With Michigan High School Sports approaching a month into the winter season, Colin Jankowski breaks down how Meridian Township Schools are tackling the return to sports during the COVID-19 pandemic. Update: Jankowski learned after the filing of this story that the boys’ basketball team at Okemos High School has an outbreak of COVID-19. Critics of the return to sports in Michigan voiced concerns that social distancing procedures wouldn’t be followed, whereas supporters felt athletes and spectators could handle it. “I think we’ve done just about as good of a job as you can,” Okemos High School Athletic Director Brian Fuller said about Okemos’ handling of COVID-19 safety protocols. Monday marked three weeks since the Michigan High School Athletic Association and the state of Michigan gave the all-clear to resume high school sports in Michigan while the state continues to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Okemos High School students have been in Zoom classes for a month. Students who regularly attend in-person classes at Okemos High School are learning at home. Due to the COVID-19 safety precautions set by the Okemos school board.
The ACC is the Asian Culture Club at Okemos High School. The organization brings all races together and volunteered in the Chinese New Year celebration at Meridian Mall. Although the organization’s members are just high schoolers, they bring positive energy to their high school and to the community by welcoming everyone together for equality, and learning about one another. Gaelin Zhao is the president of the Asian Culture Club and is currently a junior at Okemos High School. Since joining ACC his freshman year, he’s enjoying being a part of the organization.
For students struggling with bullying or any sort of issue in their school or community, OK2SAY is a confidential tip line in which students can confidentially submit their tips regarding themselves, a fellow classmate, or someone else they know.
By Katie Dudlets
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter
In Michigan, the number of students in schools of choice increased from 66,560 in 2005-06 to 115,209 in 2012-13, an upsurge of 73 percent. Schools of choice enrollment also made up a larger percentage of the state’s overall student population, rising from 3.7 percent of 1.8 million students in 2005-06, to 7.1 percent of 1.6 million students in 2012-13. Administrators in Meridian Township are seeing a similar trend. “We do have many students that are interested and go ahead and make applications for schools of choice for Haslett [High School], and not only Haslett, but for Haslett Public Schools,” said Haslett High School Principal Bart Wegenke. “I think we’re probably about 18 to 20 percent schools of choice [students] for this district.”
According to Joshua Cowen, an associate professor in the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University, this increase in the program’s popularity is not only a trend in Michigan, but in the nation as well.
By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter
OKEMOS — Every year, thousands of students apply to colleges with the assistance of numerous people. Okemos High School has instituted an assistance program that allows students to have all the tools necessary for applying to their colleges, as well as finding the colleges that fit for them. Hedlun Walton, the director of guidance services at Okemos High School, said the process begins in the spring of a student’s junior year. The school hosts an evening presentation, where they invite an admissions representative from Michigan State University or the University of Michigan to come and give general advice on completing applications and writing essays. “Our assistance begins with helping students position themselves to have a competitive application and to do the appropriate amount of college exploration to make sure they are selecting schools that would be a good fit for them,” Walton said.
OKEMOS – On Feb. 17, Okemos High School opened their new Strength and Conditioning Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new high-tech fitness space. With this being twice the size of the old weight room, it will give every sport team the opportunity to use and develop their weaknesses they might think they need improvement on. “This was a really great move for Okemos High,” said Michigan State Associated Professor Of Kinesiology Karin Pfeiffer. “This gives kids and young people the opportunity to work out somewhere after school for free.