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Civic Action Project

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by Sebastian - Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 01:24 PM
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Sebastian Kamer

Period 4

What’s the fuss?

 There is an epidemic amongst the teenagers of today. Not enough of them are getting ample sleep per night to allow for a full strength brain to learn in school. Some blame this on the teenagers because of our busy lifestyles, but new science has shown that our circadian rhythms aren’t allowing us to get full sleep because of how early school starts. Our circadian rhythm makes it so that we are drowsy early in the morning and more apt to stay up later in the night. Thusly if we started schools significantly later we could do things such as work and sports in the morning which take less brain power. Which would leave the time of the day our brain is most active, and open to information about school and learning opportunities.

 This is very important to change because the teenagers of today are the future leaders of America, and learning and going to school is very important to be well educated in whatever you want to do. We stress learning as one of our most important traits yet we force our kids to learn at a time when their brain isn’t fully receptive to information. "After centuries of assuming the longer we are awake, the sleepier we will become and the more we will tend to fall asleep, we were confronted by the surprising result that after 12 hours of being awake, the subjects were less sleepy than they had been earlier in the same day, and at the 10 o'clock test, after more than 14 hours of wakefulness had elapsed ...they were even less sleepy." ( If we want our teenagers to be getting the best education possible it is a necessity to later the start of school.

 I propose that we will send well educated letters to the Board of Education explaining the need to later times of school starts by stating facts; we will also make a petition for anyone to sign as a symbolic statement of how many people are on board, and see the need to fix this problem. Between these two things we hope to change people’s mind about this major problem.

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by Arianna - Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 01:24 PM
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Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been in the Colorado headlines for a while now. Most of the Colorado community is concerned about the effects of fracking, but with recent flooding this concern has been heightened. As clouds bombarded the Front Range, flood waters raged toward developed oil and gas drilling areas, releasing carcinogens into water and sediments. The largest crude oil spill during the flooding was recorded at 5,225 gallons, all of which was washed into the South Platte River. About seventy percent of Coloradoans rely on the South Platte River for drinking water. Not only does this directly impact the lives of the people but it also contributes to the destruction of our environment. Our nation is so dependent on Oil and Natural Gas that I believe if we were to at least limit the amount of fracking done, that there will be a progressive push towards alternative energy. There is only one earth and as the superior beings of our planet, stewardship should be our main priority. I plan to take initiative and help others to do the same; I propose to write a letter directly to the Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper addressing this issue head on. I also intend to contact members of the Colorado Legislative Council, Mike Mauer and Amy Zook. Until the state of Colorado declares this problem to be solved, I plan to educate myself and others around me about the harmful effects of this fuel harvesting process.

[ Modified: Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 01:30 PM ]
Picture of Ananda
by Ananda - Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 01:21 PM
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There is an epidemic of low performance in high schools across America. The main reason American youth are under performing is a disconnect between their natural circadian rhythms and the time at which school takes place. The fact that school starts at 7:30 while the teenage brain doesn’t start until hours after that Is causing dramatic failure in academic performance. In a recent report by the Annie E. Casey foundation, 1 in 3 students scored “below basic” on the 2009 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) reading test. Even more sobering, according to the NAEP literacy rates amongst 12th graders have been declining since 1992. If American wishes to be competitive in the ever flattening world we live in today we MUST take action to improving public high schools and alter the way public schooling is approached across the nation. The easiest and quickest way to do this is to synchronize the way youth already think and act with the way teachers and the school board operates. In specific reference to the Poudre School District, and even more specifically Rocky Mountain High School I suggest the addition of an option 5th period block in addition to 0-4th blocks. This would allow for students to better fit their schedules to their academic and sleep needs, meaning better academic performance and overall a healthier life. In order to achieve this goal the issue will be attacked three-fold: letters to Poudre School Board officials (specifically Brett Larson and Principal Woodall) raising awareness of scientific evidence backing up these facts through the use of public campaigns such as video announcements and posters/fliers, and a symbolic petition targeting the students of Rocky Mountain High School asking for their support. The goal of these civic actions is to both gain support for our movement as well as put it into motion.

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by Cody - Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 01:16 PM
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As a minor, I appreciate the Transfort buses being free of charge for minors to ride. However, when I take my trips to Loveland to save gas, the C.O.L.T (City of Loveland Transportation) buses require me to pay fee. But when I had expected to ride the bus for free I have no money to pay for my fee to ride and have to walk to my destination rather than ride. This can simply not due! So I have 2 solutions that can solve this problem. One, start issuing frequent riders cards that they can use to instead of paying fee every time they get on the bus, have that card to swipe to indicate that they have a ride. Now I don’t expect these cars to be free. Of course there will be some cost to purchase one of these “pass cards” but at least relatively cheap. My other solution is having minor riders to have free rides, but with that have regular adults have a higher fee for riding. This would be if and only if the “Pass Card” idea didn’t work. And here you are asking yourself, why should this matter? Well with the card, you can probably have an expediential amount of riders. And more riders means more business, and more business means more money. Whether that money uses to maintain the buses or is just sent to use for the entire city, this system can be used to generate money for the city and have riders have a cheaper solution to riding the buses

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by Jenna - Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 01:15 PM
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West Swallow Road outside of Rocky Mountain High School is currently extremely unsafe for cars, bikes, and pedestrians using this street. There is only one raised crosswalk and one flat crosswalk near the teacher parking lot while there is also one that was “removed” that students still use frequently since it is still visible. Because there are not enough crosswalks, many students don’t use them at all. With no raised median along the road, drivers often make U-turns or pass each other causing even more problems for bikers, pedestrians and other drivers. Also, since many students are dropped off in front of the school, cars are constantly driving through the bike lanes without checking for bikes. This is yet another safety issue that must be fixed. There are too few safety precautions taken on West Swallow Road to keep people safe.

Many accidents have occurred in front of Rocky Mountain High School in the past few years and some students have suffered terrible injuries. We must take action to make Rocky a safer place.

It is impossible to force students to use crosswalks, but there are things we can do to keep them safer. First, we could create a raised median all along West Swallow Road. This would prevent cars from making U-turns or swerving around each other. The crosswalk that was “removed” needs to be completely invisible so students stop using it. A third crosswalk should be added in between to two existing crosswalks so more students will use them and be safe. Also, flashing crosswalk signs should be added to increase the visibility and safety of pedestrians. Lastly, the bike lanes in front of the school where students are dropped off and picked up should transition onto the sidewalk, where they would be separated from pedestrian lanes. This would keep bikers safe from cars in this dangerous area. We must make these changes before any more students get hurt.

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by Gracie - Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 01:15 PM
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Pedestrian safety needs to be a top priority in the United States, specifically in school areas. West Swallow Road, in front of Rocky Mountain High School, is a busy street on week days. It is filled with cars dropping off students, teachers driving to a parking lot, pedestrians, as well as other cars unrelated to the school. The problem with this street is it is unsafe for pedestrians. While there is one raised crosswalk, there is also another crosswalk that is not raised, and nearly invisible to drivers. This causes accidents; when one car stops, the car behind it may not realize there is a pedestrian in the crosswalk and drive around this car. While the middle lane is marked off with yellow lines, it allows drivers to swerve around stopped cars, and ultimately causes more problems. There is also a lack of crosswalks; the busy street should have more crosswalks, and they must be visible to drivers and clear to pedestrians.


There have been multiple accidents and near accidents due to these problems, and something must be done to increase the safety for pedestrians. The school is on a street, so some students will always have to cross this street. A solution must be found to ensure the safety of students.


The middle lane on this street causes problems for people using the crosswalk. To avoid this, I suggest adding something in the middle lane so cars cannot go around stopped cars. There will be openings for turn lanes, but the main problem involving crosswalks will be solved. Because this is a busy street, specifically at the start and end of each school day, adding another crosswalk may help students stay safe. If there are more crosswalks, students will be more likely to use them and drivers will be more likely to stop for pedestrians. To increase the visibility of these crosswalks, blinking crosswalk signs should be placed in the street. When someone is crossing, the driver will see the lights and stop for pedestrians.

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by Caitlin - Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 01:15 PM
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School should be the safest place for children. Getting safely to school and home should be a top priority. West Swallow road, by Rocky Mountain High School, is filled with cars, bicyclists, pedestrians, and staff hurrying to get to school. The crowded street causes an increased risk for pedestrian and bicycle accidents. While there is a raised crosswalk, the other heavily used crosswalk is very hard to see. With only two crosswalks, many students don’t use the crosswalk making Swallow road very scary to drive on. On top of having so few crosswalks, there is a middle lane which adds confusion and cars the ability to go around stopped cars which increases the risk for accidents. There is also a crosswalk that has been “removed” but is still visible and used by pedestrians. With these problems bicyclists also are not being seen when cars are pulling over and dropping off students.

With these problems W Swallow road has become extremely unsafe. Many accidents have caused students to be unable to attend school because of injuries. Things must change to insure students can get to school and come home safely.

The major problem is having a middle lane, to fix this the middle should be raised into a median and openings should be added for turn lanes to decrease the ability for impatient drivers to go around other cars. Also, the crosswalks should be more visible with signs and give pedestrians the ability to push a button so flashing lights alerting the drivers that they are crossing the street. A third crosswalk should also be added so more students will use the crosswalks. The “removed” crosswalk needs to be completely invisible so no one uses it. It is also very important to increase bicycle safety. The bicycle lane should transition to the sidewalk near the entrance to the drop off and pickup lanes. This will help decrease bicycles being unable to be seen.

These solutions will greatly decrease accidents and increase safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers.

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by Jack - Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 01:13 PM
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In our modern day and age, internet is an important part of our learning habits. We use it for various purposes such as research or using Google docs to share our presentations with our fellow class mates. Currently, schools have closed Wi-Fi networks which limit the student’s access to the internet and force students to use the library, which isn’t always available, for their internet access needs in school. But in the era we live in, tablets, phones, and laptops have become dominant over personal computers for school work needs. Unfortunately students have no access to these without a school-provided laptop and the Wi-Fi networks remain locked. This prevents students who do not qualify for laptops from using the internet on their personal mobile devices to do school work. This puts them at a disadvantage when compared to their peers who can utilize Wi-Fi freely due to the laptops provided by the district. For instance, if students have spare time in class then they are able to pull their school laptop and work on homework while other students without laptops cannot do school work on their mobile devices because Wi-Fi access is restricted. The obvious solution to this is to allow or give the password to the Wi-Fi to students for the year so they can access it from class on their personal device without having one that was lent to them by the school.

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by Kelcey - Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 01:11 PM
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“Despite their proven innocence, the difficulty of reentering society is profound for the wrongfully convicted; the failure to compensate them adds insult to injury.” 10,000 people a year are wrongly convicted and they receive very little money once they are released, if they are released. For example “Darrin Hill, who was accused of a 1993 rape, was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was confined to a mental hospital for two decades before DNA testing proved his innocence and identified the real perpetrator. Since Hill’s conviction has been vacated and he can prove factual innocence, Hill is entitled to $25,000 for each year of wrongful incarceration, with a cap of $250,000.” This case is just an example of how people’s lives are completely changed. They miss most of their life sitting in jail and with this man he was put into a mental hospital and he wasn't even insane. Everyone who is wrongly convicted deserves a lot more than they are getting because there life is completely changed forever. What if that was you? Kaia and I are trying to improve the policy for the wrongly accused either by changing the amount of money and compensation they get or the way the court system is because something is evidently wrong if 10,000 people are being wrongly accused a year. Think back again what if you were Hill would you only want $250,000 for being wrongly accused?

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by Linda - Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 01:11 PM
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Any student that buys a school lunch in Poudre School District is required to take a serving of fruits and/or vegetables with their meal. This bountiful selection of foods should be testament to the healthy choices that students learn to make in high school. However, some students learn terrible lessons from this requirement. These students can be seen tossing their selection of fresh fruits into the nearest trash can as soon as they pay for their food. These students habitually discard their food, routinely. These students will refuse to eat fruits and vegetables whether or not they are given them. Therefore, the most efficient solution to the problem is to remove the requirement that students must take fruits and/or vegetables with their meals.

While this solution may initially appear to contradict countless food campaigns run by schools, the trends that the requirement may cause could be even more deleterious to students’ well-being. Because it costs schools money to provide fruits and vegetables but students are not required to pay for them, the most immediate effect of wasting food is an inflation of school lunch prices, which affects all students, even those who are not wasteful. Throwing away food habitually may lead to a correlation between “free” and “worthless” in a wasteful student’s mind. If this correlation persists beyond high school, the result will be adults who waste their own food and money, as well as tax dollars.

I have a three-part plan to ameliorate the situation. First, I plan to contact Dr. Todd Lambert, a superintendent for Poudre School District. I will interview him about who made the policy, what enforces it, and what it might take to fix the problem. After that, I will do a study to find a quantifiable number of students that throw their food away. I will spend a single lunch period by one trash can, and I will count how many students throw away their food on that day. After this, I may write an article about it publishing my findings, which I may send to the School Newspaper, or a similar place that might publish my findings.

[ Modified: Tuesday, 1 October 2013, 01:30 PM ]
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