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Helix students back in in-person school


The Highlanders are back! With the county moving to the Orange Tier under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, students began attending classes on campus under Helix’s hybrid model.

Under the current plan, students attend classes via Zoom two days a week, and those who have chosen in-person instruction attend class on campus one day a week. In order to maintain distancing and other regulations provided by the state, half of the student body attends on Tuesdays, and the other half attends on Thursdays. The Helix administration monitors all ongoing changes to guidance from public health officials, and the school is ready to adapt as new guidance is issued.

The Class of 2021 Grade Level Team recently announced that graduation will be held in person on June 3. Details were not immediately available, as decisions are still being made in regards to how to implement the modifications necessary to remain compliant with the guidelines for graduation put forth by the state.

Along those same lines, the team also announced that there will be a Senior Prom — while it will not be a traditional prom, the team is committed to providing a special event for seniors. Once again, the details are being worked out to make sure the event is compliant with all the guidance provided.

Seniors are also being treated to a series of “Senior Days” on campus. Students are divided into teams (the same students in the group for each meeting). The teams compete in different fun activities each week, with a designated staff member coordinating the activities.

Seniors will also be celebrated for their future plans. The Grade Level Team is hosting a college signing celebration on May 8 for all students who plan to attend a two-year college, four-year college, or trade/vocational school following graduation. They will also host a Military Appreciation Luncheon on April 28 for students planning to join the military.

MESA Competition Winners

San Diego State University pulled off today a 100% virtual/pandemic MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) Competition Day, and Helix students came up big.

 – Coding Solutions:

1st Place – Ralph Inaki Valdez and Alexa Gomez

– Civil Structures

Strength Challenge (11th and 12th grade)

1st Place – Arzu Azizi and Anna Nguyen

3rd Place for Innovative Design – Arzu Azizi and Anna Nguyen

Innovative Design and Strength Challenge (9th and 10th grade)

1st Place – Sonija Lam

2nd Place – Bay Robertson and Hannia Valencia

– National Engineering Design Competition (create an engineered invention for an equity-based need)

Overall/Poster/Prototype Pitch Video/Technical Presentation and Interview

1st Place – Miguel Talamantez, John Funk, and Matthew McDonald

(These students have qualified for the Regional Championships)

Speech and Debate Team going to State and National Championships

The Helix Speech and Debate team has qualified 13 students to compete at the California High School Speech Association State Championships, and five to compete at the National Speech and Debate Association National Championships.

The team competed at the San Diego Imperial Valley Speech League qualifier tournament, taking second place overall in the county.

Thirteen team members will compete at the State Championships: 

Ruby Anderson (Dramattic Interpretation),Taya Bazarkhanova (Progam Oral Interpretation), Owen Dahlkamp (Dramatic Interpretation), Laila Del Rio (Dramatic Interpretation), Stone Eastman (Original Prose Poetry), Alex Moye (Program Oral Interpretation), Lucas Osborn (Student Congress), Jeremy Potter (Student Congress), Maya Sciaretta (Oratorical Interpretation), Rachael Sharp and Grace Roche (Duo Interpretation), and Angelina Echaves and Simonei Medina (Policy Debate). 

The team competed at the Southern California District qualifier tournament, taking first place in Speech events, and first place in Student Congress as a team. Lucas Osborn was also selected as the Southern California District Student of the Year.

The five team members advancing to the National Championships are: Ruby Anderson (Dramatic Interpretation), Alex Moye (Humorous Interpretation), Lucas Osborn (Student Congress), Jeremy Potter (Student Congress), and Grace Roche (Informative Speaking)

Scotties for the win

The first season of athletics has concluded. While it was a shortened season for the teams, students were excited to be back on the fields, courts, and pool to play their games. The field hockey team went 6-1. The girls’ swim team took third place at the Grossmont Hills League meet. Freshman Riley Hull took first place in the girls’ 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. 

In the boys’ swim team league meet, it came down to the final relay, the 4×100 Free, to determine the winner. Helix trailed Grossmont by just five points — winning the relay would mean winning the meet for Helix. The team of Aiden Molter (senior), Coen Riggins (freshamn), Cameron Drake (sophmore), and Jeffrey Keppler (senior) swam a time of 3:20.85 — the fastest in school history — to win the event and the meet. The top four relay teams were separated by a mere .6 of a second. Also contributing to the win was Keppler’s school-record-setting finish in the 50-freestyle (21.48 in prelims) and a first-place finish in the 100-breaststroke (59.79). 

The “second season” of athletics has started for many other sports, which will continue through the end of the school year.

Jennifer Osborn writes on behalf of Helix Charter High School.


Source: La Mesa Currier

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