Tag: The Wingspan

One-on-One with Editor-in-Chief: Piper Berry 2019-20

Video by: Julia Stitely

As the year comes to a close, Delanie Tucker, the next Editor-in-Chief of the Wingspan, interviews Piper Berry over Zoom about her experience as Editor-in-Chief during the 2019-20 school year.

Click here to view the video!

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For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Senior Spotlight

The Wingspan is proud to present a new page on our website, CHS Senior Athletes in the Spotlight: Spring 2020! This page features the senior varsity athletes who were unable to play in their respective spring sports due to the COVID-19 shutdown of high school athletic events.

We offer a huge shout out and thank you to Ms. Prevosto for working hard in gathering the spotlight info and then sharing it with the Centennial Community.

The Wingspan presents the information she has gathered in a video spotlight to share and serve as an archival document, celebrating our senior spring varsity athletes. Although you were denied the opportunity to shine on the field, we will always recognize you for the contributions you have made over the years as Eagle athletes. We are proud of you, and we wish you the best in your future endeavors, both on and off the field.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Teens in Essential Work

Words: Ellie Zoller-Gritz

Photos Contributed By: Julia Stitely, Noorie Kazmi and Kheira Tuck

Every rule comes with an exception. During a nationwide time of panic, there has been a select group of people who have continued to work, despite stay at home orders. These essential workers are allowed to continue at their jobs if their line of work is deemed necessary enough. However, many of these essential workers are teenagers.

As an essential worker, a teen could work at a restaurant open for delivery or takeout, a gas station, retirement home, or any other business that remains open. 

Lutheran Village at Miller’s Grant is a retirement home in Ellicott City, one that employs several Centennial High School students. These employees are considered health care workers, and are tasked with protecting the residents of Miller’s Grant from COVID-19. It is vital that they are very careful to not come in contact with anyone who could be carrying the virus, as the elders they work around would be extremely high-risk if they were to contract it.

To further ensure the safety of the residents, the staff is required to get temperature checks upon arrival at work, to wear masks during shifts, to fill out a mandatory questionnaire, and to practice basic procedures like social distancing and hand washing.

Since their working conditions have changed, teenagers now have the responsibility of being the frontline of defense against the virus, while also balancing distance learning and their own personal health.

The staff’s jobs have changed from serving in dining halls to delivering food and groceries to residents at their homes and apartments. They are also doing activities such as noodle ball, painting, trivia, games, and more with the assisted living and health care unit. The residents in these units are not allowed to have visitors until further notice.

Kheira Tuck, a senior at Wilde Lake, has been working at Miller’s Grant in these trying times. 

“[Residents] cherish every single interaction they have,” said Tuck. Even though the residents must stay six feet away, they still enjoy seeing other residents and staff from their balconies and when they pass by their apartments.

Teenagers who work at grocery stores are also powering through the stress that COVID-19 has brought with bulk buying and overstocking.

“In the morning, the store is usually crowded with people stocking up on whatever had been announced online to be scarce the day before,” explained Mia Zara Bridges, a senior at Centennial who works at sprouts.

Although some people are understanding towards the employees, she still wants customers to realize that she doesn’t have control over supply amounts, and becoming frustrated will not solve the problem. 

Despite the need for these essential workers, some teenagers have been pulled from work by parents, due to school and other reasons. By staying home, these teenagers are still doing their part to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

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For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

How COVID-19 Has Affected the NCAA Recruitment Process

Words: Jeramy Stavlas

Through the midst of the pandemic that is sweeping over our country, high school athletes across the nation are worried about their futures in their respective sport. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, otherwise known as the NCAA, has taken many precautions to ensure the safety of athletes while doing what they can to continue the recruiting process.

The NCAA Division I and Division II programs are halting all in-person recruiting activity until May 31 in what they are referring to as a “dead period.” The Division III program will extend their “dead period” through June 15. However, recruits may still be contacted through video-chats and calls for all three divisions.

Another year of eligibility will be granted to NCAA spring-season athletes but not for winter sports, as the majority of their season was wrapped up before the COVID-19 outbreak. The extra year of eligibility will affect athletes in sports such as baseball, softball, lacrosse, golf, track and field, tennis, rowing, men’s volleyball, and women’s water polo.

These changes are very hard for high school spring-season athletes, as the extra year of eligibility for the college athletes can affect the recruitment of the incoming class of ‘24. As many of the seniors are returning for another year, the class of ‘24 may not have as many available spots. However, coaches and teams across the country are looking to give out more scholarships this year to make up for as much of the problem as they can. This may not guarantee that there will be a typical number of available spots on teams, but it will be increased from previous years.

Centennial senior Zack Steen, who is committed to Bloomsburg University to play baseball, believes that this change could end up benefiting younger athletes.

“I think the extra eligibility for seniors will definitely make it tougher, but in the end I feel like it’s best for me, because it’ll make me work harder to earn playing time,” expressed Steen. 

The loss in revenue from this lost spring sports season may cause complications for teams looking to give out extra scholarships next season. There is a possibility that some smaller sports programs may have to be cut, and some programs will be forced to give out fewer scholarships than usual, which could result in more walk-ons and smaller roster sizes.  

As far as it goes for high school athletes, the best way students can secure a spot on the team would be to keep in contact with the coaching staff, keep their grades up through online schooling, and of course, stay healthy.

“I have been keeping in touch with the coach on what I can do to keep preparing for next year,” stated Olivia Reese, a Centennial senior committed to Shepherd University for softball.

One thing that’s not being affected by the virus is the players’ motivation to work hard towards their respective sports. “I actually want to play more than ever,” explained Steen, motivated for next year’s season.

For updates on how the NCAA will manage through the COVID-19 breakout, visit their website at ncaa.org. They also post frequent updates on their Twitter, @NCAA.

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For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

HCPSS School Facilities Close for the Remainder of the School Year

Words: Sarah Paz

On Wednesday, May 6th, State Superintendent of School Karen Salmon announced that all Maryland school facilities will be closed for the remainder of the school year.

In an online letter, Superintendent Michael Martirano announced that the Howard County Public School System will subsequently be closed.

Though the end of the virtual school year is yet to be decided, the last day of school for seniors will remain May 20.

Phase 3 of the HCPSS Continuity of Learning program will continue until the end of the school year. Though all its school facilities are closed, HCPSS will continue to work remotely, and will persevere in developing better distance learning models with the input of teachers. 

Howard County is also developing plans for “Recovery of Learning” for the reopening of schools in the fall. It is currently waiting for the guidance of the Maryland State Department of Education guidelines for these plans as well as plans about summer school programs. 

Food distribution centers will remain open until the end of the school year. 

Martirano encourages everyone to remain safe and patient while waiting for further announcements. 

For more information regarding school closings, please click here.

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For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan

Chromebook Distribution in Howard County

Words: Sasha Allen

Photo: Adithi Soogoor

Online learning is difficult for everyone, but for students and staff across the county who do not have access to a device at home, it is nearly impossible. In order to give everyone the same opportunity to participate in online classes, the Howard County Public School System constructed a plan that would allow them to provide those in need with Chromebooks.

The county collected data regarding how many HCPSS students and staff would need provided technology through an online survey that was sent to all students and parents in the county.

On Wednesday, April 8, there were technology pick-up stations for highschoolers at numerous schools throughout the county, including Centennial High School. All of the social distancing guidelines were followed, and everyone was required to stand 6 feet apart.

Despite these precautions, the pick-up stations presented health concerns in regard to COVID-19. For the elementary and middle schoolers who still need Chromebooks, the distribution process was modified.

“To better enforce social distancing and safeguard the health of staff, students, and families, HCPSS will ship all technology devices through FedEx directly to the students who need to borrow them,” stated the HCPSS website. 

The same process will now be used for staff members who may need access to technology. Although the process is safer, it is taking more time to deliver the computers. According to HCPSS, the delay is caused by the number of requests as well as backlog through FedEx. 

By giving all students access to technology, HCPSS is trying to continue learning for everyone across the county as they are stuck inside their homes. 

For more information on technology distribution, visit hcpss.org.

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For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Art Students Stuck in Quarantine

Words: Natalie Keane

Centennial students have been out of school since March 13, and the coronavirus quarantine is still in full effect. Art students at Centennial, amidst the confusion and concern, are now tasked with creating their art exclusively from home, with no access to the materials or resources provided in the classroom. 

For some of these students, this disruption of their normal lives is difficult, because they lose the daily structure and human interaction that provides motivation for them to complete work. But for others, the lack of obligations during the day allows them to fully focus on their artwork, unlike their previous schedules at school.

Maria Daly, a junior in Art 3, says that they have continued to make art throughout the quarantine. These days, despite all the uncertainty, it comes easier to them.

“I’ve definitely had more motivation to do art since quarantine started,” they explained. “It sounds weird, but I think it’s because I don’t have the pressure of having to fit ‘good’ art into my schedule between afterschool clubs, homework, and just general life, whereas now I don’t have 80 [percent] of those things to make me feel pressured in that way.”

Most of Daly’s pieces over the past few weeks have been quarantine-inspired. Their inspiration for their work largely comes from the people they connect with, and since they haven’t seen anyone for the past few weeks outside of their family, they’ve been creating more self-portraits.

“I haven’t really seen very many other people, and a lot of my mood has been impacted by that as well,” they expressed.

Mia Bridges, a senior in Art 3, says that she, too, has been able to create more art now that she is out of school.

“It’s come easier to me [because] I know I have lots of free time,” Bridges said. “Since I’m not bound by school art assignments, I can do pretty much whatever I want.” 

The shut-down has moved her to start taking inspiration from social media and artists she finds online. With less material to draw from in the real world, the internet is the next best thing.

“I’ve been taking inspiration from the artists I follow on social media… people I see on Instagram that wear really cool clothes and have fun hairstyles,” explained Bridges. “When I see people like that it inspires me to want to paint portraits of them, or just sketch them.”

Gabby Cherry, a senior in Art 4, unlike Daly and Bridges, finds that it became more difficult to make art after the quarantine began.

“I would say that my motivation to make art has decreased significantly, but I’m starting to slowly get back into creating by working on smaller projects and sketchbook pages,” she said. 

Cherry is in the highest level of AP art, which requires her to produce much more work for her portfolio. “I put a lot of pressure on myself this year to make larger works for my portfolio and shows, and it kind of took some of the fun out of creating,” she stated. “I feel like it’s important to use [other artist’s] work as a source of inspiration, rather than a way to put myself down.” 

Despite the uncertainty, Daly believes that people will continue to find ways to make art, even if it’s not in the same way as before.

“I feel like a lot of people’s art will reflect the isolation we’re all feeling at this time, and I feel like this will change what art people will be making for a while.”

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For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Online Education’s Grading System

Words: Hoang-Phi Quy

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Howard County Public School System has resorted to online classes which started on April 14, 2020. According to the HCPSS Website, the Continuity of Learning program is focused on “delivering learning objectives in a variety of ways” to the students in Howard County. 

Weekly assignments are made accessible by 9:00am every Monday via Modules on Canvas. Students are then responsible for completing these assignments in a timely manner and turning them in by 10:00am that Friday. 

To make things easier for students during this difficult time, HCPSS has created a new grading system for the Continuity of Learning program. To receive an A in quarter four, students are required to finish and turn in at least 50% of their assignments. 

If students fail to complete 50% of the work, they will be given the opportunity to finish the work over the summer in order to receive a passing grade. HCPSS has also announced that there will be no end of year exams due to the difficult learning environment and the possibility of academic dishonesty.

There are many different opinions on the temporary grading system. 

“I like the current grading system HCPSS has implemented,” expressed Jason Chen, a junior at Centennial. “[It] takes a lot of pressure off [my] shoulders.” 

However, Junior Michael He has a different view regarding the new arrangement. “The current system does not validate other student’s honesty,” He said. “I am not a fan because [it] encourages students to cheat.”

For more information on HCPSS’ Continuity of Learning Program, please visit hcpss.org

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For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

 

2020 Graduation to be Held Online

Words: Jeramy Stavlas

The Howard County Public School System has announced a plan for a virtual graduation to be held between Monday, June 1 and Tuesday, June 9. Seniors will finish their online schooling on Wednesday, May 20, approximately three weeks before the online graduation is expected to be held.

“I was looking forward to having that end of the year celebration and closure surrounded by all my friends and family, but given the circumstances, I understand why that’s not possible,” said Centennial senior Jake Muma through a text interview.

County officials have also announced that they plan to gather the seniors together one more time before they leave for college, once the COVID-19 outbreak is under control. 

“I know a lot of us want to say our final goodbyes,” said Ellie Zoller-Gritz, another senior at Centennial.

HCPSS also plans to order and put up yard signs across the county to honor this year’s graduating class. Centennial High School has already put up signs of their own around the community.

“Virtual graduation will definitely be a memory I’ll never forget,” expressed Muma. “I think when I look back on virtual graduation, it’ll just remind me of how crazy and surreal the current situation really is.”

For more updates and information, visit news.hcpss.org.

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For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan