When COVID-19 started, people have been getting new pets. Many people adopted dogs and cats but there are millions of pets out there. Local shelters had troubles keeping animals available for adoption because so many people were adopting during the pandemic. Here is a sampling of some pet owners at WHMS.
Julia Finklestein, a 4th grader, is getting a new puppy. Julia’s puppy doesn’t have a name yet, but we know it’s a Goldendoodle! Julia has been begging for a dog for years (like many people), and now she’s getting one! Julia has never had a pet before.
Miriam McDaniel,a 5th grader, has a Goldendoodle named Jake, her family thinks he’s perfect! Miriam also has a cat, fish, and a hermit crab.
Izzy Rothschild, a 5th grader, has two black dogs. One is named Rocco who is a mini Labradoodle who has a slight pant-biting obsession. Her other dog is a Miniature Schnauzer Westie mix, named Chewy who enjoys lounging by the fireplace with Izzy.
Sophie Shu, a 5th grader, is not adopting any new pets but Sophie has had so many pets in the past. Sophie’s had four neon fish named Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn. She also had seven more fish which she caught from a lake and kept as pets in a tank. She also had five chicks, and a bucket of worms! Sadly, Sophie doesn’t have any of them left now because they all died. Sophie wants a guinea pig, a dog, a bearded dragon, a corn snake, or a cat. Sophie’s dad loves cats but Sophie’s mom hates cats. When she is older Sophie has dreams of opening her own animal shelter.
There are millions of pets out there for adoption, one is surely right for you and your family!
If your family is interested in adopting a pet you can check out: https://www.aspca.org/ to search for local available animals that need a home.
In August 2020, the school district passed a $200 million bond for the future of our schools. The district is making several notable renovations and improvements to the middle and high schools. To pay for it, the school district used a bond, which is essentially a loan from the district community.
There was a lot of time and work spent designing the bond to make sure it would pass. “The district has been working on what the bond would look like for about a year altogether,” says Leah Abel, the former PTO President and a Bloomfield Hills parent. “There was a lot of work that went into that. A lot of parent community members and district employees were very heavily invested in making sure that the first vote would pass. If it didn’t pass the first time around, they would have had to reconstruct and change a lot of things. Getting it right the first time was great.”
Currently, our district has three middle schools. Two of them serve 4th-8th grades, and one of them serves 5th-8th grades. With the passage of the bond, there will be two new middle schools. The temporary names for them are North Hills and South Hills. The North Hills campus will be where Lahser High School once was, and South Hills will be at Bloomfield Hills Middle School campus.
Each middle school will serve 6th-8th grades. There will still be four elementary schools that will continue to be K-5th grades. Students will be able to move into the new buildings by the fall of 2023.
“West Hills students will be attending where Bloomfield Hills Middle School currently sits,” Ms. Abel says. “Some of the current Bloomfield Hills Middle School students will stay there. Everyone from East Hills will go to North Hills campus, and the rest of the kids from Bloomfield Hills Middle School will go to the North campus too.”
The current 6-8 graders will be in or entering the high school by the time the new changes happen. However, the current 4th and 5th graders will experience the new schools as middle schoolers.
Some new features of the new middle schools will include new gyms and auditoriums, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) spaces, common areas, improved technology, outdoor classroom spaces, and media centers.
Planning the changes took a lot of time and effort. “There were a ton of district administrators from every building who were involved,” Ms. Abel shares. “The teachers got to have a lot of say in what the new buildings would look like. They wanted to make sure that the spaces were designed for the education of everyone. Everyone from the teachers to the administrators to the superintendent got to be involved in the process.”
Currently, all of the elementary and middle schools are all about 50 years old, or even older. Since the district will have many more new structures, it won’t need to keep renovating the old schools. Bloomfield Hills School District hasn’t asked for any bonds like this one in years.
“With an old building, there’s often a lot of reconstruction that needs to happen,” Ms. Abel says. “Economically, it makes more sense to start from scratch, rather than just putting band-aids on old buildings again and again. And the new structures will last way longer into the future.”
As a result of the bond’s passage, the changes to the new schools should benefit the future generation of students for years to come.
As the season transitions to spring, the temperature changes as well. We can now do more outdoor activities like sports to keep us fit. This is why we are bringing to you the sequel to “Ways to Stay Fit in Winter Covid Edition” called “Ways to Stay Fit this Spring.” We have so many safe and fun outdoor activities to tell you about!
Many students are starting to go on walks outside, including 6th grader Gabi Bagdade and 4th grader, Brooke Jaffe. Brooke says, “I like to go on walks because they help me reduce stress and I love being in the fresh air.” Walks are definitely something to do in the warmer months. Gabi not only likes to go on walks, but she also enjoys playing sports in the warm weather, including dance, acro tricks, and baseball with her brother. “I like to do them because I get to be with my friends, and it’s fun!” she explained.
Brody Oshansky, an 8th grader, spends his spring active time running outside and going on bike rides because he can enjoy nature while staying fit. Nature can be very beautiful and the warm weather is a great bonus.
Mr. Grippo, our 6th-8th grade physical education teacher, stays fit by playing baseball, softball, and going on hikes with his kids. He also explains that an important part of staying fit is drinking lots of water, sleeping enough hours at night, and eating healthy foods. Mr. Grippo enjoys cooking homemade meals and eating natural foods. These health tips are great for everyone to use.
Senora Salisz, our 6th-8th Spanish teacher, enjoys yoga, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, walking and riding her bike. She loves to get outside and surround herself in nature. On Wednesday mornings, Senora leads a Movement and Mindfulness club at 7:30am in the field house. She recommends finding an activity that doesn’t seem like work, rather something you have fun doing and your workout will be a breeze.
We hope that these ideas are something that you would like to do, and try these recommendations! Stay safe and active, Warriors!
What is the Super Bowl? The Super Bowl is the annual contest of the NFL starting from 1966 and is still going on today. First, they play in a normal season which is 16 games. Usually, you need to win 10 or more to get into the playoffs. The Super Bowl is one of these playoff games. The winning team wins about $250,000 and the Lombardi Trophy. The Super Bowl engages many people in American Football. According to the New York Post, about 14 million Americans are expected to call in sick to work on the Monday after the Super Bowl, which is sometimes nicknamed “Super Sick Monday”.
The Super Bowl’s creation lies in the making of the American Football League (AFL) in 1960. Started by a group of businessmen who wanted their own pro football business but were frustrated by the NFL’s unwillingness to open up. The AFL forged ahead as a different league playing a more open brand of football. The first Super Bowl was in 1966, six years after the AFL was created. As of 2021, there have been 55 Super Bowls played. The first halftime show featured a marching band. In 2021 it evolved into a fancy performance.
Tom Brady: The 43-year-old is one of the most impressive players. The New England Patriots and now the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback has more Super Bowl most valuable player awards than any other player. His Super Bowl LI (51) effort may be the most impressive given he arranged the greatest comeback in the game’s history, leading the Super Bowl’s one overtime drive against Atlanta. There are probably more amazing feats to come.
Joe Montana: He’s been overtaken in many categories by Brady, who grew up admiring the player who set the gold standard for Super Bowl quarterback play. Montana was named MVP three times. Most people can never forget the brainy, 92-yard drive he led – topped by the victory throw to John Taylor in the final minute – to win Super Bowl XXIII?
Super Bowl LV, 2021
Super Bowl LV (55) was a match of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus the Kansas City Chiefs. The game started out exciting with everyone on the edge of their seats. Once the score turned 31-9 with the Buccaneers winning, the game slowed down. To our surprise, the score stayed the same throughout the game from here on out. As you can guess from this information the Buccaneers won the game giving Tom Brady his seventh Lombardi Trophy, and giving the Buccaneers their second Super Bowl victory.
No team has ever played in their home stadium, until this year. The Super Bowl was played in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ stadium. They are the first team to play in their home stadium. Also, they are the first team to win in their home stadium. Now you see the Super Bowl isn’t just a game of football. It is full of excitement and thrills!
We can all agree that 2020 has not been the best year. We have spent more time at home then ever before, but while we are home, let’s look on the bright side and find activities we can do to stay safe and have fun. Here are ways some of our teachers and students do when they’re bored.
Mrs. Lynch said her family usually plays board games and card games. They also complete puzzles or Legos, and they’ve had a blast playing in the snow! Her family also has tournaments on their Pop-a-shot basketball game. She also tries to get outside and walk or bike ride.
Mr. Middleton said that he spends time reorganizing areas of his home. When the weather is good, he works on making his garage an outdoor family room where he can have friends and family over. He also likes to exercise, go on the boat and drink coffee while watching Carl Azuz on CNN10! Maybe for students, this translates into an entire bedroom makeover complete with LED lights and a comfortable reading chair.
Mrs. Gordon said that she loves to build forts, bake, play with Legos and go outside with her two kids.
Mr. Purdy said that he tries to stay active. He uses workout equipment and a heavy bag to box in his basement. He also enjoys hiking and mountain biking in the woods. When he wants to relax, he also enjoys reading to keep his mind busy.
Sixth grader, Emily Berris said that she spends most of her time on Tiktok. I think some students can relate to that.
Sixth grader, Hannah Becker said that she likes to draw; a favorite activity that helps pass time.
On the other hand, you can go outside, color, create a zoom with your family and friends, play Among Us, go on Tiktok, play on Koala to the Max, watch movies, ski, practice a sport, or read. One of my favorites is thisissand.com, click “play now” and you can make amazing creations like this.
If you like cool, interactive activities then you might like the website Silk Interactive Generative Art, where you can draw interesting pictures like this one.
If you love maps and geography you can go to the website, lines.chromeexperiments.com. You can draw any line and it will take you to a place in the world that has what you drew.
Another website is Google mirror.com. You can play online Pac-Man and so many other games. The home page looks like this, so click on any game and have fun.
If you want to get away from the computer you can go tube sledding at Bower’s Farm. Our awesome school, West Hills, provides a lot of different clubs that you can also be part of.
There are so many things you can do to keep yourself busy and not stay bored. Never ever tell your parents you are bored or you might just get some chores! Stay safe and don’t forget to have fun Warriors!
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a multi-superhero film series based on the American Marvel Comics publishing company. The universe started withIron Man (2008) and continued with many other works in chronological order. So far, we have had 3 phases in this media franchise and possibly may come out with more!
After Endgame (“The last Marvel movie,”) it seemed like the end of the Marvel universes timeline because Iron Man’s first movie was the one that started it all. According to the Russo Brothers, Endgame was only Phase 3 of the MCU timeline. In 2021, many other movies are planned to come out; Wandavision, a show starring Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, and Paul Bettany as Vision recently came out on January 15th on Disney+.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, also a TV show, is coming out on March 7th featuring Sebastian Stan as the one-armed Winter Soldier and Anthony Mackieas the second superhero named after a bird. Speaking of Superheroes named after birds-Hawkeye may get a movie; Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye. Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) is the first Muslim character to be headlining in a comic! She started as a 16-year-old nerd whose parents were inhuman, then her powers were triggered by the Kerrigan Bomb, which turns her into a Polymorph who can Morphogenetic, time travel, stretch, deform, expand, and much more! And we all know Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner, a deaf boy raised in a circus with incredible aim and eyesight.
One of Hawkeyes first appearances in the comics was when he met Black Widow, who he is sent to kill-he decides not to, and together Black Widow and Hawkeye free all the girls trapped in the red room and take them down (also known as the infamous Budapest). We also watched their fight over who got killed for the soul stone in Endgame. Black Widow won and killed herself, which was surprising because she had told Steve she would “see you in a minute,” and a bigger surprise was her movie coming out after she died. A lot of MCU fans have been waiting a whole year for this to come out, and the set release date is May 17, 2021!
You can’t forget, one of our favorite Marvel villain/hero who is the son of an Ice Giant #onlyoneweknow, Thor’s adopted brother Loki Laufison. In Endgame, while Steve, Tony, and Scott Lang were trying to get the Tesseract-Loki had disappeared, along with the Tesseract.
Loki, a show coming out in May, starts when Loki disappears with the Space Stone, he gets transported to a different dimension where he Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings will be released on July 9th. Shang-Chi is a warrior with ten rings on his fingers, which give him 10 incredible qualities.
Although the actor of Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman, passed away because of colon cancer on August 28, 2020, producers are planning to make a second movie starring another Wakandian-many are hoping for T’Challa’s sister; Shuri. Feige believes in order “To honor the legacy that Chad helped us build through his portrayal of the king of Wakanda, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.”
At the end of Spiderman 2: Far From Home, we all expected a happy ending after Mysterio died, and Peter finally went on his first date with MJ, but it wasn’t the happy conclusion we had in mind. Turns out, Mysterio was the one who lived a happy ending. Before Mysterio died, he made a warning video addressed to everyone talking about “the truth” and Spiderman. This video shocks New York as they find out the true identity of their friendly neighborhood Spiderman. This Untitled: Far From Home sequel is announced to be in cinemas on December 17, 2021. It recently was revealed that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield from the past Spiderman movies would star in this sequel with Tom Holland.
The Eternals is an upcoming marvel releasing on November 5, 2021, based on a race of immortal humanoids created by Celestials who have roamed during the forgotten eras and built civilizations and defended Earth. When the deviants – the Eternals’ worst enemy – make a comeback, The Eternals must reunite to save Earth.
Even though Gamora’s disappearance in Avengers: Endgame has changed the face of Guardians of the Galaxy, the director, James Gunn, has revealed that there will be Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Many fans predict that in the 3rd volume, Star-lord and his gang will set out on a voyage to search for Gamora. As exciting as this movie seems, the guardians have a new addition to their gang, so we expect to be seeing Thor on the ride.
After The Eternals, up next to be released is Morbius. Morbius is a story of a desperate biochemist, Micheal Morbius who suffers from a rare blood disease. Michael ventures to cure himself but when the experiment goes haywire, he accidentally infects him with a type of vampirism. The film is scheduled to be released on October 8, 2021. The same actor who played Joker from Suicide Squad, Jared Leto, is playing Morbius. So far, we know that Chris Hemsworth will return as Thor, God of Thunder for Thor: Love and Thunder. Natalie Portman, Jane Foster will return to Marvel ever since Thor: Dark World. It is confirmed that Natalie would play Thor, Goddess of Thunder. Christian Bale, the same actor who played Batman for the Dark Knight Trilogy, will star as the antagonist; Gorr, the God Butcher. Star-Lord and his gang will also be in this movie, and Valkyrie. Many people predict Thor loses the ability to lift his Mjolnir, so he passes on his authority to Jane. Meanwhile, Valkyrie is left as the new ruler of Asgard.
This year, 4th-8th grade Leadership Club planned a wonderful week where West Hills Warriors could dress up every day or bring a different object to school. This week-long activity helped our school forget about some of the downsides of 2021! Here is a look at what the week entailed:
Monday: Tie-dye/ Bright color day
Tuesday: Pajama day
Wednesday: Bring your pet or favorite stuffed animal
Thursday: Wear your favorite sports team
Friday: Color by grade level
177 students responded to a survey about their feeling about this years’ spirit week. Check out the results below.
As we can see, the majority preferred to wear their favorite sports team and the least favorite spirit day activity was tie-dye/ bright color day. The anonymous survey yielded these responses, “ I picked the sports team one because I love sports”. Another WH Warrior responded, “I liked PJ day because it made school seem less stressful because I was comfortable.” Another student shared that, “I chose tie-dye day because everyone participated and I thought it looked really cool and was fun. We should do a tie-dye spirit week so the entire school wears red, the whole school wears orange then yellow, etc”.
West Hills students who responded to the survey had an option to pick something they would like to change or add to spirit week so next time it can be even better. Here is their feedback:
Add crazy hair day
Suggested a no homework day
Skip PJ day
Skip tie-dye day
Longer – perhaps two weeks
Add stuffed animal/pet day to school
Click the QR code for Photos from Spirit Week 2021
Photo credit: Mrs. Spanos
West Hills Warriors really enjoyed this creative week. We had a taste of what school felt like two years ago. Thank you to our leadership team for planning this amazing event!
In December 2019, China reported the first case of a novel Coronavirus, COVID-19. The virus has quickly spread and became a worldwide pandemic. COVID has infected over 28 million people in the United States. 2.5 million people have died from COVID-19 worldwide, including more than half a million deaths in the United States alone as of late February 2021.
“The pandemic with COVID-19 is the worst public health issue we have seen in the last 100 years, resulting in millions of deaths worldwide,” says Dr. Marcus Zervos, Division Head Infectious Diseases, Henry Ford Hospital and Assistant Dean of Global Affairs at Wayne State University School of Medicine.
“All of us need to do whatever we can to defeat the virus.” Many people do not realize the long-term damaging effects of COVID. “Some people remain sick for several months and longer,” says Dr. Zervos.
In addition to the devastating impacts, COVID continues to rampage our society in numerous ways. A new University of Southern California study found that the impact of Coronavirus on the U.S. economy could be 3-5 trillion dollars over the next two years.
According to the Pew Research Center, 15% of Americans lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has shut down many buildings, restaurants, social interactions, and significantly impacted student education.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) experts have given scientific guidance on how to slow the spread of COVID by social distancing and wearing masks. Numerous people in the country have not followed these guidelines and are not consistently wearing masks. As a result, cases and deaths have escalated over the last six months. Many have turned their hope to creating the COVID vaccine to prevent the spread and the number of future cases.
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the average time to develop a new vaccine takes up to a decade. To fight the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports the United States Government has invested over 10 billion dollars in creating and manufacturing the vaccine. Several different companies were successful in creating and manufacturing COVID vaccines. It only took months to create the vaccine, which is record-breaking in speed.
The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in December 2021 brought new hope to a desperate situation. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both use a new mRNA technology. This method uses genetic material called messenger RNA. These are the first successful vaccines to use mRNA, but scientists have studied mRNA vaccine technology for decades.
Many believe that the vaccine is unsafe because of the new technology. It is essential to know that the vaccine does not change our genetic code, nor can it infect anyone with COVID. “The vaccines have gone through all of the studies needed to show that they are safe and effective,” Dr. Zervos says. “It has already been safely given to nearly 200 million people worldwide.”
According to the CDC, more than 72 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been administered in the last three months, resulting in the vaccination of 15% of the United States. A third vaccine, Johnson & Johnson, recently received approval in late February.
When getting the vaccine, a person can not get COVID-19 as the vaccine does not contain a live virus. Many clinical trials have been done testing the vaccine and have been proven the vaccine to be safe.
As with most vaccines, there are potential side effects. In the clinical trial involving some 44,000 people, typical side effects were pain where they got the shot, fatigue, headache, chills, fever, and joint and muscle pain, says the FDA. These symptoms were all described as temporary and only lasted for a short time.
The two vaccines using the mRNA technology, Pfizer and Moderna, require two shots to reach a 95% efficacy. In the clinical trials, the vaccine prevented 95% of the cases of COVID in those who have received the vaccine. The COVID vaccine is even more effective than vaccines used for other infections. In contrast, the flu vaccine is only 40-60% efficacious, according to the CDC. Johnson & Johnson uses a different technology that requires only one shot.
“The vaccine is the best way to protect ourselves, others around us, and defeat the virus,” says Dr. Zervos.
The distribution of the vaccine is in multiple phases. The CDC determined the order of people based on the risk. The vaccine supply is limited, so they prioritized the people that needed it most.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Health, estimates that at least 70-90% of everyone in the United States will need to be vaccinated to stop the virus’s spread and overcome the pandemic.
Recently, several new variant strains of COVID-19 have emerged worldwide and already spread to the United States. It is not clear how effective the new vaccines will be against these strains. However, according to Dr. Fauci, getting vaccinated as quickly as possible is the greatest hope we have to stop the spread and the mutation of the virus.
“You need to get vaccinated when it becomes available as quickly and as expeditiously as possible throughout the country,” says Dr. Fauci. “The reason for that is viruses cannot mutate if they do not replicate.”
One of the leading causes of people getting COVID is people not consistently wearing masks. “Not adhering to distancing and being around others when sick,” Dr. Zervos says, is another major cause.
It is vital to continue wearing masks and social distancing whenever leaving the house. Most people are getting COVID from friends and extended family members as they are more likely to disregard these recommendations when around them.
Dr. Zervos advises that we all follow the safety guidelines. “COVID-19 has been hard on all of us. Many of us have lost loved ones; we need to do all we can to reduce any infection. Always wearing masks and getting vaccinated is our best hope.”
COVID-19 Vaccine: 6 Facts
The COVID-19 vaccines are proven to be safe and effective. They have gone through the FDA process and met all the safety standards. The clinical trials and safety reviews took the same amount of time as other vaccines.
COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change our DNA in any way
It is possible to get reinfected with COVID, so experts recommend everyone take the vaccine and continue masking.
Masking, handwashing, and physical distancing remain necessary until most of the country takes the vaccine and develops immunity.
None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus. The vaccines cannot cause COVID infection.
None of the vaccines can cause a positive COVID-19 test.
Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Every year we have the West Hills Reads program, but 2021 will look different. West Hills Reads is an engaging reading challenge done with the West Bloomfield Public Library to get students interested in new books and explore different genres and authors.
Who is the Author of the Year, and How Will We Meet Her?
The 2021 author of the year is Jennifer Holm. Our librarians chose her because she writes a variety of genres and can be read by a variety of ages. Holms’s newest book that came out this January is called The Lion of Mars. The book is about a kid who was raised on Mars. He learns that he can’t be held back by the fears of the grown-ups around him. Other books she has written are The Fourteenth Goldfish, The Sunny Series (Sunny rolls the dice, Swing it Sunny, Sunny Side Up, etc.)
How Can Students Participate in the Program?
First of all, unlike other years, all students will be invited to the virtual author visit. Each class will have a scheduled time to meet Jennifer Holm. In past years, students had to read a certain amount of books and write reviews about what you read in order to meet the author, but now those are optional. The visit is on March 11, 2021.
Another way to participate is by voting with the bracket. Students can go onto Destiny Discover and vote for what they think should be the book of the year. This will be calculated by a star rating system. Students can rate the books they have read from 1 star (not the best) to 5 stars (great, totally recommend). You can find the books you want to rate by searching up the title in the search bar, clicking on the correct book, and rating it by selecting the stars under the description.
How will this Year’s Bracket Work?
The Voting Bracket is how we choose the book of the year. As the weeks go by, the closer we are to knowing our book of the year. The votes students/staff submit on Destiny are what controls the bracket. This is how the bracket progresses throughout March. Week one will include the top 8 books. The second week will eliminate four more books, leaving only the top four, week three will leave us with the top two books, and lastly, in week four we will announce the book of the year!
How Can I Get Books?
There are multiple ways to get the featured books this year, from audiobooks to ebooks, to physical books. You can use school resources such as Sora, Epic, Destiny discover, and the West Bloomfield Public Library. To check out a physical book there are two places to go.
The first option is using Destiny Discover to check out a book in our school library. To do this, you can just search up the title on the website and choose the book you want to check out. Then you can hold the book by pressing the blue button. Once you do this you can either pick it up by going to the WHMS library, picking it up at the 6-8th grade entry doors, or the book will be delivered to your classroom. The school library is taking many safety/covid precautions. The school staff wipes down the tables constantly, quarantines the books for 5 days after usage, and everyone must sanitize when entering the library.
The next option is picking up a book from the West Bloomfield Public Library. Just like on Destiny Discover. You can go to the Library’s website and search for the book you want, and then sign in with yours, or a parent/guardian’s card (ask for permission first) and add the book to your cart. When you have found all of the books you want, you can drive to the library and they will give your books to you. This is a very safe way to get a book, because there is no human contact or and you do not have to enter a building.
We hope you are now excited and informed on West Hills reads! You should definitely participate in the West Hills Reads Program, 2021! Stay tuned from your librarians and staff for more information. You can also keep track of the bracket by just stopping by the school library! Have fun reading Warriors!