The Smoke Signal Pascack Valley High School
June 2015 Volume XI, Issue I
“Where there’s smoke there’s fire”
Inside this issue New Editor in Chief announced for next year
Page 6 PV senior aids Dominican families
Page 3 Top 10 PV sports stories of this year
Marking periods are history
No mandatory exams, pair of “virtual days” part of new plan By Jamie Ryu Staff Writer
The Pascack Valley administration has decided to get rid of marking periods and mandated midterm and final exams. After a large percentage of the school’s population refused the PARCC, Mr. Erik Gundersen, the superintendent of schools, felt that “it was a reaffirmation that a change needed to be made” to the way schools run. “It’s antiquated,” Gundersen said of the way schools currently run. “The purpose of marking periods has really moved. There is no purpose.” Changes were approved by the Board of Education at its meeting on June 8, and students will have one final grade at the end of the year. The administration will determine dates to evaluate student progress and to determine the senior class valedictorian. There will also be set dates for changes in semester courses and for health classes.
Hunterdon Central High School in Flemington has already implemented this and has seen no significant positive or negative effects on grades, Gundersen said. “As long as you master the content at some point, that’s the important piece,” Gundersen said. “The idea is that we’re trying to reduce unnecessary stress for
students.” Along with this change, midterms and finals will no longer be mandated. While departments can individually decide to administer an exam, there will be no specific dates set aside for the tests. The district will also be will be mandating two virtual days, something it experimented with last school year.
Next year, teachers will have more leniency to design their own classrooms and will be allowed to submit proposals to the administration. Administration also has decided to be less lenient with attendance during “Pascack Period” in the 2015-2016 year. This year’s new schedule implementations will continue into the 2015See CHANGES on Page 7
Sending smoke signals to our former editor in chief By Justin Cook Editor in Chief
at Pascack Valley was brought to the forefront of the minds of both students and the administration. In response to this, Gundersen and the rest of the administration have been working furiously to promote tolerance within the school system. They are currently in contact with several organiza-
It’s hard to imagine a young David Remnick, current editor of The New Yorker, walking through the same halls of Pascack Valley that we walk through everyday. It’s hard to imagine a young Remnick attending the PV football games or going to the school pep rallies; however, it’s especially difficult to imagine a young Remnick serving as editor in chief of this very paper, The Smoke Signal, close to four decades ago. For those unfamiliar, Remnick is a PV graduate who has led a multi-decade spanning career that is as influential as it is fascinating. In 1981, he graduated from Princeton University and quickly found a job
See BERGEN on Page 7
See EDITOR on Page 3
Smoke Signal file photo
Students gather in the cafeteria during a lunch period early this school year. School officials are considering tweaks to make lunch and other schedule features more efficient.
PV officials visit Bergen CC #PeaceinPV spurs trip to Center for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation
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of Pascack Valley High School, and Mr. Joseph Orlak, the Supervisor of Instruction in the district, went to Bergen Community College in order to learn about its tolerance program at its Center for By Jamie Ryu Peace, Justice, and RecStaff Writer onciliation. On May 26, Mr. Erik After The Smoke SigGundersen, the Superin- nal published an open tendent of Schools in the letter to the school writPascack Valley Regional ten by Pascack Valley’s School district, Mr. Tom Human Rights League, De Maio, the principal the issue of tolerance
Published on Jun 23, 2015
The year-end (and only) print issue for the 2014-15 school year. This issue is notable for the lead story about changes for the follow year...