North Pointe Now The student news site of Grosse Pointe North High School. 707 Vernier Rd., Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236 Wed, 22 Dec 2021 12:52:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 (Playlist) Midterm Study Playlist Tue, 21 Dec 2021 20:37:28 +0000  

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Proposal to defy mask mandate tabled Tue, 21 Dec 2021 20:22:50 +0000 On Nov. 18, Board Trustee Lisa Papas withdrew her resolution to implement a mask-optional policy in Grosse Pointe Public Schools from the board’s voting agenda. If approved, the resolution would have defied Wayne County Health Department’s mask mandate for all schools. Papas’ resolution was discussed at the Nov. 8 work session of the Board, where its legality and public health impacts were debated. 

 In her resolution, Papas said she included a specific stipulation that would give staff, students and community members the freedom to choose whether or not to wear a mask. 

“I put in a specific resolution into that resolution that protected anybody that wished to wear a mask — staff, students or community members,” Papas said. “So, I was really trying to protect everybody’s right to choose. My resolution was to just honor choice and allow people to make the choice [of] whether to wear a mask or not.” 

As he says his expertise is in education rather than public health, Superintendent Jon Dean turns to the health department for information regarding COVID-19 precautions to ensure students can stay in school. 

“I think that my primary goal is to make sure we provide a standing face-to-face instruction,” Dean said. “I don’t enjoy wearing my mask. At the same time, I am probably just about as good — or not as good — as superintendent with my mask as without. The health department says I need to wear it. I know that masks do matter and they keep everyone safe for you and me, and I can still go about doing my job.”

Though a legal opinion from Clark Hill PLC regarding the issue, given at the request of the Board, stated that GPPSS could face serious legal repercussions if the resolution was passed, Papas would like to reintroduce her resolution after further discussion and obtaining more legal opinions. 

I asked [Board President Joseph Herd and Superintendent Jon Dean] to withdraw it from the agenda on the 22nd for voting so we could have time to get additional legal opinions, and have an additional discussion just about the legal ramifications of that resolution, so that’s why I withdrew it,” Papas said. “It is really based on legal decisions and legal opinions, it’s not that I want the resolution taken off. I still support it, I still believe in it, but we are taking a breath and having some additional conversations.”


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Protecting this house and each other Tue, 21 Dec 2021 17:35:18 +0000 At North, we often circle back to the phrase “protect this house.” Between sports, extracurriculars and school itself, many of us spend more time at school than our own house and subsequently view it as our home. Whether we are going through good times or bad, “protect this house” means more than simply caring for our school and the community created within the building. We are whole, and a break within ourselves causes a ripple effect that is felt by all. As we are such a tight-knit group, the safety of each individual in this house must be the top priority in our minds. We have to take action, pay close attention to our surroundings and spread warmth to all that are around us. 

However, no matter how strong and resilient us Norsemen may be, the recent tragedy at Oxford High School has left a mark on all of us and our house. The loss that occurred affected many aspects of our lives to an extent that we may not have imagined possible. What happened, though it wasn’t within our house, left many of us reeling. As rumors circled around that threatened the sanctity of our house, fear and anxiety heightened. In addition to taking care of ourselves, we must also look after each other. For many young people, school is the safest place they know, and to have that security put into jeopardy is jarring. Unfortunately, the roots of these issues are not going to be fixed in a day, a month or even a year. What we can all do is be kind to ourselves, those in our building and those beyond the walls of our house as everyone in Michigan, and our nation, has been affected by this type of tragedy. Our protection of society can come in the form of love, a push for change and a further focus on the well-being of not only ourselves, but others as well. 

It is completely normal to feel stressed and downhearted, however it is important to handle those emotions in a healthy and beneficial way. There are many outlets within our school that are available when our own thoughts become too much for us to deal with as individuals. Teachers, counselors and fellow students are all open to talk, offer advice and ensure that you are not alone with your emotions. We encourage you to reach out to others, and to share your thoughts and concerns. This tragic event is something that we can process together, not alone. As we remember and honor the victims, it is important to heal ourselves, and this house.

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Parcells Holiday Bazaar: Community shops their way into Christmas Tue, 21 Dec 2021 13:40:24 +0000

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Back in the game: GPPSS changes basketball mask protocols for athletes on the court Mon, 20 Dec 2021 20:54:42 +0000 The Grosse Pointe Public School System adjusted its mask protocols for basketball games, saying athletes are exempt from wearing masks while playing on the court. However, players on the bench, coaches on the sidelines, and fans in the stands are still required to wear them at all times. Additionally, all players and coaches are required to wear them during practice.

According to Athletic Director Michelle Davis, the changes in these rules occurred after the Washtenaw County Public Health (WCHD) and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) advised that when athletes are physically competing, masks are optional.

“WCHD and MDHHS recommended that athletes wear masks at all times except when in active play during a competition or contest when it poses a safety risk,” Davis said. “Athletes can take them off while on the floor, mat, in the pool, or on equipment during a competition.”

Boys Varsity Assistant Coach David Rickerman says that in addition to continuing to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the new mask protocols were also enacted to make athletes feel more comfortable.

“The main [reason] is to still have people wearing masks to limit the spread of COVID-19,” Rickerman said. “They did find that boys [and] girls running so much on the floor with a mask on was causing harm to the players [such as] passing out.”

While causing harm to athletes was the main reason for change of the mask rules, another reason for them was, according to Davis, that organizations hoped many students would receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“This year [the organizations] updated the mandate to reflect the fact that student-athletes have the opportunity to receive the [COVID-19] vaccine,” Davis said. “[They] are hoping more student athletes will be vaccinated.”

After these new rules were put in place, Varsity Basketball Captain Annabel Ayrault believes her team has adjusted well to them, as they had been used to playing with masks as of last season.

“I think we’re just pretty used to playing in masks because we practice in them, so it is not that big of an adjustment,” Ayrault said. “It is nice not playing with them on when we’re at away games.”

While Davis similarly believes that athletes will have an easier time playing without wearing masks, she says keeping players and all those involved with athletic events healthy and safe is the main priority.

“I am hoping it will make participating a bit less strenuous on athletes while in active play during a contest, but I will always be concerned, and put first, the health and safety of our student-athletes,” Davis said.

I know many of the players are very happy to be playing basketball and willing to do what it takes to play, and keep people safe.”

— David Rickerman

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Carrying the weight: stress and pressure of midterm exams overwhelms students Thu, 16 Dec 2021 13:40:44 +0000 Midterm exams are a summative assessment measuring a students’ knowledge of previous materials and identifying subjects that need further development. The score received makes up 20% of a student’s semester grade. I argue that midterms should not be so heavily weighted because they lack purpose, cause anxiety, and are not an accurate representation of a student’s knowledge.

Test taking, especially when the test has a major impact on a course grade, often causes an increase in anxiety for myself and many other students. Midterm exams can make or break a semester grade, and during the 90 minute test, the stress caused can alter focus levels. The pressure of a test should never reach the extent where physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking, and nausea are experienced. Results on the midterm can represent the students’ mental state during the test rather than the understanding of materials learned throughout the semester. A grade can easily decrease from an “A” to a “B” or even lower when the midterm grade is put in, which takes away from the hard work a student puts into their classes during the semester.

The main purpose of a midterm exam is to evaluate a student’s knowledge of the class material and determine which topics need additional focus. However, if someone receives a grade that reflects a need to spend more time on a certain subject/topic, there is no opportunity to review the material after the test. If an individual is unhappy with their score, the teacher will not rewind the entirety of the class and reteach the subject. Everybody learns at different paces and understands different subjects better than others, which results in variation of grades on certain portions in the exam. While the teacher can clarify a limited amount of courses, they can’t extensively explain them due to the lack of time in the school year. 

Midterm exams have far more negative than positive aspects. Creating a less stressful environment is necessary for students. If the weight was decreased to ten percent of the semester grade, stress levels would decrease, and final grades would truly reflect the work that students did for the entirety of the semester.

This poll has ended.

How do you feel about midterms?


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(Playlist) The Best Songs of 2021 Wed, 15 Dec 2021 13:49:19 +0000  

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(Podcast) The Link E2: Equity of Grading Practices Questioned Thu, 09 Dec 2021 13:53:58 +0000  


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The cold truth: Temperature’s negative impact on mental health Tue, 23 Nov 2021 13:33:42 +0000 Within the past month, the Grosse Pointes have seen outside temperatures within the broad range of 30 degrees to 60 degrees. A 2020 study finds that inconsistent temperatures can be linked to mental health. The authors, Mengyao Li, Susana Ferreira, and Travis A. Smith, explain that cooler days reduce the probability of reporting days of bad mental health, whereas hotter days increase that probability. However, those mental health impacts have a different period of effect. In hotter weather, the impact comes later, whereas it has an immediate effect in colder weather.

Psychology teacher Jennifer Weisbrodt has noticed the effect of both changing temperatures and the lack of sunlight on the mental health of students. She says that it does not allow for the things that humans require to be able to function in a way that is both pleasant and productive. 

As humans we like consistency,” Weisbrodt said. “In Michigan, we see a lot of inconsistent weather. That combined with lack of sun in the winter months can lead to changes in mood or Seasonal Affective Disorder.”

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is not necessarily fixated on a certain temperature change. This form of depression occurs in one of the two drastically different parts of the year: summer or winter. However, cases of the disorder most commonly occur during the colder months of the year. According to Enlightened Solutions, symptoms of SAD typically include depressed mood, sleeping too much, fatigue, lethargy, and increased appetite, especially for sugar and carbs. 

All of the symptoms of SAD, which affect the mindset of many students, are more than just personal, as they are often brought into the school environment. Senior member of the Peer-to-Peer club, Maddi Yee, sees a large shift in the mood in school as the temperature drops. 

 “It’s just more quiet, even in classrooms, and people just don’t feel like doing anything,” Yee said. “When it’s warmer people, I feel, are more enthusiastic.”

Biology teacher Andrew Pola says that there are ways to alleviate the negative mental effects that colder months bring. He finds that identifying emotions and then employing self-care strategies are helpful in staving off unwanted feelings. He also explains that there are many different self-care options out there, so it may take some trial and error to find which one works for different people.

“Maybe for some people it means reading, hanging with friends, cooking, or something else that makes you feel recharged,” Pola said.

Since 1880, the average global temperature has increased by about 1.4 degrees Farenheight. Alongside the warmer climate, which can put stress on the human body, the unknown factor has only increased, and the range of temperatures that people encounter from day to day has become more and more vast. Weisbrodt believes that the growing uncertainty can have a large effect on humans in more instances than just the weather. 

“Any time there is an element of unpredictability it can affect one’s mental health,” Weisbrodt said.  

What season do you feel the most motivated in?


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Retro football back in style: Mobile game Retro Bowl takes the gaming world by storm Tue, 23 Nov 2021 13:17:21 +0000 In 1987, Tecmo Bowl took the gaming world by storm: creating a fun, pixelated game for all to enjoy. In January 2020, developer New Star Games came out with Retro Bowl, a game that draws inspiration from Tecmo Bowl. Despite Tecmo Bowl being a 34 year old game, Retro Bowl feels anything but old. It creates a short, fun playing experience for all ages. 

The game has seemed to gain recent popularity from its simple gameplay, which features an offense-only football experience. Games are short and fulfilling while also creating some excitement when playing a more competitive round. 

When building your team, contracts only last two seasons, and with a salary cap, it becomes more challenging when signing players that want a higher contract the following year. The main goal of the game is to win the championship, the Retro Bowl. The achievements it has might also be a secondary goal for some players as it takes lots of playing time and dedication in order to get 100% of them. With unlimited seasons, it is possible to complete them. It takes a simple and nostalgic idea and makes it feel fresh and new again. For that, I’ll give it a round of applause. 

With these different features, there are many upsides to the game over others. Additionally, its quick playing nature is a great way for people who have no football experience to jump into it in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming or rushed. The game also updates accordingly with the actual National Football League rules as they recently added a 17 game season. 

The game doesn’t offer a multiplayer platform, but you can compare your seasons with your friends and show off your star players. With five save slots, you can create many teams from which you can help grow and become Retro Bowl winners. All players and coaches are rated by a five star scale by an increase of half stars. This game hosts many minute details including coaching credits, team attributes and upgrades like a training and rehabilitation center. There are so many details in this game that can be overlooked, but when discovered, it can create a whole different experience for players.

Even though the game is amazing overall, there are some drawbacks. Some of these include the lack of play calling, which depending on how good your quarterback is, could be very limited when choosing or changing a play. Another issue is a lack of defense. Even though you have defensive players on your team, you cannot see them play. 

I would give this game 4.5 stars because of its uniqueness and details that other games, like Madden, lack. 

This poll has ended.

What is your favorite part of Retro Bowl?


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