News Briefs

The biggest local, national, and international news stories from the past month

by Isabella Franklin

Hollywood Sexual Assault Allegations

#MeToo

Harvey Weinstein and other public figures, such as Bill O’Reilly, Louis C.K., George Takei, and Kevin Spacey, have come under fire due to many accusations of sexual assault recently. An equal, if not larger, number of celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Gwyneth Paltrow, Terry Crews, and Anthony Rapp, have publicly opened up about their personal experience with sexual harassment and abuse. A movement called “#MeToo” has sprung up across social media as a platform for assault victims to share their stories and show how common these horrible experiences may be.

Amazon Announces New Service

Amazon has announced a new service called “Amazon Key,” in which customers may sign up to allow Amazon mail couriers to come into their homes to drop off packages. The concept is intended to reduce the number of packages stolen outside homes, but Amazon buyers are concerned about the irony of the product; allowing a stranger into your home so you can avoid theft has raised many questions about this product. In addition, many customers have brought up safety concerns about Amazon Key.

Catalonia Separates from Spain

Catalonia, a region of Spain whose capital is Barcelona, has declared independence from the country of Spain by an illegal referendum from the Catalan people. The parliament in Catalonia passed a motion to officially declare independence on October 27. The Catalan government and people believe that they deserve to be their own country as they are financially independent from Spain, culturally separate from Spain, and speak Catalan, an entirely different language than the majority of Spain speaks. The Spanish government is not letting Catalonia go without a fight, bringing police forces to keep protests for Catalan independence at bay.

Shield Road Re-Opens

Shield Road, which has been closed since June 12 of this year, re-opened on October 31, 2017 for public use. Between Parker Road and Baker Road, the road had a very high amount of daily traffic by students coming to and from Dexter High School, along with Dexter residents who live nearby who use it to cut through town. The road’s closure resulted in an inconvenience for many people due to traffic backups and having to take detours through town, so the bridge’s upgrade and re-opening has been a source of relief for Dexter’s residents.

Vehicular Attack in Lower Manhattan

 

There was a violent attack in Manhattan by a 29-year-old man on October 31, 2017. The attacker, Sayfullo Saipov, drove his pickup truck on a Hudson River bike path, killing eight people and injuring 11 more. Of the victims who died, five were Argentine tourists celebrating a school reunion, and another victim was identified as Belgian. Saipov was shot by police when he left his car after crashing into a school bus. He is currently alive in custody.

Michigan Considers Bill for Concealed Carry in Schools

On November 8, Michigan’s Senate passed a bill that allows concealed carry of firearms in former gun-free zones, such as schools, churches, hospitals, and daycares. Gun owners who take 8 hours of extra training will be allowed to carry concealed pistols in these areas. The bill still needs to go through the House of Representatives to determine if it will be enacted, which will happen after Thanksgiving. Many people were shocked and upset by the Senate’s decision, as the bill’s approval came only three days after a mass shooting in a Texas church that left 26 dead.

News Briefs

The biggest local, national, and international news stories from the past month

Excellence for Dexter Students

by Isabella Franklin

An individual group named “Excellence 4 Dexter Students,” or E4DS, is trying to raise $100,000 in donations this school year to improve Dexter Community Schools. Their current goals are to send all 6th graders to Eastern Michigan University’s Explorer Camp, expand the math and science departments, and, most prominently for high school students, hire a part-time internship coordinator. An internship coordinator at the high school would give students more opportunities to learn outside of school and gain valuable experience in the workforce.

Continue reading “News Briefs”

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.”