Category Archives: Around Bosco

Around Bosco: Robotics Breaks Records in Return to Competition

by Matthew Parsons

After the disastrous era of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bosco’s robotics program started from the ground up to make a strong return to the field of competition.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

The robotics program at Bosco competes in the international program known as, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), also known as the FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition). 

This is the first year since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that Bosco has been able to have a team compete in the robotics competition, meaning that the so-called veterans of the team who are the juniors still only had the experience of their freshman year under their belt. Although their team is extremely young and inexperienced in working together, they pulled through.

In the FRC, a challenge is set that teams internationally assemble a robot that fulfills the parameters of said challenge. This happens on the day known as Kickoff Day, where teams across the world tune in to a live stream that reveals the challenge. Kickoff Day signifies the beginning of the build season which lasts around 8-9 weeks.

The 2022 season’s challenge was called “Rapid React”, the goal of this challenge was to create a robot that can accomplish the tasks of intaking a ball, shooting a ball either into the upper hub and/or the lower hub and climbing up a series of 4 bars, stacked similarly as if it were monkey bars.

This year, Bosco competed in the Orange County Regional competition from March 10-12. In this tournament, they don’t compete as a team vs. team, instead, they are put into alliances during their matches and are pitted against other alliances that are randomly assigned. In matches, alliances receive “ranking points” if they do certain actions, these are held to higher importance than a match victory, as it affects the team standing more.

Unfortunately for Bosco, they had fairly poor luck when getting matched into their alliances and despite their strong and consistent performance, were ranked as the last seed of the whole tournament. However, after these seeding matches the top eight teams were gathered to select who they wanted in their alliance for their elimination rounds.

“The team from Mexico was right next to us and they came over. They started talking to us and said that they couldn’t figure out why our ranking was so low, and when they reviewed our matches and saw how they went, they saw we were consistent. But when the time came they went and skipped us. I was thinking ‘okay, we’re going home. How am I gonna explain this to my principal’,” said Mr. Wippler, the coordinator of the Robotics program.

However, Bosco’s luck turned around quickly and the third-ranked team selected them and they were given some time to meet and discuss their strategy and figure out how to work together. They played in the best of 3 matches and eventually made their way to the quarter-final matches, they won with 2 matches and advanced to the semi-finals, a tremendous achievement for the program.

“This year also happened to be record-breaking for our team, with it being the farthest our team has gone in team history,” said team Captain Loreto Albaran.

Unfortunately, Bosco wasn’t unable to advance past the semi-finals and was bested by only two points. For the team, it was a heart-wrenching defeat, but it fuels the team’s drive and determination for future success. 

“I’m more than happy with our team’s progress this year. Sure, we lost our semi-final match by two points, but hey, that’s the name of the game. We had a lot of obstacles to overcome this year, new mechanisms that we have not tinkered around with before, and through perseverance, every member prevailed. Because of this, I firmly believe this is why we were able to make it farther than any others that have come before us on this team,” said Loreto.

Despite their defeat in the semi-finals, Bosco performed greatly as a team and worked together like a well-oiled machine. 

“I was really amazed at how quick they were like a NASCAR pit group. Sometimes they were really working amazing,” said Mr. Wippler.

Next year they hope to push even further than they did this year, it serves as an example to the whole program of their potential and each and every member of the team wants to improve their work.

“We kind of had some bumps this year because of the setbacks from COVID, but this year we’ve flattened those out and we have a very promising team for next year. We hope to get an award next year at our competitions,” said freshman Diego Salcedo.

Around Bosco: Bosco Theater Performs Shrek the Musical

Last week, the Five Sisters Theatre Company of St. Joseph’s High School took the audience’s breath away with their Spring performance of Shrek: The Musical.

Based on the book by William Steig and the popular Dreamworks film, Shrek: The Musical is a touching tale about learning to love people for who they are. Most are familiar with animated film, but the musical adaptation brings the show to new heights and seeing Bosco and St. Joseph students up on stage made the story all the more entertaining.

Directed by Larry Van Deventer, the story follows an ogre named Shrek, played by junior Connor Sheehan and his trusty sidekick, Donkey, played by junior Alex Palmer. Together they set off on a quest to deliver Princess Fiona, played by junior Oliva Herron, to Lord Farquaad, played by senior Kriss Valente, in exchange for the swamp Shrek calls home.

At the beginning of the play, others see Shrek as a scary monster, so he shuts the world out, believing that people will only ever see him this way. However, as the story progresses, Shrek learns that just because he looks like a monster on the outside, he doesn’t have to act like savagely on the inside. This heart-warming message of self-love is aligned with the Salesian message of St. John Bosco.

Connor played the lead role of Shrek. The combination of his wide range of vocals, his talented acting and a little bit of green face paint really came together to bring the character to life.

“It’s a fun character to play. He’s not completely goofy, but he also has a lot of bravery to him. Some would call him a Byronic hero, kind of like an antihero,” said Connor.

The comedy throughout the play was top tier, as every joke had the audience filled with laughter. The array of fairytale characters such as the Big, Bad Wolf, played by senior Diego Tavares, Pinocchio, played by Izzy Prata, and the Gingerbread Man, played by junior Kate Sheehan, Connor’s twin sister, only amplified this comedy.

“The show was really good compared to other school plays I’ve seen. [The Five Sisters Theatre Company] put a lot of work into it and it really shows,” said senior Luis Salazar

The next production starring students from St. Joseph and St. John Bosco will be The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which premieres in April 29th under the direction of St. John Bosco’s very own Director of Theater Production, Mr. Martin Lang.

Around Bosco: Annual Father and Son Car Show Reaches Record Attendance

by Brett Baligad

Last weekend, the Brave community welcomed students and their fathers at the annual Father and Son Car Show.

Landing with a POW, over one hundred cars showed up to this year’s superhero-themed car show. Plenty of fathers and sons showed up with a BANG, repping their favorite superhero apparel. With the recent opening of The Batman, Gotham’s caped crusader proved to have had the most love. This year’s event had an outstanding two hundred students and fathers attend.

The Sunday morning began with mass in the Chapel presided by Fr. Ted Montemayor. During his procession, Fr. Ted was welcomed by Theater Director Martin Lang who accompanied the piano for the service. Upon entering, students were given their ‘Participation Passport’ that, if fully completed, would be their ticket for being entered for a chance to win an Xbox Series S later in the afternoon. With plenty of more incentives, students and their fathers were more inclined to visit all of the activities the Car Show had to offer.

Following the mass, students were free to visit all of the classic, muscle, and sports cars the intramural field had to offer. The event sponsor this year was Team Mopar 360 who showed with the majority of the vehicles. On top of this, many unique cars made an appearance too. 

“I honestly thought the beach van and classic cop car were super cool. They aren’t something you see all the time. I was really surprised to see a comic book-themed car, it looked almost like Hot Wheels,” said junior Dominic Garcia.

Superhero-themed cars made their way onto the scene too. Bosco welcomed a Batmobile-inspired 2014 Dodge Viper and 2006 Dodge Charger, a Captain America-inspired 2014 Shelby GT500 along with many more.

“The Batmobile was one of my favorites. The Green Lantern Mustang was really cool too but the Dodge Viper was one of the coolest ones at the show,” said Dominic.

Not too long after the mass, fathers and sons gathered around the senior square to enjoy breakfast as a community. Along with the buffet breakfast, Bosco hosted a snack bar to keep car owners, students and fathers filled up all day long.

As breakfast concluded, activities, raffles, and silent auctions became open to the community. 

The most notable prizes were baseball memorabilia signed by Evan Longoria ‘03, movie tickets and gift baskets featuring team gear of a number of Bosco teams.

This year’s activities included a tug-o-war competition (the fathers won a convincing 2-0 for the second year in a row), a carnival high striker (hammer smash), half-court competition, a Bosco Bread Company popup that featured their fresh baked goods and, of course, plenty of cars to check out.

“As a baseball guy, I wished I would have won the baseball bat from Evan Longoria. As for the activities, the half-court completion was probably the best game,” said junior Sam Hentges.

To close out the day, the winner was announced for the Bosco Award and the winner of the Xbox Series S. The 2022 Bosco Award went to a 1932 Ford Coupe and 1965 Mustang Fastback. The Mustang was owned by Bosco senior Matteo Chacon. Sophomore Matt Carillo went home big with the Xbox Series S.

“Honestly I was really surprised to win. I hardly ever win raffles. Going into the event, all I was looking forward to was spending time with my dad but winning the Xbox was a nice touch,” said Matthew.

After the conclusion of the show, Bosco was happy to see that this year’s Father and Son Car Show found such huge success. With plenty of new and returning faces, the Bosco community can only expect more participants, more cars and better prizes for years to come.

Around Bosco: California Lifts Indoor Mask Mandate for Schools

by Andrew Fierro, Managing Editor

Starting tomorrow and in full effect when students arrive to class on Monday, St. John Bosco High School will adhere to the new guidance of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), eliminating the indoor mask mandate in schools for the first time in two years.

Photo by The Brave News Staff

Going along with Orange County, Los Angeles County lifted their indoor mask mandate for businesses and was one of the few remaining counties in the whole country to do so. Following this, K-12 schools through will also be lifting their mask mandate. However, the CDPH still strongly recommends teachers, staff and students to continue to wear masks indoors, despite the fact it is no longer required.

More and more students have been itching to go without masks, and as the COVID-19 numbers continue to diminish, they has been an eagerness for the mask mandate to be lifted.

“I think that the masks make it difficult in class. Sometimes I am not able to hear my teachers because of their masks and it also makes my glasses fog up which can be very annoying,” said senior Joshua Joson.

Even though many students will no longer be wearing face masks beginning next Monday, there will still be many students who will be wearing face masks due to safety precautions. The choice is for each student to make, and their choice will be respected either way.

One concern that’s been on the minds of many students and parents is if the lift on the mandate will apply for all students or just those who are fully vaccinated. Following the state health guidelines, Bosco’s mask mandate will be lifted for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

“The end of the mask mandate will not take into account vaccination status and will be across the board for everyone,” said Vice Principal of Student Affairs Ms. Schnorr.

Though for many students this is an important issue, for others it is not as impactful. Many students have grown to live with the mask mandate and are not too worried about whether or not they have to wear a mask anymore. 

“Personally, I am not affected much by the mandate. I don’t really care either way. I am happy to wear a mask if I need to, and if able to, I am happy to take it off,” said senior Kasen Herroz.

Going forward, students will have the choice of going mask free at school if they so wish. Though, if they or their parents are unsure about their safety, they will always have the option to continue to wear a mask, as strongly recommended by the school and the CDPH.

Around Bosco: Celebrating the Life and Service of Mr. Monty McDermott

by Eric Torres, Editor-In-Chief

Last Friday, the Brave community gathered to celebrate and remember the life of the ultimate Brave, Mr. Monty McDermott, class of 1986.

Photo by Bo Visty, Assistant Photo Editor

Fittingly, the funeral took place in Panish Family Stadium, a large symbol of the culture that Mr. McDermott instilled, especially in the area of athletics. 

As a reminder of who Mr. McDermott was, and what he valued, the stadium was filled with Bosco alumni, from past teachers to old friends and family of Mr. McDermott. 

The service began with a rendition of the song “Beth” by the American rock band Kiss, who Mr. McDermott was a noted superfan. The music was played by theater instructors Mr. Martin Lang, Tim McNalley, James Flaherty and Marco Soronio, who in addition played the music for the rest of the mass, with a rock twist. 

Furthermore, the speakers who participated in the mass were a well-chosen list of Bosco and St. Joseph alumni, both students and teachers, who either had a strong connection with Mr. McDermott or are a member of his department. These speakers included religious studies teacher and football coach Mr. Joseph Griffin, class of 1975, Director of Football Operations Mrs. Jessie Christensen, St. Joseph class of 1989, former golf coach and former religious studies teacher Mr. Jack Hastert, class of 1970, football player Jairus Satele, baseball player Jake Ellison and cross country runner Chris Chavez, all class of 2022.  

In addition, gifts, which encapsulated the Salesian man of faith that Mr. McDermott was, were presented to the altar. These gifts included each aspect of St. John Bosco’s Oratory model, as well as Mr. McDermott’s Varsity Jacket and rings. Gift bearers included Mrs. Jeanne Pantuso, St. Joseph class of 1978, his son, Monty McDermott Jr., football coach Mr. Jon Hall, his nephew, Daniel de la Cuerva, class of 2004, sister Carrie Ruffalo, St. Joseph class of 1982 and sister Marnie Woods, St. Joseph class of 1983. 

An electrifying rendition of “Dream On” by the band set the stage for the eulogies, which were given by both football head coach Jason Negro, class of 2004, and Daniel de la Cuerva. 

One consistent throughout both eulogies was how much Mr. McDermott loved the school he served, in many capacities, for 29 years. 

“Rarely not in Bosco athletic shorts and t-shirts at holidays, he would proudly brag and boast about his beloved Bosco Braves. He would tell us about each student-athlete and where they were going to play sports. He loved and was so proud of the young men,” said de la Cuerva. 

Beyond his vast successes in the athletic department, Mr. McDermott was widely admired as an all-around great man, a man of integrity, humility and understanding, qualities that made him the excellent leader that he was. He was even recognized as such by CIF, winning the CIF Champion for Character Award in 2007.

“When I think about the genuine characteristics that made Monty who he was as a leader in our department, I always admire his humility and his unwavering integrity. Monty also took great pride in being a learner. He wanted to improve his skill set so he could better serve his coaches,” said Coach Negro.

Finally, nothing sums up the vast range of responsibilities held by Mr. McDermott, especially in such a role as the athletic director. 

“Monty and I would talk privately a lot about the responsibilities we carry and the roles that we have here at Bosco. How challenging it must be to be a mentor of young people, win games on the field, manage the expectations of the alumni, recognize the efforts of the teachers and staff in the classroom and most importantly, be true ambassadors of Don Bosco and the Salesians each and every day,” said Coach Negro.

Yet, Monty seemed to handle each of these tasks with ease. In learning and carrying on the traditions of St. John Bosco High School, he ushered in a new generation of Bosco culture, within and outside of athletics. 

The service concluded in true Monty fashion, with the playing of the song “Home Sweet Home” by American heavy metal band Motley Crue. 

To support Mr. McDermott and his family, contributions can be made to the Monty McDermott Memorial & Athletic Fund.

Around Bosco: Brave Teachers Defeat Students in Thrilling 3v3 Tournament

by Aydn Morris

In Bosco’s Winter Spirit Week’s 3v3 basketball tournament, both teachers and students enjoyed friendly competition, with the teachers coming out on top.

Photo by Bo Visty, Assistant Photo Editor

In the 16-team tournament, the Long Beach Dawgs came with the win, following two huge back-to-back victories against Bosco Baseball and Wavy Navy in the championship game. For winning the tournament, the Dawgs’ players received a $40 Nike gift card for their effort. The Dawgs team consisted of basketball coach Michael Bartelt, history teacher and former baseball coach Mr. Mario Cordero, water polo head coach and Olympic Hall-of-famer Mr. Jeff Powers and basketball coach Ms. Allegra Weinstein. 

Photo by Bo Visty

Mr. Cordero randomly selected the team to participate in tournament.

“I clicked the link to sign up for the 3v3 tournament, and put down myself, Powers, Bartelt and Weinstein, and they didn’t even know until I sent them a screenshot saying ‘Congratulations, you’re on the LB Dawgs,’” said Mr. Cordero.

Due to this random selection, some Dawgs players were not ready to play, which gave them some trouble throughout the tournament. 

The trouble came from multiple situations, such as the miscommunication with the game schedule. The Dawgs were not told that they were going to play against Bosco Baseball on the Thursday before the finals, so they did not bring any of the appropriate clothes for the game. This miscommunication forced the Dawgs to play back-to-back games on Friday, against Bosco Baseball then Wavy Navy. 

Photo by Bo Visty

“I had no shoes, and Mr. Cordero had on jeans. We would not have been able to play,” said Coach Powers.

This trouble obviously did not affect the Dawgs in the long run, except for maybe putting them into retirement from basketball, as they still came up victorious in both of their matchups.

“To be honest I did not know if I was going to be able to bring it in that last game. And I can’t speak for everybody, but Coach Powers and I think we retired from basketball,” said Mr. Cordero

Besides some of the hardships, the Dawgs enjoyed the tournament and had a lot of fun.

“I had a lot of fun interacting with not only my colleagues but also the students in a different environment, and not only being seen as a teacher,” said Coach Weinstein.

Photo by Bo Visty

The tournament built a different type of bond between students and teachers, which made the tournament much more enjoyable.

“I thought it was fun seeing the energy at lunch from the students and staff and hearing the music. I thought it was very effective in building spirit,” said Mr. Cordero.

There were some things that may have made the tournament better, such as having it held in the gym instead of outdoors. 

“Right now, given our circumstances, having it all outside made sense. But in the future, when not everyone has to wear mask, we can put all of the gym baskets down and have multiple games going on indoors,” said Coach Weinstein.

There were also some things in the past 3v3 tournaments that could be implemented in the future to make the tournament better, such as the mini hoop dunk contest. 

“For next year we can implement the past slam dunk competition and for six feet and under you dunk on the eight feet and for over 6 feet they dunk on the nine and half foot hoop,” said Mr. Cordero.

In all, the 3v3 was a complete success, and was one of the best school events of the year. It was put together by ASB member Justin Samonte.

Around Bosco: St. John Bosco Robotics Kicks Off the Year in Preparation for 2022 Competitions

by Brett Baligad

Moderated by Engineering Pathway Coordinator Mr. Walt Wippler, Tribe Robotics looks to pick up where they left off from last year’s success.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Led by junior Loreto Albaran, the young squad will rely on many new faces to help bring the program to glory. 

During the offseason, leaders mentored newcomers by teaching them basic programming and building skills in preparation for the start of the 2022 season. Students were given the option to become skilled in coding or hands-on building. The squad has high hopes as more students are becoming involved in STEM at Bosco by joining the Tribe Robotics Team.

“You can have entry-level experience and we will take you. We teach you in the preseason, and by the kickoff date, you have enough experience to make a solid impact for the team,” said junior Loreto Albaran. 

This year, all robotics teams across the country are required to complete multiple specific tasks. These include creating a hundred-pound robot that can collect and shoot rubber balls into a hoop for points, along with having the hundred-pound robot remarkably climb on its own along with a climbing frame. This work has the team meeting six days a week in preparation for their first competition in March.

“We are sprinting a marathon,” said Mr. Wippler, in terms of describing the season.

These tasks are easier said than done, as all of the construction and programming for the robot must be completed by the students from scratch. With trial and error, the boys are constantly running tests on the robot making sure it reaches its full potential by competition day. On top of this, the team is required to purchase parts that fit into the team’s predetermined budget and that are most suitable to their robot’s design. 

“There are certain vendors we are allowed to use. We’re limited to a select few to help keep the playing field fair for all teams,” said Albaran.

The team is grouped up into separate departments that focus on a specific aspect of the robot itself: collecting the balls, shooting the balls and climbing. Using the student’s knowledge in the Engineering and Computer Science Pathway, the dozens of Tribe Robotics members come together and make their inspiration into a reality for competition day. 

“Robotics is tightly knit with the Engineering Pathway curriculum, and I saw it was a really positive community that I wanted to be a part of,” said junior Marco Castro.

Through these specific departments, members are able to have more hands-on experience with high-level tools and software. This kind of exposure to STEM practice only strengthens Bosco students’ opportunities.

“Going into the program my freshman year, I lacked how to problem solve and adapt within the moment. Through mentorship and hands-on experience, I now know how to create a solution within a given criteria. As a junior, I feel more comfortable leading the younger kids and helping the team get to where we want to be,” said junior Tyler Baligad.

As Bosco is only weeks into the 2022 season, there is still plenty of work to be done and a lot to look forward to. The team will continue to meet consistently as they keep on designing, building, programming and testing all of the materials necessary to make sure the robot is ready to dominate in March.

“I think we have a really solid chance of doing well. I think this year’s project looks cool and I am excited to see how it all comes together,” said Baligad.

Around Bosco: Brave Community Celebrates Both Father Lenti and the Feast of St. John Bosco

by Andrew Fierro, Managing Editor

Today is not only the feast day of St. John Bosco, but also the birthday of Fr. Arthur Lenti, who was gentle, kind-hearted and a great role model to the school.

Photo by Michael Bartelt

St. John Bosco was born on August 16, 1815, in Italy. He became a role model for young children and most importantly helped underprivileged children to reach their full potential. This was his moral mission from a young age, and he always looked out for children his entire life.

At the age of eleven, St. John Bosco had a dream that changed the course of his life and many others’. In this dream, he was in a field, with a lot of kids fighting, and he saw Mary, who taught him how he could win the children over and how to guide them. After that dream, he went on to help children and later start an oratory for the underprivileged children of the region.

St. John Bosco High School is of course modeled off of the views and methods of its namesake, St. John Bosco, and the teachers and faculty do everything they can to create the same environment for the students as St. John Bosco did for his children. St. John Bosco High School’s Fr. Ted Montemayor is well-versed on St. John Bosco’s life.

“I do think that St. John Bosco’s spirit is very alive here at Bosco. I think that a lot of teachers have seriously taken to heart the philosophy of St. John Bosco,” said Fr. Montemayor.

However, the value of St. John Bosco High School doesn’t end in the classrooms as the faculty and staff work outside of the classroom to make the students feel at home when they are at school. St. John Bosco felt that if people were treated with love and kindness, then they will feel at home and respected, that is something that Fr. Arthur Lenti exhibited every day to the people around him.

Fr. Lenti spent a large amount of time studying the life of St. John Bosco and trying to take the teachings of St. John Bosco and pass them on to the present-day population. Not only was he able to educate people on St. John Bosco’s teachings, but he also resembled Bosco in his character.

“He was a kind man, and he was a gentleman. When I was in his presence and after I walked away, I always felt very encouraged,” said Fr. Ted.

Fr. Lenti was very important at keeping St. John Bosco’s spirit alive, as well as the traditions and teachings of St. John Bosco. Though he was very kind and a gentleman, what many people did not know was how smart and educated he was. 

“He was quite a scholar. People didn’t realize he wrote some books and was very, very knowledgeable. He could speak four languages and he was a very well-rounded man,” said Fr. Ted.

Though Fr. Lenti was not working with young people at a large amount, he kept St. John Bosco alive through his studies. He authored a seven-volume life of St. John Bosco book series where he was able to take St. John Bosco as a human being rather than another saint in heaven. He was able to make St. John Bosco someone who was relatable, and because of this, inspired many people to carry on his teachings.

“I think for the whole world, not just us here in California, he has done a wonderful service of bringing St. John Bosco alive through the written word as someone that’s relatable,” said Fr. Ted.

Both Fr. Lenti and St. John Bosco will be celebrated and remembered for years to come as gentle and kind men who have inspired so many to help make everyone, no matter what their situation is, feel welcome and at home wherever they may be.

Around Bosco: Braves Return with a New Year’s Resolution to Keep Cell Phones Off Campus

by Aeden Alexander, Sports Editor

St. John Bosco welcomes the students back on campus after a three-week vacation, looking to finish off the 2021-22 school year strong with new policies and rules.

This new policy officially started January 10th, the day students returned to class, and is in full effect with rules and consequences should the policy be violated.

The new policy states that all students must keep their cell phones in their backpack the entire school day, and must not be used unless in the case of an immediate emergency. If a student chooses to go against the policy, their phone will be taken away and the student will be given a Saturday detention.

For many months teachers have had issues with students having their cell phones out, and often talked about what it would be like with a policy like this in place.

“This policy has really always been on the table. For a while, we as a staff have always talked about bringing it into fruition. In our meetings, especially, it has been brought up, but with the mistakes that occurred last semester, we had to do it,” said Mr. Jon-Paul Masciel, the Dean of Students at Bosco.

One of the main concerns with the phone policy is the consequences, which were based on the Salesian preventive swystem, which consists of learning from your mistakes but at the same time having consequences like Saturday school.

Last semester the policy was announced through a video sent out by Principal Dr. Anderson stated what the policy was and when it would become in effect. There was never any announcement on if it was permanent or could be changed

“Many students ask me if this policy will end, and the real answer is that this policy will be enforced until further notice. It’s not to punish kids, but to help and even boost socialization,” Mr. Masciel said.

This policy is meant to be treated just like uniforms, where there should be no question of following it. There are many policies at Bosco that students follow and never think about. 

“Just like any other policy, it can be changed or amended. It’s the same with uniforms. Possibly down the road we maybe can make it where it’s only certain days, but we don’t know, so for right now it’s in full effect,” said Mr. Masciel.

After one week of the policy being enforced, there have been many disagreements with the policy, but the school has dealt with them using respect and integrity throughout the school.

The phone policy is only in effect during the school hours, from 8 a.m. to the dismissal bell. All use of phones before and after those times are completely fine, and students will not get into trouble. 

The lack of phones also requires students to now provide a legitimate device for school work, and using their phone for school is no longer allowed during the day.

Around Bosco: St. John Bosco Fights to Stay Open Among COVID-19 Surge

by Andrew Fierro, Managing Editor

As the new Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly across the nation, colleges across the state are beginning to return to online learning. However, St. John Bosco has taken preventive measures in order to stay in person as initially planned.

Photo by County of Los Angeles Public Health

The first detected case of the variant in the United States occurred on December 1st in California. Since then, the variant has spread rapidly across the state and as well as the country. This variant has proven to be more contagious than the prior variants and has caused turmoil everywhere it has spread.

Since the first arrival of the variant, cases of COVID-19 have risen to record high numbers, with the average number of cases per week being more than double than that of a year prior, according to data released January 5th.

Though there has been an astronomical increase in the number of cases, the amount of hospitalizations are very low compared to the amount of contracted cases. The chances of someone being hospitalized due to the variant is only 2% with only a 5% chance of being admitted to the emergency room.

Even with this low hospitalization rate, this variant has caused a number of schools across the country to transition back to online learning for the time being. Though for Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD), the main priority is to make sure that this is not the case. Although many colleges and universities in the state have already made the announcement that they will be returning to online learning, K-12 schools in the LAUSD are doing everything possible to avoid this situation.

The LAUSD prepared in many different ways to remain on campus for the remainder of the school year to ready themselves for many possible scenarios that may affect the way schools conduct class. For example, the district has set up more than enough resources in the case of staff shortages in order to assure that the students continue to receive education while remaining on campus. 

In a similar situation, Bosco has also decided that the benefits of staying on campus are too high to return to online learning, if it can be avoided safely. Due to this, the school has been working to make sure that everything that is possible is done to keep the students safe and on campus.

To ensure that the students would be able to return to campus safely, the school conducted a mandatory COVID-19 test on Friday, January 7th for all students and faculty. In order to return to school, students and faculty must have tested negative no more than 72 hours before Monday, January 10th, the day school resumed. 

Following this test, Bosco will continue to administer weekly tests to all faculty and staff, as well as student athletes. Bosco’s Principal, Dr. Kris Anderson, was pleased to see that the number of students testing positive for COVID-19 was significantly lower than that of other schools in the area.

“We are at about 7%, tremendously lower than a lot of our public school counterparts are,” said Dr. Anderson.

This figure has a lot to do with how St. John Bosco will conduct on-campus learning and the safety measures that they have put in place. Dr. Anderson feels that this is very much to the credit of the students and families of the Bosco community.

“Our families are doing a really good job. If people weren’t taking it seriously, our number would have been a lot higher. I am really proud of our community for taking it seriously so that we were able to stay on campus,” said Dr. Anderson.

Being online is something that many students will remember as being a difficult adjustment, and it was not nearly as beneficial as being on campus. Many of Bosco’s teachers feel the same way, and Dr. Anderson wants all students to continue to learn on campus so that they can get the most out of their education.

“It wasn’t fun for any of us. Being a teacher in a classroom when you are trying to teach everyone, or when half of your class is at home, it’s even worse. Our goal set back in August was to have 180 days of instruction on campus, and to this point, everybody is holding up their end of the bargain,” said Dr. Anderson.

With all the steps that Bosco is taking and through the commitment of the community, the hope is that the remainder of the year will be able to be held entirely on campus. As both the students and the teachers are enjoying on-campus instruction, neither would be thrilled with a transition back to online learning.

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