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Changes in Class Rank Coming for Class of 2021

By: Julia Moyer

News Co-Editor

Starting in the 2020-2021 school year, class rank will no longer be calculated and published according to Howard County Public School System’s policy 8020. This makes the Class of 2021 the first graduating class without rank on their transcripts. On behalf of HCPSS, Kami Wagner, Instructional Facilitator for School Counseling, said, “In talking with students across the county, there were clear connections between class rank and student stress levels.” she added that “while students also articulated that class rank can be a motivator, students were more in support of removal rather than support for continuing to rank.”

Changes in Class Rank

Class rank can become a label for some students. Image Source: The Hawkeye

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Working Around the Coronavirus

Leah Russell

Social Media Coordinator

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Coronavirus has impacted so many people around the world and right here in the Hammond community. Many students did not expect that when they packed their backpacks up on March 13th, that the school year would be over. But this impact on Hammond students goes past their studies. With many businesses still closed due to social distancing measures, many students are concerned about their current or summer jobs.

Many businesses, like Merriweather Post Pavilion and the Columbia Association pools have pushed back their openings, or decided not to re-open at all. The Hammond students planning to work at those places may have to find a new job, or choose not to work until places begin to open. Camryn Johnson expresses her struggles with working because of Coronavirus, “I’m not working right now and I was planning on finding a job in March right after we got let out for the two week break at first. Soon after though, all the businesses closed so I could not find a job.” With so many businesses closed, it is already hard for students to keep their job, let alone find a new one.

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Hairspray Live: A Swingin’ Good Time

By Chinyere Godfrey

Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Hairspray live is a musical that takes place in Baltimore, in the year 1962. It is about a plus-sized girl, the perfect boy, an ambitious mean girl and an African American boy who struggle together to discover themselves.

120720Source: TheaterMania

Tracy decides to fulfill her long lasting dream: to dance on “The Corny Collins Show,” a local TV program. Though all odds are against her, she qualifies for the role in the show and becomes a celebrity overnight. She meets a colorful array of new characters which includes: perfect boy, Link, ambitious Amber, African American boy, Smooth Seaweed, and last but not least, Motormouth Maybelle, who change her life forever. The conflict is centered around Tracy’s idea to integrate the all-white Corny Collins Show.

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King Kong Movie Review

By Chris Parris

Staff Writer

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Image Source: Warner Brothers Pictures

In the early 1930s, RKO Pictures was hit hard by the Great Depression and was struggling financially. At the same time, filmmaker and adventurer Merian C. Cooper was shopping around his idea for a movie about a gigantic ape fighting a komodo dragon. Cooper soon found himself getting employed at RKO. While working on a live-action adaptation of The Most Dangerous Game, Cooper came across test footage of a movie about dinosaurs titled Creation, a project headed by stop-motion animator Willis O’Brien. Recognizing stop motion as the best possible way to bring his gorilla epic to life, Cooper convinced RKO to greenlight his movie. During production, the movie was known by many names. Examples include The Beast and The Eighth Wonder. By the end of production, the movie was called King Kong. This movie would go on to change the art of cinema.

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Outer Banks: Get Drawn into the Mystery

By Leah Russell

Social Media Coordinator

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Photo Credit: Cosmopolitan

“Our mission this summer is to have a good time, all the time.” By the title of the series, you may have already guessed where they live, but if you haven’t I’ll give you a hint, reread the title! One of the newest shows to come out on Netflix, the cast features many relatively new faces in television including Chase Stokes as John B. Routledge and Madelyn Cline as Sarah Cameron. Outer Banks follows a young teen and his friends through a dangerous all-summer treasure hunt inspired by his missing father. With lots of action and drama, it’s almost impossible to turn this show off! This show has something for everyone, plenty of relationships, and funny moments.

Off-screen, the cast gets along extremely well, and it is reflected on-screen with their authentic friendship. It is obvious that the cast had fun creating such an intriguing and action-packed storyline for viewers to follow. The show opens up with a storm brewing on the coast of the town. Knocking out all electricity and destroying buildings, the storm also uncovered secrets. From the first episode, I was drawn in by the mystery of John B.’s dad’s disappearance, and the mysterious boat the friends find. The problem with the friends finding things they should not have found is the danger that it causes them. It seems like no matter where they go, the police are suspicious of them, and even people they have never met are looking for them. We later find out that John B.’s father went missing in his search for $400 million in gold, from the shipwreck of The Royal Merchant. Do they find the gold? And what kind of danger do they get themselves in in the hunt for it? With mysterious plot twists around every corner, this show will keep you up all night trying to figure it out.

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Dangerous Lies: A Netflix Original Movie Review

By Marissa Yelenik

Co-News Editor

pasted image 0Photo Credit: Netflix

Dangerous Lies was released on Netflix on April 20, 2020, as a Netflix Original Film. It was directed by Michael Scott, and is tagged as an ominous and suspenseful thriller movie on the site, with a running time of an hour and thirty seven minutes.

The movie follows the likeable and intelligent Katie Franklin, played by Camila Mendes, as she navigates her way through a life filled with mystery and struggle. The movie begins with Katie and her husband Adam Kettner, played by Jessie Usher, in a financially unstable position. Katie works as a caretaker to the rich and old Leonard Wellsley, played by Elliot Gould, while her husband remains unemployed. Katie and Leonard’s relationship is quickly defined as something more than caretaker and employer, the two care deeply for each other. Katie loves the man for his sweet and loving personality, and to Leonard, Katie begins to feel like the family he was never able to have. 

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Standardized Testing in the Time of COVID 19: How College Board is changing AP testing and SAT administration

By Julia Moyer and Marissa Yelenik

News Editors

All information in this article is current as of May 11th, 2020

Because of school cancelations and stay at home orders both nationwide and internationally, the College Board has shifted Advanced Placement (AP) testing to an altered online format and canceled SAT administration through June. 

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The new AP test will be a 45-minute online free response test for all subjects, which means all answers will be written and there will be no multiple-choice questions. Also, the content that could potentially be assessed on each exam has been abbreviated. Test questions will cover content that most AP teachers have covered by early March. The lastest testing dates and times for the new format can be found on the College Board website. Testing will occur May 11 through the 22. If for any reason a student cannot test that day (ie. illness, technology problems) they should plan to take their test’s makeup in June. 

Classes which usually have file submissions, such as AP art courses, will continue with that format. However, AP Computer Science Principles scores which are usually determined by a combination of performance task submissions and a multiple-choice exam will now only rely on the performance task submission. 

For the most part, students have said that the change in the format hasn’t changed how they are studying, but most are focusing entirely on free-response questions. AP Physics teacher, Mr. Sivell says that in his class AP review has mostly looked similar to previous years, “For the past two weeks we have been reviewing for the AP Exam by completing and self-grading past [free response questions].  This is exactly what we would have done if we were in class, but now we are doing it online through electronic copies instead of printed versions.” 

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Looking for something to watch? Try The Twilight Zone

By Uma Ribeiro

Co-News Editor

unnamedPhoto Credit: Variety.com

If you haven’t already heard of this classic and imaginative show filled with horror, sci-fi,  drama, and even bits of comedy, now is the time to give it a watch. The name, The Twilight Zone, refers to situations that simply cannot be explained, often ones defying logic and filled with strange and surreal happenings. The iconic monologue read by the show’s creator and famous host, Rod Serling, serves as a fitting introduction to each season one episode. He describes the Twilight Zone as “… the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge.” The original series, which aired from 1959 to 1964, is available on Netflix, with an absence of season four due to its inconsistent episode lengths and differing style compared to the other seasons. 

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Impact of COVID-19 on High School Athletics

By Ekene Ezeh and Caleb Angus

Co-Sports Editors

The coronavirus has affected everyone around the world, with lockdowns and closures becoming constant during this time. While many people are paying attention to the economic and physical effects of the virus, most do not realize the impact it may have on high school sports. Spring sports have been canceled due to the virus, and it has had an effect on seniors looking to go to college. 

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Hammond senior Louick Amouzou running hurdles in the spring of 2019 during his junior year.  Louick could not do the event this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo Credit: Baltimore Sun. 

“The cancellation of sports is devastating,” said Mr. Lerner, the athletic director at Hammond. “More than denying seniors an opportunity to add film, the cancellation of spring sports denies seniors a final season to represent their high school.” The pandemic will also have an effect when it comes to recruiting for colleges. “The NCAA is considering allowing college spring athletes another year of eligibility,” added Mr. Lerner, “which would have a direct impact on the number of scholarships available for high school seniors, as well as the number of available roster spots.” 

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Transitioning to Online Schooling: Students Share Their Opinions

By Jenna Kreh

Co-Features Editor

Due to the recent Coronavirus outbreak, students at Hammond High School began the transition to a “Continuity of Learning” online schooling system on April 14. Since then, students have been receiving weekly assignments from their teachers each Monday on Canvas, and they have been meeting with their teachers once a week through Google Meet. This new education system is very different from what students have previously experienced, and it has proven to have its ups and downs. While many students work well under and even embrace, the new method, others wish changes could be made to make their education experience easier.

Overall, students from each grade have said that they adapted well to the new system and that the transition was smooth. A few students mentioned it was confusing or choppy at first, but they now feel it is running smoothly. Sophomore, Kate Rossmark, even stated that she wouldn’t change anything with the online learning program right now. “It’s pretty straightforward and in my opinion has nothing wrong with it,” she says. Senior Jordan Kreh agreed, noting that she has had no major problems with the program so far and that she even favors some of the changes being made. “The best thing about the online program is that I get all my assignments for the week at once,” Jordan says, “Then I can plan my week with no surprises.” Kate agrees that working at her own pace makes things, “less stressful and overall more enjoyable.” Most students seem to agree that working from the comfort of their own home has been one pleasurable aspect of online learning.

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