‘Star Wars’ Roleplaying Club encourages creativity

The Star War Roleplaying Club began when a few members of the board game club expressed interest in role playing by itself.

Thomas Hering became the adviser partially due to enjoying role play himself.

However, it was also to “honor” the fact that it can be played in “academic environment where one might expect others to look down on it, but generally… they’re more intrigued and excited, even if they’re not able to make that courageous jump [to play] themselves.”

“With a board game, you have very specific rules in that you roll a dice and then you move a certain amount of spaces; you don’t get a lot of creativity,” said Rebecca Kovatch, a member of the club. “But in this kind of game… [the narrator] gives you the basis of the story. He’ll [say], ‘you’re in this area of a town and your task is this.’ The rest of it is up to you as a team.”

This club can be for anyone that enjoys games, star wars, or creating stories. Kovatch describes it as “creative, strategic, and fun.

“Part of role playing is a way for us to find courage and humility and humanity that we don’t always possess in our real lives, but then we can carry that outside the game,” Hering said.

The Star Wars Role Play Club meets every other Tuesday in Hering’s room. Anyone that is interested is welcome to join.

Horseback riding makes strides forward: Riding horses helps kids in therapeutic need

Horses have helped humans conquer vast lands, travel millions of miles, make a living and now to heal. Their strength and loyalty have been noted for hundreds of years, and now it’s being used for those in need.

Recently, a new therapeutic horseback riding barn opened in Delaware. Stockhands Horses for Healing is a non-profit organiza- tion founded by Tim Funk and Lisa Benton to provide horse-facilitated therapeutic help.

Horses for Healing offers help to children and adults and veterans with various disabilities through their therapy horses. The barn also provides boarding and horseback riding lessons to the public.

“We have a pretty wide range that we are looking to reach to,” said Cathy Smedley, Program Direc- tor of Horses for Healing. “We’re not only looking for [disabled] kids, but we’re also looking to try and reach out to the veterans and their families to get them involved with horses as well.”

This developed area of therapy gives riders a discovered sense of self-esteem, control and calmness around the animal. Riding a horse gives an individual a feeling of pride and understanding, placing their developmental or mental disability in the back of their mind.

“I have seen students go from being completely terrified when they are on top of the horse to being super confident,” Smedley said. “It translates to them being confident at home and in school.”

Therapeutic riding not only of- fers students a chance to improve their riding skills, but also a bond with the horse. Horses are noted for their loyalty and lack of judgement, giving riders a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

“All week long, he wants to ride Lacey!” said Erin Maggard, mother of a Horses for Healing student. “It’s good, I don’t want him to see this as ‘Oh no, on Sunday I have to go to therapy’. He thinks it’s fun; it’s rewarding for him.”

The idea that one individual could control such a giant creature gives students a sense of companionship and teamwork necessary for the rest of their lives.

“I think seeing the kids’ reac- tions with their horse and how it changes is probably one of the best parts of the job,” Smedley said. “I’ve seen kids that don’t really connect well with people and they connect so much with the horse.

“Therapeutic programs are opening nationwide and adopting this area of service. The unique rhythm of a moving horse has proven to resemble the human movement of walking, providing riders a sharpened sense of coordi- nation, balance and core strength, powerful skills for students.

“I have had a lot of students where their core strength gets so much better,” Smedley said. “They start off [kind of] as a wet noodle and they end up getting really great core strength. The confidence and self-esteem they get [through it] is incredible.”

“I can definitely also see him building core strength,” Maggard said. “When we first got here, he could barely sit up straight on [the horse].”

Horseback riding requires aspects such as awareness and re- sponsibility to control the one-ton animal beneath the rider. This form of therapy targets that in its riders and presents a perfect opportunity to improve students.

“Behavior-wise, he’s not really open to listening to strangers,” Maggard said. “But him seeing the others doing it, he just did it…he’s interacting with peers which is a big difference.”

Stockhands Horses for Healing targets these aspects in their lessons, whether private or with others, and volunteers are necessary for them to continue.

Whether doing simple barn work or leading and se- curing the rider and horse, volunteers are in need for the program.

“It’s hard to get volunteers because of timing,” Smedley said. “People don’t understand what we do and we definitely need as many volunteers as we can get so that we can really try and reach out to more kids and do better.”

If interested in helping out or in lessons with Stockhands Horses for Healing, visit www.stockhands- horsesforhealing. org or contact Executive Director Lisa Benton at (614) 318-5781.

“With the people that founded this place and everybody that works here, I think everyone’s heart is so much in this and they really want this place to do better…that really makes a difference when there are people that are passionate about it,” Smedley said

Music videos surprise viewers

Music videos like “Blank Space,” “Wrecking Ball,” “Anaconda,” and more seem to cause controversy and discussion over what’s appropriate to put in a video and what’s not.

Nudity appears to grab a lot of the media’s attention no matter when it’s used. When Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” video came out, the internet exploded with com- ments and posts either bashing or praising the twenty-two year old.

“I think that it is inappropriate to be nude in a music video that is public for everyone to see,” sophomore Lauren Ken- ney said. “And people say it ‘symbolizes’ her feelings being stripped away, but Miley could have made a video where she wasn’t swinging from a wrecking ball naked.”

Others think that it’s Cyrus’s decision to approve of what the video’s content is, and that it’s actually an acceptable thing that people are comfortable enough to show their skin.

“It’s sort of empowering to see her be- ing able to be naked in front of the nation,” freshman Griffin Clark said. “I feel that she is strong for women’s rights and self expres- sion, and I feel that she didn’t abuse that with anything that was inappropriate.”

Cyrus isn’t the only one who’s made a controversial video. Both Nicki Minaj’s “Ana- conda” music video and “Only” lyric video stirred up emotions when released.

In “Anaconda,” Minaj can be found twerking, partially clothed, rubbing whipped cream and bananas on herself, and dancing on other people.

“In almost every single one of her videos her butt is showing, so you kind of have to expect it,” sophomore Natasha Walker said. “It’s very inappropriate, but it goes with the song.”

It seems that most people agree with the fact that since it’s her song and video, certain things are expected. But while some think that it’s just Minaj being herself, others believe that she’s showing how confident she is about herself.

“I’m not going to lie, I was taken aback at first at how much Nicki shows and how much she sexualized herself.,” Clark said. “But I think sexualizing yourself, as long as it’s done by your own hand, it is very em- powering, and she just exudes confidence.”

Minaj’s “Only” lyric video might not be an actual music video, but it was still able to cause issues and arguments. Through different symbols and actions, many viewers have said it resembles Nazi Germany and compares Minaj to Hitler.

“It’s a very touchy topic. It doesn’t mat- ter if she was trying to symbolize that she is the ‘leader of the rap game,’” Walker said. “She could have symbolized it in a different way.”

It appears that the main argument is how people believe artists should be dressed in their videos. Some people are too critical because they base their opinion on their overall view on the artist, and oth- ers just aren’t critical enough. There’s no one answer, and there will never be a music video that pleases everyone.

Gay Straight Alliance organizes equality

Abbey Jones • Event Coordinator

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgen- der (LGBT) community at Hayes is alive and thriving. This year, the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) has been working hard to promote equality in the building.

According to Nobullying.com, the Human Rights Campaign found that LGBT youth are twice as likely to report physical assaults, including at school. 26 percent say their biggest problem is fear of being open about their sexuality. It is clear that students who are not straight are more likely to be bullied, something the Hayes GSA has been trying to prevent.

“This year’s group of kids are very energet- ic and very passionate, and that’s very refresh- ing,” said Ariel Uppstrom, a GSA adviser and English teacher.

Uppstrom said that the club was started before she arrived, when students came to a guidance counselor wanting a safe place for LGBT teens to meet. Uppstrom also mentioned that GSAs all over the nation must be started by students that also have a teacher sponsor.

“Surveys have said that students and chil- dren get bullied because they are perceived to be LGBT, not necessarily because they are, and I think we put a lot of labels on people instead of just looking at them for who they are,” Uppstrom said.

“There’s still so much work to do, even though our GSA has come a huge way in our school in making a safer place,” Uppstrom said. One overall goal for the GSA is being able to make Hayes a safer and more open place for LGBT youth.

“I’m glad I’m blessed with the confidence and the friends to be able to express myself freely throughout everyday life,” said junior Luke Lucas.

Lucas is one student who ar is able to express his sexuality freely in school, but some students aren’t able to do so. He and the rest of the GSA know that some students don’t have the support that someone needs to come out to their friends or family.

Recently, the GSA and other LGBT support- ers have been working on making it known that lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgen- ders are not the only people on the gay spectrum.

Uppstrom says that transgender equality is the next big step that equality fighters need to take, explaining how the English language is very restrictive to male and female pronouns.

There are more sexual orientations than the four highlighted in the ‘LGBT’ acronym, but they are not as widely rep- resented due to the fact that smaller sections of sexualities are not as well known as the four well publicized gay identities.

For reference, ‘gay’ is an umbrella term that includes everyone on the homosexual, but it also refers to gay men. A lesbian is a woman who is only attracted to women. Bisexuality is when a person who is attracted to both the opposite gender, as well as their same gender.

Someone who is transgender identifies as the opposite sex of which they were born to, whether they undergo physical treatment to change their sex or not.

Some of the the smaller sections of sexuality in addition to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders include asexual and pansexual.

An asexual is someone who identifies as not having a sexual attraction, or does not become sexu- ally attracted to someone until they have a personal connection with them. A pansexual is someone who is attracted to all genders, and pan- sexuality includes being attracted to transgendered people or who do not identify with a gender.

Finally, the term ‘non-binary’ includes those who do not identify with a gender, meaning they do not see themselves as a boy or a girl. It also includes people who are gender fluid, meaning they go back and forth from identifying as a boy or a girl.

This year, the GSA made new posters for teachers to hang in their rooms. These colorful posters, which feature many of the sexual ori- entation symbols as well as the different sexu- ality flags, stand out among dull chalkboards and classroom doors.

One thing students in the GSA are also especially appreciative within the school is the staff support they receive.

“It makes me so happy, and it makes me feel so reassured that my coworkers are in this job for the good of children,” Uppstrom said, noting the signs. “It makes me happy that kids can see… an adult that cares about them,” Uppstrom said.

“The signs give you a place of safety and a place of confidentiality,” freshman Griffin Clark said. Clark identifies as bisexual, only recently coming out to close friends and family until now. “I’m totally okay with who I am. I’m really, really happy with my character,” he said, playing off his already strong theater involvement at Hayes.

“I feel that teachers give that connection between friends and family,” Lucas said. Lucas, along with many other students, have shared their personal stories with Uppstrom.

“[The GSA] gives me a very easy outlet and platform to help other people,” senior Lydia Gray said. Gray a major advocate of LGBT youth at Hayes as well as an officer of the GSA. The day before Ally Day, for example, Gray was handing out pins for people to wear in support of LGBT aware- ness to anyone that wanted one.

“The GSA, for me, is an outreach for other kids.” Lucas said. Anyone can be apart of the GSA, and people do not have to tell others what sexuality they identify as, but there are some students who only feel comfort- able sharing their sexuality to the other members of the club.

“For some kids…The GSA meetings are the only times they can be themselves…this is a sanctuary for them,” Lucas said.

“The youth are the people who are going to make our world a better place,” Uppstrom said.

She and the members of the GSA, as well as parts of the general population at Hayes are commit- ted to helping the school become a more inclusive place for all people, not just LGBT youth.

“Humans are humans; we’re all the same,” Lucas said.

Clark has a similar perspective on why GSA is important.

“People will become fully accepted,” Clark said.

Gray said that she is involved with GSA because it gives the opportunity to promote equality, which she feels very passionate about.

“I’m a walking example for something I care about. I care a lot about equality… and I have a lot of chances to educate people,” Gray said.

DACC class of the month: Cosmetology

Reilly Wright • Features Editor

For those interested in the idea of diving more into the world of beauty, an available class at the local Career Center can give a head start into the world of style.

One of the many courses available at Delaware Area Career Center is the Cosmetology program.

Students interested in a beauty-related career learn through a hands on course that pushes their skills in social and style care.

At the end of the two-year program, students are available to work as a cosmetologist, nail techni- cian, and more.

If graduates choose to participate in additional education or work environments, posi- tions such as salon owner or manager, instructor, skin care specialist are attainable.

“Students who [join] are self-motivated and have an eye for detail,” Cosmetology instructor RoxAnne Ames said. “[Our] students like to help out other people to look and feel their best.”

Students are presented opportunities such as hair expo field trips as well as cosmetological guest speakers throughout the program. Students are also exposed to work experience through offering their services to the public in the DACC’s own model of a salon.

Throughout the course, students learn beauty techniques ranging from nail care to hair styling.

“Highlights of the program for most students are hair coloring and nail care such as manicures, pedi- cures and nail art,” Ames said.

In order for students to earn their high school diploma and a cos- metology license, a successful completion of the DACC class and the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology Exam are part of the requirement.

Located at the DACC North Campus, the course connects with major schools such as the University of Akron and Hocking Technical College. The pro- gram offers the chance to earn up to three college credits through its two year curriculum.

“[Students go] right into the workforce and the cosmetology career path and/or continuing on with their education in the cosmetology field or college,” Ames said. “Some use their cosmetology back- ground as a stepping stone while working through college.”

Flex improves teacher-student connections

Mallory King • News Editor

Creating a schedule to meet the needs of every student in the building is very difficult, but teachers believe administration has finally found the best solution for everyone.

The flex portion of Academic Option has been controversial since the beginning.

Some students stressed about what room they would spend the period in, how they would be able to tell the rooms apart and what would happen if the desired room was full.

Teachers had similar fears. Before the program started, they were unsure of how successful flex would be.

“[Flex is] better than I expected,” said David Morgan, a history teacher. “I expected it to be a whole lot more chaotic.”

All across the building, teachers are becoming pleasantly surprised by the outcome of flex.

“I had never heard of anything like this and I’m relatively new to the education field so I don’t ever have anything set in my mind of what’s normal,” said business teacher Jocelyn Gideon. “… I just wanted to see how it played out and it seemed like a pretty good idea. It was a little confusing at first, but now that we’re into it, I love it.”

Like anything in life, there are always ways to improve new ideas, such as flex. Some teachers have ideas of their own to help im- prove the program.

“I think we’re in the starting stages now,
so it would be too hard to do a whole lot of big changes,” Morgan said. “Maybe just the ability… for students to move around more and go see teachers that are not necessarily in their pod.”

Gideon also believes AO could be slightly changed for the better.

“I don’t know if we are going to do away with [advisory days] or if we are only going to be still flexing on the three days, but I almost feel like we could flex everyday,” Gideon said. “I think some students would like that more to have option every single day of the week.

Before flex, many teachers did not have the opportunity to connect with students outside of the classroom setting, but now flex gives them the ability to do so.

“I enjoy connecting with students, so I enjoyed meeting students who I have not had in class before in my academic options,” Gideon said.

The main goal for teachers is to help stu- dents, especially those receiving Ds and Fs.

Administration has provided intervention rooms to help these students improve their grades.

“I know right now there’s a lot more things in the works… for these students,” Gideon said. “…A lot of my students who have Ds or Fs… are just really unorganized and they forget to turn stuff in or they forget their homework. So just working in this first stage on the organi- zational component to me is important.”

And according to Karen Waselko, who runs an intervention room, it seems to be working.

“I actually run one of those rooms and I’ve seen an improvement in their grades already,” Waselko said. “They really just need someone to kind of help them figure out the best strategy and what they need to do.”

Waselko takes a different approach to her intervention room to help her students receive the best grades possible.

“I look at their grades almost every day and I look to see what kind of missing assignments they have and what will make the most impact on their grades,” Waselko said. “I give them kind of a little to do list.”

But AO has been helping other students as well.

“It gives kids a time in their day if they don’t have a study hall to actually get help from teachers or if they are struggling aca- demically, it gives them a place to go where they are forced to do their work,” Morgan said.

Teachers believe that this period will allow students to achieve the highest grades pos- sible. This new schedule provides a positive impact on struggling students, but also caters to other students’ daily needs.

“I really can’t think of the downside of any of it,” Morgan said. “Having been here for 11 years, this is the best system we’ve had of managing their day.”

Young Life brings students together

Sarah Heber • Distribution Manager

It all started late on Friday. Around 8:30 p.m. all students from Hayes who were attending Fall Weekend begin to load up the buses with all of our bags.

Fall Weekend is an annual YoungLife retreat in which high school students participate in games, skits and biblical teachings.

As the weekend begins, the sound of the engine starting leads to pure excitement on the girls’ bus. The excitement then bubbles into everyone singing Disney songs from when we were younger.

The boys’ bus had singing too, but they also used that time to scout the other guys who were going on this weekend adventure.

“I was impressed that so many people would take a chance to have the best weekend of their lives,” senior Mitch Lucas said.

After a wrong turn, we arrive to Camp Heartland. Everyone rushes to the window of the buses to get a glimpse of where we will be staying the rest of the weekend. We get off the bus and run through a tunnel of people that were a little too happy for 10:30 at night.

We look up to see a mosh pit
of what has to be 400 other high schoolers, all having a good time. Needless to say we all storm over to the mosh while yelling “Pacers to the front!”

Once at the front, the DJ’s announce to Hayes that there is food just to our left. We all rush over because we are a bunch of hungry high schoolers who love food.

“I thought [the food] was great,” junior Ashley Millet said. “I honestly I didn’t have a least favorite meal.”

While we eat our food, we notice that buses are still coming in with even more high schoolers. With every bus, the hype grows big- ger and bigger. Finally when every school was there, we storm into the gymnasium. This is what everyone has been waiting for all night.

In the gym we have this thing called ‘club’ which includes singing, dancing, skits, games, and then a discussion about God and religion. All 600 students set aside their school rivalries and get together for these activities.

After tons of singing and watching a few skits, Greg Wright, the Columbus Metro Director of Young Life, takes over the stage and we all know it is time to get serious and settle down. Wright talks to us about things we see in our schools and our own lives and then connects it back to the Bible.

After club, we are sent back to our rooms to talk in smaller groups about what Wright had just told us. This is called ‘cabin time.’

“I really enjoyed the cabin time where we go to really talk, not just a normal conversa- tion you would have with your friends,” senior Willow Mollenkopf said.

We all take turns sharing where we are with our religion and what is going on in our lives. Everyone gets to hear stories about their peers whom they see everyday in school, but never actually knew all that much about them.

Finally, 2:30 a.m. rolls around and it is time for lights out. We all jump into our bunk beds with the little bit of energy that we still have left.

Within minutes everyone is fast asleep, dreaming of doing this all over again tomorrow and Sunday.

“I was expecting a typical church group going into it but I realized it was really more of a fun social environment,” Senior Andrew Kennedy said. “I defi- nitely don’t regret going.”

Organization helps vets get wheelchairs

Sammi Piroska • Managing Editor

On a 2006 Honor Flight trip, World War II veteran Frank was a total assistance vet who endured a great deal of

pain to build the memories that he would take back to the nursing home with him.

Frank had a collection of shrapnel em- bedded under his skin, which made it very difficult on him and the volunteers.

During the day, the volunteers had to carry him from the bus to his wheelchair and then back to the bus when traveling from one memorial to another.

Throughout the whole day he did not complain once, not a single “ouch” or a “don’t touch there,” even though the volun- teers moving him continued to apologize as they moved him as carefully as they possibly could.

At the end of the day, Frank was sit- ting on the plane with a smile from ear to ear and all he would say over and over again was “this is the best day ever.”

The day was special not only for Frank, but for the rest of the vets because it is a day for the veterans to be recognized and thanked for their service.

All through Ohio and across the country there are veterans with similar situations to Frank.

The non-profit organization known as Honor Flight allows war veterans to visit memorials in Washington D.C.

The Honor Flight organization sends thousands of veterans each year to visit the memorials. On each trip leaving Columbus, the organization is able to fly out 82 veterans on each flight.

Over a time span of nine years, the organization has been able to fly 140,000 veterans to Washington D.C. to see all of the memorials.

Honor Flight founder and Hayes alumni, Susan Barr, has been working with the organization for years to allow each veteran to get the chance to see the memorials and reminisce about the friends they’ve lost.

Barr is also one of the flight attendants who experiences the emotional welcome that awaits the veterans. Even though there are many veterans arriving, there are always people waiting to greet them at the gate with appreciation.

“We land, get off the jet way and there are crowds waiting with flags and banners and clapping and cheering and shaking our veterans’ hands,” Barr said. “[Also] there are current military that come out on their days off to greet them and help escort them around for the day.”

That is only a start to the day as the many volunteers and current military mem- bers help board the veterans onto the bus and the wheelchairs under the bus. Through every trip, the wheelchairs get worn down from the use of holding the veterans and being stored under the buses and planes for travel.

“We have about 80 [wheelchairs], but that doesn’t mean we will have 80 that will last the whole season,” Barr said. “Usually we lose about 20 some [wheelchairs] a year.”

With the number
of wheelchairs slowly decreasing, the possibility of the trips continuing is becoming more and more difficult to fully pursue. The trips to the memori- als would no longer be possible if the organiza- tion do not have enough wheelchairs to accom- modate the veterans on the trip.

On Thursday, Nov. 13, the organization Wheelchairs for Honor Flight had their kick off at the Veterans Day as- sembly. This organization aims towards a goal of raising money to buy new wheelchairs for Honor Flight.

The organization is working to raise enough money to purchase 10 pallets of wheelchairs with each pallet provid- ing 15 wheelchairs. Each individual pallet costs $2,250 totaling the whole goal at $22,500

Co-Chairmen of Wheelchairs for Honor Flight, Mark Fowler and David Ayscue, aspire to get the student body along with the commu- nity involved in raising money for new wheel- chairs.

With a senior class approximately the size of 360 students, there could be a big impact on the amount of money raised.

“If every senior gave one dollar to the cause, the program would have two wheelchairs paid for,” Fowler said.

Every contribution helps not only to raise money, but raise aware- ness for this cause. If ev- ery student in the student body donated a dollar the school could raise at least 1,600 dollars to donate to the cause.

Each student could make a big difference,” Barr said. “It doesn’t seem like a lot if it’s pen- nies, nickels, dimes or quarters but the 140,000 veterans we have flown in, have been flown in with donations from kids.”

D-Town program starts partnership with city officials

Holly Petkus & Sammi Smudz • Contributing Writers

D-Town has recently partnered with the city of Delaware in order to expand their audi- ence.
In D-Town, students create a variety of original

videos and put them on YouTube. It consists of many members and is run by Tom Hering.

In October, which is Fire Prevention Awareness Month, a group of four students made a video on fire safety.

“They wanted an emphasis on having working smoke detectors,” said Josh Hill, a junior D-town member.

The partnership with the city plays a major role in giving D-Town a fresh start and more success within the community.

“We want to be taken seriously as a real video production group,” said Meg Vonada, a junior D- town member.

Hering, who is friends with Lee Yoakum, the Community Affairs Coordinator, was able to coordi- nate the partnership. D-Town produces videos for the city at no cost.

“[Yoakum] had a desire to have D-Town film projects,” Hering said.

Although there are few guidelines for the proj- ects, making videos with the city requires a lot more planning than usual. Students must coordinate between Hering, Yoakum and community members, such as firefighters.

“They didn’t really direct anything, they just kind of supervised,” Hill said.

Vonada is working on the next video, also known as the “Salt Project,” with sophomore Everett Sharp. The project deals with the salt shortage within the city. According to Vonada, the city simply gave them “little tweaks” to enhance the project.

But making a video is more than just planning, filming, and editing. Before planning out a video, D- Town members have to figure out how many people are needed to produce a video. Some videos only require one person, while others may require four.

“[It’s about] finding the right number of people to do the right amount of work,” Hill said.

In addition to gaining a greater audience through city projects, D-Town is trying to expand the types of videos they produce to appeal to more viewers.

They plan to make more comedic, informational, and serious videos. “Our main goal [with working with the city] is to expand=our audience.” Vonada said.

D-Town members also get to experience new things

outside of the classroom setting, all while producing videos with their friends. They agree that planning is a crucial part in the success of their videos.

“If you don’t plan the video, then you’ll be stuck trying to figure out your lines and set and costumes and cast right before the video is due,” said Molly Schul, a sophomore D-Town student.

The process of making videos may take longer than most realize. It’s not just throwing a few shots together and calling it a day.

“A good quality video can be made in four weeks,” Vonada said. “It’s constant work.”

Videos made with the city can be viewed on the city’s

website. D-Town is hoping that with their videos on the city’s website, more people will see them, causing D-Town to get more recognition.

“This is the most professional relationship D-Town has had with someone else outside of the building,” Hering said. “I hope students get a real life experience and public recognition for the work they do.”

New graduation assessments to replace OGT

Casey Estok & Natasha Walker • Contributing Writers

After this upcoming spring, the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) will no longer be the required graduation test for students across the state, including those of Hayes.
Replacing the OGT will be the PARCC assessments, also

known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Col- lege and Careers.

“Things have been happening politically in the whole coun- try as far as curriculum and standards,” said Toby West, data coordinator for the district. “There’s a movement for some states to adopt Common Core state standards.”

Along with this change in curriculum comes a transition to a corresponding Common Core based graduation test, which will involve a higher level of rigor. “The OGT was a pretty low-bar test,” West said. “You could get 42% of the math questions cor- rect and you pass the OGT. What does that tell us about how ready students are for college?”

The PARCC test’s purpose is to reflect on how much knowl- edge the student has gained and to determine their readiness for graduation and college education.

Testing Time

New assessments require a larger amount of testing time. This chart attempts to explain the complicated process.

Subject

Sessions Required (Part 1)

Total Time (Part 1)

Sessions Required (Part 2)

Total Time (Part 2)

English 9 English 10

3

225 min

2

120 min

Algebra I Geometry Integrated Math I Integrated Math II

2

165 min

2

155 min

American Government American History

1

90 min

1

90 min

Physical Science

1

90 min

1

90 min

“PARCC is a lot better than the OGT when it comes to mea- suring aptitude for graduation,” Sophomore US History Teacher Patrick Montgomery said.

The PARCC assessment was made to measure if student are on the right track for their after high school experience and was recently adopted by 13 states. Starting with the class of 2018, these tests will be taken during the second semester of 7 required, specific courses.

The tests will be graded on a 5-point scale, every student needing a total of 18 points in order to graduate. This must include a minimum of 4 points from English literacy courses, 4 points from mathematics, and 6 total points from science and history, leaving 4 points for students to earn credit in a subject they’re stronger in.

Unlike the OGT, the PARCC tests are based solely on the cur- riculum that the students learn. For example, if students take Algebra 1 during their sophomore year, they would be taking the Algebra 1 portions of the PARCC test.

The performance-based assessment (PBA) will be taken in March and will assess students’ ability to effectively analyze

text and reason mathematical problems. Then, the end-of-year assessment (EOY), which will be taken in April, will be primarily multiple choice. It focuses on the students’ understanding of the major concepts taught throughout the course.

Many students are happy about the performance based assessment because it will include more problem solving and application problems for more of a challenge.

“It will show if students know how to apply their knowl- edge to real life situations,” said Grace Floring, a sophomore. “The OGT only can show if students know the information.”

Common Core standards were adopted by the state two years ago, and Ohio schools have slowly been introducing them into the classroom. Angie Raquepaw, an Education Technology Specialist for the district, said that most of the instructional

changes that were going to be made in the district have already been made. The change in final assessments in order to corre- spond with the new standards is finally underway.

The PARCC test is completely computer based. When students sit down to take the test all they will have in front of them is a computer and a scratch sheet of paper.

Some freshmen said they feel especially apprehensive about PARCC being an online test op- posed to the traditional pen and paper.

“I’m sure we’ll get used to it,” freshman Jillian Haley said.

Other concerns include the increased amount of time need- ed to take both of the PARCC tests. Both sections of the test need four to five testing sessions in order to complete the assess- ment, so students who are taking multiple subjects in a school year may find themselves in ten or more testing sessions.

Also, because Hayes wasn’t involved with the development of the assessment, its exact content and question type is unknown. Therefore many teach- ers are unsure of how to prepare students for this test.

“[We’re] working on the airplane while it’s being flown,” West said, describing the transition. “There is so much confusion out there about this.”

The voice of Delaware Hayes High School students