We wanted to share with you some of our thoughts and our classmates' thoughts on the Renaissance List. As some may know, West Philadelphia High School is on the list. We think this is not a good idea for many reasons. We don't see the students coming to school for an hour longer and two Saturdays a month. There are more students going to drop out. They should not transfer teachers, because they really help students deal with problems at home. Our teachers are nice, and they know what they are doing. Momo and I are really excited for college. We are also very nevous, but we want to make sure that our high school is still the same place we left it. We loved being in Auto and do not want that program to go away.
Below are two lists of ideas from the junior class in the Auto Academy. A couple of the seniors ran a group filled of five to six juniors and asked the group two questions, "What are your concerns about West becoming a Renaissance school?" and "How would you create your ideal school?"
Momo and Khaleda
Concerns about West Philadelphia High School becoming a Renaissance school.
1. Will there be a raise in the drop out rate because students do not want to go to school longer or on Saturday?
2. Our trans-passes do not work on Saturdays, how will we get to school?
3. Who decides and what criteria will be used to pick the teachers that stay? When will that happen?
4. Due to the longer day, will the length of the classes change?
5. If we are a Renaissance school, what will our uniform look like?
6. Lack of motivation to stay longer and come to school on Saturdays
7. Is this a violation of student rights to not allow transfer?
8. What will the graduation date be for seniors and will that interrupt summer programs offered by college and universities?
9. Was the walk-through a formality for Arlene Ackerman and does the superintendent have personal ties to this school and the school district?
10. What is the response from the alumni of West?
11. What does the classroom size look like in a Renaissance school? How many new transfers will West receive since it is a community school and will that change the safety climate in the classroom?
12. Will colleges and universities not accept students from West because it is a Renaissance school with a negative tone?
13. There is not a clear standard for any aspect of a Renaissance school: longer school day, two Saturdays a month, teacher transfer? There is not a clear standard or criteria for anything about a Renaissance school.
14. What does a Promise Academy look like?
15. Are we really going to have 50% of our teachers back or will teachers decide to leave and close to 70 to 80 % of the staff will not be here?
16. Why the extra hour and not a complete change of the curriculum?
17. Why get rid of the teachers? What data supports that it is the teacher's fault for low test scores and poor climate?
1. Able to leave the building for lunch.
2. No uniforms
3. Art classes
4. Allow electronics
5. Upperclassmen receive laptops for the school year
6. More Outward Bound trips and field trips
7. No hall-passes needed
8. Rotating Block Roster
9. 7:45 am start to the day, 2:30 p.m. end of the day
10. More trade courses
11. Work rosters for upperclassmen
12. Trans-passes given to each student
13. More active science lab. We want to actually do experiments and dissections.
14. Early dismissal every Friday.
15. Better and more nutritious food in the cafeteria
16. Partnerships with local city universities
Good morning. I hope you are sleeping in because I am not. I am at school on a Saturday. You are not. I didn’t feel like come. But I did arrive on time. Today, we had a guest with us to talk about our goals for the team. Her name is Helen. She very nice, and she took time out of her Saturday to come to our school. She helped us with our thoughts about the car and how we run the meetings.
Last Sunday, I went to the EAGLES GAME!!!!!! E-A-G-L-E-S!!!! They were playing the Redskins. They wanted to give us a jersey before halftime for our work on the car. I so was excited. I sat in section 124, row seven, set number 27. That is how excited I was. I can still remember the seat number. Ms. R sat next to me and a Redskin fan sat left of me. People were cursing because the Eagles were not playing well. I was nervous for that Redskins fan. Luckily, the Eagles won.
My teammates Azeem and Karysma went to the field and took pictures. We got a customized Eagles jersey that said West Philly Hybrid X Team.
Good afternoon. Ms. R is making us stay after school to blog for the website. Some reporters from Daily News are here to talk to us about our entry in the X Prize competition. Nobody told me. If somebody told me that we were going to be videotaped, than I would have worn more makeup. Momo says that I look okay. All the seniors from the service project just stormed into Mr. Preiss' classroom. They are so crazy. They painted some of the walls of the main building with Wyclef and some of the members of the Sixers team. Aaron was mad that he didn't get that many tickets to the Sixers game. Javonne was telling us about one of those Sixers players was dunking on another. Lachell videotaped Wyclef doing chin ups.
They are crazy. I am mad at Ms. R because she only allowed certain seniors to go. She said that we have to spread the love with the seniors. He is suppose to be coming over here anyway to meet us so whatever.
Besides all of this, we are really in our senior projects. Momo and I are trying to figure what are the best ways to inform teenagers about the changes about global warming. From the summer, we figured that the internet is the best way to get out our message to others. Momo and I want to put together a podcast before we go on winter break. We are not sure what it is going to be on but we know we have to keep selling our car to anyone who is interested.
Okay, time to go. Wyclef is here.
Read our blogs.
Before we begin our blog Ms. R wants me to wish her mom a happy birthday. "Happy Birthday Mrs. Radebaugh!"
I woke up this morning around four a.m. I really didn't sleep that much last night because I was nervous and excited. I was nervous that my alarm wouldn't go off, and I was excited to go to New York! When I walking to school, I was even afraid of my own shadow.
Once I arrived at West, everyone was there except Hauger. Hauger was a little late (really late according to Ann) and couldn't find the car keys for the Ford Focus. Hauger thought he left the car keys at home, but much to our delight and concern, they were in the car's ignition.
We left school around 6:15 a.m. I sat up front with Maurice Williams, because I get car sick. I didn't want to throw up in the car, especially on my new Progressive Insurance X Prize hoodie! By the time we got on the New Jersey turnpike, everyone was asleep. Momo and Jacques kept waking people up. Justin was snoring. That was horrible. Momo videotaped Darmell looking out the car window.
We arrived in Manhattan around 9 a.m. Sadly, our Ford Focus was not with us. Tom, the tow-truck driver, was stuck in the Holland Tunnel, and didn't arrive until 10 minutes before the press conference. In the mean time, Ms. R and Darmell went to go pick up bagels and cream cheese for the team. I hope Tom got a bagel.
During the press conference, they showed a video to promote a new high school competition called Dashboard+. Roger and Azeem were in the video. Roger said he thinks one day cars will smell like and run on french fries. It was really funny.
Well right now we are just talking with different media outlets. Momo did an interview for a Chinese television station, and she spoke Chinese.
It is a beautiful day here!
We just finished our group interview with Jenna Bush for the Today Show. We are very tired, but we are really excited that we are going to be on television. Before the interview, we put on our new shirts that say, "Progressive Automotive X Prize." It is black with white lettering. I really like the shirts. When they were setting up the lights and sounds, that is when we got nervous. Hauger and Jaques kept saying for us to "Talk! Talk!" But once we started talking, the nervousness seemed to disappear. We were playing almost like musical chairs, especially Darmell. Poor Darmell he really didnt want to talk. Jacques talked to the most. Hauger talked a lot. Momo didn't talk. But it was nice to be together in a group.
Ron and Jerry said that they are really proud of us. They like how we think "outside of the box." Grown-ups have ideas, but we just say whatever we want and hopefully it somehow connects. That is what we are always working on. Azeem admitted that sometimes he says stupid things, and that he thinks they are crazy ideas. Hauger disagrees. He likes Azeem's ideas.
So we are going to be here until five o'clock today. A small price to pay for being on the Today Show.
Momo and I cannot get over how nice Jenna Bush was during our interview. She liked our slogan, "Ride or die." She is such a normal person for her being a president's daughter. There was no facncy limosine or big spotlight on her. She wanted to know about us.
Okay, well we will talk to you later. Look for us on the Today Show on October 19!
Ride or Die