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Storify: First week of school results in changes for students



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Seen on Campus: Vineyard Vines

Julia Brilliant takes a closer look at a trend seen on campus through still photography.

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Storify: Students rave about Ultra Music Festival on social media


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Storify: Students spring to social media during week off from school


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Students debate course options offered

With a variety of classes offered at the Bay, students often debate which one to take. The Circuit’s staff spoke with students and teachers about their opinions on the most controversial course choices.


AP English Language vs. AICE English Language


Sophomore Valentina Sanchez found herself confused when it came to choosing her English course for her upcoming junior year. Like her, many students are on the fence about taking either AP or AICE English language. Both classes are different, however they coincide in several areas.

“It was very difficult for me when choosing between AP or AICE language, because I tended to listen to what my friends said,” Sanchez said. “It was hard because I know that AICE has a better system, but AP is easier to transcript for college admissions.”

AICE language is based on the Cambridge program. The final exam consists of writing several essays over two consecutive days. Throughout the school year, the students are taught to read and analyze different genres of novels from different eras in time. Some of the books students read include, “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas,” “The Great Gatsby” and “Slaughterhouse Five.”

“AICE English Language helps me expand my horizons as a writer and allows me to express my mind,” junior Isabella Armas said. “I love how we read novels from different time periods, because I learn the different writing styles.”

Junior Adrian Macchiato said AP English Language focuses on more specific topics like corrupt dystopian societies. The final AP College Board exam consists of three essays and a multiple-choice section.

Macchiato said students usually are not assigned with homework because they are expected to read the novels that are presented. For every novel that is read, students complete multiple choice question tests and discussions to test their comprehension and analysis. Some of the books they have read are “1984”, “Animal Farm” and “Invisible Man.”

“In the beginning of the year, I thought the class was somewhat difficult because I wasn’t used to analyzing language the way I do now,” junior Sofia Angulo said. “Once I got the hang of it, the class became enjoyable and interesting.”

English teacher Margarete Marchetti said both classes require skills like reading, writing and analyzing texts or novels from different genres.

“Both, AP and AICE, are rigorous courses and have discipline. However, if a student is planning on staying in Florida for college, the AICE program is perfectly accepted,” Marchetti said. “If he or she is planning on going out of state, AP is a better option.”



Honors Chemistry vs. Regular Chemistry


Sophomore Kayleigh Powers was looking for a way to simplify her life. After experiencing the workload in honors chemistry, she decided to switch into regular chemistry.

“The honors classes were definitely a faster pace and more in depth,” Powers said. “I felt overwhelmed sitting in class trying to take in all the information.”

Powers said she thinks it is important to take higher-level classes in subjects you enjoy, rather than focusing on the ones you do not.

“There’s no point in stressing out over a subject you aren’t good at, especially if you aren’t interested in it,” Powers said.

Chemistry teacher Ana Riusech, who teaches honors and regular chemistry, said the honors course is more math based.

“Honors requires a B or higher in Algebra I Honors, while Regular requires a C+ or higher in Algebra I regular,” Mrs. Riusech said.

Sophomore Rebecca Grinker says she struggled with honors chemistry at first because of the new material.

“I was nervous about honors because I had heard different things about it. Some people said it was not a difficult class, while others warned me not to take it,” Grinker said.  “It eventually gets easier because you get a better understanding of what the teacher is looking for.”

Grinker said a troublesome aspect of honors chemistry is the recurrence of previously learned information.

“The challenging part of the class is it keeps building on what you’ve learned,” Grinker said. “If you’re having trouble with one concept, you will have trouble with it the rest of the year if you don’t perfect it.”

Grinker said she recommends anyone who is unsure of which class, to take the time to make the decision carefully.

“I recommend honors for those that have strong math skills and can handle a fast pace,” Grinker said. “The teachers will not go over anything you have trouble with because you are responsible for your own success in the class.”


AP US History vs. Honors US History


The Civil War, The American Revolution, George Washington and Woodrow Wilson are all names and battles that AP U.S. History (APUSH) students need to remember for the final AP exam.

Several juniors are in the middle of their APUSH courses, preparing to face the College Board AP exam, which encompasses U.S. history from 1450 all the way to 2011, which spans 31 chapters.

“APUSH is a class that people should only take if they truly like history and are good in analyzing situations in general, because there is a lot of information and specific details that make the class harder,” junior Ana Jaua said.

Even though some students might consider the course challenging, junior Larissa Martins finds the class interesting and well paced.

“U.S history is one of my favorite classes; I get to know to a certain depth what happened in the country before we were born, and it is interesting to see how the world has evolved through time,” Martins said.

AP U.S. History teacher Erica Salmeri said students are expected to be able to deeply analyze texts so their reading levels should be developed before entering the class.

“The students need to have intellectual capability and work ethic to be able to get into the course and their analytical skills need to be high to be able to analyze documents and write essays,” Ms. Salmeri said.

However, many students may consider U.S. history honors a more fitting course.

“I love U.S. history honors because even though it is less rigorous than AP, we still get to learn a huge part of the history,” junior Adriana Vivas said.

In addition to AP, United States history honors is offered as an alternative for students to take. It covers history from the Reconstruction era after the Civil War to modern times. As opposed to AP, students enrolled in U.S. history honors are required to pass an End of Course Exam at the end of the year with a score of three or above.

Vivas said she is confident in her ability to pass the test at the end of the year because she feels adequately prepared from the course work and her teacher’s lectures.

“I think that we have been preparing really well for the EOC, so I don’t think it will be that much of a challenge,” she said.


AP Government/AP Economics vs. Honors Government/Economics



Senior Sophia Cohen realized when picking her classes last year that she didn’t have enough time in a day.  She decided to opt out of taking a two-hour block of AP Government/AP Economics and take a one-hour class of AP Government/Honors Economics.

“I realized I just didn’t have the amount of time in my day to devote two periods on my schedule to take AP Government/AP Economics,” Cohen said.  “I already had a really rigorous senior schedule, so there was really no need to feel obliged to take it when I could take AP Government/Honors Economics and still have a very intense schedule.”

AP Government teacher Jason Gordon said the major difference between Honors government and AP government is the intensity and depth of the material.

“This class is very in depth and a lot of information about the intricacies of the governmental system,” Mr. Gordon said. “A lot of times in the Honors portion of the class, it is very surface oriented, where you just have to know the vocabulary and understand the general concept. Whereas in AP government, the students need to understand the details of the words and apply them to the government being studied.”

Honors government teacher Darlene Weber said she feels that while Honors Government is time consuming, it is more manageable and less prolonged for a student who is not looking to pursue a career in government.

“AP Government is completely off the wall, there is a lot of material to learn and a lot at stake,” Mrs. Weber said. “In Honors you have to learn your material, it’s a little critical thinking, you have to study a little at home, but it is mostly taught in class and definitely is not extremely time consuming.”

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internet privacy

Dangers of Internet require new safety measures

BY SAMI HAYDUinternet privacy

Freshman Alexis Epstein believes that even though communicating and surfing online may be intended to be harmless and fun, there are many dangers that come along with the Internet that could impact a student’s future.

Like Epstein, some students feel there are different dangers to the internet.

“Staying private on the internet is important in everything people do these days,” Epstein said. “For high school students, it is especially important that we are extremely careful with what we put online. When we go to apply for colleges, everything we put online will follow us and [a college] can see [what we post]. If someone has a great resume but a bad Internet record, that could ruin their chances of being accepted.”

English teacher Jeanne LaTrell Kielbasa said her AICE General Paper class has talked about the importance of staying safe from potential predators while using the Internet.

“At the beginning of the year we wrote an essay about making friends online,” Mrs. Kielbasa said. “We discussed how profiles on the Internet can be misleading, and the dangers of accepting random friends on social media. It is so important that students know to be careful who they friend.”

Like Mrs. Kielbasa, junior Ana Ribeiro believes that cyber-bullying is a major issue that should be discussed in school. Although she thinks that technology is beneficial to education, she said that learning how to be careful on the Internet is essential.

“In school, we are taught the basics of being safe online and why we shouldn’t be cyber bullies but not much more than that,” Ribeiro said. “Schools need to do a better job of teaching us how important Internet privacy is because the Internet can be very dangerous.”

Freshman Josie Clancy said although it is important to learn about Internet privacy, there are some negatives to expanding the curriculum.

“I think it is very important that students are knowledgeable about the dangers of the Internet, but expanding the curriculum would be very time consuming,” Clancy said. “If we were taught more about Internet privacy, that would only cut into the time for teachers to prepare us for AICE and AP exams, EOCs, FSA tests and more.”

As time goes on, more things are becoming technology based and Epstein said this would bring more awareness to the issue of Internet privacy.

“As technology improves and the Internet gets bigger, the security will probably continue to get better,” Epstein said. “ Students are becoming more aware of the dangers and teachers and mentors are getting better at educating them.”

With the current generation being the first to grow up with the Internet, Mrs. Kielbasa said the prominence of the Internet is getting to student’s heads.

“I think students are exposed to issues and subjects that they are too young to try and understand,” Mrs. Kielbasa said. “There can be information overload which can lead to concepts that can be confusing for young people. The internet has also opened the door to cyber bullying which is so harmful to self esteem and can have harmful consequences to young people.”

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Social Media and College

Social media proves dangerous in college admission process


MULT. NEWS EDITORSocial Media and College

Growing up in an era where social media impacts the lives of young teenagers everywhere, many students neglect the fact that what they post online can have an impact on where they attend college and their future.

Technology is advancing, and social media has gradually become a big part of student’s lives. Accordingly, some teenagers post freely on their social media accounts without realizing the dangers and the repercussions of their actions.

SAT and ACT tutor Adam Moss believes that while not all college admissions officers are checking into a potential student’s social media profiles, some certainly are.

“Not all colleges will look into a social media profile, but pictures of drinking and partying are obviously problematic,” Moss said. “Colleges want students who will be ‘non-problematic’ members of their campus communities, and cyber-bullying, negative postings about school and teachers, and things like posting fight vides or not safe for work (NSFW) material are bad ideas.”

Moss believes that maintaining a positive image on social media is very important not only for students, but for those competing for jobs as well.

“Managing one’s image is, like it or not, a vital piece of succeeding in today’s competitive world,” Moss said. “Businesses and celebrities spend huge sums of money to manage their public personas, and in a way, students should be their own ‘image consultants.’ Many of the things that teenagers think are private and out-of-reach are shockingly easy for an expert to track down, and silly mistakes can leave permanent trails online.”

Junior Eli Nir doesn’t think posting on social media is worth it in today’s competitive society.

“I have my own social media accounts but I’ve never really been into posting and telling everyone what’s happening in my life,” Nir said. “It’s not a bad thing to be open about your life on social media, it really just depends on the type of person you are. As long as someone doesn’t post anything stupid, it shouldn’t matter in the long run.”

BRACE adviser Shari Bush believes that students shouldn’t be weary of what they post online solely for the reason of college applications, but they should really pay attention to the bigger picture, which is their future.

“We live in a culture right now where everything is blasted out there for everyone to see. I think that there should be some humility and sensitivity about the stuff that some students post about themselves,” Mrs. Bush said.

Mrs. Bush said that teens should be careful and really think about what they’re posting for everyone to see.

“Colleges are looking at the total student and not just at their grades and scores anymore,” she said. “They’re looking at their authenticity, integrity, and what they’re going to contribute to the community once they become a student there. Even if a college doesn’t necessarily look into a social media profile, students should use caution at all times because you can never be so sure.”

Sophomore Alexa Zuckerman thinks that what teens post on their profiles can really impact their futures, which is why she holds back from posting too much about her life.

“You can really tell a lot about a person by looking at their Instagram or Twitter,” Zuckerman said. “One bad decision you make can really impact whether or not a school will want to accept you, or a future company will want to hire you.”

Zuckerman feels that overall, it’s a personal decision on how a student wants their lives to turn out, but she feels that it is better for her to hold back when posting on her social media sites.

“It can be really dangerous to post anything on the Internet because once you press send it’s out there forever,” Zuckerman said. “I prefer to be more conservative with everything I post because I know what the consequences may be and I care too much about my future to let something as silly as a post on social media ruin that for me.”

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Storify: University of Florida acceptance day swamps social media

On Feb. 12, the University of Florida (UF) decisions for the class of 2020 came out. Many Cypress Bay students, alumni and UF accounts reflected on their days through social media.



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Seen on Campus: Short Hair

Amanda Morgan and Lauren Pabian take a closer look at a trend seen on campus through still photography.

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ABBY senior skip day

Senior skip day causes mixed feelings



Senior Vanesa Alvarez plans on missing school on Friday, Feb. 12 so she can take in the warm sun, fresh air and ocean breeze.

Although school will still be in session at the Bay, many seniors will “play hooky” on this day to participate in the annual Senior Skip Day. Most seniors on this day opt out of school in order to hit the road with friends and go to the beach, or simply relax at home.

“I am so excited for Senior Skip Day and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since I was a freshman at the Bay and saw the seniors that year participate in it,” Alvarez said. “Although I’ve been waiting for our Senior Skip Day for four years now, I have not made plans yet because plans change at the last minute anyways, so I don’t want to get my hopes up.”

Alvarez said she wanted to go to the beach on this day because it is a tradition, but she said traditions change due to unpredictable events.

“I’m hoping that my friends and I go to the beach, but I can’t commit myself to that plan until I check the weather first,” she said.

Senior Sam Etkin chose to do something a little different than what seniors generally have done in the past.

“Since Senior Skip Day is on a Friday and it’s a long weekend, my dad and I are going to visit a school in New York,” Etkin said. “We might even stop by New York City to see my brother and sister.”

Etkin said even though teachers may look down on the day for skipping valuable learning time, it should be seen as an acknowledgment of the hard work and dedication the seniors have put in.

“Senior Skip Day is when the students recognize how hard they have worked the past four years of high school and take the day off in celebration,” Etkin said. “It is the day that seniors can finally look back at high school, with all the ups and downs, hardships and dedication, and see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Even though on the second Friday in February most seniors will not be in school, school will go on and teachers will continue with their schedules.

“It would bother me if my teachers made me make up work that I missed because it is the one day that seniors are supposed to take off to enjoy, and get psyched for their future,” Etkin said. “It would make me the most upset though if a teacher of an all senior class made us complete make up work since they already know that most seniors are going to miss that day.”

For Senior Katie Slattery, this Friday in February is very significant.

“The Senior Skip Day may seem like it should be relaxing and full of tanning and friends, but the University of Florida (UF) decisions come out on this day, making it anything but relaxing and fun,” she said. “Many seniors have been stressing about UF decisions this whole year, so many will be anxiously awaiting to log in and see their fate.”

Physics teacher John McCann said this day is no different than any other day on the school calendar. He teaches seniors as well as sophomores and juniors and said he has no time to waste before the Advanced Placement exam.

“My students usually show up on this day, even the seniors,” Mr. McCann said. “Most of my kids will come to my class on this day and then leave after it because they know that I never waste a day in class. So if they miss it, it will be on them to figure out what we did and then make it up.”

Mr. McCann said he does not think that Senior Skip Day is a good tradition since it influences kids to skip school. He said it makes it so that seniors who want to go to school so they don’t miss anything don’t in fear of being the only senior there.

“I’m against the tradition,” he said. “Kids are going to do what they want to do anyways, so life goes on.”

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