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September/October 2019

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A Little Bit About Ms. Ludford

By Kerry Kong and Luke Hohman

Kerry and Luke with Ms. LudfordMs. Ludford is a new teacher on-campus this year, teaching eighth-grade math in room 51. When she was a middle school student herself, she attended Golden Elementary School for sixth grade and Friends Christian Middle School from seventh to eighth grade and was not a huge fan of her math teachers. She felt as if her teachers didn't pay attention to student inclusion and focus, which were very excluding. She wanted her teachers to involve everyone in the class, and she decided what she was going to do with her life, helping students learn math the right way. She later went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in mathematics education. With her degrees, she decided on working at San Bernadino for four years with probational foster youth and had to develop her own curriculum. 

Currently, her favorite thing about Ensign so far is the outdoor campus. She enjoys that we are by the beach, occasionally enjoying the ocean breeze due to never being able to be so close to it before. She feels that the students at Ensign seem really appreciative to be so close to the water with full sunlight, most of the time, believing that it plays a role in the student's behavior. 

Finally, Seabee Buzz asked a question that many students have been wondering for a long time: “Why is math important for us to learn?”

Ms. Ludford's reply, “Math is important for us to learn because there is not a single job out there that doesn’t use math. Not a single job exists where you don’t use math.” This offers a solid reason for continuing to study these core principles, increasing our chance of success in the future.

Dress Code

By Victoria King

Girls wearing clothes out of dress codeThe dress code has always been something that people, mainly girls, have battled. You probably didn’t notice but the picture of the girl on the left is wearing an outfit that would break a lot of dress code policies. The spaghetti straps, the “short” shorts, a tank top that’s a little too cropped. Girls do recognize that they are given much more freedom as to what we can wear in comparison to older rules, however, there are still a lot of old fashioned ideas that are still in effect upon the dress code policy that need to change.
Throughout our lunch and SSR (Sustained Silent Reading) me and my partner, Brooke Becker, went to both the 8th and 7th grade lunches to discuss with fellow students and teachers whether or not they think the dress code is fair. In total, we asked 57 kids and teachers if they think the dress code is fair. Only two said it was. The 55 other students and teachers that voted that the dress code was unfair had a lot to share.

There were specific questions that we asked girls and boys. When we asked 28 girls if they ever had been dress-coded before, 17 said they had. It was mainly because the 1-inch amount of skin beneath their belly-button was showing. Kassandra Brien, an eighth-grader, noted after we asked that question that “boys never get dress coded...it’s sexist.”

And that is shown after we asked 24 boys if they have ever gotten dress-coded and not one said they had. We also asked the girls how hard it is to find dress-code appropriate clothing, especially in the recent spike in temperature. Out of 34 girls, we asked 30 girls said it is hard to find dress-code appropriate clothing. This could be due to height, bust, body shape, and also the trend of “crop tops” have taken over. Indiana Johnson, an eighth-grader, mentioned that “because of her height her entire closet would be considered dress-code.” It is also rare to find a shirt that is not cropped.
Not to mention it also affects a girl’s education. We asked Greta Harmen, an eighth-grader, her view on the dress code and she said, “When I get dress-coded, teachers take time out of my school day to make me put on appropriate clothing causing me to miss class and not learn.”

It shows, as said by Zoe Gaa, also an eighth-grader, that “the dress code is sexist and it puts boys education over girls. Instead of teaching girls to cover up we should teach boys to not think of girls as objects” and we agree.

Nowadays, people may think students are overreacting, sometimes even calling us feminazis (a radical feminist), but all we are trying to do is fix the dress code to make it fairer. We aren’t saying it should be equal to cause us to go through a Harrison Bergeron situation, but what we are asking is to remove some policies that we find unfit such as the spaghetti strap, short shorts, and cropped top issues.

Changing the Phone Policy

By Avery Wolfe and Emma LeSieur

Both society’s greatest strength and greatest weakness, technology enriches school curriculum, decreases labor needs, betters efficiency, streamlines communication, and so much more. But when does the use of technology become too heavy?

Recently, at Ensign Intermediate School, a new rule on the use of phones was instituted, placing an extreme limit on phone usage. The new policy includes the saying “See it, hear it, take it.” This means that if a phone’s notification system goes off, or is even present in their pocket, teachers are able to confiscate the device. 

In order to see how the phone policy was affecting the campus, we interviewed multiple students from all grades about what they thought. 8th grader Rylan Beach said that she “prefers last year’s policy because it wasn’t as strict, and she liked having more freedom.” However, she also said “the phone policy has very little effect on her personally because she rarely uses her phone at school anyway.” Similarly, 7th grader Robert Winkey agreed with the fact that the phone policy is a little too strict, but brought up another issue. Winkey has no problem with the amount of phone usage, but stated that he was “worried that if [his] mom and dad texted him when he was at school, he wouldn’t be able to check if everything was okay.” 

Seabee Buzz also asked Principal Sciacca for the inspiration behind the decision. Dr. Sciacca said that two years ago, they took off the ban on phones, and allowed them to be used in the classroom, and anywhere on campus. During that period of time, the mood on campus was much more peaceful and student disciplinary levels were way down. The downside to this was that kids were “locked in isolation with their technology, and were not developing the social skills they need to succeed.” Dr. Sciacca says that he notices a huge change in the campus mood this year, seeing kids talking more and more face to face. Dr. Sciacca wanted to make a more inclusive environment that would better teach kids how to have conversations with one another. Because of all the results he has seen, Dr. Sciacca is sure that he is not going to change the policy for the years to come. 

Although the changes to the policy may seem extreme compared to years before, we can all agree that it will help us improve our social skills and face-to-face interactions in the long run.

Drama Elective

By Victoria King

Electives have always been something that kids coming into the 7th and 8th grade have been excited for. A relaxing period where you can lighten up your day a bit. And this year there are some new electives that we haven’t had before. This includes the drama class taught by Mrs. Johnson. Drama class is for both 7th and 8th graders so don’t worry about missing your chance to join Drama. The first unit of the year starts off with pantomime. Pantomime is a way of expressing feelings, emotions, words, objects, places, etc. while only using your body. Before the students get to do this in front of an audience they have to watch mimes perform elaborate stories and they have to try to identify the plots they are attempting to portray. As one of their final projects they get a single still photo and they have to create a plot line based upon this. Then their next unit is radio place (volume). Radio place is basically the opposite of pantomime, where instead of not talking and just using your body, you use your voice to convey the drama without moving your body. Lastly towards the end of the year students learn different kinds of skits and monologue.
Right now Mrs. Johnson is balancing three different classes. Speech and communication, drama, and language arts. One would imagine this would be a complicated and frustrated year with so many responsibilities. However, when I asked Mrs. Johnson how she felt about her many classes she teaches she replied with, “I like it a lot, it’s a totally new aspect of teaching for me!” 

Then, for fun, I decided to ask if she had a favorite class. As it was quite predictable she replied with “all of my classes are my favorite for their own special reasons.”

So, if you are a 7th grader that wants to express themselves in an interactive and creative way try drama next year with Mrs. Johnson!

Who We Are...

Writers: Axel Ahuactzin, Charlie Brach, Josh Dodman, Ben Glassen, Luke Hohman, Victoria King, Kerry Kong, Emma LeSieur, Lili Matias, Ryder Rasmussen, Azi Schacht, Vanessa Van Vliet, Avery Wolfe, Maddox Yarnall

Advisor: Kristine Cross