Local
Teachers, students, nurses speak on COVID-19
iMattSmart
Ever since Covid-19 became the center of attention in the United States, it has been the cause of great stress, grief and even confusion. Everywhere we turn it's “BREAKING NEWS” or “Coronavirus.” Lives have been changed since different states enforced stay-at-home policies, locking down states and closing non-essential businesses. Graduation ceremonies and commencements have been cancelled, the fate of returning to school cancelled in some states and up in the air in others. For most, we are living in a pandemic for the first times in our lives. 
COVID-19, the CO standing for “corona’, the VI for ‘virus’ and the D for ‘disease’ and the 19 references the virus being discovered in 2019. It has also been referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus,” since this is the first time the world has experienced this new and devastating disease. When COVID-19 first surfaced it was said that it only affected older people. Now as more research is coming out, we are aware that this novel virus affects the elderly, babies and those who have compromised immune systems. The three most important orders from the CDC during this time are to socially-distance, or keep away from other people, stay indoors and to frequently wash your hands. 
The outbreak of this virus has led to the closure of school districts all over the country, as well as the closure of universities and colleges, pushing non-essential workers indoors and college students back home. 
Ava Healy, a senior at Boston Latin Academy, expressed that she is adjusting to the closure of school and transition from in-school learning to e-learning. “I feel like I’ve been adjusting pretty well. The beginning was really tough because I’m used to doing my work either at school or the library,” she said.
Nathalie Diaz, a freshman at Connecticut College, shared that her school did the best they could to help everyone. “They paid for a lot of the plane tickets and moving expenses for international students.” Her school also provided the option of a pass/fail or letter grade option for end of semester grades. 
Will Ma-Coley, a nurse at Jamaica Plain VA Medical Center, admits that his work life since COVID-19 has become drastically different. “Things have changed a lot. So, now we have to wear masks all day when we are at work and we never used to do that before. And now we do a lot of cleaning, for me I really do a lot. So when I get to work before I do anything, I will wipe down the chairs, wipe down the counter, wipe down the keyboard, the computers, the telephone, the door handles—every little thing that I feel like people can touch. You don’t know who’s been there, and who’s touched what.” 
“It’s literally working twice as hard and feeling half as productive.” Aine Ni Cheallaigh Cook, a history teacher at Boston Latin Academy stated. 
“First of all I miss my students, so I’m a little sad… the most challenging part of this is not being able to give academic and emotional support in the minute that students need it,” Cook expressed about the transition from in-class learning to e-learning. “My particular concern is of the inequity of which my students live. And so I find myself thinking particularly about my students who are homeless, who struggle from food inequity. Who are undocummented, whose parents have lost their jobs, who cannot apply for the forgiveness of rent… and so they’re just kind of left in the wind.” 
The city of Boston has made abundant efforts to help those in need during this time with businesses and organizations delivering fruits and vegetables to those who need it, or opening their doors to children and families who need a meal. The city is also making efforts to help Bostonians who are experiencing difficulty with paying their rent, through the Rental Relief Fund. Some other resources in Boston are the Brown Bag Resource, FoodSource Hotline, SNAP Benefits, all of which are food support for the Boston population.
“I think that everything I know about the American economy has revealed itself to me in the fact that, if schools are closed, kids can’t eat. It reminds me of the power and influence we have as schools…” Cook remarked on the impact of schools on children. 
COVID-19’s effect on different groups of people has not been that dissimilar; teachers, students, parents and healthcare workers are all feeling the effects of these uncertain times. As people are being laid off from work and discussion around when to open up different states remains up in the air, there's only so much to hope for and to prioritize right now. “The only goal I have right now is to get a job to help my mom out. At any second she could get laid off and I don’t want my siblings to have to be hungry because she won’t be making money.” Diaz said. 
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Science & Health
Global warming is taking the penguins
Imagine your world, your only home, was slowly breaking down into pieces that made living very hard. And, your food supply was diminishing too much, too fast.
Global warming is the slow destruction of our little blue planet over time as radiation, or heat waves from the sun, get trapped in our atmosphere over time. Gases from pollution such as factory smoke, cigarette smoke, power plants, cars, methane gas (often from cow farts) and more are trapped in the atmosphere. The gases’ heat causes our atmosphere to heat up. Since our atmosphere is a layer covering all of the Earth, the global temperature also rises. 
Now, you may ask yourself, Why are you telling me that? It doesn’t sound like our worst problem … the coronavirus is? Well, maybe this isn’t your biggest problem, but it most definitely is a problem that needs fixing. Did you know that Earth is three-quarters water if you exclude all the ice in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans? Since our Earth’s temperature is rising, all the heat is causing the ice in the Arctic and Atlantic to melt. Animals that live in these areas such as penguins, polar bears, seals, turtles and a lot more are losing their habitats. Their homes are literally being melted away. Their entire species are doomed to be endangered, or worse, extinct. 
In fact, “there are 17 species of penguins in the Southern Hemisphere and nearly all of them are in danger,” said Derrick Z. Jackson, [didn’t get back to me about this]. Due to global warming, the polar ice caps are melting, so penguins are literally losing their habitats. Not to mention that melting ice also kills krill, the tiny fish that penguins eat. Penguins are losing their environments, no their homes, and facing starvation all at the same time. Imagine if that happened to you.
As their homes are being melted away, many animals are drowning because they got caught in the crossfire of you polluting our atmosphere and causing this poor unsuspecting animal to lose its home, and in this scenario, its life. Over time, species will decrease in population, and without predators, the prey populations will flourish.
In the Northern Hemisphere, puffins were nearly completely hunted and killed off in Maine during the 1900s. Luckily, the Puffin Project was started and it restored the puffin population back to a state where it isn’t at all close to endangerment. Now, some people question if it was even worth restoring the population because of global warming.
The puffins live all around the Gulf of Maine and a couple of Canadian islands, Jackson said. This is the fastest-warming ocean water on earth due to global warming. Fish in those areas will swim to other areas with cooler water. Now the puffins have no food, which is why the population has begun to once again decrease. Not to mention that the water will only get warmer as global warming goes on, so was the Puffin Project in vain? Will those puffins actually die because of global warming?
This imbalance in the environment will topple like dominos, or rather, change one thing after another in the environment. If one species is wiped out, its prey, who will become the new predator, will eat all of its prey and have that species near extinction since there is an uneven ratio of predator to prey. The new prey population will decrease until it’s near extinction and then the new predator's species will begin to decrease as well since there is no food anymore. So over time, everyone dies. Or, as I said before, the slow destruction of our earth. All because you decide to pollute your Earth by smoking, driving your car, working at a power plant and more activities that release gas into our atmosphere that contributes to global warming.
Not only do the animals living in those areas lose their homes, but the decrease in population also makes it harder for animals to find a mate. So it’s even harder for the species to survive because they can’t slowly increase the population through reproduction.  
If you could please just take some time to walk or take public transportation and avoid adding to the amount of gases in our atmosphere, then you can help our earth.
It doesn’t have to be solving world hunger or peace, but there are ways that everyday people like you and me can help. You can “vote for politicians who want to take care of science-related issues and pollution,” Jackson explained. “[People] who advocate policies to get rid of fossil fuels.” You can also use solar panels, drive less and take public transportation. In fact, much of the world is already on the way to using solar energy. Puerto Rico has some laws, and Germany and other countries in northern Europe do as well. Some places even have set targets to be carbon neutral by 2040 or 2050. 
Maybe it won’t make such a big difference to you, but it does help. It helps our Earth and the little suffering animals in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.
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Science & Health
A guide to flying airplanes
Rhys McAllister
Ever since I was a little kid I have been interested in airplanes. Once, when I was three, my grandparents took me flying in their Cessna plane, and I was allowed to sit right in the cockpit! However, I was not permitted to touch the controls. I was too young then, but it inspired my dream to learn to fly.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become interested in what having a career as an airline pilot might be like flying passengers to and from their travel destinations.
Mitch Cohen is an airline pilot who, like me, became interested in airplanes at a young age. In fact, the same year he was born his parents “gave birth” to a small airport called Burlington County Lumberton, and as he got older he sometimes helped out there. The airport was privately owned by his family until it was sold in 2000 and is now known as South Jersey Regional Airport outside of Philadelphia.
Today Cohen is an airline pilot for SkyWest Airlines and flies an ERJ 175. This plane is 104 ft long and can hold 76 passengers. His typical routes are in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas. “I’ve been as far east as Nova Scotia,” he said.
All pilots, including people who just want to fly for fun, have to go through training.  There are different requirements to have a private pilot license and a commercial pilot certificate. A private license requires about 40 hours. According to aopa.org, a commercial license is a little more complicated. To obtain a commercial certificate in an airplane under FAR Part 61 rules, a pilot must have:
  • 250 hours of flight time, 100 hours of which must be in powered aircraft, and 50 must be in airplanes
100 hours of pilot-in-command time, 50 of which must be in airplanes
50 hours of cross-country time, 10 of which must be in an airplane
20 hours of training, including 10 of instrument, 10 of complex or TAA and a smattering of cross-country and practical test preparation
10 hours of solo training, including a smattering of cross-country and night

Cohen started training when he was pretty young and did a lot of flying in his last two years of high school. “I knocked out all my requirements and just had two required courses every day,” he explained. He learned more about aviation in college and received his license at Quaker City School of Aeronautics. He got an Airframe and Powerplant mechanic certificate at this school well.
There are many different kinds of planes and pilots can specialize in flying specific models. Planes from the Airbus A320 family are some of the most popular in the U.S. This plane is different from the ERJ175 because it is bigger and can allow more passengers. Other popular commercial planes include the Boeing 737 or 747.
An Airline pilot can also earn a good salary. In 2018 according to https://work.chron.com/, the average salary for an airline pilot was $130,059. But not just the money is great, flying and controlling the airplane makes this a fun career option. Most pilots are passionate about their jobs. As Captain Mitch said, “I’ve been here for the last 20 years and love my job...haven’t gotten bored yet!”
I would definitely recommend a career in aviation as an airline pilot or maybe in the military because I think that being on a plane is very enjoyable.  As someone who had the experience of being in the cockpit of an airplane, I know the feeling of what it must be like to fly, and I think it is truly wonderful. 
“I definitely would recommend a career in aviation, but in order to know that you're going to be in the same position that I’m in, you need to go out and take at least a couple of lessons and see if its something you really love or not,” said Cohen. 
If you dislike the idea of being an airline pilot, you can always get a private license and fly for fun. Some flight schools in Eastern Massachusetts include Lee Academy Pilot School, Runway Aviation Schools Boston, Horizon Aviation, and East Coast Aero Club. Check them out if you are interested in learning more! Imagine all the new places you could visit in your free time.
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Science & Health
As teens face more and more stressors, it’s key that parents support them
Feedyourvision from Pexels
These past five years have been pretty interesting. Trump is president, there are mass shootings, untimely deaths, we are all in quarantine because of a global pandemic and to top it off, us students still have to deal with school. On a normal basis school is stressful because there is so much going on, and we can’t always get the help we need from our parents so it’s no surprise that a main source of stress, anxiety, and depression in teens comes from school. This is important because it can be properly addressed but because parents are unaware, more and more teens face this issue. It might seem that teens only think about school when we're there, but it actually continues when we’re at home and doing other things. This is very important to understand, especially during transition times like beginning a new grade, or even something small like the end of an academic quarter. Something that would help relieve our stress is having people check in on how we’re doing, not how our grades are, or if we have any work to do, but how we’re feeling, and if they can do anything to help us. 
“All aspects of school are hard for me, the school work stresses me out a lot because they give too much and they expect us to do all of it in such a short amount of time. Then social life there’s so much drama, arguments, physical fights, fake friends, rude people, lies, like all of it is just crazy.” said Siobhan Clinton, a seventh grader at the Lyndon Pilot School.
One of the most important things in eighth grade is applying to high schools, and we are told that the high school you go to affects what college you get into and the college you go to affects what job you get, and the job you get affects your whole life. Because it’s such an important decision, you have to make sure that you consider all of your options and get as much information as possible. Most schools have open houses, and my mom signed me up for every single one that she saw. That meant that for several days I missed most of my morning classes and I had a lot of make up work. I even missed half of a math interim because of an open house and the open houses that were after school meant that I missed some of my extracurriculars. 
It was really stressful because I had to try to keep up with my schoolwork, extracurriculars and think about what school I wanted to go to while applying for more schools. Even with all of that craziness going on, my mom thought that I should start going on college tours too, even though college is five years away, and I’m not even in high school yet. According to a poll done by NPR and the Harvard School of Public Health, 40% of parents said that their teen experienced a lot of stress from school. With all of the major decisions that teens have to make, it's not surprising that they found most of the stress was from academics and not social issues or bullying.
A lot of parents tell their kids to just try their best and they’ll succeed, but that's not enough. Sometimes we need help doing our best, and they need to understand that we can be independent and do things on our own, but we also need help with some things. “It stresses me out a lot because they give us too much homework and there's already a lot of things I need to do.” said Clinton. If we are having trouble getting things done, parents should help us by creating systems. According to Mary Alvord, a public education coordinator for the American Psychological Association, when we are struggling to get our work done, parents should help us plan the week so we can decide what is most important to work on. That allows us to focus because basic time management skills will reduce stress, and help us do our best. When I go to summer camps there is a set schedule and it's easy to be productive and still enjoy myself. It would be very helpful if there was something like that at home.
“Middle School comes with a lot of drama but I just don't tell them because I'm afraid of their reactions” said Idalia Rios, an eighth grader from the Lyndon Pilot School when talking about her ability to share her social life with her parents.I think that a lot of teens can relate to being afraid of their parents' reactions if we share information with them. They don't understand that we mature faster because of the internet based society we grew up in and that our phones have most of our lives on it. Also, what other people think about us does matter. They don’t let us express ourselves and then get surprised if we keep things from them. They think that us wanting privacy means that we have something to hide, but we really just want to feel trusted and capable of doing things. Clinton said it best “I don't think they understand that we have lives outside of school and we have other important things in our lives.” 
All of these things along with academic stress creates a very unpleasant and stressful environment for us. It would be really beneficial if we could share aspects of our lives with our parents without having to worry that they will overreact or judge. We would really appreciate it if parents had open ears and admitted that they don’t always know everything. They definitely know more than us, but it's hard to open up to someone who has a know it all mindset. If we feel comfortable to share things with you, then try to react in the best way possible so we don't get scared off and we can work towards building an open relationship.
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School News
In-class support is key to student success
Unspash
I once encountered a student upset about something and could tell she wasn’t in the right headspace for class and so did my teacher.  My teacher texted a dean at my school to come check in with her and went up to her to ask her if she needed something like a break or some one to check-in with so she would be able to have a productive class. When she came back to the class she was engaged in her work and was participating. Because she was able to go for a walk and talk to a trusted adult, she was able to clear her mind and talk about what was stopping her from learning. This opportunity to reflect on her feelings and to take a break allowed her to understand her feelings and be able to return to class to successfully learn. 
Lucille Germain, an 8th grade English teacher at Match Middle, is a perfect example of a teacher who really wants to help when she sees that a student needs help or that they're angry or upset. She goes up to them quietly and doesn't make a scene and she asks them, “are you okay? Do you need to step outside? Do you need a break? Would you like to talk about it?” This support is very helpful towards students because students just need space and distance from others sometimes. After these check-ins, a student who has had their head down comes back into class, gets started on their work and is more productive. Germain also said, “It depends on the student. If it’s a student I have a good relationship with, I ask them if they’re ok right away and if they say no, I check in. But if it’s a student who I’m not too close to, I observe them from afar to see how they’re doing and any changes in their behavior. Then I slip them a note or something telling them I’m here for them. [And] then I tell the rest of the teachers to keep an eye out in case this carries over to their class or in case one of them has a better relationship [with the student].”
Germain raises the point that if a teacher is not close with a student she wouldn't want to make them feel uncomfortable by taking them aside or talking to them out of class. This awareness is important because you never know if they’re going through something personal and students might not trust that teacher to talk to. If a student doesn’t feel comfortable opening up, then nothing would really get solved and the class will not be productive.
Carlis Martinez, a Boston Public School 7th grader at the Haley Pilot Middle in Roslindale, noticed how her school handled students who were upset in class. She said, “Usually when I’m mad or upset and can’t focus in class they send me to the counselor’s office so I can relax. Sometimes they would just switch my class.” This kind of support in a BPS school allows Martinez and other students to help them get an education and stay focused in class. 
Marielis Mejia, an 8th grader at Match Middle, talked about her experience with support at her school. I asked Mejia if she ever talked to an expert when she was upset at school and what teachers did for her. She said, “They just sit me down and talk about what's going on then they give their input on what I should do to make the situation better.” This interaction shows that the school talked to her and helped her face the problem and so she could focus on more important things. 
As teachers and students can agree, students can get help at school. Boston Public Schools in particular helps students because of the methods they have at school that support their learning. BPS is helping students feel more comfortable at school and not feel stressed or overwhelmed. On the BPS website the county says, “Today, we are providing our students with more stability and continuity, new opportunities for inclusion, and higher-quality programs that are aligned with district efforts to help all our students reach a high standard.” They want students to succeed even through times like this. 
Additionally, to help support students, BPS has, “30.7% [of students] are educated in substantially separate classrooms (spend 60% or more of the school day outside of the general education classroom).” This shows that Boston Public Schools are trying to help give students the extra support that they need.
Student supports are important because it can help students have a better education in the future. If a student feels supported and comfortable, not only will they be able to figure out how to learn but they’ll find confidence that will help them overcome more challenges. 
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