The Durant High School Paw Print

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Potential Changes To Durant’s Teaching Staff

For many schools, teachers and students are just getting used to balancing online and physical students. But as schedules are finally resolved, Durant may have to make more changes to their teaching staff. 

Due to the Coronavirus, people have been shopping less. Fewer purchases mean less tax revenue for the county and Hillsborough County Public Schools pays their teachers through the tax revenue, meaning the county is now $50 million in debt.  

Durant Chemistry teacher Jeffrey Henning explained the staff meeting regarding how this affects Durant.  

“What [teachers] were told was that [the Hillsborough County Public School System] has told us there’s a budget crisis, which makes sense. A lot of businesses have been closed up for six months. Our paychecks, our money, comes from tax revenue. We’re going to have to move teachers around. Now, what that means is teachers still have a contract with Hillsborough county, we still have a job… its just not where [we] wanted.” 

Schools, such as Durant, also have fewer students attending physical school (Durant is currently at 60% capacity) and consequently need fewer teachers because of the county’s new student-teacher allotment plan.  

“Some of our newer district staff members have determined that we are over allocated, so they’re using the new model to determine how many instructional staff you should have based on your enrollment,” said Principal Gary Graham. 

In the following weeks, schools that have too many teachers than needed will send teachers into “the pool.” These teachers will still have a job because they are employed by Hillsborough County, but will be moved to a different school as needed.  

The decision of which teachers to cut will be a difficult one. Graham and other administrators will look at a number of factors to determine a teacher’s future at Durant. The first thing they will look at is which classes or programs are under supported, meaning they do not have enough students to warrant a teacher or class period that could be filled by other students in another class. Then, they will consider the teacher’s scores, which are based off student pass rate and test scores, and, finally, they will look at seniority. 

Teachers that are new this year or last year do not have a teacher evaluation score. Graham explained that the rule of thumb is no score equals low score, meaning some of Durant’s new teachers could be the first to be transferred to the pool. 

If Durant cannot cut their payroll by transferring a certain number of teaching units, the next resort will be to cut support personnel, such as lunchroom staff and bus drivers. 

However, the decision of which teachers to transfer, if any, has not been made yet and Durant has been fortunate to have a few vacant teaching positions. If teachers do have to transfer to another school, Graham said “the hope is the following spring moving into the next fall, those teachers could come back.”  

While this is a stressful time for both administrators and teachers, the decisions have not been made. The only thing students and teachers can do is to be flexible with potential schedule changes and understand that the decisions are being made based on what is best for everyone in the school system. 

 

About the Writer
Photo of Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher, Editor in Chief

Lily Belcher is a junior at Durant High School and is the Editor in Chief for the PawPrint. She is freelancing for the Osprey Observer this year and hopes...

Durant Football Players Forced To Quarantine

Durant+Football+Players+Forced+To+Quarantine

After a 13-10 loss last Friday to the Newsome Wolves, more unfortunate news was delivered to the Durant Cougars.

Over the weekend, multiple starters from Newsome tested positive for Covid-19. Durant’s seven offensive starters, who came in direct contact with Newsome’s players, were forced to quarantine after Coach Michael Gottman received a call from Principal Gary Graham informing Gottman of the situation.

The seven players that came in contact with the Newsome’s players were instructed to quarantine for two weeks, in ordinance with Hillsborough County guidelines, and attend school through e-learning, which Gottman said was going well.

Due to the student athletes required to quarantine, Durant’s game against Bloomingdale, originally scheduled for September 17, was moved to the Cougars’ by-week on October 9. While Gottman expressed his concerns regarding his starting lineup, he was optimistic of the situation, referencing the backup lineup that will now have the chance to start the next game

“I do like the fact that we are getting seven other people prepared to play, [but we are] definitely going to miss the seven offensive starters, because of quarantine, but there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s kind of the hand that we’re dealt, and we’re going to play the cards and try to win a football game Friday night,” said Gottman.

Gottman assumed Durant’s football team would have to deal with exposure to the Coronavirus at some point but did not realize it would be the first week. The team had been taking safety precautions during practice, such as social distancing and wiping equipment with a cleaning solution after workouts.

Durant and Newsome are not the first high school teams to be quarantined because of a potential Coronavirus outbreak. Jefferson and Hillsborough High Schools’ football teams were forced to miss opening night, as a number of players had tested positive.

Despite the four teams already impacted by the virus, District Spokesperson Erin Maloney said it is still important for the teams to play. The emotional and social benefits from high school sports are vital to success both inside and outside the classroom setting.

“School is about much more than just going into classrooms and getting good grades. There’s a social, emotional aspect as well,” said Maloney.

The Cougars will face East Bay at Durant on September 25 for the second game of the season.

 

 

About the Writer
Photo of Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher, Editor in Chief

Lily Belcher is a junior at Durant High School and is the Editor in Chief for the PawPrint. She is freelancing for the Osprey Observer this year and hopes...

Arrival Protocols

Campus opens at 8 am, students should not be dropped off before

Students will be required to wear a mask upon entering the school

The marquis gate will be Exit only before and after school each day

If travelling south on Turkey Creek Road, drivers should make a right turn onto Summerall Rd before arriving at the main marquis entrance for drop off and pick up. After turning onto Summerall turn left into the first open gate. Follow the lane along the East side of campus and drop students off next to the visitor parking lot

If travelling West on Keysville, proceed past the stop sign at Turkey Creek. Take the first right towards main office, past the flag pole, drop off students, then exit through marquis lane

Student drivers will follow the same traffic pattern (decals will be issued the second week of school)

If taking the bus, students will be required to wear a mask

At 8:25, students will go to homeroom

 

Update On School Lunches

There will be A and B lunches

All students will report to fourth period immediately after third, then students in lunch A will be released

Students who will receive grab and go school lunches will eat in the cafeteria

Students bringing their lunch will eat in the gymnasium or auditorium

The courtyard will be open as well

Masks may be removed only while eating

 

Coronavirus Poses A Major Threat

The most important festival on the Chinese calendar, Lunar New year, was January 25, but in the Chinese city of Wuhan there were few reasons to celebrate. A deadly outbreak of coronavirus entered the city in the last month, endangering the 11 million inhabitants.

Within weeks of the outbreak the virus has spread killing 170 people and there are more than 7,000 cases that have been confirmed in mainland China. The Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread across Asia and the rest of the world.

People are taking the incident very seriously and have been seen walking around with face masks for their safety and the safety of others. Police and security officers have also been seen in face masks standing outside of the city’s center market, Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.

The coronavirus was traced back to the Wuhan market where live wild animals such as bats, rats, snakes, dogs, and monkeys were being sold. Scientists believe that the animals that were sold at the market might have contained the coronavirus. People consumed these wild animals in unhygienic conditions which created the spark for the coronavirus outbreak.

The sale of live animals has been temporarily banned, but should be completely banned because of the threat to human survival posed by the disease within these animals. The market is being guarded and civilians are prohibited from entering the area.

People are starting to fear and speculate that it may turn into a possible epidemic. The Wuhan government has tried to contain the outbreak, but their efforts were too late, as the virus was able to spread to several provinces across the country. China has gone on lockdown in attempt to prevent further spreading. Other countries have taken preventive measures to avoid outbreaks by shuting down flights to China.

Tour agencies have banned Wuhan from allowing anyone out of the city,placing the city under quarantine. Passengers are provided with masks, gloves, and are having thermometer checks on their heads for fevers.

President Trump has 20 US airports checking passengers for symptoms of coronavirus since there has been six confirmed cases, two in California, one in Arizona, one in Washington, one in Illinois and the first person to person transmission in Chicago. U.S health officials say the risk in the U.S remains low.

There are more than 1,000 Americans stuck in Wuhan. The Trump administration was considering a complete travel ban on China to prevent spreading. Scientists across the US are trying to create a vaccine for the coronavirus but are struggling to make the vaccine available.

People are encouraged to watch out for the symptoms the virus may cause as it is becoming a huge threat to humans. Washing hands, covering coughs, and making smart choices when purchasing meats should be considered. The virus continues to spread across the globe and has reached 17 countries including Thailand, Hong Kong, France, Germany and the United States. The coronavirus has called for a global emergency and countries are trying their best to help the situation and prevent spreading. Could this be the start of a worldwide deadly epidemic?

About the Writer
Photo of Adamari Jaimez
Adamari Jaimez, Staff Writer

Adamari Jaimez is a senior at Durant High School. She has been part of journalism since her freshman year, involved in both the yearbook and newspaper...

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