High school bans blogging
By BRENDAN McKENNA Herald Staff | March 29,2005
Officials at Proctor Jr.-Sr. High School have banned access from school computers to an Internet site that students have been using to post to weblogs, or blogs. Isn't 'Spamalot' more of a European history activity? Proctor High School U.S. History students will travel to New York City this weekend from Thursday to Saturday. As part of the trip they will stop in Hyde Park, N.Y., and tour the Vanderbilt Mansion.
Principal Chris Sousa said the decision to block the site from school was made because blogging is not an educational use of school computers.
But he's also urging parents to keep tabs on their children's blogging, with a particularly close eye to what personal information the student may be posting on sites like Myspace.com.
"It's not so much a school concern as it is an issue for students and parents," he said. "This site particularly was getting a lot of hits. It's a blog site but they also post pictures and biographical information and then send each other notes."
He added, "My concern is less as a principal and more as a dad."
Sousa said he found the prospect of students putting information on the Internet, potentially available to predators, was a serious concern.
"As soon as someone has a name and a general geographic location, it can take an Internet predator 20 minutes to find their address and directions to their house," he said. "Any time a teen puts their own photo or biographical information on a Web site, it's something that parents at least need to know about."
Sousa also suggests parents take notice of where their children are going on the Internet by checking the computer's history and cookies.
"We have been doing our best to balance responsible use of technology with responsible guidelines around educational practices," Sousa said. "To that end, we frequently check student accounts and monitor network use by everyone in the building."
He added, "If (parents) would like more information on how to navigate this site or look into others, please feel free to contact me."
EASTER BASKET COLLECTION
Christ the King School's eighth-grade class recently collected nonperishable food and stuffed animals to put together Easter baskets for needy people in the community. Project Easter Basket was so successful that more than 30 baskets were prepared and delivered.
Those same students are also sponsoring a bottle drive each Tuesday and Thursday through April 17. Bottles can be dropped off on those days in the school parking lot on Killington Avenue or at the office. The bottle drive will benefit the eighth-grade class field trip to Boston in the spring. Call 773-6820, ext. 117, for more information.
YOUNG PICASSO PIZZA PARTY
Students from around Manchester will get some well-deserved oohing and ahing, not to mention a few slices of pizza, as their artwork goes on display at the Southern Vermont Arts Center this week.
The party, from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, will mark the opening of the Art From the Schools Exhibition, which runs through April 5. For more information on the Young Picassos Pizza Party, call 362-1405.
Rutland County's aspiring artists will also have their work displayed starting this week at the Chaffee Art Center. The opening celebration will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and the exhibit will run through May 18.
Their tour of Manhattan begins with the Shubert Theatre, where they will see "Monty Python's Spamalot." While in the city, they will also visit museums, the Empire State Building, the United Nations, the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
Students at Currier Memorial School in Danby are got an introduction in learning how to write music with professional singer/songwriter Rebecca Hall last week.
Hall, a native of Boston, moved to West Townshend from New York City and has performed across the United States and Europe, and has recorded two CDs. Hall and her partner, Ken Anderson, taught the students about the process of writing lyrics and music, with students performing the songs they wrote, as well as some classical folk-country songs, at a concert at the school Monday.
Rutland's Northwest Primary School will host its annual Grocery Bingo on Thursday with bingo, food and fun to support the Parent Teacher Collaborative. Rumor has it that the school resource officer, Chris Greene, will be on hand to defend his hot dog eating championship.
Rutland Town School will host a family night out Thursday beginning with a spaghetti dinner in the school cafeteria followed by a rendition of the "Family Feud" game show with school staff as contestants. The dinner costs $5 for adults and $3 for children and starts at 5 p.m. For those who just want to enjoy the show, which starts at 6:45 p.m., admission is $2 for adults or $1 for children.
Three Poultney students are being recognized in the Veterans of Foreign Wars' Patriot Pen contest. The students, Alison Festa, Amanda Marcy and Kelsey Burnell, received a certificate of participation and have been invited to the awards program and a pizza reception Wednesday at the Rutland VFW at 6:30 p.m.
Contact Brendan McKenna at email@example.com.
If you would like to share what's going on in your hallways, classrooms and school gymnasiums, send your news to Heard It at School, P.O. Box 668, Rutland VT 05702; fax it to 773-0311; or e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.