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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The Road for the Class of 2020

By: Chinaza Ezeh and Kayla Hendershot

Online Editor and Editor-in-Chief

As we all know, COVID-19 has changed life and drastically affected our school year and the events us students at Hammond High were looking forward to. For seniors especially, events like Prom, the senior crab feast, graduation, Mr. HHS, and senior games for sports are all up in the air, leaving seniors disappointed and unsure of what is to come. As students are hopeful to go back to school, seniors are hopeful for their last year to be what they were looking forward to all four years of their high school experience. 

Recently, senior representatives from each high school connected virtually to discuss the future of senior activities. Hammond’s 2020 class president, David Aodu, attended this meeting and said, “We discussed different ways to make seniors feel valued and honored still for all their hard work and about possibly having some of the missed senior events due to corona at a later time with modifications.One big senior event that will be facing a big modification is the culmination of the high school career: graduation.

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Check out the Hammond High School Twitter to see more pictures of our seniors celebrating their year with their yard signs!

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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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The Shawshank Redemption: From the Bleakest Circumstances, Beauty is Born

By Chinaza Ezeh

Co-Online Editor

“Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” And that is exactly what The Shawshank Redemption is all about. An adaptation of Stephen King’s classic 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, the 1994 prison drama written and directed by Frank Darabont stars Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, William Sadler and James Whitmore, to name a few.

RedAndyCheckers HollywoodReporterL to R: Andy and Red, played by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, respectively. Source: Hollywood Reporter

In the year 1947, banker Andy Dufresne (Robbins) is found guilty (although he denies it) of the murders of his wife and her lover, and is henceforth sentenced to two life sentences at Shawshank State Penitentiary. Upon arrival, he meets fellow inmate Red (Freeman) who is serving a life sentence of his own. The two take a liking to each other, and Andy is soon assimilated into Red’s friend group. Over the next nineteen years, Andy faces a multitude of trials and tribulations within those walls, including rape, corruption, and exploitation. The corruption and exploitation starts right at the top, from prison warden Samuel Norton (Bob Gunton), a man who swears by the Bible, yet ironically has no issue in the guards, particularly Captain Hadley (Clancy Brown), employing exceedingly brutal and violent force among the prisoners, nor in using Andy’s banking experience as a way to launder money and handle financials for the prison staff, guards from other prisons, and himself. Despite the bleakness of prison life, Andy is able to find joys in his new normal, particularly when he gains the privilege of working in the prison library, and takes it upon himself to completely revamp it and bring it to life. But perhaps more importantly than that, he makes true connections with Red and his friends, and from each other they experience the meaning of true friendship.

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How Hammond High School Students Aren’t Going Crazy During Quarantine

By Emma Terry 

Co-Features Editor

Being stuck at home during the COVID-19 outbreak has brought a lot of stress upon our whole country for a various number of reasons. Although this is a hard time for everyone, it is important to stay productive and occupied. Many Hammond High School students have found different activities, other than watching Netflix or playing video games, that have made their quarantine more enjoyable. If fighting the urge to stay in bed and binge-watch a show has been hard, try a few of these fun activities to make quarantine less overwhelming and bothersome.

Other than making sure schoolwork is finished, staying active is a top priority. For example, taking a walk along local trails is an easy and fun way to stay in shape along with getting fresh air. Additionally, with sports programs being canceled, many travel and club teams have sent out at-home workouts. Even Hammond High School coaches have been ensuring that their teams are just as ready as they would be for their next season. Anne Corey, the Hammond High School varsity volleyball coach, has been emailing at-home conditioning routines weekly for all three of the volleyball teams to use to stay in shape. Brenna Reilly, who is a part of the Hammond volleyball team, has used the workouts to continue to be prepared for their fall season. Brenna states that “they are really helpful and some of them are things that we have done in practice.” Other than what coaches are sending out, YouTube has a wide variety of at-home workout videos ranging in skill level. It is highly encouraged to keep your body moving and healthy at this time, so find something active to keep yourself busy!

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