5G Network Coming Soon to Ann Arbor

Verizon is going to be introducing a 5G (fifth-generation) mobile network. 5G is expected to be 10 to 100 times faster than the current 4G networks.

Network testing will be occuring in 11 cities later this year. Ann Arbor will be one of the 11 cities they will be testing in. With Ann Arbor only ten miles away, some Dexter students may be able to participate in the trial.

“That’s really cool that Ann Arbor is getting it and it’s so close to us,” junior Nick Barnes said.

The other 10 locations are Atlanta, Georgia; Bernardsville, New Jersey; Brockton, Massachusetts; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida; Sacramento, California; Seattle, Washington; and Washington, D.C.

Other companies like Nokia and AT&T are also starting to test these 5G networks with their customers, but have not released specific details yet.

How Businesses Helped Out

Shortly after the tornado struck Dexter, local businesses stepped up as the community tried to recover from the devastation

By Truman Stovall

In the aftermath of the tornado five years ago, businesses in Dexter and surrounding cities assisted in the relief effort. When affected families were in need, they took it upon themselves to generate money, food, and shelter.

A minute’s walk away from the path of destruction through the Huron Farms subdivision stands the local Busch’s Fresh Food Market. The Dexter branch of the southeast Michigan chain set up tables of food with artificially low prices to make basic necessities more affordable. The grocery store also asked regular customers to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar so that the remainder could be donated.

Equally close to where the tornado hit, the Dexter LaFontaine automotive dealership became a big player in the recovery.

Despite having nearly all of its cars sustain hail damage, Tony Duncan of LaFontaine insisted that the dealership got “very lucky. When [the two initial tornadoes] combined, that’s when it hit hard. We were up on a higher plane; it followed the valley.”

LaFontaine, like other businesses in the community and across the country, believed it had an obligation to use its relative fortune to assist however it could.

“We were doing relief work for a good two-week period. Our biggest thing was helping people who didn’t have a place to go or to eat,” Duncan said.

LaFontaine also helped a family that lost both of its cars find short-term replacements before coming to a permanent agreement later, and the dealership gave discounts on automobile purchases to customers who donated to relief funds.

The Ace Hardware in downtown Dexter, a place where many supplies were bought to rebuild damaged buildings, offered a variety of discounts and gave away many supplies for free.

Wings n’ Things, Chelsea State Bank, the radio station 102.9 W4 Country, and countless others all found ways to help make Dexter’s quick recovery a reality. Despite the tragedy of the tornado, it was a great demonstration of the selflessness of the Dexter community.

OUR VIEW: The Billboards are a Smart Decision

OUR VIEW: Money received from the billboards outweighs any consequences

$40,000 would buy over 8,000 daily planners for the high school. It would buy new art supplies for each school in the district. $40,000 would buy a lot and benefit every student in the community.

This is the proposed amount Dexter Community Schools would receive from Adams Outdoors for two on-campus electronic billboards. $40,000 for the schools well outweighs the negatives that accompany the proposed billboards.

Adams Outdoors wants to place two electronic billboards on DCS property: one on Baker Rd between Creekside Intermediate and Bates Elementary, the other on Dexter-Ann Arbor in front of Mill Creek. Due to where the proposed billboards are located, they aren’t under city dictation and the decision falls into the hands of the school community.

Parents are protesting the billboards, with arguments ranging from “The ads could be inappropriate!” to “The lights will distract those that live near them!” To those people we say put up some blinds. Not to be harsh, but these arguments do not make much sense. We have other billboards in town that advertise, such as the one in front of Mill Creek now (which seems to have a new Dexter Orthodontics advertisement every week), and have had no problems with “inappropriate” advertisements. To those that think the lights would be distracting, come on, the proposed places of these signs do not have them facing into people’s front windows. The lights would not be that bright nor distracting.

Many of the people protesting the billboards are the ones who do not spend much time in the schools. As high school students, we witness first hand where $40,000 could be spent in the school district. Such as the fact Dexter High School did not receive student planners this year due to not enough money being in the budget.

As a school district, we are constantly growing and we need materials to support this growth. Having a strong and supportive structure is critical to student success. Each year, money is budgeted out to what is considered most important for the district. This year it seemed getting Apple TV was more important than planners that a large portion of students use each day [but that’s a whole other issue to tackle]. Or, prevention of  the yearly lined-paper drought as we reach the end of second semester. Or, fixing the sinks so that we have more than one working in each bathroom. The $40,000 given to the schools each year could be put towards solving these issues.

Dexter prides itself in being an excellent learning community. The high school views itself as on it’s way to becoming an IB school, with qualified teachers and students that are invested in their learning. We have the teachers. We have the students. It’s time we had a school district that fully matched and supported the vivacity those who spend their time in it demonstrate.

The billboard investment is a smart and necessary choice DCS needs to make.

 

Non-Browning Apple

Soon to hit markets in the Midwest, a new fruit is causing minor controversy among consumers and farmers

By: Lisa Zuiderveen

Over the next few months, a non-browning apple will be appearing in select grocery stores in the Midwest. Arctic Apple is finally launching the apple that they have been testing for nine years. There is a lot of controversy on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) because of possible adverse effects in the future.   

This apple has been genetically modified to eliminate the browning that occurs when an apple is left out in the open air. Advocates hope this will appeal to consumers and people will begin to view GMOs positively rather than negatively.

GMOs have been used for our food products since the beginning of civilization. Farmers would take the largest apple and take the seeds and then plant those to create a breed of the bigger apples. The same thing occurs with corn, and corn has had a massive impact in many foods we consume. It’s changed sugar, gas, and is used as a primary ingredient in animal feed.

Continue reading “Non-Browning Apple”

Trump’s Policies

Straight from the mouth of the President-elect

By Alex Strang

Education

President-elect Donald Trump wants to localize primary school curriculum and end the common core curriculum. “I’m a tremendous believer in education, but education has to be at a local level,” Trump said. “We cannot have the bureaucrats in Washington telling you how to manage your child’s education.” He wants to give everyone the opportunity to go to the school of their choice by redirecting education spending. In addition, he wants to make college more affordable and expand technical and vocational training.

Economy

Trump wants to renegotiate the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He also wants to reduce taxes on businesses and the wealthy. It will, in theory, lead to more money for investing and hiring to grow both business and the economy. “That’s going to be a job creator we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan,” Trump said of his policy. He wants to allow states to raise the minimum wage as they see fit.

Immigration

Trump plans to suspend immigration from regions associated with terrorism where vetting cannot always be effective. “We’re going to bring people in, but we’re going to bring people in legally,” Trump said. This includes preventing Syrian immigrants from entering the country. He wants to enforce the country’s immigration laws (much more than President Obama did, he said) and deport illegal immigrants. He wants to build a wall along the Mexican border.

Defense

Stopping Islamic terrorist groups is a priority for Trump. He wants to defeat ISIS, potentially in a joint military effort with Russia. He wants to put American interests before any other country: “‘America First’ will be the major and overriding theme of my administration,” he said. He will push NATO allies to pay their fair share so the U.S. does not have to spend more on defense for other nations.

Health Care

Trump has vowed to repeal President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). In a recent interview, Trump stated, “We’re going to repeal and replace it.” The plan is to replace it with Health Savings Accounts which, according to Trump, “will be great healthcare for much less money.”  He wants to make insurance available to purchase across state lines and give more flexibility to states for localized Medicaid programs.

Climate Change

Trump has stated that he doesn’t think climate change is real: “I believe in clean air, immaculate air, but I don’t believe in climate change.” Trump wants to get rid of Obama’s EPA mandates. He also plans to cancel the Paris climate agreement which aims to limit greenhouse gas emissions. However, Trump is a supporter of private businesses making the transition into environmentally friendly power sources to make the air, water, and environment clean.

A Comeback for Coming Home?

The DHS Student Council is making a push to bring back a winter dance; 68 percent of students are in favor of the proposal

By Alex Strang

The last time Dexter High School hosted a winter dance, the class of 2017 were freshmen. The dance was the same night as the Coming Home basketball game, and students paid five dollars for admission to both the dance and the game. “Less than one hundred kids showed up, and student council ended up losing money with the cost of the DJ,” student council adviser Al Snider said.

Coming Home used to be run in a similar fashion to Homecoming: game on Friday, dance on Saturday. However, when students began to not show up to the dance, Snider switched the system three years ago.

The profits gained from each school dance are split five ways to student council and to each graduation class for their senior trip. The problem with the winter dance three years ago was that only half of the money collected was split this way. The other half of the five dollars went to the athletic department for the basketball game. This made it twice as hard to gain a profit.

Having a dance on a Friday night after the basketball game presented multiple problems. Students didn’t have enough time to go to the game, get ready for the dance, and come back to the high school. If the dance were to be on another weekend besides the week of coming home, during the night of an away basketball game, then students that go to the game would not be able to attend the dance either.

A recent survey showed that a majority of the student body is interested in a winter dance. Of 187 students, 68 percent said they would go to a winter dance if the school hosted one. “I would go to a winter dance because it gives me a reason to dress up and hang out with my friends,” senior Meg Bellottie said.

Others want a winter dance because a similar event exists at neighboring high schools. “We should have a winter dance because our school only has homecoming and prom while other schools have more dances,” junior Madi Hofe said.

To have a successful winter dance, “at least 250 students need to show up to cover the cost of the DJ and to make a profit,” Snider said. If student council can figure out a date for a winter dance, then it is possible to bring it back this winter. This could permanently bring back a winter dance if a few hundred students attend.

A Generation Immortalized

An inside look at the new banner, featuring sports, clubs and other activities, that now spans the length of the commons

By Truman Stovall

The DHS commons got a makeover recently: a new banner that spans its longest wall. It features a collage of action shots from sports, clubs, and other types of events.
“It was a project that originated with [Principal Kit] Moran this summer. He came up to me and asked, ‘Can you help make it come to life?’” Assistant Principal Karen Walls said.
Featured photos were taken by Robert Bowden, members of the Squall, the yearbook, or compiled by Hope Vestergaard. A photo of last year’s graduation day was taken by Walls herself. The company hired to print and install the banner is called Steve’s Custom Signs, Inc., located in Saline.
The goal, Walls explained, was to display something “representative of Dexter as a whole. We tried not to have too many faces [on the banner], but that’s very hard to do. We wanted to keep it timeless.”
For those whose faces do appear on the banner, the general reaction is positive.
Seniors Caroline Shoopman and Nick Palson can both be seen in a photo of a past Homecoming dance. Shoopman thought being visible was “exciting,” and Palson said it feels “amazing,” believing he had been immortalized in the school.
“When I saw the final product, it was cool,” Palson said. “I didn’t realize I was on it until a few days later… I get to be up there forever now.”
Both would be in favor of the school adding more signs like the one in the commons in the future. Palson cited the possibility representing more sports since only a few made the cut for a spot on the banner.
Currently there are no plans to add more signs, but the idea is being considered. Walls said it will “depend on funding. If we [have] the opportunity, we would do it.”

Teachers or Proctors?

Mill Creek Middle School makes drastic changes through introduction of an online-based class program

By Nick LeBlanc

During the summer, the middle school made significant changes to students’ curriculum.  Now, instead of the traditional teacher led classes, classes at the middle school aren’t teacher led, they’re computer led.

This new style of class, which is called Summit Basecamp, is inspired and partially funded by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, and Summit Learning.  The goal this new program is to allow students to take control of their own learning and learn at their own pace.  Rather than having teachers assign work, the curriculum allows students to pick their own projects, leading to less student-teacher interaction.  The goal behind the new classes is to encourage development of important skills like time management and responsibility.  Such skills are deemed to be important for college.  However, despite the benefits, the new curriculum could clash with the traditional curriculum at Dexter High School.

“The positive and the negative with this new program is that students can set their own pace,” Assistant Principal Ken Koenig said. “It’s a positive because students can learn on their own pace, but it’s also a negative because if the pace that the student has is too slow then they will not complete the course within the school year.  This might lead them to have to retake the course at the high school due to the fact that we don’t abide by their style of curriculum.”

Despite this, Mill Creek Middle School Principal, Jamie Bronson, has been looking to implement these type of classes for a while.

“Mill Creek has worked for the past several years to create programs that allow more real world application, self directed learning and personal learning plans,” Bronson said.

To create a self directed learning program, Mill Creek teachers underwent training during the month of June to better understand the Basecamp platform.  In addition, the administration at the Middle School has spent countless hours over the summer working on the curriculum and setting up logistics for the program.  The work done on the program during the summer has led to the creation of classes that current 7th and 8th grade students are going through now.

“It’s quite a dramatic shift in teaching and learning,” Bronson said. “It’s a platform where there are some activities students can work at their own pace but also teacher instruction on projects and concept units.”

This change led to a change in the technology offered as well.  Over the summer, to make the classes possible, the middle school purchased new chromebook laptops.  Despite the implementation of the new system, not all classes offered at the middle school are based off of the Summit Basecamp program.

The work done over the summer has created something that the administration at Mill Creek is excited about.  The opportunities the new Summit Basecamp program claims to possess is something the District of Dexter hasn’t seen before.

“Basecamp is so much more than I can put in a single interview,” Bronson said. “Kids are doing great and teachers love the mentor aspect of the program.”

Mrs. Burgess moves back to Mill Creek

The beloved math teacher spent the past four years at DHS

By Tessa Kipke

This year, a lot changed at Dexter High School. Teachers and students came and went, to other schools, college, and beyond. Though we gained several new teachers, we also lost some to Mill Creek Middle School, and schools in other districts. Lisa Burgess, who has been in Dexter for 14 years, made a change this year.

Burgess began her career at Ypsilanti High School, teaching there for two years before moving to Dexter to teach math. She had always envisioned herself teaching high schoolers, but when it came time to teach eighth graders at Mill Creek, she said, “that worked well for me.”

As a teacher, Burgess doesn’t necessarily prefer one age group to another. Despite the perceived difference in maturity level, she simply enjoys “being with young people anywhere from 13-14 years on up.”

Additionally, says Burgess, “I like the teaming aspect of Mill Creek, working with teachers on a team to develop and track the whole student.”

Despite this, Burgess was moved to the high school four years ago (in what is called an involuntary transfer) because of her specific math certifications.

However, Burgess enjoys the different environments, students, and curriculum of both DHS and Mill Creek. In particular, she enjoys the experience of seeing students grow and change.

“I really enjoyed watching students grow, mature, and develop interests from ninth graders to seniors over the years,” Burgess said about her high school experience.

But back in Mill Creek, she’s excited for how eighth graders “often come into eighth grade really young and goofy, and I watch them grow into young adults throughout the year.”

“I would love to give a shout out to many of the repeat students I would have had this year; it was a tough decision to leave knowing I wouldn’t get to teach you again,” Burgess said. “I am confident that all my former students with be in great hands with the rest of the staff at the high school.”

Laptops For All

DHS will have a 1:1 student-technology ratio this fall along with strengthened WiFi

By: Truman Stovall

Changes were made over the summer to the district’s arsenal of technology. Students will have more access to the internet than ever in the classroom, especially in the high school.

It was made possible through grants, whereby the Dexter schools administration was able to “[purchase] Chromebooks for all of Creekside and Mill Creek… [and] move their macbooks to the high school,” Superintendent Chris Timmis said.

Executive Director of Instruction Mollie Sharrar added that “additional laptops and carts in the high school will allow both teachers and students increased access to technology where they will be able to save and share documents easily. Hopefully, this will facilitate increased collaboration with the use of Google Classroom, Google Docs and Google Hangouts.”

A system for distribution will likely be ready by the first day.

“Teachers will probably check out a cart at the beginning of the year,” DHS Principal Kit Moran said. “It’ll have a barcode – it’s their cart for the year. Only half of them have printers, so we’ll prioritize classrooms that need them.

“Some classrooms don’t need carts, like Mergler, Mackinder, Mendez, and Stockwell; They have desktops already. English and social studies teachers will need one; Math teachers maybe not as much.”

Since there aren’t enough carts for every class (anywhere from 34 to 40), some carts may go unclaimed and be used like carts were in years before. Teachers without a personal cart still need one from time to time for a class period, so they will still have the option to set aside a time for one of them.

Or they may just borrow them from the teacher next door. All of this will be worked out by the administration.

Many students will consider the new and improved WiFi, which is promised to be stronger and better suited to handle both the demands on the new laptops and students’ mobile devices, the cherry on top.

Moran believes that, in the future, the school’s access to technology, when it can be used to help kids learn and prepare them for jobs and higher education, is “kind of cliché, but limited by our imagination.”