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Opinion

Lowering the SFUSD PE requirement would benefit students

By Maggie Baird

Photo taken by : Maggie Baird

 

Senior Hillary Huang poses in a Warrior I stance during her first period Yoga class.

 

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As the 2016-2017 school year comes to a close, the returning students of Lincoln must go through the tricky decision of choosing classes. One of many factors to consider include which courses are still needed to complete graduation requirements. Physical Education, better known as PE, is a course students in the SFUSD system must take for two years in order to obtain the proper credit to graduate. Acquiring two years of PE is harder than one would think, and can create several issues for students which is why the course requirement should be lowered to one year.

 

The main reason PE should only be a one year requirement in high school is because of all the scheduling conflicts that revolve around it. Some students may consider PE a less academically important and/or challenging course so they want to prioritize taking an extra class in a core subject such as science. However, the PE graduation requirement can prevent them from doing so because it messes up their ideal schedule by forcing them to use up a class period to take PE rather than another subject course of their choice.

 

It can be especially difficult to figure out scheduling of two years of PE when students are in an academy at Lincoln. Since they have specific courses in specific periods, finding the perfect space to take a second year of PE is frustrating. Since academy students have to take the course that goes along with the academy, this means they choose another class to discontinue in sophomore year. There are different choices such as science and language, but many students pick PE to put off for the year because it feels more easy going, and not as hard to slip back into rather than taking a break between language classes.

 

Students are at a disadvantage by doing this because if they complete their second year of PE in junior year, where grades count the most for college,  PE is not even taken into consideration for admission. As for senior year, students may have a negative attitude towards PE because they are over it as a senior, embarrassed if they’re in a mixed class with freshmen, wanting a block period but PE is the only course preventing them, or wishing to take another class as mentioned before.

 

Additionally, colleges do not count high school PE grades while making admission decisions and it is not factored into the official calculated UC/CSU gpa. So two years of PE is not necessary as it takes up too much time that could be used for other more important academic classes.

 

On the other hand, people may argue it is important to take two years of PE because exercise and staying healthy is important for yourself and improves your performance academically in school. Although the link between physical health and mental health is true and it is key to stay healthy, I’ve personally found PE not to be the place where students put forth their best effort to get exercise. From not dressing in the PE uniform to not participating in class activities, or skipping class all together, I feel that PE is not taken seriously by students. It’s not just the “slackers” or “bad students” that are not enthusiastic about PE. I know several students who are bright and high achieving that earn good grades, but have a negative attitude towards PE because they view it as a waste of time and not necessary to take two years. Furthermore, many students find other ways to get exercise such as playing on a team at school or joining outside clubs.


In conclusion, the SFUSD high school PE requirement should be lowered from two years to one. By making this change, new opportunities like doubling up on science classes that benefit a student’s intended major, and reducing scheduling stress benefit students success.

Students should be able to shadow classes they’re interested in taking

 

By Lincoln Loggers

 

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Shadowing has become a widespread method used in the transition of careers and of schools as a tool for knowledge to be passed down from experienced individuals to newcomers. Lincoln High School provides opportunities for curious middle school students to gain insight by providing shadowing options. But there is no shadowing currently available to students who want to feel what it’s like to be in a certain class they’re interested in adding to their course load the following year.

 

When students are given the opportunity to tour classes they’re interested in taking, it opens up the possibility of creating community growth with other grades levels and pursuing curriculum that has never been entertained in other classes. The consequences due to students choosing classes that are vaguely known to them include experiencing bad grades, lack of enthusiasm, and anger because of the class may not be what they expected.

 

Vice principal Lance Tagomori weighs in on the unfortunate reality of kids not being fully aware of the courses they pick stating, “It’s difficult for students to really know what they are getting  into before signing up for a course. For example, students who sign up for AP courses. Prior to signing up, students really have no idea what they may be getting into; and if they end up dropping the AP course, they have then taken away a space for a student who was not selected into that particular course. This leaves everyone at a loss; the person who dropped the course and the person who lost out on taking the course in the first place.”

 

A proposed plan to prevent students from choosing classes “at random” could be a process very similar to shadowing provided to middle schoolers, except the students will be current Lincoln students. Each willing student fills out an application to shadow a particular upperclassman who takes the desired course. This is at the discretion of each student if they want to shadow or not throughout the year. He or she will choose from a list of student schedules on the Lincoln High website or the counseling office, then fill out a form along with the chosen upperclassman as an agreement to shadow on a certain day. The student shadowing is responsible for anything they miss in class that day. People who aren’t interested in shadowing would not be forced to go through the process, and it will spread out the shadowing to prevent clog-ups.

 

Students who have a better understanding of classes beforehand for will be less likely to blindly sign up for just any course. Implementing a plan like the one listed above, to give kids a chance to really get a feel for the class, and talk to a current, experienced student of the class helps them avoid taking a class that is too difficult, and prevent failing classes overall.  

The removal of L-Taraval stops causes inconvenience for residents and students

By Brandon Zhu
Photo taken by : Brandon Zhu

 

Lincoln students crowd around the L stop due to the removal of the 24th Ave stop.

 

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Many residents in the Outer Sunset District take the L train to and from work, school and other places in the city. The reason why many students and people take the L train is because it’s fast and only takes people about 25 to 30 minutes to go from Sunset to Downtown.

 

But in late February, something changed that hindered many residents and students who went to school and work in the Sunset. These stops on Taraval were removed for inbound: the 24th Taraval, for inbound and outbound at 15th and Ulloa, 17th, 28th, and Taraval then for outbound: Taraval and 24th and 35th avenue.

 

Lincoln senior Ben Chen said, “Since the stop at 24th and Taraval had been removed now I have to get off at 26th avenue inbound and walk up. Before was like one hill, and now it is two, and it doesn't seem to save me any time from home to school.”

 

Mariana Chow, who took the L-Taraval to the public hearing said, “The time saving did not matter as it would be wiped out by waiting to enter the West Portal station.”

 

According to the SFMTA, removing these stops can improve rider safety on the L-Taraval and save three minutes from a trip between West Portal and SF Zoo. Most riders of the L- Taraval are not concerned about the three minutes they save. In fact the stops that were moved have actually caused even more hardship and inconvenience, not only for students but also the senior residents living in the Sunset. They need to walk another two to three blocks to catch the L now, and I personally don't feel like it saves me time by removing those stops.

 

On the other hand, the Muni Forward Program Manager Sean Kennedy said, “The reason that we decided to change is the corridor has seen 46 pedestrian injures, with 22 riders injured getting on and off the L-Taraval.”


In my opinion I think one of the main reasons why riders risk injury, is because riders usually get off the train when the train stops, and never look before they step out. I have also noticed people looking at their phones while they getting off the train. To me, removing the stops doesn't help improve resident safety because people still get off the train while looking at their phone.

False gun threats make Lincoln’s reputation even worse

By Meghan Robinett
Photo taken by : Meghan Robinett

 

 

Meghan Robinett’s photo holding a real gun on Instagram stirred up controversy and fear in the SFUSD community. The original post’s gun was not blurred out. After Robinett was forced to delete the post, she reposted the same picture to Instagram, but with the gun blurred out and her own commentary about what had happened.

 

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On Friday, March 24, a day before spring break, a rumor went around Lincoln and a few other schools in San Francisco. I posted a picture of myself holding a gun to Instagram and Snapchat Friday morning with the caption reading, “Got a fully loaded 38 on me, who wanna try me?” I posted this picture because it was my first time holding a gun and I was very excited.

 

Coming to school later that day, I saw dean Debbie Lee in the hallway and was immediately sent to her office where the school police officer, Andy Kavanagh waited to talk to me. While waiting, many parents and students called to get permits to leave because of my post.

 

An anonymous student from Lincoln made up the rumor, that I has firearm and am going to shoot up the school.

 

Lee says, “I probably got about four calls from parents questioning me about the rumor. Kids were telling their parents, and parents were pulling their kid out of classes.”

 

Dean Joel Balzer adds, “I got six calls from parents, and even one parent cussed out me out because we didn’t tell them anything.”

 

Even the George Washington High School administration called Lincoln because students at Washington were scared that I was going to shoot up their school.

 

As I walked to the dean’s office, I was wondering to myself, “What did I do wrong? Am I really here another time?”

 

I sat in the dean’s office and heard the school police officer talking to me for about half an hour. Kavanagh said to me, “You do agree that you make bad decisions, right?” In my mind, I said to myself the opposite. My belongings and locker got checked, but no firearm was found on me. I was in the dean’s office for the entire day because the administration would not let me go back to class knowing students were scared of me.

 

Senior, Shirley Marquez states, “I was not scared because I know you, and I know you  wouldn’t do something so stupid as to shoot up a school, but I did believe that you had a gun on you because of all the rumors.”

 

During lunch, principal Sharimar Balisi called for an emergency meeting in the auditorium with all the teachers. As soon as school got out, Balisi sent an automated call to all the families of Lincoln telling them the rumor was false, and I had no firearm.

I was not able to go back to my classes because of all the drama going, around. The picture I posted was not on school campus nor during school hours.

 

Many students were able to leave using the excuse, “Meghan has a firearm, I’m scared. I can’t be here today.”

 

I can also put fear into the equation that many students were truly scared, but it also had something to do with students bringing up the rumor and talking about my post.

 

Coming to school the following week, peers resource teacher, Morgan Wallace told his students about the whole incident which brought it up yet another time. I questioned Wallace about it and he stated, “I had to talk to my students about it because there was a phone call sent out and some parents don’t speak English.”

 

School shootings are no joke, but I find this incident a huge joke and it makes me laugh so hard because I only posted a picture of me holding a firearm with no intent of hurting anyone and it went viral that a lot of San Francisco public schools knew about it. It went even more viral that my picture ended up being on the website, nextdoor.com.


What I’ve learned from this incident is that fear makes people perform foolish decisions such as this ridiculous rumor.

Senioritis is spreading in Lincoln

By Chery Hu

Photo taken by : Chery Hu

 

Wendy Wei is tired of doing her class work and takes nap during class.

 

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Being high school students, all of us should have goals.  Personally, graduating from high school and enrolling in my ideal colleges are my personal goals during my four years at Lincoln.  Unfortunately, I become less diligent year after year; my effort declined the most in senior year, and my friends around me have experienced similar symptoms.  Skipping classes, losing attention during classes; all of these symptoms belong to an illness which is called “senioritis.”

  

Senioritis mainly describes the decreased motivation toward studies by  students who are nearing the end of high school or college.

 

High school seniors may think it is time for them to relax in their last year of school. The majority of them who have received their admissions from their colleges don't need to worry as much because colleges have already accepted them.  But in truth, senior year should be the most challenging year for high school students. It is because we should start to plan for colleges; the SAT and ACT, writing a personal statement, and then filling out information for our colleges.

 

“I think I have senioritis because I started to procrastinate at my work and ditch classes more.” says Wendy Wei, a senior at Lincoln.

   

Furthermore, some students might think it is okay to get a passing “C” grade, as long as they do all of the homework and classwork. But it is better to try your best to get the your grades as higher as you can.  Also, another senioritis symptom which is being tardy to class. In my freshman year, I was really scared if I was tardy to class and ensured that I arrived at school about 15 minutes early. But now, I don’t really care about being tardy to class

  

Having senioritis can be a bad thing or good thing based on our own opinions.  It can either make us enjoy for our last year in high school, or it can make us waste our time and prevent us from learning.

 

Here are some cures I think are helpful for senioritis. First, think deeply about the grades especially your grades in your final report card. I know many students think colleges just look through the grades of sophomore year and junior year. But most colleges will look through your transcripts, and they want to make sure you try hard during your high school and see whether you have improved or not.  

 

Second, you can do something fun in senior year in order to not be lazy.  For example, you can draw some pictures to represent your daily feelings, what makes you angry and what makes you feel grateful.  This method is helpful because it can help you release stress.

 

Finally, you can plan some extracurricular activities for yourself.  Mark down your schedule in a notebook, and then you will know how to manage your time instead of wasting it.

 

I hope everyone can enjoy the time in high school and collect more happy memories before graduation.

Summer classes at city college are a gold mine for high school students

By Melody Li
Photo taken by : Melody Li

 

Kary gives her CCSF transcript to the 12th grade counselor Ms. Brumbach.

 

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In less than a month’s time, we will have a three-month summer break.  Lots of students will use all of their free time to play and sleep.  But students can also choose to improve their educational experience, understand the difference between college and high school,  and be able to get college credit that is not offered in their high school. Students who are in tenth grade going into junior year or 11th graders going on to senior year can take free classes during summer at city college as a high school student. Graduating seniors are already at college level, so students cannot get the free class in city college.

 

High school students should take advantage of free classes at city college because, regardless of their college plans, it will help prepare for them. Malcolm Mafi, a professor at city college, says, “High school students preparing for a four-year college would definitely benefit from taking city college courses first. It gives them a sense of what a real college class is like, both in terms of the big picture and day-to-day logistics. This will help them so that their first semester at a four-year college will not be as abrupt of a transition from high school.”

 

Students who take city college courses can also benefit by earning college credit before starting college full time. Mafi remarks, “If students are going to spend two years in City College, they can benefit from taking a couple early courses. If students plan to transfer to a four-year college, they can select and take city college courses that transfer to credit at the institution they want to transfer for.” Since many students work part-time in college or find themselves overwhelmed by their course loads, getting some college credit out of the way in high school can be a huge benefit.

 

Another reason that it is a good idea for high school students to take college courses is that signing up at city college is much easier and faster than applying for four-year universities. When students apply, they can say that they are first-time college students, not high school students.  Then they should take a placement test. The classes are not free for the college level students, so they would pay $46 per unit.  However, city college is going to be free in the fall of 2018, which will only strengthen the case for high school students to take advantage of city college enrollment.

 

“In high school, we get five units in the fall and five units in spring for one class; that is the full year.  When you take a class in city college that has three units or higher, you can request your counselor to put on your transcript, and that entails three units. That’s like getting ten units for high school and they are also considered a college level course and get one unit AP weighted GPA in your GPA,” said Lincoln counselor Maria Martinez.

 

I think that going to city college for a few classes is an excellent opportunity that high school students should certainly take advantage of.  The summer time in particular affords a lot of free time for students. Students who are still in high school can go to city college for free, and can also save a lot of money and time for college and have a chance to improve their GPA.  However, if you do not do well in the city college, you can choose not to put the grade on the transcript, so there are no disadvantages for students that are in high school.  

 

I can speak about this issue from personal experience. I took Trigonometry in the summer of 2015 and Probability and Statistics in the summer of 2016.  Trigonometry helped me to review what I had learned in Algebra 1 and 2 and helped me to get ready for the Pre-Calculus that I took in my junior year.  Since I could not take two AP Math classes in my senior year but I really wanted to take both of them, I chose to take Statistics in the summer of 2016, and I got an A on it; it also helped me to improve my high school’s GPA a little bit.  


When students are applying for college, having city college courses on their transcripts will be very impressive to the admissions staff. “At university admissions, they are very aware of the difference between taking an AP college-prep course as opposed to actually taking a real college course” says Mafi. “They will be more likely to view you as truly prepared for success in college, since you already have your foot in the door in that regard.”  I have personally found a lot of benefit from taking classes at the city college, and I highly recommend students join the classes in city college in the summer.

75 year old school can’t hold anymore mold

 

By Green Academy seniors
Photo taken by : Green Academy seniors

 

The rain water leakage is the main cause of mold-infested walls in classrooms.

 

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Your first thought when you hear the word “mold” is “gross.” We know that mold grows on rotten food, but did you know that mold can also grow in buildings? Unfortunately, one of those buildings is our school. In other words, for at least seven hours a day, five days a week, students, faculty and staff are breathing in mold spores in our classrooms which can lead to respiratory illnesses.

 

According to a CA Department of Health and Services article “Mold in My School: What Do I Do?”, if you have been experiencing the following symptoms: nasal or sinus congestion, sensitivity to light, sneezing, sore throat, cough, skin irritation (rash or itching), shortness of breath, headache, watery reddened or burning eyes, or fatigue, it can be attributed to mold.

 

The Senior Green Academy students have spent the spring semester partnering with  Generation Citizen, a program that empowers young people to be more active within their government and community. Our class voted to address the issues of air pollution in both our school and city, because many of the students had personal stories of increased asthma rates in their families and neighborhoods.

 

While working to address heating concerns, we found something more urgent that required our attention: mold. Mold is the bacterial growth that has been creeping into classrooms over the years. More so this year, since the increase in rainfall exacerbated the growth of the mold.

 

According to Jorge Goncalves, the Digital and Media Academy teacher, the drainage pipe on the roof that holds the rainwater is leaking into Rooms 145, 147 and 239 which is causing mold growth. This has become concerning enough that in one room, the mold has been covered up in order to prevent the cause of health issues.

 

The Senior Green Academy has investigated the mold infested classrooms and interviewed teachers who have taught in them.

 

John Hutchinson, the previous AP World History teacher who taught in room 147 from 2006-2014 about his experience with the room said, “Every time it rained, there would be a pool of water on my floor and the cabinets at a certain point sure smelled like mold, but I don't know if people ever officially said there was mold. The district came out a couple of times to fix it but never did. The said there was a pipe on the roof that leaked into my room.”

 

Brendan Furey, the current AP World History teacher, also experienced leaks during his one-semester stay in the room.

 

Elizabeth Gladding, the occupant after Brendan Furey stated, “The mold blackened the wall and white spores growing out of it, which made it difficult for my students and I to breathe.”

 

Beatrice Tesorero, the current teacher in the room commented, “When it rained, it leaked down to my room and caused huge puddles to form that would cause the mold to grow. The mold makes the room smell.”
 

Dr. Tagomori, the assistant principal of buildings and grounds, has reported that workers will come in during the summer to redo the roof to prevent leaks that will produce further mold and clean up the mold that is currently there.


After researching about the mold in our school, the Green Academy students placed work orders in April in order to expedite this process and ensure that students are breathing clean air in their classrooms. Students are also encouraged to speak to their families about mold in their homes that can be harmful to their health.