Measure E projects take shape throughout the school

September 23, 2016 — by Frederick Kim and Ethan Ko

Article talks about the many changes Measure E is bringing to the high school. 

As summer drew to a close and the school year began in August, students and teachers stepped foot on a campus that looks different than the one they left in June.

Measure E bond funds are making possible new facilities and technologies aimed at making academic and student life more comfortable and connected.

One of the technologies is the newly installed Epson BrightLink, an interactive projector that promotes teacher and student interaction during classroom activities and lectures.

“I think sharing information is one way that the projectors will be used because it offers an opportunity for teachers to capture notes, images and feedback from students that can be recorded,” assistant principal Brian Thompson said. “Later, these recordings can be posted onto the Canvas system for students and teachers to access.”

Thompson said there were two stages in implementing the smart projectors. The first installation included teachers who volunteered to test the systems and act as a model group. These teachers included science teacher Kirk Davis, math teacher Jennifer Mantle, AP Computer Science teacher Judi Heher, English teacher Ken Nguyen and English teacher Jason Friend. The Team Room also received a projector that will be used by the health and athletic departments.

Later, the projectors will be installed in classrooms for teachers who need them. Although some teachers already had the system installed in their classrooms, Thompson said this year’s installation is the largest yet.

Nguyen, who was part of the group who received the projectors this summer, found the projector to save time in practice.

“It turns the screen to an iPad and that’s helpful because it saves on transition time,” Nguyen said. “I don’t have to come back to my computer to close out of a file and open up another one. If I wanted to show a YouTube clip, I don’t have to come back to my computer, I just open it from the screen.”

The new projectors will promote active learning and help students understand concepts better, he said.

“It’s better than a document camera because when you’re annotating under a document camera, students don’t really see your hand movements,” Nguyen said. “I think part of the learning and retention comes from watching a teacher mark up a text in big, wide arm arcs.”

Another innovation is the refurbishing of the cafeteria, staff lounge and the Thermond Drama Center at the cost of roughly $2 million.

Many of the changes that occurred were for safety and to abide by more recent building codes.

“We abated anything in the building that might have been built back in the old days of 1959 and developed with asbestos,” principal Paul Robinson said.

The glass windows and doors of the building have also been replaced to meet various codes — making them “earthquake safe” and “student safe,” Robinson said. It also allowed the building to be accessible for people who use wheelchairs.

Other noticeable changes in the front of the school include a new paint job, new flooring in some rooms and new walls. The cafeteria also received new fans to allow air to circulate better, Robinson said.

Senior Won Hee Lee has noticed the difference, saying,“The cafeteria is much cooler. Lots of people eat in the cafeteria, so it was very hot.”

The Thermond Drama Center also witnessed some changes. Robinson said it had insecure walls and storage areas that had to be redone. The drama center was repainted and received updated electrical wiring to make the center up to code and safer.

Students in the drama class said that the remodeling will help significantly with their student productions, especially because of a larger backstage area.

“Our largest student production was ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ and that was around 12 people, and it was very, very cramped,” senior Lea Moustakas said. “Now, we have enough space where people can get changed and move around.”

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