Silver Chips is, first and foremost, a student newspaper. The paper is obligated by this classification to report on the news around and about Blair. But, we have to ask ourselves, what good is a student newspaper if no one reads it?
In January, eight Churchill students were caught illegally changing grades of 46 other students. According to Blair systems specialist Anne Wisniewski, MCPS has implemented and in the process of implementing new security measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Due to budgetary issues within Montgomery County, MCPS is planning to cut 252 teaching positions for the next school year, according to Marshall Spatz, director of the MCPS Office of Management, Budget and Planning. For the next school year, Principal Darryl Williams said that Blair will have four fewer teachers and one less media specialist.
On Mar. 9, the MCPS Board of Education (BOE) finalized a new anti-bullying policy, according to Board member Shirley Brandman. The Superintendent's Office, according to Brandman, will then be responsible for creating regulations from this policy.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) increased the fare for Metro services by $0.10 in order to cover a $40 million budget deficit for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, according to WMATA spokesperson Angela Gates. The fare increase went into effect on Feb. 28.
One of the many things we are trying this year for Silver Chips is using more artwork and graphics in the paper to make our pages more visually appealing to readers. A problem associated with this increased emphasis on art is that there are issues with. Moving forward, Silver Chips definitely needs to place more rigorous standards for art.
Director Martin Scorsese is well-lauded for master-minding landmark films like "Taxi Driver" and "Goodfellas." With his newest project, he successfully engineers a follow-up to his critically lauded crime-thriller "The Departed."
February has always meant that winter finally starts to lose its icy grip over the weather, furious budget hearings are held around county and, of course, Valentine's Day looms. With that in mind, we at Silver Chips have decided to compile a list of our favorite romantic comedies, or "romcoms." These are perfect for either watching with your significant other on Valentine's Day, or on your own with a pint of Haagen-Dazs.
At the end of last year, according to Blair financial secretary Donna Franklin, Blair underwent an internal audit conducted by the MCPS Internal Audit office, a subdivision of the MCPS Office of Shared Accountability. The auditors, according to social studies teacher James Mogge, have given Blair recommendations based on the audit, including suggestions for a more systematic method of organizing field trips, which has increased teacher preparation to arrange a field trip.
Some of the more observant readers of Silver Chips may have noticed a slight change in the staff box this cycle. Traditionally, the roles of Extras Editor and Newsbrief Editor are fulfilled by junior staffers and we are proud to announce that page editors Eli Okun and Philipa Friedman have stepped up to fill the roles of Extras Editor and Newsbrief Editor, respectively. This shift of power allows us to take a moment to reflect on these two sections and plan new ways in which Silver Chips can improve the quality of our reporting for future issues.
With the 2008-2010 teachers union contract to expire soon, the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA), the official teachers union for MCPS teachers, is set to renegotiate their contract with the MCPS Board of Education (BOE). However, recent dealings with MCPS have left some MCEA members unsatisfied and could affect the upcoming contract negotiations between the two groups, according to MCEA Vice President Christopher Lloyd.
As much as we Blazers love to hear from our principal, Silver Chips needs to find new sources of information. In the last issue of Silver Chips, both MCPS public information representative Chris Cram and Principal Darryl Williams were quoted in multiple news stories. And they're not alone - various issues of Chips have had their share of repeated sources in their news sections.
These days, with the recent influx of media coverage of childhood obesity, students are more health-savvy than ever. Yet, school food seems to have remained largely unchanged - bright Pepsi vending machines selling sugary soft drinks still adorn Blair Boulevard and fast food dishes are served in the school cafeteria.
Considering all the films this year, "Where the Wild Things Are" is arguably the most subjective film. Director Spike Jonze has crafted a film that some audience members will revere as an instant classic while others will decry as a wasted adaptation.
Recent reports by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) show a decrease in graduation rates for Blair and MCPS for the 2008-2009 school year. Statistics by the MSDE show Blair's graduation rate declining from 84.53 percent in 2008 to 82.61 percent in 2009. Likewise, the MCPS graduation rate went from a high of about 93 percent in 2003 to 87 percent in 2009, the lowest graduation rate in 13 years.
Student editors and writers are the only contributors to Chips stories; we write stories ourselves. However, the Silver Chips adviser also accomplishes several monumental tasks that are essential to the continued success of Silver Chips, and for that, we must recognize the hard work these individuals put forth in the name of student expression.
MCPS reinstated a hiring freeze on Aug. 20, preventing any new non-critical employee from being hired, according to Director of the Department of Management, Budget and Planning Marshall Spatz. The freeze, and other cutbacks enacted with the hiring freeze, will remain in effect for MCPS until June 30, 2010.
Charged with telling the curious story of Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon), an executive of chemical company ADM turned FBI informant, director Steven Soderbergh has crafted an exceptionally odd film. ï¿½The Informant!ï¿½ feels more like an ill-humored but ironic 70s sitcom that manages to be a more effective look into Whitacreï¿½s mind than a serious drama would have been.
The end of every winter can only mean one thing: awards season. It's that time of the year when bright-eyed young actors and directors wait apprehensively for fat, old armchair snobs to announce to the world their personal favorite movies of the past year. By that logic, it stands to reason that the most anticipated list will be the list made by the world's fattest, oldest, most armchair-iest snobs of them all, the Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Two weeks ago, these so-called captains of reasonable judgment and sound logic convened in Los Angeles to celebrate the medium of film and indulge in their own self-indulgence. Yes, the Oscars have come and gone, but we now have all year to examine each and every nominee and "winner" ("Slumdog Millionaire" for Best Picture? Puh-lease ). So Chips, in our humble (but probably correct) opinion, decided to inform our beloved readership about which films and performances were snubbed out of a nomination and which never deserved one in the first place.