New policy allows students to waive second year PE
By: Benjamin Sheh
New policy allows students waive second year PE if they pass fitness test
At Lincoln High, students traditionally must take two years of Physical Education (PE) to fulfill graduation requirements. However, a new policy was passed by SFUSD at the start of 2018 allowing students to waive the second year if they pass a fitness test.
Historically, SFUSD students are actually required to take a full four years of PE in high school. Many students are used to simply taking two years, as an existing policy allows students to waive the last two years of PE if they pass the Fitnessgram test after the first two and are at least 16 years old.
Recently, a new policy was passed allowing students to take the Fitnessgram test after one year of physical education. It was passed because a student’s parent was going to sue because their kid wasn’t getting enough PE.
“You need 20 credits of PE, but you can waive 10 of them,” Coach Philip Ferrigno says. “The school district is giving out a ‘permanent and temporary’ exemption.”
If students passed, they would be able to skip the second year of PE normally required for graduation. The net effect is that Lincoln High students now have one more possible slot for G courses if they manage to pass the test. However, Ferrigno is worried that the value of physical education will fall even further.
“Everyone seems to forget that exercise helps your brain, and it’ll help you in school,” says Ferrigno. “Our curriculum has gotten much farther than the stereotypical view of PE. You know, rolling the balls out.”
The PE department is hoping that the district will allow sports such as basketball and volleyball count as PE credits for juniors and seniors. Ferrigno specifically cites the new Fitness for Life program that could help students get the fitness they need.
Students from Osaka visits San Francisco
By: Savinie Lin
Two kids sit on the wooden tables in the crowded classroom as the laughter and chatter of their fellow classmates only grow as time passes by. But not a care is given as they bond with the people they now call their friends, their time in San Francisco well spent as they learned about the different school culture of Lincoln.
The two students that join the Lincoln students for lunch are Kanta Sakuta and Masaya Nagamoto, 17 year old’s from the city of Osaka. Both boys experience the San Francisco they only heard about and speak about their wonderful time, but worry if the sister-city relationship they knew of was going to end.
The two students learned about the trip to San Francisco through the JET Program which gave them to the opportunity to come to the city as exchange students. Though they had to pay for the trip themselves, both are fascinated by a “culture that was new to them.”
November of last year, the mayor of Osaka, Hirofumi Yoshimura, has announced his desire to end the sister-city relationship with San Francisco after the latter built a statue commemorating comfort women. The decision has not been finalized and the students in the Japanese classes are working to show the bond between two cities through a petition and a video in hopes of protecting the history filled relationship.
Despite the students’ project and petition to save the sister-city relationship, the mayor of Osaka has not changed his mind on the subject. Yoshimura has accepted the work of the students, but he will not do anything unless the statue is taken down.
“I feel very disappointed about how we had to have different opinions about building the statue that lead to the end of our relationship. But because of this problem, I hope that both cities remember we shouldn’t repeat mistakes such as war we had in the past and I think it is the most important thing everybody should know about,” explains Sakuta.
Lincoln students from the Japanese language classes received the opportunity to visit the cities of Osaka and Tokyo during Spring Break through the Kakehashi Project. The students got the privilege of going to Japan to give feedback about their time in the country and what they had enjoyed. They got to learn about Japanese culture and meet Japanese students and visited an all girls’ high school where they got to practice calligraphy and took part in a tea ceremony.
Sister-city relationships give cities opportunities to connect through their different cultures and ideas. San Francisco and Osaka’s bond is one of many, but it is one of the longest.
“In a world that’s getting diversified, connecting with people across the world is becoming very important. Although we are far apart, connecting through friendship with each other is what we should cherish,” adds Nagamoto.
Changes befall the 2018 Science Department
By: Tiffany Bui
Next fall, major changes will occur in Lincoln High’s science department. Longtime teacher Richard Gin is retiring at the end of this school year, and Cynthia Fernandez is coming back to Lincoln to teach Marine Biology after taking a year-long sabbatical. Current temporary Marine Biology teacher Gianne Souza is scheduled to teach general Biology, taking Gin’s position.
Richard Gin has been working at Lincoln for thirty-seven years. “End of one chapter, and the start of a new one. It has been fun, every year was different,” he says.
Gin has faced challenges addressing the various needs of students to make sure they all get the same attention. Despite this, he has always taken a relaxed approach to teaching on a daily basis.
Gin has been advising Souza on and off throughout the school year, giving her useful advice as they both adapted to teaching with the new SFUSD Biology curriculum and textbook.
“Switching over to a new Biology textbook, so far for me, has not been a hassle for me to teach because of all my years of experience. It's teaching the same concepts but in a different order. The main difference with the new curriculum is that the students spend much time reading on their own, and I don't have to spend much time lecturing,” Gin explains.
Gin still expected his students to do well despite the changes. He explains, “I still expect students to participate, make sure that they do their homework, and be active participants in the class. I continue to have high expectations, regardless of the curriculum. I expect to see them do their work completely.”
Kenneth Ngo, a current freshman student of Gin states, “Mr. Gin, though he is strict, is a great teacher and does a good job of teaching the concepts of biology. He doesn't like to give long lectures because people tend to fall asleep. Instead, we often do labs to stay engaged, learn, and explore.”
“Mr. Gin was and continues to be an incredibly supportive mentor,” says Souza. “He is always available to talk to about teaching. Every time I find myself forgetting about something, Mr. Gin always has it! I am incredibly lucky to have had Mr. Gin as both a master teacher during the credential program and as my next door neighbor on the second floor!”
Gin plans after retirement include volunteering at the zoo working with animals, or at the California Academy of Science. He also plans to be more active at his church by giving away items, going on trips, taking care of the administrative building, and helping staff with work.
Souza has expressed that she is a little nervous, but mostly excited about teaching only Biology next year. “Just teaching one subject will allow me to really focus on it, and hopefully allow me to make it a really good course. That's my hope.”
Souza says that she will miss teaching Marine Biology. “I hope that everyone in the class enjoyed learning about Marine Biology. The sea urchins were particularly fun!”
It's been a crazy year for Souza. However, she is delighted with how much she and her students have accomplished.
“Teaching Marine Biology was really difficult because I hardly knew anything at the start. It's been very fun learning with you guys, it gave me a really great appreciation to the ocean teaching this class,” tells Souza.
Dayana Garcia is a senior and current marine biology student. When asked about what she took away from Souza’s class, Garcia stated “A greater awareness about endangered species, and an understanding about the anatomy of animals that I never thought I’d learn about.” Garcia further explains, “I thought that in high school the only thing you’re ever going to dissect is a frog, but we dissected sea urchins, perch fish, and we're about to dissect a dogfish shark. What I want to take away from this class is to be more aware of how what I buy can make an impact, especially when it comes to seafood.”
Fernandez took a leave of absence to work with Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project, an organization dedicated to the protection and welfare of dolphins worldwide. The mission of the project is to end dolphin exploitation and slaughter as dolphins are currently routinely captured, harassed, slaughtered, and sold into captivity worldwide. Specifically, she went to Taiji,Japan to be a Dolphin Cove Monitor, a marine activist watching over and documenting the inhumane horrors of pilot whale drives. She said she saw horrific things and that she is working to spread the awareness of what's happening on the coast of Taiji and that they are still fighting for the wellbeing of dolphins in the area.
“A rewarding moment was when, in an interview, one of the dolphin hunters said that “the dolphin project woman is respectful.” We all have to work together to end these dolphin drive hunts and that includes involving the hunters. I feel like I made some progress in activist-locals relationships and, hopefully, in the future, we can have meaningful discussions regarding the dolphin drive hunts with Taiji residents and the dolphin hunters, themselves. Memorable moments also have to be witnessing the heartbreaking cruelty of these hunts. There are so many moments, I could not choose just one. Images of the suffering inflicted on these intelligent, self-aware, extremely social animals are etched in my mind, forever. As hard as it is to carry these images, I try to use them as inspiration to keep on fighting to end the dolphin drive hunts,” explains Fernandez.