LN Soccer Season Pages 15
Centerspread Pages 8 and 9
KNIGHT LIFE Ce
Loy Norrix School News
Volume 50 / Issue 1 / October 2009
Construction Begins at Loy Norrix, Summer ‘09
Ye ars O
606 E. Kilgore Road, Kalamazoo, MI. 49001
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Chelsea Glasheen Layout Editor
Key Club Keys Into Charity Key Club is open to all, every Tuesday in T. V. Studio (across from the cafeteria) starting at 2:30 p.m. Key Club is very excited about upcoming service opportunities including bell ringing with Salvation Army and the food drive.
Ignite Launches For the New School Year
The Ignite Mentoring program
has made its home at Loy Norrix since 2007. Since then, it has been a requirement for all freshman students to be assigned a mentor. The program has improved immensely in the past three years. Mentors and freshman meet once a month, September through March. If interested in joining Ignite for the 2010-2011 school year, see Ms. Thomas in the B-Wing office.
Annual Pumpkin Paintng Party This year was the 15th annual Pumpkin Painting Party at Loy Norrix. The pumpkins are donated to 45 locations around the area by the National Honors Society. This event is coordinated by students in Peace Jam. A great thanks to all who particpated.
Upcoming Events EXAMS
11/4- Exams 1st and 2nd block only 11/5- Exams 3rd and 4th block only
11/6- No School for students Professional Development for Teachers 11/25-11/27- No school
12/5- Winter Formal 12/11- Opening Night of “ I Never Saw Another Butterfly”
11/18- Parent Visitation Day 12/10- Alumni Day
KAYLEIGH SHOLES / KNIGHT LIFE
The C-wing being remodeled during the summer. Many of the wings looked like this while students were on break.
This year Loy Norrix celebrates its fiftieth year as a school. What better way to celebrate than makeover the school. In 2006, residents voted on an 85.5 million dollar bond package for Kalamazoo Public School; 2.6 million of that went to LN for construction. Along with that package a committee was put in place to walk around the school building to see what needed to be done. The committee came up with numerous ideas and decided to split the construction into two phases. Many teachers agree that this is a positive change for the school. “I believe that it gives the school a better look and a better energy. It makes you feel proud to come into LN high school,” said Ajamian Gardner a teacher at Loy Norrix. Phase one started this summer. This phase included the retiling of the floors through numerous hallways within the school, new ceiling tiles in the library, a new press box in the football field, new scoreboards, central air conditioning in the B and C wings, renovation of the guidance office and the staff lounge, and the resurfacing of the sidewalk outside of the school. “I think that the rebuilding in the school was necessary and appreciated. This school needed some improvements no just for looks, but for safety,” said junior Daisy Perry.
Along with these improvements, the committee decided to go green by installing motion censored lights in the hallways and the classrooms, also making the lights brighter to enhance the learning environment. Multimedia projectors are also promised for all the classrooms. These are set to be installed in various classrooms throughout the first semester. Phase two consists of new tiling in the A wing, construction of the art rooms, and upgrading the choir, band and drama room. These renovations will begin next summer. By remodeling sections of the school, administrators hope to develop school patterns by matching the school with tiles that match the tiling within the cafeteria. The committee also wants to make things more energy efficient and modernized. “We want to capture off what was already started,” said Principal Johnny Edwards. By doing the constructing, administrators also hope that students will take more pride in the building. “It’s like a new car, you park it differently…. We are entering 50 years of our existence. We are trying to stay modern and we hope to take care of the school as a team,” said Edwards. After fifty years of providing students with a safe place to learn, this is definitely a well deserved make-over.
KPS High Schools Move Out of the Block Schedule and Into Trimesters Brooke Edwards A & E Editor Loy Norrix High School has used the block schedule for eleven years. However, this past September, the Kalamazoo Public Schools School Board and the Kalamazoo Education Association finalized and ratified the decision to switch from the block to a trimester schedule beginning in the 2010-2011 school year. KPS superintendent, Dr. Michael F. Rice, spoke of the schedule change at the September 24 board meeting. “[Students have] more opportunities to take advanced courses and meet Michigan Merit Exam requirements,” said Dr. Rice. He also added that the schedule change would help those who are short of their required credits and need credit retrieval. Currently on the block schedule, KPS high schools offer two semesters, where students take four classes per semester with 90 minute class periods. Students take eight classes total per year. Beginning in the school year for 2010-2011, KPS high schools will switch from the block schedule to a five day period with trimesters. On the trimester schedule, high schools will now have three semesters, and students will take five classes per semester with 70 minute class periods. At the September school board meeting, Dr. Rice insisted the trimester schedule was passed for “significant, important reasons.” The High School Schedule Study Committee took into consideration these reasons as their main goals for switching off the block schedule: To increase instructional time at school and restore homework to time away from school, to increase Advanced
BROOKE EDWARDS / KNIGHT LIFE
Members of KPS School Board at the September 24th meeting vote to ratify the trimester schedule. All members voted yes to the new schedule changes.
Placement involvement, and to design a structure that better prepares students for college. The trimester schedule also allows opportunity for credit retrieval. Anne Bowser, head of LN’s English department worries about her Advanced Placement course being negatively affected by the trimester. The administration is currently in the process of deciding the length of AP courses. The usual year long courses could potentially be cut down to only 24 weeks, which is two trimesters. “I’m not sure as an AP teacher how I would make 24 weeks work,” said Bowser. “Options are the first 24 weeks which leaves me six weeks shy of the exam or the last 24 weeks which leaves me twelve weeks behind
everyone in the country,” said Bowser. According to Bowser Administration is deciding whether or not to offer all classes for only one trimester (12 weeks). “[It is] critical to build relationships with students. If we only have them for 12 weeks, I feel they’ll just be passing through,” said Bowser. Art Williams, a government teacher at LN, has concerns about the workload for teachers. “There will be more homework to grade, and some teachers will be teaching two or three different classes. That means more to prepare,” said Williams. The trimester schedule also saves the school money. The state House and Senate have reached a school budget agreement that cuts
$292 per student in Michigan’s K-12 schools. By offering each class for only 12 weeks, teachers would teach a greater portion of the school day with a shorter planning hour. This may be able save the school money on hiring teachers. Students will also have more opportunities when it comes to choosing classes. LN sophomore Brandon Hurley sees this as a positive light on the new schedule. “I think [the trimester schedule] is positive because you get to pick more classes to decide what you want to do after school in your life,” said Hurley. “[There is] more free time after core classes for electives.” Not every LN student is as enthusiastic about the trimester schedule. See Trimesters Page 14
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