to get into one of these classes in the future because now you have the chance to give yourself a chance for a higher GPA. It could even get you into a better college.

The Different Consequences for Bullying in the Middle and High School

article by Belle Cote
edited by Nick Hammond

As we all know, bullying is a thing that happens in all schools, but what we don’t know is that even in our district, there are different consequences for bullying.

At Massabesic High School, the administration treats bullying as a fight. If you are caught bullying at the high school, it is a 1-4 day out of school suspension (OSS), the students are put on a no contact contract, and they fill out a bullying report. Whereas, at the middle school, the focus is on “being proactive,” says Kelly Grantham, Assistant Principal at the middle school. She also says, “While consequences do work, we also want to create a climate where bullying is prevented before it begins.”

At Massabesic Middle School (MMS), they also have a punishment system that can be changed based on the “context, severity, location, and frequency of an issue.” So, depending on the situation, there could be more severe consequences, depending on how serious the bullying is, where it is occuring, what is being said or done, and how often it happens.

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School Lunches

article by Noelle DesVergnes
edited by Nick Hammond

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MHS cafeteria, after school
Do you like your schools lunch? The reason I ask is because 77% of 1,300 students don’t like school lunches. At every school there is a lunch policy. This is called The National School Lunch Program. This program is an assurance that kids are getting the appropriate nutrients at a fair price. However, students still complain about the food that is being served. Some of the students here love the food and all of their choices, but others don’t. I’ll be explaining both sides of these opinions.
I’ve heard multiple statements where students have drank expired milk and gotten sick from it. A student at MHS, Teneyce Neadu, said, “I didn’t realize it was spoiled till I drank it and got sick.” Students believe that eating school lunches every day isn’t healthy and that it should be 100% better. The portions that we are given is not big enough to fill us, especially for athletes and bigger kids. There isn’t any point in exercising if right after we eat junk food.
Although some kids believe that these school lunches are unhealthy and unappetizing others love the amount of choices they get and the food. Students love the choice of ice-cream and a chicken patty. Younger students don’t understand what they need to be healthy, so when they have a choice of ice-cream and pizza they attack it. Also, they don't realize the extra price they are paying for that ice-cream cone. They believe that the price is cheap enough for what they are being served, but what they don’t understand is that this food is frozen until it gets microwaved and the food that they serve is made in factories. Also, there are state and federal requirements that indicate how many calories a school has to offer, which makes it hard to offer only healthy options, provide the required number of calories, and still be affordable to the school and students.
In conclusion, whether you're 8 or 18, everyone needs to understand what type of food your school is selling to you. We are there 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, for 10 months, we need a healthy lifestyle for everyone.

Choral Caroling at Sweet Frog

article by Izabella Caruolo
edited by Nick Hammond

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Massabesic High School Choral Department Logo

The MHS Choral Department is Caroling at

Sweet Frog

~A Special Thanks to Ms. Heather Guilfoyle and Madison Richards~

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It's finally that time of year, where people are putting their Christmas tree up, making a Christmas list, drinking eggnog, shopping, or watching classic Christmas movies, but one thing that many people forgot about is caroling. If you don’t know what caroling is, it's when a group of people sing Christmas songs. What carolers do is they go door to door in a neighborhood and ask if they’ll donate to their cause and in return they will sing for them.
This year the MHS choir gets to carol at the frozen yogurt store called Sweet Frog, it was optional for the members of the chorus and chamber singers. They will be performing at Sweet Frog in Biddeford on December 15th from 6 to 7pm. The President for the Chorus and Chamber Singers, Madison Richards, has been planning the practices, also she is the one who found this event on Facebook.  The director of the school's choral department, Ms. Heather Guilfoyle, has been teaching the choral group the Christmas carols that will be performed and making sure everyone is ready to sing their hearts out.
I had asked the director Ms. Heather Guilfoyle and the President, Madison, a few questions on this performance. “Why are we caroling at Sweet Frog?” Madison's response was, “It is a great opportunity for the choral department to get some visibility throughout the community. We love to spread our music with as many people as we can. We can do this by caroling for the customers at Sweet Frog, but also to give them an idea of our abilities, and encourage them to come to our concerts in the future.  It is also a fundraiser for us, so from 6-7, the people that come in and buy some delicious fro-yo, a percentage of the proceeds go back to the choral department.” ~Madison Richards
  When asked, “What is Challenging about Caroling?” Madison also answered, “Often times, carols are already known by the students, making it harder for harmony parts to breakaway from the melody!  The melody is so well known, that it is almost too easy, and too tempting to revert back to it!” ~Madison Richards
Ms. Heather Guilfoyle had responded to, “How does Caroling Improve the Chorus” by saying, “Caroling is always a fun bonding activity for singers. It’s a great way to spread camaraderie among all those involved. Groups that know each other always work better together so, the more activities they do together the better! It also gives some students an opportunity to sing parts they don't always sing and to practice singing harmonies to well known tunes.” ~Ms. Heather Guilfoyle
They will be singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Angels We Have Heard on High, Silent Night and many more! This event is hosted by Sweet Frog, they’re having a competition for their holiday video with the feature song We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Different choirs in the area can book a date to carol and 25% of the sales will go to their choral department. Sweet Frog will then choose the performance by the choir they want to be in their holiday video. MHS hope that our choir is chosen for the Holiday Video!

       The Carolers are……    

  • Madison Richards
  • Hannah Jordan
  • Emma Masse
  • Anastasia Vermette
  • Izabella Caruolo
  • Lauren Weko
  • Zolyia Nedzbala
  • Olivia Gerry
  • Amie Giles
  • Amy Burke
  • Isaiah Binimou
  • Jared Walberg
  • Nick Verrill
  • Benjamin Levesque
  • Hayden Peters
  • Emily Jane Malloy
  • Kassidy Watson
  • Rebecca McClurken
  • Rachael Raymond

The Remodeled Hannaford

article by Andrew Lawpaugh
edited by Nick Hammond

You thought Hannaford was good enough? All over Maine, Hannafords have been getting remodeled, and the Waterboro Hannaford's remodeling has just been completed! Hannaford now has new checkout aisles as well as self checkouts. All the checkouts are longer, and brand new. Not only did the Hannaford in Waterboro get remodeled, but other Hannafords in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and other states have their Hannaford’s remodeled.
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Hannaford’s new Self Checkouts.
Hannaford started in the early 1900’s, in Portland, Maine. From then to now, it has changed a lot. Unfortunately, remodels are costly, and they take up time to build. The new remodel has a customer service spot for any issues that take place. “I like the new remodel, but I miss the old model because the self checkouts are irritating,” says Natalie Lawpaugh, a customer at the Waterboro Hannaford. Most self-service checkouts can be irritating for customers due to the scales that measure the food are off. Some food items are too light for the scales to notice and you can easily mess it up. However, the inclusion of self checkouts allow for speedier lines to help with volume, even if they take a little getting used to. 
To wrap it up, the new remodel is definitely better, because of the longer aisles, a customer service spot, and self-service checkouts to minimize long line waiting. Go see the new remodel in the Waterboro Hannaford’s if you haven’t!
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The outside of the Waterboro Hannaford’s during the night.

Annual Holiday Craft Fair

article by Elizabeth Marston
edited by Nick Hammond

Every year, since 2000, Massabesic holds a holiday craft fair, normally hosted at the Massabesic High School, but this year of 2017, it was held at the Waterboro Elementary School.
This was the invite spread all around Facebook to remind others about the fair

The Holiday Craft Fair has always been a great event for people to sell their crafts and spend some time looking around at all of the creative things others construct. You can find things from sock puppets to scented candles to bottle openers, each one creatively homemade.
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A booth set up by LulaRoe at the Massabesic High School (2016)

Two years ago, they set up a big jump house in the back of the gymnasium for the children to enjoy. The front of the gym was filled with booths people had paid for in order to set up their table and sell their items. In the back, they had the jump house and mats set up for karate demonstrations where children and their instructor performed what they had learned in front of large crowds. Massabesic always holds such fun, interesting events for people to enjoy themselves at!

There were so many creative crafts being sold at the fair, it is always a great chance for entrepreneurs to get their business out there, and spread it through word of mouth and business cards. Things like variety of sauces, candles shaped into creative forms such as beverages or even cupcakes, wood carvings freshly polished and perfected, a variety of crafts that the elementary students had made and were being sold at the fair for their families to take or even other families who like them, even bottle openers shaped into unique shapes were being sold, and they had fun events and activities such as face painting and cookie decorating, even craft making spots! So next year, don’t miss the fun, and go enjoy the Massabesic Craft Fair!

Open Gym

article by Erin Partridge and Natalie Winters
edited by Addy Brandt

Do you like to play active, exciting games with a large group of people? Then open gym is for you! Open gym is a fun activity that takes place after school, located at the West building gym.  They have many things to do, such as soccer, basketball, and many other sports. The majority of the time basketball is played during the two hours available. While they do end up switching it up and playing other games or sports, however, during indoor sports, such volleyball and cheerleading, open gym is not available.
     Anybody can go to open gym, and there are never too many people! Now you may be wondering how to sign up.  Well, you don’t have to! You simply just show up, and you are ready to go. Unfortunately, you will have to wait to check out open gym until after winter sports! But no worries, because you won’t have to wait long to go and hang out with your friends after school. Even if you don't know anybody at open gym, it's a perfect opportunity to make new friends.
We interviewed some people that go regularly to open gym, The first question we asked them was what type of games do they play? The common answer was, “Whatever you want to play.” The next question we asked was what days of the week was open gym? They said, “Every day besides Friday.” Next we asked what was their favorite thing about open gym? They answered “making new friends.” You’re able to do whatever you would like in open gym while making new friends. Right now open gym has ended but definitely should be back when there is no more indoor sports.
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In conclusion, open gym is a way to have fun while meeting new people you never thought you could be friends with. You can do any activity you want, people mostly play basketball. You won’t need to worry about rides either, the late bus will take you home! When open gym opens back up give it a try, meet new people, and most importantly, have fun!

Game Club

article by Lauren Weko
edited by Addy Brandt

What is game club? If your interests include playing lively games with a huge group of friends, you should keep reading.  Game club might be the thing for you!
Game club is held in the library, and is the place for you if you want to hang out with friends, or make friends and love playing all different types of games. The things you do in game club are, well, obviously play games. What types if games?  This is a good question.  The games that are played at Game Club include Smash Bros, Guitar Heroes, Yug-i-oh, different board games, Magic the Gathering, and others found on the laptops and the school computers. Other things you can do in Game Club are work on your school work or homework, and watch YouTube. Everyone always has something to do, and this club also helps people practice taking turns and keeping a low voice.  Game Club was started and is run by Mrs. Pennel and anywhere between 25  and 50 people will attend depending on the day. Game club doesn't cost anything except fun, and staying safe. Probably the hardest thing to do in game club is stay quiet as there are so many people and competitive, fun games. The games are school appropriate and fun. Check it out some time sometime any Tuesday after school. Don't worry, you'll get a late bus pass!

Massabesic Basketball

article by Izzy Hurlburt and Anna Snyder
edited by Addy Brandt
    “As a team, our goal is to work together as a team, and a least go to states, or even further!” explains Marissa Holt, freshman Varsity player. One of the biggest sports in Massabesic high school is basketball. Every year around Christmas, a highly competitive basketball team is formed. This year the teams have been made and are ready to battle. The boys have Varsity, Junior Varsity, and First team. While the girls only had enough competitors for a Varsity and JV team. Last year the girl's Varsity coach was Ian Ryan.  He has been replaced this year by a new coach, Chris Aube. The JV squad also got a new coach, his name is Andrew Grey. The boys, on the other hand, have the same Varsity coach that they have had for quite some time. This coach’s name is Chris Binette. Both programs have been run well for many years. 
In 2015, the boys Varsity were Southern Maine champions and sadly lost in the championships. After that year they lost many seniors that impacted the way that those games turned out. Last season we did not do very well. Isac DeVergnes stayed strong and held the team together. This year with two new freshmen on the team, we hope for different results. The girls, on the other hand, have always been just an average team all around. They have won some and lost some games. But maybe this year it could be different. Marissa Holt was the only freshman that made Varsity this year for the girls. For the boys, Jack St. Laurent and Trevor Beals were the freshmen that made Varsity. Both teams have players with injuries. Could this affect how they play? Nick Amabile and Skylar Renaud both are very talented players that could affect the team. 
Let's see what the freshman think of the plans for this year. We talked to the freshman named Marissa Holt, who made the girls basketball team this year. She states, “I believe our coach this year has good intentions and he knows what he is doing. Our team is pretty athletic as a unit and can hold our ground against other teams. My teammates are very supportive, hard-working,
and we all get along well.”

Last girls Varsity summer league game vs The Raiders out of Ireland, on July 29, 2017.

There have been many ways and opportunities for players at Massabesic to improve. After the fall season sports are over, the gym opens up for students to use. This usually lasts for a few weeks until basketball starts. There are also travel teams available nearby that take place year round. The most common are Stallions, which is a Massabesic team, and XL Thunder. The boy's team usually picks one of these travel teams and they play together off season to get more practice and team dynamic. Let’s hope the Massabesic girls and boys basketball team finish this season strong and proud.

Massabesic High School basketball Coach Chris Binette watches over practice Thursday, Dec. 17, of last year.