By: Ella Ungaretti and Julia Chang

Construction is happening at Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School. Keep reading to learn about where, when, and why this construction is happening.

Currently, there are about six hundred students at Holmes School. The construction on the school is happening because more space is needed for all the students coming to the school next year. Six more classrooms will be added to grade four. Additionally, the lunch room will be expanded to fit the new amount of students at the school. Also, there is going to be a brand new garden next to the addition.

The construction is happening to the right of the playground from the street Chicago Ave. There is a fence around the area. You have to go around the fence to the playground to get to the school from the street. After school, some classes have to walk around the fence to the black top where they are dismissed.

The construction is happening now and will continue to happen for the rest of the school year and over summer break. The construction workers will, most days, be working during school hours and the students’ schedules at Holmes may be affected by this.

There are also announcements about other adjustments that have/will to be made to the school day for the students’ safety at the school. For example, the windows in some classes have been boarded up, to protect from potential debris.

When asked about how the construction is affecting him, Shiv from 5M says “It’s not.” A quote from Mary in 5Fo explains how the construction is affecting her. “The Holmes expansion is affecting me and my class because it is interrupting.”

Students at Holmes have different opinions on whether of not the school should be expanded. A quote from Imad in “5Fi” explains how he feels about the subject. “Yeah, because they decided to get rid of the computer lab. It would be nice if we got a new computer lab.” says Imad when asked if he likes the idea of construction happening on Holmes. Another quote from Mary in 5Fo reveals how she they feels about the construction happening. “No because students should be able to go through their school day without hearing the construction and being interrupted.” says Mary when asked if she like the idea of construction happening.

Students have many different feelings about the construction. The construction will happen all throughout summer break and next school year the building will look a lot different. Next year, most students will be attending, what might feel like, a brand new Holmes School!

PBIS: Feathers

by: Julia Chang and Ella Ungaretti

At Holmes School, there are rewards for good behavior! There are many different types of rewards at Holmes School! They are all part of PBIS. Keep reading to learn about PBIS and the many different prizes at Holmes School! The

PBIS stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. PBIS is meant to help student’s behavior and emotional needs. PBIS is how Homes School helps students with their behavior. PBIS is more than just the PBIS students go to (for example PBIS lessons for hallway behavior), but also includes feathers, (which are used to reward students for good behavior), the Second Step Program, and Holmes School pledge. These rewards are given out all year.

Feathers help behavior because it acknowledges the students who make good behavioral choices. Feathers are given whenever a student does something good or is doing good behavior wise. For example, at lunch students who are quiet might be rewarded feathers. Other times, students might be rewarded feathers for helping out teachers or other students.

Jacob from 5F says “I think it is very, very, difficult.” When talking about how hard it is to get feathers.

Mia from 3T says feathers are given out “Mostly in specials.”

Feathers can get students prizes. For example, on Fridays, feathers can be pulled in the office. The lucky winners get to choose from a prize depending on what’s available at the time.

Ben from 5M says, “I think they are ok.” When talking about prizes. A few examples of prizes are homework passes and pencils.

Feathers can also be used for the school store. They can be traded in for money (only for the school store, not real currency), so you can buy items at the school store. The school store is during lunch, outside the lunchroom. There is a school store every month or two. Students are called to purchase items of their choice. Examples of items are colorful pencil cases, tiny notebooks, pencil sharpeners, and pencil fidgets.

Some classes also use their feathers to get prizes for the whole class. Examples of class prizes are pajama day and bringing a stuffed animal to school. Some classes also use a point system to get class prizes.

Feathers are not the only form of reward and prize, another example are hawk bucks (fourth grade), Class Dojo (fifth grade), and tickets (third grade). All meant to help student’s behavior. However, feathers remain among all grades. Although for a while, it also seemed that feather usage in the higher grades (especially 5th) is considerably lower. (Some of the rewards mentioned may not exist anymore)


Interestingly enough, feathers have changed their appearance and size over time. About two years ago, feathers were yellow and long. They had; a blank line for the students who earned them, a line for when it was given out and another line for the teacher who gave them. However, the feathers have changed their size, shape, and some feathers are a different color.

PBIS helps encourage good behavior. Feathers and other rewards and prizes are a part of positive behavior intervention and supports. Most prizes apart of PBIS last all year. PBIS rewards are to help students with their behavior.

Second Step: Good, or Bad?

Second Step logo

Article by Ben Streiffer & Jacob Bottorff

Hi! You’re reading about second step. Second Step is a multi-grade curriculum (class) where students learn social skills, like empathy, assertiveness, and accepting differences. Students watch videos, discuss the topic, and sometimes do an activity in their Second Step notebooks. In lower grades, students play games and watch puppets in order to learn the skills. Grades also look at a poster or video and “help” the person by discussing the strategies they could use. Every classroom and grade does Second Step, and in some classes, teachers other than the homeroom teachers come in. Second Step is on every Wednesday, however sometimes it's replaced by Hawk’s Nest once a month.
Finding what people’s opinions were helps find how much people like it, and how much people don’t. Interviewing 10 students, each from a different homeroom class, resulted in varying opinions. As we said before, some kids like Second Step, some don't, so be prepared to see lots of difference.
7/10 of the people interviewed said they liked it. Most people say it “helps people learn things. Griffin from 4W, who supports Second Step, says the lessons should be more often for 1 hour 30 minutes because it “teaches us a lot” & “helps us”. Catrin from 3N said it should be for 1 hour 20 minutes because “some people can’t get things if told only once”.
On the other hand, one of the people who said no to it, Rachel from 5M, said that it was a “waste of time” and would change “how obvious the situations are”. Most people would want it longer or would have it stay the same length, but some want it shorter. Most people are somewhat excited to continue next year, as well.
There are some pretty big differences in people’s opinions on Second Step. As we said, some like it, some don’t. But what about you? Do you like it? Anyways, thanks!