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Online report cards cause loss of excitement

By Maeonne Phillips

With another grading period ending, students await the revealing of their report cards once again. This time, the grades are only to be seen online rather than be handed out on paper as normal.

While online report cards can be an easier practice, it causes complications that dissatisfy many students and parents.

Although it is such a big role in many people’s lives these days, not everyone has technology. Even if technology is available, there is always a form of difficulty in the process, such as when certain grades cannot be viewed or when the website is not working correctly.

While it seems online grades eliminate the downsides of paper report cards, the simplicity of receiving grades officially on paper disappears. Trying to find not only quarter grades online but final grades as well can be a pain while navigating progress book since the website may not always be easy to use.

Progress book has been known to crash at times, and teachers will complain of the website not corresponding.

Students are also losing the excitement of receiving a report card in class. There is no time to be proud of the work that has been accomplished and no sign of a break in between grading periods.

With the grades online, students lose their interest in seeing their report card and leave their parents to find it later as at the moment it is just not that important to them.

Some students even know how to change the letter grade on their computer without affecting their actual grade, making it easier to trick their parents into thinking they’ve received grades they have not actually received.

Any student can view their current grade online at any point in the grading period, so eliminating paper report cards practically eliminates the idea of a report card all together.

They are not even recognized as a big deal since they are just there online anytime a student or parent feels like taking the time to log into Progress Book and navigate to the digital “report card” tab.

While the internet makes things convenient, it takes away the meaning of education and the simplicity or classicality of receiving grades at the end of a long and hard grading period.


Looking into popular blocked websites

     Many students at Stow-Munroe Falls High School become frustrated over the wifi and why they cannot use their favorite apps and go on certain websites. These students go through the constant struggle of having to get on and off wifi to use these apps.

    The person who updates the web filter for the high school is Sean Fitch, and he works for the school district’s tech department.

    Some students realize some of their favorite apps on their devices are blocked and want to know what other websites and apps are blocked, and why they are blocked.

    “The website we block generally speaking fall into two categories things that are inappropriate and things that are a distraction. Things that are considered inappropriate would be porn, blood and gore, online gambling, information on weapons, and other things of an R-rated nature that is not considered educational. Things that are a distraction would be online games, social media and video search engines; however, there are exceptions such as youtube [that] is unblocked due to the large amounts of educational content available,” Fitch said.

    The technicians that work for the school district update the websites as often as they get a request.

    “We get more requests to unblock sites than to block them,” Fitch said.

    The filter is setup by an outside company called neonet. The filter system has categories and terms it chooses what to block based on what the company decided is irrelevant for students.

    “Beyond what the program decides is inappropriate for students, teachers, principals, and administrative staff can ask us to block or unblock sites that the filter missed or blocked on a faulty premise. If we are unsure if a request is reasonable, it will get escalated up the chain of command,” Fitch said.

    The technicians have the capability to block sites themselves as well as the ability to block search terms.

    “The three of us techs do it by ourselves. Whoever gets the ticket first does it unless they feel the need to ask whether a site should be blocked or not. If we have to escalate the request it goes to our boss the temp Tech Director Jim Gotshall, he can escalate it to his boss Mr. Fritz who is a business manager, and finally if all of us are unsure the request will go to the superintendent; however, this has only happened once, and it was for unblocking a site,” Fitch said.

    Sometimes problems arise, and it can be difficult to block and unblock things online.

    “Sometimes we have issues getting a site blocked or unblocked if this happens then we can send a request to Neonet for help.  The issues have a lot to do with the way websites are programmed,” Fitch said.

     Working with the web filter has been part of Fitch’s job since he started back in August (2015).

    “My job is to handle all technology issues with few exceptions, as such the web filtering was given to me as it is a technology issue,” Fitch said.

    As far as working with technology in general, Fitch has been fascinated by machines since he was a child.

    “I always wanted to work with some sort of technology. I started doing IT for KSU while I was a student there, and this is my first job out of college. As far as doing the filtering, I like working on sites that are difficult and don’t want to be blocked or unblocked. I find the challenge fun,” Fitch said.

Girls Swim and Dive vs. Hudson

The swim and dive team opened up the year with a hard-fought loss to rival Hudson.

Coming out of a grueling two weeks of two-a-days and lifting over winter break, the Bulldogs had some amazing swims to kick off the new year.

The meet was Friday, Jan. 8, and the Bulldogs faced a well-known opponent: Hudson. Although the two teams did not face each other in a dual meet last season, they have in previous years. The swim and dive team faces Hudson in a number of invitational meets as well throughout the season.

To begin the meet, the 200 medley relay of junior Sam Houk, and sophomores Kayla Engle, Amy Vober, and Sam Huddleston took 4th place with a time of 2:03.10. The relay finished with one of their best times this season.

The second medley relay of sophomore Lorna Vizmeg, juniors Kaleigh Dye and Madison DeCheco and junior Julia Fuller stole 5th with a time of 2:19.57. The girls also grabbed a season best.

The 200 freestyle was a strong event for the girls. Juniors Lizzie Cole and Dye swam all-time bests; 2:11.97 and 2:19.20 respectively with drops of 1 second or more. The girls took 2nd and 3rd, beating out two Hudson swimmers to win the event.

In the 200 IM, DeCheco and Engle both saw strong swims. DeCheco pulled a season best by nine seconds, and Engle stayed strong and held her personal best in the event. Their times were 2:39.64 and 2:42.51 respectively.

In the 50 free, the girls took 1st, 3rd and 6th. Huddleston won the event with a time of 26.23, just off of a personal best by under half a second. Vober placed 3rd with a time of 27.09, consistent with her personal best by just under a second. Fuller stole 6th with a time of 31.01.

Divers Amanda Kimble and Houk had strong meets as well, scoring 175 and 144 respectively. Kimble took 2nd and Houk took 4th, scoring six points total for the team.

After the senior night traditions, the girls came back strong in the 100 butterfly. Vober and DeCheco swam strong. Vober was half a second from a personal best and DeCheco was a second from a personal best, dropping four from a seasonal best. The girls won 3rd and 4th in the event.

In the 100 freestyle, Huddleston came in strong and swam a race fairly consistent with a personal best as well. Senior Josie Cremer performed well with a 1:29.81.

In the 500, the girls fought hard for placing 4th, 5th and 6th. Dye saw a 14-second drop in the event from her personal best, with a time of 6:08.14. Fuller and Vizmeg both had strong, consistent swims.

The 200 freestyle relay carried strong with a time of 1:49.29, a season best. The two relays took 2nd and 5th places.

Going into the last events of the meets, Houk and Vizmeg had strong races in the 100 backstroke. Both girls were around two seconds from personal bests. Their times were 1:08.53 and 1:18.11, respectively.

Cole and Engle saw fast races in the 100 breaststroke. Cole dropped one second off of her personal best with a time of 1:19.01 and stole 3rd place. Engle snuck past and won 2nd, with a time of 1:18.22, consistent with her personal bests.

To end the meet, the 400 freestyle relay took 3rd place with a time of 4:15.86. Lead-off swimmer Kaleigh Dye swam a strong race, with a time of 1:05.28.

The Lady Bulldogs ended the meet with a hard-fought loss; although, the meet was one of their best this season individually. Most of the team saw time drops at a crucial point in the season. The Bulldogs face yet another rival Friday, Jan. 15 against the Cuyahoga Falls Black Tigers at the Natatorium in Cuyahoga Falls.

Ancient New Year’s traditions still in effect today

By Mya Cannon

At the start of each year people all over the world make promises to themselves that they will do something to better themselves in some way during the new year.

Historians believe New Year’s resolutions have been around for almost 4,000 years and were first created by the Babylonians. 

At the beginning of each year, the Babylonians would make promises to their gods that they would pay off the debts they owed and would return anything that they borrowed to its rightful owner.

The new year began in March for them because that is when spring starts so they would start planting their crops around that time.

According to Ancient History of New Year’s Resolutions, only 12 percent of people today actually carry out and succeed with their New Year’s resolutions even though 58 percent of people thought they would succeed in completing their New Year’s resolution.

The Babylonians had a stronger will to succeed in their resolutions than people do today because they believed if they completed it the gods would grant them a good year, but if they did not complete their resolutions the gods would not grant them with a good year.

The Babylonians called the 12 days when they planted their crops “Akitu,” and they had to return the things they borrowed within those 12 days.

Hundreds of years later, the Romans moved the new year from March to January.

January is named after the two faced god Janus who is said to look backwards into the past year and look forward into the upcoming year. The Romans also believed that Janus was the protector of endings and beginnings.

The Romans often made resolutions that revolved around being good to others much like the resolutions people make today.

Today people celebrate the new year on January first, just like the Romans did, and make resolutions that will better themselves and their way of living.

While there is not a direct known link to New Year’s resolutions from the past and the New Year’s resolutions made today, it is believed that past has played a role in today’s traditions.