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5-Star Students

Jenison High School administrators proposed a new app to be used in the upcoming school year. The app is called 5-Star Students. It contains different features that would cut down on teachers’ work and possibly reward students.

New sign-in barcodes placed around the school (Jessie Stickler)

One feature that this app provides is digital attendance. Students could scan a barcode outside of a teacher’s class to be marked present instead of teachers taking attendance every hour. However, there are some problems with this. It would be easy for students to scan the barcode, yet not actually go to class. How would school administrators be able to handle that situation?

Olivia Willard, a freshman at Jenison High School, responded to a question on how teachers will like the new program. She stated, “It’s not going to last. The teachers will hate it.” Additionally, students would get points for going to school-sponsored events. They would scan the barcode at the event to earn points. Administrators would then decide how they wanted to reward students. Concerningly, there is an issue of whether or not the app would also track students if downloaded to their phones. 5-Star Students could, in theory, breach students’ privacy and access other aspects of their personal information. Is Jenison going to try something that unstable?

Mr. Formsma, a teacher a Jenison High School, expressed his thoughts on the new possibility, “Not everything that’s graded counts, and not everything that counts is graded. This would allow us to do both.”

5-Star Students has additional beneficial features like emergency check-in, hall passes, and surveys. This new app would make for a lot of possibilities in the school environment; however, it could track students. Is digital the new way to go or will tradition prevail?


A new initiative at Jenison High School

 This initiative is starting in the fall of the 2023-2024 school year, but it has been put on a trial run that started on May 16 and will go until the end of the school year. It will involve strict enforcement of restroom closures during class time, and students who are caught violating this rule will face severe consequences. Additionally, tardies and excessive absences will be met with harsh penalties, like suspensions and even expulsions.

Empty halls due to strict measures (Jessie Stickler)

While some students and parents are supportive of the initiative, others are outraged by what they see as heavy-handed tactics. They argue that the school is placing too much emphasis on punishing students rather than providing support and resources to help them succeed.

Some students also expressed frustration with the initiative, saying that it feels like the school is more concerned with punishing them than helping them. “I think that we shouldn’t be punished,” Andrea Schwartz, a freshman at Jenison High School stated. “There could be more reasons than they expect.”

But school administrators and staff defended the initiative. They stated that it is necessary in order to ensure that students are taking their education seriously and are getting the most out of their time at school. “We want to make sure that students are in class getting work done and in safe environments.” Ms. Johnson, a teacher at Jenison High School, commented.

Is this initiative a necessary step toward improving student achievement, or is it an approach that is more focused on punishment than support?

AI in classrooms could spell disaster for students

In a turn of events, teachers in some classrooms are being replaced by robots and AI technology. This could have disastrous consequences for students and the future of education.

A teacher’s chair and desk taken over by AI (Jessie Stickler)

According to our sources, there are advanced AI algorithms to automate teaching and grading, effectively removing the human element from education. These systems are said to be able to identify and respond to student needs, but at what cost?

Specialists argue that this technology is not only impersonal but also lacks the ability to adapt to the needs of individual students. They also worry about the potential fallout from such a system, such as students being left behind or the loss of jobs for human teachers.

“It’s a disaster,” said Ava Meyer, a freshman at Jenison High School. “It never should have been allowed.” 

Others have pointed out the potential for abuse with this technology. Examples include bias in the algorithms or data breaches compromising student information. They fear that schools are not equipped to handle the implications of using AI in such an important field.

As the debate over AI in classrooms continues, parents and educators are left to wonder what the future holds for their children. 


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