All posts by paw prints

BEAT: Administrative and Counseling

by Gianna Creighton

Mrs. Baker is the Vice Principal at school, meaning she works with students whose last names end in A-G. She also oversees different responsibilities like attendance, the Learning Center, state and district testing, and Unity Days. Outside of the learning environment, Mrs. Baker enjoys reading Epic Fantasy and Sci-Fi novels, but also appreciates reading the classics. A general day in the office consists of meeting with students, working on upcoming events, responding to emails, talking to parents, supervising at break and lunch, and helping students and staff. Mrs. Baker states, “ I really enjoy interacting with students. I know APs deal with discipline, but we do interact with the kids all the time in positive ways. That is the best part of my job.”

Mrs. Bean has been working at West Hills for 16 years. Before she became a counselor she was a math teacher for 8 years so this will be her 8th year being a West Hills counselor. One of her favorite things to do outside of school is have fun and hangout with her little boys. Mrs. Bean’s favorite memory is from working with the women’s volleyball program as a coach and being able to interact with the girls from the various teams. Mrs. Bean explained, “I love getting to know students and helping them navigate through the sometimes tumultuous high school years. I also love helping students with college applications.”

BEAT: Counseling

Anna Parrott

The job of counselors is to assist students with anything they need. Whether that is switching out classes or asking for advice on college, counselors are there to help. They offer guidance and can answer any question that is thrown at them. The counselors are located in the offices above the library and are available throughout the school day so their assistance is easily accessible.
One of the main responsibilities of the counselors is to take care of class schedules. Also, if a student is in a class they do not like, the counselors will do everything they can to switch the class out. Secondly, the counselors have guidelines and suggestions for each grade to help students do what they need to do and to get through the year successfully. Specifically for seniors, the counselors provide resources on financial aid and scholarships for college as well as internship opportunities to help seniors find their passion. A major aspect of the counseling department is providing information about testing such as the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and even AP tests; so that students can easily have access to details. Counselors also check in on students who may not be completing all of the required courses for graduation or college to make sure that they are on the right track.

BEAT

by Jayden Moreno

In this week’s beat I chose to ask three people from the Best Buddies club a couple of questions on the club. The questions are: why did they chose this club, what is their favorite thing to do in that club and how does this club benefit them.

The first person I ask said this is her first year and she is in the club because her sisters made her, but after a couple of weeks she started to enjoy helping the kids and getting to know them and also his favorite thing about the club is the pizza parties.

The second person who I ask said he is in club because he wants to get into a really good college and for that to happen you have to have good grades, which he does, but also colleges like to see that you participate in school club. His favorite part about the club is meeting new kids.

The last person I ask chose this club because he wanted to help the kids with special needs. He said this club benefits provides him with a better chance of getting accepted into college, and lastly his all time favorite thing about the club is the pizza parties.

App Review: Sky Guide

by Gianna Creighton

My name is Gianna Creighton and I am affiliated with West Hills High School Journalism. The name of the app I am reviewing is called Sky Guide: View Stars Night or Day. The version of this app is 6.2.3; the developer of this app is Fifth Star Labs LLC-fifthstarlabs.com. The platforms for this app include: on IOS 9.0 or later and can be bought on devices like iPhones, iPads, iPod touch, and Apple Watch. The price for this app is 2.99$. There is no free or lite version available but when looking up sky guide in the App Store I was able to find other free apps that provided the same use as Sky Guide. Sky Guide does offer in-app purchases.

Sky Guide is an app that allows app users to learn about and study the different types of constellations and stars that are in the sky above them. Sky Guide is designed for all ages four and up and can be used by astronomers ranging from beginner to intermediate. People who may be interested in finding a certain star may be drawn to the uses of Sky Guide. When you first buy the app, steps and directions are provided that are easy to read and understand, which make the app easy to use when new to Sky Guide. The app is very easy to navigate because it matches your location with the stars around you, so when you are looking at a comet in the actual sky the comet is appearing on your screen at the same time.

Sky Guide keeps the user interested with its playful sounds that you hear when you click on a star. The hotter the star is the higher the pitch. The larger stars have louder volumes, so based on sound the user could easily figure out which stars are bigger than others.

Sky Guide is fun to use because of the images that are shown with each star constellation. When you rotate the screen and stop at a constellation lines are drawn between the stars and  an image is shown in the background of what the stars are supposed to look like. This feature is especially fun to use. Sky Guide is visually very appealing. The app uses bright colors like purple, pink, yellow, and orange to represent planets. The Milky Way, stars, comets, and satellites brings an exciting tone to the app that invites the user to investigate.

The icon of Sky Guide is probably the most eye catching  I have ever seen. The icon has a dark blue and purple background with a light blue constellation with silver and gold stars connected to the line. It really stands out when scrolling through the app store.

The sounds used in the app include high pitch sounds when you click on a hot star and when you click on larger stars they have louder volumes. The sounds are of high quality, but are non customizable. Also when using the app there is constant soft background music playing which gives a warm feel to the app.

The app does provide for users with disabilities because of the IOS that is needed when you download the app because IOS has distinctive features that helps those that are disabled. This app could have been used during the solar eclipse so you could look at the eclipse on your phone without harming your eyes. Sky Guide can also be used on a super starry night, during a meteor shower, or for a passing comet. This app is of a higher quality than its competitors; Sky Guide has easier navigation of the app, brighter colors, and interactive audio, whereas the other similar apps only have bright colors and lacks the sound and easy navigation. Sky Guide allows you to easily take a picture of a constellation you found and upload it to any social media account. This app has a favorites section where you can store all your favored constellations and then look back on them whenever you want. The app tells the user what stars they are looking at and information on those stars which many users are unable to do without the app.

App Review

by Jayden Moreno

My name is Jayden Moreno and I have been reviewing the gaming app called Crashlands by Butterscotch Shenanigans (which consists of three brothers). This game can be bought on iOS or on a PC. However so far, everyone who has tried the game on both devices recommends it to be bought and played on iOS. Crashlands was originally $14.99 but then the creators dropped the price down to it $9.99 since they have sold over 500k.
The appearance of the game is vibrant with a cool artistic style. As you first start the game it seems like the game will be calm, juvenile with little friendly aliens, but the game will surprise you as it can get violent. The plot will seem harsh but as you progress in the game it changes per player since you craft it and create your own schemes. The abstract style of art adds to the fun and desire to play further but can become dark and dramatic very quickly to enhance the fighting. Each character looks very different individually and the environments look very neat and crisp versus all of the games coming out nowadays. Crashland is a crafting and exploring game that has tons of action. This game puts you into the shoes of a delivery boy whose ship is blown up by evil aliens.
The story itself isn’t as creative as it could be, but is good enough and is very entertaining and funny. It isn’t too serious and does enough to interact with the players to keep them interested. The creator of the game did a good job making a game for kids and grown ups. All of the reviews recommend taking your time to play and enjoy this game.
The majority of the reviews are good. This game got on the top 10 chart for best new apps in 2017. From people who reviewed this game they recommended from ages eight and up are due to violence. The most talked about aspect of the game is that you can craft whatever you want and can explore wherever you want, and also they love the fun fighting experience against the aliens.

App Review:Houseparty

by Kayla Schoenborn

The app “Houseparty” is a new and improved video chatting app. By allowing you to have up to 8 people in the group, it takes your group chat on iMessage or Snapchat to a new level. “Houseparty” is available on Android and Apple devices. It requires iOS 9.0 or later and is updated frequently. The newest update was September 6th, 2017. This app is free and is mainly for kids 13 and up. Apart from children this app could be used for business purposes like video meetings. The app is fairly easy to setup and use. When you first download the app you establish a username, enter your email, and then you give them your phone number and wait for a confirmation code. Once you enter your confirmation code the app will give you a list of friends whom you may want to connect with. You can select all the friends you want. If someone does not have the app you can send them an invite over text message. The icon for the app itself is white and red much like the YouTube mobile app, only this icon is a red solo cup, linking to the name, “Houseparty”. The icon itself is not eye-catching or interesting but the interior of the app is elaborate and efficient. It is straight-forward on how to start a chat. Compared to FaceTime, which is already downloaded onto an iPhone. This app is overall a better video chatting app. If you only want to chat with one person I would recommend FaceTime. Like most video chatting apps, this app drains battery very fast. Some worries that parents have is strangers joining a chat with their kids. Parents should know that only friends of yours and mutual friends can join. Kids can lock the chat so no one unwanted can join. Another concern is the ability to screenshot. Parents are often worry about personal information being leaked, but this is very uncommon considering their children should only be in a chat with friends who would not do this. One negative aspect is the glitchiness. After trying it out myself my friends and I all noticed conversations often cut out or do not load. With more updates the app is becoming less and less glitchy. One feature I enjoy is the ability to switch between chats while on the app. For example you could be having a video chat with friends in one and family in another. One thing I will be taking advantage is the ability to work on group projects efficiently. This app is perfect for collaborating with a group of people. Overall, I enjoy using this app and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a video chatting app.

 

App Review

by  Isabella Reed

I have downloaded many apps in my lifetime and have seen all the popular and trendy applications there are. I would say I can differentiate a well produced app from a poorly made one. WakeOut – Workout routines to wake up, does exactly what is says based on it’s name. iOS compatible with all apple devices, it is your own personal alarm clock with a twist. It generates 3 random exercises you do in the morning to get your blood flowing for example, crunches, arm and leg exercises, and punching your pillow. They change everyday so you are switching up your routine. It plays very upbeat music to get you going for your day. It’s a three in one deal, wakes you up on time and allows you to stay fit and energized, and it’s free of charge!

Pros
Has uplifting music
Generates different workouts, over 70
It’s free
Keeps you fit in a creative and fun way

Cons
You have to buy the full version to unlock more exercises
Sometimes gives you the same workouts
No skip button
Alarm won’t go off sometimes

CYOA Carly

by Carly

Today, I interviewed Madde, a West Hills High School student. She voluntarily gave me her time to discuss her experience in this wonderful school.
(1)Question: How long have you attended West Hills High School?
Answer: I have been a student at West Hills for 3 years.
(2)Question: What do you enjoy most about West Hills?
Answer: I enjoy the community.
(3) Question: Do you live close to West Hills?
Answer: Yes
(4) Question: Who is your favorite teacher?
Answer: Mr. Brent is my favorite teacher.
(5) Question: Do you play any school sports?
Answer:No, although I used to play Volleyball.
(6) Question: How many classes do you take?
Answer: 6.
(7) Question: Asked by many, do you enjoy school?
Answer: Yes, sometimes.
(8) Question: What’s the best memory you have had at school?
Answer: Eating lunch with Carly everyday.
(9) Question: Where do you want to go to college.
Answer: San Diego State University.
(10) Question: What is something you would tell someone who is new to this school?
Answer: Do not sit in the pit.

BEAT: Journalism

by Isabella Reed

This week I diverted my attention towards the counseling office and counselors in general. Since it is the beginning of the school year the counselors are being bombarded with students trying to switch their schedule around. I, myself, went up to counseling and asked one of the counselors for some college input and to sign up for one of the after school college courses they provide. There were not a lot of people signing up for that opportunity. Many students are still trying to make appointments at times when their assigned counselor is not busy.

I decided to think about what the counselors are currently going through. Mrs. Albrecht came to many different classes and gave us a presentation. She talked about different college issues and how we can get grants/student loans. The counselors have also been sending us text messages to remind us of the counseling events they are providing for us. We are able to get help for college admissions from them and we have a place to ask questions if we are ever confused about the transition to college.

BEAT: Library

by Alyssa Jenkins

This week is a huge for all seniors. There is a thing called a “Brag Packet” that all seniors are required to fill out in order to graduate. It is a packet that the Counselors gave to seniors and we are reaching the deadline. It is due by October 13th and  is to be completed and turned in online. The “Brag Packet” basically is to make sure that all seniors are cleared by parents to release student’s transcript, and to make sure that students are good on their community service hours. It is also for counselors to see where students are. This is one of the most important packets.