Libraries and the services they offer

By: Vivian S

Libraries offer a great many services to everybody, especially students, that we should be taking advantage of. First of all, libraries have a wide range of books that we can borrow at almost any time, which are very useful for both research and leisure reading.

The Saint Paul Public Libraries also offer students Library Go, so we all have our own accounts now. With Library Go, we have free music downloads with Freegal, we can check out ebooks from a giant online collection on Overdrive, and we can also get audiobooks and magazines.

The library has also created a resource list that we can use for research. It has a wide variety of sites that cover many different subjects. It starts us out with many trusted sites.

There is homework help offered both at the libraries and online. You can find a list of when the in-person help is available at:

For the online help you can use Brainfuse HelpNow, although you may need to make your own account. Brainfuse has many services such as mock tests you can take, explanations of subjects, and flashcards to review. You can even send in questions to be answered, and there is live tutoring online as well. The homework help is a very good resource.

The library also offers to print documents for you, and there are computers you can use. There are also ACT practice tests and driver’s permit practice tests available.

There are many different book clubs you can join. One for teens is called Teens Know Best, where you get to read young adult books before they are published. There are also events you can join, such as Createch.

Most Saint Paul libraries open between 10 a.m. and noon, and they close between 5 and 8 p.m. The schedule is online and varies by location and day.

Ms. Rahman, our school librarian, has told me about the variety of services the school library offers, including a giant collection of books in multiple languages, iPad help, research help, printing, board games, and puzzles.

All in all, if you have not started using the library’s resources yet, you really should.

Should school start later in the day?

Photo of female student sleeping in class. Shallow depth of field, multi-ethnic group of students in the background.

I personally think high school and middle school should start around 8:30AM because it can benefit the health and welfare of students. When there are early school hours it can affect kids health. According to the CDC, some health effects of students not getting enough sleep include: drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, marijuana use, use of other illicit/prescription drugs, depression, anxiety, behavior problems, and it can affect brain development. shows that when school starts around 8:30AM there can be benefits that include:

  • Students are more likely to get the amount of sleep they need.
  • Students will be less likely to depend on coffee to stay awake during the day.
  • When teens sleep longer it could reduce health issues that accompany sleep deprivation (see above).
  • Schools with later start times can improve school performance.
  • Later start times can mean less tardiness, and lower dropout rates.
  • Later school times can give students time to eat a healthy breakfast.

Other factors that have been found to be associated with school starting too early is a lack of sleep. When kids don’t get enough sleep they are more likely to have problems paying attention, and they can have poor academic performance. When kids miss a bus early in the morning, and that’s their only form of transportation, they miss class and then soon they are falling behind in their classes.

In December or 2014, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine advised many schools that later school start times could reduce car accidents. Researchers looked at two towns, and they found that among every thousand licensed drivers ages 16 to 17 there were about 53 car crashes during the school year.

In November 2014, the Healthy Sleep Project launched the “Awake at the Wheel” campaign to increase the public awareness of the risk of drowsy driving. The study they did included data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles that showed that during the school year there were more than 520 motor vehicle accidents involving teen drivers, and more than 320 teen crashes.

When school starts later in the day it will benefit kids, parents, and teachers.

For more information visit:

Tips and tricks to survive high school

By: Fiona M.

High school is a huge barrier that both blocks and represents our future. To be able to grasp that future in your hands, you need to be able get that diploma. But who said High School was ever easy? Here are a few tips and tricks that will definitely help you get over this big boulder.

  • School Supplies

Making sure you have everything you need for the new school year is very important. Make sure you are stacked on the pencils; they will go missing once and awhile. Get at least five notebooks and folders because not all of your classes say that you need a notebook. Make sure you are getting materials that your classes might not have in stock for you, for example, rulers, calculator, pens, etc.

  • Get Lots of Sleep

Sleep, sleep, sleep! Making sure you have your nightly routine prepared for you everyday will surely help you when it comes to sleeping in on time, and will definitely help you at school. According to the website Sleep Deprivation and Memory Loss, your brain is able to process information you learned that school day, when you sleep early. Also, when students wake up early, they have more time to get things done, like eating breakfast. You will feel so much more energized and happy if you sleep early, and you’re grades will thank you.

  • Be on time to class

Coming to class on time is very beneficial. If you come to school in the middle of the class period, you have basically missed out on really important information your teacher has given you, and you will start getting behind in your work. I’m pretty sure you hate repeating yourself when you’re explaining something important to someone right? Well, the teachers feel the same way. But if you come to class on time, you wouldn’t have to ask questions that were already covered.

  • Pay attention

Don’t snooze off in the middle of class, don’t text your friend, and definitely don’t annoy the students around you. By doing these things, you distract not only you, but your teacher and your peers. You came to school to get your education so sit up, grab your notebook, and listen. Or else you will stay behind and struggle to bring yourself back up again.

  • Use a planner

Planners are very helpful when it comes to getting your homework done. Keep a small planner in your backpack where you can jot some notes down, or write down your homework. This is a great solution if you have trouble remembering if you have homework or not.

  • Don’t procrastinate

Procrastination is a student’s worst nightmare. To help with this, make your own deadlines. If a teacher gives you a paper to write and it’s due in two weeks, make it due in one week, so you have the whole week to relax and get other things done for other classes.

Why are books usually better than their movie

By: Mateo Barrera

The movie version of a book usually is made after the book has had major success. This has happened to many books including the Harry Potter series, the Percy Jackson series, and the Maze Runner series to name a few.  All of these movies have been super successful, take Harry Potter for example, which grossed 7.7 billion dollars in 2012, after The Deathly Hallows Part 2 came out. However, a lot of movie versions of books don’t quite meet the expectations of the people who read the book. Here are some of the reasons that cause that.

The characters and their actors

One of the major parts of books is giving the basic description of a character, but also letting readers imagine how the characters look. However, an actor can’t always look exactly like the character in the book. For this reason readers will often believe that the movie will be an inaccurate representation of their favorite characters.

They change the original story

In some movies they change the original story to something else, add new things that never happened in the book, or cut scenes from the original story. This can either be good or bad, but in some cases it is bad. It’s bad because sometimes people want to see their favorite scenes from a book put onto the big screen, but then it turns out it has been cut out of the movie entirely. Sometimes when they add or cut things it creates plot holes in the story.

Characters thoughts

Probably the biggest reason for a book being better is the inclusion of a character’s thoughts. Books include thoughts to make characters’ actions make more sense, add extra detail to a character’s feelings or emotions, and also to make the story continue without just missing a bunch of important things. But in a movie, the inclusion of a character’s thoughts never really happens because it can ruin the pace of a movie and the mood, and make a movie really dull and boring. Because of this, you can really only tell a character’s emotions and feelings from their facial expressions, body language, and how they speak. This makes it hard to tell how a character is truly feeling.

All of these reasons usually end up making the original book better than their movie counterparts.

The do’s and don’ts of the school hallway

By: Darartu Omar

Everyone knows that the school hallways can be pretty hectic. People are just trying to get class. But what some people don’t realize is that they are making it harder for everyone else. Some people shove, some people yell. If anything, that isn’t going to help. So, I’m here to give you some tips and tricks of not only how to survive in the hallways but also in telling you the do’s and don’ts.

Let’s say you’re walking and you see your friend in front of you. You probably want to catch up with them right? Well, here’s what you can do. You can either find them at lunch or just forget about it. What you shouldn’t do is shove others to get to that friend. You could potentially hurt others but also hurt yourself.

Another thing that goes on in the hallways, that I know a lot of people notice, including myself, is EXCESSIVE PDA. I know that couples want to show their love and what not, but it’s not very comfortable for us when walking in the school hallway to get to class. It’s not like you will not see your boyfriend/girlfriend after class; they won’t miss you to badly.

One thing that I know bothers me a lot, and some others too, is the fact that people will stand right in the middle of the hallway. The hallways are already small and tight but to make matters worse, people like to stand there and make conversations with others. Sometimes, they will make a circle right smack in the middle and won’t even think to move out of the way, and sometimes will ignore you even when you have asked nicely.

Overall, I would say that the school hallways can be very annoying and frustrating. I know that when I graduate this year, this is one thing I will not miss about it.

Back-to-school season and flu


Huron High School students walk to their buses after school on Friday afternoon. The budget calls for eliminating all busing for high school students next fall, but the school board is looking at other alternatives. Jeffrey Smith | For

Getting sick is not limited to one group of people only and I’m sure anyone who has attended a history class would know this to be true. To refresh your memory, in the war between Europeans and Native Americans, the former was immune to small pox, and the latter wasn’t, which lead to a catastrophe for the Native people.

Though getting a common cold is not a serious illness comparatively, it still has infuriating traits. People under 18 are the group most affected by flu and the common cold every year.

Statistically speaking, high schoolers are at a very low risk of getting the flu; we shouldn’t be that worried about it, right? and in fact, the ones at the highest percentile of risk are elementary kids. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, elementary school children get six to eight colds each school year, and for high school kids, about half of that. This could be attributed to their smaller physique, easily compromised immune system, and also lack of established hygiene practices. High schoolers, comparatively, have better hygiene practices and also more well adapted immune systems.

Though elementary school children are prone to getting sick more, they are least affected by this academically. Let me explain this further. Elementary kids don’t necessarily have any pressure from school in completing tasks or getting grades. In fact, most elementary schools don’t start grading things until 4th or 5th grade. Unfortunately, this is not the case for high schoolers who could be left to scramble catching up for even missing a day of school. So, this group, even though they are old enough to know flu is contagious, might be ambivalent in taking a day off from school.

So, how can we help them? How can high schoolers protect themselves from fellow students who show up at school irrespective of being sick? How can high schoolers be better prepared to handle the flu if they are infected?

If you ever suspect yourself to be infected with flu, or the common cold, the first thing to do is call your school about a leave of absence. Email teachers and track your classes through Schoology to stay updated. The  presence of technology in classrooms is a true boon to high schoolers.

What if it is absolutely necessary for you to come to school, like for example, you must take the SAT, a final in class, or other important tests, what should you do then? Warning: this might seem silly, funny or even inappropriate to some. Wear a mask! – the one that covers your nose and mouth.

All the masks that surgeons, nurses, and sick people in hospitals wear are not a joke, they are the best method of preventing the spread of germs. If you are feeling nervous to wear these things to school, remember it can be fashionable too! If you’re a fan of K-pop you already know that many people in Korea wear them, and they can come in many different styles. So please save the rest of us and wear one!!

Or better yet, stay precautious and follow the below protocols.

The others are the group who are not affected by the sickness yet and are surrounded by walking zombies who could infect them any second. Precautions to follow would be; number one, get the flu shot. Chose any, do the nasal version or the actual shot.

You might be saying, “Well, when I actually get the shot I end up getting sick right after anyway, so what’s the point.” To explain this, let’s see how flu shots are created and how they actually work. Every year, the CDC – The Center of Disease Control and Prevention, choosing from a large pool of virus, predicts the group that could potentially affect people with influenza that season. Using those selected viruses, the CDC creates a “friendlier”/ diluted version, which is weak enough for your immune system to detect, develop your own antibody, and successfully eradicate. These diluted, inactive versions, of viruses are what you get as a flu shot every year. This causes a very light version of the flu which then your body’s immune system fights and then stores the antibody formula for future reference in its database. This means the next time any of the actual viruses show up in your system, your body will eradicate them before you even notice you’re sick. Even if getting a vaccination is not a foolproof way of preventing ALL flu-related diseases, it rules out the predicted majority on the list.

If you want to understand more about the body’s immune system and how it works watch this video: The Immune System.

Another thing to practice is washing your hands frequently, using mild plain soap. Hand sanitizers and antibacterial hand wash should be avoided since they are heavily linked to the rise of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) which is a superbug (a bacteria that is resistant to most antibodies). You don’t want to create a monster while trying to avoid one, do you?

Finally, let’s look at our home state compared to others. What percentage of students take a leave of absence from school in Minnesota? The state of Minnesota’s chronic absenteeism rate is only 14%! This means our rate is on the lower, middle spectrum compared to the other states. We must be doing something right, so let’s continue to do that on top of building new preventive practices.

If you want to see the other states chronic absenteeism rate, click on this link!

To find more information about Vaccinations click here!



Meet the new staff at Highland Park

By: Claire Ramadan, Maddie Baggenstoss, and Daniela Fernandez

This year at Highland Park Senior High we are welcoming many new staff members! In this article we have included interviews from some of the new staff so we can get to know them better.

Image courtesy of Ms. Baheiry

Ms. Baheiry is a new counselor here at HPSH. For her undergrad she went to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. For her masters degree she went to the University of Wisconsin. Fun Fact – Ms. Baheiry is from right here in Saint Paul, Minnesota! She loves being a school counselor because she gets to help students overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. “[It’s] been really exciting to see what aspirations they have for the future, and just how driven they are, and just how focused they are in school.” Her favorite part of her job is the relationships she builds with the students; getting to meet them freshman year and seeing all that they accomplish in their four years of high school. In her spare time, Ms. Baheiry enjoys playing volleyball, traveling, trying new restaurants, and spending time with her family.

Image courtesy of Ms. Collins-Renaulus

Ms. Collins-Renaulus works in special education at HPSH. She attended Xavier College as well as the University of Saint Thomas, deciding to become a teacher because she wanted to have a rewarding profession. She has three children, enjoys traveling, dancing, working out, and reading in her free time. “There’s a lot of strong school spirit (at HPSH) which is really cool, and they connect the teachers in that school spirit.” Ms. Collins-Renaulus says, “People are really connected here.”

Image courtesy of Daniela Fernandez

Ms. Chan is a Chinese teacher here at HPSH. She went to Pennsylvania State University, and got her masters and PhD in Language and Literacy Education Program in Curriculum and Instructions. She decided to become a teacher because “My parents were both teachers. I see their devotion to the students and would like to follow their steps! I love teaching Chinese. I teach not only Chinese language, but also share Chinese cultures and Chinese history. It is always great to see students being motivated to continue learn in the college!” When asked what her favorite part about teaching was “The best parts of teaching a foreign language is to see students enjoy learning and getting motivated to see another world,” Ms. Chan replied. Lastly, we asked her about how HPSH is different from other schools she’s previously worked at, and this is what she had to say, “I feel HPSH school students are fortunate in a positive learning, loving and caring school environment. Teachers work very hard as a team providing students not only academic knowledge, but also to the connection to the real lives.”

Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence was first discovered on August 30, 2018, when forecasters tracked a disturbance in the Atlantic, near the west coast of Africa. Hurricane Florence was considered to be a category 4 hurricane on September 10, 2018, and it was expected to hit the Carolinas and Virginia. Hurricane Florence was a fast approaching tropical storm and the agency predicted heavy rain over the Carolinas and Atlantic. About 1 million people who lived on the coastline of South Carolina and Virginia were ordered to evacuate by the South Carolina governor. But as the hurricane struck the coast of the Carolinas’ on September 15, 2018, it was downgraded to a category 1 hurricane. Over the course of four days it managed to dump around 23 inches of rain in South Carolina and 35 inches in North Carolina.

After Hurricane Florence first struck the coastline, it damaged many structures and caused a loss of power which affected thousands of people, but the after-effects of the storm was much worse than expected. The rainwaters of the hurricane increased water in rivers and streams which have now caused flooding. North Carolina’s two biggest rivers, Cape Fear and the Pee Dee River, both saw increased water levels which became one of the reasons for the major flooding. The water level has now risen and many residents are still waiting for the water to recede. More than 8,100 residents of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia that were forced to evacuate are still staying at Red Cross shelters, or with family or friends.

In Kinston, North Carolina, the streets flooded to the point where the National Guard had to use a helicopter to distribute water to stranded survivors. In North Carolina, it is estimated that around 3.4 million birds, and 5,500 pigs, drowned to death, and in South Carolina, the flooding damaged cotton, peanuts, and hemp crops. According to authorities, Hurricane Florence’s death toll climbed to 36, as of September 19, 2018, when two women died when they got swept away by the floodwaters while they were in a sheriff’s van.

President Donald Trump arrived in North Carolina on September 19 to help out at a church at New Bern, North Carolina, which was one of the first few towns that was hit. Trump distributed box lunches that consisted of hot dogs, chips, and fruits for people who waited for over an hour to collect their meal. As President Trump handed a man a lunch box, he said “Have a good time.”

On September 20, the power plant operator of Duke Energy reported that there was about 2,000 cubic yards of harmful waste that had gotten into the water from the landfill because of the flooding. The company spokesperson, Erin Culbert, had stated that the company will continue monitoring the situation.

Americans are trying their best to help everyone who was affected by the hurricane by donating money to nationwide agencies that are assisting the victims. On September 18, NBA champion Michael Jordan donated around $2 million to the cause. Members of NBA Hornets organization are putting together around 5,000 boxes for food banks in Charlotte, North Carolina. The organization also partnered with Fanatics, the NBA merchandising company, to help raise funds by creating a special T-shirt which features the Hornets logo in the middle of the Carolina states with the words “Carolina Strong.”


Homecoming events schedule

Hi everyone and happy Homecoming–

Just a quick note to update you about the events that are taking place this week, Sept 24-28:

Monday 9/24: Dress Up Day & door decorating contest begins in period 4 classes

Tuesday 9/25: PJ Day & class color t-shirts will be delivered during period 7

Wednesday 9/26: Minnesota Gear Day & last day to buy tickets to the Homecoming Dance

Thursday 9/27: Class Color Day & door judging takes place

Friday 9/28: Red Out & Pep Fest will take place during period 7. The Homecoming Dance will take place from 7-10pm in the Field House lobby.

Saturday 9/29: Powerpuff football game from 9-10am, tailgating by the School House from 10-12:30, and the football game starts at 1pm!

If you haven’t been to tailgating before, you should check it out!!  Lots of amazing food and activities to choose from!

Serena Williams during the US Open Women’s Final

Image taken from: _Williams/60424/officials-are-scared-of-serena-williams-chair-umpire/

On September 8th, Arthur Ashe Stadium held the US Open Women’s Tennis Final. The last two contestants were Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams, which made her the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam Final. After the match, there were still many discussions about what had happened during the match, with Serena Williams’ actions dominating the discussion.

During the match, Serena Williams was given penalties from the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos. The first penalty was given during play; Ramos had given her the penalty for receiving coaching during the match. Serena Williams replied to Ramos saying that she has never cheated before and that she doesn’t cheat to win, she would rather lose instead. Also, she included her daughter in the conversation, making sure he understood that she does not cheat.

The second penalty was a point penalty given when Serena Williams smashed her racket on the ground. The response Williams gave was not a positive one. Serena called Ramos a thief for stealing a point from her, but the match continued.

Through the next couple of games, Serena kept talking back to the umpire, continuing to call him a “thief.” Because of this, he gave her another penalty for verbal abuse, causing her to lose a game.

With each penalty given, Serena Williams spoke up about her feelings to Ramos, with some calling it an outburst, and others calling it standing up for herself. This sparked the debate of whether sexism came into play, as other players, or specifically male players, do worse things during matches, but don’t get called out for their conduct. The attention was also given to how Carlos Ramos handled things, with many disagreeing with what he did, though others agreed and said that his decisions were reasonable.

With all the things that happened, many believed that Naomi Osaka’s win was overshadowed by the drama that happened on court. Many can agree that Naomi Osaka played well and was respected for being able to stay calm during the match even with Serena Williams’ actions. During the winning ceremony, many boos were heard, causing Naomi Osaka to hide her face as tears came up. Even so, Naomi Osaka celebrated her first Grand Slam well.