BY ALEXANDRA HAYNES
Papio South’s official Open Mic Night was a success. After the first attempt at running it failed due to initial lack of interest, last Friday’s well advertised event had a humble but active crowd of participants with many performers bringing friends, filling the audience. The cosy library setting gave the event a comfortable café feel with lights dimmed, a podium and posable mic provided for versatility. There were guitarists, smooth singers, and slam poets – the evening was a small show of Titan talent.
Alumni, family, and local friends were able to be brought along. Christmas sugar cookies were available, topping the night off sweetly.
Relaxed and friendly, the Open Mic crowd agreed that they wanted it to be run again, ideally as a bi-weekly occurrence. News on this will be advertised when decisions have been made by staff.
STORY AND PHOTO BY MELANIE POOL
Papillion La Vista Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Andrew Rikli sat down with about a dozen students Wednesday and led a reading and discussion of the picture book “Llama Llama and the Bully Goat.” Rikli’s visit was part of PL South’s Celebrity Reader’s Circle, organized by teachers Mrs. Christine Ebke and Mrs. Rebecca Hoesing.
Celebrity Reader’s Circle is a Learning Center-based enrichment program that invites influential people from the community to come to the school and read a story that can be used to engage students in conversation. Ebke said the program was “designed to facilitate real-world connections for students with special needs through the power of written and spoken word.”
The program is intended to help special-needs students further develop skills such as asking “who,” “what,” “when,” “where” and “why” questions, as well as speaking clearly and commenting on conversational responses, Ebke said.
BY MICHAELA THOMAS
By definition, class rank is a measure of how a student’s academic performance compares with that of other students in his or her class. The idea of class rank was created to reward those who excelled academically.
Despite the intention of class rank, students ranging all over the grading scale have argued that it can have quite the opposite effect.
In a proposal presented at the Papillion La Vista Community Schools board meeting on Monday, members discussed replacing the current ranking system with the Laude Recognition Model used at many universities and an increasing number of high schools.
The presentation quoted perspectives from a number of area students: “The current system demotivates students, particularly if you are not ranked at the top you know there is no way to get there,” one said. Another added, “All students with the highest GPA should be recognized.”
If the new plan is adopted, individual rankings would be replaced by three honorary categories: Summa Cum Laude (“with highest honor,” GPA of 4.25 or higher on a 4.00 weighted scale), Magna Cum Laude (“with great honor,” GPA of at least 4.00 but less than 4.25) and Cum Laude (“with honor,” GPA of at least 3.75 but less than 4.00) . This would start with next year’s freshman class, according to information distributed at the school board meeting.
One student said of the proposed system, “It’s not a competition for one spot but a recognition of excellence.”