Friday, April 27, 2001


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Baldwin High starts up
fast and furious

By Gary T. Kubota

WAILUKU >> Lessons were quicker, homework assignments longer, and teachers were poorer in the short semester left at Baldwin High School.

But the atmosphere at the school with an enrollment of 1,700 students was upbeat following the nearly three-week teacher strike.

Some programs have been canceled, probably until next year, including the Hawaii Contents and Performance Standards test -- an exam that was supposed to serve as a basis for determining academic improvement in public school students.

Third-quarter report cards, scheduled to be out on April 19, are tentatively expected to be mailed on May 10.

The last day of school for students is June 7.

The strike has left faculty and students wondering how to make up for lost activities.

Adam Duggan, a junior, said he missed four of the school's eight golf tournaments as a result of the strike and does not know if the public schools plan to hold them later.

Sue Loudon, the drama teacher, said the strike stopped theater guild students from holding a fund-raising car wash for a summer trip.

Students and teachers seemed focused on making up for lost instruction.

"Today, all of their concentration was so good I could do more than usual," said Takako Dickinson, a Japanese-language teacher at Baldwin. "I think they understand coming to school is pretty important."

Dickinson said she was happy to be free of the uncertainty of the strike but expects her next semimonthly paycheck will not have much in it.

"It's going to be rough until we get a new paycheck," she said.

Some students say it is also going to be rough to fulfill classroom assignments, and teachers are increasing the homework load.

"The teachers are stressed because they have to cram things," said Chantilly Mers, a freshman.

Rebecca Narrowe, a freshman, said her English teacher was trying to complete two sections of a book in a month when the normal pace is one section monthly, and she was having difficulty remembering some math lessons. "It's really hard to pick up where you left off."

Some students were upset that they were being placed in a difficult study situation as a result of the strike.

"We shouldn't suffer for what Ben Cayetano did," said Angela LaRose, a freshman.

Megan Oldag, a sophomore, said her Algebra II teacher was giving only two tests to determine the final grade for the fourth quarter, and the English teacher gave her class 46 vocabulary words that they are supposed to know by tomorrow.

"It's, like, really fast," Oldag said.

Dickinson said she spent the first day back in school refreshing her students' memory of their lessons.

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