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Korean Border Question for 2018 Winter Olympics

winter olympics

The Winter Olympics is an international sporting event that contains 105 events in 7 sports as well as 92 countries participating. Photo: Stux

BY ARYN LAYNO | STAFF WRITER

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, is only 40 miles from its border with North Korea. This issue of proximity raises the question of how much of a threat North Korea poses over the Olympic games.

“If there were some type of war action, that would change things dramatically,” said Samuel Auxier, president of the U.S figure skating team, in an article by Jere Longman of the NYT.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina believes that the U.S would be aiding North Korea’s regime ways, and that boycotting the games would be the best idea. But the athletes participating won’t let a political feud get in the way of their career.

“I think they need to be careful saying things like that because these athletes have worked so hard to get there,” said Auxier. “The Olympics should be above politics. They shouldn’t be playing politics with this.”

Olympians train for years to participate in the Olympics, and according to Auxier, boycotting it would devastate the athletes. The same issue goes back to 1980, when the U.S boycotted the summer Olympics in Moscow, Russia due to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. Don Paige, American track and field olympian, was supposed to compete at the 1980 Olympics for the 800 meter event. Paige had run the fastest 800 meter time that year and was a fan favorite. But due to the boycott former president Jimmy Carter had issued, he did not compete. “To this day I have never watched that Olympic 800 final, I made a promise to myself,” Paige told CNN.

Although tensions between supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, and President of the U.S, Donald Trump, have risen lately due to Trump’s “bigger button” feud, North and South Korea have a more peacful relationship. Last year, North Korea sent their women’s national hockey team to play in South Korea, and South Korea sent their women’s soccer team to play in North Korea.

BBC News reported that North and South Korea have also announced that the two nations will be marching under the same flag as a sign of their unified relationship after almost 70 years of being at war. Still, the issue of proximity raises some concerns.

Pyeonchang, the location of the Olympics, is only forty miles away from the border between North and South Korea. This adds to the possible threat that North Korea poses on the Olympics.  “Allowing Kim Jong Un’s North Korea to participate in #WinterOlympics would give legitimacy to the most illegitimate regime on the planet,” Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted. Adding to the dangers North Korea poses, North Korea has a well known reputation of violence, such as their 1988 attack on a Korean Air Flight ten months before the 1988 Olympics, as a way of protesting the Olympic games. However, current signs are pointing towards North Korea refraining from attacking the Olympics. Specifically, North Korea’s athletes performing in the 2018 Olympics and their unified flag, symbolizing their newfound relationship of peace.

“These worries are understandable,” said Choi Moon-soon, governor of the South Korean province where the Olympics will take place, “If they participate in the event, that threat disappears.”

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New Finals Schedule Benefits Students

KAILAND BEGAY | STAFF WRITER

Izzy, Josiah Fuentes and Cisco Garcia take a break as part of the new finals schedule.

It’s typically the week that every student dreads and hopes never comes…FINALS WEEK! However, this year LCHS has a new finals schedule that offers students more time to prep, snack, and hang out.

“[The schedule] gives us time to drink a coffee,” senior Cisco Garcia said, but that’s just one of several benefits. Garcia and friends “Izzy” and Josiah Fuentes also like the relaxed time to study, finish assignments and projects, and take care of business.

“It’s just a break, instead of a seven minute passing period,” Mr.Rimer Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction said. The benefits to students are built into the longer blocks of time for each final, study time at the beginning of the day, and 15 minute snack break mid-morning. “It’s really just a time for people to hang out in the concourse, talk to your friends,” Rimer said.

Seniors with late arrival or early release especially benefit on Friday, when only 1st and 7th period take final exams. Rimer hopes on Friday “there will be fewer students and a less stressful environment.”

Teachers also benefit from having two hour blocks of time to administer a final, or assess student work and record grades during their prep period. “We don’t want to get in a situation where finals becomes a default loss week. We want those days to be meaningful. That’s why we have review on Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday through Friday used for finals.” Teachers with AP subjects now have the time to administer both a multiple-choice and a constructed response assessment with a twenty-minute break in between, similar to those students will take for their AP scores.

Rimer also said the schedule is “portable,” allowing shifting  class periods because of blocks of time that can move throughout the schedule. This will hopefully make planning for finals easier from year to year as students master the concept of the blocks of time instead of unique schedules with ever-changing time structures.

Overall, the new schedule is all about student success. Rimer said, “Gives flexibility for students to meet their needs.”

Construction Update

by Susan Schripsema | Advisor

View of new construction framing from C-hall doorway. Photo by S. Schripsema

Work continues on the new building at the north side of the La Cueva campus, on schedule to be completed by April, 2018.

According to Brian Hubbell, Assistant Principal overseeing building and grounds at La Cueva, this construction includes “five Intensive Support Program rooms, five Autism rooms, one Physical Therapy room, and one Occupational Therapy room with an exercise track in the middle.”

Hubbell also stated these rooms will be equipped for maximum student support, including the equipment, furniture, lighting and flooring.

The new facility will likely become a “hub” for students who receive intensive supports, and Hubbell predicts that La Cueva will receive additional staff allocations from APS to meet student needs.  “We are assuming that with this addition, we will have additional students (most likely transfers), which would obviously force us to hire new teachers.”

Students transferring to the new LCHS facility could also impact similar programs and staff at high schools throughout Albuquerque.

In addition to new spaces for ISP and students with Autism, the building on the northeast side of campus will house “a new weight room that could be utilized by the entire La Cueva student population.”

Hubbell stated, “Eventually, the old weight room will be converted to a multi-purpose room.”

Many rooms and hallways at La Cueva already have been modified as part of the overall construction plan. Changes include, “One new life skills lab, two social worker offices, one social worker lab, and a remodeled old ISP room,” according to Hubbell. One of the remodeled rooms is now a school store, selling LCHS spirit wear and supplies like spiral notebooks.

Other changes include removing the “center wall between C-18 and C-11 to create one, large autism room, and remodeling two offices and the IEP room in B-hall.”

As APS continually improves its facilities and services to students, the construction here at La Cueva plays a role in offering specialize supports for individuals with disabilities. And that means more confidence for parents of children with special needs, who often do not have school choice when it comes to their child’s education.

A few more months of construction is well underway. “All this to benefit the special ed community, our student athletes, students as a whole, staff, and potentially the community with the school store.”