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Viewpoint: Spend 24 hours unplugging from technology and reconnecting with life

By Kaitlyn Resline, Student Life Editor, and Daphne Riddle, Junior Editor-In-Chief

Technology over the past hundred years moved from black and white film and corded telephones to self driving cars and CGI technology. The improvements of these automations make everyday life easier for humanity, and create higher quality communication, science work, and entertainment means. 

Although technology helped to enhance the lifestyle of millions of people, it also has features that can harm the minds and bodies of people who take it for granted. Everyone, especially younger people, easily become obsessed with their phones, computers, televisions, or any other forms of technology that provide entertainment. These devices act as a distraction to real life, and get in the way of people completing what they need to do every day, or should do every day. 

Negative effects of technology: What to know” by Jon Johnson outlines some of the negative effects of using technology too frequently. These issues include poor sleep quality, lack of physical activity, social issues like anxiety, and aggressive behavior. 

Being on a phone and watching a streaming service, playing a game, or scrolling through social media is a fun way to pass time, but it oftentimes gets in the way of doing things that are more important. When people spend all day with technology surrounding them, acts like spending time outside and reading books get lost, and seem like they have lesser importance. 

Understanding the negative effects of using technology too often, Leonid staff writers Kaitlyn Resline and Daphne Riddle decided to go 24 hours without technology. This idea came from an assignment given in Honors English 3 from Mrs. Jane Dennish where the students did the same 24 hour challenge without technology. The assignment was inspired by reading “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau, where he reflected on simple living and reconnecting with nature. After completing the assignment, Kaitlyn and Daphne reflect on what the experience was like for them.

Kaitlyn’s Viewpoint- 

Towards the end of March, I had only been in quarantine for a few weeks, but I found myself spending more and more time on my phone. 

As I spent more time on my phone, I found that I was becoming more irritable, more detached from my family, and less productive. I decided it was time for a change. I decided to go 24 hours without technology.

Since I wasn’t using my phone or watching TV, I got a much needed relief from the constant stream of COVID-19 news. I was able to not worry so much about what was going on in the world and have a moment of peace.

Throughout the day, I spent a lot of time reading. Since I had spent so much time on my phone, I had forgotten one of my old passions. Long before I grew attached to doing nothing, I spent time discovering far away lands and reading stories of magic and adventure. 

I also spent more time with my sisters, Kiersten, 13, and Carlee, 10, playing games together. We learned how to play Yahtzee, although it was a bit difficult trying to understand the instructions without being able to look up a video on how to play.

My sisters expressed to me that they felt I was only spending time with them because I didn’t have my phone. It made me realize that I had cast them aside to just scroll through the internet mindlessly. I would rather text friends virtually than have conversations with my sisters. I made them feel like I had better things to do on my phone than be with them. 

Although I encountered minor inconveniences, it felt much better going throughout my day without technology. I was more productive without my phone to distract me and had more time to do activities for myself. I definitely found some peace of mind during the 24 technology free hours. 

Daphne’s Viewpoint-

Spending 24 hours separated from technology was harder than anticipated. I never noticed how much we all rely on technology in our daily lives. Throughout the day, I would find myself wishing I could mindlessly scroll through social media to take up time, instead of looking for better, more productive activities to do. 

When I woke up, my first instinct was to reach over and grab my phone. Usually, I spend anywhere from 5-20 minutes on my phone when I first wake up, whether it is to respond to messages or scroll through social media. Not being able to do that first thing in the morning, however, actually made my mind start off more at ease and less stressed out.

This ease continued throughout the rest of the day since I was not exposed to any pressure or conflicts that we all see every day on the internet. It was nice to not see the drama of people on the internet, or unrealistic lifestyles on social media. Instead of spending hours online, I got to do things that I never make time to do on a normal day. 

I spent the day continuing the Harry Potter books, which I have failed to finish after a few years of trying, getting in a few miles of running, and playing board games like Clue with my family. These are hobbies that I always put to the side when I have my phone or the television sitting right in front of me. Spending time with my family, in particular, was nice. We are all usually preoccupied in our own lives that doing things together gets to be more rare than when technology was more scarce. 

Overall, I noticed that a day without technology was refreshing, and definitely something that more people should try. It made the easy distractions disappear, and  let me take time out of my day to relax and not worry about the pressure that can be caused from being on technology too much. 

It was nice to take a breath and step back from the new ways of life that are controlled by our devices. The lack of distractions made it clearer what the important things in life are, and made me want to spend more time doing these things instead of mindless pastimes that technology provides.

We encourage everyone to try 24 hours without technology and to share their experiences with us!

This infographic outlines some activities to do in place of using technology. There are many benefits of taking a break from technology, both mental and physical.

Standardized tests make major changes due to COVID-19

By Emily Ankers, Editor-in-Chief, and Daphne Riddle, Junior Editor-in-Chief

Due to the pandemic of COVID-19, people all across the country are being quarantined to their homes in hopes of stopping the spread of the growing pandemic. Schools are closed until further notice, and all non-essential businesses are temporarily shut down. 

This world-wide phenomenon is something new to everyone, and many find it difficult to navigate their way through these troubling times. People are using new ways to complete tasks that have been uncomplicated in the past, such as learning and testing. State-wide and national tests, however, have been altered from the standard means of testing. 

The government cancelled test dates for SATs and ACTs in March and May to avoid gathering large groups of students together. The early June date was cancelled as of April 15, so the next available test dates will be at later, currently unknown times. Additional dates in June and July, however, are planning on being added to ensure students have as many opportunities as possible to take the exams. 

Many students, especially the ones in the junior year, who are beginning to look for colleges to apply to next fall, are worried about the lack of test dates of these exams that most colleges require for acceptance. 

“Canceling SAT’s and ACT’s is certainly an inconvenience for students as they prepare for college,” said Mr. Shue, the principal at Red Lion Senior High. “Hopefully these tests will be available to students, in some form, as soon as possible.

Some colleges are looking into lowering requirements for the students affected by this pandemic, or even getting rid of some of the requirements. Schools could be looking into going test-optional for acceptance. Everything considered, the colleges and universities are trying to find the best means of adjusting to the current situation. 

The cancelation of the SAT testing dates is leading to a great likelihood that students belonging to the class of 2021 will not be required to provide scores to gain entrance into college. Currently, a handful of colleges have already waived the need for SAT scores and many more are considering it. The College Board is doing all they can to make the transition into college for the young adults as easy as possible given these unforeseen circumstances.

Other standardized tests were also changed including AP tests, Keystone exams and PSSAs. The state tests, Keystones and PSSAs, were cancelled all together for the spring of 2020. 

AP tests, however, were rescheduled and turned into an online test. All AP tests were pushed back about a week later, in May, and shortened to 45 minute open-note exams. 

“They are shortening the tests,” said Mrs. Scott, a guidance counselor at Red Lion Area Senior High, “based on the material that the majority of United States students would have gotten before we shut down.” 

Students and teachers must prepare for these changing tests, and try their best to make the most out of the new forms of taking these important tests.

Many changes and cancellations have been made to schools, as well as the public, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This graphic illustrates the changes made to standardized tests as a result of this time.

Turning the tables on online school

Students and teachers discuss the advantages and disadvantages of transitioning to online school

By Margaux Rentzel, Social Media Editor and Marketing Director, and Kaitlyn Resline, Student Life Editor

“To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.”  The song “Turn, Turn, Turn,” written by Pete Seeger, inspired by the book of Ecclesiastes, and released by the Byrds in 1965, speaks to many generations. The Byrds – Turn! Turn! Turn!

 In this trying time, there are advantages and disadvantages to everything, but everything has a purpose. Since the high school was shut down for the rest of the year, students have had to complete their work online. There are positives and negatives, advantages and disadvantages to online learning, but nonetheless, it has to be done. 

“A time to laugh, a time to weep.” Some students were over the moon when they heard about school closing for the rest of the year, while some, were not. 

“The coronavirus has taken away probably the best part of senior year,” senior executive council president, Emma Hively said.

Students face difficulties with completing their assignments because it is easier to get distracted and it can be hard to manage their time. 

“I think online school does allow a lot of people to procrastinate and not do their work to the fullest,” freshman Dani Graham said. “Therefore they aren’t getting the full benefit.” 

Another disadvantage is that class discussions are hard to have digitally, so students aren’t getting the full potential they can of learning. Cheating is also easier with online school because it is easier in the student’s head. 

“It is harder to have online discussions because it is harder to focus,” junior Austin Wilbur said. “Thus making kids just wanting to get answers from friends, so they can just move on.” 

Teachers also face difficulties, especially if they teach hands-on classes like art, music performance, and technology education. When the face-to-face aspect of learning is taken away, it can be hard for students to learn. For the senior high orchestra, that means adapting from being a performance-based group. 

“The goal is to perform for people but that might not be happening,” said junior and senior high orchestra director Miss Elly Cope. “So, the goal is to get [the orchestra] to realize the benefit of performing and to grow from performing for people.”

A disadvantage for seniors is that the rest of their senior year is not happening for them. In-person graduation was officially canceled for the senior class, and many of the seniors were sad about this. 

“Senior year is often idealized and is supposed to be the best year,” Hively said. “But many of the most exciting parts are now in question.”

“A time to gain, a time to lose.” There are many disadvantages to online school, but to stay positive people should look at the advantages. 

Although it is difficult to teach the orchestra online, not being able to perform allows Miss Cope to focus on some other aspects of music.

“Every day we’re so focused on performing and getting ready for a concert and we might not be doing that now,” said Miss Cope. “So instead, we can talk about the theoretical points of music and the technical parts.”

This allows for students to study things like a key signature, and to really focus on their playing technique. Not being able to perform give the students time to learn about the emotional parts of the music and all the components they do mentally and physically that go into playing. 

Another advantage that students have is that they can create their own schedules for getting their online work done. This prepares students for college because they have to find time to do their assignments and can complete them at their own pace. 

“I believe online school is good for the students because they are able to do the work when they want,” Junior Austin Wilbur said. “And they have an increased amount of freedom.”

Teachers have been trying to figure out a way to make the transition easiest for themselves and the students. Teachers have to make their lesson plans online and try to help students with everything they need. 

“The transition hasn’t been the easiest for me,” Hively said. “But thankfully my teachers are being reasonable in the amount of work they give.” 

“A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.” The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the worst in people, and the best. It is hard for teachers and students to transition to online school. But, looking at the positives in the situations will bring peace to a silent war that we are all fighting. 

“It is very disheartening and seems very unfair,” Hively said. “But we are lucky to have an administration that is aware of our situation and is working to give us as much normalcy as possible.”

This graphic demonstrates several advantages and disadvantages to online schooling. Different students have different experiences with online schooling.

RLASHS STEAMS full speed ahead

By Kaitlyn Resline

Student Life Editor

High school science interns host elementary students for a day of science-related activities.

In the Old Gym, sounds of excitement fill the air. A wide array of kids fills the room, from high school volunteers and high school media students to teachers and second grade students. It is an event unlike anything else. 

On March 11, 2020, second graders from Locust Grove Elementary School came to the Red Lion Area Senior High School to participate in the STEAM Ahead event. The purpose is to learn about the letters of STEAM as well as the four Cs. Stations around the room range from building a bride, coding a robot, completing an electric circuit, launching a ball, and many others. 

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. The four Cs are communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. 

“I think what the skills really are are the four Cs and I think the means to teaching those skills are the STEAM letters,” said science teacher and event facilitator, Mrs. Laura Delawder. “They can learn about science while communicating or collaborating… it’s just that connection, that integration between topics that really enables them to learn those four Cs.”

This year there were five STEAM events, to include all five elementary schools. It was put together by Mrs. Delawder and five interns: senior Lily Hare, and juniors Eliza Fink, Isaiah Morales, Laela Thibault, and Mackenzie Wagaman. Several high school student volunteers also ran stations to make the day possible. 

“With STEAM obviously we have our individual categories, but what it really entails is to kind of get these kids thinking, get them prepared for the future,” said intern Isaiah Morales. “We want them to be able to encounter different challenges, encounter different problems, but also find solutions to those problems.” 

The event also helped high-schoolers to talk to second graders. Morales said he connected with the second graders because he was amazed by how much they already knew. 

“My favorite part was the technology. We coded robots and stuff,” said a Locust Grove second grader, Claire. “I learned the life cycle of a sea turtle and how to talk with others to make sure everything works out.”

“My favorite station was the technology on because we got to see how technology works,” said another second grader, Laken. “I’ve learned that if you work together, it’s better.” 

Media students also got involved during the day. It was an opportunity to practice interview and camera skills. 

“It was really cool to see all of the kids having fun while learning! Mrs. Deladwer did such a great job planning the whole event,” said media student Margaux Rentzel. “I loved covering the event because it gave me great experience with interviewing people on the spot.”

The day met Mrs. Delawder’s expectations and was a success. In the future, she hopes the event will expand to include K-12 and become integrated into the daily school day. 

“It’s all about the kids,” said Mrs. Delawder. “Between high-schoolers, between second graders, between media students, between our t-shirt designer, it’s taken our village to make this happen and seeing it come to fruition has just been awesome.”

Missing Spring Sports: Seniors Savor Last Moments

By Julia Beiler, Sports editor

Springtime is filled with blooming flowers, rainy days, and rising temperatures. With the start of new life is also the start of spring sports all across high schools. Student athletes prepare through the long winter to be ready for their spring sport to finally begin. 

For seniors, this is the year that they will most likely remember forever. This is their last year of high school and participating on a high school level. For those who won’t be playing on a collegiate level, their high school careers as an athlete will be coming to an end. The Senior Season is something that is special to those athletes, something that they will remember forever, and memories that will last a lifetime. 

Although senior seasons should be a glorious and unforgettable time, this year’s seniors are facing upset as schools have closed for the remainder of the year. 

The recent COVID-19 outbreak is the result of sports seasons getting cut short. On April 9,  PIAA announced that the spring and winter sports season ended for the remainder of the 2019-2020 year. This took in effect after Governor Tom Wolf declared that schools were closed to in-person learning for the rest of the school year. 

Disappointed seniors all across high schools are facing the fact that they will never get their last practice, their last game, their last bus ride, and they won’t get their senior nights. 

Dedication and commitment has gone into preparing for the season to begin, and it has all been washed away for so many student athletes. For those athletes that have been doing their sports for a long time and worked so hard for so many years, are now feeling the pain of not earning their senior season. 

“Senior year is what you look forward to,” senior Kaiya Edwards said. “We had a really good group of girls this year and we can’t get to play with them.”

Kaiya Edwards has been playing lacrosse since the fifth grade. In those seven years of playing, never did she think that her senior year playing for Red Lion would not happen because of a global pandemic.  

One of the values of the spring season, according to Athletic Director, Mr. Arnold Fritzius, is for scouts to check out up-and-coming athletes.  

“There would have been some volleyball coaches coming out to see the boys play this spring to see ‘Is Johnny as good as they says he is’ or “Should we take a shot a Jimmy…everyone says he can set, but we’ve never seen it,’” Fritzius said.  “[Coaches] are pretty sure of what they think, but for them to come to a Northeastern or Central volleyball game and see kids play at their highest level, they might take a chance on somebody.”

Nothing was set in stone for this season. There was no way of knowing how successful each team would be, but they never got to prove their worth this year.

“We don’t know if lacrosse was going to have a good season,” Fritzius said. “We don’t know how well baseball, or volleyball, or track was going to be, but it doesn’t matter.  We wanted to let those kids have a chance to compete and see if they could beat some teams they aren’t supposed to beat and beat some teams they were supposed to beat. But now they lose that chance.” 

Schools want to honor their senior sports players. At Red Lion, Fritzius is working hard with other athletic directors across the state to find a way to show admiration for the seniors at Red Lion. “Nobody has a clear-cut answer to what we’re going to do, but all we know we’re going to do something,”

This isn’t just something that is affecting these certain seniors, coaches and administration are seeing the pain the sports seniors are going through and they want to do something for them, even if they don’t know what that will be yet. 

“We are all just talking about what can we do to send these kids off with as good of a send-off as we possibly can,” Fritzius said. 

Something that can be taken away from this worldwide pandemic is you are never guaranteed another game or another practice. No one ever knows what just might happen tomorrow. 

“Appreciate the four years,” Edwards said. “Because you never know when your last high school game will be.”

Governor Wolf closes schools as COVID-19 causes major changes in school events

by Daphne Riddle

Junior Editor-in-Chief

Check out the timeline below.

“We need to understand that we are all in this together and that we all need to support each other.”

Mr. Mark Shue, Principal

In news reports from April 9, Governor Wolf closed all Pennsylvania schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. There is no information about where this will lead the district’s academics and scheduled events.

 On Friday, March 13, 2020, students, teachers, and staff at all Red Lion Area schools got the unlucky news that schools would close for at least a two week break out of caution of the virus, COVID-19. Since then, the spreading pandemic has changed life as known, as closures have been extended and other public places have been temporarily closed. 

“During times of great tragedy and unrest, public schools are the glue that hold communities together,” said Principal Mr. Mark Shue. “That is why it is very important that we do what we can to keep our students engaged and connected with the High School.”

Many questions linger regarding end of the year events that could be affected by the quarantine. Seniors in the high school have raised concerns about prom and graduation.

Mr. Shue sent a letter out March 27  saying that the district is planning on keeping these events on the calendar for the students. In the letter, it was said that seniors have worked hard for years, and the school wants to do everything they can to keep these events planned as a reward for the students’ hard work. “We,” said Mr. Shue,  “are going to do everything that we can to hold the end of the year events that Seniors hold dear.”

From a school perspective, classes have been moved to online learning until the unknown time of return to regular schooling. Starting on March 30, teachers gave thirty minutes of work for each period, three days per week. This allows teachers to continue teaching their course’s content, although not to the full extent that could be reached in a classroom. 

Other schools have made the decision to go on a pass or fail basis for the remaining period of the year. Red Lion, however, has chosen to continue with normal grading methods. 

The school may change the amount of work given, however, based on the level course. Red Lion’s main priority the first few weeks was to allow kids to adjust to the new way of learning, but once the change becomes more normal, more work could be distributed depending on the level of the class. 

Many questions linger regarding end of the year events that could be affected by the quarantine. Seniors in the high school have raised concerns about prom and graduation.

Although many events throughout the school have been cancelled due to the pandemic, the Senior High has been working to create new ways to keep students interacting and feeling a part of the school community. 

The Board of School Directors will hold a virtual school board meeting Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m. Virtual attendees must register with a code and follow the directions for participation outlined on the web page. 

The week of April 6-9, the Student Council held a virtual spirit week. The planners included themes such as extracurricular day, hats off to essential workers day, animal day, and Red Lion Pride day to keep students participating in a school “event”. Kids were asked to take pictures of themselves participating and post them on social media for other students to see. 

Staff from the school also worked together to make a TikTok account for the Senior High as another way of keeping the students and staff involved in a school-like environment. The video featured school faculty and staff smiling and waving, spreading positivity to the students and staff stuck in their homes.  

Through these tough times, it is important for the schools to stay connected with the students. “We need to understand that we are all in this together,” said Mr. Shue, “and that we all need to support each other.”

News Update: Pandemic creates online public schooling system

By Ryelee Stone
Opinions Editor
Students across the nation are waking up and getting ready for school at whatever time they please, just to simply sit back down on their bed or at another comfortable spot in their own house. By just opening up a laptop or pulling out a smartphone, public school students are now taking online classes. 

The Red Lion Area High School is now providing education by having teachers assign their students 30 minutes of online work on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This distance learning system will continue until the end of the 2019-2020 school year since Pennsylvania schools are now closed.

“At first we were hopeful that this wouldn’t last long,” head principal Mark Shue said. “What we wanted to do was avoid giving the students too much work. We are going to start with these limitations and as things progress, we will see if we need to adapt our system.”

The world is currently upside down due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, also known as the coronavirus. According to the
World Health Organization, this new virus was unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. However, due to people traveling, there are now over 1,000,000 coronavirus cases and 50,000 deaths from the disease in the world. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the three main symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath may only show until 2-14 days after exposure. To protect yourself, you can wash their hands for at least 20 seconds regularly, avoid touching your face, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at your house, avoid large crowds, and avoid all non-essential travel.

The country has taken many measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, such as President Trump implementing the rule of social distancing until April 30, 2020 so there is less contact among people in public. In addition, many non-essential businesses have been shut down or the employers must work from home as another way to “flatten the curve.”

In Pennsylvania, governor Tom Wolfe declared that schools are officially closed for the rest of the school year so that the health of staff members and students is not being compromised. Although there are many concerns during this time, how students are continuing their education during a pandemic is a major concern that many families have.

Some classes are easier than others to have students learn and look over the information on their own. However, the students are always permitted to have Google Meet sessions with their teachers if they need any assistance or explanations of their material.

“I am concerned about my students taking the AP test later in the year since the test changed and we had to switch gears,” physics teacher Charlene Wyrick said. “It’s difficult to provide effective feedback on free response questions and we can no longer do labs. I’m trying a Google Meet just for my AP class today to discuss common mistakes and correct problem solving techniques for the assignments I post.”

Advanced Placement tests and how teachers are helping students are only some of the concerns regarding distance learning. There are some courses where it seems almost impossible to learn everything someone may need to know or do all of the hands on activities offered, such as tech education or gym classes.

“In my class, I am focusing more on the cognitive aspects of the activities I am teaching as opposed to the physical aspects of the games and activities,” physical education teacher Tom Bell said. “My hope is the students will better understand the concepts associated with the game and activity though watching a video and answering questions that go along with the video, or completing a skill specific worksheet.”

This whole system is new to everyone, but the Red Lion Area High School staff is working diligently to make the best out of a daunting situation. Having to transfer to the distance learning system was not only shocking at first, but it only revealed more downfalls as time went on.

“I am disappointed that we all cannot physically be at school because during physical education class the students have the opportunity to be active, and for some this may be the only exercise or activity they get in a day,” Bell said. “Exercise has so many benefits, both for the body and the mind, I think it is important for the students to do some form of exercise or activity every day.”

Although teachers and students alike are quickly adapting to these life altering changes, it can be especially difficult for students. This is the first time students have experienced a national emergency that has scared the whole world, however, they still need to continue their educational pursuits. 

“On one hand, I like being home and getting to spend time with my family, while also getting to work on school assignments at my own pace,” junior Mera D’Aquila said. “On the other hand, it doesn’t even really feel like school to me because my assignments have been significantly reduced. The Google Meets have been helpful, but nothing can ever compensate for talking to somebody in person.”

No one, especially the seniors, expected this to be the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Even though many students, faculty members, and parents are dimmed by this whole experience, it is all for the safety of everyone.

“This isn’t replacing traditional education, this is an emergency,” Shue said. “This is the best that we have at this time.”
The teacher and the students of the journalism class are communicating with each other by using the platform Google Meet. The Red Lion Area Senior High School staff are using the Google Meet platform as an easy way to talk to and see their students during the stay at home order due to the spread of COVID-19. 
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