School Changes

Due to this new flu-like disease called COVID-19, public schools decided to do teaching a little differently this year. Ever since COVID-19, people have to go by safety procedures, being 6ft apart and wearing masks or face shields in public, so due to those changes, students have been doing virtual learning for the first quarter, and the Board will announce if the District will go hybrid on the 19th. I asked 50 students on a poll who attends  high school how they felt about the new learning technique, and 66% did not prefer online school, 2% preferred doing online learning, and 32% were undecided.

Jayden Deberry, a Senior, said that it is hard adjusting to online learning. He thinks that online learning is way more problematic and challenging than actually being taught in-person. Although Deberry picked out easy lessons this year, he claims that they’re making it difficult to the point where the classes aren’t even comfortable. Deberry said it is tough to turn in his assignments on time since they assign more work than they would actually give if we were in class in-person. So with that being said, Jayden is definitely ready to go back to school and be taught the right way. 

Ronald Jones, another Senior, said: “Online learning is kind of easy now that I’m getting the hang of it. Also, the teachers give you ways to contact them quickly if I were to have any issues.” Ronald said if he could choose between going back to school and doing virtual learning, he would definitely stick with the current technique. Ronald said he is excited about his Senior year because doing online school makes time go by faster. Ronald said virtual learning hasn’t been hard for him, not only because it’s more efficient, but also because some teachers give you extra time to complete assignments. He enjoys online and hopes others do as well.

So with that being said, not too many people like this new learning technique , but Spartans stand tall , so we will get through this together .

Written by Staff Writer

Mykel Jones

Changes in the Southeast Spartan Band

Southeast High School has a prestigious music program: we offer a myriad of classes like jazz choir, piano, guitar, and concert choir. The Coronavirus has caused our music department to make many changes this school year. We had a chance to check-in with Mr. Philbrick, the Band director, and he told us, “Normally, We would be in marching band season playing at all of the home games and parades downtown. Instead, we are playing on mute on zoom meetings. The changes are not ideal, but at least we get to virtually see each other. The district purchased a subscription to Smartmusic, which is an online program that allows you to pull up a whole library of sheet music and method books, play it and submit recordings.”

Without students in the building, developing musical skills can be difficult. Student and band member, Zane Bell, elaborated on his remote learning experience for his music classes… 

The first question was, “what changes are happening to the band program because of the pandemic?” Zayne explained, they are now using a program called “smartmusic.” They use this program to listen and learn the songs, then record it and send it to Mr. Philbrick; to follow up the question, we asked Zane “If he preferred this way of learning or was being at school better.” He then responded with, “I’d rather be at school; you have friends and have a designated time to work on band music.” Finally, I asked about major problems with remote learning and if there were any positives. Zayne Stated that “It is harder to find and submit assignments, but one positive would be that I can sleep and eat between classes.” 

Written by Khamari and Savannah

Football Check-In

The Coronavirus has caused many deaths throughout the year, a tragedy, but to most athletes, the worst has been the United States sports cancellation. One of the most popular high school sports in Springfield, Illinois, is football. As Spartans of Southeast, we love going to football games to show our pride, but this year is slightly different. We had a chance to check-in with the head football coach, Mr. Lauber, and he told us, “The virus flipped my world completely around changing things on both the professional level and the life routine.” Although the Coronavirus has affected everyone in their own individual ways. It has had an enormous impact on the world of sports.

Since the Coronavirus has become a worldwide pandemic, our worlds have changed drastically. Especially for teachers and students, now that we understand that it is a respiratory disease, you must see the social distance to lessen this virus’s spread because it has killed thousands and left this world in an unexpected shock. 

The Coronavirus became serious around March 13th, Illinois State Governor Pritzker decided that the Coronavirus was taken seriously. Since then, schooling for Springfield has been moved online.  

This is happening all around the world. This is not just a national thing; it has become a global thing from the start moving its way across the globe slowly. 

To help people’s safety, everyone was ordered to self-quarantine so the virus could be spread less quickly. 

Any Students who want to sign up for sports, hopefully just this year, would probably want to know how to be safe during this time. Always keep a mask with you; as much as you hear about masks and maintaining a safe distance is correct, you want to be cautious. Most of the rules Mr. Lauber brought up are most likely rules for every sport; some coaches might be more strict with their rules; it’s all about the coach’s flexibility. This year isn’t ideal for both students and staff, but it is needed for their safety and families. The sports changes aren’t drastic and aren’t permanent (I’m trying to manifest them into the world). The most anybody who is doing sports this year wants are people who will be cooperative and make life a little bit easier, so please follow the rules and understand the circumstances that we are under. Fingers crossed all of this blows over, and we’ll be able to watch sports with a vast audience. We wish Mr. Lauber and his players a good and safe season.

Written by:

Roosevelt Sims & Kevontea Brown

What’s Up To Date?

Cartoon drawn by: Miguel Reyes

With everything going on right now in our lives and in the world, a lot is changing in people’s lives. I have had the chance to catch up and interview two teachers here at Southeast to ask them a few questions. I interviewed Mr. Glass, the health teacher here at Southeast, and Mrs. Hennenfent, the teacher for AP Psychology, Psychology, and Sociology. I ask them a series of questions about everything going on and how they feel, and they would answer back to me accordingly. In my first question, I asked them what have they been doing to stay busy since the start of the pandemic? Mr. Glass said he participates in virtual running races by participating in them through his computer so he does not have to be around people and talks to his neighbors a lot more now than ever before. Mrs. Hennenfent answered this by saying how she caught up on more television and movies and re-watched the last season of Stranger Things. She also went on to explain how she started to do more yard-work and some gardening.

  In my second question, I asked them how they feel about this new way of learning with it all being online? Mr. Glass told me that he is okay with e-learning as he has done it before but getting things situated with students is the frustrating part, while Mrs. Hennenfent said the opposite; for her, she explained how it started as a challenge. She said it took some getting used to, and it was difficult to adjust to, but she misses her students and can’t wait to be back in the classroom! 

   In my last interview question, I went on to ask them if this pandemic has affected them mentally or not? And if so, how? Because I feel that it is essential to talk about mental health. In Mr. Glass’s answer, he tells me how he is in the right place mentally. He goes on to say how he works out every day in life to walk his dog. He also tells how he likes to laugh and make other people laugh to stay in the right place. When I asked Mrs. Hennenfent this question, she said how it has affected her mentally. She went on to say how if the weather was dreary, she would find herself getting down very quickly. She thanks the fact that she had a family at home with her and still goes out of the house every day to get a taste of a little normality because she knows how wrong this time can be for people; she encourages anyone who feels down for long periods to reach out to someone. That is excellent advice, and it is clear to see that this pandemic affects everyone and everything. However, people handle things differently, and you should find something to do that makes you happy while still being safe during this challenging time. 

Staffs Writer-

Myia Anderson 

Taking A New Route

Cartoon drawn by: Miguel Reyes

This year is not ideal; it has been a testing time for many reasons, but the way school has changed has gained a lot of national attention. Since March, schools have been trying to decide the best and most efficient way to continue their education and stay safe. COVID-19 has changed everything we thought of as normal. While some people benefit from the e-learning approach, it is not beneficial for most kids. There is no perfect answer because there will always be someone who is not happy with the situation’s outcome. Principal Trigg stated in various ways, that he misses seeing the students in the building, and as much as he wants them to be back in person, he wants everyone to be safe.  

This form of learning is affecting students in many ways–multiple students have said that their workload has grown while doing e-learning, and it seems harder to grasp and memorize the information. “Nothing can ever replace good in-person instruction,” said Principal Trigg. We hope this will not become the new normal for school, but we hope we can find a positive view in this emotional and psychological unpleasant situation. This has given everyone a new appreciation for the school and the people we see everyday.  

When the school does go back to (normal in the sense of physical contact) there will be a transition period to readjust. People are going to have to get back into their day-to-day schedule for school. This could play a big part in mental health and how people deal with social situations and problem-solving skills. We do not know what people have dealt with in the last nine months, including both students and adults. As a student, you grow through the years, build relationships, and get used to the way things run. We don’t have the same stability as we do when we are in person.  

We have been through a lot, and we will come out of it even more. All schools are learning just like everyone else, and even though we wish things were ideal for our expectation. Principal Trigg says, “You have got to stay positive and understand there is always a learning process.” This is our learning process, and while we can not wait to go back, we have to be safe and be aware of what is going on around us. 

Co-Editor-in-Chief

Lahne Romaker

Black History Month

Here at Southeast High School in 2020, this is our first year having a black history club, called ASÉ. ASÉ is about making black history a fun and learning experience for all students that attend Southeast Highschool. ASÉ is Sponsored by Monica Walls, and led by the president Kenya Apongule ASÉ is a student ran club. 

During the month of February ASÉ does quite a bit of events. This year the events they have done for Black History Month is; Black History facts everyday on the morning announcements, they’ve had door decorations around the school, black history movies, an assembly of celebration of Black culture, and we annually ended the month with a Black taste where this year ASÉ helped serve soul food at both lunch periods and throws a dance party. 

For three years our school has done door decorations. Whoevers classroom participates in decorating their door with something about black history, automatically enters the competition of who has the best decoration. To have the best door your door must have creativity, neatness, and good content ( did you learn anything from it). This years winner was Mr. Latif, her door is about and called  “Black Literary Movement Although History” with black poets and authors. 

With this year being ASÉ’s first year being a school club, members from the group seem passionate and take a lot of pride in Black history. President and senior, Kenya Appongulae, gave insight into the club’s first year. 

She said, “I like the idea of the Black history group because it  promotes the diversity and inclusion that is needed in the community at SSHS. Black students aren’t always presented in a good light and are often given negative stereotypes that leave a bad image on their reputation. Celebrating Black history throughout the school year is important because it shows Black students that their culture matters and is important at Southeast. To see so many teachers and administration getting involved with the activities throughout the month of April makes me really proud because it shows that our school can come together and celebrate black history, regardless of race.” 

Kenya’s pride, explanation, and passion is shared amongst many students attending Southeast. The club’s success comes from the strong enthusiasm of the club and the interesting activities they host. Students across all grades are part of the club, and Freshman, Taccorri Williams was able to contribute to ASE this year as the secretary of the club. This was a great first-year experience for the Freshmen. She explained that it was, “…fun being a part of ASÉ. And, being a part of ASÉ  is something you can be proud of; you get opportunities and chances to get your name out there.”

According to Williams and Apongule, this is a great club for Spartans to join, so if you are wanting to get involved for the next school-year, find one of the ASE members to talk about. You better find Kenya before the school year is over because she will be graduating in May. We want to thank her for her hard work, didcation, and passion for enriching the lives of Southeast’s students. 

She wanted the student body to know, “I’m very honored to be President of Ase for the 2020-2021 school year. I have been able to talk to people I’ve never communicated with while also being able to express my love and appreciation for Black people and black culture. I believe we’ve been able to bring a positive change to Southeast this year and I’m excited to see what the future holds for Ase after I graduate.”

Noah Doss

B.B.S.S.

Southeast High School is known for setting trends amongst schools in our city. We are so diverse, with a faculty that pushes kids to become better students and people in life, that we truly stand out compared to most other schools. One of these trends is the B.B.S.S. 

B.B.S.S. stands for Braided Behavior Support System. According to Mr. Zenntefis (a main contributor to the B.B.S.S.), this is a system that shows that there are a multitude of ways to support and encourage student behaviors. “The goal of this system is to identify student performance and skill deficits and strengthen them not only for school, but for life and adulthood,” said Mr. Z in a in depth interview regarding the B.B.S.S. system. 

This system looks to enact interventions to support student learning. This can come from one-on-one conversations with students about their school lives and even personal lives, incentives to change behavior, social experiments, and many other ways. B.B.S.S. looks into a lot of statistics and percentages, and since Southeast has started the system, attendance rates have gone up, referrals have gone down, and behavior has been better as a whole at Southeast. B.B.S.S. works to improve the soft skills of students which are basically manners and common courtesy. 

Thriving Thursday has become one of the features of the B.B.S.S. with the most attention from staff and students. Administrators stand at the entrance of the schools and greet students coming into school. This is already a good start to a student’s day by bringing positivity to them. Some kids wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and that dictates their entire day, but with engaging in a welcoming entrance to school, it can brighten their day. There is also lunchtime tutoring where students can have one-on-ones with mentors to push them in school to do better. Another feature is Spartan Shoutout, where students doing acts of leadership and kindness are recognized for their actions by staff and leader of the B.B.S.S program. These are all things to address student behavior and achievement.

  We also have a student-led B.B.S.S. team that meets with administrators to talk about the program. A few members of this team are Seth and Noah Doss who both believe the program is very beneficial to students.

“I think we are doing great. The way the kids act in the hallways, more positivity in the school, the greeting and morning rituals really help improve the climate of the school.” Said Mrs. Jennazo in a brief interview regarding B.B.S.S.

Demarco Hill, 9th-grader, who is a member of Goodwill Good Guides Mentoring said that the program is very helpful to him. He focuses more with weekly meetings and mentoring. Good Guides is a branch of the B.B.S.S.

Written by Staff Editor, David Emuze

This I Believe 2020

Congratulations again to the 2020 This I Believe essay winners from SSHS, Kenya Apongule, Joe Tiskos, and Grace Beyers. Their essays, along with the other winners can be found at https://www.npr.org/podcasts/381443845/this-i-believe-illinois.

Boys City: Student Section Edition

Southeast’s student section on night three

     Every year boys’ basketball city is hosted at the B.O.S center, and every year there is a competition to see who has the most spirit. This year Southeast came out with three new spirit days to hype up the energy for the tournament.  Thursday, January 24th was Olympic Day: students wore red white and blue, Friday, January 25th was Men in Blue day: (everyone wore black and blue), and Saturday, January 26th was don’t sleep on the drip day, so everyone came in pajamas. Hannah Willhite, Junior, said that during the game on Olympic day,  “Everyone wore white that day and we all cheered and had fun.” Apart from that there were also many pictures and videos of dances being done, and tons of cheers that came from the Southeast student section. Harlan Gargano, Sophomore, stated that the student section, “was very organized…The chants were fun, exciting and got everyone into it.” He also added, “Our shirts looked really nice and almost everyone dressed in them. Overall, everyone was into it and it was a lot of fun to be there.” On top of students dressing up for school spirit, they also added the popular chants that we do at every game, for example, one of them goes “ Y-e-l-l everybody yell, go b-i-g b-l-u-e” or the “Do it”  chant that went “Do it!, Do it!, Do it,! Now stop and let the freshman do it!” (proceeding to carry on to the higher grade levels until they reach the seniors). On top of that not only did the student section bring the spirit, they were also by the Don’t sleep on the drip posters, and men in black sunglasses. In the end, Southeast wasn’t able to bring home the spirit award this year like we did last year, but everybody who was not a part of the student section action was able to detect the electrifying feeling our student section brought, especially when our band played. Overall Southeast will always be a school filled with much spirit and next year we’re coming back for the spirit award. Go Spartans!

By: Iyanuoluwa Olalere