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Colt Chronicle

Back-To-School Issue

Zenobia Ahsanuddin



Kinnelon High School, 121 Kinnelon Road, Kinnelon, NJ 07405|

Illustration by Abeeha Zaidi (See Page 10 )




Arts & Entertainment Sarah Brechner, Staff Reporter



IS GOING BACK TO SCHOOL SAFE? Zenobia Ahsanuddin, Staff Reporter

6-7 Opinion

Back to School: College Edition


Image from Flaticon


Arts & Entertainment Alanna Gallagher , Staff Reporter


Folklore Illustration By Abeeha Zaidi



School News Camille Balo, Editor-in-Chief

Local/ World




UNCHARTED TERRITORY By Michael Lally, Staff Editor




COVID-19 TESTING IN PRO SPORTS By Brian Lane, Staff Reporter


Alana Van Der Sluys

Camille Balo


Editor-in-Chief, Features and STEM Editor

Julia Hackney Managing Editor

Abeeha Zaidi

Mckayla Coppla

Ethan Burt

Managing Editor & Layout

A&E Editor

World/Local Editor & Opinion Editor

Mikayla Smith

Micheal Lally

School News Editor

Sports Editor




IS GOING BACK TO SCHOOL SAFE? Zenobia Ahsanuddin, Staff Reporter

As the leaves are starting to change color, and more stores are having sales, it can only mean one thing: School is starting soon. In the past, school starting again was frightening for students and a celebration for parents. Yet, the upcoming school year of 2020-2021 is sending out a different kind of vibe. With the ongoing pandemic, and recent recoveries from the lock down, the opening of schools are creating many questions: What will it look like? Will all students be virtual? Will learning be interrupted? How effective will the policies and guidelines put in place and recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), State of New Jersey, and Kinnelon School District be for keeping COVID-19 cases to a minimum, or preferably, zero? While all are valid questions, local school districts are complying with state rules and CDC recommendations regarding the reopening of schools, as well as student and parent concerns to give families and students as normal of a school year as possible. However, the question which remains is whether or not the number of cases will increase when schools open. Due to the large crowds going in at once, the spread may increase because of the frequent and close contact amongst students and staff. The CDC explained that going back to school was a necessity for children, considering the developmental impact it has on them. School, in these early ages, teaches skills which cannot always be learned outside of the classroom. A point was also made that children are at a lesser risk for contracting the virus as adults, and that typical, school-aged children are at little risk. The CDC concluded that if proper precautions are followed, the spread in schools should not pose a grave threat. The Kinnelon School District has created a system of Group A and Group B cohorts in which students are divided based on the first letter of their last name. As of now, Group A students will attend school in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Group B will attend on Thursdays and Fridays. Both groups will have virtual classes on Wednesdays, and whenever they don’t meet for in-person school. Moreover, Wednesdays will also serve as a day for the school to ready the classrooms by sanitizing the school for the next wave of students.




-https://unsplash.com/ (UNSPLASH) -https://lorsstudio.smugmug.com/KinnelonHS (LORS PHOTOGRAPHY) -Ask designated photogropher for Colt Chronicle -Reach out to anyone you know that can make graphics for you (if you need someone email Mrs.V and she will refer you someone)

Photo courtesy of Thomas Park

Since some families believe schools are not safe during this time, many have opted to attend school virtually rather than the hybrid plan many schools have adopted.

A requirement for the opening of schools is that all students and staff wear a mask. As students crowd the hallways and scurry from class to class, a mask, more specifically a cloth mask, is needed at all times. This provides a barrier between students to reduce the chance that the germs do not spread throughout the air as easily as they normally would. Other protective devices, such as face shields and gloves, are optional, while a cloth mask remains mandatory. Furthermore, all students and staff members are encouraged to regularly wash their hands and utilize the hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the school to sanitize on the go and in between classes. Senior Kesini Shivaram believes COVID-19 cases will increase if the school building opens up. “...if parents and students have it without their acknowledgment, it can easily spread throughout the school.” Justin Lam, another senior at Kinnelon High School, takes a similar stance, saying, “No, I don’t believe it’s safe to return to school, as even the chance of catching it puts the whole of my family at danger.” Freshman Gabriella Owens has a different view, stating, “I don’t think it will because the school is taking measures to make sure the students and staff are safe.” As of now, the school is currently doing repairs on the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems in all the schools of the community to ensure the filtration in the schools are top-notch in preparation for the incoming wave of students this month. Furthermore, the school is upgrading their bandwidth to accommodate the live, virtual instruction that will take place at the school.



OPINION The Politics of

Reopening School The last in-person school year came to an unusual, sudden end, leaving students and teachers alike wondering what the 2020-2021 school year will look like in the midst of the pandemic.

Abeeha Zaidi, Managing Editor

Editor’s Note: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this opinion article belong solely to the writer and do not reflect the view of The Colt Chronicle Staff, Kinnelon High School, or its students and staff members. As we wait patiently for the answers to our longing questions, many governors have already served their answers to schools regarding whether their plans are approved. The governors, mayors, and school districts are not the only ones voicing their opinions on this matter. According to ABC News, President Donald Trump has encouraged the governors to “seriously consider” opening the schools and starting the process of in-person schooling as soon as possible. President Photo courtesy of Unsplash Trump also took to Twitter to express his urgency to opening schools, tweeting, “Cases up because of BIG Testing! Much of our country is doing very well. Open the Schools!” on Aug 3. Many districts in various states have already opened and tested their individual game plans. Some schools have made wearing a mask a personal choice such as at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga., which even suspended a student for releasing an image regarding this scenario. However, after support for the student went viral online, the school lifted the suspension. Some schools have made both virtual and in-person available and an option to all. School districts in Alaska have been required to use a generated framework for them called “Alaska Smart 2020” as an action plan where each school operates at a different level of risk. In Mississippi, Corinth High School opened, and in less than two weeks, three students tested positive and 40 are in quarantine. Each country, state, and school district is acting in a way they individually deem appropriate, with their research and views reflected by the ways they have chosen to reopen. In Kinnelon, so far, Superintendent Diane DiGiuseppe has been communicating with parents on how and what the school will look like for

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Kinnelon Public Schools has given their students the option of either hybrid or full virtual, allowing the families to choose depending on their comfort. Right now, the district is paused on Stage 2 of New Jersey’s “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health,” as instructed by Governor Phil Murphy. With guidence, Gov. Mur-

The plan, so far, is that students will be split into two cohorts created by alpha last name; A-L as Cohort A, M-Z as Cohort B. Each school in the district has a different schedule, which are all available on the released “KPS Reopening Plan Overview” presentation, available through email to all parents. However, students in all Kinnelon Public Schools are required to wear masks (specifications of what type are allowed are also available on the presentation) and social distance (by six feet) whenever possible. Though the plan is confirmed, concerns have still been expressed about resources for sanitization due to price and availability. Staffing is also a concern as some teachers seek accommodations and others apply for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. As schools open in our community, it is the responsibility of parents and children to be aware and ready. Along with masks and social distancing, here is some more advice: • Wash clothes and masks frequently, preferably as soon as you arrive home, to avoid spreading COVID amidst your family. • If you have symptoms, take necessary precaussions and alert the Kinnelon Board of Education immediately so they can provide guidence to others you may have come in contact with. • If possible, use transportation (such as school-provided busses) only if necessary. • Remember, this is the new normal; however, things will get better if we all act responsibly to stop the spread. All plans are subject to change as we enter the school year, but so far this is all that we are aware of, politically and locally. Many doctors are against the risk of sending students back to school as they argue the experiment is like using kids as guinea pigs. Many also agree that we need to return to normalcy and think returning to in-person school is needed, as the virus is not going away anytime soon, and we can’t delay everything and wait for it to go away. It is a game of patience and risk.



phhy has left the bulk of reopening up to individual districts.

the fall. Sports have already been given the green light for a fall season; however, practices are optional until September. Schools will start in September, but the big questions are, how and for how long?



Back-to-School College Edition

How colleges will be conducting classes and how dorms are being assigned

By Sarah Brechner, Staff Reporter Welcome Back! As fall approaches and the summer comes to an end, the issue of school has begun to come up, and the thought of online or in school has become very relevant as schools across the country begin to open. Colleges have already reopened and have seen some positive cases of COVID-19, making other academic institutions across the nation hesitant regarding their next moves. Many schools have already made the decision to commit to online school instead of in-person. To prevent bringing any possible covid germs into schools, students in some schools were instructed, two weeks prior to the return date, to take a coronavirus test and quarantine from everyone aside from immediate family members. As for dorm life, it seems that most schools are fitting many students into school condos, but only one per room. Rachel Dillon, who attends Marist College in New York, moved into her college apartment that was off campus in a strip with multiple apartment buildings assigned to Marist students. “It’s comfortable and definitely safer than a dormitory. I can keep track of everyone this way which is more relaxing. This is definitely smarter because instead of 36 people to one bathroom, it’s eight people to two,” Rachel says. I It seems that this situation is better for everyone in the long run because if there are less people spread out in an apartment building, it’s safer than a large number of students in smaller dorms. Marist is giving the option of on-campus dorms and they are allowing students to stay in those dorms, but only to a certain capacity on each floor. There are a few students who have made the decision to rent out and live in apartments completely detached from the campus and school just to ensure complete safety from the virus. How classes will be conducted is the second most important issue at the moment. So, how will classes be conducted? Colleges, universities, and most schools are giving the choice

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Majority of college students decide to head back to campus - Marketplace

of in-person classes or online from your dorm room. Online classes are pretty self explanitory; students log in online and join class and do what they need to from that point on. According to Abigail Hess, a reporter for University of Southern California says, “The school will also attempt to reduce classroom density and will shorten the semester by ending classes before Thanksgiving break.” This is a potentially good alternative because reducing time in classes and shortening the time at the school may help take a little bit of that risk factor out.

About The Cover : By Abeeha Zaidi, Managing Editor

The cover of this issue reflects upon the students’ current circumstances. Everyone wakes up with a state of confusion due to the pandemic, at the moment many things are in a fog , and nobody really knows what’s going to or what is happening. The cover represetns the state of confusion we wake up with, the continous reminder that COVID-19 is still present, and the fact that all of our actions are based on its presence. An alram clock is an essential part of the day; it can be your phone or an actual physical clock, but it is determines how your day starts and it is a tool that many rely heavily on.

Illustration by Abeeha Zaidi

The words “COVID-19 AND BACK TO SCHOOL” are written in the illustration to represent the unusual circumstances of the 2020-2021 school year and how back to school this year is going to be very different. So, set your alarms for this year’s back to school , whether virtual or in-person, as it has finally arrived and will be full of suprises.

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‘Folklore’ Taylor Swift’s latest release shook her fans with its new genre flavor By Alanna Gallagher, Staff Reporter On July 24, Taylor Swift released a surprise new album called “Folklore.” “Folklore” is quite different from the other albums Swift has released in the past couple of years. Her other albums “1989,” “Lover,” “Reputation,” and “Red” were all considered pop with a few songs delivering messages of new beginnings, moving on from people, and finding a new person to love. However, “Folklore” is a completely new sound for fans and has a completely different message throughout her album. “Folklore” will forever be known as Swift’s indie album. This indie album seems to focus on the feeling of missing people that have gone out of your life and still holding onto the memories with them. Her song “The 1” captures the exact feeling of holding onto memories of people you don’t have a relationship with anymore. Swift sings, “If one thing had been different / Would everything be different today?” These two lines perfectly capture the feeling of someone important in your life leaving you. These lyrics are her wondering whether she could have done something different for them to stay or if she had done one little thing different would they still be in each other’s lives. The other standout song from her latest release is “Exile” featuring Bon Iver. This piece shows both sides of a breakup after concluding a toxic relationship. It talks about them still having feelings for each other but needing to leave because they both know they aren’t happy and things will never be right between them no matter what. “Folklore” will forever be known as Swift’s indie album. The album focuses on heartbreak and unique sounds that fans have never heard from Swift before.

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Illustration by Abeeha Zaidi


SCHOOL NEWS Kinnelon School District’s

Hybrid Plan

By Camille Balo, Editor-in-Chief “Uncertainty” just might be the word that many would use to describe the feelings about this upcoming 2020-2021 school year. However, the Kinnelon School District is working diligently to provide new information as it comes in, all while trying to be as transparent as possible with the problems they have been facing regarding the many new protocols that must be followed to ensure both the students’ and staff’s safety this year. This large amount of information the district is supplying the Kinnelon families can be quite overwhelming at first; however, listed below are the main problems, precautionary steps, and emergency responses the school district plans to take, providing a quick snapshot of how school will look as it reopens.

The district’s biggest concerns: • The district’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems were not all up to par with the new guidelines since some required repairs and new parts. Superintendent Diane DiGiuseppe noted that the high school’s HVAC system worried them the most. • The schools’ bandwidths were found to be unable to support the live streaming of all the classes. However, the Board of Education voted to move the start date of school back to Sept. 10 due to a bandwidth update occurring on Sept. 8. • The lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) due to the school district donating their PPE last spring at the behest of the hospitals and New Jersey State. Despite many generous individuals and families donating PPE, the schools still have a lack of supplies. • A couple dozen staff members in the district have responded that they are at “high risk for severe illness from COVID-19,” more responded that they were caring for a cohabiting family member who is at high risk, and an even larger amount of teachers responded that they are caring for a child whose school and/or childcare provider is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19 related reasons.

The extra lengths the school is taking to ensure both physical and mental wellbeing, as well as a more successful virtual school experience: • All the teachers across the district are receiving a lot of professional development to make the experience better for students. However, DiGiuseppe urges for all families to understand that virtual instruction will never be a comparable replacement for traditional in-person instruction. • The district formed a Crisis Response Team composed of school counselors and psychologists, as well as both school social workers and licensed social workers from CarePlus NJ, to look after both the students’ and teachers’ mental health. • Cones will be put in the school hallways to direct student traffic in the halls while maintaining safe distances. • Gaiter masks, vented masks, and bandanas will not be allowed to be worn in school. • There will be a Home Health Screening form that will be filled out daily by students (or parents if

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Frequently asked questions: • Will there be temperature screenings before entering school? According to DiGiuseppe, “The CDC guidelines discourage temperature checks, especially since many pediatric cases of COVID-19 are asymptomatic or with mild symptomatology that doesn’t include a fever.” Furthermore, as stated in Info Session No. 2, the schools would likely face Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) violations due to being unable to remove a child with a fever from the temperature checking line without altering others. • What does Wednesday serve as/what will it look like? As of now, Wednesdays for all students will be completely at home. This day will serve as a day for teachers to make sure they are in sync with one another, as well as give the janitors a day to sanitize the school for the new wave of students that come in the following day. Students will not have virtual instruction on this day; rather, they will be given a virtual assignment to complete. Teachers will also be receiving professional development every Wednesday. • What is considered an outbreak in school? An outbreak in a school setting is called when there are two or more confirmed COVID-19 cases within 14 days of each other amongst people who do not share a household, who are epidemiologically linked, and who were not in close contact with one another. To watch the past info sessions, visit the school district website on the main page to look over the presentations and watch the recorded Zoom info sessions. To virtually attend the next info session, make sure to sign up prior to the start of the meeting to ensure entry. For more information, go to the school district website and read the Kinnelon Public Schools Restart and Recovery Plan, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) Checklist for Reopening Schools, the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) Public Health Recommendations for K-12 Schools, and more. If you have any questions pertaining to the hybrid plan, school safety, or logistics, email the Kinnelon School District Superintendent, Diane DiGiuseppe, at digiusepped@kinnelon.org

Photo Courtesy Of Unsplash

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the students are unable/not old enough to fill it out on their own) on OnCourse. • According to DiGiuseppe, “there will be asynchronous assignments intermixed with teacher check-in during at-home instruction.”

Produces New Vaccine Candidate Eva Breiterman, Staff Reporter

As September marks six months since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, many drug companies are hard at work to create a successful vaccine. Recently, pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson came together with BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority) to put more than $1 billion to use in creating and perfecting a new vaccine candidate. The company’s pre-clinical studies showed that the vaccine neutralized antibodies which prevented the virus from infecting the lungs of non-human primates. “We are excited to see these pre-clinical data because they show our SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate generated a strong antibody response and provided protection with a single dose. The findings give us confidence as we progress our vaccine development and upscale manufacturing in parallel, having initiated a Phase 1/2a trial in July with the intention to move into a Phase 3 trial in September,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson, in a news release on their website. In addition to BARDA, Johnson and Johnson has collaborated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DoD). The HHS and DoD have joined forces with Johnson and Johnson to create a large-scale manufacturing process in order to make 100 million doses of the vaccine candidate. In the latest study that Johnson and Johnson conducted, non-human primates only required a single dose of the vaccine for it to be successful instead of two. “A single-shot immunization has practical and logistical advantages over a two-shot regimen for global deployment and pandemic control,” said Dan Barouch, M.D., Ph.D.v. to The Harvard Gazette, “but a two-shot vaccine will likely be more immunogenic, and thus both regimens are being evaluated in clinical trials.”

Photo from Wikimedia

Photo from @markuswinkler, Unsplash

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LOCAL/WORLD Johnson & Johnson


CHADWICK BOSEMAN November 29, 1976 - August 28, 2020

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SPORTS Uncharted Territory

How an unknown future ahead of athletes could either lead to promising futures or failure through seasons that never were

By Michael Lally, Staff Editor

As many know, 2020 has been one of the most unpredictable years of recent history. Whether it was the coronavirus sweeping across the world, or the passing of legends such as Kobe Bryant and Chadwick Boseman, 2020 is labeled by most as “The Worst Year of All Time.” With that being said, how could schools possibly be able to have fall sports? No touching, social distancing, and other factors came into play, but Gov. Phil Murphy and Chief of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), Colleen McGuire, were able to give athletes relieving news by passing various fall sports to begin competitive play as of Aug. 17. With fall sports to start Sept. 11, many student-athletes were able to exhale and come to a realization that their dreams of having a fall sports season were slowly becoming a reality. Junior quarterback Aidan Duffy gave his take on the modified season, “At this point, I’m just happy to have a season. It has been a long wait for football, and the last thing I wanted was for our season to be canceled. I am just really happy.” However, not all news is good news, as McGuire and Murphy had to address the elephant in the room: indoor athletics. The ultimate result was the postponement of volleyball and gymnastics until a date to be determined at a later time. Junior volleyball player Natalie Klinger gave her insight as to why this postponement might not be as bad as it may seem. “Most of our team doesn’t think of it as a bad thing. We get more time to practice, more time to clean up what we were rusty in last year, and overall, we are grateful that it was postponed and not canceled. Girls sports are many times overlooked and to still have a shot at playing this season is great in itself.” The key to a successful season for all sports is to find the positives where there seemingly are none. A postponement can be either seen as a setback or more time to practice. A cancellation can be seen as an opportunity taken away or a way of protecting the lives of athletes. It all boils down to how one can turn a negative situation into a positive one.

The only thing holding fall sports back is the virus, but with procedures being set, is there a chance that normalcy can be reached? Photo Courtesy of Unsplash.com

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The results of the biggest hurdle the sports community has ever faced

By Brian Lane, Staff Reporter

As a result of COVID-19, the active pandemic that has done its fair share of damage to people around the world, professional sports organizations are faced with the extremely difficult task of properly testing all of their players before resuming play. Fans across the world are eager to once again cheer on their teams and watch live competitions of their favorite sports. In order for professional sports to get back into full swing, however, many rounds of COVID-19 testing are required to ensure that no athletes, coaches, or team personnel have the virus. Due to the increased testing, fans are seeing athletes from various teams testing positive for COVID-19. The positive test results are not a good sign for the resumption of college sports, as well, as players who test positive may have been exposed to teammates or staff members. The NBA alone has seen a 7.1% positive test rate among its players, with the NHL rate coming in at around 5.8%. The MLB also recently announced that six players had tested positive for COVID-19 in its most recent round of testing. However, the MLB is still shooting to resume action on July 23. For the entirety of professional sports, there will be players and staff testing positive for COVID-19; that part of the matter cannot be changed by professional sports teams and organizations. However, the manner in which teams and organizations respond to positive COVID tests will determine the fate of their upcoming seasons. If players, teams, and leagues as a whole take proper preventive measures following positive COVID tests, professional sports seasons may just be able to return to normalcy.

Results of COVID-19 testing among two leagues, (NBA and NHL).

Chart by Brian Lane

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COVID-19 Testing in Pro Sports


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Back-to-School 2020 Issue  

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