Category Archives: Teen Interest

Summer Plans: Man on the Street

By Meghan Lancaster

With summer just around the corner, students and staff alike are counting down the days until the school year is over. Here is what Attleboro High School (AHS) students will be up to this summer.

Advertisements

Project Unite hosts the Attleboro School Day Games

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Opening Parade  Photo by: Jenna Berg

By: Jenna Berg

 

The Attleboro High School (AHS) 2016 Special Olympics was held last Thursday. This is the 28th annual Attleboro School Day Games, coordinated by AHS teacher and Project Unite leader, Mrs. Rebecca Halsey.

Special Olympics is funded by another popular school event, Polar Plunge- an event where students fundraise money and plunge themselves into the freezing ocean.

Students volunteer from AHS, Bishop Feehan High School (BFHS), and North Attleboro High School (NAHS) to form Project Unite. Volunteers raised money through Polar Plunge and asked friends and family members to sponsor them. All of the money raised funded the Special Olympics

The project is always successful, full of enthusiastic students who are always going all out for the themes during the plunge and games. Project Unite surpassed their goal of $18,000 this year alone with Polar Plunge, but there were also other ways of fundraising; AHS raised money through Senior Assassin, a game where seniors were allowed to eliminate each other with water guns.

Volunteers were required to wear a blue team shirt and to accent their outfits with red and yellow to accommodate the circus theme.

This year, over 650 athletes from 40 different groups participated in the games. There were about 300 hundred volunteers from AHS, BFHS and NAHS. This event was coordinated since September.

Athletes looked forward to this event all year, and the volunteers worked very hard to make it the best day for the participants.

Halsey said that her favorite part was working with the staff, and she loved seeing “the pieces coming together.” The Attleboro Day Games is a huge event that takes a lot of organized effort in order to run smoothly. This year’s event was the largest one yet.

Thursday’s weather was warm and sunny, a great day for the outdoor event. Volunteers arrived early and helped with the setting up. Everyone was festive in their colors with tutus, socks, bandanas, suspenders and clown noses or bow ties.
The parade began and finished before 10 a.m. All the schools and groups were welcomed with a big round of applause. Music was blasting through the speakers, and people were singing along, creating a fun and positive atmosphere.

When the parade finished, the games began. Groups rotated around like a clock. Athletes competed in turbo jav, the softball throw, long jump or any running events such as the hundred meter dash.

Athletes could also go to Olympic Town, an area dedicated to games. Volunteers ran everything such as a dunk tank and face painting. Food was also provided for all participants.

At each event, all the volunteers met the athletes, and were filled with excitement. No one was left behind; everyone who competed was given an award.

AHS sophomore and second time volunteer, Julia Hayes said, “It is wonderful to be a part of an eye opening event.” For the participants, it was very special to see how important the day meant to the athletes.

Abigail DesVergnes, an AHS junior, said her favorite part was the opening ceremony. DesVergnes also liked seeing the kids and how happy they were.

A BFHS student, Brad Nelson, volunteered for his first time this year with friends. He explained his favorite part of the day was “working with the kids.”

Kyle Johnson is an NAHS senior who volunteered and participated in Polar Plunge all four years, and was the awards coordinator the past two years. He felt that the athletes “didn’t always get as much recognition,” which is why his favorite part was awards.

AHS student and project unite coordinator, Hadley Porreca, described the event as “magical.” Porreca wanted to do everything she could to support their one day. All of the work that was put into it, was worth it.

The 2016 annual Attleboro School Day Games was a success. Volunteers are already looking forward to next year’s event.

School Leadership Saves the World

delaney

“Ban the Bag”   Photo by: Delaney Nisbet

By: Delaney Nisbet

During the day on Monday, Attleboro High School (AHS)’s School Leadership teacher Mrs. Rebecca Halsey, presented projects that the class hoped would save the world some day in the future. Multiple projects were out on display in the pit for students who passed by to see.

“We are trying to spread awareness with these projects, so that we can save the environment” said junior Cassidy Dias, who was a participant of the “Ban the Bag” presentation.

Ban the Bag has been an ongoing project created by senior Patrick Collins in order to ban plastic bags from being used. “The plastic bags are harming the environment because the animals tend to eat or swallow them, and the bags are killing them” said junior Kassandra Alves.

Other projects that were presented were anti-tobacco support for Special Olympics and against drug abuse. “We are really trying to get everyone around us aware of the issue at hand. The best way to start is within the schools,” said senior Samantha Spaziano who ran the Special Olympics table.

“The projects were a huge success and I’m so happy with how they came out,” said Senior Morgan Fulton who had been working on the project almost all year long. Ultimately, the School Leadership projects were a success with raising awareness.

 

Senior Assassin

Senior Assasin

Nate Tellier’s Victory  Photo by:Brandon Galvao

By: Jenna Berg

 

Students are offered a variety of opportunities to enjoy their senior year at Attleboro High School (AHS). One of the most popular activities is Senior Assassin. This is the fifth year the high school has been partaking in senior assassin.

A total of  91 students signed up to play in the class of 2016.  The game started on April 3, 2016 and ends on the last day of class for seniors. There will be a winner on May 27 who will receive a $227.50 prize. The other half of the money will be donated to the Special Olympics.

The summarized rules of the game are as followed:

  1. It costs $5 to play.
  2. Each person is assigned a “target,” that they must eliminate using a water gun.
  3. To get them out, they must be visible soaked with water, nothing else. Once eliminated, the player gives up their own target and the game continues.
  4. Safe Zones:  Inside their house, at school, inside their own car and on school grounds.
  5. There are exceptions:  After 4:30, the tennis courts and fields are game. (But no water guns on school grounds, students may get suspended.)
  6. If a target is inside a car, other than their own, they are fair game.
  7. If a player is invited into their target’s home, it is fair game.
  8. Players are allowed to defend themselves. If they shoot their assassin, they are free from danger for an hour.
  9. Assassins must have a video for proof, or at least another witness.
  10. If a student has not eliminated a target by April 24, then they themselves are eliminated.

Many seniors have enjoyed the game but have some constructive criticism. “I wish there was less rules,” Angelia Littig said.

For some students, it was enough to make them not participate.

“It’s too stressful,” said Tim Vermilyea. Students would have to constantly look over their shoulder to stay in the game.

Classmate Pat Lam agreed with Vermilyea.“Too much stuff was going on,” he said. During this time period seniors have to worry about final testing in  their classes, Advanced Placement (AP) exams and senior prom.

Elizabeth Croteau, a player who surrendered said it gave her paranoia. Some students couldn’t handle the stress.

The majority of the players thought the game was entertaining. Seniors Katie Patton and Hannah Petri said in a joint statement that they did it to “get involved” and that “it sounded like fun.”

Nate Tellier said he decided to play because he was competitive.Tellier has already defeated two people and moved onto a third.

All the players would recommend the game to any of the underclassmen, and some juniors are already looking forward to the game. A common wish from participants was to have a purge night. Allowing players to break the rules eliminating any remaining players, running from 5pm to 5am..

As seniors, this is their “last hoorah.” Students just want to have fun. With the class of 2016, senior assassin continues to be a popular and intense game. It appears that it will remain tradition here at AHS.

 

Attleboro High School junior leaps to man’s rescue, performs Heimlich maneuver

FullSizeRender1 (2) JV

Attleboro High School junior, Jacob Vieira saved a man’s life by performing the Heimlich maneuver at Bliss dairy in Attleboro                                      Photo by: Martin Gavin

A quiet Sunday evening at Bliss Dairy in Attleboro turned into a life or death situation when a customer was choking on his meal, but 17-year-old Bliss employee Jacob Vieira of Attleboro leaped into action.

He saved the customer’s life by performing the Heimlich maneuver.

Vieira, a junior at Attleboro High School, said he was alerted by the man’s wife, who was shouting, “Is anyone here a doctor!”

With adrenaline pumping and not a little scared, Vieira grabbed the man, and on his first attempt at the Heimlich, cleared the man’s airways.

The restaurant erupted in applause and the customer was overjoyed.

Golden Living Center chef, Gayle Rivera, 35, of Attleboro witnessed the incident, said it was “very scary,” but was amazed by Vieira’s quick action.

“Thank God, there are wonderful people in this world,” she said.

Extensive hours Vieira spent working at the YMCA as a lifeguard, along with online CPR and basic first aid courses, taught him what he needed to know.

“This experience is truly humbling,” Vieira said. “I’m grateful that all my training paid off.”

Vieira said he hopes schools in the area will incorporate CPR training into their curriculum because you never know when it might save a life.

“I can’t imagine what would’ve happened if nobody was there to help him,” Vieira said.

Vieira said he doesn’t know who the customer, but he was glad he could help.

Vieira’s mother, Nancy, 45, part owner of Anthony Vieira Heating and Air Conditioning is proud of her son.

“He never ceases to amaze me. I know he would do anything to help someone in need,” she said.

Budget Crisis Strikes Attleboro

5585d0eb2e120-image

Attleboro City Hall  (Photo by: Mark Stockwell of The Sun Chronicle)

By: Meghan Lancaster and Amanda Lindley

The public schools in the district of Attleboro have recently received word that the city’s budget for school funding will be reduced for the upcoming 2017 school year. The budget cuts include the possibility of faculty and staff layoffs, non-essential course elimination, an increase in class sizes, and raised fees for transportation and after-school activity programs, among other possibilities.

Although nothing has been confirmed as to what stays and what goes, the School Department has made it clear that making these budget cuts is one of the only options available to close the current $2.6 million General Government budget gap.

Mayor Kevin J. Dumas recently visited several schools in the district to inform concerned residents, one of which was Thursday May 5, at Thacher Elementary School.

This is something we need to keep talking about because this is a huge problem,” said Dumas at Thacher. He said that the City’s process to solve the problem was “thwarted by the massive numbers of untruths and misinformation which have truly divided the people.”

Initially, it was thought that the School Committee would have to cut $3-$4 million, but Dumas was able to redirect funds from elsewhere to the school system following the outrage of city residents. Now, the Committee is preparing for up to $2 million in cuts, which totals to 64 teacher layoffs, among other staff members.

Before official news of the budget cuts broke out, city residents gathered in City Hall on Tuesday, April 26 to convince the School Committee to pass a law allowing them to use funds from other departments.

“In order to get to the point where we even had this $800,000 to allocate towards the city, we already had a $2 million shortfall in all of the other 23 departments citywide,” says Mayor Dumas.

Students at Attleboro High School (AHS) immediately expressed their concern with the budget cuts and planned to take action with an in-school walkout, but the plan was shot down once AHS Principal Mr. Bill Runey and some of the students decided that it would be counterproductive.

Instead, the school held two question-and-answer forums open to any student that wanted to receive official information about the budget crisis. Runey led the meetings, along with School Committee Chairman Mr. Stephen K. Withers, Superintendent-elect Mr. David A. Sawyer, School Committee Representative Mr. David Quinn.. They discussed the main causes of the City’s debt and the reasons for which the budget cuts are the only possible resolution at this time.

The forums made it clear to students that the budget crisis is the effect of debts in both the City and Massachusetts as a whole.  

The “2014 Chapter 70 Foundation Budget and Net School Spending” (Ch. 70) document establishes the minimum amount of money that the City is required to spend on its schools annually. If they spend less than 5% below that budget, fiscal penalties are put in place.

The Superintendent’s recommendation to the School Committee included an increase to the school budget by $6.8 million, but the School Committee decided to vote for a level-service budget and an increase of only $4.2 million, which resulted in a $2.6 million General Government budget gap to create a balanced city budget. Usually, in order to reduce this gap, the City would increase property taxation. Right now, however, the city is unable to do so because Proposition 2 ½ limits the amount that the city can tax its residents.

Even though the City has funded $1 million above the minimum spending requirements, an increase of only $344,135 (0.5%) in State funding is simply not enough to sustain services in the Attleboro Public Schools in the upcoming year. Under the limits of Proposition 2 ½, the City may only raise new tax revenue of $1.6 million to cover the expenses for the entire City. Thus, a $4.2 million shortfall in any department cannot be made up solely within the limits of Proposition 2 ½.

The City is considering overriding Proposition 2 ½ so that they can tax more and avoid having to make budget cuts in the future, but there is no clear indication whether or not this plan will be put into place, or how long it will take if it is put into action.

Along with the news of budget cuts in the school system came a spread of misinformation. In order to separate fact from fiction, a joint letter from Dumas, Quinn, and Sawyer was published April 30 regarding Ch. 70 as well as some of the common misunderstandings surrounding the issue.

The letter made it clear that the other projects around the City, including the renovations at AHS, are not payed for through tax dollars and therefore are not affecting the school budget crisis.

For people who wish to contribute to the City’s efforts toward helping the crisis, Bill Runey suggests that they donate materials – not money – to teachers. He says that this will cause the City to channel their funding from the cost of materials and instead put it towards teacher’s salaries.

Runey also mentioned that he is in the process of planning a potential festival on June 16 to raise money for the High School, although no plans have been made definite yet.