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Tuition will be free at CCSF for all SF residents in Fall 2016

By Sina Leniu

Photo taken by : Sina Leniu

 

This is a front view of the soon-to-be free CCSF.

 

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On February 6th’ 2017, Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced at a city hall press conference that there will be free community college tuition for all San Francisco residents who have lived in SF for at least one year. This announcement has made San Francisco the first city in the nation to provide free college education.This plan was made possible by city voters approving Proposition W with a 61.93% approval.

 

According to Forbes.com, “Proposition W imposes a transfer tax on properties that sell for $5 million or higher. The expected annual cost is $5.4 million, which the mayor committed to spend for the next two years. Of that total, $2.1 million is designated for tuition and $3.3 million for student expenses for current students as well as a 20% increase in enrollment.”

 

This was amazing news for Lincoln students, Debbie Garcia and Lacy Reagan.

 

The San Francisco free tuition plan covers both full time and part time students. The plan is going to provide money for both fulltime and part time low income students that are already receiving a state-funded fee waiver. Full time students will receive $500 a year ($250 a semester) and part time students they will receive $200 a year ($100 a semester). Students would be able to use that money for books, supplies, health fees, transportation and food.

 

According to SFGates.com, “The city will pay $5.4 million a year to buy out of $46-a-credit fee usually paid student.”

 

Even though receiving a college education this is an amazing opportunity for some Lincoln staff members have concerns.

 

“It’s great that it’s free because some people can’t afford it and it's going to help out a lot. But that also means that more people are going to attend. So my concern is how many spaces are going to be available. If more are coming, are they expanding the classes? Are they going to have larger class sizes?” Lincoln 11th grade counselor, Betty Hom says.She continues, “Also, sometimes money is a motivation, so most people think that ‘If I have to pay out of my own pocket, I don’t wanna repeat the class.’ Then when its free, its like ‘Oh, I failed it. Oh, it’s okay I’ll just take it again.’ The motivation is gone - for some, not for all. “

 

However, Lincoln senior Debbie Garcia has changed her plans about going to college. Gracia states, “City College being free has affected my college decision. I was planning on not go to college so I could work to earn more money to afford to go to college, but now since it's free I’m definitely attending City College after high school.”


This plan will be going into effect the coming Fall of 2017.

Pink Tsunami makes a splash once again at Lincoln

By Maggie Baird


 

Photo taken by : Maggie Baird

 

(Left to Right) Lincoln seniors Kali Tagomori-Lai, Allison Phuong, and Rachel Bandelaria proudly display their postcards in support of LGBTQ rights during Pink Tsunami.

 

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February came along in the school year, which means Pink Tsunami followed in suit at Lincoln high school. The annual event includes pink streamers decorating classrooms, posters with positive messages, and students dressed in pink from head to toe--all in celebration and support of our LGBTQ peers.

 

Like most traditions, Pink Tsunami starts with a backstory. In 2007, a male student was bullied and called “gay” for wearing a pink shirt to his school in Nova Scotia, Canada. To show support for their fellow classmate and stand up against the harassment, two boys bought pink shirts for their classmates and organized for multiple students to wear them the next day. From there, the tradition spread to Lincoln as a day in February to wear pink to show love and care for the LGBTQ community.

 

Lincoln peer resources teacher and Gay-Straight Alliance club sponsor Morgan Wallace directs Pink Tsunami and is proud of the community it has built at our school. Wallace sees the day as representative of solidarity and the importance in showing the LGBTQ students, staff and families that Lincoln supports them. He views Pink Tsunami as “not a way to solve the problem of homophobia, but a way to show support for the LGBTQ community at our school.”

 

Not only is Pink Tsunami a way of showing support towards the LGBTQ community, it has turned into friendly competition between advisories at Lincoln. Judges come into each advisory, and the room that shows the most spirit and participation wins a prize. There are two winners each year; one academy advisory and one non-academy advisory. Last year in 2016, the winning homerooms were Raygosa’s academy advisory and Sano’s advisory.

 

Lincoln has celebrated Pink Tsunami for eight years and will continue to do so. Senior Nicole Chui believes, “Spreading diversity is very important and it’s an important event to celebrate in our school.”

 

Vice Principal Lance Tagomori shares his opinion stating, “Perhaps Pink Tsunami is one of many events that has made a difference for the LGBTQ community at Lincoln. It’s really the people, the students especially have changed attitudes, perceptions and acceptance at Lincoln quite rapidly.”


The winners of this year’s competition are Pacini’s sophomore advisory and the non-academy winner is a tie between Morris and Junker’s advisories. The fun mix of competition and encouraging support for the LGBTQ community that is Pink Tsunami makes it a tradition that will live on at Lincoln throughout the years.     

Ethnic Studies class is at risk of being dropped

 

By Meghan Robinett

 

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For the past two years, Lincoln has offered the G course, elective class, Ethnic Studies. Ethnic Studies is only taught once a day by teacher, Connie So. The rest of the classes So teaches Economics and American Democracy for seniors only.

 

This year, Ethnic Studies has a total of 27 students. Lincoln will drop the Ethnic Studies class next year if there are not at least 20 students enrolled. To sign up for the class, students need to talk with their counselor or add the class from the AP/honor class listings. Ethnic studies is considered an honor class along with a college class. So says, “the ethnic studies is aligned at San Francisco State University, so you can earn up to six units a year if you pass with a C or higher.”

 

Ethnic studies has a wide variety of material students cover throughout the year from race, nationalities and students identities. Students learn more about themselves, cultures and individuals. So says, “Students explore their identities in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, nationality and how they fit in various systems. Systems such as politically, economically and socially. Students also learn about historical implications and impacts on todays society.”

 

Senior, Cynthia Chang says, “I’ve learned so much taking this class. I’ve learned more knowledge about the world and different kinds of people with different backgrounds. It’s interesting to see where everyone came from.”

 

Senior Sarah Cai also adds, “I love taking this class, I enjoy getting educated about issues and other cultures. I also enjoy the activities Ms. So assigns because it makes me think about my actions and what I say and how to better myself. Activities that require me being social with other classmates is something I enjoy because I know I am shy and that’s a way of getting out of my shell.”

 

So hopes Ethnic Studies will be a class next year so she can hear all the interesting stories students will share.

The transition from School Loop to Synergy raises controversies

By Nicole Chui


 

Photo taken by : Nicole Chui

 

Karen Melander compiles her class assignments and links to resources for her AP Art History page.

 

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For eight years, students, teachers and families have depended on School Loop to check grades, update assignments, communicate with one another and utilize the system for other purposes. However, this platform will no longer be used as SFUSD has decided to shift over to a new online system. Starting in August this year, teachers will only be required to log in to the website, Synergy to input grades and assignments, take attendance, and communicate with families and students.

 

SFUSD chief technology officer Melissa Dodd asserts, “Synergy provides greater security for our student data, accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and translation functionality in families’ home language.”

 

Dodd continues, “SFUSD will also provide on-site trainings for secondary schools this spring, with added supports for schools, like Lincoln, that are more active users of School Loop to ensure a smooth transition to Synergy.”

 

While the school district excitedly shares the benefits of using a unified platform for student information, there is a group of teachers- including ACE pathway administrator Karen Melander, who oppose the replacement of School Loop.

 

“It has taken me six years to finally upload every assignment with directions, attach all handouts, and linking videos for all of my classes,” states Melander. “Eliminating School Loop now is incredibly disrespectful to those of us who have done our due diligence.”

 

The school district has agreed to provide on-site training along with additional support for  schools including Lincoln, this spring. Representatives from the Synergy Gradebook will also be reaching out to families to prepare them for access in August 2017.

 

Lincoln Vice Principal Lance Tagomori states, “I think with adequate time, training and patience, the new Synergy program may prove to be a success. Along with the school IT staff, I will support and assist students, teachers, and parents in any way possible.”

 

Some teachers like Physics teacher Stephen Miller, who has used School Loop for four years, are not too concerned about the impact of switching to Synergy.

“I feel apathetic about the discontinuation of School Loop as I don’t use it very often. I like that I was able to quickly familiarize myself using School Loop, so I am not too worried about learning how to use Synergy,” says Miller.

 

Checking grades, viewing class assignments and communicating with teachers are just a few of the important ways students use School Loop. Sophomore, Ethan Angeles looks forward to a newly developed platform.

 

Angeles states, “If we’re using a different interface with similar functions, I am not too concerned about switching to Synergy.”

 

SFUSD has acknowledged the difficulties and concerns of transitioning to Synergy. However, with one login for everyone, increased confidentiality, and improved accessibility for disabled individuals, SFUSD envisions an increased engagement in our school community. Beginning in August 2017, Synergy Gradebook will be an exciting step to leverage technology as it streamlines the number of school-family communication online systems.

SFUSD Makes Changes to and introduces a New District Calendar

By Keshawn Mitchell


 

Photo courtesy of : SFUSD

 

Here is a picture of the calendar at a glance.

 

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The San Francisco Unified School District has designed a new calendar for the 2017-2018 school year. In the new calendar, there are a few changes that the District has made for example : school will now end in June instead of May, There is a week added to our summer vacation, and during Thanksgiving break students will receive the full week off. Avid teacher Jack Doyle stated that the two days were added to thanksgiving break because “ the teachers wanted the full week off because students miss those days anyway but the Parents may not like the full week off because supervision is needed.” Doyle is a member of the Union Building Committee (ubc) which is a team that represents the voice for the Teachers primary concerns and working environment. According to Doyle the district's administration creates the calendar and then is approved by the UBC. When I asked him about school ending in June he replied, “ school will end in June because of the extra days we receive from the Thanksgiving break.” If you would like to view the new calendar for the 2017- 2018 school year you could search online @ sfusd.edu/calendars , for more information.

The majority of California residents are out of the drought

By Justin Chan

Photo courtesy of : National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 

One of California’s riverbeds dried up so much that the ground is cracking

 

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In the first two months of 2017, California has seen an enormous amount of rainfall that brought most Californians out of the drought. It rained 20 inches in Northern California and about nine inches for San Francisco. The drought began back in 2012, when California’s temperature started to go on the rise.

 

The drought this was not a real concern until 2014 when we saw record temperatures rise to a record breaking average of 61.5 degrees in California. Governor Jerry Brown then knew it was time to  declare a state of emergency because of our water storage running dry.

 

Even though the drought is over for Bay Area residents, that does not mean that we can take longer showers or water the lawn every day. We still need to conserve water, because when California has another drought, we do not know how severe it will be or the duration of it. A great way California residents can conserve water at home is to “change your appliances to high efficiency ones. A washing machine with high efficiency means that it will use less water but doe the same job”, former Environmental Science student Dustin Lee says.

 

If you have a front lawn think about “saving the water from washing your dishes to water it,” current APES student Raymond Quach answered. Another great way is having artiffical turf installed instead of a front lawn. Therefore, not only you would be saving water, but  you would also never need to worry about cutting or watering ever again!

 

All of this rain may seem to be good for our drought status, but there are a  few downsides. “All of this rain will saturate the ground and make it more prone to flooding” “Lee explained. The dirt in the ground can only hold so much water before it overflows. For example a sponge is like the ground, it can only absorb a certain amount of water before it can hold no more and has to have the rest run off the surface”.

 

We have already seen the downsides of all the flooding. All of this rain as caused major erosion damage to Oroville Dam. In early February there was enough rain in Oroville that it had to use its emergency spillway to prevent overfilling the upper of the dam.  However there was too much rain, to the extent that even the emergency spillway was damaged and caused major flooding downstream which made residents evacuate their homes.


In the end, all the rain that we in the beginning of the year was beneficial to California’s drought. It brought majority of the residents out of the severe drought status. However Californians always need to conserve water because the overuse of water was one major factor of why the drought started. Residents can conserve water by doing basic tasks most people know already, like taking shorter showers and watering the lawn less. But can go further by upgrading to water efficient toilets, showers and sinks.