Newsbriefs compiled by Han Hu with additional reporting by Laura Blythe-Goodman, Kevin Chang, Annie Peirce, Tina Peng and Jeanne Yang
Juniors take new SAT trial test
Some juniors participated in a Mar 17 test to evaluate a new form of the SAT. Five English classes—one AP class, two honors classes, one on-level class and one below-level class—took three different forms of the test, said English teacher Norman Stant. Students and classes were selected to be a cross-section of students' abilities. As an incentive for active student participation, said Stant, any student whose scores equal or exceed the score they received on their PSATs will be eligible for a $100 check from the College Board. Two hundred and fifty checks will be issued to students nationwide.
If approved, the new form of the SAT will have three parts—critical reading, mathematics and writing—and will be introduced in March 2005. The new writing section will be based on the current SAT II Writing test, and students will have to answer multiple-choice questions on grammar and write an essay responding to a prompt. Students' scores on the field test will not be available to colleges.
State debates vending machine restrictions
The Maryland General Assembly is considering limiting the amount of junk food that school vending machines can offer. Under the proposed legislation, at least half of vending machine products would be required to be healthful, and less nutritious snacks would become at least 25 percent more expensive.
Delegates proposed the measure in response to reports that children are increasingly obese. The measure has been met with opposition from school officials and the vending machine and soda industry, which argue that schools need the revenue from vending machine sales and that a lack of responsible parenting contributes more to obesity than junk food does.
Northwood PTSA is underfunded, critics say
Blair PTSA members are lobbying for more funding to renovate Northwood High School and to make its facilities equal to those of other Downcounty Consortium high schools. Otherwise, students may not choose to attend Northwood over Blair when the consortium opens, they say, and Blair's overcrowding will not subside. The school board has approved $16.5 million for Northwood's repairs and renovations so the school can reopen in 2004. The County Council will vote on the proposed budget in June. According to social studies teacher David West, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School has received $41 million to expand and renovate, more than twice the amount promised to Northwood. Downcounty Consortium Director Walt Gibson, however, believes that the money currently allocated to Northwood is enough for repairs.
Graffiti appears on Blair grounds
Vandals covered several parts of Blair, including the portables, the 170s hallway and the stadium press box and storage shed with graffiti on Mar 24. The SGA is offering a $200 reward for any credible information regarding the graffiti artists. Much of the graffiti had a political nature; some protested the war with Iraq.
Such a large graffiti covering is unusual although Building Services Manager James Brown said that Blair gets vandalized every day. According to Brown, graffiti artists usually target bathrooms and places without cameras. MCPS maintenance workers came to Blair on Mar 26 to inspect the damage and clean off offensive words.
Silver Chips Online wins Marylander award
Silver Chips Online won the most recent Marylander Award for best online publication in Maryland from the Maryland Scholastic Press Association(MSPA). Silver Chips has won the award both times the award has been given during the past three years. Silver Chips Online has also swept all of the original writing online awards from the MSPA annual contest for student journalists since 2000.
Renovation of old Blair's auditorium to begin
Superintendent Jerry Weast approved the renovation of the auditorium at the old Blair High School on Mar 20 but did not allocate any funding for the endeavor, so local PTSAs are organizing community members to help in the effort. To get involved in the renovation efforts, contact Busy Graham at Grahambusy@aol.com
•Senior Anatoly Preygel won third place and a $50,000 scholarship in the 2003 Intel Science Talent Search competition. His mathematics project detailed his study of knot theory, which has applications in physics, chemistry and genetics.
•Seniors Christina Feng, Samantha Hong and Lisa Leung are national Presidential Scholar semifinalists.
•Senior Tania Jeanty won a $2,500 scholarship from the National Achievement Scholarship program for African American students.
•Receiving first place in the 2003 Montgomery County Schools Media Festival photography contest were seniors Mia Ballard, Colby Chapman, Davis Glasser, Devin Grasty, Andrew Kenney, Zodiac Maslin-Hahn, Joshua Turnham and Jacob Winfield; juniors Maya Kosok, Jamie Kovach and Sara Yousefnejad; and sophomores Stephanie Nguyen and Adam Schuyler.
•Drama teacher Kelly Newman received the Shakespeare Teacher Award given by the Washington, D.C., branch of the English-Speaking Union (ESU).
•Blair's Forensics Team was ranked third in the county by the Montgomery County Forensics League on Mar 26. Sophomore co-captain Abigail Fraeman won Outstanding Speaker and Achievement awards.
•Senior Cedric Davis received the youth honoree Frederick Douglas Men of Strength award from the Washington, D.C., organization Men Can Stop Rape.
•Five Blair students won awards in the American Society of Newspaper Editors/Quill and Scroll 2003 International Writing, Photo Contest. Seniors Kristin Hoven and Stephen Wertheim won for news, junior Anna Benfield won for features, senior Rachel Yood won for editorials and senior Eric Shansby won for editorial cartooning.
•Senior Eric Shansby won first place in art portfolio, editorial cartoons, sports cartoons, comics, and cartoon portfolio in the 2003 Columbia Scholastic Press Association Scholastic Gold Circle Awards contest.
•Senior Lily Hamburger, catcher for the varsity softball team, was chosen as a "Top Performer" in the Washington Post sports section for her notable hitting skills.
CLUBS AND EVENTS
• The Blair Fair and PTSA Silent Auction will take place on Apr 25. Attendance to the fair is free.
• The Mr. Blazer Pageant will begin at 8:00 pm, and tickets are $3.
Han Hu. Han Hu, a senior in Blair's Magnet program, is very excited to serve as Managing News Editor on the Silver Chips staff. Aside from Chips, he is also a member of Blair's mock trial team, where he enjoys delivering cases at the county courthouse before … More »