Monday, November 23, 2015

Quarterly exams brings even more stress to the end of the quarter

Bailey Hendricks
Features Editor

The first marking period has made its way to the end. As usual the end of the marking period brings a cram of tests, homework, and projects. Students tirelessly work to make sure they get everything in on time and make sure their grades are up to their standards. However, this year things are changing. The introduction of the Quarterly Exams, brought a new look to the marking period’s end.
The Quarterly Exams have been introduced in efforts to create less stress for students around the midterm and final exams. Rather than two exams worth 10% of your final grade, four smaller tests will be administered after each marking period each worth 5% of your final grade. While the idea seems optimistic, not all students feel the same.
Junior Elizabeth Both says she does not  “personally like the quarterlies, but it gives you more of a chance to rise up from a bad grade unlike the midterm and finals format.” The new format, being worth only five percent of your grade, gives you a better chance to recover from a bad grade on one of the four exams. Senior Hannah Mui says, “ I think the quarterlies are not good for seniors especially with sending mid year grades to colleges, the tests can bring down the student’s overall grades. It is also a new format to get used to at the very end of our high school career.”

While the students understand the logic behind the testing, it is still difficult to add in even more tests in an already stressful time. The last week of the quarter is stressful enough and with some student taking more than four or five tests in that week it becomes even more stressful. The idea of smaller tests is helpful, but when administered during a regular school week when the workloads from other classes remain the same, it is hard to balance homework with studying and other extracurricular and out of school activities. The Quarterly exams will still add up to 20% of your final grade for each class, so many students are still feeling the same pressure to perform at their best.

Friday, November 6, 2015

The secret behind overtesting students

Jackie Gouris
Arts & Entertainment Editor

As of the 2015-2016 school year, a drastic change has taken place that will affect all students. The addition of quarterly tests will revamp cumulative tests, like midterms and finals. The idea behind quarterlies is to de-emphasize the anxiety around the weight of midterms and finals by splitting up the material and points, says the Dean of Students, Mr. Cook.
He is the man behind this initiative, believing that by having more frequent, smaller summative tests will take some stress out of the process. Still, Mr. Cook thinks that students today are over tested. “There is no magic bullet. People want to know how the students are doing, and this is the best way to do it right now,” Mr. Cook says. President Obama’s administration is saying that today’s students are being over tested, and calling for a reduction in testing.
This year’s graduates, the class of 2016, are the first class to have gone through 1-12 under the No Child Left Behind Act. After twelve years under these regulations, there is now an opposing push to de-emphasize testing. These two new initiatives are contradictory and confusing for students being pulled in all different directions. Instead of looking at arbitrary data that may not be applicable or legislation from people who are far removed from the school system, perhaps educators should look to the people who matter in this situation for answers: the students. Hopefully, all of these changes will be for the better, but in the meantime, students will continue to do what they do best: test.

IPhone 6s amazes Apple users

Heather Borochaner & Joseph Giunta
Staff Writers

 Apple never fails to amaze its customers by showing off what technology can do. Every year, they reveal many new products such as the new iMac, iPad Pro (with a keyboard and Apple Pencil), new designs for the Apple Watch, and the most anticipated of them all, the brand new iPhone 6s/6s Plus, featuring the brand new color, Rose Gold, a brand new iSight 12mp (megapixel) camera that’s capable of shooting 4K video recordings, a brand new 5 mp camera, a new 3D touch, faster LTE speeds, and best of all, the phones don’t start to bend after long exposure to your pockets.
 When I first got the iPhone 6s Plus on the day it was released, I was shocked at how fast it was, including speed improvements on the touch ID compared to the iPhone 6 Plus. The touch ID was 10 times faster! The 3D touch was a very unique feature to have on a phone. It was actually sensing how hard you pressed! The only downfall is that since the iPhone just got released, the developers for all the apps didn’t update their apps to support 3D touch. The new 12 MP camera isn’t that different compared to the previous model, although it does show more detail in the photo and is way more vivid. The camera is also amazing at taking close up photos. The new camera also takes Live Photos which is a new feature only on the Iphone 6s and 6s Plus. If you have it activated it will take a regular photo but when you use 3D touch and press harder on the photo it will show about a 2 second video, 1 second before and 1 second after the photo is taken. The front facing camera is where there is a huge difference. The front facing camera went from 1.2 Megapixels to 5 Megapixels. There is a lot more detail in the photo and the quality is so amazing! When I go on the internet the speed is really fast, everything loads a lot faster.
 When I first opened the phone at the store, I noticed that the phone was a noticeably thicker, also it was also a little heavier. When I felt it in my hand it felt more solid than the previous model. A huge issue I have with this phone is that the battery life isn’t that good compared to the previous model. While the previous model lasted me about a whole day and I still had about 20% extra battery. With the current model I have to charge a couple hours before I go to bed, which is still pretty good because I do use it all day long.

 In conclusion, the iPhone 6s has many amazing features that continue to improve the experience of modern technology, and the downsides of the phone are heavily overshadowed by the positives.