Can't Get to School on Time, Here's Why.

by Shannon Thomas

This school year, the amount of traffic in the morning has increased and has required the administrators to ask the Branford Police Department to help with the situation.

Students and teachers have all seen the increase in traffic from how it’s been in previous years. The reasons for it could be that more students are driving in the mornings and being dropped off, making the jam outside the turn last longer than it used to.

Mrs. Maliki, the teacher that handles parking permits, has said that there is an increase in the number of people registering their cars this year. Students were also asked what they think of the situation. When being dropped off, students asked agreed that the amount of traffic is a problem for both them and their parents, who may need to get to work. They commented that they have to leave earlier in the mornings to get to school on time, as do the students that drive to school themselves. Sitting in traffic for about 5 minutes or more is difficult for the teachers as well. To help the problem, Mr. Panagoulias said that BHS has been working with the Branford Police Department. With their help directing the traffic, the amount of it should do down as the school year continues.

According to Jack, one of the schools securety guards, it is all due to the amount of students being dropped off in the morning. “It’s all due to volume,” says Jack during the breif disscusion of this issue. He says that it is a huge problem and it always has been.

Things should start running smoother once the police department really starts managing the traffic and helping the school find alternate routes. From what Jack has said, the traffic really has nothing to do with the students driving in. It is a constant flow of traffic, especially now that the first left turn has been eliminated. The parents dropping off their students and clogging up the driveway entrance is a big part of the problem.

Can’t Get to School on Time, Here’s Why.

by Shannon Thomas

This school year, the amount of traffic in the morning has increased and has required the administrators to ask the Branford Police Department to help with the situation.

Students and teachers have all seen the increase in traffic from how it’s been in previous years. The reasons for it could be that more students are driving in the mornings and being dropped off, making the jam outside the turn last longer than it used to.

Mrs. Maliki, the teacher that handles parking permits, has said that there is an increase in the number of people registering their cars this year. Students were also asked what they think of the situation. When being dropped off, students asked agreed that the amount of traffic is a problem for both them and their parents, who may need to get to work. They commented that they have to leave earlier in the mornings to get to school on time, as do the students that drive to school themselves. Sitting in traffic for about 5 minutes or more is difficult for the teachers as well. To help the problem, Mr. Panagoulias said that BHS has been working with the Branford Police Department. With their help directing the traffic, the amount of it should do down as the school year continues.

According to Jack, one of the schools securety guards, it is all due to the amount of students being dropped off in the morning. “It’s all due to volume,” says Jack during the breif disscusion of this issue. He says that it is a huge problem and it always has been.

Things should start running smoother once the police department really starts managing the traffic and helping the school find alternate routes. From what Jack has said, the traffic really has nothing to do with the students driving in. It is a constant flow of traffic, especially now that the first left turn has been eliminated. The parents dropping off their students and clogging up the driveway entrance is a big part of the problem.

Student Wins Writing Award

By Madeline Alden

Cole Freeman, a senior here at BHS, was recently awarded a prestigious national writing award. He was one of 525 high school seniors across the country to win the award. Only 10 students from Connecticut were honored by the National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Awards in Writing in 2007. In all, 1,789 students were nominated.

To even be considered for this award, a student must be nominated by an English teacher. Each school can only nominate two juniors per year. Cole Freeman was nominated by Mrs. Lucibello, his teacher for English 11 Honors.

For the submitted work, Freeman sent in a character sketch but the piece he had really wanted to send had accidentally been deleted by his brother beforehand.

The next task was a timed essay under supervision. The bigger challenge for Freeman was to write under time constraints with few options to choose from. The theme he chose was dirty politics.

When asked about his writing Cole said, “I never considered my writing to be that good, but apparently they thought so.” And that they did.

Freeman may be modest, but due to his talent, the English program and the teachers are recognized by the NCTE.

Freeman’s name will also be published in a booklet that is sent to the members of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives in addition to the NCTE leaders.

French Teacher Goes To Morocco

By Madeline Alden

Ms. Casanova has been honored to participate in a teacher exchange program that involves traveling to Morocco. She plans on traveling to Morocco with five other French teachers who she will meet up with on October 29 in Washington D.C.

For six weeks, Casanova will be staying in Casablanca while working alongside an English teacher at the Mohammad VI High School. She plans on learning more about the Moroccan culture and school system and also hopes to have a very rich cultural experience. Casanova hopes to make good connections with her teaching partner and her future students.

Mohammad VI High School is named after the current king of Morocco. The school lacks the type of technology Branford High School has and the classes consist of approximately 35 students. Ms. Casanova knows it will be very different from teaching at Branford High School.

As of right now, Casanova doesn’t have an organized plan on what to teach there because she isn’t sure what kind of class she will be working with yet. After the six weeks are up, Ms. Casanova will return to Branford on December sixth with the English teacher she worked with throughout the six weeks at the school in Morocco.

Bon chance en bon voyage Madame Casanova!

New Security

  A new security system at Branford High School has been implemented this school year is causing concerns to students of all grades, especially upperclassmen. The issue is in regards to not having access outside.  After 8:30 AM, all doors leading outside are to be locked.  This means students or visitors must be buzzed in at the front entrance after 8:30 until the end of the day.  This will make it more difficult for students to smoke, visit their car, or leave school grounds in the duration of their school day.  This system will also protect the school from undesirable visitors.

   Many students do not agree with the actions implemented.  There is a wide range of concerns amongst students, especially upperclassmen who drive to school.  It is quite easy for students to leave certain items in their car that are essential in a student’s day, more so when they are running late.  “We cannot have access to essentials if we forget them in our cars and it is very difficult to get through our day without them,” Katharine DiPalma (’09) explains.  For some students, there is a major health concern that if students are not allowed outside anymore, students will begin smoking in the bathrooms again.  This places most students’ health in danger.  “I’m concerned about students smoking in the bathroom, especially since it’s already began.  It’s placing non-smokers’ health in danger and is inconvenient for students who have to use the bathroom because when they leave the bathroom, they smell like smoke.  The smokers should be allowed to go outside so our health is not at stake,” AJ Bishop (’09) expressed when asked about concerns of the new security measure. Some students simply feel that the upperclassmen should be given a chance to show how responsible they are with their free periods.  Anna Milne (’10) told surveyer when asked, “I just like to go outside and enjoy my lunch when the weather is really nice  I hate being inside all day.  It’s a shame that a few students ruined it for the majority of responsible students.”

      The new security measures were put into place, because Mr. Panagoulias, Branford High School’s principal, said over this summer (2008) the administrators along with the board of education met and discussed weither Branford had an open or closed campus. As the meetings went progressed they decided to place Branford in the middle so it wouldn’t be a completely closed campus, but limited certain freedoms of having an open campus due to security issues, such as uninvited members entering the building. Mr. Panagoulias also mention that the Board of Education reinforced the rules and regulations that must be followed “By all means, no smoking on school grounds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week” was one of them. This prohibits students, staff, and adults from smoking on school grounds.

The Truth About Teenage Driving

by Merissa Blitz

      Now that we’re all in highschool, driving to school, and to other places, has become more common. Friends drive each other to school, to afterschool activities, to parties, and much more. However, laws passed on August 1st have made these pastimes a little harder to partake in. To be eligible for a driver’s license, a teen that has recieved a permit after August 1, 2008 has to complete 30 hours of classes, 8 hours of on road driving through their driving school, 2 hours of parent training, and 32 extra hours of on road driving with a home trainer. The reason for putting on all of these restrictions is because of the fatal results of teen car crashes. Even though many teens are driving, that doesn’t mean they’re good at it. Motor vehicles are the leading cause of death of teenagers. About 40% of all teen deaths are a result from a motor vehicle accident. 
     What do teens think about all this? “I think that most teen car crashes involve teens who are drunk driving,” says Natschja Ratanapryul. “When I’m driving people home from school I tend to get distracted by talking to them,” adds Kelsey Zielinski. Brandon Lucibello says, “I think that most teenage crashe invlove people talking or texting on their cellphone. According to a 2005 survey of 1,000 people ages 15-17 that was conducted by the Allstate Foundation, 56% of young drivers use cell phones while driving, 69% said that they speed to keep up with traffic, 64% said they speed to go through a yellow light, 47% said that passengers sometimes distract them and nearly half said they believed that most crashes involving teens result from drunk driving.