News brief: Advanced Placement testing exams have begun

By ELLA FITZPATRICK

Since the beginning of the school year, high school students in the Redlands Unified School District, and around the country, have been preparing for the Advanced Placement exams offered by the College Board.

Taking place during the first two weeks of May 2022, from May 2 to 13, each AP exam takes approximately two to four hours, depending on the subject of testing.

At Redlands East Valley High School, students are expected to show up to their assigned test start time and testing sites. Testing will take place at J-35, J-23 or the media center at 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.

News brief: Redlands Unified School District elementary school bands visit Citrus Valley

By DESTINY RAMOS

The Redlands Unified School District’s elementary school bands visited Citrus Valley High School for performances and instruction on Tuesday, April 14. The elementary schools included Bryn Mawr, Mission, Crafton, Highland Grove and Victoria. Beattie Middle School’s sixth and seventh grade band members also made an appearance.

During their visit, the fourth and fifth grade students sat through a performance by the third period Wind Ensemble. The advanced group has worked for many weeks preparing for the kids and their performance of “Carnegie Anthem,” “Amparito Roca,” and “Star Trek Theme,” which will also be performed at the spring concert in May.

After the ensemble was finished, the elementary students were able to perform for the high school students while getting music tips from other music coordinators who also visited Citrus Valley. By the end of their workshop, the ensemble students claimed they could hear improvement in the children’s playing.

The fifth and fourth graders of the Redlands Unified School District enjoy a day full of music at Citrus Valley High School on April 14. (DESTINY RAMOS/ Ethic News photo)

News brief: Redlands East Valley’s class of 2022 celebrates senior commit day

By ELLA FITZPATRICK

The Redlands East Valley senior class of 2022 gathered at lunch on April 29 to celebrate senior commit day—an event to recognize the future graduates education plans after high school.

Between the M and K buildings at REV, the Associated Student Body set up a small gathering of free pizza, soda and chips for the seniors attending college in the fall.

Because the grass yard between both buildings was closed off for only seniors, the students were able to enjoy the lunch with themselves and connect with each other about their plans for college.

“It was nice being able to see where other people are committed to. It makes it feel as if we’re going our separate ways but we’ll always have a shared high school experience,” says Alicia Gullon, a senior at REV with plans to attend University of California, Berkeley.

“It makes it feel as if we’re going our separate ways but we’ll always have a shared high school experience.”

Redlands East Valley High School senior Alicia Gullon

Along with eating food, the students could also take photos together in front of the photo booth with friends and sign a banner with their name and the college they plan on attending.

Between the M and K buildings at Redlands East Valley High School, Wildcat seniors Prescott Neiswender and Katelyn Kennedy pose in front of a decorated photo booth to take a photo for Senior Commit Day on April 29 during lunch. (ELLA FITZPATRICK/Ethic News photo)

Redlands East Valley seniors Giselle Sefiane Coady, Ella Martinez-Spencer, Luca Smith and Corey Ford sign a banner with their names and the colleges they plan on attending in the fall on Senior Commit Day at REV on April 29. ( ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic News photo)

News brief: Students invited to participate in Redlands Day of Community Service

By JASMINE ROSALES and SPENCER MOORE

All students in Redlands are invited to participate in the Redlands Day of Community Service on Saturday, May 7 from 8:30 am to noon.  

Steven Mapes, community member, invites everyone of all ages to come out and take part in the Redlands Day of community service. Mapes encourages students to wear their respective school colors to uplift others by seeing the youth serving in our community.

Digital image representing a day of community service created using Adobe Spark (MAURICIO PLIEGO/ Ethic image)

“One of the best things about the Community Day of Service is the way that it brings so many different people together,” said Judy Cannon, Director of Communications for the Redlands Stake of Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints. “We have all age groups and affiliations working alongside each other. It’s part of what makes Redlands so great.”

Students can obtain volunteer hours and take pride in their community by partaking in Redlands Day of Community Service.

“Some of our favorite volunteers are the students from our local high schools. They bring their youthful energy and a unique spirit of fun to the day,” said Cannon.

To volunteer visit Just Serve and search for “Redlands Day of Service May 7th, 2022.”  From there, choose a project to participate in.

The projects to choose from are: Heritage Park-Grounds Landscaping, State Street Planters, Redlands Sports Park Fence-Painting,  Ford Park Pond Stabilization and Gateway Ranch Cable Fencing.

For more information visit Just Serve: Annual Redlands Community Day of Service

Wildcat Associated Student Body organizes demonstration to support advisor

By MAURICIO PLIEGO and SPENCER MOORE

On March 17, a protest was organized on Opal and Colton Avenue by #savefash, a movement created by the Redlands East Valley Associated Student Body junior class in hopes of reinstating their advisor, Matt Fashempour, of eight years.

Members of the ASB class felt that there was not an explanation given. 

Robert Clarey, the REV Principal, says, “ This is a personnel decision and, as such, it would be unprofessional of me to discuss openly.”

Shannon Cockerill, current senior and ASB Executive President at REV, says, “I realize protest and petitions don’t guarantee anything, so at the very least, I hope Fashempour gets an explanation and he see’s just how many people support him and appreciates everything he does.”

Clarey says, “I hear the rumors as well, it is unfortunate that a lack of information causes people to make up their own narrative. People feel the need to be in the know…or at least to appear that they are in the know.”

More students joined the crowd throughout the morning prior to the start of school. Participants received shirts printed by a parent of one of the students involved and held student-created posters.

Redlands East Valley High School junior Nathan Derry holds a “Save Fash” poster along the sideline of Colton Avenue before school on March 17. (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Redlands East Valley High School sophomores Lily Shaw and Amanda Morrison carry posters for passing cars to “honk for Fash” along the sideline of Colton Avenue before school on March 17. (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Orangewood to implement new cell phone policy after Spring Break

By ANGELINE ASATOURIAN

At Orangewood High School, a new cell phone policy is starting on April 4. This policy was created due to cell phone abuse taking up class time. There will also be new consequences to go with it. 

The new policy states that starting on April 4, teachers may allow the use of cell phones or any electronic devices for a designated time “for a specific educational opportunity” or if there is an emergency, but there must be a verbal “explicit permission” before the electronic device is pulled out to be used. 

As with any rules, there are consequences for using these devices without the permission of school personnel. 

According to the policy, the first offense will result in the teacher issuing a verbal warning, with the parents or guardians being notified. 

The second offense will have the device confiscated for the rest of the school day, but will be “released to the student.” 

The third  offense will be having the device once again confiscated “for the remainder of the school day,” and parents or guardians will have to come to the Orangewood High School administration office and pick up the device. 

The policy states, “Orangewood High school is not responsible for stolen, lost, or damaged electronic devices.” 

Some students at Orangewood are not too pleased to be having this new policy and others say they understand the reason for it. 

Johnathan McGuire, a junior at Orangewood said, “I think they should change it, not like get rid of it, but revise it.” 

Monica Penunuri, a sophomore at Orangewood, states “I don’t like it, but I get it.” 

Students can attend School Site Council meetings and discuss their concerns with the staff. 

President Biden addresses the nation with the State of the Union

By CRAIG MORRISON

The State of the Union address is given annually by the President of the United States to Congress to give information on the state of the union. At this address, the President usually proposes measures to Congress that he feels necessary. 

This year’s State of the Union Address was given on March 1 by President Joseph Biden.

This address covered topics such as of Eastern Europe conflicts, economy, child care, health care, immigration and Coronavirus.

Image of President Biden who gave the State of the Union Address before Congress on March 1, 2022. Here, he tackled issues affecting Americans both internationally and domestically. “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.

With the invasion of Ukraine at hand during the time of the speech, President Biden felt the need to address the battle between democracy and autocracy. 

During his speech, Biden said, “In the battle between democracy and autocracy, democracies are rising to the moment, and the world is clearly choosing the side of peace and security.”

This sentence is referring to the many countries around the world supporting Ukraine during this crisis.  Countries are sending aid in various ways to Ukraine such as supplying economic help, military equipment and medical supplies. President Biden feels that Russia is even more isolated from the world now with the help of these nations.

Biden said that Putin “badly miscalculated” when invading Ukraine. 

With the U.S. cutting off Russia’s banks from the international financial system, President Biden states the U.S. is “preventing Russia’s central bank from defending the Russian ruble, making Putin’s $630 billion ‘war fund’ worthless.”

President Biden also discussed the topic of funding the police. Biden made it clear that he proposes funding the police.

Biden said, “We should all agree: The answer is not to defund the police. The answer is to fund the police with the resources and training they need to protect our communities.”

Additionally, President Biden discussed the current state of masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden spoke about how a majority of the country is now mask-free and most Americans are vaccinated. 

Biden said, “COVID-19 need no longer controls our lives”. 

The topic of inflation was also brought up during the address. 

President Biden stated that his “top priority is getting prices under control.”

He suggested that we achieve this goal with a few strategies. Firstly, he authorized releasing Strategic Petroleum Reserve oil. Biden also shunned price gouging and promoted America making its own products.

 Biden said, “Instead of relying on foreign supply chains, let’s make it in America.”

He called for companies to lower the costs of goods, not the wages of employees. He wants America to start creating more cars, semiconductors, infrastructure and innovation. 

Towards the end of the speech, President Biden brought up his thoughts on cancer research. His plan is to end cancer as we know it.” 

Biden aims to achieve this goal by increasing government funding to cancer research. He wants over the next 25 years for cancer death rates to decrease by 50%.

Wildcats bring awareness with mental health fair

By ELLA FITZPATRICK, CYRUS ENGELSMAN, DANIELA MORA, MIA ARANDA, MIRIAM YORDANOS, AILEEN JANEE CORPUS and KENDRA BURDICK

To raise more awareness and combat the mental health stigma at Redlands East Valley High School, the Mental Health Awareness club hosted a mental health fair from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on March 8 in the main quad.

Wildcat students explore the Mental Health Fair during third period in the main quad on the East Valley campus to participate in the Mental Health Fair on Tuesday, March 8. (ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic News photo)

Julie Castillo, teacher of the Mental Health Career Pathway classes at REV who advises the Mental Health Awareness club at REV, says, “People know what they hear in the media. People know what they hear from friends. People know what they hear from family. But people don’t always know what people who work in the field of mental health want them to know.”

“Many people with serious mental illness are challenged doubly. On one hand, they struggle with the symptoms and disabilities that result from the disease,” according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.  “On the other, they are challenged by the stereotypes and prejudice that result from misconceptions about mental illness.” 

Booths led by students from the mental health pathway classes, clubs on campus and organizations partnered with the Mental Health Awareness Club and offered a variety of different resources, education, and activities. 

 “The mental health fair is here to educate people who know nothing about mental health,” says Castillo.

 “We always need to bring this education and awareness to the public. And that has always been our main goal: to eradicate the stigma through the education of mental health, wellness, and illness,” says Castillo.

Mental health resource and education booths

Through Castillo’s efforts, the Mental Health Awareness club and the mental health career pathway classes were able to team up with multiple mental health organizations based outside of REV. 

These outside organizations that made an appearance, and also made up half of the 20 booths at the fair, included The Spring to Autumn Counseling Services, the Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupational Program, the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health, the Behavioral Medical Center of Loma Linda Hospital, Redlands Unified School District employees, the University of Redlands Alliance for Community Transformation and Wellness members, the Inland Empire Therapy Dogs, the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and Generation Rise. 

Ranger, a dog who works with the Inland Empire Therapy Dogs, poses for a picture looking into the sun. He joined other dogs from the program at the Mental Health Fair at REV to receive pets and belly rubs from the students visiting the fair. (ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic News photo)

Wildcats students eagerly wait for their turn using the virtual reality headset offered by the Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupational Program on Tuesday, March 8. (ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic News photo)

The other ten booths were run by students from the Mental Health Awareness Club and the mental health career pathway classes. The students put together educational booths on various mental health topics and coping skills. 

Above: Joshua Zatarain, a junior at Redlands East Valley High School, plays a game at the Mental Health Awareness Club booth at the Mental Health Fair on March 8. Joshua Masangcay, a senior and the president of the Mental Health Awareness club, shows Zatarain how to play the game. The game involves throwing a ball towards a pyramid of collapsable cans; if the player successfully knocks down a can, they win the game. (ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic News photo)

Redlands East Valley High School seniors Avery Zercher and Grace Mcastell, students in the mental health careers pathway classes, give a presentation on the realities of substance abuse at a booth for the Mental Health Fair on Tuesday, March 8. (ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic News photo)

Redlands East Valley High School junior Breanna Routhieux and senior Alison Bradshaw provide information about different types of foods that improve brain health at their nutrition booth at the Mental Health Fair on Tuesday, March 8. (ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic News photo)

REV’s clubs, including Rock Painting Club, the Wildcat Pride Association and Art Club, were also encouraged to participate in the fair with their own educational booths about stigmas and how to practice healthy mental wellness.

Rock Painting Club

The Rock Painting Club’s booth provided students with supplies to paint their own rocks that they could keep. 

Redlands East Valley High School freshmen Vibha Athreya (left) and Eliana Campa (right) use the booth’s supplies to paint rocks on Tuesday, March 8 in the Wildcat quad. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

“Rock painting is a way to prevent stress and find a healthy coping mechanism,” said Rock Painting Club President and senior Tejazvi Gopalan. 

Rock Painting Club President and senior Tejazvi Gopalan helps oversee the booth where students had the opportunity to paint their own rocks on Tuesday, March 8 in the Wildcat quad. (ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic News photo)

Rock Painting Club welcomes any new members every Thursday at lunch in room K110 to paint rocks that can either be kept for personal use or be used to help decorate the campus. 

Art Club

Art Club’s booth allowed students to display their emotions on paper by scribbling on paper then using colors to express the emotions they feel daily.  

Art Club encourages different interpretations of art, therefore they reinforced the idea that not everyone’s color interpretations will not be the same. 

“Most of us, whether we know it or not, have a mental illness of some sort. Eliminating the stigma is really going to be beneficial for the future,” said Art Club Vice President junior Lana Nutter. 

Wildcat Pride Association 

The Wildcat Pride Association had a booth with a game of Myth or Fact where WPA Vice President Finn Stewart would make a statement and it would be up to the player to decide if the statement was a myth or a fact. If the participant got the statement correct, then they would be able to get a raffle ticket and a candy or prize. 

“Our station is about mental health in the LGBTQ+ community and how it’s stigmatized, and we have written down myths and facts about certain parts of it,” said junior and WPA Vice President Finn Stewart. 

Wildcat seniors Rishi Patel, Neo Morrison and Corey Ford talk to Finn Stewart, the vice president of The Wildcat Pride Association, as they fill out an interactive worksheet for their class. The worksheet was provided by Julia Castillo to encourage students to interact with the booths at the fair by answering the questions as they went around visiting booths. (ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic News photo)

The WPA had a poster presenting facts about LGBTQIA+ mental health.

Stewart said, “We have a lot of help lines. The fair will be more awareness for students to understand more about people with mental illness and understand that they shouldn’t be hidden away from society and they should be considered people too even though they are struggling with something.” 

Student table on schizophrenia 

The student-run schizophrenia booth offered educational information about what it’s like to have the mental illness. The booth also provided knowledge on the experiences people have when living with it. 

Alicia Gullon and Shannon Cockerill, Wildcat seniors and members of the Mental Health Awareness Club, educate students on the realities of schizophrenia on Tuesday, March 8. Seniors Shireen Takkouch, Luck Mathis and Gavin Oliver watch as senior Isabella-Martinez Spencer plays an interactive game of “this or that” on the computer. (ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic News photo)

REV junior Jaylene Lopez said that the booth not only had information to learn about schizophrenia but it also had an interactive game you can play. The game provided a little insight as to how it feels to have schizophrenia and if the player can handle living with it.

Lopez says, “if you really wanna learn, you’re gonna learn more about different types of mental illnesses and different ways to help cope with other mental illnesses.”

The San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health

At the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health booth, they offered pamphlets and flyers  about urgent mental health care, teenage depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, adverse childhood experiences and more.

The pamphlets offered resources and included symptoms of mental health illness that are common within teens.

Volunteer Services Coordinator Susan Abito said, “This event is going to open up a dialogue between the students, where maybe they might not feel comfortable talking. But, now that everyone here and there is a lot of support, they will be more open to discuss mental health.”

Charlotte Baldes, a Wildcat senior, talks with Lana Frausto who works with the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health. Baldes and Frausto discuss mental health resources and potential volunteer program information provided at their booth at the Mental Health Fair at in the Wildcat quad on Tuesday, March 8. (ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic News photo)

California lifts indoor school mask mandate

By CITRUS VALLEY ETHIC STAFF

After two years of the pandemic, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the removal of the indoor school mask mandate to be effective on March 12. This shift in mask policy corresponds with Newsom’s Feb. 18 announcement that California had shifted into the phase of treating coronavirus as an endemic. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “We’re moving toward a time when COVID isn’t a crisis, but it’s something we can protect against and treat.”

Armani Silberzahn a sophomore states “I’m honestly really happy about it, masks were never really an issue for me to wear but if I had a choice I wouldn’t wear them. I literally just wore them for whatever safety they provided and others comfortability.”

“Several states are moving to eliminate mask mandates as the number of reported coronavirus cases dips to its lowest level since December, when the highly contagious Omicron variant touched off a wave of cases,” according to the New York Times. 

Sophia Piper, a junior at Citrus Valley said, “I think it will make a divide between people with a mask and people without one. Some people won’t care. But it will definitely make a divide in the classroom.”

Posted signs around Citrus Valley High School remind staff and students to wear a mask. The school indoor mask mandate ends in California, effective after March 11. (BELLA ESPINOZA/ Ethic News photo)

A study researching COVID’s secondary attack rates focused on eight public school districts in Massachusetts, with around 70 schools and a little over 33,000 enrolled students, during the 2020–21 school year. The study found a secondary attack rate of 11.7% for the unmasked students versus the 1.7% for masked students.

Rebecca Garcia, Citrus Valley freshman, said, ”I believe the mask mandate should still be in effect. We can’t always rely on what the government says because sometimes we know our own communities better.”

With the mask mandate now taking its leave, many Americans have been urged to receive the COVID vaccine. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccine received full FDA approval after tens of thousands of clinical trials spanning up to twelve months, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

“I believe the mandate was good the way it was already,” said Christopher Kuzdal, a senior at Citrus Valley.  “Since the mandate was organized so that masks were only required indoors, I think that created a good combination of masks on and off. I think at the very least, masks should be required indoors to help stop the spread.”

Up to 70% of Californians have taken the vaccine with 72M doses administered as of Mar. 9, according to Our World in Data.

In regards to mask-wearing once the mandate is lifted, Citrus Valley English teacher Stephen Howard said, “I will probably keep it on for a while depending on how the kids are doing with it. If kids are still wearing the mask I want to do what they are doing. Supporting them and what and what their choices are.”

According to the CDC, “A study of an outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an environment notable for congregate living quarters and close working environments, found that use of face coverings on-board was associated with a 70% reduced risk of infection.”

Fernando Ramirez, Citrus Valley physical education teacher, said that he respects “people that might have compromised immune system or family members or close friends that have those issues so if they prefer me to have a mask on, I will put it on in respect to them, but if it is okay not to have it, I’ll have it off.”

A re-enactment of a student tossing a face mask into the trash can near the Citrus Valley High School outdoor quad area. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the school mask mandate will be effective after March 11. (BELLA ESPINOZA/ Ethic News photo)

K-12 schools in California will mandate the vaccine starting Jan. 1 2023 as announced by Governor Gavin Newsom.

Ramirez’s said that people “should be able to make their own choice for their own health while also exhibiting a consensus for their community. So as long as they are considerate of other people they can make good decisions.”

“I would love it if we would be more responsible when we don’t feel well and wear a mask. Hopefully we will be moving out of this,” said Howard.

Wildcats visit elementary schools for National Read Across America Day

By ELLA FITZPATRCK and CYRUS ENGELSMAN 

National Read Across America was established in 1998 to encourage children and adults to find enjoyment in reading. March 2 has continued to be National Read Across America day, where groups such as local police, city council officials and high school students go to elementary schools to read to children.

Celebrated on the birthday of Theodore Seuss Geisel, American author of children’s books under the pen name Dr. Seuss, National Read Across America day is distinguished by the tradition of reading his stories such as “Green Eggs and Ham,” “Horton Hears a Who,” and “The Lorax.” 

This year, Redlands East Valley High School students went to Crafton Elementary, Judson and Brown Elementary, Mariposa Elementary and Mentone Elementary.  Each school gave the high school students two hours to read to as many classes as possible.  

Shannon Cockerill, Alicia Gullon, Ella Fitzpatrick and Katelyn Kennedy read the children’s book “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt to a group of second-grade students on Wednesday, March 2 at Mariposa Elementary School in Redlands, CA for Read Across America. (Credit to Anthony Gomez)

“Interacting with kids brings a whole new wonder of joy,” says Shannon Cockerill, a senior at REV. “When working with them, they have so much energy and joy.”

At Mariposa Elementary School, the 22 participants from REV were given booths–which were set up on the field–to coordinate. At the five booths, classes of about 20 elementary school students would rotate to as many booths as they wanted and each booth offered a different reading and activity. 

Gavin Oliver, Shireen Takkouch, Carston Marich, Isabella Martinez-Spencer and Soraya Gisele Sefiane Coady read a book by Dr. Seuss to a class of elementary school students at Mariposa Elementary School on Wednesday, March 2 in Redlands, CA for Read Across America. (ELLA FITZPATRICK / Ethic News photo)

“It was a lot of fun! I helped read ‘The Day The Crayons Quit’ and helped set up relay activities for the kids,” said Alicia Gullon, a senior at REV.

Seniors Piper Hanson, Ella Fitzpatrick, Lily Cooper, Alicia Gullon, Shannon Cockerill, Emiline Morrison, Tejazvi Gopalan, Katelyn Kennedy, Denver Neff, Isha Saife, Shireen Takkouch, Riley Bouer, Nicholas Sadowski, Gavin Oliver, Carston Marich, Isabella Martinez-Spencer, Soraya Gisele Sefiane Coady, Rishi Patel, Nicholas Perna, Corey Ford, Patrick McIntyre and Sammy Zackowski pose for a photo in front of a mural on Wednesday, March 2 at Mariposa Elementary School located in Redlands, CA. They participate in Read Across America which involves reading books and playing games with the elementary students. (Courtesy of Juliann Ford)

At Judson and Brown Elementary, 13 students were given books to read to children, and hats to wear. Students were told to read their books from one class to another, rotating between classrooms and reading to all grade levels.  

Similar to the group who visited Judson and Brown Elementary, the group of REV students who went to Mentone Elementary school were also instructed to go to every classroom and read a book or two to the students. 

“It was really cool,” says Arnie James Corpus, a senior at REV who visited Mentone Elementary School. “All of the kids wanted to hear the stories and were full of questions. It was very heartwarming to have been able to read to them.”

Editor’s note: The Mariposa Elementary School group photo credit was mistakenly given to Ella Fitzpatrick in the original post. It has since been corrected to Juliann Ford on March 8 at 2:57 p.m.

East Valley students shocked cold by snowfall

By ELLA FITZPATRICK and SPENCER MOORE

Redlands and other cities were greeted with unexpected snowfall across the Inland Empire on Feb. 23, 2022.

According to the Washington Post, a severe drop in temperature was reported to be expected in the Central United States starting the week of Feb. 21, 2022. Cold winds of 20 to 40 degrees were set to blow into the Northern and Midwest areas of the country.

Picture taken at the end of third period at 10:36 a.m. on the top of the stairs connected to the K-wing (ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic News Photo)

The sudden blast of cold weather was initially thought to only make an appearance in the early hours of the morning, being a time of colder temperature. However, near the end of third period at 10:20 a.m., students and staff at Redlands East Valley High School were surprised by a light snowfall. 

During fourth period, snow began to fall in the quad area of Redlands East Valley High School (SPENCER MOORE/ Ethic News photo)

The dramatic change of weather from cloudy and partly sunny to snowing roused excitement among students and staff at REV. Some students were even let out of their classrooms to enjoy the snow, which is a rare occurrence in Redlands.

“It was super unexpected, and I like that my teacher let us all out of class to go look at it,” says Rose Blatchley, a sophomore at REV. 

The snowfall lasted for almost an hour, continuing until the middle of REV’s lunchtime which starts at 12:39 p.m. and ends at 1:09 p.m..

Sophomore Jolene Kilday explains her joy in seeing the snow this time of year. (SPENCER MOORE/ Ethic News photo)

Redlands East Valley High School’s Executive Cabinet election begins

By MAURICIO PLIEGO

The Associated Student Body at Redlands East Valley High School is organizing its annual Executive Cabinet election for the incoming class of 2023 Seniors. The election ballot will become open on a Google Form on Feb. 9, with two candidates for three positions such as president, vice-president, and secretary with treasurer having no challenger for the position. Voting ends on Feb. 11.

An image depicting a person casting a vote in an election. (MAURICIO PLIEGO/Ethic News image)

Candidates for President

Marin Mohr

Marin Mohr is a current junior and candidate for the Executive President position. She has worked the last three years as class president and is saddened that this will be her last year campaigning but is hopeful for what the future may hold.

Marin Mohr, a junior, works in hopes to maintain her place as class president of the Class of 2023. (MAURICIO PLIEGO/Ethic News photo)

Marin Mohr is a current junior and candidate for the Executive President position. She has worked the last three years as class president and is saddened that this will be her last year campaigning but is hopeful for what the future may hold.

She has been involved in Cheer for three years and is an honors student. Mohr plans to attend a four-year college.

Mohr describes herself as a dedicated, compassionate and ambitious person. She loves being with friends, going to the beach and listening to music. She prefers to spend her free time with loved ones and traveling. 

Mohr says, “I love REV’s inclusivity, school spirit, teachers, staff and all the positivity.”

If she is elected, she plans to continue her goals for the Class of 2023 as well as setting an example for the classes to follow.

Mohr says, “I have many fun ideas for school activities coming up and want to create the best possible senior year.”

Brooklynn Rios

Currently, junior Brooklynn Rios is a candidate for the Executive President position for the incoming school year. She is an involved student on campus as she is currently the Vice-president for Compact Club and Helping Hands, a member of the varsity Song Cheer, Track and Field, National Honors Society and the California Scholarship Federation.

Brooklynn Rios, a junior, hopes to become each “student’s biggest advocate” when she becomes Executive President.(MAURICIO PLIEGO/Ethic News photo)

Rios describes herself as self-motivated, creative and organized. She loves Italian food, the color pink and blasting music in the car. She prefers to use her free time with friends, go to the gym, play games with her family and watch Netflix. 

She plans to attend Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and study business marketing. 

Rios loves the atmosphere at REV and the dedication of the students.  

She says, “Students work their absolute hardest to achieve their goals and they are always striving for the next best thing.”

If she is elected, she plans to bring Summer Fest back because she believes that it is important to continue making memories in high school. Rios would like to bring more recognition to students in performing arts, band, sports and choir. 

Rios says, “I feel our students do such amazing work, and all groups on campus deserve equal recognition.”

Candidates for Vice-President

Max Cannon

Max Cannon is a junior at REV who would consider himself observant, ambitious and driven. He loves country music, shoes, sushi and prefers using his free time with friends and playing video games. 

Max Cannon, a junior, hopes to maintain his position as Vice-president as he is being challenged for the spot by Ryder Freeman.(MAURICIO PLIEGO/Ethic News photo)

Cannon is involved in varsity swimming, NHS, CSF, and Key Club and has been Vice-President for three consecutive years and hopes to gain a fourth.

He hopes to attend Brigham Young University and gain a Ph.D. in American History.

He says, “I did an Eagle Scout Project here by fixing and painting the Blackstone theater.”

Cannon loves the atmosphere that REV promotes and supports and believes that many of his teachers have had a lasting impact on him. He has enjoyed the Litterbox for both basketball and football games as it truly showed how energized the student body is.

He hopes to keep doing the work he has done the last three years and to incorporate the REVWAY into the campus.

Ryder Freeman

Ryder Freeman is a current junior at REV who would describe himself as communicative, a perfectionist and open-minded. He loves animals, being helpful and doing anything related to ASB.

Ryder Freeman, a junior, challenges Max Cannon for the Vice-President position in hopes to change the ASB System. (DANIELA MORA/Ethic News photo)

He says, “I find that I’m happiest and most productive when doing stuff that doesn’t only serve myself.”

In Freeman’s free time, he prefers to play games, spend time with his pets and be on his phone. Besides ASB, he has small involvement in Wildcats For Change.

After he graduates, he plans to spend a year helping and working for some of the teachers at REV and continue ASB, and hopefully attend college afterward. 

If he is elected Executive Vice-President, he would like to address them and hopefully amend the toxicity in the class.

Freeman says, “I feel that a lot of opinions and different backgrounds are invalidated in it and I want to try and make it a class that is as welcoming as it can be.”

He hopes to become a mentor for any incoming new members of the class.

Candidates for Secretary

Morgan Dawson

As part of the graduating Class of 2023, Morgan Dawson has been secretary for two years and part of ASB for four years by the end of her senior year.

Morgan Dawson, a junior, is the current Secretary for the class of 2023 and has maintained that position for two consecutive years and hopes to finish high school with a third.(MAURICIO PLIEGO/Ethic News photo)

Dawson describes herself as positive, loving and meticulous. She feels that these are the qualities that leaders at REV should have. She loves soccer, the color pink and Açai Bowls. She spends her free time playing soccer, going to the beach with friends and driving around listening to music. 

She is currently part of the varsity soccer team and she hopes to attend a four-year college and live somewhere on the coast. 

Dawson says, “I love the environment of being at the beach and hope to someday live there and continue to grow as a person by getting to experience the joys of college.”

She loves the environment at REV as she feels loved and welcomed by everyone and feels that the school has given her a good foundation to enjoy her years in high school

If Dawson wins, she hopes she will be able to help lead the school in a very loving and uplifting way. She loves helping others and showing them what ASB truly stands for. 

She says, “I have enjoyed the things I have done to prepare for the position of Executive Secretary over the years and hope to lead the school in a positive way.”

Faith Morales

Faith Morales, a junior at REV, describes herself as outgoing, compassionate, and creative and loves Italian food, comedy movies and her family and friends.

Faith Morales hopes to contribute to the Class of 2023 through the Secretary Position.(MAURICIO PLIEGO/Ethic News photo)

She is an involved student by being involved in Link Crew, Founder and President of Investment Club, cross country and basketball. Morales is a member of Key Club, Compact Club and Christian Club.

In her free time, she loves playing the guitar, listening to chill R&B music, spending time with friends, and being outdoors such as skateboarding, hiking, and running. 

Morales says, “I hope to go to a four-year university, get a bachelor’s in kinesiology and travel across the globe helping third-world countries by being a teacher and occupational therapist.”

She has plenty of leadership experience as she has helped manage family business accounts on both Facebook and Instagram. Morales has created various websites and social platforms to market businesses and has interned in Marketing Communications with her father for three years. 

Morales says, “I also have great time management skills from doing ASB, taking all AP classes, working part-time and volunteering at church 1-2 times a week.”

She hopes to be elected as Executive Secretary to be able to work cooperatively with other executive members to create a safer and more inclusive student body. Morales hopes to incorporate more inclusive events and be open to trying new things.

She says, “I speak for you, so any suggestions you have for next year, I will be sure to bring them up in our meetings.”

Treasurer

Nathan Derry

Nathan Derry is a current junior who was not challenged for his position as Executive Treasurer for the incoming school year. He considers himself to be outgoing, fun and thoughtful. Derry loves sushi, video games and the color blue.

Nathan Derry is a current junior who is excited to be Executive Treasurer for the Class of 2023 for the incoming school year. (MAURICIO PLIEGO/Ethic News photo)

He spends his free time riding dirt bikes and cliff jumping. Derry hopes to go to a decent college and start a career in computer science. 

Derry says, “I think REV has a great environment and even though not all our sports are great, our student section is.”

Clement Middle School teacher arrested

By NADIA CENICEROS

Joseph Nardella, a 52-year-old teacher, was been taken into custody for alleged sexual assault on Jan. 14. Nardella is a seventh-grade world history and an eighth-grade US history teacher who has been teaching at Clement Middle School since 1997. He has been the Social Studies Department Chair for the past 15 years and the leader of the schools’ intramural sports program.

An 18-year-old confidential male disclosed that he was sexually assaulted by Nardella from the age of 12 to 17 years. The assault started 5 years ago, when the male was 12 years old. According to the victim, the assaults mostly happen at Nardella’s home and even sometimes at Clement.

Nardella is now being held at Central Detention Center in San Bernardino. He is being held for continuous sexual abuse of a minor under the age of 14. He is being held for a $350,000 bail. Nardella has been placed on administrative leave by the Redlands Unified School District, according to the sheriff’s office.

The booking photo of Joseph Nardella. The booking photo of Nardella had been released because the Sheriff’s department believes that there are more victims. (Courtesy to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department)

Attorney Morgan Stewart will be representing the victim. 

“We are proud of this young man coming forward and reporting this abuse,” Stewart said in an email sent on Jan. 14. “The arrest is unsurprising given the climate of the cover-up that existed at Clement Middle School.”

This could possibly be related to the other former Clement English teacher Sean Lopez situation. Lopez was accused of assaulting three underage teenage boys from 1999 to 2001. Lopez was found guilty and was sentenced to 74 years in prison.

Other allegations have been made in the past, such as former Citrus Valley High School soccer coach and English teacher Laura Whitehust. It was said that Whitehust would invite male students to her classroom, and would try to do inappropriate activities since 2007. Whitehust was arrested in 2013 and found guilty.

The Redlands Unified School and Clement Middle School homepage website has removed all information about Nardella. If his name is searched up, the page will let you click on a link about Nardella. But, the link says, “This page has moved.” The page turns into error 404. 

Deputy Vanayes Quezada of the Specialized Investigations Division Crimes Against Children will be taking any important information about Nardella or any information about the case.

News brief: Citrus Valley organizations sell grams the week before Valentine’s Day

By DESTINY RAMOS

It’s that time of year for roses, chocolates, and teddy bears and for Citrus Valley High School multiple organizations are having fundraisers for Valentines day. 

There are currently three fundraisers on campus. ASB is selling cakes for $2, Citrus Vallry’s Choir class is doing serenades for $5 which includes a stuffed animal and card as well. Ethic News is selling wooden roses and cards for $1 each. Sales began Feb. 7 until Feb. 11 and will be delivered on Valentines Day on Feb. 14. Grams will be delivered during second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth period.

The class of 2025 is selling little heart shaped cakes as a fundraiser. Each cake is two dollars, sold during lunch by the G-building. A valentines card will also be given with the cake and a message of choice. (Jasmine Rosales/ Ethic Photo)

The choir’s fundraiser will be selling teddy bears and the singing of a song during class. The buyer will choose from the songs “I’m Yours,” “Best Part,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “I’ll Be There For You,” and “My Girl.” Each valentine gram will be five dollars and will be sold during lunch in front of the F-building. (Jasmine Rosales/ Ethic Photo)

Ethic News will be selling wooden roses and heart cards for one dollar a rose and one dollar a card. Wooden roses come in a variety of colors, such as red, pink, purple, blue, and lavender. The buyer will choose from the two messages of “Happy Valentines Day” and “<3 forever” for the heart shaped wooden cards. Roses will be sold during lunch in front of the E-building. (Jasmine Rosales/ Ethic Photo)

All sales will end by lunch on Feb. 11.  

Citrus Valley spirit week leads up to Winter Rally

By NADIA CENICEROS and ELIZABETH MOLLOY 

Citrus Valley High School had a ‘CV Gets Trendy’ Spirit Week leading up to the winter rally. Citrus Valley students were encouraged to participate in this Spirit Week as a way to get excited for the upcoming Winter Rally.

Monday Jan. 24: Material Girl Monday (Dress in your best attire)

Jasmine Gurrola, Amaya Pantaleon, Lailyenna Ngo, Soriah Brunson, Natlie Velasquez, Emma Irene, Annabell Crummey and Nickolas Ramirez showed off their best attire. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Tuesday Jan. 25: I Wanna be a Cowboy Baby

Michael Okere and Amber Sibbett give a thumbs up for Cowboy Day. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Edith Gomez, Alexa Cano and Brooke Mendez smile for a picture dressed as cowgirls. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Angela Dov and Alexa Gonzales pose as cowgirls. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Wednesday Jan. 26: Anything but a backpack day

Alexa Gonzales poses with her toy shopping cart. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Erik Serenson holds a canvas bag for Anything But A Backpack Day. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Bailey Sacco decided to utilize a Home Depot bucket while Brooke Mendez used a PlayMate cooler instead of their backpack. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Angel Leon uses a cardboard box for her take on Anything But A Backpack Day. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Natalia Contreras shows off with a Lightning McQueen buggy on Jan. 26. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Thursday, Jan. 27: The Man, The Myth, The Legend (Dress like Adam Sandlar)

Natalia Contreras and Emma Vara showing off their best ‘Adam Sandler’ attire on Jan. 27. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Arianna Rodriguez poses for Adam Sandler Day on Jan. 27. (ELIZABETH MOLLOY/Ethic News photo)

Redlands East Valley’s Black Student Union promotes community book drive

By MIA ARANDA

Redlands High School and Redlands East Valley High School’s Black Student Unions as well as community non-profit organization Stronger Together Now have collaborated to host a book drive. 

All books will be donated to Superabilitee, a tutoring service in San Bernardino. Superabilitee’s staff works with students one-on-one to help improve their literacy. 

The book drive started on Jan. 17 and will last until Jan. 28. Lightly used or new book donations are requested ranging from a kindergarten to a fifth-grade level. 

“The book drive was initiated by the friendship between the advisor at RHS BSU and one of our advisors here at REV’s BSU. Both have worked together with Stronger Together Now,” said REV BSU co-advisor La’Rena Garcia. “All three agree on the importance of giving back and taking care of our community.” 

RHS will accept book drop-offs in classroom 450 and the office and REV in classrooms J-33, J-10, J-22 and the office. 

In addition, REV BSU is hosting a raffle with the chance to win a Foodie Gift Basket to encourage participation. Students receive one raffle ticket for each book that they donate. Raffle winners will be announced on Friday, Jan. 28, at lunch. 

Redlands East Valley High School Black Student Union co-advisor Duan Kellum, sophomore Alma Shelly King, junior Myla Gibson and senior Keyvon Rankin manage a booth at lunch on Jan. 25 to collect book donations. For every book a student donates, they will receive a raffle ticket to be entered into a raffle drawing for a Foodie Gift Basket. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

“One person brought like 45 books to the book drive,” said REV BSU member and senior Keyvon Rankin.

Fellow REV BSU member and senior Timothy Berry adds, “Some teachers have brought like over 60.”

REV BSU will be in the quad at lunch collecting book donations until the end of this week. 

As of Jan. 25, REV BSU has collected approximately 150 books from students and staff. 

On Sat., Jan. 22, the community had the opportunity to drop-off books in downtown Redlands from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., in which 100 books were collected, according to Garcia. 

The book drive ends on Friday, Jan. 28. 

Redlands School District gives students free COVID tests as cases rise

As a result of the surge of COVID-19 cases, RUSD schools distributed these rapid antigen tests to students today. (BELLA ESPINOZA/Ethic News)  

By ETHIC NEWS STAFF

The Redlands Unified School District distributed iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test at-home self-test kits for all RUSD students on Jan. 12. Each student was to receive a kit that contained two tests. 

Teachers and staff were given specific instructions as to how to distribute the tests and to give only one test kit per student. If a student was absent, teachers were to return their kit to the front office. 

Students were informed that there was only one test kit per student. Therefore if they lost or destroyed theirs, it would not be replaced. They were told to not self administer the test during school, but rather when they arrived home.  

Citrus Valley High School received their COVID test kits during second period. An announcement was made before teachers handed out one to each student.

Redlands High School students received their test kits during fourth period. 

Redlands East Valley High School students received their test during their English class. REV students got their tests during different periods.

Orangewood High School students received their COVID tests during their second period advisory class. 

On Jan. 12, an email was sent out to families of the RUSD by Redlands Schools Districts stating, “The test kits were provided for all students in the state of California by Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health.”

These tests would normally be $19.80 according to the iHealth website, but were provided for free to all RUSD students.   

Number of confirmed COVID cases in the Redlands Unified School District’s high schools in the last 14 days from Jan. 12, 2021. (Redlands Unified School District Covid Dashboard https://www.redlandsusd.net/Page/18775

Top 21 Ethic News articles of 2021

By ELLA FITZPATRICK

Over the course of 2021, Ethic published over 200 articles and multimedia pieces. These also include articles translated to Spanish. The most popular published in 2021, according to statistics of most views, are found below. 

Note that this list does not include Ethic articles published prior to 2021, that may have had more views.

Titles are listed in order from number 21 to the most viewed piece of 2021. Click each title to view the original piece. 

#21. Video: 50-Questions with Ethic–Wildcat executive president chats candidly 

Video created by Mauricio Pliego, Ella Fitzpatrick, and Issac Mejia, published Nov. 3, 2021 in Features. 

#20. Redlands Youth Council engages students in local government

Written by Mars Pliego, published Nov. 3, 2021 in News.

#19. Photos: Wildcat seniors gather for food and activities at Senior Fling

Written and photographed by Mia Aranda, published Aug. 24, 2021 in News.

#18. Winter holidays celebrated around the world

Written by Jasmine Rosales, Hannah Patrick, and Ariana Ghalambor, published Jan. 22, 2021 in Features.

#17. Teachers react to the new ‘grade freezing’

Written by Mauricio Pliego, published May, 5, 2021 in News.

#16. Opinion: Students take a stand for a change in school dress codes

Written by Jasmine Rosales, published Sept. 16, 2021 in Opinion.

#15. A mental health moment: Alan Watts’ views give a new meaning to life 

Written by Emerson Sutow, published May 28, 2021 in an editor’s column: A mental health moment. 

#14. Opinion: Toxic masculinity continues harmful and outdated stereotypes in modern society

Written by Makayla Naime and Allison Stockham, published Apr. 6, 2021 in Opinion.

#13. Shop local for Valentines Day: Gift ideas for that perfect someone from Redlands small businesses

Written by Emily Walos, published Feb. 12, 2021 in A&E.

#12. Redlands East Valley alumni offer advice they wish they had known before going into college

Written by Miriam Yordanos, published Mar. 12, 2021 in Features. 

#11. Club and high school volleyball adapt to changing COVID guidelines

Written by Makayla Naime and Allison Stockham, published Feb. 22, 2021 in Sports.

#10. Student’s grades and learning are being affected by online school

Written by Emily Prinstein, published Feb. 9, 2021 in News

#9. Video: 50-Questions with Ethic–Wildcat athlete chats candidly

Video created by Mauricio Pliego, Ella Fitzpatrick, Daniela Mora, and Issac Mejia, published Dec. 6, 2021 in Features. 

#8. Video: Citrus Valley “Enchanted” homecoming information

Video created by Emily Walos and edited by Bella Espinoza, published Sep. 14, 2021 in A&E.

#7. Citrus Valley Homecoming prompts endearing proposals

Written by Destiny Ramos and Salvador Barerra, published Sep. 23, 2021 in Features.

#6. Homecoming Court tradition remains alive at Redlands East Valley High School

Written by Mia Aranda, published Oct. 7, 2021 in Features. 

#5. Photos: Wildcat creativity on ‘Anything but a backpack’ spirit day

Written by Mia Aranda, photos taken by Ava Larson, published Nov. 3, 2021 in Features.

#4. Amazon Rainforest’s deforestation affects wildlife and the environment

Written by Miyah Sanborn, published Feb. 17, 2021 in STEM.

#3. Video: Interview with Citrus Valley’s girls swim co-captains

Video recorded and edited by Emily Walos, published May 10, 2021 in Sports.

#2. Wildcat alumni April Saibene joins Redlands East Valley High School counseling staff

Written by Mia Aranda, published Sep. 27, 2021 in Features.

#1. Racial crisis in Redlands sparks backlash against the district

Written by Mauricio Pliego, published Feb. 2, 2021 in News. 

Staples Center changes name to Crypto.com Arena

By AILEEN JANEE CORPUS and EMMITT MURPHY

The iconic Staples Center has been standing for 22 years, but on Dec. 25, 2021, it will begin to be renamed the Crypto.com Arena. 

The Staples Center sign can be seen in three different parts of the arena. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ETHIC NEWS)

The home of the Clippers and Lakers basketball teams and the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, the Staples Center was offered $700 million from Crypto.com to change their name.

This deal is one of the highest deals in sports, with other deals of this caliber being the $500 million naming deal between Intuit and the Los Angeles Clippers or the $300 million naming deal between Chase and the Golden States Warriors.

During the winter season, an ice skating rink is set up across the Staples Center and many come to skate. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ Ethic News)

According to Investopedia, Crypto.com is a Singapore located cryptocurrency exchange platform “that supports trading, investing, staking, wallets, NFTs and more.”  It was founded in 2016 and has a mission to “[a]ccelerate the world’s transition to cryptocurrency.”

 They have been diving headfirst into the world of sports, acquiring sponsorship deals with “Formula One, the UFC, Italy’s Serie A, Paris St-Germain, and the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens” according to ESPN. The naming deal will also link Crypto.com as one of the NBA’s top sponsors as well.

In front of the Staples Center on Dec. 5, 2021, many fans can be seen walking around: either enjoying the holiday decorations, lining up for an event, or visiting nearby attractions such as the Grammy Museum and Los Angeles Convention Center. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ETHIC NEWS)

The name change has garnered much attention from fans and players alike. 

Former Lakers player and hall of fame Shaquille O’Neal shared his thoughts on the name change in the Big Podcast With Shaq

“I’m glad they’re taking the name of the Staples Center down because that was our building,” he stated, “[…] Congratulations to the owners for getting a new deal. But hey, the Staples Center belongs to Shaq and Kobe, forever.”

Vannesa Bryant has also spoken out about the name change, tweeting, “[f]orever known as ‘The House That Kobe Built.’”

From a view of the Staples Center’s entrance from Figueroa Street on Dec. 5, 2021, many fans can be seen lining up to enter the arena. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ETHIC NEWS)

Fans have mostly spoken about the name change on social media sites like Twitter. Some have been mourning the loss of the iconic arena’s name like user @LakeShowYo who tweeted “Staples Center signs officially removed… The end of a historic era”.

Other fans have seized the opportunity to joke about the arena’s name, like user @hipstermermaid who tweeted “can’t believe they removed the staples center sign like that” with an image of the sign being removed with a staple remover.

A mural of Kawhi Leonard, a basketball player from Irvine who plays on the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, can be seen on Chick Hearn court and Figueroa street. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ETHIC NEWS)

With Dec. 25 soon approaching and the Staples Center sign being removed, it’s only a matter of time before the Lakers’ home turf is owned by Crypto.com. It is unsure what this could mean for the future of sport’s sponsorships other than the fact that they have changed forever.

Photos: Redlands Christmas parade returns to downtown after two years

By MIA ARANDA

Redlands’ annual Christmas parade returned to downtown Redlands on Dec. 4 after two years. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Christmas parade was restructured as a drive-thru parade, which took place in the Redlands Sports Park parking lot. In 2019, the parade was cancelled twice due to rain.

This year’s theme was “An Unforgettable Christmas.”

The parade consisted of decorated floats and vehicles, musical performances, appearances from community groups and more.

The parade is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Redlands.

A 2021 white Dodge Challenger Scat Pack with a Jack Skeleton design drives through the Redlands Christmas parade in downtown Redlands on Dec. 4. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

The Redlands East Valley High School cheer team waves to spectators during the Redlands Christmas parade in downtown Redlands on Dec. 4. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

Members of the Yucaipa Rainbow Coalition, a LGBTQ+ club based in Yucaipa, hold signs during the Redlands Christmas parade in downtown Redlands on Dec. 4. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

Citrus Valley High School sophomore Destiny Marin Ramos represents Citrus Valley Black and Gold Brigade in the Redlands Christmas parade in downtown Redlands on Dec. 4. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

A Junior Girl Scout from Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council troop 680 rides her scooter during the Redlands Christmas parade in downtown Redlands on Dec. 4. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

The Grinch makes an appearance dancing during the Redlands Christmas parade in downtown Redlands on Dec. 4. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

Beaumont (right) and Chino Valley’s (left) decorated fire trucks contribute to the Redlands Christmas parade’s conclusion in downtown Redlands on Dec. 4. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://ethic-news.org/2021/12/09/fotos-el-desfile-de-navidad-de-redlands-regresa-al-centro-despues-de-dos-anos/

News brief: Auditions for “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind”

By EMILY WALOS

“Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” is a fast-paced 60-minute show that contains 30 miniature plays that are written and performed by students. Auditions are open to any junior and senior at Citrus Valley High School. At the audition, students will be given a scene to perform as a cold read. There will be no pressure to memorize or prepare a scene in advance. Although not required, students are greatly encouraged to write a short one- to two-page scene or monologue that will be reviewed to help determine casting. 

Acting, writing and technical skills are aspects that are being looked for during the auditions for “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.” Auditions for the production are on Dec. 10, at 3:15 p.m. in the Blackhawk Theater. Students have the ability to become a writer or work backstage on tech for the show; however, they are still required to attend the audition. At the audition, they must clarify that they are interested in writing or working backstage on tech. Students can participate in multiple areas if they choose.

Information on the upcoming auditions. (Provided by Victoria Ramirez)

Head student directors Victoria Ramirez and Sophia Partain say they are looking for “storytellers, writers, creative thinkers and those interested in acting.” 

If there are any questions, please feel free to contact them through their emails victoriaram.31979@redlandsschools.net and sophiapar.31933@redlandsschools.net .

Orangewood AVID students visit Whitewater Preserve 

By MYA TRUJILLO BRAND and AYEISHA FORDHAM

The Advancement Via Individual Determination students at Orangewood High School visited Whitewater Preserve  on Nov. 18 to educate themselves on local environments that aren’t often being spoken about.

The trip consisted of hiking, observing, and talking. Out of the 26 students that attended, they were separated into groups with a naturalist that led them around the preserve while listing many facts about Whitewater. 

OHS AVID teacher Lou Ann Perry said, “Perfect day away for students, peaceful and a great way to reconnect with our environment, no cell phone distraction, great to take a break away from stress.”

The students and even the chaperones expressed that they loved being there. The rangers were always at work and kept busy maintaining the grounds for visitors. The hiking was slightly fast paced, but very informative as to what students were looking at while they were walking. 

John Aidoo, an AVID senior at OHS, says, “It was a great scenery that was surrounded by positive people and was very educational.”

The area and land at Whitewater is unique in its entirety. The landscape was dry land, but makes a home for many animals and its environment where “the animals don’t depend on the rangers for survival,” says naturalist Jennifer Lopez.

Izaiah Ramos, a junior at OHS, says,  “The hike up the mountains was nice and felt good overlooking something that isn’t busy roads.”

According to the naturalist, Jennifer Lopez, this land is now dry and used to be filled with water. It is surrounded by mountains. (Mya Trujillo/ Ethic News photo)

Orangewood senior Alexis Garcia and AVID teacher Lou Ann Perry hike with the group of students on Nov. 18. Naturalist Jennifer Lopez spoke to the group about where the water flows in from and how it helps the animals in the area. (Mya Trujillo/ Ethic News photo)

This pond is home to unique wildlife. (Mya Trujillo/ Ethic News photo)

Towards the end of the field trip, naturalists spoke to AVID students and thanked them for coming. (Photo courtesy of Lou Ann Perry)

Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://ethic-news.org/2021/11/21/noticias-breves-estudiantes-de-orangewood-visitan-whitewater-preserve/

Students cite safety and choice in response to potential vaccine mandate

By MIYAH SANBORN and AVA LARSON

On Oct. 1, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced plans to require the vaccines for the 2022-2023 school year. The upcoming school vaccine mandate is causing many controversies within school districts, parents, and students.

According to the California Office of Governor Oct. 1 press release, “After implementing first-in-the-nation school masking and staff vaccination measures, California becomes the first state to announce plans to require student vaccinations – adding the COVID-19 vaccine to list of vaccinations required for school, such as the vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella Students will be required to be vaccinated for in person learning starting the term following FDA full approval of the vaccine for their grade span (7-12 and K-6).”

Students at Redlands East Valley High School express different opinions on the issue.

“I feel like it’s definitely needed, it’s very important that all of us are safe and have the vaccine and I’m definitely for it,” says Isabella Estrada, REV sophomore.

By making the vaccine mandatory, some students believe that life on campus would become a lot safer for the students and the teachers. 

“I feel like it’s really definitely needed because a lot of people, at this school specifically, and I guess every school, really don’t follow covid guidelines, and at least if they were vaccinated it would be a little bit better.”Says Samantha Covarrubias  a sophomore at REV. 

While some expressed that the vaccine mandate is necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19, others worry about the side effects that getting the vaccine may cause.

“I think it’s stupid because of the problems it causes. Women who are in their like 70’s and 80’s who are hemorrhaging and getting their periods all over again, and then there’s infertility with younger women, and it’s causing deaths, and a bunch of other stuff that’s not good for humanity,” said REV sophomore Ashley Ranabuer.

There are also students at REV who believe that it is unnecessary and unfair to force the vaccine on those who do not want to get the vaccine. 

“Myself, next year if it becomes a mandate I’m not going to go to school. It is your own choice so if you would like to get it, you can get it, if you don’t want to get it you don’t have to get it, it shouldn’t be pressured,” said REV Junior Molly Sullivan. 

REV sophomore Anabelle Alviso, says “I’m also against it. I mean get it if you want but I don’t think it should be forced for us to go to school, because what are all the kids who can’t get the vaccine because of what their parents’ going to do? Just go straight to online, lose all their friends. I don’t think it should be forced to go to school, but I think it would be a good thing, Not to have it forced, but for it to be like you should get it but we’re not going to force it.”  

Joelene Kidlay, REV sophomore, agrees with Kidlay and says, “I’m against it. I don’t think we should have a vaccine mandate. It kind of goes against our constitutional rights because you know we have the freedom of speech and stuff like that, but that’s not really what it is. If you’re forcing your citizens to get the vaccine, that’s…, because now it’s political. Even if the vaccine is science, it’s political now so you can’t force everyone to get it.”

Redlands Superintendent Mauricio Arellano visits Orangewood High School

By DEBBIE DIAZ and JOSEPH PACHECO

Superintendent Mauricio Arellano came to Orangewood High School on Nov. 17 to speak to students and look at the new remodels in the classrooms.

“The purpose of coming was to meet the students, meet the staff, get to look at some of the instruction that’s happening,” said Arellano. “I wanted to look at some of the remodels, like the library, some of the science rooms are still kind of in process — it’s going to take a while. I hadn’t seen the new culinary kitchen, so there’s a lot of good — the PE room, so that was a big part of coming.”

Arellano was doing the visits with Susan Abt, president of the Redlands Teacher Association. This was their second visit after their visit to Redlands High School earlier in the week. 

Arellano said, “It’s not just me coming today, this is actually a collaborative schedule…so that people see us as a united force, that we’re here for kids and the staff and the principals.”

From left: Superintendent Mauricio Arellano, Orangewood High School seniors Debbie Diaz, Linayah Timmons and Joseph Pacheco and Redlands Teachers Association President Susan Abt. (Ethic News photo)

“I think it’s been very beneficial for everyone to see us together, working together as a team, instead of two different groups,” Arellano said.

Students in Kimberly Lott and Louise Gonzales’ classes made posters to make the superintendent feel welcome. 

Senior Victor Encarnacion Ruiz said of Arellano visiting his first period class, “He felt like a future self of us, looking down on us, and it felt like someone was saying, ‘Don’t worry’.”

When Arellano and Abt visited Gonzales’ Integrated I math class, Gonzalez said Arellano would ask students what they were doing. In Lou Ann Perry’s English 11 class, he asked students about their upcoming AVID field trip to Whitewater.

“I enjoyed asking a lot of the students as I walked through, you know, do they like the school, do they feel supported,” said Arellano, “and everyone — at least that I talked to — said they really enjoy the school and appreciate and feel like they’re getting support.”

“One kid told me that he was tired and yawned,” said Arellano. 

Arellano laughed and said, “That’s okay. I’ve had those days.”

Orangewood High School students in a Mathematics II class take notes on Nov. 17, 2021, while instructor Louise Gonzales explains out the new lesson they’re starting. (JOSEPH PACHECO/ Ethic News photo)

Orangewood High School teacher Matt Stewart works with a small group of students on Nov. 17, 2021. Stewart says, “We were discussing the Rube Goldberg contest — the upcoming rube Goldberg contest — where the final step is to open a book and so we were talking in class about how many different ways we can open a book with the machine.” (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic News photo)

A new Culinary Arts kitchen, recently integrated into the Orangewood High School campus, is one of the new remodels of the school. (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic News photo)

3-D printers are some of the new equipment upgrades in Matt Stewart’s Career and Technical Education classroom at Orangewood High School. (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic News photo)

A remodeled Career Center was recently finished at Orangewood High School. (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic News photo)

Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://ethic-news.org/2021/11/20/el-superintendente-de-redlands-mauricio-arellano-visita-la-escuela-secundaria-orangewood/

Community fundraises for Wildcat hero

By MIA ARANDA

After a Redlands East Valley High School student, Ayden Lagrand, sustained injuries following a car crash on Oct. 22, the community has been supportive by raising money for his recovery.

According to GoFundMe fundraiser organizer REV senior Ralph Veach, two students were caught in a car accident, in which the REV senior Lagrand, who had flown out of the crashed truck, rescued his friend from the flaming truck. As a result, he suffered substantial second and third-degree burns.

As of Nov. 17, the GoFundMe page has raised $18,148.

The car accident took place in the parking lot of Hops and Spokes Brewing Company, a family-owned brewery in Yucaipa.

On Oct. 27, Hops and Spokes Brewing Company hosted a fundraiser from 4 to 9 p.m. in which $1 from each pint of beer and root beer would be donated to the Lagrand family.

As a result, $6,458.68 was raised, according to Hops and Spokes Brewing Company.

At school, the REV Associated Student Body students brainstormed ideas of how they could get the school involved to support Lagrand, and ultimately, they decided on hosting a food day.

Photo 1: Redlands East Valley High School junior Carson Bascom serves hot dogs as a part of Link Crew during Food Day on Nov. 5. (CYRUS ENGELSMAN/ Ethic News photo)

Photo 2: Redlands East Valley High School senior Leilani Baldwin sells peppermint bark to senior Melody Kamgar Haghighi as a part of Thespians during Food Day on Nov. 5. (CYRUS ENGELSMAN/ Ethic News photo)

Photo 3: A poster for Redlands East Valley High School senior Ayden Lagrand features “get well soon” messages from fellow students during Food Day on Nov. 5. (CYRUS ENGELSMAN/ Ethic News photo)

Photo 4: A sign from the Redlands East Valley High School class of 2025 encourages students to purchase donuts from them to help support REV senior Ayden Lagrand and his family during Food Day on Nov. 5. (CYRUS ENGELSMAN/ Ethic News photo)

Clubs sold food items all for the benefit of Lagrand’s recovery. In the end, around $5,000 was raised for Ayden.

“It actually blew me away as it exceeded even my expectations,” said REV ASB advisor Matt Fashempour. “This school really shined as the students literally purchased everything that was offered.  Not one item was left by the end of the event.”

Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://ethic-news.org/2021/11/18/noticias-breves-recaudacion-de-fondos-de-la-comunidad-para-el-heroe-wildcat/

Orangewood SkillsUSA chapter donates to Redlands Animal Shelter

By CELESTE LUJAN

Photos by ALEXIS GARCIA

Orangewood High School students from the local SkillsUSA chapter decided to do a toy drive for dogs and cats. They took a field trip to the animal shelter on Oct. 28 to drop off the donations and to experience visiting the animals at the shelter. 

According to the SkillsUSA California website, their goal is to ”empower people to become world class workers to become leaders and responsible American citizens to help the citizens improve the quality and life of our nation’s future skilled workforce.” 

The OHS Skills USA chapter got students to help donate items for the local Redlands Animal Shelter. Members shared their opinion on the experience at the animal shelter and what caught their eye. 

Photos above: The SkillsUSA chapter from Orangewood High School took a field trip to donate items to the Redlands Animal Shelter on Oct. 28. The students held an animal toy drive at school and walked to the shelter to donate the items. (Photos courtesy of Alexis Garcia)

“They have more pit bulls than any other animal. It sucks because pit bulls are always in the shelter,” said Isaiah Dennie, OHS SkillsUSA vice president. “A lot because people think they are ugly, but they are actually very beautiful and cool dogs.”  

Johnny Dominguez, OHS SkillsUSA treasurer, said, “I think this place needs more money to be treated a little better and wish the animals get treated a little better, but they look happy,” said Dominguez.

Lissette Atkinson, an officer at the Redlands Animal Shelter, shared about how she felt with OHS students being there and donating.

“It’s great I love having you students here and we appreciate it a lot and for you guys to come visit us means a lot,” said Atkinson.

“And we are glad to give you knowledge about what the animal control does and what the animal shelter does, because not a lot of people know and a lot of people think, ‘oh they are just dog catchers, they are just there to catch dogs and there to be mean.’ Absolutely not,” said Atkinson. “We are primarily educators and we care about the animals and we want to make sure we give you guys the proper tools to be a successful animal owner.” 

According to the Skills USA website, they are “a national non-profit organization, who is serving middle school, high school and college students. SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.” 

To learn more about California SkillsUSA visit https://www.skillsusaca.org/about

Redlands Youth Council engages students in local government

By MAURICIO PLIEGO

Empty Council Chambers as students waits for more to arrive along with the Council Member Denise Davis to begin the meeting (MAURICIO PLIEGO/Ethic News photo)

Council Member Denise Davis, who represents the first district in the city of Redlands, has started a group for the students of Redlands Unified School District, called the Redlands Youth Council.

A total of 30 students from various schools in the RUSD such as Citrus Valley High School, Redlands High School, Redlands East Valley High School, Loma Linda Academy and the Grove High School applied and were accepted into the program.

Since Davis, the director of the Women’s Resource Center at the University of California, Riverside and adjunct faculty member at the University of Redlands, has recently been interested in having more people involved in the political process, she started the Redlands Youth Council.

Davis says, “I wish that I had more education on local government and civic engagement when I was in high school, so I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to engage with high school students in Redlands.”

Zaid Hintzman, a Redlands High School senior, is a member of the council, Redlands High School president of Speech and Debate and an organizer with GenVocal.

Hintzman says, “I was interested in the council because Councilwoman Davis seemed genuinely interested in empowering students to make changes.”

The purpose of the Redlands Youth Council is to educate students about local government and civic engagement. But, it is also a place where they can share concerns and work together to solve problems within the city.

Charles M. Duggan, the Redlands City Manager, is speaking to the students and answering their questions related to climate change and homelessness. Duggan oversees the different departments and manages the everyday operations of the city. (Photo courtesy of Denise Davis)

 Miyah Lopez and Mauricio Pliego stand with Denise Davis as leaders of the recent Students For Change movements in the Redlands Unified School District. (Photo courtesy of Taryn Thomas)

The council will have an indirect role in affecting decisions made within the city. Members of the council will have a chance to interact with other council members, city staff and others who impact the decisions within the city, according to Davis. 

She says, “The youth council will advise me on policy issues that they feel need to be addressed in the city of Redlands.”

One of the many members is Miyah Lopez, a senior at Citrus Valley. She is the executive director of Blackhawks for Change, a student-led initiative meant to bring awareness to social issues within the Citrus Valley campus and the city around it.

Lopez says, “I thought that it would be an amazing opportunity to be educated on the structure of local government and I wanted to make a change in our community. In this, I hope to increase the diversity in our system, increase racial equality in our community and try to make Redlands a safe place for all.”

Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://ethic-news.org/2021/11/12/el-consejojuvenil-de-redlands-involucra-a-los-estudiantes-en-el-gobierno-local/

 AB 101 will make California first state to require Ethnic Studies as a graduation requirement

By NATHAN DENNIS

Governor Gavin Newsom of Redlands California signed legislation on Oct. 8 that will make California the first state to have Ethnic studies as a requirement to earn a high school diploma. The mandate will go into effect beginning with the graduating class of 2029-30 and will require one semester of an Ethnic Studies course for public high school students.

The introductory excerpt from Assembly Bill 101 is featured above. The full text of the bill can be found at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/ (Ethic News image)

High schools will be required to provide ethnic studies course options starting in the 2025-26 school year. Some districts have already started the process. Los Angeles and Fresno Unified school districts both voted in 2021 for ethnic studies to be a requirement for high school students.

Governor Newsom’s signing of the Assembly Bill 101, written by California Assemblyman Jose Medina, is the final step in the state-wide process for creating a curriculum that closely resembles California’s history, culture, and struggles of its diverse population.  

Medina said “The signing of AB 101 today is one step in the long struggle for equal education for all students.”

Citrus Valley High School Ethnic Studies teacher Yon Okorodudu says, “I am very happy about the bill. In my opinion Ethnic Studies is an important and informative course that all students should be exposed to.”

Both Okorodudu and Redlands East Valley High School Ethnic Studies teacher Duan Kellum believe that AB 101 will have a positive impact on the Redlands School District and increase opportunities for all students.

Okorodudu says, “I think it will have a very positive effect on the school district. More students will have an opportunity to be represented in the history curriculum. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the many contributions and struggles of different groups for American history.”  

Kellum says, “I think it is a positive step. Contrary to the thoughts of some, all students will benefit from expanding their knowledge about American history and the way we develop our identities and world views.”  

Currently, all high schools in Redlands offer an Ethnic Studies course option, according to Kellum.

“Unfortunately, I do expect pushback from some members of our community,” said Kellum, “There has been a national backlash to programs and curriculum that address equity and the voices of those that have been muted throughout history.”  

Kellum expresses some concerns students may have, as well, “Some students may not like having to take an additional class to graduate. However, since it won’t be in full effect until the 2029/2030 school year, I hope it will be normalized by then. School districts will have to be creative to provide the class without adding undue burdens on their academic schedules of students. Over the years I have received positive feedback from students, both current and former, as to how they have used knowledge they have obtained in the class in their academic and personal lives.”  

The Instructional Quality Commission, which is responsible for curriculum development, has notably revised the draft and in March the State Board of Education approved said curriculum, which is optional for district use. The legislation authorizing the design of the model has encouraged to focus attention on the four ethnic and racial groups: Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans and also incorporated lesson plans for Sikh, Jewish, and Armenian Americans. The curriculum model encourages schools to implement discussions on the ethnic heritage and legacy of students in their communities.

In Governor Newsom’s veto message a year ago, he restated his support for ethnic studies, but called the early model of the curriculum, “insufficiently balanced and inclusive.” He didn’t mention the earlier veto in his news release on Friday, but he did mention that the bill does include, “a number of safeguards to ensure that courses will be free from bias or bigotry and appropriate for all students.”  

In Newsom’s statement, he said that ethnic studies will expand the educational opportunities in schools and has credited it for increasing academic achievement. He gave recognition to recent research co-written by Thomas Dee, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, that ethnic studies has had a positive impact on attendance, graduation rates, and college enrollment for multiple classes with below average San Francisco students who have taken the course in 9th grade.

Medina has personally thanked governor Newsom for signing the bill in the news release. “The inclusion of ethnic studies in the high school curriculum is long overdue,” Medina said. “The signing of AB 101 today is one step in the long struggle for equal education for all students.”

The enactment of AB 101 releases 50 million in this year’s state budget for all country offices of education, charter and public school districts to implement ethnic studies curriculums. The money will be distributed to schools accommodating high school students according to the California Department of Education.  

Bees fly and take over Redlands East Valley

By KENDRA BURDICK and AVA LARSON

Note: NO ANIMALS WERE HURT FOR THIS ARTICLE 

The bees are more attracted to the trash cans because of the pheromones that are released by the trash. Bees are being killed because they get caught under the lids of these trash cans. Some people have even suggested that governments should be working on a solution to this problem, but it may be too late for that. Photo made with Autodesk Sketchbook, a drawing and sketching app. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ Ethic News art)

Since the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, honey bees have been very attracted to Redlands East Valley High School and are collecting in the trash cans and the trees around campus. They are hovering over students’ food and intruding on their lunch time: a time that would normally serve as a peaceful break from teacher instruction. 

The bees have become especially troublesome to people with bee allergies because they are forced to constantly pass trash cans during passing periods and lunch.

“I have to be aware of the bees because of my allergies to bees,” Emiliy Jean Scott, a freshman at REV, said. “They’re mainly in the trash cans which are gross, and they’re beginning to bug people. I believe that they smell something sweet and that’s why they are going into the trash cans.”

Fae Norris, a sophomore at REV, said, “The bees are terrible due to my allergies and I don’t carry an EpiPen. I get attacked by bees a lot, and I think that if they were to move the trash cans away from the students, just so we don’t keep getting attacked.”

Sharon Dobesh, the pesticide coordinator in the Department of Entomology, explains the main reason for bees surrounding the trash cans. 

Dobesh says, “They are just looking for new sources of nutrition since flower populations are declining.” 

The bees are attracted to anything sweet, mainly items with sugar such as candy, granola bars and sugary drinks. They will also swarm around fruits such as apples, dragon fruit and oranges, which explains the swarms near the schools near the orange groves. 

Bees form and create hives as their place of producing their honey for their spawns. The typical honey bee likes to live in rock crevices and hollow parts of trees in which they believe that it has enough space for their colony to live and survive. They construct their hives out of wax, which they chew to make it soft and bond it into honeycombs to form their hive.

In addition to bees inconveniencing students, they are also becoming a burden to teachers. Because of the autumn season, teachers are opening the doors and window seals of their classrooms to allow light and the thin breeze to brush through. However, when teachers open their windows, they are met not only by the seasonal breeze but by bees that fly into their classroom and disturb valuable instructional minutes. 

REV earth science teacher Ted Ducey said, “The bees come through the windows when I have them open and cause a small disruption to the class.”

Kalynn Greenley, an English teacher at REV, says, “It’s affecting my class because it takes ten minutes to catch a single bee.” 

In order to prevent bees from invading their classroom, many teachers on the lower level of the English building have been putting up magnetic screens on their doors. However, some teachers do not have these screens and are interrupted hourly by bees flying into their class.

The bees takeover has caused a loss of focus, learning and even disrupts students walking through the halls. With the orange groves right next to REV, there is no indication that the swarm of bees are leaving anytime soon. 

Closed restrooms open discussion about safety versus convenience

By ELLA FITZPATRICK

At Redlands East Valley High School, student access to the restrooms has been limited. Since the end of August, the upstairs bathrooms in the K-wing have been closed.

The upstairs student restrooms in the K-Wing of Redlands East Valley High School have been closed since August. After the Devious Licks trend, REV administration thought it would be best to close the restrooms for the safety of students and to limit vandalism. (Ella Fitzpatrick/ Ethic News photo)

During each passing period — an eight minute time frame — the restrooms quickly become crowded with students. This is because there are only two restrooms for males and two restrooms for females open on campus with a student count of almost 1,900. 

“Once when I really had to go to the bathroom, the line was so long that I was two minutes late to my class,” says Alicia Gullon, a senior at REV. 

With every student that waits in line, another student may be late to class or must wait until another passing period and hope the line is shorter then. This may cause a rise in tardiness among students. 

The passing period is meant to be a short time where students can quickly socialize with friends, eat a snack, and use the restroom while on the way to their next class. Some teachers do not allow students to use the restroom during class because it is what passing period is meant for. It is also to ensure that students get the most out of their instruction. However, having to wait to use the restroom can cause discomfort for students.

REV security officer Molly Gonzalez said, “From my standpoint, all of the tardy students that I deal with, they want to be tardy. They could care less. And I think that we forget that there are other students who do care.”

Some students, as well as staff,  who have been late to class or have been otherwise affected because of this issue believe the second floor bathrooms of the K-wing should be opened. 

“I don’t think it is something we need to debate. It makes sense to open it. I think it should be an easy fix,” says Gonzalez. 

According to assistant principal Ron Kroetz, restrooms are closed due to a lack of supplies provided by the Redlands Unified School District including soap dispensers and toilet seat covers. This shortage is connected to the Devious Licks trend that began on TikTok in September. The Devious Licks trend encouraged students to steal and destroy school property which put everyone on campus at risk. 

“These social media trends are tough to deal with sometimes when kids are being encouraged to vandalise the school,” says Kroetz.

As a solution, administration agreed to close the restrooms upstairs impermanently. 

The school has also been short on officers, an essential part of campus safety. By opening up the bathrooms upstairs, security would need to accommodate and split up where they patrol.

“We don’t have enough staff to keep an eye on them,” says Kroetz. 

“We can barely manage the two restrooms open now,” says Gonzalez. 

With a lack of security officers on campus, they often have to be more vigilant. 

“Recently, we have had girls go into the restrooms and start fights,” says Gonzalez, “And safety is going to overrule convenience.” 

Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://ethic-news.org/2021/11/12/banos-cerrados-discusion-abierta-sobre-seguridad-versus-conveniencia/

Redlands School District tracking confirmed COVID-19 cases

By DESTINY RAMOS

A new school year started for the Redlands Unified School District and a question arose on whether or not safety is enough for students. Since last month, the district website has become updated with confirmed cases of COVID-19 through a district dashboard on their website.

The district dashboard tracks and publishes confirmed cases within a two-week period for each school.  

The RUSD recently added a COVID-19 dashboard on the district website for the schools within the district. The dashboard includes a 14-day covid case chart and newly reported cases. (DESTINY RAMOS/ Ethic Photo)

COVID-19 was first discovered in December of 2019, and later caused the global pandemic that still remains, two years later. Exactly a year after the first case was discovered, the first Delta variant case was reported. Since then, it swept its way through Europe before reaching the United States in March of 2021, where the variant is now predominant. 

Around the same time the Delta variant made its way to the US, most, if not all, students and staff had begun to make their return to schools all over the country. In the RUSD, learning online was an option while being on-campus was the other. Depending on the state, some students might not have had the option to learn from the comfort of their own homes. Many students were forced to go on campus or stay online, and others got to choose for themselves. Whether or not students chose to attend school in person, they would all have returned to school regardless of state in August 2021. 

As students around the US began school, COVID-19 rates escalated very quickly. In the span of a month, the seven-day case rate had risen from 30,000 per week on July 20, to 145,000 cases a week by Aug. 20. More than half of these cases were reported from students and school staff around the country. 

After a year of distance learning, half of the RUSD students returned to school in April. Many precautions were taken to ensure the safety of students. These precautions included the requirement of masks, social distancing, hand sanitizer stations around the school and the use of plexiglass in classrooms. 

Yet, all precautions, minus the mask requirements and hand sanitizer stations, were lifted in August. 

Some students agree schools are not safe to attend due to COVID-19 at the moment.

 “[Covid cases] can’t be controlled and are still spreading through schools regardless of masks. They both spread through sports, and through people who didn’t even know had covid or the delta variant,” stated Jenna Tampubolon, a sophomore at Citrus Valley High School. 

Others prefer to attend due to their experience with lockdown earlier in the pandemic. 

“I don’t care if it’s smart or not, I’d rather live with Covid than go insane in solitude,” said Rico Weaver, a sophomore at Citrus Valley.

A link to the RUSD COVID-19 dashboard can be found at https://www.redlandsusd.net/Page/18775

Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://ethic-news.org/2021/11/12/seguimiento-del-districto-escolar-de-redlands-confirmo-los-casos-de-covid-19/

Tik Tok’s Angelic Yield atones for Devious Licks

By CYRUS ENGELSMAN

Devious Licks is a trend that began on TikTok in the middle of September. With TikTok having over two billion downloads, it quickly became a hotspot for participants. Since that time, a new trend has appeared to atone for Devious Licks’ sins: enter Angelic Yield. 

While most trends are harmless and meant to entertain others, the Devious Licks trend not only hurt the participants, but it also hurt the entire school.  

The purpose of the trend was for students to steal or destroy property of schools, primarily inside school bathrooms, and record and share online.  

Yet, some students attempt to offset the trend by creating a new trend called Angelic Yield. This trend has students replacing the stolen property with new and better equipment. 

Due to Devious Licks, schools had to act fast to minimize the damage done and to make sure no property was stolen.  Many actions were taken such as closing down bathrooms or hallways to buildings during lunch.

Teachers were urged to be vigilant and careful of their belongings, as many took the trend outside of the bathrooms and into the classrooms, with many stealing possessions and property of both the school and the teachers.  

Nicole Steenhausen, an English teacher at Redlands East Valley High School, had a hard time dealing with this trend, worrying that some of their property could be stolen.  

“In two school years unlike any other, this is absolutely the last thing we need to be dealing with.  I have many students who know their own minds and will not succumb to the likes of this ridiculous trend,” said Steenhausen. “To those of you who are participating, I urge you to think of the stress you are causing to your teachers and to your peers.”

Some students felt indifferent about the whole situation. 

“What can I say about devious licks? I’m mostly neutral.  They can be funny, however the vandalism element is morally wrong,” says REV junior Jeremiah Bolanos.  

TikTok took action to prevent this behaviour by removing and banning the hashtag from being used on Sept. 16. This drastically reduced the amount of views these types of videos could receive.  TikTok deleted some accounts that participated in the trend, deterring people from partaking in the challenge even more.

Since TikTok condemned this trend, many have taken to the app once again and gained views from participating in Angelic Yield.  

Ways students are participating in Angelic Yield is by bringing soap, toilet paper, putting encouraging sticky notes and more.

Whether it is inside or outside the school restroom, students have returned and replaced stolen items from both schools and teachers to redeem the trust of both.  

Although many have tried to spread kindness with this trend, it has not reached as close of an audience as the Devious Licks trend. 

A recent Instagram informal poll of 20 students shows that 95 percent of students have heard of the Devious Licks trend, while only 50 percent have heard of the Angelic Yield trend.  

Because of the low popularity of the trend,  the impact of Angelic Yield can be minor.

News Brief: California Gov. Gavin Newsom remains governor despite recall efforts

By CRAIG MORRISON

A sign at a polling location in California giving the public a place to vote in the 2021 California Gubernatorial Recall Election. “Vote!” by kgroovy is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

California voters decided to not recall Gov. Gavin Newsom from office on September 14, 2021. With more than 50 percent voting against the action, he will remain the governor of California.

Gov. Newsom is the second California governor to ever face a recall election in the history of California, and it is due to his response to the coronavirus pandemic. The first California governor recalled was Gray Davis and was replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003 because of his handling of the state’s electrical crisis.

On the recall ballot, voters were asked two questions: Do you want to recall Gov. Newsom? If so, who should replace him?

If Newsom were to be recalled, there were 46 candidates to choose from. But, Larry Elder was the lead against the incumbent governor followed by Kevin Paffrath and Kevin Faulconer, respectively.

Elder, a well-known right-leaning talk radio host, received more than 40 percent of the vote from those who checked yes on the ballot. Elder received the majority of his votes from the northeastern set of counties in California compared to Newsom who received the majority of his votes from the southwest.

By defeating the recall election, Gov. Newsom will continue his full term in office and is eligible to be re-elected for the next California gubernatorial election in November 2022.

Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://ethic-news.org/2021/09/22/noticia-breve-el-gobernador-de-california-gavin-newsom-gana-a-pesar-de-los-esfuerzos-de-retirada/

FDA approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

By ELIZABETH MOLLOY

A recreation of an individual receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine. (ETHIC NEWS PHOTO)

The FDA approved the Pfizer SARS-CoV-2 vaccine on Monday, Aug. 23. Although the vaccine was approved for emergency use, it was not approved as 100% safe until Monday.

“The public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality,” says Jane Woodcock, Food and Drug Administration commissioner.

The first COVID-19 case reported in the U.S. was on Jan. 21, 2020 in Washington state, the vaccine was approved for emergency use on Dec. 11, 2020.

“COVID-19 can cause lung complications such as pneumonia…acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)…Sepsis, another COVID-19 complication, can also cause lasting harm to the lung,” according to a statement on the Johns Hopkins Medicine website.  For individuals with pre-existing lung conditions; asthma, lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, developing COVID-19 can be even more severe.

One complication for asthmatics is having an asthma attack as a result of developing COVID-19. Even regular occurring asthma attacks can be extremely dangerous so when  comes into play that danger is greatly heightened.  The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 90% effective at preventing hospitalizations from COVID-19, according to a Center for Disease Control and Prevention study,

Between Mar 24, 2021and May 19, 2021 was a massive surge in the amount of people getting vaccinated in the US. On Mar 24, 2021 only 13.5% of the population was fully vaccinated, whereas on May 19, 202139.3% of the population was fully vaccinated. That is a 25.8% difference made only in two months.

KTLA announced on Aug 18. that in California starting on Sept. 20 proof of full vaccination or a negative  test will be required to attend indoor gatherings with 1000+ individuals attending. However, there is no specification on whether or not the test needs to be a regular  test or a rapid  test. Rapid  tests can provide results in up to 20 minutes but they are known for giving false negative results if the test is given early on in the development of COVID-19.

For more information, visit fda.gov, 19.ca.gov, and cdc.gov.

Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://ethic-news.org/2021/09/22/la-fda-aprueba-la-vacuna-pfizer-covid-19/

Refugee crisis rises in Afghanistan

By EMMIT MURPHY

For 20 years, America had been at war with the Taliban. Now that United States forces have evacuated, leaving many Afghan men and women from the war, the question on many people’s minds is “where will they go now?”

In regards to the refugees, United States President Joe Biden stated in an Aug. 24 White House speech that, “The United States will be a leader in [evacuation] efforts and will look to the international community and to our partners to do the same.” 

So far the U.S. has evacuated around 70,700 Afghans since August and 75,900 since the end of July, according to the President.

European leaders fear that most refugees will go to them, similar to how the Syrian refugees had during the 2015 Syrian refugee crisis. 

Regarding refugees, Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer stated, “It must be our goal to keep the majority of the people in the region,” according to an Aug. 21 AP News article by Karl Ritter and Mehmet Guzel. 

Even Germany, who had taken in many of the Syrian refugees during 2015, is hesitant about bringing more migrating people into their borders.

With the United States leading the evacuation of the fleeing refugees, more than 123,000 had been evacuated. The United States evacuated 80,000 civilians from Kabul, 5,500 being U.S. troops and 73,500 refugees. The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence has evacuated 15,000 civilians with 8,000 of which being refugees.

In regards to the resettlement of the Afghan refugees, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom have taken in 7,800 refugees with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel saying they will take up to 40,000 Afghan people who feel in danger, according to an Aug. 31 BBC article by The Visual Journalism Team. Canada has stated they will resettle 20,000 refugees and Australia has said they will take 3,000. Tajikistan has said they will take up to 100,000 but it is unclear if they have allowed any in.

In Uzbekistan, Kosovo, and Uganda refugees are being taken in temporarily until they can be relocated elsewhere while Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey will either no longer take in refugees or hadn’t been taking any in the first place. The United States has yet to say the number of refugees they will take in.

A map features Afghanistan and surrounding countries in South Central Asia, Africa, and Europe. Afghan refugees are being accepted by various countries globally, with each country setting different limits and timetables. (Google maps screenshot/Ethic News)

Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://ethic-news.org/2021/09/15/aumenta-la-crisis-de-refugiados-en-afganistan/

Photos: Wildcat seniors gather for food and activities at Senior Fling

By MIA ARANDA

The Associated Student Body at Redlands East Valley High School hosted Senior Fling on their JV baseball fields on Aug. 20 as a way to bring seniors together at the start of the school year. The event, lasting for two hours, consisted of free food from a taco vendor and activities, such as slip-and-slide, water balloons, ping pong, volleyball, cornhole and tug-a-war. 

A taco vendor hands out plates of tacos, rice and beans to students on the junior varsity baseball fields at Senior Fling on Aug. 20. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

REV senior and ASB Multicultural Commissioner Catelyn Cummings said, “Personally, I thought not that many people were going to come. But, I feel like we had a good turnout and I feel like people are enjoying the activities, like I see someone at every station.” 

Redlands East Valley High School seniors (from left to right) Lilly Cooper, Emily Retamoza and Ella Fletcher play ping pong as one of the many activities offered at Senior Fling on Aug. 20. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photos)

Redlands East Valley High School seniors (from left to right) Jose Contreras, Mariah Mora, Raven Silvestre and Adrian Martin sit in the grass and chat during Senior Fling on Aug. 20. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

As a whole, the event was slow to prepare for and required a lot of volunteers, in addition to ASB members, to help set up.  One of the main activities, the slip-and-slide, constantly demanded an ASB member to hold the hose during the event. 

Redlands East Valley High School seniors (from left to right) Soraya Coady, Luca Smith, Olivia Benz, Debbra Jedrysek, Ella Fitzpatrick, and Hanah Mansilla use the slip-and-slide at Senior Fling on Aug. 20. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photos)

REV senior Andrew Hallen played tug-a-war and ping pong. His favorite part about Senior Fling was “seeing new people and hanging out.”

Redlands East Valley senior Jay Gutierrez plays cornhole alongside junior Anna Engel at Senior Fling on Aug. 20. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

“It’s the bee’s knees,” said REV senior Keyvon Rankin. “My favorite part was losing tug-a-war, you know what I’m saying, that’s going straight into the scrapbook. I’m going to tell my kids about it.”

More information on upcoming REV senior events will be advertised on Instagram and in the school bulletin.

Lea este artículo en español aquí: https://ethic-news.org/2021/09/02/fotos-las-personas-mayores-wildcat-se-reunen-para-comer-y-realizar-actividades-en-senior-fling/

Citrus Valley Compact Club works with local shelter to help animals in need

By EMILY PRINSTEIN

With students remaining in distance learning, clubs have been facing many challenges. However, one club at Citrus Valley High School, the Compact Club, is still making an effort to get members and the local community involved. 

The club has organized a community service project called an MYG, or Multiply Your Generosity, in coordination with the Compact Careers steering committee. According to one of the club Co-Presidents, Hayley Prinstein, “MYG projects are all about getting as many people in your community involved as possible, of course in a COVID-19 safe way this year.” The club has decided to work with Guardian Angel Animal Rescue, a local rescue organization in Calimesa, CA, that helps to get animals into foster homes and then works to find them their forever homes. 

Compact Club Co-Presidents, Emma Ainsworth and Hayley Prinstein, are both juniors at Citrus Valley High School. They had their first pick up on March 2 at Citrus Valley. (Photo credit to Sarah Keller)

Compact Club is currently working to get towel and blanket donations to give to the shelter and will soon also be accepting food and toy donations. They had their first towel and blanket pickup on March 2 at Citrus Valley High School. Club Co-President Emma Ainsworth says, “the pickup went much better than expected and we managed to get ten bags worth of towels and blankets.” The club has also managed to raise about 300 dollars to go towards supplies for the animals. 

The community service project will run until May and the club is hoping to increase participation even more. They will be holding a zoom meeting for anyone interested to come join and learn how to make cat and dog toys that will then be donated to the shelter. They will be holding another pick up at CVHS sometime in April where they will be accepting donations of towels, blankets, food and toys. There will also be an upcoming competition in which there will prizes awarded to first, second and third place winners based on how much they donate at the next pickup. These prizes will consist of gift cards of varying amounts. 

Compact Club is a student-run club on campus, dedicated to getting students more involved in their communities and helping them be college and career ready by connecting them with adults from many different career backgrounds. It allows students to connect with students from other schools along with adults who may be from career fields that interest them. There are also scholarship opportunities that the club offers. If anyone is interested in joining Compact Club,  they can message cvcompact@gmail.com, follow the instagram @cvcompact or join the remind by texting @cvhscompac to 81010. 

The COVID-19 Vaccine and how it may affect you

By EMILY PRINSTEIN

After a little over a year of the coronavirus pandemic terrifying people all around the world the vaccine has now become available to the general population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been over 106 million COVID-19 cases in the world alone, with 3.4 million of those cases originating from California.

Starting on December 14th, the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines began with nearly 262 million people in the United States having received at least one dose of the vaccine. The Biden administration has made a goal of trying to at least put out 1.4 million shots a day. 

Hayley Prinstein, 17, getting her first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at Arroyo Valley Highschool in San Bernardino, California. (Ethic News Photo/Emily Prinstein)

There are now three different COVID-19 vaccines that people can choose from: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The side effects from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that most people are experiencing are pain and soreness at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever. However, the most common side effects of the Moderna vaccine are nausea, vomiting and fever. 

“I felt very tired and my arm was really sore after I got the Moderna vaccine,” said Tim Prinstein, a health care worker. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine differs from the other two, it is only a one dose vaccine and does not contain mRNA. The most common side effects are headaches, fever, fatigue, nausea and muscle aches. However, the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration noted that women under the age of 50 should be aware of the risk of blood clots.

The most frequent concerns of the vaccines question their validity, as well as if they can truly be trusted. 

Kristina Dewbre, a community member, posed the question: “Will getting the vaccine mean I can give the virus to others while experiencing side effects?” In response to the public’s many questions, the CDC issued a statement saying, “No. None of the authorized and recommended vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.” 

It is important to note that even if an individual has already experienced COVID-19 symptoms, either of the three vaccines are still needed to be taken, as it is important to build immunity and antibodies to fight against not just one but all strains of COVID-19.

Redlands East Valley High School restyles campus: How changes have affected in-person experience

Originally published in La Plaza Press

By ISAAC MEJIA, ALISSON BERMUDEZ and ARIANA GHALAMBOR

Since school switched from in-person to online learning last March, the Redlands East Valley High School campus has undergone many changes that have affected students returning to in-person learning this year. Some of these changes are shown below.

Changes to the Library:

The library is now fully furnished with new lounge chairs that allow students to sit comfortably while working on assignments. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ La Plaza photo)

Despite the improvements implemented in the library, social distancing prevents students from using the new furniture to its fullest potential especially for collaborative activities. Due to the Covid-19 guidelines, students must stay three feet apart from each other and cannot put together their desks in order to work collaboratively. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ La Plaza photo)

The library contains new collaboration stations each equipped with a lounge couch and a monitor. Currently, stations can only accommodate three students and are not allowed to be used to their full capacity. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo)

New sound baffles that illustrate panoramic landscape pictures of Redlands hang inside the library. These pictures were taken by fellow staff members such as Ron Kroetz and Kelly Tilson. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ La Plaza photo)

A sign posted on the library door politely reminds students to wear a mask. Due to current Covid-19 guidelines, students and faculty must wear a mask in order to attend school. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo)

As students enter the library, they are met with a bottle of hand sanitizer to help maintain personal cleanliness. This small addition can be seen in different locations throughout the school and is specific to the current school year. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo)

Changes to Campus:

Of the two sets of staircases in each building, only one staircase will be accessible to walk up, while the other will be used to walk down. This specific measure has forced students to take different detours to their next class. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ La Plaza photo)

The water fountain located inside the mathematics building is completely covered in plastic and the lockers are locked shut with zip ties. As a preventative measurement, lockers and water fountains around campus are inaccessible to students on campus. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo)

Stickers were placed on the floor in front of the textbook office to remind students of the social distancing regulations which require them to maintain 6-feet distance when outside. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ La Plaza photo)

Before returning to in-person learning, the school purchased and dispersed several new benches within the quad. During lunch, students now have the option to sit at a bench of their preference. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo)

The office contains a secondary protective entrance which allows people to take their temperature before entering campus. After precautionary actions are taken, the individual at the front desk will unlock the door: the door remains locked otherwise; however, nothing is required to enter the first entrance. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo)

Every entrance into campus has a temperature check with a person monitoring your temperature to see if you can safely be inside the campus. Students and staff must complete this step either with their head or this wrist to ensure they have a normal temperature. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ La Plaza photo)
Since every student did not return to in-person instruction, most classrooms do not have a full set of students. Students who returned to school have a desk with plexi glass that can be removed upon student discretion. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ La Plaza photo)

Despite new hybrid schedule, some students are opting-out of in-person school

By LILIAN MOHR

With the return from spring break, the question of what the last quarter of school will look like for Redlands Unified School District schools remains. 

Although neighboring districts and schools across the country have already returned to either hybrid or even in-person learning, RUSD has remained completely virtual up until this point. 

With a start date for the new hybrid schedule of April 19, the decision of whether or not to return has been made by students and their families. 

Image of Lilian Mohr’s desk, a senior at REV, where she attends school through zoom calls on the featured ipad. Mohr is just one of many students who opted to continue their learning virtually this year. (Lilian Mohr/ Ethic News Photo)

Some may be wondering why students would choose to remain virtual given all of the challenges of virtual learning and teaching that have occurred during the last year. 

Marin Mohr, a sophomore at Redlands East Valley, has opted to not return to in-person learning on April 19th. 

“I think that at this point I just want to finish out these classes on distance learning, because I haven’t even done these in-person yet. I don’t know how things will change once I get into the classroom, and I think I’ll just wait it out” says Mohr. 

Mohr says, “I know some people who just need to get back in the classroom and I understand that too though. I think just for me distance learning is the best choice.” 

For seniors, this is their last opportunity to return to high school before graduation, and yet a significant proportion of seniors are still opting to stay at home. 

Amelia Campos, a senior at REV, says “I am choosing not to go back to school because I think the transition from going online to in person is unnecessary. During class it is easy to get distracted, but when I am at home I tend to get more work done during the day.”

Campos highlights some of the advantages she feels comes with distance learning, saying “It helped because I focused on my work other than focusing on what goes on at school. It also relieved the “pressure” of having to find an outfit and getting up early in the morning.” 

With the return to school, there is a level of concern that the students who opt to remain at home will miss out on social interactions or school functions that can not be adapted virtually. 

Campos says “I don’t think I will miss out on anything. I stay connected to my friends through text messages or sending funny videos we find on social media. If I can get the same education at home and stay connected with my friends, I do not think I am missing out on anything.”

The safety of students and staff has been at the center of this return to in-person learning, with multiple safety measures put in place on campus, hopefully making the return feel safe for all who participate. 

Campos says “I just feel safer at home right now, but the safety precautions are nice to have. I do not think I would risk bringing covid home, but I can see why others would be more comfortable at school with everyone following protocols.”

Christina Vargas, also a senior at Redlands East Valley, says “Honestly I just don’t think the few possible benefits of returning to school at this point, with the year almost done anyways, is worth the risk and the hassle for me.” 

Teachers react to new ‘grade freeze’ policy

By MAURICIO PLIEGO

The infographic represents a play on words as the Board of Education voted on freezing grades and shown above are letter grades freezing. The images was created using Piktochart. (Mauricio Pliego / Ethic News)

The Redlands Unified School Board voted on April 13 to reopen school sites with a new hybrid schedule, giving families the option for their children to remain on distance learning or return to campus and requiring teachers to teach both groups simultaneously from campus. To accommodate this transition, the Board also voted on “freezing grades” to make the transition easier for students.

According to the new grade freeze policy, a student’s end-of-semester grade in each class may not drop below the grade that they had prior to April 19, when schools shifted to the new hybrid schedule.

Teachers from different departments at Redlands East Valley High School had a variety of reactions, with many making changes in their grading to adapt to this new policy.

The English Department is co-headed by Eva Shinnerl, who is currently teaching Advanced Placement English Language classes, Composition and English 101. She has taught at Redlands East Valley for over twenty years.

Shinnerl says, “In my classes, all assignments are now worth the same amount as before in Google Classroom, but they go into Aeries as extra credit.”

Shinnerl states that she listened to her students’ feedback during her decision-making process and as a result, grades will go “as high as possible.”

Shinnerl also teaches Dual Enrollment English classes at Crafton Hills College and says, “Those grades are not frozen because it’s not technically an RUSD class.”

While this is how Shinnerl is adapting to the new grading policy, each teacher within the department was able to follow their own grading format.

Doug Porter is the Math Department Chair and has taught mathematics since 2002. He is the current AP Statistics and Math One Honors teacher.

Porter says, “The REV Math Department has no official grading policy for the remainder of the 2020-21 year,” and that they have “agreed to use our professional and personal judgment to do what is best for the students and to maximize student learning/engagement over the next few weeks.”

English Teacher Eva Shinnerl teaches class during the Coronavirus Pandemic at Redlands East Valley High School. The new hybrid schedule requires that teachers simultaneously interact with In-person students and distance learning students via zoom. (Mauricio Pliego / Ethic News) 

In his classes, Porter gave the semester final exam before April 19, almost two months before the official end of the school year.

Porter explains, “That final exam score is now slowly being replaced through each assignment from now until the end of the semester.”

Porter says he guarantees that every student who participates will gain a much higher score on the final exam.

The World Language Department is composed of Spanish, French and Latin classes, headed by Spanish teachers Susan Johnston and Michael Celano. Each has implemented their grading system and made sure each teacher within the department did the same.

Johnston said, “Personally, I am allowing students to improve their grades by five percent if they complete all work assigned during the hybrid learning.”

Andrea Johnson-Bernardy is the current head of the Physical Education Department and explained that teachers had implemented a similar system. They all agreed to provide online work for those on distance learning and also have in-person activities such as walking and playing games with little contact. Some teachers decided to give extra credit as an option, and each teacher determined the requirements for the extra credit.

Porter is letting the different sets of students know how each class will work on the day’s assignment on the whiteboard. (Mauricio Pliego / Ethic News)

Fine Arts Department Chair Tracy Massimiano explained that each class had to have different systems due to a variety of concerns.

The Ceramics teacher, George Bressant, is planning to “do some fun projects in class and take advantage of the small class sizes.”

Kelly Tilson, a Digital Art Teacher, says, “This is an opportunity to gain knowledge and not fear anything”.

Electives such as the Advancement Via Individual Determination program have also made tough choices based on the board’s choice on freezing grades. As a result,

Jana Bailey, the AVID coordinator, says “Our team agreed that because our curriculum builds on each other every year and we don’t want our students to get behind, there were certain assignments that had to count between now and the end of this year. As a result, we entered those assignments right away.”

The required assignments for AVID include personal statements, tutorials and scholarship essays. 

According to Bailey, AVID students understand the reason for the assignments being required and the value of completing them.

Bailey says, “They have seen the success of our seniors, earning 100 percent college acceptance rates from UCLA, Berkeley, Irvine, San Diego, CSU Long Beach and others. They know that the extra effort is worth it.”


Redlands schools serve on-campus Grab and Go meals amidst pandemic

Originally published in La Plaza Press

By ISAAC MEJIA and MIA ARANDA

The shift from hot breakfast and lunch meals to pre-packaged Grab and Go meals was one of the many changes that faced Redlands Unified School District students on April 19 when they returned to campus after more than a year of distance learning.

Redlands East Valley High School students and parents received an email from Assistant Principal Ronald Kroetz on April 14 with an attached document outlining new procedures to create a safe learning environment on campus.

In regards to lunch, the document states that the school “anticipates that there will be a minimal choice of meal options” and “if you are a picky eater you might want to bring your own lunch.”

While students were warned of a potential lack of variety, no other details to specify what the on campus grab and go meals would include were provided.

The on-campus Grab and Go lunches are prepackaged for students in a brown paper sack labeled “Locker Mates.” This allows for students to access their meal swiftly with minimal social interaction. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo)

Previously, students getting hot lunch from campus would get to choose their lunch items from a selection, then proceed to checkout to pay.

Now, prepackaged lunches at school come at no cost for students, which allows anyone to walk up to their school’s cafeteria to grab one, regardless of family income or free-lunch status.

According to Betty Crocker, director of Child Nutritional Services, Child Nutritional Services is “providing a unique service.”

Due to safety guidelines, Crocker said the type of food available for distribution is limited. 

Crocker states, “Due to COVID and safety requirements, all of the [meals] are a cold service with items individually wrapped.” 

This prepackaged lunch consists of a total of five items: one pack of Jack Links’s chicken tender bites, sunflower seeds, applesauce, Beans and Veggie crackers, and a dragon punch. In addition, students are given the option to take an additional milk, apple slices, and applesauce that are not included in the packaged sack. (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo)

Some students attending high schools in Redlands expressed their dislike for their school lunches, due to both quality and quantity.

This is the case for Citrus Valley High School junior Janelle Gallegos.

Gallegos said, “They are gross and not fulfilling. I eat sunflower seeds everyday for lunch, because it’s the only good thing they serve.” 

Gallegos’s disapproval of quality of food is a common complaint shared by other students.

REV freshman Kris Garcia said, “Well, see the problem is that it is very little food, and the very little food that they have is very trash food.” 

Cia Anderson, a REV freshman, said, “It’s like prison lunch. Basically I was like telling my parents about it and they were like ‘yeah it’s like prison lunch.”’

For some students, school lunch may be the only meal that they receive all day. For student-athletes, it is generally the last meal they have before after-school practice or games.

Not all in-person students are upset with the current pre-packaged lunches.

REV sophomore Deacon Arne said, “I just really need to eat. I think it’s good.”

A second grab-and go meal option includes four food items and one beverage: hummus, one whole wheat tortilla, sunflower seeds, mixed-berry applesauce, and an orange, tangerine juice box. Unlike the previous lunch, this meal lacks a high protein food item.  (ISAAC MEJIA/ La Plaza photo)

It is not clear when the school will return to serving hot meals due to the uncertainty of the pandemic. For the time being, Grab and Go meals will continue for the remainder of this semester, and possibly the beginning of the next school year in August.

Crocker states that child nutritional services “[looks] forward to resuming our hot breakfast, lunch and after school meal programs when we emerge from the pandemic.”

Redlands Unified School District Child Nutrition Services is still offering their Curbside Grab & Go meals for no-cost. 

«This is where we provide all families bulk-style meals along with the individually wrapped meals, eggs, bagels, and strawberries,» said Crocker. 

These bags, containing a week’s worth of meals, are available to be picked up between 6 to 8 a.m. every Wednesday at either REV, Redlands High School, Mission Elementary School, Clement Middle School or Beattie Middle School.