Start times: How it will effect more than just high school

Sleep deprivation. It’s a chronic health problem that’s affecting adolescents today, and to some, it all comes down to having to wake up as early as 5 a.m., just to get ready for school. Everyone knows school starts way too early and it’s been told time and time again that students need more sleep. Lately, school systems have been proposing to have high schools start at a later time, but here’s the catch: often times, this means that elementary school students have to start a lot earlier.

Research done by the National Sleep Foundation has shown time and time again that teens who start school at around 8:00 a.m. or earlier have a higher risk of not performing well in school, than those who start at around 9:00 a.m. If districts were to go forward with this change in start times, it would possibly mean a big change for elementary school students.

One of the biggest concerns parents and the districts have for their elementary students is time management and transportation. Some parents who have to work overnight, and don’t get home until 7:00 a.m., or get up in the early morning hours of the day to get to work, are concerned they won’t be able to supervise their child as they get ready, or be able to drive their child to school on time.

Most districts use the same busses to drop off their high school and elementary students, but if start time changes goes forward, it means the districts would probably have to hire more busses to take the younger children to school, otherwise, earlier school start times for elementary students would have to take effect.

If elementary schools were to start earlier, that means they would get out earlier than usual as well. As stated before, some parents have work during those hours so were would young students go during that time? After school activities would be an option for some, which could help out in the long run, but for the high school students, starting at a later time could lead to fewer or no after school activities.

It’s a debate to surely never end, but the biggest question here is really:

Is it worth it to have high school students start at a later time?

Election: After the results

These past few weeks have been such an emotional roller coaster. The anticipation and stress put upon ourselves just to see whose next to become the 45th president of the U.S. With some being overjoyed with the results, others are disgusted and confused by the fact that Trump is the next to become the President. I asked a few people about their reactions on the topic and here’s what they had to say:

“It’s disgusting to see a man like him elected.”

“Well, I guess America showed its true colors.”

“No one has any common sense nowadays.”

“It’s ridiculous how a business cooperate could actually become a presidential candidate without any experience whatsoever. Just shows really ANYONE can run for president.”

“I like him as an elect. I mean good for him; he seems fit for the role.”

“He speaks his mind he has no filter I think that’s what we need in a president.”

“Why would such people vote for a child as president?”

“Well, we were either gonna be (expletive) or extra (expletive) I just thought we would be just plain (expletive).”

“He’s trying to take control and take back our jobs.”

“Why would people vote for a man like him anyways? He mocked an entire race just because one person who just happened to be that certain race did. That’s wrong on so many levels.”

“He doesn’t seem to think about the consequences or anything about people’s families at all.”

“If his wife is an immigrant shouldn’t she get deported too?”

“Its heartbreaking… that’s all.”

“Trump is a disgrace. He disgraced the name ‘land of the free’.”

“Make America Great Again!”

In the end, our nation has been divided. We’ll just have to see how the next four years end up to be.

Dia de los muertos (Day of the dead)

Halloween is something most of us look forward to in the fall. From the costumes, to trick or treating until midnight, or binge watching your favorite horror films until 3am. It’s a holiday celebrated around the world and in many different ways too. El dia de los muertos happens to be one of those celebrations, and it also happens to be one of the biggest celebrations in honoring the dead.

Celebrated from November 1st to November 2nd, El dia de los muertos has become one of the oldest Mexican traditions celebrated. Originally dating back to the Aztec Empire traditions, it’s a two day lively celebration that honors the dead with large festivals, lively celebrations, parties, food and drinks. The days are meant to honor loved ones who’ve passed. These days are known as All Souls Day and All Saints Day.

It is belived that at midnight on Halloween the gates of heaven open and awaken the deceased children (angelitos) and allow them to spend the entire day with their families during this time. Then on November 2nd the spirits of the adults wake up from their eternal sleep and come down to enjoy the festivities prepared for them. You’d often see skulls, skeletons, marigolds, traditional food and drinks on the people’s graves or on their alters to honor the dead. These offerings are believed to please the dead and in return bring their families luck.


Fall sports

hphsFall. It’s something a lot of us look forward to. From going back to school (just to see your friends), to wondering if Halloween is just around the corner, or when winter break finally starts. But no one else looks more forward to fall than the athletes participating in this year’s fall sports. From football to girls swimming, girls volleyball, boys soccer, cheerleading etc. these athletes have been waiting all summer to do what they love the most.

“I love a good challenge for these athletes and just seeing their energy and dedication that they have when participating…” said Pat Auran, Highland’s newest athletic director. “It’s a rewarding and comradery type of atmosphere.”

During this small interview I had with Mr. Auran I asked him what it means to be a great athlete. His response was:

“School always comes first, always. No exceptions, it just does, that’s why so many athletes have a greater chance of graduating when they participate because they know that if they don’t get their homework in they can’t play or they get put on academic probation…” He added, “I feel as if sports is just an extension of school. Think about it: you have seven classes in a day so just think of it as your eighth [class]. They’ve also got to be proud of our school [Highland], I always encourage school spirit it brings the school closer in some ways and after all they’re representing our school. I also expect them to be respectful towards others and themselves 100% of the time.”

I had also asked him what it means and what it takes to be a good coach (or assistant coach) for the athletes. He said, “They’ve got to be able to get along with the athletes and feel like they’re just having fun with whatever sport they chose to be in. The coach also has to be approachable. Besides being their mentor and help the kid achieve their goal we’re helping these bright athletes transform into mature adults that could eventually help them in the long run. We try our best to help these kids be prepared for their future.”

“So far, it’s been a great season for all sports that are going on right now. Sure we may not have won a ton of games, but the spirit the people have when they’re on the stands is incredible. The Washburn vs. Highland game for football was a loss for us, but the crowd in the Highland area stayed throughout the whole game. Win or lose the people stayed to show support for our school and that’s something I’d like to see at all games.”

For more listings about when and where the next games/meets are for each sporting event, you can go on the Highland Park website and click on the athletic calendar for more information, or follow this link: and go show some school spirit and support!!