The Rocket Flame

Concerns Regarding Montgomery Elementary

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Within the rural area of Southern Pennsylvania, Tuscarora School District contains six schools: four elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. Each elementary school has zoning boundaries to assign where each student will attend elementary school  in the district, and one of these schools is not getting as many students compared to the other three schools.

 

Montgomery Elementary School is having a predicament with enrollment numbers within the community. In order to solve this problem, Superintendent Rodney Benedick and the TSD Board of Directors have been gathering data. 

 

“There was an enrollment study from March of 2018: our enrollment is shrinking substantially, and, from this study, it’s supposed to shrink for the next 10 years,” said Benedick.

 

Other than the enrollment of the school, some decisions were being processed from many board meetings, committee meetings,and also public meetings about this topic. 

 

“The decision process has been deferred. We could be a year or more from actual decisions deep into this point,” said Benedick.  “The Board feels like they haven’t had time or input to make a decision yet.”

 

With all of the discussions and meetings, the Board wanted to announce this topic to the public to see what people might think of this.

 

“We had five different public sessions about this topic, we did School Reaches and put it in the paper, and not a lot of people paid attention to the early part of it, until the option phases came out, that’s when people really got involved in it because it becomes real by that point,” Benedick said. 

 

Another thing that we had to talk about was the pros and cons about this decision. This was important because people can have a plan on what would happen if Montgomery were to shut down.

 

“The pros would be to even out class sizes in our elementary schools said Benedick. ”The cons are nobody likes change, no one likes to have schools close.”

 

It’s a controversial topic because it impacts the community and the education of students.

 

“It’s a combined effort of the Board and the community to make the recommendation for what is right for our kids,” Benedick said.

Science Days

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Science Days

The ap chemistry class poses for a picture on the playground at St. Thomas Elementary. Carlee Jackson (11), Tanner Myers (11), Jordan Harbold (11), Alyssa Blair (12), Daniel Corcoran (12), Trenton Morgan (12), Amanda Sensinger (11), Dale MIller (12), Mackenzie Saunders (11), Alyssa Velasquez-Glant (12), Kayla Noll-Bader (12), Ella Jones (12), and Abby Carbaugh (12)

The ap chemistry class poses for a picture on the playground at St. Thomas Elementary. Carlee Jackson (11), Tanner Myers (11), Jordan Harbold (11), Alyssa Blair (12), Daniel Corcoran (12), Trenton Morgan (12), Amanda Sensinger (11), Dale MIller (12), Mackenzie Saunders (11), Alyssa Velasquez-Glant (12), Kayla Noll-Bader (12), Ella Jones (12), and Abby Carbaugh (12)

The ap chemistry class poses for a picture on the playground at St. Thomas Elementary. Carlee Jackson (11), Tanner Myers (11), Jordan Harbold (11), Alyssa Blair (12), Daniel Corcoran (12), Trenton Morgan (12), Amanda Sensinger (11), Dale MIller (12), Mackenzie Saunders (11), Alyssa Velasquez-Glant (12), Kayla Noll-Bader (12), Ella Jones (12), and Abby Carbaugh (12)

The ap chemistry class poses for a picture on the playground at St. Thomas Elementary. Carlee Jackson (11), Tanner Myers (11), Jordan Harbold (11), Alyssa Blair (12), Daniel Corcoran (12), Trenton Morgan (12), Amanda Sensinger (11), Dale MIller (12), Mackenzie Saunders (11), Alyssa Velasquez-Glant (12), Kayla Noll-Bader (12), Ella Jones (12), and Abby Carbaugh (12)

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The ap chemistry class poses for a picture on the playground at St. Thomas Elementary. Carlee Jackson (11), Tanner Myers (11), Jordan Harbold (11), Alyssa Blair (12), Daniel Corcoran (12), Trenton Morgan (12), Amanda Sensinger (11), Dale Miller (12), Mackenzie Saunders (11), Alyssa Velasquez-Glant (12), Kayla Noll-Bader (12), Ella Jones (12), and Abby Carbaugh (12)

On May 16 and 17, The AP Chemistry class at James Buchanan High School went to TSD Elementary schools for a Science Days.  During Science Days, the Chem class walked the elementary students through two experiments to get them excited about science.  After the experiments JBHS students related what they did to a real-life problem and showed how scientists solve problems. On Thursday the students went to St. Thomas and Mt. View and on Friday they went to Mercersburg and Montgomery.  

The project was first introduced by the high schools Chemistry teacher, Mrs. Rebecca Miller (Faculty).  She has been taking her AP Chemistry classes to the elementary schools for a little over ten years.

“I think we had a very successful day,”  said Noah Wise (12). “My favorite part was how excited all the little kids got when learning about science.”

Miller got the experiment ideas this year from the teacher’s science convention. During the Toothpaste Challenge, the students had to empty out a bottle of toothpaste and used their problem solving skills to see how much they could get back into the bottle.  

Hunter Gayman (2) and Chloe Shew (2) work together to get toothpaste back into the bottle during Elementary Science Day.

“The toothpaste lab was my favorite to do with the children because it was fun to see them use their imagination to come up with different ideas to get the toothpaste back into the bottle,” said Daniel Corcoran (12).

This was supposed to replicate when scientists have to quickly clean-up spills that can be harmful to the earth, people, or animals.  

The Copycat Challenge was used to show students how scientist are copycats sometimes when it comes to making new inventions.  An example given to the kids was how scientists got the idea of airplanes from animals like birds, butterflies, and bees.

“The copycat lab was my favorite to do with the kids because we had to remember the color wheel and experiment which colors would  show a desired color,” said Owen Stoner (12).

The challenge consisted of the children mixing different food coloring colors to mimic the color of soda.

Colton Pine (2) and Trey Shandle (2) work together to complete the Copycat Challenge on Elementary Science Day.

After the experiments were complete, the students had time to discuss how they were related to science.  They also had the opportunity to ask the high school students any questions they had about high school.

“It was really fun when the students asked us about high school,” said Corcoran. “We were asked questions from “ Is the lunch at the high school good?” to “ What are your plans after high school?”

In the future, Miller has hopes of expanding and continuing the project. Whether it be going to more grade levels or going to the middle school too.  The elementary science days have an impact on the younger kids and can be very memorable throughout the kids educational career.

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