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Granada Hills Charter High

10535 Zelzah Ave, Granada Hills 91344



September 16, 2010

02 news

September 16, 2010

API score jumps 31 points to 874 By Danielle Sink Surpassing all previous years’ scores, Granada Hills Charter High School has increased its Academic Performance Index (API) from 843 in 2009 to 874 in 2010 – a record-breaking 31-point gain. This score is not only a record high for the school, but also it is the top score in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) this year with a 55-point difference between Granada and second highest, Palisades Charter High School. It also has Granada positioned with some of the highest performing public high schools in the entire state. “[The score] is nothing short of extraordinary,” Executive Director Brian Bauer stated in a press release. He credits the school’s considerable boost to the hard work and motivation of the students and teachers as well as “an increased focus on curricular alignment,

smaller class size, required intervention for struggling students, and the overall resources and flexibility that come with the school’s charter status.” Since receiving its charter status in 2003, Granada has advanced its API by 113 points leading up to this year’s score of 874. In addition to this school-wide score, each of the school’s statedetermined subgroups exceeded their target goals. The most impressive gains were made by the Students with Disabilities, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged, and English Learners subgroups, groups which have historically underperformed in API testing. The Students with Disabilities subgroup had the highest point gain, increasing its score by 62 points. Its total score of 648 is identical to James Monroe High School’s school-wide score. Also with high levels of

improvement, the Socioeconomically Disadvantaged and English Learners subgroups had a 55-point and 52-point gain, respectively. The remaining, ethnically categorized, subgroups – Asian, Hispanic or Latino, White, and Two or More Races – also experienced anywhere from a 25 to 29point increase in scores. “The scores really are just unbelievable,” math teacher Julie Ralston said. “But a lot of students think that it just makes the school as a whole look good when it really makes you as an individual student look good.” The API is actually a direct assessment of student excellence within a school. “Our results reinforce the importance of every member of our school community working together and substantiates that every one of our students can learn and achieve at the highest levels,” Bauer stated.

School performance is measured based on its students’ results from the California Standards Tests (CST) and the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). Student scores ranging from Far Below Basic to Advanced in the CST’s English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science or History are all used to calculate the school’s API. In terms of its CAHSEE, Granada also produced high test results as part of the 2010 API. Ninety-six percent of last year’s tenth graders passed on their first attempt on both the English Language and Math sections of the test. Students and staff were rewarded for these efforts towards the testing process with ice cream in the quad Monday after receiving the API news. But complementary sweets are not the only incentive students have to do well on these tests;

some students find that top API scores can be of greater value to them individually. “When choosing between two students to accept to their school, colleges will look at the high schools’ API scores to see which one is higher,” senior Camila Seta said. “The higher API scores show academic rigor and the school’s academic advancement and achievement.” And with the school’s continuous betterment – celebrating an eight out of nine year history of improving its API – teachers and staff are dedicated to working harder and preparing students even more for the 2011 testing period. “This is an amazing accomplishment as a school,” history teacher Brian Luko said. “It puts us up there with some of the topranked schools in the state and only makes us work harder for next year.”

New grading system set up for students By Jane Pyeon The new Home Access Center is a whole new system that has replaced ParentConnect and now runs our entire grading and attendance system. Home Access is different from ParentConnect in that it has extra features and improved methods of interfacing which enable students and parents to experience a much more efficient way of keeping in touch with the school. “It is a cleaner interface and the navigation is better,” Student Information Systems manager Greg Torres said. This year is the first year that students, parents, and administrators will be using the Home Access Center, which has received positive responses from the teachers. Teachers are now able to attach documents to their homework assignments, which allows for easier access for students. Due to this feature in Home Access, some teachers are transitioning from Groupfusion. “I like it a lot. Once you get

used to it, it becomes really easy to use,” math teacher Steven Kwong said. Students have their own “student access,” through which they will be able to contact teachers and check their assignments. “Home Access helps me to check my assignments and my grades as well as prevent any mishaps that teachers might make,” junior Megan Park. Furthermore, Home Access is more flexible and can be accessed through mobile devices. Parents are able to access through these devices or from home to check in with their child’s academic life and contact their teachers whenever needed. “Home Access Center helps me to keep track of my son’s academic progress and it’s quite useful and handy,” parent Steven Lee said. Parents have been sent notifications about the currently up and running Home Access Center. With the new system, most expect a positive impact.

Gabrielle Amar/ The Plaid Press

Cafeteria offers new food menu By Laura Nunez The school cafeteria has changed the lunch options for the new year. The changes include different chocolate chip cookies, a different pizza provider, and several new options in the beverage category. For those juniors and seniors who remember the chocolate chip cookies from two years ago, these same cookies are now back on campus. Plus, the school has returned to providing Domino’s pizza; toppings include pepperoni, cheese, and vegetarian. In addition to Powerade and water, the cafeteria has added

several new drinks. The new drinks include a Welch’s juice, a new brand of carbonated juice called Switch, and an ice smoothie. Switch comes in a variety of flavors such as strawberry-watermelon, grape, and orange. The smoothies also come in different flavors as well: mocha, mango, and strawberry. All the new items can be purchased at the windows, carts and inside the cafeteria. The prices of all foods and drinks have also stayed the same as from last year. Previous changes in the cafeteria food have been based on

health factors, and this year is no different. Assistant Cafeteria Manager Kathy Duprez said. Student reactions to the new foods are mixed schoolwide. “The new Switch juice is not that great,” said senior Kaitlin Pollard. Other students are more happy for the changes on the menu. Positive views of the chocolate chip cookies are evident by talking to students around campus. “I’m actually willing to buy the cookies now,” senior Jen Hasket said Overall students feel that the new selections on the menu are worth trying out.

New school year greets students with redesigned quad By Eidah Hilo The 2010-2011 school year opened to a brand new quad. Over the summer the school underwent construction to cement over part of the quad, add new grass, and reslope the whole area. This construction was completed in less than eight weeks. There were several reasons why the quad was in need of a big change. Not only was it a “health and safety issue,” Operations Committee chair Maggie Abbot said, but the dust and mud were also problems. “It was a mud bowl or a dust bowl before and was in need of a better drainage system. Also, the incline wasn’t right, and there was a slight slope from the cafeteria down to the outdoor stage,” Director of Counseling Services and Facilities Julia Howelman said. In addition, the Operation Committee thought it would be in the best interest of the school to beautify the center of the school.

This was part of the Operations Committee’s five year plan for deferred maintenance. The Operations Committee spent last year looking over several designs and chose a design created by [a senior] in last year’s construction class. Although rumors spread about the quad being completely cemented over, none of the designs presented to the Operations Committee included an entirely cemented quad. “There was never a notion for all concrete; we always wanted grass. It was just a matter of how the grass patches would be dispersed,” Howelman said. With the Operation Committee’s approval of this $95,000 project in May 2010 ($2,400 coming from the Granada Hills Neighborhood Council). “It’s a really positive thing. It’s aesthetically pleasing and provides comfort for students while maneuvering through the quad,” Abbot said.

Gabrielle Amar/ The Plaid Press

QUAD: Renovated pathways provides easier passage through the quad area between periods.

03 spirit

September 16, 2010

New page focuses on raising school spirits By Madushi Wanniarachchige The Plaid Press is pleased to present its newest feature, the highly anticipated Spirit Page. It was designed to honor important Granadians, shed light on the latest school activities, and strengthen a sense of spirit that lurks in the souls of each and every one of us. The Spirit Page promises to do a number of things. First and foremost, it recognizes those who demonstrate core values and strong character worthy of the school’s high standards. These people can be students, teachers, faculty members – anyone that properly represents the ideal of Granada spirit. In addition to that, the Spirit Page strives to report on school activities. Whether it be a list of fun activities coming up, a feature

on a club performing a charity drive, or a list of appropriate attire for Spirit Week, the page will provide information on any spiritbased activities at the school. And lastly, the Spirit Page wishes to instill a sense of school pride and unity in the students, faculty, and teachers. This page is possibly the most personal in regards to the people who read it because it concerns them and their school. There will be a spark of recognition upon reading the monthly “I Am Granada,� a sense of intrigue when reading the latest club news; everything about the Spirit Page will relate back to you. With that in mind, The Plaid Press places high expectations on the Spirit Page and in turn places high expectations on the students, faculty, teachers, and administrators to give us lots of school spirit to showcase.

“I Am Granada� Nominations

If you know of anyone who shows school spirit, send their names and a brief explanation to Ms. Mason in A11 or send an email to Everyone is eligible: students, teachers, parents, staff, and administrators.

Year starts off with new vision By Austin Kang Approximately 20 staff members attended a retreat over the summer to discuss plans to foster not only a nurturing academic environment, but also a highly spirited and proud school campus. School Vision, the name of the retreat, was held on August 6 and determined that the main themes of development for this year would be “people-centeredâ€? and “growth-focused.â€? Dilmit Singh, Director of Instruction and Professional Development as well as the sole administrator on the retreat said, “Granada’s an exceptional school, but the retreat’s all about making it better. Although ZHKDYHJRRGVSLULWWKDWIDFWRULVGHĂ€QLWHO\ something we can improve on.â€? The retreat centralized around the idea of 212 degrees, one degree past the boiling point of water. “Just one degree of temperature can raise the potential of water so much and I want to try pushing Granada that extra degree,â€? Singh said. Although test scores and API are important and will remain primary concerns, this year is devoted to making a deeper connection between teacher and student, not only so that students can learn better, but also to promote a sense of community. “We’ve spent so much effort over the past few years in raising our state scores and with getting our charter status that I think we’ve lost sight of the human element,â€? English department chair Elisa Ragus said. “But if we start to pay more attention to our students, especially the ‘back-of-theclassroom’ students, we can really instill a drive for learning and education.â€?

The steps to initiate this improvement do not require widespread reform, but rather “a little extra contribution from students, teachers, everyone to create a sense of family for our school,â€? Singh said. “Helping students during lunchtime, and opening up our doors afterschool, or even just a simple greeting everyday is really how we can make this happen,â€? she said. Furthermore, Associated Stuednt Body (ASB) has adopted a similar ideology to make the school more welcoming for students. ASB will pursue policy changes as requested by students, such as the Tuesday schedule and scanners at the student store accomplished last year, as well as having more school spirit events like pep rallies. “We’re such a large school it becomes YHU\HDV\WREHORVWLQWKHVKXIĂ H)RUWKLV year, the idea is to shine the spotlight on those neglected individuals and make you feel like you belong to a larger whole, which will help you both academically and socially,â€? ASB and senior class advisor Angela Soto said. However, it is not only the relationship between the student and the teacher that is being emphasized, but also the relationships between teachers, staff members, and administrators. “We have so many wonderful teachers that I think if we combine our energies and talents together, we can truly become a great teaching collective,â€? Singh said. “Passion for teaching transfers into the classroom, and the sense of belonging and excitement will contribute to tapping into so much more of our potential as both a school and community,â€? she said.

Gabrielle Amar / Plaid Press

Gabrielle Amar / Plaid Press

Overton returns to campus By Allison Ouchi 0DWK WHDFKHU 6WHYH 2YHUWRQ KDV Ă€nally returned to school and teaching after spending ten months stationed in Kosovo as an active soldier of the California Army National Guard (CANG). CANG is a component of the Army Reserve whose soldiers can be called to active duty by the president or a state government for a state emergency. Overton’s service for the National Guard started on July 6, 2009 and ended May 14, 2010. “It was a peace-keeping mission in Kosovo. We were there with other soldiers from Europe to ensure the peace and safety of the country’s citizens,â€? he said. In order to carry out these orders, Overton said it required a lot of vigilance on the soldiers’ part to make their presence known, which meant a lot of driving and walking around. For the most part, his mission in Kosovo was peaceful. Still, there were some events that called for action. “I was personally involved in preventing an attempted murder. We saw three men beating up another man, so we showed up, drew our weapons, and the men stopped. It was probably one of the most exciting things that happened while I was there,â€? Overton said. Although Overton was recently on duty for a little under a year, his ongoing services to the National Guard are not a full-time responsibility. “We normally serve one weekend a month and two weeks during the summer,â€? he said. Upon his return back home, Overton

gave the school a few gifts to express his gratitude for their support while he was deployed. “On Friday, August 13, the staff was at Granada, so we had a meeting. I presented the school with an American Flag that was Ă RZQRYHU&DPS%RQGVWHHOWKHFDPS,ZDV stationed at in Kosovo,â€? he said. He also presented Executive Director %ULDQ %DXHU ZLWK D FHUWLĂ€FDWHRI  DSSUHFLDtion from the National Guard. “It is great to be back. I am adjusting, but it’s the little things I haven’t quite adjusted to yet, nothing big,â€? he said. 6SHFLĂ€FWRWKHVFKRRO2YHUWRQLVVWLOOJHWting used to things such as the new school computer system, the Tuesday schedule, the SMART Board, and the electronic locks as a result of his absence during the entire last school year. “It’s amazing how many things can change in one year,â€? he said. As for his daily routines, he is still re-familiarizing himself with things in his everyday life, such as where he keeps the drinking glasses in his cabinets and his normal behavior. ´:KHQ , Ă€UVW JRW EDFN , WHQGHG WR EH anxious and on guard like I had to be while I was in service,â€? Overton said. Nevertheless, he is enjoying the many perks of being back at home. “In Kosovo, the bathrooms were located outside, whereas ours are inside. I love being home for that reason. And of course I love being close to my family, friends, and loved ones again,â€? he said. Although Overton still has some adjusting to do, he looks forward to being back at Granada.



September 16, 2010

By: Shilpa Bhongir & Ahra Cho


1990s: Gang Violence Strikes Granada


Property of GH



2003: Chartering New Paths: A Vision for Granada



After two years, Granada finally achieved its goal of becoming a charter school. Though we faced opposition from LAUSD, we eventually became the largest charter school in the nation. As a charter, Granada can choose how to spend its money; Granada invests more money in teachers and classroom materials than any other school, has more instructional flexibility and makes more renovations.

Granada faced the threat of gang rivalries and violence within the campus. Unlike other schools who ignored such problems, Granada worked towards combating violence and creating a secure learning environment. This effort decreased gang activity and increased the number of student attendees. The strictness and severity of Granada’s policies are actually products of a more serious and dangerous time.

The late 80s: Granada Divided In the late 80s, Granada’s teachers followed their “by the book” teaching method, and rarely collaborated. In addition, the new admission of 9th grade students overwhelmed teachers with crowded classrooms. With so many students and a disconnected staff, Granada really struggled with its identity and purpose.

1960: Grand Opening of Granada 1970: School Spirit Sets Granada for Victory

Granada Hills High School admitted its first students in 1960. With 6,000 students enrolled, Granada was the largest high school west of the Mississippi River. With many students representing the Highlander spirit, Granada left strong impressions on other schools—and still has to this day.

Granada’s football team made it to the city championships against San Fernando Valley High School. A previous rivalry between the two schools generated impressive school spirit from both teams. On the night of the game, 10,000 spectators watched--some from their rooftops- as Granada proudly took home the city championship title.

Where We Are Now 1994: The Origins of A5 Granada established its new attendance policy in an attempt to penalize the many students loitering in the hallways. With more students out of the halls and into the classrooms, Granada benefited from increased revenue, higher tests scores, and more motivated students.

I am Granada: Christine Hutton, Acting Attendance Dean

Granada was recognized as one of “America’s Best High Schools” in Newsweek’s 2010 issue. We were commended for our diverse student body, 96% graduation rate and an outstanding API score of 874.

“Excellence, integrity, guidelines, high standards—that’s Granada. I drove 60 miles for 34 years because of that. Granada looks out for the well-being of the students and I’m proud to be a part of it all.”

Drawings by: Megan Park

09 10 11 12 By: Jane Ha & Sindhura Seeni

My first year in high school is well into the semester, and I still from the crowd. I don’t know what it is about me (my spic-and-span-new shoes, my slightly oversized backpack, or perhaps my relatively short height?) that gives away my grade level so easily. But people seem to tell pretty easily that I’m a newbie here. Life as a newbie is hard. Back in middle school, I was lording over the little scrubs, and now I’m suddenly at the bottom of the food chain. Now I deal with mobs of gigantic upperclassmen every passing period; I have to stand in the everlasting lunch line; and until yesterday, I didn’t know R building even existed. But thankfully, I have yet to encounter the mythical school bully who feasts on



“fresh meat.” Not to mention the overwhelming work load that I have to deal with every day. It’s not so different from middle school, but the fact that I’m sitting in a high school class intimidates me. Fortunately, there are some things I am getting the hang of. For instance, I now know that there’s a traffic flow in the hallway to stick to during passing periods. The unmoving crowd at L building doesn’t surprise me anymore. My group of friends now has a hangout spot, and we’re snuggling in quite well, I’d say. From what it seems, high school isn’t as scary as I imagined—or at least,

I know I’ll survive.

I woke up on the first day of school

“I’m a sophomore now.” thinking to myself,

Frankly, the transition from freshman to sophomore year isn’t as apparent as I thought. Tenth grade is like a gap between two distinct groups: the seniors and juniors are marked with years of experience and maturity, as evident from their dark circles, while freshmen still look—well—fresh. I’m in the middle of the spectrum—not as much schoolwork as the older students, but now I have a bit more know-how of the school than the freshmen; for instance, which hangout spot to avoid at lunch. For many in my grade, this is their first year taking an AP class. They are the ones

that groan the most in our group. But even for those who are not in an AP class, the schedule is more challenging than before; already I’m suffering from the evermore increasing amount of homework. The juniors advise me to enjoy my time away from school as much as I can, before the SAT and college stresses hit me. Maybe I should take their advice. Now that I’m a sophomore, I get to create a club now, or take a leadership position in other clubs that I have participated in so far. With so many new clubs emerging, maybe I won’t need to make a new one. Aside from a few changes, sophomore year doesn’t seem so different from the previous year. I see old faces and a few new ones, and meet new teachers in new classes, but that’s the same every year.

I enjoy school.

Really, I

do. But I’m dreading junior year. It

seems like just when I finished AP summer assignments the school year started, and this time, it’s in full throttle. I can already see the seniors looking at me with pity (or some of the more cruel ones laughing at me). Why? Sure the work load is a step up from last year, but it’s not anything I can’t handle. I think… It’s too bad that junior year is also the year colleges look at the most, not to mention we have impending SAT’s and AP exams as well. The pressure is on to excel not only inside the classroom, but also outside as well. Although I’ve been involved in clubs before, this year I have to actually attend

them. Maybe if I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll even start one. On a positive note, no more PE! This year, I had more choices for my schedule, and I finally got to choose an elective I actually like. Now’s also the time to start racking up those community service hours, which is why I’ve started to volunteer at the hospital and library. Splitting my time between school and extracurriculars is not the easiest feat though, and I’ve already got a taste of my first all-nighter. There’s so much to do, but seeing as half my high school years are gone, I want to make the most of my ASB card this year by attending more school activities such as football games and dances. I’m determined to make this my most productive year yet.

Aah, senior year.

From being subjected to names such as freshmeat to the all-nighters I’ve pulled, graduation can’t seem to come fast enough. Granada hasn’t been all work and no play though. From attending a club meeting every day of the week to participating in Spirit Week, I’ve made great friends, and lasting memories here. And of course, there are those special perks seniors get. Who doesn’t enjoy leaving school (albeit temporarily) to buy lunch after fourth period? And for the girls (and some guys) who’ve been counting down the days to prom, it’s almost here! After prom, comes graduation, but as much as we want to depart from the green halls of the school, we must know where we will go. The first semester of school will

keep us busy deciding where to apply for college--public or private. It is obvious that this issue weighs heavily on our minds. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people declaring that they’re deactivating their Facebook accounts until apps are over. Some of us, caught up in the flurry of senior activities and the excitement of attending college, are bound to get the dreaded “senioritis.” That’s possibly the most maddening part about senior year. Once the “apps and admissions” phase is over, there’s nothing much to think about except how I’m going to spend every day of summer staying up late (this time it’s voluntary), sleeping in, and of course, getting ready to move in to college. June 2nd? I’ll be counting the



September 16, 2010

All new TV seasons to fill up your Tivo House

Modern Family


The sixth season of “House” gave us the typical drama we have come to expect with our favorite team of doctors. One of the more shocking moments from the season finale, House and Cuddy’s kiss, certainly leaves us hoping for more this season. House’s addictions made us question whether the kiss was indeed real, but Fox producers reveal that the seventh season will certainly dive into this relationship. So get ready for more rare diseases and doctor romance on September 20th.

ABC’s Emmy award winning show Modern Family will be kicking off its second season a day before Bones, on the 22nd, at its usual time of 9:00 P.M. Modern Family has become one of the most popular shows on ABC. Its ability to make average situations like a falling through a broken staircase or working on a boring school project into laughout-loud funny stories has captivated its audience. Its genuinely funny and unique characters add to the overall appeal of the show. New writers have joined the show, and according to Ed O’Neil, who plays family patriarch Jay Pritchett on the show, about 12 episodes are already finished. Some of the new plots involve earthquakes, Manny’s girlfriend, a visit from Cameron’s mom, and much more of the usual family antics.

The last episode of the fifth season of Bones ended with a bunch of question marks. What will Brennan find during her year-long research project in Maluku Islands? How will Booth change after a year in Afghanistan? Are Daisy and Sweets really over? For a show that has gotten us used to getting answers and explanations to situations, the season finale left us in a state of confusion with many questions. On Thursday, September 23, 2010, the 6th season of Bones will be premiering at 8:00 P.M. ET. The first episode will take place seven months after the finale of season 5. By Lucy Lee photos courtesy of Fox Broadcasting Company

People love TV’s most ridiculous shows Maybe it is because of the preposterous incidents they always get themselves into. Perhaps many people find it amusing when a drunk and rambunctious Snooki gets punched in the face by an annoyed man in a club or maybe it could be the fact that ex-lovers, Sammi and Ronnie, are now living in the same house and cannot make up their mind about whether they should be together. Regardless of whether or not it has any values, it catches the viewer’s attention and leaves people wanting more. “Keeping up with the Kardashians” has its fair share of sensational antics as well. The show depicts the Kardashian family going through major events in each family member’s life, and has been running for four consecutive seasons. However there is never a shortage of juicy gossip and drama. “I love seeing which Kardashian is going to

All the California girls love Katy Perry’s newest album By Nicole Martinez From being ranked number one on “Maxim’s Hot 100” to being engaged to Russell Brand, it is no doubt Katy Perry has had an exciting year. To top things off she had two summer hits, “California Girls” and “Teenage Dream” from Perry’s album, “Teenage Dream”. One of the album’s prevalent themes is being young and in love. Perry comes across as a love struck teen and is not afraid to show it as she expresses these indescribable feelings of being a young girl dreaming of her perfect boyfriend in her songs. This young attitude comes across in all her songs and the light-hearted love-filled songs comes are a welcome change from the sarcastic tone of her last album. Perry does an excellent job of mixing her album with soulful ballads that make you

want to take moonlit walks on the beach and upbeat music you want to dance to. Her album starts of with fun upbeat songs, such as “Last Friday Night” and “California Girls.” Towards the end of her album, her songs are more mellow, “Not like the Movies”, would make a great slowdance with your boyfriend or girlfriend. With “Teenage Dream”, Perry makes an absolute shift in tone and produces a lighter mood than “One of the Boys”, in which she was definitely no in love. Instead she sang about how boys sometimes just can’t make up their minds and break girls’ hearts, This album would be great at a pool party, in the car when going on a drive to the beach, or simply at a slumber party with your girls, Katy Perry did a good job with this album, and the wait was definitely worth it.

be the one with drama next!” freshman Olivia Honett said. From Khloe getting married to Lakers player Lamar Odom, to Kim breaking up and making up with NFL player Reggie Bush, the show has everything from a healthy family having dinner to drunken boyfriends shoving hundred dollar bills in waiters’ mouths and going insane. “Keeping up with the Kardashians” may come across as a show about absolutely nothing but it does throw in a few healthy life lessons along the way such as always being able to rely on your family for moral support or even gaining knowledge about raising children. These shows are racking up ratings and reveal that teenagers, and even some adults, will never grow wearisome of drunk people fighting and girls getting themselves into more drama. Shows like these are clearly becoming the epitome of classic entertaining television.

Scot’s Call:

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

“I like to listen to my brother’s record player. It’s a mix of everything.”

“I love hip hop, especially Drake’s, because of its different beats.”

- Amy Avishay, Freshman

- Jasmine Saleh, Sophomore

“I like R&B, like Bruno Mars. His music is so soothing and beautiful.”

“I love all kinds of rock from heavy metal to soft rock to classic rock.”

- Matthew Nguyen, Junior

- Jun Kim, Senior

Gabrielle Amar/Plaid Press

By Bridget Moreno With so many reality TV shows it is hard to say which ones reach the top of the list for most watched and loved. Regardless of the stiff competition, “Jersey Shore” and “Keeping up with the Kardashians” are two shows that have teenagers hooked. The glaringly evident similarities in these shows might put some things into perspective the next time you tune in to them. Even though some may say “Jersey Shore” is the most ridiculous show on television today, it is definitely what everyone is talking about. “It’s so horrible I can’t keep my eyes off it,” junior Oscar Jimenez said. So why would anybody watch a show about a bunch of self proclaimed guidos and guidettes whose motto is GTL (gym, tan, laundry)? “I don’t understand how people can call that show entertainment” senior Chloe Muna said.

07 opinion

September 16, 2010

Editors-in-Chief bring their “A” game

Plaid Press The new trio tackles the upcoming year with polished tactics Editorial Policy By Danielle Sink We, the current Editors-in-Chief of The Plaid Press, are dedicated to the sometimes mind-grueling task of uncovering the most vivid, entertaining, and pertinent stories. And we will do so while following the strict code of ethics and standards presented to every aspiring and current journalist. We promise that every article will be fact checked, every interviewee properly represented, and every opinion tactfully offered. Along with intriguing stories, we hope to uphold the clean and simplistic style The Plaid Press is known for, while introducing some more visually exciting layouts as well. This is undoubtedly the year to watch the school newspaper; last year we tested the waters of working on the journalism staff and now we are more organized than ever. Eidah, the creative mastermind of the bunch, will oversee the Feature and Entertainment pages. Her keen eye for layout and general thrill for successfully executing a vision makes her high-reaching goals for the paper possible. Danielle, journalist extraordinaire, takes care of the News and Spirit pages with a strong sense of “good writing.” Her perfectionism and constant need to be working in class ensures that only the absolute best is published. Madushi, the perpetual “good guy,” is responsible for the Sports and Opinion pages and helps to maintain a friendly and productive environment in the journalism newsroom. She might not scream or order a staff member around, but she has the ability to compel someone to work.

Purpose and Responsibility

Gabrielle Amar / The Plaid Press

NEW EDITORS-IN-CHIEF: (Top) Madushi Wanniarachchige and Danielle Sink (Bottom) Eidah Hilo Together, we form a trio capable of governing the newspaper, but only with the aid of many others. Our editors are nothing but willing to work to get their respective pages in on time and up to par in terms of quality of writing and layout. This year’s staff of writers is also more dedicated than ever to contributing ideas, articles, and their time and effort to making The Plaid Press exceptional.

Finally, we could not do our jobs if not for our advisor, Ms. Mason, doing her own job as exceptionally as she does. We are grateful for her support and ideas. Our goal this year is to make this a newspaper everyone will want to read at least one section of. Whether you want to learn updates on school news, learn the opinions of our writers on pressing issues, or just catch the highlights of last week’s game, we encourage you to read The Plaid Press.

Overcrowding presents challenges for students

The Plaid Press is the official newspaper of Granada Hills Charter High School and is published with support from the school. The dual purpose of this publication is to provide a journalism practicum that focuses on the events and trends affecting students and those in the Granada Hills Charter High School community while also giving students a forum for their opinions. Therefore, students perform all publication duties, including, but not restricted to, reporting, writing, editing, page designing and distribution of the paper to the student body. Under California Education Code 48907, student reporters and editors hold the same rights and responsibilities of professional journalists. While student journalists enjoy these rights, we the staff of The Plaid Press also understand that we are responsible for all content and that we are held to “professional standards” under the law. Therefore, the paper will not print any article that contains libel or obscenities, invades privacy, or will disrupt the educational process. The staff of The Plaid Press understands that it is the responsibility of the newspaper to be accurate and will print any required corrections on the third page of the following issue.

Editorials and Opinions

Opinions of individual staff members are represented in columns and the author is identified. All opinions expressed in The Plaid Press are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of The Plaid Press, its adviser, Granada Hills Charter High School faculty or the student body. Editorials are unsigned opinions that represent the majority opinion of the editorial board, which is comprised of all Plaid Press editors.

The Plaid Press The Plaid Press is published by the Advanced Journalism class at

Benjamin Vivas

By Gabrielle Amar The first official crowded maze of the day starts when the passing bell rings to travel to second period. I cannot avoid feeling like a rat moving left and right every few seconds just to work my way to class. What makes it even worse is that I am surrounded by hundreds of other rats whose mazes intertwined. On top of it, it is a timed race: seven minutes or under. We might not be rewarded with cheese, but we sure face the possibility of being punished with A5. The nutrition bell rings and I am headed for my locker, which so happens to be located at the worst possible place on campus: upper L-building. Not only are people trying to escape the humid fortress as fast as

possible, they are all trying to walk out of the doors simultaneously. I spend my nutrition in a line to use the space around my locker. It feels like there are too many students confined to one area, and cutting a line of three people might be too obvious. The 4,155 students walking in the hallways form numerous, tightly-packed groups migrating to class. It is my time spent going to third period calculus when I really notice each of my individual five senses. I cannot help but hear the conversation next to me over my own. I cannot help but be touched by students invading my personal space. I cannot help but taste the girl’s hair in front of me when pushed. Yes, it has happened. I cannot help but smell the scent

By Steve Ruiz Seniors’ expectations for a smooth school year were crushed upon receiving their locker assignments in the L, M, and C buildings. Although with good intentions, the locker reassignments may not have been the best option when implemented, especially for seniors. Many seniors have cars parked in the student parking lot on Zelzah Avenue. A or B building lockers would have been a more practical locker choice for seniors since they are closer to exits for students who have early release and students who drive, while L and M building are more out of the way. “I do have a class in L building, but its

only one class. L building is really congested and it’s hard to get up and down. Also, if I forget something in my locker and come back after school, there’s a good chance that the building will be locked,” senior Miranda Mendoza said. The Student Services Committee voted on the locker arrangements in January, based on student surveys on the location of their classes. The locker change was made with the intentions to benefit students. “[ASB] heard people complaining so we tried to locate where freshman and sophomore classes were based on hundreds of surveys. For example, seniors have government and economics, so there’s at least one class by their lockers,” ASB President Bridget Gosis said.

of every student, some pleasant and others not so pleasant. The school could launch a fragrance joining all our scents and name it “I am Granada.” It is finally lunch time. But oh wait, I just remembered I cannot find a seat anywhere in the shade to eat. What ever will I do? I guess for those like myself, the sun and I will have a lovely relationship. I am walking to my last period of the day and I am stuck in a migrating crowd. I move anxiously to class because the day is near finishing. The icing on top of the cake is having my toes stepped on twice. Oh joy. The school day is finally over and I take a sigh of relief that I survived. However, tomorrow is yet another episode through the mazes.

Seniors unhappy with new locker arrangements Seniors do have at least one class by their lockers, but one class is almost insignificant in a schedule with five or more classes. Especially when any other grade could easily have one or more classes in L building for example, foreign language or social studies classes. “We plan to see how [the locker arrangement] turns out this year, we could do surveys at the end of the year whether [students] like [the locker change] or not, but it’s not certain if we will,” Gosis said. Although it appears seniors will have to remain patient with their lockers this year, hopefully next year some sort of compromise can be made for those who wish to have their lockers away from the claustrophobic L building.

Granada Hills Charter High School. 10535 Zelzah Ave. Granada Hills, CA 91344 Phone: (818) 360-2361 The Plaid Press welcomes all letters and commentaries on all matters and reserves the right to edit as required. Unsigned letters will not be printed. Opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of The Plaid Press, its adviser, Granada Hills Charter High School faculty or student body.

Eidah Hilo Danielle Sink Madushi Wanniarachchige News Editors Jane Ha Austin Kang Entertainment Editor Sindhura Seeni Opinion Editor Allison Ouchi Feature Editors Shilpa Bhongir Ahra Cho Sports Editor Matthew Seeman Spirit Editor Lucy Lee Photo Editor Garielle Amar Editors-in-Chief

Staff reporters: John Cho, Matthew Kahn, Nicole Martinez, Bridget Moreno, Laura Nunez, Jane Pyeon, Steve Ruiz, Kathy Zerbib


Melissa Mason

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08 sports SCHEDULE FALL 2010 Varsity Football

Calabasas: L (17-7) Grant: Thursday, September 16 @ Poly: Friday, September 24 @ Palisades: Friday, October 1 @ Kennedy: Friday, October 8 El Camino Real: Friday, October 15 @ Cleveland: Friday, October 22 Chatsworth: Friday, October 29 Birmingham: Friday, November 5 @ Taft: Friday, November 12

Boys’ Water Polo @ Manual Arts: September 15 @ El Camino Real: September 20 Cleveland: September 22 Birmingham: September 27 @ Taft: September 29 Verdugo Hills: October 4 @ Panorama: October 6 @ Kennedy: October 11 @ Cleveland: October 13 Taft: October 18 El Camino Real: October 21 @ Birmingham: October 25 Van Nuys: October 27

Girl’s Voleyball Central: W (2-0) Garces: W (2-0) Mt. Whitney: W (2-0) @ Independence: W (2-0) Garces: W (2-0) Centennial: L (2-0) Frontier: W (2-1) @ Narbonne: September 15 Van Nuys: September 17 @ Chaminade: September 23 El Camino Real: September 27 Chatsworth: September 30 @ Cleveland: October 5 Taft: October 7 @ Birmingham: October 12 @ El Camino Real: October 14 @ Chatsworth October 19 Cleveland: October 21 @ Taft: October 25 Birmingham: October 28

September 16, 2010

Junior Szin Ready for Year Two After first year, Captain is set to improve teamwork By Matthew Seeman Being a sophomore quarterback on the varsity team is tough. Learning from your mistakes as a sophomore is even tougher. But team captain and starting quarterback Joshua Szin is prepared for the challenge. “I was just starting as a sophomore last season,” Szin, now a junior, said. “It was a learning experience for me. I got to lead the offense and just learn how the team works. I feel better prepared to lead the team now.” Szin hopes to improve this year after his first season started promisingly. According to, he threw for over a thousand yards during the 2009 season with nine touchdowns. He showed his mettle in the annual homecoming game with a 181-yard performance against rival Kennedy High School in a 21-13 loss, completing two-thirds of his passes. As a result of his outstanding play, the Daily News listed the quarterback as a player to watch in the West Valley League. Szin also has hig hopes for his team. “We want to bring football back to Granada,” Szin said. “We want to make this team important again, make people pay attention to us.” There will be difficulties ahead for Szin, head coach Bobby Parra and the rest of the Highlanders as they try to improve this year. “We have a lot of responsibility to perform up to expectations,” Szin said. “Coach will hold us accountable for what we do, and we have to play as best as we can.”

Gabrielle Amar / The Plaid Press

GEARED UP: Josh Szin is in his second year as Granada’s quarterback Szin and the Highlanders will have to play their best when they face tough competition this upcoming season, including cross-town rival Kennedy, who the Daily News predicted to finish first for the newly realigned Valley Mission League. In Granada’s opener against Calabasas, Szin completed 11 of 18 passes and accu-

mulated 111 yards in a 17-7 loss. League rivals, including Chatsworth and Taft, will follow later in the season. It will be a challenging year for the captain, but he’s a year older and a year wiser than the sophomore who took the reigns last season, and that could make all the difference for Granada.

Boys’ Water Polo prepared to be champions By Matt Kahn Coach Marc Munkres is more confident that this years’ boys varsity water polo team will be better, faster, and stronger. What started out as an unknown sport, with only thirteen coed players just a few years ago, has become an exploding, competition- driven program with over fifty- five players. “Our goal this year is to win the city championship,” Coach Munkres said. When the program began Coach Munkres didn’t even have enough players to split the girls and the boys but after few years of hard work and determination Munkres turned water polo into a popular and sucessful program. Munkres’ job has only begun for the up and coming 2010 season. Every year he tries to improve his team and this year might just be the year for victory. “Incorporating more plays and having more communication,” Munkres said, will be the key to improving the varsity team to become a championship caliber team. Last year, the boys’ water polo team finished their season at an impressive 9-6 overall with and 6-4 in league play. Any program that has a record over five-hundred is considered a winning team. The boys water polo team has already acheived the status of a winning team and Coach Munkres believes that his new cap-

tains Justin Vink and Sam Avishay will help with this year’s success. It takes a responsible, dedicated, and had working person to become captain. Munkres believes that Vink and Avashay are just the right fit. “The captains are the ones who carry the team to the championship; they pick up our team. Literally, the captains pick up the whole team with their ripped biceps and carry them into the pool. But seriously, they

enforce law and order on the team and so far the two captains have done a fantastic job,” Benor said. The boy’s varsity water polo team has worked hard in preparation for the 2010 season. The City championship is in their sights; Coach Munkres and his team both believe they will be crowned champions this year. “I don’t think, I know we will be champions,” Benor said.

Photo coutresy of Coach Mark Munkres

TREADING WATER: Boys’ Water Polo prepared for another great season

Cross Country looks to new approach for new season By John Cho Last years boys and girls cross country teams exceeded the expectations of their coaches and peers. The boys team went to state championship and the girls team went to compete in the city championship. The team and coaches expect to meet the new season with the same vigor and success exemplified last year. However, many of the stellar cross-country athletes have graduated with scholarships to run for prestigious colleges, leaving the current team with vacant positions. Initially, many members were skeptical on the outcome of the upcoming season. “It’s true that we have quite a track record to own up to, but I’m positively sure

that we’ll do great this year. I was pleased to see how eagerly many of the old and new potential runners have stepped up to the challenge to fill the shoes of last year.” cross country coach Dean Balzaret said. Despite losing several key members from last year’s team, the team is working hard to pull through onto city and state championship on the shoulders of the whole team rather than on the yoke of single individuals. This new approach has garnered positive feed back from the team. “Our team is very closely knit this year. This bond has encouraged them to practice more together, Granada is bound to be a powerful force this season.” senior Vinay Gupta said.

Granada’s cross country team has exceeded the shallow barriers of a competitive sport by lowering their competition with one another and has embraced the idea of unity. “In the sweltering heat, its easy to forget about your team members. We realized that this is how team members lose interconnection with one another,” Senior Marianne Pyon said. “Now we want to run together and finish together. It’s become a more of a together thing than isolated running. Sure it’s a competitive sport, but that doesn’t mean we’ll leave our team members behind.” The cross country team is working hard to repeat last year’s incredible success.

GHCHS September 2010 Plaid Press  
GHCHS September 2010 Plaid Press  

GHCHS September 2010 Plaid Press