The Penn Post


February 2017

French Students Expand Horizons

By Jeremy Krakowski

French students at William Penn get to experience not only the French language and learn about the French culture in the classroom, but also for just $800 dollars students get the opportunity to travel to Quebec, an area heavily influenced by the French.

Both students and parents have the change to take a long bus trip. Lefort Petit and Antonia Strickland, world language teachers at Penn, will be taking the students who sign up..With the everlasting French people’s occupation of Canada could be a great learning opportunity for French students.

Petit believes this particular trip which occurs in May could be a yearly occurrence if the trip goes well. “We’ve always thought about what trip could teach students a good amount about the French culture in general,” Petit said.

This is the first year this field trip is available, but William Penn students in other courses have the chance to travel to Spain, England, and South America.


Students Use Saturday School To Get Back On Track

By Nina Giberson 

Some students feel that school is too long, while others feel as if they don’t have enough time for school and the course work.

Seeing this, Principal Erskine initiated the idea of Saturday School. He believed that students might be more productive in an alternate learning environment.

Saturday school is an opportunity for students to bring their grades up. It gives the students a chance to retake a test or complete missing work. Teachers feel as if some of these students are so far behind in their classes, they can’t keep up with the assignments and the students feel the exact same way.

Kristi Dionne is a special education teacher who dedicates her time at Saturday School. She says that there are sometimes complications with it. “One of the challenges is that sometimes you expect more kids to show up than who do.” The kids who do show up actually complete the work that their teachers assigned, though. “The only problem I find is that some students are behind in so many classes that they can’t keep up with each of their missing assignments,” Dionne said.

Though Principal Erskine was the one who brought it to everyone’s attention that they needed teachers for Saturday School, the staff seemed to appreciate the idea.

“I think the staff likes it. I find when the kids come in, that, believe it or not, they work a little bit harder for that teacher. It’s interesting to see,” Dionne said.

Latavia Todd, a student who takes part in Saturday School, explained that her attendance at saturday school had improved her grades. “Saturday School has helped me get my grades up in all of my classes. I was influenced because my grades were really low and I wanted to raise my GPA,” Latavia said.

When asked if she would continue a regular attendance at saturday school, she responded with a confident, “as many times as they have it.”

Saturday school can benefit many who attend. Those students who are struggling in one or more of their classes are very much welcome to attend. It’s been shown that students have benefited from the program.

Insight into Penn’s Innovation Center

Any individual that has walked up the main staircase to the right of the entrance and down the N2 hallway knows that the library is under construction. However, not many students actually know what is going into the new library.  

There has been a lot of speculation going on about the library construction. However, most of this speculation is not true and many students do not know what is true and what is not.

Tynahja Savage, an 11th grade student at William Penn, said that the only thing she knows is that they are building a cafe inside the library. “But no one really talks about it,” she said.

Misconception 1:There was little effort to inform the student body.

Truth 1:  Kevin Wright, an instructional technology teacher at William Penn, said, “We did make an effort to get word out to students and parents at the back to school nights, open houses, board meetings and through the Principal Newsletter and social media pages.”

Misconception 2: That there will only be a cafe in the library.

Truth 2: Wright described what is going into the library including the addition of new furniture with modern tables and chairs, along with more work spaces and computer desk. There will be alcoves along the walls which will be the new collaboration rooms with collaboration tables, and the rooms will be enclosed in glass. These collaboration tables will be equipped with smart screen monitors and in table hookups for students to use while collaboration on school work. There will also be new glass enclosed class that will be occupied by the “distant learning courses.” The students will be able to participate in new courses that the school can’t put in full time. The area where the circulation desk was will become the student run “Bistro-lite.” The Bistro-lite will offer healthy snacks that will be available to both staff and students. The library will of course have books as well. The book count for the fiction genre will be an estimated 46,000 with new orders happening in the spring and summer.

Misconception 3: The school got rid of all the books and there will be no more.

Truth 3: The truth is that they had only gotten rid of the books that were deemed inaccurate. “We did have to downsize the library’s collection, but we did our best to save the books that were commonly used and checked out. Clearing books out of circulation is a common process called weeding and while ours was large scale we did our best to preserve books that were newer and still accurate,” Wright explained.

Misconception 4: The district does not have enough money for this project.

Truth 4: In actuality the district is not paying for most of this project. The district and Discover bank card are in a community partnership to cover the cost. Wright had said that their investment in the library is designed to help the students get the most out of what they will do with their life, whether it be college or a career after graduating.

The old library was a very popular place for many of students to hang out and complete a lot of work and print that work off before class would start. Savage said that she had used the library before and once it is complete that she would continue to use it. The library is a very important place for most students who don’t have printer or anything at home and once all of the additions are made, these additions will make it even easier for students to complete work online.

Colonials Fly Past St. Elizabeth

By Christopher Brown

On Tuesday January 10 the William Penn Colonials beat top ten  ranked St. Elizabeth at home  59 to 48. William Penn was led by  junior Gerard Wall with 14 points and  senior Jermal Crumel with 12 points.

The game started with intensity and the Colonials had  the momentum on their side, senior point guard Jermal Crumel said,” I believe Gerrard Walls buzzer beater at the end of the first quarter turned the game around because we started seeing the ball go in which gave the whole team confidence.”

Part of the Colonials success was holding  a top ranked team to 8 points in the first half.  That showed their  defensive performance, a real team effort. The head coach , Steve Christensen said, ” I, thought we were real good job defensively. There are some things we can work on like clean up the 4th quarter and offensively do some things better. I am happy with the effort and happy with the team  coming along.”

This win against a ranked opponent boosted the confidence of the team  Crumel said,’ I believe we learned we can compete with anybody in the state & possibly bring home a championship”

The past two years William Penn has had records of 16-4 and 17-3. Both years they had a lot of varsity experience. This season is different with 4 of the starters this year .” Last year we had guys with some significant varsity experience, this year we only have a few guys with any experience and only one starter from last year. Everybody is adapting to their new roles are figuring out how they fit.”
The rest of the season will be a battle for the Colonials due to the difficult schedule they will face 5 of the current top 10 teams to end the season. But if the Colonials play like they did tonight they should have no worries. The next game is Thursday 1/12 5:15 at William Penn

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