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.

Should Specials Be Mandatory?

By: Jacob Bottorff

Do you not like a certain subject? How would you like to take only a few specials instead of all of them? I interviewed a person from each class in 4th and 5th grade.
Many people said they either don’t like music or they like all specials. Many people have different reasons, but the most common was that they weren’t learning. But many people on the other side said that specials introduce more, and may let students discover what they like. Naima from 4th grade, says that she doesn’t like music. She says that she is not learning. But Ella from 5th grade says that she likes all the specials. A unique answer I got was from Jasmin from 5th grade. She doesn’t like any special, but she wants them revamped or redone.
How about you? Do you not think it’s fair that we should be forced to do something we dislike? What is your opinion?

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!

Healthy School Lunches

By: Anderson Jerome-Darr

Wait! Don’t eat that Oreo in your lunch! I’m going to tell you why kids like yourself should eat healthier, and avoid junk food. The first reason is junk foods contain MSG, the second reason we should avoid junk foods is child obesity, and the final reason we should avoid junk foods is for you to live longer.

The first reason kids should eat healthier is that most junk foods like chips contain MSG (MonoSodium Glutamate.) MonoSodium Glutamate is the silent killer lurking in your pantry, a flavor enhancer that causes heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. A list of foods including MSG are, Doritos, KFC, Pringles, Ranch, Cheetos, Parmesan Cheese, Gravy, Protein Powders, Pepperoni, Popcorn, and Potato Chips. I bet you didn’t know that all these foods were so unhealthy. Did you? Elise Borel, 5M, says, “This is a little surprising, because I know those foods are unhealthy, but that if you eat too much of them, there is a chance of getting really sick.”

The second reason kids should eat healthier is child obesity, or to be overweight which is caused by consuming too many calories. For example, each day you need to consume 2,000 calories. No more, no less. If you eat a medium fruit salad, you consume 100 calories, but if you have a KFC fried chicken meal with a soda, you consume more than 1,000 calories! That’s greater than half of what you need to eat per day! Also, to eat the amount of calories in a KFC meal and soda by eating fruit salad, you would have to eat 10 servings! And studies show that kids who consume more calories have 2 times more body fat than most kids.

The final reason kids should eat healthier is for you live longer. To explain, kids who eat unhealthily are not as healthy. They will be more prone to diseases in the future, and scientists say, may not outlive their parents. When you consume too much junk, it affects your immune system, stomach, bones, and heart. This means you will be more prone to young death. Studies show that people who eat unhealthy in their childhood, are basically ruining their future, but kids who eat healthy, live a long, healthy, life.

Now you know why kids like yourself should eat healthier. MSG, Child obesity, and most importantly, to live longer. You should now eat healthy, and don’t eat sugar and junk as often.

Edge Classes
Have you ever felt like you needed more time in your specials classes? Well, now you can do that, and more! Edge classes are activities that are completely optional. You do them after school and do enjoyable things during them. All edge classes have a set schedule so don't worry about needing to ask about when it is. We made this article not as an advertisement, but as a heads up in case you wanted to do something a little extra.

One edge program is called Mad Science. Here you can make strange oozes and dry ice! It lasts for 1 week after you sign up. Ben Shafiro says, “It was pretty good.” So basically, at this edge class you get to do cool projects that you usually get to take home. And the projects are always science related. At the end week, you even get to build a rocket! Always remember to listen to your teacher even though it's after school. Also, you do not get to choose what projects you build.

Have you seen people play chess and always wanted to know how? If so, Dynamic Chess is for you. It teaches you the basics of chess and you get to play against other players are your level after school. Henry Schaht says, “It was very cool.” Well, there there you have it.

Another edge class is called Extreme Sports. It is a very fun edge program. You get to play many cool games. Joshua Wood says, “It was very enjoyable.” All of the games are sports that are mixed together such as, basketball and football or even kickball!This is a very fun edge class that I recommend to anybody who likes sports.

Another edge program is called clay crazy. You get to make clay projects the whole time! They give you lessons on strategies for projects and you get to make with those strategies. “It was really fun because you can be very creative and make very intricate structures.
The last edge class we are mentioning is floor-hockey/dodgeball combo. If you like Extreme Sports, you will no doubt like floor hockey-dodgeball. It’s where on some days you will play dodgeball, on some days, you will play floor hockey. Henry Schacht stated, “I loved Dodgeball but hated floor hockey.”

Those are four edge classes we recommend if you do not have something right after school, then sign up for the next session and have some fun after school for a change!

Student Council

By: Sophie R. and Sarah K.

The Student Council Elections are an exciting time for everyone. They might seem like you just circle a name and that's it, but they are so much more! Every candidate has to create a campaign on top of posters. If they make it into the finals, they have to make a video of why people should vote for them. If you are a student council representative or one of the four positions you choose any problem that you all agree is important for example making the bathrooms better is what Joshua Wood said he would do in his video.

President is the biggest thing you can run for, you make the changes (if they’re reasonable) and have a lot of say in what student council does. For president the finalists were, Jake Brecknock, Joshua Wood, Jefferson Cordes, and Madison Hunter. Joshua Wood told us, “Anybody who asks me for suggestions, I will try my best to make it happen, like water fountains and less people outside, and better bathrooms.”

Vice President is another 5th grade choice you may run for it is also very important to the student council. You help out with everything and get a pretty big role in student council. The finalists for Vice President were, Izzy Anderson, Trinity White, Griffin Gee, and Whitman Rowe. For Vice President Izzy Anderson said, “I wanted to run for Vice because I wanted to be a part of the school and it's my last year here, and I want to make it big.”

Secretary is one of the 4th grade choices. If you become Secretary you have the responsibility of writing down the ideas the President comes up with. The finalists for secretary were Graham Shabino, Mary Olszowka, Ellie Matoka, and Nevaeh Smith. Graham Shabino said “I will help by giving students more comfortable seats also I will try to put a water fountain outside,”

Treasurer is probably the most popular 4th grade choice. The treasurer tells everyone if their idea is possible with the budget. Joseph McClintic said why he ran for Treasurer. “I ran for treasurer because my mom said I was good at math so I decided to run.” For treasurer the finalists were Isabel Stickney, Sofia Sanchez, Grace Elliot, and Joseph McClintic.

Here are the student council results, the winner for School President is…. Joshua Wood! The Vice President winner is…. Izzy Anderson! Secretary of Holmes is…. Graham Shabino! And for school Treasurer…. Joseph McClintic! It's good to know about your school and it’s events. The purpose for student council is to help the school with it’s issues and to make the students feel like they can make a difference.

Digging It At Holmes

By: Josh Wood and Jake Brecknock

Some Holmes School students choose to give up their lunch-recess to dig. Why would they do this?!“We explore underground life,” Carter Miller stated. It turns out that most of the third grade students in the club like the way it is run. There is a freedom about when you participate and who is in it. You can be any age, as long as you go out to recess at 11:45 (grades 2-5). It is very easy to join. All you have to do is ask Ms. O’Malley if you are eligible to join the group. It is a bonding time with friends, and a time to find new friends.

You might be wondering what this is. Well, it is when students use their recess time to explore the underground paradise. How do they do it? They use sticks and rocks to chew up the spongy mud by Holmes’s green gate by the near the track. They plant the bulbs because they are interested in the learning part or the digging part. They are taught about what they find in the dirt. Not all are interested though, some are just bored. The bulbs will bloom in late spring.

The End