The Beat | Photo of the Month

December 29, 2015

NEW — 1:29 p.m. Dec. 29, 2015

By Megan So/Liberty High School For years, studies have proven sleep deprivation to be a major hindrance in students’ health and productivity. Now, with the Seattle School District and Bellevue School District already having confirmed later start times for the next school year, the Issaquah School District is considering change as well.

By Megan So/Liberty High School
For years, studies have proven sleep deprivation to be a major hindrance in students’ health and productivity. Now, with the Seattle School District and Bellevue School District already having confirmed later start times for the next school year, the Issaquah School District is considering change as well.

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The Beat | Teen Talk: What is your view on starting school later?

December 29, 2015

NEW — 1:26 p.m. Dec. 29, 2015

TeenTalk

Click the photo to enlarge.

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The Beat | Humans of Issaquah — Todd Parsons

December 29, 2015

NEW — 1:21 p.m. Dec. 29, 2015

By Namrata Chintalapati

Issaquah High School

Anyone who has walked the halls of Issaquah High School knows Todd Parsons. From his incredible successes as a teacher of the school’s sports medicine program to his renowned kindness, Mr. Parsons has become somewhat of a legend.

Todd Parsons

Todd Parsons

Question: What made you want to teach? Read more

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The Beat | A post-winter break study plan

December 29, 2015

NEW — 1:20 p.m. Dec. 29, 2015

By Rohan Vaidya

Skyline High School

Winter break. It’s the two weeks everyone looks forward to the day school starts in September. Well, it’s finally here, but in the blink of the eye it’s quickly over, and the rush of studying for finals begins. How can you cope with the “after-break lag” and prepare yourself for finals? Let me tell you.

Jonathan King, a Skyline High School social studies teacher who has been teaching for 24 years, found that the students who are proactive about studying are the most triumphant in finals.

“The most successful students are those who start studying well in advance,” King said. “When students start studying during winter break, it allows their brain more time to process the information, thus improving their learning and their score.”

Studying during winter break does not mean you spend your whole break with your head in a textbook. Rather, spend 30 minutes each day reviewing the information you have learned and recording any questions or topics you are unclear about. In addition, studies have shown that making flashcards are a highly effective method of retaining information. When using flashcards, your mind engages in “active recall.” Basically, your mind is trying to remember the content from scratch as opposed to simply seeing it in a textbook or recognizing it in a multiple choice quiz. Read more

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The Beat | More than just the winter blues

December 29, 2015

NEW — 1:19 p.m. Dec. 29, 2015

By Megan So

Liberty High School

While many people are exhilarated for the holidays and motivated for the new year, some are facing seasonal concerns that prevent them from feeling excited for much of what autumn and winter have to offer. Millions of Americans struggle to function normally as they suffer from seasonal depression — also known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.

Although scientists do not know exact causes of SAD, many believe it may be a result of the brain’s lessened serotonin production and increased melatonin production during months with less sunlight. Common symptoms include fatigue, difficulty concentrating and weight gain. In addition, researchers found that most people with seasonal depression are women, and that SAD tends to develop during adolescence.

Even the most driven students may find usual tasks to be abnormally demanding with seasonal depression. Teens with SAD may have unusual difficulty focusing in class, no motivation to do homework and little desire to socialize. They may also have irregularities in appetite and sleep. Read more

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The Beat | Keeping your New Year’s resolutions

December 29, 2015

NEW — 1:18 p.m. Dec. 29, 2015

By Matthew Duff

Issaquah High School

New Year’s resolutions have a reputation of being futile. Every year on Dec. 31, people resolve to lose weight, or to gain it, or to take up guitar, or to read more novels, or to write a book or to run that marathon. And every year, throughout the month of January, people make small steps toward those goals, or at least think real hard about them for the first few weeks. And then, more often than not, those goals fall by the wayside. We slip back into old habits. There’s always next year.

This isn’t always the case. Sometimes you hear about people who stick to their commitments and genuinely make a positive change in their lives. What makes the difference between these success stories and a failed resolution by mid-March? Read more

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The Beat | Should school start times be changed? — No

December 29, 2015

NEW — 1:16 p.m. Dec. 29, 2015

By Jacqueline Rayfield

Liberty High School

The idea of starting high school at 9 a.m. every day is an alluring one, but for the Issaquah School District, it just isn’t practical. These later start and end times would put a strain on families and decrease participation in clubs, while not actually giving students more sleep.

The circadian rhythm of high school students dictates that the best time for them to wake up is around 8 a.m. However, if students get out of school at 3:55 p.m., they will stay awake later because of activities and homework, leaving them equally sleep-deprived.

Because students would have less time to complete homework at night, many would not participate in clubs or activities. This trend can already be seen with the later end times on Wednesdays. Before Wednesdays ended at 3:45 p.m., Liberty High School had numerous clubs that met after school on this day. Now it has none. Imagine what would happen if every day school ended at 3:55 p.m.  Read more

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The Beat | Should school start times be changed? — Yes

December 29, 2015

NEW — 1:15 p.m. Dec. 29, 2015

By Erika Kumar

Skyline High School

Adolescents naturally fall asleep later and want to wake up later because their circadian rhythm, or the body’s biological clock, shifts to later times. Numerous scientific studies done all across the world have established that as fact.

The purpose of starting high school later is not to increase the number of hours students spend in bed. Shifting school times simply shifts students’ sleep schedules accordingly. Rather, the goal is to have students in school during their most productive hours, and asleep went their bodies desire sleep most. Beginning at a time when natural melatonin release has not stopped and full brain function has not begun is the reason we look like zombies the first two hours of school.   

Opponents of starting school later cite athletics and extracurricular activities as a major reason this schedule would not work out. However, the mental and physical health of all students has to be prioritized over the scheduling concerns of students playing sports or participating in certain clubs. If after-school practice is truly not an option, try morning practice. Although morning practice will have students waking up far too early like we currently are, they will still have more days to sleep in and the majority of students will benefit from a later start time. Read more

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The Beat — Nov. 26, 2015

November 25, 2015

NEW — 12:53 p.m. Nov. 25, 2015

The Issaquah Press Beat staff, made up of writers and editors from Issaquah, Skyline and Liberty high schools, tackles homelessness, Black Friday and more in this Thanksgiving issue. Click the photo to enlarge the page.

IssaquahPress_9-12_112615-1

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Let’s Talk About It — Beware the dangers of texting while driving

May 27, 2015

In an era dominated by technology, texting has become the go-to method of fast communication. Especially for teenagers, texting is present everywhere in our lives: when we’re at school, when we’re hanging out with friends, when we’re talking to parents and when we’re driving.

Noela Lu Skyline High School

Noela Lu
Skyline High School

The truth of the matter is that if someone were to say, “Don’t text while driving” and another person were to say, “Don’t drink while driving”, the latter person would be taken more seriously. It’s easy to downplay the dangers of texting, emailing or calling when driving because of the perceived benign nature of the cell phone compared to other substances, such as alcohol.

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