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the
th

TOWER

Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013


Volume 86,
Issue 2

thetowerpulse.net
@gpstower

A weekly tradition since 1928

Grosse Pointe South, 11 Grosse Pointe Boulevard, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236

ten-HUT!

Souths marching band returns to the


field after over 30 years of hiatus.
BY KEVIN BIGLIN 15 / 6WDII:ULWHU
The new marching band under the direction of Christopher Takis marched for the
first time in over 30 years during halftime of
the football game on Friday, Sept. 20.
It was surprising that South hasnt had a
marching band in three decades, said Takis.
Without a marching band, a band program
is incomplete, Takis said. The marching band
is a part of the fabric of all high schools in
America. Takis saw potential for the transition when he became the director of bands in
the 2012-13 school year.
Pep band is a fun band to help pump up
the crowd, but with marching band, we get
to be part of an old tradition, said marching
band member Shane Jackowski 14.
It completes the experience at football
games, Jackowski said. Before, there was
something missing in the program, and now
the marching band fulfills it.
The marching band has close to 50
members because of the new freshmen
joining the group, Takis said.
We have great potential to become something that the community will admire, said
marching band member Sam Beckius 14.
The focus of the marching band is the
halftime show, Beckius said. Despite new
adversity of learning to march and play
simultaneously, the togetherness of the
members makes practicing fun.
The music we play during halftime shows
(at home football games) has a set theme,
instead of just random pop songs, said band
member Stephen Archinal 15.
One of the sets in practice is a Beatles

theme, Archinal said.


There are 12 to 13 moves in the halftime
show, Takis said. Each move accounts for the
transitions in each set on the field.
In addition to halftime performances, the
new band will march in the annual Homecoming Parade, Takis said. The band will also
march in the Santa Parade on Friday, Nov.
29, and perform in the halftime show at the
North/South football game on Oct. 11.
New this school year, the Color Guard
aims to assist the moves of the marching
band during performances, Takis said. With
five members and growing in size, the Color
Guard adds visual effect to the music.
Color Guard is flag twirling, although, its
a lot harder than it sounds, said Color Guard
member Zoe Pidgeon 16.
The Color Guard was built from scratch, and
its still relatively small Color Guard member
Sydney Simoncini 16 said.
The Color Guard may help the (marching) band gain recognition, because the big
flags are hard to miss, said Pidgeon.
The Color Guard practices once a week, for
a half an hour each Monday.
Though it isnt officially a sport, it takes
the same amount of time and commitment,
said Color Guard member Elizabeth Dotson
14.
Through halftime performances and
parades, Takis said he hopes the community
embraces the latest edition to the program.
The marching band will create a new buzz
(to the band program), which it hasnt seen
in awhile, said Takis.

Photo by KLARA GELLCI 14

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Administration praises new attendance policy, students remain skeptical


BY ALEXA LYSIK 15 AND JENNIFER MAIORANA 16 / 3DJH(GLWRUDQG&RS\(GLWRU
Doing the crime now means doing double the
time.
As of this year, the new attendance policy for students has escalated to two hours of detention for
every unexcused absence per class.
The reasoning behind it: We want kids in class,
said Assistant Principal Terry Flint. We arent
teaching them a good thing if we are saying its
optional to go to class.
The administration wants to show students the
value of their education as well as taking
responsibility for their
actions, Flint said.

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(Based on a survey of 100 students.)

This is something essential for students to learn in


order to prepare them for the rest of their lives.
The whole purpose of coming to school is to
be learning and to be successful by applying what
it is that youre learning, said math teacher Laura
Distelrath. Majority of the time, when kids are
skipping class, they are missing out on that content
and never really making that up. By having stricter
punishments for it, its more of an incentive for kids
to stay in school so they arent missing out on those
educational opportunities.
Two years ago, there was never a consequence for
skipping class, Flint said. Students could skip multiple times without having a penalty. Many
teachers often had to take matters
into their own hands.
I go to the full extent; if
they skip my class, any work
from that day is a zero,
said math teacher David
Martin. If they try to
get out of taking a test,
the next day its a zero.
They can take it, they
can get what they get,
but if its an unexcused absence its a
zero.
The administration
decided it was time
to take action in order to
demonstrate what their
expectations were, Flint said.
We implemented the one
hour detention for every unexcused absence, said Flint. Just
by doing that, we had seen a drop in
unexcused absences by forty percent . . .

This [new policy] to me is just a refinement of what


For the most part, the majority of kids at South
we started two years ago.
dont take advantage of skipping class, said DisAfter seeing the results of last years policy, the telrath. However, I think that there is a group of
administration met and discussed that this year students that are repeat offenders and for them
they wanted to make a very strong statement about apparently the old policy wasnt that big of a deal.
unexcused absences, Flint said.
More teachers and administration are looking out
I dont think its harsh, said Flint. My under- for the best interests of kids and really want them
standing is that three years ago they made all to be successful.
students wear ID badges; the penalty if you didnt
While some expect the new policy to be benefihave your ID badge visible was a two hour deten- cial to the students, there is the question as to who
tion. Now that seems a bit harsh.
will be supervising the extra hours
Last school year, the policy for
of detention as necessary.
We want kids in
unexcused absences began at one
Our hall monitors, class assishour for the first absence and two
tants, and others who usually help
class. We aren t
hours for the second, Flint said.
out will continue to monitor detenteaching them
However, keeping track of the
tions, said Flint. They support it;
a good thing if
hours was a problem. In many
they see that it will help us to be
we are saying it s more consistent which is always a
cases, the two hour detention for
optional to go to goal of ours.
the second unexcused absence
class.
never took place; thus, the adminAdministration is not aware of
istration decided to make a more
any students receiving the penalty
uniform policy.
yet,
Flint said. The consequences
TERRY FLINT
The unexcused absence is
Assistant Principal right now for having an unexcused
directly related to a kids educaabsence are more of a discussion
tional opportunity, said Flint. We dont consider with the student, in which it will be made clear that
kids missing class for unexcused reasons as such behavior is not going to be tolerated.
acceptable.
Once the students understand that the new policy
The goal of the new policy is fewer unexcused is going to be enforced by October, the administraabsences, Flint said. If more parent call-ins contrib- tion believes that it will be effective, Flint said. For
ute to that, at least the parent is taking responsibility the school as a whole, both students and adults are
for their child. However, a student is only allowed anticipated to rise to a certain level of expectation
ten excused absences per class before they face the when it comes to attendance.
consequence of losing credit.
We are trying to say that this is important, said
Typically what happens is there is a real small Flint. We want kids to perform well; we believe in
percentage of students who think in their minds kids and their future. We arent going to let things
that their attendance is optional, said Flint. Those get sloppy when it comes to students coming and
are the students this policy is designed to impact, going as they please; its educationally not sound.
he said.

THIS WEEK
DIGITALIZED Read

CROSSING THE LINE

GET PUMPED UP Check

all about the new


Wi-Fi outlets being
placed around South
in an article on www.
thetowerpulse.net.

Before school started,


a new crosswalk was
constructed to make
crossing Fisher Road
safer for all students.

out the Tower Pulses


Homecoming and
Spirit Week recap video
before the big game on
Friday. Follow them @
GPSTOWER