From maintaining schools, to distributing food, to teaching on Zoom, MCPS employees are continuously going above and beyond during this pandemic. Now, MCPS is hanging them out to dry.
Joe Francaviglia struggled for years with getting mental health resources for his students. “I taught 33 eighth graders my second period, and the class had at least eight kids with serious mental health needs,” Francaviglia, a former teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools and current Executive Director of Strong Schools Maryland, said. “We had one school psychologist who was there part-time. My class alone would have filled her caseload.”
When Norah Lesperin, a sophomore at Albert Einstein, took health over summer break to get the required graduation credit out of the way, she encountered hateful comments about her identity and a sexual assault lesson so insensitive that it made her feel nauseous.
This fall, as seniors scramble to submit their college applications, many find themselves checking off a box to indicate their race—wondering what their answer will mean for their admission prospects. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) apparently has a very good idea of that.
TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains non-graphic descriptions of and information about sexual abuse and trauma. Where only first names appear, names have been changed to protect the identities of the sources.
The arguments for and against face filters
Christine Benally, a member of the Navajo Nation in the midwest, works to lower the rates of violence in Native populations through community outreach. Native communities often have high amounts of childhood abuse, which can lead to trauma and a host of health issues. Benally sees these issues so often that she calls it “a pandemic in itself.”
MCPS is currently investigating the possibility of opening schools during the second quarter for select groups of students with the highest degree of need, possibly renouncing their previous announcement that the first semester would be conducted entirely virtually.
The conversation always surrounds the quarterbacks––Tom Brady, Joe Montana, and the Manning brothers to name a few. But the idea that quarterbacks are somehow more important than running backs, wide receivers, or anyone on defense is deeply flawed.
It is that time of year again: Brightly-colored leaves are strewn across the ground, pumpkin spice lattes are steaming from the cup, and of course, eagerly anticipated trips to orchards and haunted houses are on our minds. Many of us are not rural residents, spending most of our time surrounded by tall buildings as opposed to flat farmland, but the magical season of fall has always offered us an oasis—the chance to go on a hayride, pick apples at the farm, or take a trip to the pumpkin patch.
On July 13, the football team based in Washington, D.C. announced that they were changing their name from the Washington Redskins to the Washington Football Team—an announcement that had been long awaited by many across the country.
On September 25, MCPS and three union associations (the Montgomery County Education Association, the local Service Employees International Union and the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals) wrote a joint message to staff and faculty about the potential of reopening classrooms to students, formally providing employees the minimum 45-day notice required prior to reopening. Silver Chips reached out to Lynne Harris and Sunil Dasgupta, the at-large candidates for the Board of Education, for written statements in response.
Cancelled SATs. Pass/incomplete grades. Disrupted extracurriculars. Changes in financial aid status. Interviews moving online. This year’s college admissions have been thrown into uncharted territory because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both students and colleges are navigating a new process, marked by a lack of in-person resources. From testing to financial aid, this year is different, and some students are unsure of how to handle it.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many have found themselves struggling to get by. Small businesses are hustling to keep themselves afloat, school districts are scurrying to create successful online learning systems, and medical staffers are working excruciatingly long hours to help those in need. To lessen the spread of the virus and its chaos, state governors have urged citizens to stay home by enforcing stringent stay-at-home orders––some states even administering fines for non-essential travel. This has led many Americans to stockpile on everyday items. People are hoarding exorbitant amounts of items—from rolls of toilet paper to cases of water—just so they can be prepared. While this reaction is understandable, stockpiling is doing more harm than good.
This year, students not only took AP exams from the comfort of home, but in a fraction of the previous three hour time limit. These limitations extend to restrict the number and type of questions on the test, and even the content covered. While the College Board, the for-profit “non-profit” that has monopolized the standardized testing industry, would like to believe that their blissfully shortened 45-minute AP tests will be enough to demonstrate students’ mastery of a subject, this is simply not the case.
Ever since the COVID-19 began in China in December 2019, humanity has scrambled to find ways to treat the disease. When a novel disease emerges, treatment often comes in three steps: life support, anti-virals, and vaccines.
It feels a bit funny to write a sports column at this point in our human history. For as long as most Americans can remember, sports have always been a constant. Even during World War II, when the majority of male baseball players went off to war, women stepped up to the plate and kept the game running. After disasters like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, sports gave a grieving country something to cheer for. But now, with the whole world—sports included—at a standstill, there’s frankly not too much to have a sports-related opinion about.
Carrying plastic bags filled to the brim with groceries, a teen volunteer dons protective equipment to drop off groceries at the front door of a neighbor’s house. As a member of “Teens Helping Seniors,” the volunteer is delivering groceries and other essentials to the homes of the elderly and immunocompromised.
The Silver Chips Editorial Board is proud to endorse Lynne Harris for the open at-large seat on the Montgomery County Board of Education. Ms. Harris’ deep knowledge of the school system, unique prioritization of students, and diverse career experiences make her the ideal choice for students and families as MCPS recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now is the time to learn a language, make a YouTube channel, and start your next big coding project. Now is the time to create a garden, paint the next Mona Lisa, and write a book. From the internet, newspapers, and even TikTok, we’ve been hearing these sentiments over and over again: We must maximize the efficiency of our quarantine time.
In only a matter of weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly damaged many of America’s central industries. The food industry, in particular, has been forced to climb a steep learning curve as it races to adapt to a reality in which hungry customers are not allowed to step through the front doors. Fortunately, there is a solution for both businesses and consumers, even as most states have ordered stay-at-home orders: food delivery services such as Uber Eats, GrubHub, DoorDash, and Postmates.
Millions tuned in to watch Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the National Football League, announce the first round picks of the first-ever virtual NFL Draft on Apr. 23. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Goodell announced each name from the comfort of his own home rather than under the bright lights of Las Vegas, where the draft was originally supposed to be held.
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