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U.S. POSTAGE PAID Sacramento, CA Permit No. 1668 @scdsoctagon

VOL.44 NO.2 • Sacramento Country Day School • 2636 Latham Drive, Sacramento, CA• • October 20, 2020



ierra homeowners who live near Country Day have appealed the city’s approval of Country Day’s plan to increase building space and enrollment. Sierra homeowners who live near Country Day have appealed the city’s approval of Country Day’s plan to increase building space and enrollment. An appeal hearing is set for Oct. 22. The school seeks permission to replace its Multipurpose Room and L-shaped middle school building with two separate two-story structures and grow its enrollment from 544 to 596 students . The neighbors do not want the school to expand, mainly because peal, they say that more students parking, and reduce quality of life in the neighborhood. Country Day’s plans were approved on Aug. 22 by Zoning Administrator Evan Compton of the City of Sacramento. The approval

Use Permit (CUP). Shortly after the approval, 30 Sierra Oaks-area residents appealed the city’s decision. The appeal hearing with the city was originally scheduled for Sept. 24, but it has been delayed. “The school asked for a continuance until Oct. 22 because the neighbors would like more time to work with us to come up with a mutually agreeable solution,” said Lee Thomsen, head of school. “We have met in-person twice, and we’re talking about what they’re looking for, what we would be willing to concede. We’re in the stages of haggling, able to reach an agreement before Oct. 22, so we don’t have to go to an appeal at all.” Thomsen said the most importcation is the enrollment increase for the whole school and especially the high school, which would grow from 144 to 180. According to the original request, because of the small size of the high school compared with the middle school, most students leave Country Day in 8th grade.

SAFETY FIRST! Cars line up in the lower school driveway to drop off students on Oct. 14. lowing them on campus. PHOTO: MILES MORROW “SCDS fears that the high school will stagnate or become unviable if not permitted to grow beyond the current cap of 144 students,” according to the school’s request. The neighbors oppose the growth. “More students help SCDS ecosurrounding residential neighneighborhood less livable, less desirable and increases the risks to pedestrians,” the neighbors

wrote in their appeal. Evans, who helped write the

school here, just not the excess

getting hit,” Evans said. “Also, in one case, a man was turning right on Munroe from Latham, and apparently he didn’t turn fast enough; the parent in the car behind him got out of her car started yelling at him that ‘You old people have nothing better to do than sit and wait!’ That’s not, of course, typical, but you remember items like that.” The approval is subject to a

been many instances of almost

APPEAL page 3 >>

main issue. “We really felt the decision was the wrong decision, for a variety of reasons. The environment beoverall congestion issues,” Evans said of the city’s approval.

Students share views on gun control, mask enforcement BY DYLAN MARGOLIS As the Nov. 3 presidential election approaches, four Country Day students, senior Avi Krishna, junior Lilah Shorey, junior Jesus Aispuro and freshman Aiden Cooley, participated in a political roundtable discussing current events and their political views. Both Krishna and Shorey align themselves with the Democratic Party, while Aispuro and Cooley align with the Republican Party. Because Aispuro could not attend the entire discussion, some of his answers are from a separate interview. Answers have been edited for clarity, brevity and good taste. Gun Control: Q: Do you believe in a mandatory buyback of all assault weapons by the U.S. government? Cooley: any good.


Krishna: a fan of guns, but just regarding of a mandatory buyback is to rea buyback wouldn’t actually reach you look at Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain, it’s very back their guns because of the strong gun lobbies, but that’s a whole other issue in and of itself. with violent intentions — and those who you actually think have been doing damage — to give up their guns and settle on a monetary price, especially due to the restrictions and freedoms that we wouldn’t be in favor of that. Shorey:


with me. Obviously, there should be more restrictions on how you

not gonna work. Also, it’s not going to reduce crime, as (Krishna) said, so there’s not really a point. Aispuro: (Shorey) and (Krishna) said. Cooley: go out and kill a bunch of people, why do you think that they’re gonna abide by the law? Q: Do you believe that Country Day teachers should be allowed

dent would take a teacher’s gun, as opposed to a student bringing probably create more incidences would not agree with that. Cooley: just talking about Country Day, option, and students shouldn’t


carry it on their person because most of the time if someone has a concealed carry, which is legal*, they have holsters that are not

care if it’s for precautions to stop

guns, they will be extremely safe

think that’s not a smart idea. Krishna: The question kind of ers carrying guns a mandatory be required to carry guns; that’s a horrible idea because people aren’t necessarily comfortable. Even having it as an option would increase the likelihood that a stu-

CENTERPOINT 6-7 Learn about and catch up with student-run clubs and teams in high school, from LatinX representation to

was a school shooting, it would make a big difference to have a good guy with a gun versus a bad have that than, you know, a teacher not having a gun and waiting for the cops to come. *Editor’s note: Californians must have a license to carry a concealed weapon. Krishna:

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 9 Check out the different styles of art created by students and teacher despite being under quarantine.

more of an argument to be made still disagree. Shorey: safe, why don’t they have a bulletproof vest on them instead of a gun because a gun against a gun ing to get shot either way, and it’s not safe for anyone. COVID-19 Q: Does the government have the right to enforce mask-wearing in all places of business and school? Shorey: just to keep everybody safer, so just a piece of cloth on your face. fore the pandemic started, and should be mandatory because it’s keeping everyone safer than if you’re not having them on.

ROUNDTABLE page 3 >>

FEATURE 10 Did you know Country Day has 13 sets of twins? Learn about their similarities, differences and daily interactions.


News • October 20, 2020

STAFF PRINT EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Sanjana Anand Ming Zhu ONLINE EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Ethan Monasa Arijit Trivedi NEWS EDITOR Nihal Gulati FEATURE EDITOR Ming Zhu SPORTS EDITOR Miles Morrow A&E/OPINION EDITOR Dylan Margolis PHOTO EDITOR Hermione Xian GRAPHIC ARTISTS Charlie Acquisto Brynne Barnard-Bahn SOCIAL MEDIA STAFF Arikta Trivedi, editor Samhita Kumar, staffer PAGE EDITORS Sanjana Anand Arjin Claire Nihal Gulati Dylan Margolis Ethan Monasa Miles Morrow Arijit Trivedi Arikta Trivedi Hermione Xian Ming Zhu BUSINESS STAFF Arjin Claire, manager Samhita Kumar, assistant HEAD OF TECHNOLOGY Nihal Gulati REPORTERS Rod Azghadi Jacob Chand Emily Cook Jonah Angelo David Katie Espinoza William Holz Samhita Kumar Lauren Lu Callister Misquitta Samrath Pannu Natalie Park Aarushi Rohatgi Hermione Xian Garman Xu PHOTOGRAPHERS Miles Morrow Arikta Trivedi Hermione Xian MULTIMEDIA STAFF Dylan Margolis, editor Miles Morrow, editor Rod Azghadi, staffer Jacob Chand, staffer ADVISER Bonnie Stewart The Octagon is Sacramento Country Day’s student-run high school newspaper. Its purpose is to provide reliable information on events concerning the high school in order to inform and entertain the school community. The staff strives for accuracy and objectivity. The Octagon aims to always represent both sides of an issue. Errors will be noted and corrected.

The Octagon

Standardized testing requirements change due to COVID-19 BY ARJIN CLAIRE


s COVID-19 sweeps across the nation, colleges, universities, teachers and students

of the outbreak which has temporarily stopped standardized exams. On Oct. 14 the school administered the PSAT and SAT to juniors and seniors respectively after the date was decided on by the College Board. However, it is uncertain how these results will be used as this suspension of tests has caused many to reconsider the use of standardized testing in college admissions processes. As of Oct. 9, more than 1,600 colleges have adopted a “test-optional” policy for the graduating class of 2021 according to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing. have been with the University of California system (UCs). Its nine undergraduate campuses will be test-optional — meaning tests can be submitted, but are not required — through 2022. In the following years it plans on going test-blind so students are not required to submit test scores. However, the idea of dropping standardized tests is not new, said Jane Bauman, Country Day’s director of college counseling. “Before the pandemic, because of a number of lawsuits questioning the fairness of testing, some colleges began to shift towards test-optional or even test-blind,” Bauman said. Assistant Director of College Counseling Chris Kuipers said that before COVID-19 — despite standardized tests being required for admissions — colleges were slowly beginning to move away from them. “COVID-19 helped to accelerate the push the UCs were making against standardized tests,” Kuipers said. “Their decision to start de-prioritizing the SAT and ACT has been important to more colleges becoming test-optional.” The SAT and ACT are similar tests, but with some key differences. Unlike the SAT, the ACT has a dedicated science section instead of it being included in the math and reading sections.

Both tests also have different scoring systems, with the SAT maxing out at 1,600 points and the ACT at 36 points. This push away from standardized testing already has found success. As of March 20 — after the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced they would no longer consider subject tests in applications — no college in the United States requires SAT Subject Tests for admission purposes. Criticizing standardized tests is not new either. Kuipers said the College Board faced scrutiny for the meaning of “SAT” in 1997. “The SAT used to stand for the ‘Scholastic Aptitude Test,’” Kuipers said. “They got rid of it nition of those words became heated.” Now, the SAT is no longer an initialism. Another long-time question that has been asked about standardized tests is what they are meant to measure and how good they are at measuring whatever that may be. “That’s one reason why schools are taking a break from standardized testing,” Bauman said. As a college counselor and both Stanford University and Amherst College, Kuipers said that standardized tests measure a base skill level of academic ability, intelligence and aptitude while serving as a constant that can be used across all applicants and is less subjective than high school transcripts. There are many mixed feelings as to whether standardized tests are a good measuring tool for colleges to use. Senior Allie Bogetich said standardized tests are a good measure for colleges to use. “Every school is different, so not every school will have the same classes,” Bogetich said. “Less privileged schools probably aren’t going to have access to highly educated teachers who are able to teach AP classes or advanced classes. The concept of the SAT or ACT helps level the need a teacher to study for it. It’s one thing that everyone across America has access to.”

IN THE RED? Upon students’ arrival to take PSAT and SAT, assistant to the head of high school Valerie Velo takes the temperature of senior Colin Usrey in front of the high school office. PHOTO: HERMIONE XIAN Bogetich said the SAT and ACT should be optional, similar to AP exams. The ACT and SAT could serve as a replacement for those who either don’t have access to or didn’t perform well on AP exams, she said. Both Bauman and Kuipers had views similar to Bogetich’s. “I don’t think tests should be required,” Kuipers said. “But another question is, what tests are you going to use?” Bauman said at SCDS, test scores are generally consistent with grades. Bauman also said colleges tell students that high school grades are better “predictors” of college success rather than test scores. Kuipers’s hope for colleges to go test-optional shares the same reasoning as Bogetich. Kuipers said that the level of a student’s education plays a role in testing and results. “I think they measure something, and that’s pretty reliable, but what that reliability shows is that they’re in some way measuring the quality of a student’s educational background,” Kuipers said. “Studies have shown that, generally, the wealthier a family is, the better the student scores,” Kuipers added that racial and ethnical factors also affect tests, and said that generally white students perform better than

students of color, and there are lots of factors that play into that. Kuipers said AP exams are better tests in comparison to the SAT or ACT. “With AP tests, you’ve sat in a class for an entire year, and you’re learning a wide variety of different skills for a standard AP Test,” Kuipers said. “It speaks to a more real set of knowledge and more vague, holistic measure.” Another argument against standardized tests has come from a business standpoint, with the College Board and ACT both pushing for testing to continue. “A huge business interest drives testing,” Bauman said. “The College Board and ACT are becomes optional, so it makes sense why they would push to continue testing.” And there’s social pressure. “Since these tests are required to get into college, societal pressure makes people think that they have to take the PSAT to get National Merit, and the expectation is to take the test two or three times to get a good score,” Kuipers said. “I’m hopeful that colleges realize there are other ways to measure the merit of a student.”

The Octagon shall publish material that the staff deems in the best interest of the school community. The staff recognizes the importance of providing accurate and reliable information to readers. The Octagon does not represent the views of the administration, nor does it act as publicity for the school as a whole. The Octagon will publish all timely and relevant news, subject to the following exceptions: obscenity; slanderous or libelous material; or material contrary to the best interests of the school community, as judged by the guidrelines among the newspaper staff, adviser and school administration. Editorials are approved by an editorial board. Columns/commentaries shall be labeled as such and represent only the opinion of the author. In the interest of representing all points of view, letters to the editor shall be published, space permitting, unless otherwise requested. All letters must be signed and conform to the above restrictions. The staff may change grammar and punctuation or abridge letters for space considerations. Comments can be made on our website to address all stories run.

MANDATORY MASKS Juniors sit in Room 3 and wait for the PSAT to start on the morning of Oct. 14. PHOTO: SANJANA ANAND

The Octagon

October 20, 2020 • News


Roundtable: Students discuss social justice (continued from page 1) Cooley: I think the government should be able to step in and say, “hey, put a mask on” or declare martial law. But I can also see where people are coming from saying that it’s an infringement of rights, having the government come into your personal life and say, “you got to wear this.” Krishna: Do you mitigate deaths, or do you value someone’s right to endanger other people’s lives? At the end of the day, if you’re extremely anti-mask, you’re probably going to violate these things anyway, so having it come from the government can encourage people to do it. So it really just comes down to, will this convince more people to do it? And if the answer is yes, then you should probably just make it required. Social Justice: Q: Should colleges be able to use afprocess? Cooley: I don’t think so. They shouldn’t be able to turn away people due to their race, but if they are part of a hate-group then I think you should. Colleges should allow people based on how intelligent they are, rather than their skin color.

Krishna: I’d like to see one that’s more based on family income and those kinds of mative action is really just a corrective for injustice, and the people who have been marginalized are also the ones in low-income situations. I probably want to see a correction based on income as opposed to race. Shorey: should try to pick the best person for the job, but someone in a lower income area could have just one bad thing they did and now colleges will automatically say no. At the same time, a wealthy white person can get away with something. I don’t think you can really make up for some of the injustices that have happened. You can’t solve someone’s death by letting someone that has the same skin color into a college. I also have a problem with admitting off of just test scores. There’s more to people than standardized tests and their grades. You have to factor in how they are as people. Aispuro: The reason you’re getting accepted into college or why you want to go to college, is to better yourself and has nothing to do with what your ancestors lived through because they are not you. Using that as an excuse, or as a step up for why a college should accept you compared to a white person or a Latino person — I feel

like doing that is kind of distasteful.

Q: Should Country Day teachers be able to express their own personal political opinions in the classroom? Cooley: I think that teachers shouldn’t be able to express their opinions in education. Education should be straight down the er, allowing the student to make their own decisions, to decide what they think is right teacher says is right. Krishna: I feel because politics has been so ingrained in our society, whether or not teachers overtly say what their political its way into the curriculum. Certain topics that have to be taught are overtly political to the degree that if a teacher doesn’t bring it up, they are still being political. If I had to give a general answer, I’d probably say no because it might make students feel like they’re being forced into a world in which they don’t want. Shorey: I agree with that, too. It’s basically impossible to not have a bias, and you’re obviously going to see teachers’ biases through things. So many things have been politicized. Look at COVID-19, which has become politicized when it shouldn’t be. I am torn because I’m unsure what really is a I’m going to say that they should probably keep it out of the classroom the best that they can. I’m who haven’t really formed an opinion yet. Aispuro: If it’s a healthy discussion that adds to the class, then sure, but if you’re going to be political in your class that has nothing to do with politics, then that shouldn’t happen. If the teacher is just trying to force an agenda on the students that isn’t good either. There probably shouldn’t be any rules against it, as long as the discussions are fair and civil. Q: What is one issue that you think de-

PRESSED POLITICS (Clockwise from top left) Senior Avinash Krishna, juniors Lilah Shorey and Jesus Aspuro and freshman Aiden Cooley discuss politics in a roundtable on Oct. 6. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: DYLAN MARGOLIS

another issue that you align with that is against your party? Cooley: I think the thing that makes me most Republican is my stance on gun control. I’ve been raised in a family where we go hunting a lot. I want to keep my guns

and have that right. One thing I don’t agree with the Republican Party about is pro-life and abortion rights. If someone has a kid, I think it should be their choice to keep it or not because at the end of the day, if they can’t support it, that’s just going to be one more kid in the foster system. It’s your body. Do whatever you want with it. Aispuro: This is a tough question, but I would probably have to say I strongly agree with the Republican Party’s ideas on freedom of speech. I just think that we should be allowed to say whatever we want. I also don’t like how radical the Democrats are, doing things like not gendering their babies because it’s their choice. I disagree with the Republican Party in their opinions on abortion as well. Personally, I believe in pro-choice. Krishna: I don’t want to come off as oversomething that I agree with within the Republican Party. Climate change is very important to me, especially considering that I’m going to be growing up severely affectRepublican senators like Marco Rubio who take it really seriously, but there’s a general almost nonchalant attitude about the whole issue. Something more moderate is my full support of Joe Biden. If you look at Biden’s record throughout his tenure as a politician, he’s been consistently in the middle of the party. Shorey: I consider myself more leftist, than Democrat, and the thing that makes stuff like climate change or social justice issues. I lean more towards socialist views, and I think that we should help more people out. Healthcare should not be a bonus, it should be a basic human thing. Medicare for all. We’re all humans, and we should all take care of each other. Republicans being against that and trying to repeal Obamacare, which makes health care more accessible for people of lower-income, is just messed up. But the thing the Republican Party does well is they can agree on everything, and they go and do it. They all settled for Trump and they didn’t change. The Democratic Party needs more unity. Some people are more extreme than others, and no one can agree on anything. You can’t win a presidency if you don’t come together, and if you want to get rid of Trump, then you vote for Biden no matter what.

Appeal: Neighbors seek partnership, long-term plan (continued from page 1) number of conditions. Country Day has agreed to contribute $150,000, an estimated 20% of light at the intersection of Munroe Street and Latham Drive. The school also must follow other city ordinances, add shared bikes and 55 more bicycle parking spaces. In their appeal, the neighbors state these measures are useless and contrived. this constitutes legitimate mitibicycle spaces will go unused because students will still be driven to school,” the appeal states. The biggest concern with the neighborhood at certain times,” Evans said, “not being able to walk around the school when it’s congested. It’s just not easy like that. Some people cannot get out of their driveways.” Evans wants to see long-term Country Day, but Sierra Oaks Elementary School, which is down the street from Country Day. “The people on Latham Drive are affected by both schools,” she said. “We should be doing this for this generation of students to

improve the environment. That would be reducing the vehicle miles traveled, which would also

erra Homeowner’s Agreement, a contract between the school and the neighbors signed in 1996 that lays A 2019 steps for expansion. This doesn’t conducted Evans by a third said the have to be a party, DKS neighbors battle with the school, it Associates, were upset could be a partnership. as part of about Country And that’s what we seek. Day’s lack of Country Day’s ap— Ann Evans follow-through plication on items listed concludin the Agreeed that the ad- ment, such as the off-site parking dition of 50 students would have lot rented by SCDS. Evans said it has not been used at all. “The school has done a very study in its decision to approve good job since 1996 in managing the CUP, but the neighbors main- the parking on Latham. I just wish they were more willing to considwas “based on unrepresentative er long-term solutions that would and factually inaccurate data.” The neighbors also allege that they were cut out of the deci- there’s a discussion about insion-making process. creasing enrollment,” Evans said. “The city made a bilateral Thomsen said circumstances agreement with the school,’ Ev- have changed since 1996, when ans said. “When this came up 25 the Agreement was signed. years ago, the city council mem“They are essentially saying ber representing us involved us twenty-some years ago you all intimately in it. This time, we talked about doing this and this, were cut out of the process. That and now you’ve changed your has been very upsetting.” mind,” Thomsen said. “Which is The neighbors also argue that just what happens over a period the proposed plan violates the Si- of 25 years.”

“The biggest sticking point is the piece about the high school,” Thomsen said. “In 1996, the school at that point was planning to open a second campus somewhere and making a separate Country Day high school which would be larger so it could compete in size with schools like Jesuit and Saint Francis. There were several attempts to move the high school, which fell through. The school spent close to $2 million trying to make that happen.” Thomsen also said the Sierra Homeowners Agreement does not include the city, therfore it’s completely separated from the CUP that was approved for the school. Concerning the city, Evans said administrators didn’t have the big picture in mind. “They liked the idea of having the school help pay for the signal,’ Evans said, “whether we want it or not, and they don’t have a long-term interest in this. They’re looking at very quick solutions.” Evans said the neighbors would be prepared to sue the school. “But suing the school also isn’t a permanent solution,” she said. “This agreement between the school and the city also isn’t a permanent solution. What happens the next time the school wants to grow? A multi-modal,

address that. Our generation should be ashamed of the smog we leave you, of climate change, of the various challenges they’re going to have to live with. This doesn’t have to be a battle with the school, it could be a partnership. And that’s what we seek.” Moving the high school is not the plan anymore, Thomsen said. “That’s just not a reality. And given that, we’d like to make the high school a little bigger, not to make it giant, to give us some

For details on how to join the Oct. 22 hearing, go to or use the code above. Information is posted under October 22, 2020 Meeting Agenda.


Feature • October 20, 2020

The Octagon

Physical education requirements modified due to remote learning BY SANJANA ANAND


for three years and were plan-



Country Day is in the Cali-

BEST OF THREE Senior Charlie Acquisto (left) Athletics -

coach Rick Fullum (right) on March 9. PHOTO: EMMA BOERSMA

sports seasons start dates for the

suspended in-person learning,




Cones and red laundry rope

sports will start in the spring, -

different is what the students are doing or how they’re training,”

County guidelines say that we -




of us to all do our own thing and

PE elective

for students to wash their hands






“If the sport doesn’t run at all,

Independent PE -

to do, but the hope is that we’re going to get these sports up and





Students try to complete community service during pandemic BY ARIJIT TRIVEDI

na hold anyone to the literal line of the

“I wish I had gotten it done before senior on her “not too serious” attitude toward



line opportunities, she only found tutoring -




with Country Day Cares for as long as he

PACK IT UP On Oct. 2, the Country Day Cares club volunteered at the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services and packed 550 food boxes PHOTO: HAILEY FESAI


The Octagon

October 20, 2020 • News

Teachers adjust curriculum due to COVID-19 BY GARMAN XU


any students and teachers around the globe have had to adapt to learning differently and safely through the pandemic. It’s no different at Country Day, where high school teachers have altered their courses to accommodate remote learning. History teacher Chris Kuipers said that not much has changed in terms of content, and he strongly believes that it is still possible for students to learn the material if they put in the work. sponsibility on students to understand the readings themselves,” Kuipers said. “There’s a lot less time for me to walk through and do the hand-holding to make sure that they get that basic content.” Math teacher Patricia Jacobsen also is not planning to cut out any content in her classes. Math is a cumulative subject, so she will have to continue teaching all concepts, she said. “My goal is to be able to maintain the same level of academic rigor,” Jacobsen said. On the other hand, remote learning has greatly impacted chemistry teacher Victoria Conner’s class. Students usually perform hands-on labs at school to learn about certain concepts. With remote learning, the labs will be moved to an online format with a new website called Pivot Interactives, where students will be able to watch videos on labs. It will be used in chemistry, biology and physics classes in the high school, Conner said. English teacher Jason Hinojosa’s classes have been subject to some change as

well. Previously, AP English Language and Composition and English 12 read works by Shakespeare and went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland to watch plays. Hinojosa decided to drop the readings altogether. “Although it was already my plan to drop Shakespeare from the senior curricula, remote learning made the decision that much easier,” he said. “I knew we would have less time for each text, and I knew we were no longer traveling to Ashland.” Engagement has also been a center of focus during remote learning. Kuipers says he is happy with the discussions on Zoom. They aren’t that much different than the ones in-person, he said. The only issue he has run into so far was to call on some of his quieter students to participate. “I’m really cognizant of people being in different situations and settings with siblings, pets or parents” Kuipers said. “So, I don’t want to necessarily put them on the spot quite as much.” Online class engagement varies depending on the class type. “Typically there’s one member of the group that’s going to do more work than others, so working solo on the virtual labs makes everybody be engaged with the lab to the same level,” Conner said. Still, the best way to learn the concepts is to do them in-person, she said. She hopes that classes can meet in-person as soon as possible. Teaching AP courses is also on the to-do list for many high school teachers. Unlike their slightly more relaxed plans for their regular courses, teachers have to plan differently for APs in order to prepare students for their exams in May. This might be


CHANGING COURSE High school history teacher Chris Kuipers explains his course plans to student parents at the 2019-2020 Back to School Night. PHOTO: ARIKTA TRIVEDI only meet two days a week on Zoom. Jacobsen has been faced with an extra ing Calculus BC. During her classes, she has been using the time to teach concepts as well as give extra videos to supplement learning. She also has her classes meet on Wednesdays, free work days for most students, so they can meet three times a week instead of two. Kuipers, on the other hand, puts a heavier focus on discussion since there are a lot of resources online available for his students. “It’s a shift in the balance of my class time,“ he said. “It is not going to be about

giving out the content. Instead, it’s going to be more about giving out the resources to students so we can discuss them in class.” Regardless of differing formats, Jacobsen said she has been especially proud of the attitude many of the teachers and students have had these past few months. “It is just incredible that a bunch of 14 and 15 year olds know that it’s not just hard on them, it’s hard for everybody and they take the time to write out a proper email showing human-like compassion for each other,” she said. “I know it’s a weird situation to be joyful, but in the normal day-today classroom we don’t really see that part of each other.”

Possibility of high school trips this year remains unlikely BY ARIKTA TRIVEDI Fall high school trips were canceled last spring due to COVID-19. Usually, high school students go on their week-long trips in the The freshmen go to San Francisco, sophomores to Greenhorn Ranch in Quincy and juniors and seniors to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) in Ashland, Oregon. These trips will likely not be possible in the spring, Head of

High School Brooke Wells said. The San Francisco trip for freshmen requires a lot of booking in advance for the hostel, and Wells doesn’t think staying overnight in a hostel would be a safe option for students. The Greenhorn Ranch shut down in spring due to the pandemic, opened up during summer and has shut down once again. “There’s no telling when the ranch will open up again, so we can’t count on that,” Wells said. English teacher Jane Bauman said that the OSF canceled its en-

tire season, which usually runs from February to October. “The OSF is the best repertory theater on the West Coast,” Bauman said. “It produces 10 or 11 plays a season, including three or four Shakespeare plays. Naturally, the plays tie into our curriculum.” Wells said the likelihood of having overnight trips, where students would stay in close proximity, is very unlikely. “It is possible that we might do some other trips in spring,” Wells said. “The ideal plan would be that if, following AP exams,

INCOMING! Junior Arijit Trivedi on the 2019-20 sophomore trip jumps over juniors Sanjana Anand and Jordan Lindsay on a hammock. PHOTO: ARIKTA TRIVEDI

things have cleared up, students can choose from a couple of off-campus activities.” Biology teacher Kellie Whited, along with Wells, plans the junior-senior trip. Whited said that the OSF and the town of Ashland have suffered

COVID-19, and she can’t wait to return and watch some plays to support them. “I have absolutely no idea what the rest of the year will bring,” Whited said. “We’d love to reschedule the class trips and only time will tell if that will be possible.”


October 20, 2020


catching up with The co LatinX Student Union


Pre-Med Club

Leadership Lunches

The Pre-Med Club focuses on students interested in the medical

Boxing, dancing, fencing and ents have all been discussed during



do interesting activities outside of tion about less common extracurmuseums and such and had variabout their road to medical school, One of the biggest clubs on




The club is still going strong deCraig Bolman, is in charge of con-

they feel about both school and

ing and holding sessions over Zoom, so it functions essentially the






grade teacher Kristi Mathisen and



held contests and fundraisers to

The lunches are usually held once There already has been one leaddegrees that can lead to medihad only begun discussing ideas a the goals of the Pre-Med club is to The club holds meetings every -

The Octagon



ountry Day community Esports Team

Current Events Club

Quiz Bowl Club

discuss current events around the Chemistry teacher Victoria ConStarted three years ago as an informal idea, history teacher Bill -

The club is meant to give stu-

Conner also had some thoughts The teams have one game a

founded the club last year after Meetings are held every Thursday

other high school teams that are -


going to be online through a voice an organization called PlayVS, in-





small school category in Chicago,

and frequently yelling over me at









Opinion • October 20, 2020

The Octagon

EDITORIAL: Neighbors make unreasonable


omeone is causing trouble on Latham Drive. Is it the small private school that wants to increase its enrollment by 10%, or the residents

will worsen? Both parties have understandable needs, but the neighbors are being unreasonable. Disagreement between the Sierra Oaks Homeowners and Country Day is nothing new. A dispute in 1996 resulted in an agreement between the two parties, capping the school’s enrollment at 544 students. At that time, the two parties agreed that the school would seek out a new location for its high school if it ever wanted to increase enrollment. Flash forward to today: Country Day Sacramento zoning permit or Conditional Use Permit (CUP) that would increase the overall enrollment to 598. The city approved Country Day’s request, but the neighbors appealed the decision. They claim the school would be in violation of the 1996 agreement if it doesn’t move the high school. The school administration argues that the agreement is old and doesn’t accurately represent today’s circumstances. Head of School Lee Thomsen said the school had looked into getting a new location for the high school in the past, but that is no longer an option. Over the course of 24 years, change has been a constant. Holding the school — which has a new Board of Trustees and headmaster — to the promises it made in 1996 seems unreasonable, especially The neighbors, however, say that the will worsen with the enrollment increase. ates, arrived at a much different conclusion. It was submitted to the city to con-

sider as it reviewed Country Day’s zoning there would only be a 2% increase in Drive intersection. Further, the study found, “From a trafthe school cap from 544 to 598 students

mended that the school pay part of the roe Street and Latham Drive. The school has agreed to pay $150,000, which is 20

amidst COVID-19 Before COVID-19, I had summer plans like everyone I knew. One of which was

talents, and personality traits so I could all those plans faded out of my mind. Businesses were temporarily closed, the -

I started with places local to me. Just

section delay on the local street system, managed to reduce or eliminate off-site queue spillbacks.” The neighbors’ appeal also alleges the to take place and somehow reduced argument is absurd. should satisfy both the school and the nearby neighbors. study recommended that the school

The best path forward is one of collaboration and compromise. Thomsen said the school and neighbors are in talks. This should continue until both parties have determined long-term strategies that reduce overall emissions. Additionally, the city should not overturn its CUP decision. The study shows that the 10% increase in students would Aggressive actions, such as lawsuits — like the neighbors say they are prepared to pursue — would only divide Latham Drive even more.

EDITORIAL: Standardized tests need work Due to COVID-19, standardized testing is less accessible. As a result, many colleges across the country have gone test optional or test blind to accommodate for limited testing opportunities. With the need of testing on a hiatus, this is a good time to reevaluate standardized testing. standardized testing. It gives a common measurement of a student’s abilities and saves from taking a unique assessment test from each college they apply to. In theory, standardized testing would ment to all, but not its current state.

The SAT tests your ability to take this test, not the concepts behind the test. Thus, a person who studies for their classes wouldn’t do nearly as well as a person who does practice tests all day. This deviates from the purpose of a standardized test. Students end up studying the patterns of questions and content tested solely by the SAT, which doesn’t measure a student’s ability to excel in college. The main issue of the SAT is its reading section. The reading makes up a large chunk of the test and has the most questions of all sections. Failing this section results in an overall useless score. The read-

“SAT 2020, Safe and Spaced” by Charlie Acquisto

ing section tests the ability to interpret a passage the way the SAT would interpret it. High school English curricula teach students to interpret a piece of text in unique ways. Let’s take Country Day as an example. Analyzing literature such as literature such as this appeared on the right answer from three wrong answers, determined by the SAT. With literature, however, there is almost never one right interpretation. In fact, there is no wrong interpretation. Therefore, SAT reading is hindering students’ English education. SAT must redesign the reading section. We understand the purpose of SAT reading is to develop comprehension skills, but the test questions are designed to mislead people. In many cases, the answers are riddled with unnecessarily complex language. The reading itself can contain unusual language: the questions shouldn’t. In addition, literature shouldn’t be tested in the reading sectaught to interpret literature in a non-linear fashion, and it’s counterproductive to put that on a multiple choice test. With the SAT in its current state, it shouldn’t be used as an integral factor for college admissions. It deviates from its original purpose as an aptitude test, and it fails to accurately predict a student’s ability to excel in college. When the pandemic blows over, we hope some long-awaited changes will be made to the SAT.

received the same answers. -

more people who knew I was looking for

called Sellands. I printed out two copies of my resume and went to apply. there were very friendly. I gave them my resume; they asked a few questions,

opening. She took my resume and told me to apply online as well. Once again, At this point, I started getting really discouraged. I was running out of places to apply to, so I started looking interest was a dishwasher at a restaugood attitude.” I went to the restaurant and talked to the manager. Yet when he ment yet again.


I was pretty upset. My day picked up when I received a phone call from my mom on Monday, Aug. 3. She saw an ad

cation then was sent to a room for an interview. After 10 minutes, I left the had high hopes. dinner when I got a phone call from the woman who had interviewed me. She moon and honestly so surprised. only took me the whole summer. lieve it.



The Octagon

October 20, 2020 • Arts & Entertainment


Quarantine Artists

“Scrutiny” by Olivia Chilelli

“Nun” by Jesus Aispuro BY LAUREN LU


he COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the art industry, though the severity of its effects varies among artists. Getting art supplies has been a challenge for artists like junior Jesus Aispuro. He makes stencil and spray paint art, but as a minor, he cannot order spray paint so art teacher Andy Cunningham lends him spray paint to use. “Mr. Cunningham has been really cool about lending supplies to students,” Aispuro said. “It’s still hard because at school I had so many colors to choose from, but now I just have a small box of spray paints.” Aispuro. Before quarantine, he primarily used the plywood boards in the art classroom. Getting materials and continuing to produce art has

“Prettyboy” by Chilelli

“Tones of Blue” by Cunningham

“Plant with Plants” by Lilah Shorey

not been a challenge for junior Sicily Schroeder. “I had most of my materials before quarantine started, so I haven’t had any issues,” she said. Schroeder also gets most of her supplies from online retailers like Amazon. While obtaining supplies has proven to be a challenge Junior Lilah Shorey is thankful for the quarantine because it has given her the time to create more art. “In the last semester of last year, I was extremely stressed out, and I was so sad because I had no time for any of my hobbies,” Shorey said. This summer was one of her most productive in regards to creating art. To support the Black Lives Matter movement, Shorey, Schroeder and junior Sanjana Anand completed several art commissions. Shorey said she felt apprehensive about going to pro-

tests because of the large number of people. Instead of protesting — which could put herself at risk she raised money while staying indoors by selling commissions. Shorey delivered the commissions by mail or driving directly to the customers’ houses and leaving them in the mailbox to avoid unnecessary contact with people. She ended up making 17 commissions during the summer, and the group raised over $1,400 for BLM. Shorey’s BLM commissions were successful, though the same can’t be said for artists who make a living off their work. “Art is always hard to sell, and the economic stress felt spend discretionary income,” Cunningham said. Gallery shows now take place on Zoom. Artists also feature their pieces on websites or post images on social media to bring more attention to their work, Aispuro said.

“What’d I Miss” by Shorey

“In The Streets with Brains and Masks” by Andy Cunningham

“Paper Bag” by Sicily Schroeder


Feature • October 20, 2020

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here are thirteen sets of twins at Sacramento Country Day School. Five of the thirteen are in the kindergarten. Some of the twins and parents shared memorable childhood experiences.

Priya and Bella Chand Eighth graders Priya and Bella Chand are fraternal twins, but they look identical. Although they are both 13 years old, Priya brags about being two minutes older, and Bella boasts about being taller.

Eighth graders Priya (left) and Bella (right) Chand. PHOTO: JACOB CHAND

Demian and Isandro Arriagra Five-year-old Demian and Isandro Arriaga are fraternal twins who are in kindergarten. Their mother, Audrey Russek, comes from a family of twins, so she has some twin experience. They enjoy riding bikes and scooters together, and playing board games. “They like to create their own board games,” Russek said. “With Candyland, they create new game boards with more types of candy and game pieces to play with.” They don’t do everything as a pair, though. “Even though they’re twins, they are their own people who like different things,” Russek said. Demian is very creative and is the one who enjoys creating his own game boards the most. He also loves soccer and bell peppers. Isandro enjoys more structured projects, like art and school. He especially likes math games. When Russek asked them what they like about being twins, Demian said, “We have a lot of fun together,” and Isandro said they can “help each other out.” They enjoy having each other to play with and are very supportive and protective of each other.

together. They don’t do everything together. Bella enjoys soccer and shopping; Priya likes gardening and riding her electric scooter. They also have different styles. Bella is more into fashion and makeup, while Priya wears more casual clothes and isn’t as girly. Because they are both extroverts, quarantine has been tough. “We miss our friends and getting to hang out with them,” Priya said. “Online school isn’t that great either. We can’t wait for school to go back to in person,” Bella said. One of their favorite memories is a mermaid-themed birthday they shared. “Our parents had a painter come, and he painted us as mermaids,” Priya said. They said having a twin is very different from just having a sibling because they always have been together. They think their bond is stronger, and they enjoy having each other.

Charlie and Henry Manolarakis

Kindergartners Charlie (right) and Henry (left) Manolarakis. PHOTO: ESTHER MANOLARAKIS

Kindergartners Demian (right) and Isandro (left) Arriagra. PHOTO: AUDREY RUSSEK

Five-year-old Charlie and Henry Manlarakis are fraternal twins in kindergarten. They love swimming, riding their bikes and decorating them. They also enjoy making bracelets and hand puppets for shows for the family. Separately, Henry loves acrobatics and doing tricks on his bike, while Charlie loves painting, dancing and singing. “Their personalities are completely night and day, but that makes it fun,” said their mother, Esther Manolarakis. “But, they still get along amazingly well. They are very loving, and they look out for each other. When one is scared, the other one will hold their hand to comfort him.” They both really enjoy playing dress up, which is one of Esther’s fondest memories. “For a child’s 1 year old birthday, it’s our family’s traditions to wear traditional clothes to celebrate. To honor this tradition, our boys wore Greek and Korean clothes to celebrate the culture with the entire family,” Manolarakis said. “That day was a blast.”

The Octagon

October 20, 2020 • Feature

From restaurants to babysitting, students find work during quarantine




During his sophomore year, Krishna said he enjoyed volunteering at the Vascular Institute of Northern California, so he knew he wanted to work in the healthcare

ith many activities postponed or canceled, some Country Day students decided to pick up jobs “My dad is opening a drug rehabilitation to pass their time. After her band camp was cancelled for home in Folsom, California, so I wanted to the summer, senior Allie Bogetich decid- help him out with that,” Krishna said. The residential home houses around six ed to work as a hostess at Piatti, an Italian people and strives to help people through restaurant in Sacramento. She started in June and is still working Krishna furnished the house with couchthere. Bogetich wanted to interact with cus- es and TVs, which was his least favorite tomers, so she interviewed for a hostessing part of the job. “Although setting up the home isn’t that position. “They hired me four days later, so I mentally stimulating, it plays a crucial role would say the interview was quite success- for the patients,” Krishna said. Television takes the patients’ minds off ful,” she said. Bogetich mostly works near the en- drugs, reducing the chance of a relapse, he trance, seating customers and answering said. Krishna also set up the rehab center’s any questions they might have. “I’m basically the face of the restau- website, his favorite part. The website was designed so the patients rant,” she said. Bogetich works the evening shift on Sat- can easily access their appointment information, treatment plans and contact inforurdays, Sundays and Mondays. Her least favorite part of the job is work- mation, he said. He learned a lot about the drug rehabiliing late on the weekends. She has left work tation industry. as late as 10:30 p.m. “I was fascinatGreeting the divered by all the difsity of customers is ferent methods Bogetich’s favorite When it’s over 100 of treatment and part of the job. The degrees and there the addictiveness willingness to eat at of certain drugs,” a restaurant during is ash falling out of the Krishna said. these times amazes sky, you must really want Sophomore Elizaher. that $27 glass of chambeth Cook babysat a “When it’s over Country Day family’s pagne.” 100 degrees and there is ash falling — Allie Bogetich two children three times a week for about out of the sky, you a month during the must really want summer. that $27 glass of The energetic pre-kindergartener and champagne,” Bogetich said. By working as a hostess, Bogetich has gained experience in communication, tak- loved to run around and play, Cook said. “They also loved to paint their nails, ing upwards of 100 phone calls per shift. “Talking on the phone with strangers is a which was really cute,” she said. The boys were the only people Cook lot easier now,” she said. With the restaurant opening its indoor could see out of quarantine, so the parents seating after 3 months, Bogetich said sani- were comfortable with the babysitting. Cook’s usual shift was from 5 p.m. to 9 tation is crucial. Whenever she has free time, she grabs p.m. Her biggest challenge was getting the cleaning solution and wipes down any surboys to go to sleep. faces that need it. “As soon as I left the room, they would Sanitation is also important in senior immediately stand up and come out,” she Avinash Krishna’s job. In the midst of studying for his SATs, said. Although bedtime was a challenge for Krishna helped set up a drug rehabilitation Cook, it was also a time when they made home. the most memories. He worked for the entire month of June. Cook would read them Dr. Seuss books, Krishna decided to work over the summer because he wanted something to do in and the boys would try and rhyme the case the SAT was cancelled. words.

TABLE FOR TWO? Senior Allie Bogetich answers the phone as a hostess during a shift at Piatti, an Italian restaurant in Sacramento. PHOTO: BOGETICH laugh out of his attempts to rhyme,” Cook said. Cook didn’t wear a mask or social distance while babysitting the boys. At that point in time, the two boys were the only people Cook could see besides her family. a Country Day second grader. She tutored her for four hours a day and four days a week for the span of a month. Cook worked on math and reading with her, but the lack of supplies and brief instructions were a challenge. math activities required a surplus of coins, which we didn’t

have,” Cook said. “So, we improvised and made coins out of paper.” The second grader also had an older sister, seventh grader, who they would hang out with after their work was done. the older sister did Cook’s makeup, which resulted in her face being all pink. “She didn’t have any face wash, so I went home looking like that,” Cook said, with a laugh.



Endpoint • October 20, 2020


he six-month sweep of the coronavirus has taken another thing away from most people, Halloween. Yet some Country Day students won’t let the virus get in the way of celebrating their favorite holiday. Senior Olivia Chilelli is

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one of them. She and her friends are dressing as characters from the popular video game Among Us, but they will not be going trickor-treating. “I’m going to be the yellow character, and my friends are going to be all the colors they usually use,” she said. “We found the costume idea after my friend saw it on TikTok and thought it was great because the characters already have masks on them.” Chilelli bought her costume through Amazon and is still waiting for it to come. She plans to celebrate the day of Halloween with her friends by carving pumpkins or going to a local park to hang out. Chilelli also plans to decorate her house despite the lack of spirit in her neighborhood. “My parents aren’t heavy decorators, but I love decorating,” Chilelli said. “I buy them with my own money, but I don’t know what I’m going to get this year.” For senior Avinash Krishna, going out isn’t worth the risk. “I don’t want to be complicit in those activities,” he said. “The CDC said this is one of the best ways to spread the virus, so I won’t be taking part in the holiday this year.” Krishna said there was a slight possibility he would go out if he developed antibodies by contracting the virus, but believes it’s very unlikely. He wasn’t going to dress as

Allie Bogetich as Rexy the dinosaur

to try a lot harder this year because he didn’t wear anything last year. Saying there was no purpose, Krishna decided not to do anything on Zoom. “I really wanted to hang out with friends,” Krishna said. “The social aspect is like no other on Halloween. I would do it through Zoom, but you don’t get that genuineness and social aspect like you do in person.” He plans to carve pumpkins with his family this year, but he won’t put up decorations like usual. Krishna has decid-

ed to work around the situation, hosting a Halloween themed game of Among Us with his school friends. Junior Lilah Shorey decided that she wasn’t going out, but still wants to celebrate the holiday by dressing up. “This is my favorite holiday,” she said. “It’s the only time of year I can dress up as someone and go crazy, and no one will really judge me for it. I enjoy it, and just because there’s a pandemic, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop celebrating my favorite holiday,” Shorey said. Shorey said she was indecisive and decided to wear two costumes this year: Ted from Bill and Ted, and Darth Maul from Star Wars. “I got the idea for Darth Maul after watching the whole Star Wars series over, and my red and black hair matches his color scheme. “I wanted to be Ted because the movie is hilarious, and it’s a great group costume for my friend (junior Sicily Schroder) and me,” Shorey said. Shorey said she got the Darth Maul robe from the Evangeline’s Costume Mansion on 113 K St, Sacramento, but will be doing Maul’s makeup by herself. For the Bill and Ted costume, Shorey will be using things she has gotten from thrift shopping. She might watch movies with friends while keeping a safe social distance, but

way to safely hangout, eat candy and play Mario Kart together,” she said. To bring cheer, Bogetich is going to dress nosaur sugar cookies for her neighbors. She chose the costume due to its built in saur cookie theme. “I take Halloween very seriously,” she said. “I like to do Halloween themed baking so everything is going to be pumpkin

said. Shorey is also going to provide candy to her neighbors, but to keep safe, she will refuse anyone who doesn’t have a mask and will try to stay a table’s length away from everyone. As for decorating, Shorey goes all out. “I do a ton of decorating,” Shorey said. “Just this weekend we bought some spider webs, hanging mummies, two giant blow-up cats, skeletons coming out of the ground and gravestones.” Sophomore Haylee Holman isn’t allowed to go out because of her parents’ concern for her safety. “It’s super depressing not being able to celebrate Halloween this year with my friends,” Holman said. “We don’t do much, but


I was still looking forward to it.” This year, Holman was also going to be an Among Us character, but she wasn’t sure which one. Holman doesn’t usually decorate and has decided to skip on carving a pumpkin this year. There is a chance her parents would allow her to go out, but it’s very slim, she said. “I could go to a friend’s house who I’ve seen a couple of times this summer, but that still wouldn’t make up for everything,” Holman said. For senior Allie Bogetich, Halloween is a must, even if it’s a little different this year. “I don’t go trick or treating anyway, so

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