The Port Press

Find Your Valentine’s Day Heart!

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Find Your Valentine’s Day Heart!

The main stairwell of the commons, adorned with paper hearts

The main stairwell of the commons, adorned with paper hearts

The main stairwell of the commons, adorned with paper hearts

The main stairwell of the commons, adorned with paper hearts

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This Valentine’s Day, Northport High School has made sure that everyone gets a Valentine. Around the school are small paper hearts with students’ names on them; keep an eye out for yours on handrails and walls. Red hearts have the names of seniors on them, pink ones have juniors’ names, purple have sophomores’, and light green have freshmen’s. And, if you find your heart, you can take it and bring it to a table in the commons during a lunch period in exchange for a Valentine’s Day treat.

(P.S.: look around for small, colored post-it notes with positive messages on them. They’re perfect for some extra Valentine’s Day encouragement!)

About the Writer
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Elias Giuliano, Editor

Elias Giuliano is a junior at Northport High School, a nature photographer, a baker, a musician, and a tea addict. He lives with his mother, father, grandmother,...

A Season in Review: Interview with Andy Burget, Captain of the Northport Boys Swimming and Diving Team

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A Season in Review: Interview with Andy Burget, Captain of the Northport Boys Swimming and Diving Team

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Northport’s Boys Swimming and diving team placed 3rd at the section XI league championship on Thursday, January 30th, after a great season. Andy Burget, senior captain of this year’s team has been swimming since it began, starting from when he was in eighth grade. I recently was able to sit down with Andy and he shared with me how meaningful the team has been to him as well as his feelings on how the season went this year.


Q: How has this season gone so far? Are you proud of how the team did this year?

A: Yes, I feel the team has come a very long way throughout the season from the beginning to now and I’m very proud of them. This year’s team was a little different than any teams in the past. We lost a few really great swimmers when they graduated a few years ago who had been the backbone of the team for many prior years, so it was a little difficult to come back from that big loss. We also gained a lot of new swimmers this year who have never swam for a team before. It was definitely a tough transition for these swimmers but they worked so hard right off the bat and really gave their all to Northport swimming, so i’m very proud of them. We also had some boys with really amazing times this season, and broke a lot of records. One swimmer that stood out to be in this respect was Braden Greenberg, who swam a sub 30’ in the 50 Freestyle. Something that is incredibly difficult for someone who doesn’t swim club to do, being somewhat of a personal barrier.

Q: You’ve been on the team for 5 seasons, but how has this season been different than the rest being a captain?

A: Being a captain was definitely a big deal for me. I love swimming so much, it’s a huge part of what I do and I feel like it’s been such a learning experience for me personally. I truly enjoyed this season so much, which goes for the other two captains as well: Dylan Karf and Kevin Penrose. I feel like all three of us have really given our all to the team and did our best to set an example of what the younger teammates should look up to. We always came excited for meets and did our best to hype up the team. Many might say that it’s unusual for a team as small as ours to have 3 captains but I think that each of us bring something different to the team. Dylan and Kevin are extremely passionate and are the embodiment of what you want swimmers to be. They consistently kept great attitudes towards the team which made a great atmosphere for working out and competing.

Q: What’s your favorite memory from the season?

A: Definitely our third place win at leagues. The last two years we had some really good swimmers that have since graduated. It was definitely difficult in the beginning to overcome those big losses, and I’m very happy with how hard the team worked to get where we are. More than half the swimmers on the team this year don’t come from as competitive of a background than some of the prior teammates, however they all still remained so dedicated to the team and really gave it their all at the League championship, putting us at a great spot in the section XI rankings.

Q: Let’s talk more specifically about leagues. I know this was definitely a high point in the season, could you tell me a little more about that experience?

A: Leagues was held at Hauppauge High School on Thursday, January 30th. I competed in three events, starting off with the 50 backstroke leg of the 200 Medley Relay. I then competed in the 200m individual medley where I came in 6th out of 24. Then ended with the 100 backstroke. As a team I was very proud of our outcome. We had some really great swims and the team did so well supporting each other, putting us at 3rd place overall. One teammate that stood out to me at the meet, as well as for the rest of the season was Jonah Gold. He was brand new to the team as he moved here earlier in the year from New York City. He didn’t know anyone coming onto the team and it was his first season competing for his school at meets. However he was a huge part of the team as he was a constant source of energy and was always excited to be there. He helped the team a great amount at the league championship as he PRed in his 100m backstroke, really showing how much he has improved throughout the season.

About the Writer
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Jillian Preston, Freelancer

Jillian Preston is a current senior at Northport High School and this is her first year working on Port Press. She is a captain of the Girls Varsity Soccer...

Northport High School’s Virtual Enterprise

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Northport High School’s Virtual Enterprise

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Have you ever wondered who runs the school store or why kids are walking around trying to sell different items such as shirts and keychains? They are from Port & Co., the Virtual Enterprise class in Northport High School. A Virtual Enterprise is a simulated business that is created and run by the students. There are 41 Long Island firms, 500 in the US, and 3,000 internationally.
The first couple of days of school are used to determining what department everyone will be working in. Some of the departments include Administration, Accounting/Finance, Marketing, Sales/Purchasing, Web Design, and Human Resources. This is chosen through the creation of resumes and the interview process, which simulate the process of applying for a real life job. This year, John Kippley was hired as the CEO, and oversees all aspects of the company.
A unique aspect of the company is that the students determine what they want to sell. This year, we have decided to sell products such as Lanyards, Throw Blankets, T-Shirts, and stickers. All aspects of our company come together and help sell these products both virtually and physically, which is something that takes a total team effort.
Throughout the year, we participate in different competitions against the other VE firms regionally, nationally, and internationally. Just recently, we participated in the regional Trade Show at LIU Post. This trade show was a great opportunity for us to advertise our products, and network with different companies. In addition to the trade show, select members of our team participated in the business plan competition. We also competed in an e-commerce website competition, which we won first place in thanks to the great design of our website by Anna McNeil and Mackenzie Lentz. In April, we will travel to NYC to participate in the VE International Trade Show.

About the Writer
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Colin Shashaty, Freelancer

Colin is a senior at Northport High School who is a starting outfielder for the Varsity Baseball team. He enjoys making people laugh and talking about...

Northport Varsity Wrestling Wins League Title

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Northport Varsity Wrestling Wins League Title

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The Northport 2019-2020 Varsity Wrestling team has won the league title! The team had an overall record of 21-2 and 6-0 league record. Northport has never before achieved 20 wins in a single season. The team consists of 7 returning All League wrestlers, 2 League Champs, 3 finalists, and two other placers spread among the 15 weight classes. According to longislandwrestling.com and newyorkwrestlingnews.com, The team is currently ranked 12 in Section XI and 13 in New York State. Northport is hosting the Leagues this year, and Coach Alberti believes that they can have as many as 6 or 7 placers at the Counties. The team has had a county finalist in each of the last three seasons, and is hoping to keep that streak alive. According to Coach Alberti, he enjoys coaching this hard working and genuine team.

I got the chance to talk to Peter Magliocco and Jack Marlow, two varsity wrestlers who recently won their 100th match!

 

Getting to know Peter Magliocco:

What is your favorite part about wrestling?
Competing with a team around me that all have the same mentality. We all go out there to win, we all work hard, and overall, come out dominating as a team.

Do you idolize any college wrestlers?
Bryce Meredith. He’s always inspired me because he has a great work ethic and he’s a beast on the mat.

What have been your biggest achievements thus far in your wrestling career?
Being a County Finalist and coming sixth in the state last year, being a 2-time All-County, 2-time All-League, 2-time League Finalist, 1-time League Champion, and 100 wins.

What motivates you to keep training?
I want to be a County Champion. I want to be Northport’s first State Champion. That’s my personal goal.

What are your plans for college?
I’m going to West Virginia.

What advice do you have for younger wrestlers?
Work hard, don’t let anybody tell you what you can and can’t do, and set a goal for yourself – do whatever it takes for you to get there.

 

Getting to know Jack Marlow:

Do any specific matches stick out in your head?
My first match ever – there’s definitely been a lot of progress since then.

How do you prepare for a big match?
By focusing in the wrestling room and thinking about all my moves.

When did you start wrestling?
I started wrestling in 8th grade.

What are your plans for college?
I’m wrestling for the University of Buffalo.

What is your pre-match ritual?
Warming up with teammates.

What advice do you have for younger wrestlers?
Wrestle in the off-season and work as hard as you can during the season.

About the Writer
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Kaitlyn Foster, Freelancer

Kaitlyn Foster is a freshman at Northport High School. She is an avid sports fan who loves to write. She is a blackbelt in jiu jitsu and a softball shortstop....

Northport Middle School Closed, Students Relocated in Wake of Unsafe Mercury Levels

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Northport Middle School Closed, Students Relocated in Wake of Unsafe Mercury Levels

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According to a District-wide email sent out Saturday afternoon, students from Northport Middle School are being relocated to various buildings across the District. This move comes in the midst of ongoing environmental tests within the building.
Complaints over air quality at NMS have been relentless over the past few years, with the School being forced to close a wing of the building in 2017 due to fumes originating from an underground warehouse. In recent weeks, these concerns reached a new high after PW Grosser Consulting, an environmental firm contracted with the District, discovered a mercury level of 632 ppm in a cesspool outside the building. This concentration, a number 170-times greater than the New York State level of 3.7 ppm, sparked an outcry from members of the community. Some went as far as to demand that the building be closed. A Change.org petition that garnered more than 3,500 signatures insisted that “the children and teachers of Northport Middle School deserve to spend their day in a safe and healthy environment”.
These concerns were met by Superintendent Robert Banzer at a recent Board of Education meeting with a number of contingency plans, including the possibility of relocating affected students. After unacceptably high levels of benzene were revealed in recent testing, this plan – created in consultation with “the PTSA Presidents’ Council, NMS faculty, and union leadership” – was put into motion Saturday through an email delivered to district parents. Citing consideration for the ongoing testing, the District decided to send each grade to different buildings across the district. Sixth grade students will be split between the Norwood and Bellerose Avenue Elementary Schools, while those in seventh grade are set to be relocated to East Northport Middle School. The eighth graders will be sent to the High School.
With the High School’s midterms week approaching, and certain logistics of the plan left to iron out, the District has decided to cancel school for Northport Middle School students on the two days following Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Tuesday, January 21, and Wednesday, January 22). While they plan to have students successfully relocated by Thursday, January 23, the District hopes to minimize the disruption this relocation causes to the learning environment. As parents worry about the health and safety of their children, the District continues to reflect concern for students and educators alike, explaining that this move is in the “best interest of [its] students and staff”. Until the situation at NMS is remedied, NHS students will have to brace themselves for a few more crowded hallways.

About the Writer
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James Connor, Freelancer

James Connor is a Junior at Northport High School and a freelance reporter for the Port Press. His writing focuses on investigative journalism within the...

NGVB Senior Kerry Dennin Shares Her Thoughts on This Year’s Team

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NGVB Senior Kerry Dennin Shares Her Thoughts on This Year’s Team

Northport Senior Forward Kerry Dennin

Northport Senior Forward Kerry Dennin

Northport Senior Forward Kerry Dennin

Northport Senior Forward Kerry Dennin

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The Northport Girls Basketball team had a remarkable run last year and finished as Suffolk County finalists. Many key players returned this year, including Senior Kerry Dennin. I had a chance to talk to Kerry about this year’s team. Here is what she had to say.

Q: Last year was a success for your team in so many different ways. What can you take from last years county final run that can help your team succeed this year?

A: Last year was an extremely successful year for our team, as we were League Champions and made it to the County Championship. Despite the loss, our team learned a great deal last season and had the chance to compete in high intensity games throughout the playoffs and got to play to our full potential. We definitely took the loss in the championship hard, but as a team we know we had to hold onto that feeling to motivate us to work even harder in efforts to make it even further this season.

Q: What are your expectations for this season?

We have very high expectations for this season and have a lot of faith in what this team can accomplish. Our goal is to be League Champions for the third consecutive year and make it far into the playoffs to the County Championship and beyond.

Q: Which key players on your team are going to influential in your future successes?

This year we have three returning senior starters: me as Forward, Kelly McLaughin as Guard, [and] Danielle Pavenili as point guard. All of us have years of experience as a Lady Tiger and being the three captains, we plan to lead the team on and off the court in efforts to have a successful season and reach our goals. The next starters are Sophomores Sophia Bica (Guard) and Sophia Yearwood (Guard). Both players have worked very hard in the off season and are prepared to step up as key players on our team. In addition, Tess Maline (Senior Guard), Ella Stahl (Senior Forward), [and] Alli Soule (Sophomore Forward) will be very influential in our success this season. However, we are building and working to have a team with great depth, and all of our players will be influential in our success.

Q: What are your goals both personally and for the team?

Personally, my goal for this season is to be a leader on and off the court in building the connection within our team. Also, to motivate all players towards the same goal and to believe how good our team can be. My goals for the team is to work on what we fell short on last season and to continually give 110% during practice and games in order to make this a memorable season.

Q: With this being your senior year, what do you want to accomplish that you haven’t yet?

With this being my senior year, I have many goals I would like to accomplish [that] I have not yet experienced, one being to receive the All County award. Additionally, it would be truly amazing to win the County Championship and go Upstate with this team. Achieving any of these goals would be an unforgettable experience for not only me, but all the seniors on our team as it has been one of our goals since we began as a lady tiger.

The 2019-2020 Northport Girls Varsity Basketball

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Colin Shashaty, Freelancer

Colin is a senior at Northport High School who is a starting outfielder for the Varsity Baseball team. He enjoys making people laugh and talking about...

Northport Students Deserve Quality Menstrual Products. Period.

How administrators clashed with a state memo, costing students the menstrual products they need

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Northport Students Deserve Quality Menstrual Products. Period.

NHS Students need better products available to them.

NHS Students need better products available to them.

Port Press Staff

NHS Students need better products available to them.

Port Press Staff

Port Press Staff

NHS Students need better products available to them.

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On July 1st, 2018, Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a piece of legislation that guarantees free feminine hygiene products in all public schools. This is part of a greater effort by Cuomo’s office to fight for gender equality as part of his Women’s Opportunity Agenda. In a memo detailing the legislation that was delivered to superintendents of New York State school districts, Kathleen R. DeCataldo, the New York State Education Department’s Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Student Support Services, stated that the law requires “all elementary and secondary public schools in New York State … to provide feminine hygiene products to students in school restrooms, at no cost”. However, in attempting to comply with this new legislation, the Northport-East Northport School District made a number of mistakes that have resulted in poor quality feminine hygiene products for students and a lack of availability and variety in those products.
To understand the consequences of providing poor feminine hygiene products, it’s necessary to recognize the benefits of providing free menstrual products in school.
First and foremost, the provision of free menstrual products reduces the number of school days missed by female students. The World Bank explains that “A growing body of evidence shows that girls’ inability to manage their menstrual hygiene in schools, results in school absenteeism”. Aunt Flow, an organization committed to providing equal access to menstrual hygiene products, found that absenteeism was reduced by 2.4% in New York City public schools when these products were offered in bathrooms.
Providing free menstrual products also benefits female students from lower income families who, due to financial constraints, don’t necessarily have access to these products. An article by Nadya Okamoto and Maria Molland describes how “one-in-five teens have struggled to afford period products or have not been able to purchase them at all, and one-in-four teens have missed class due [sic] the lack of access to menstrual hygiene products”. The United Nations has even declared access to menstrual hygiene to be a human right. In recognizing this, New York State mandated that every public school make menstrual hygiene products available to female students for free.
There are two main types of menstrual hygiene products specifically recognized in DeCataldo’s memo: menstrual pads (or sanitary napkins) and tampons. Both are used to manage menstrual flow and are recognized products. While tampons are the primary product used by 70% of women in the United States, the district is only supplying pads. In addition, students have complained about the quality of the products made available to them in the girls’ bathrooms and the Health Office.
Nicole Mezzasalma, a Northport High School junior, explained that the menstrual pads supplied by the school are “highly uncomfortable”, causing her to avoid using them – a sentiment agreed upon by many other students. Another female student, who requested anonymity due to the personal nature of this article, explained that students go as far as to “use their own supplies”, due to the poor quality of menstrual pads. Furthermore, the pads provided, identified as Maxithins and Gards brand pads, are only offered in a single size and don’t have wings, a feature many girls and women find necessary for handling their period. As Mezzasalma explains, providing a single type of menstrual pad simply doesn’t cut it. She says schools should offer pads of “different sizes because every girl is different”. Elaborating, she describes that “what is already provided at schools is like a ‘one size fits all’ kinda thing, but unfortunately it doesn’t”. The lack of quality and variety seen in these products defeats the purpose of providing them to students; many are forced to rely on their own supply instead.
In addition to the poor quality of the pads, students have complained about a lack of alternative products, with many noting that the product dispensers in the bathrooms never contain tampons. Gus Mantia, the Head Custodian at Northport High School, explained the absence of the product, attributing it to the fact that “We [the school district] don’t provide tampons”. The Health Office of the High School also lacks tampons. Marianne Memole, a nurse from the Health Office, explained that they receive their products from the same janitorial staff who stock the bathrooms. While choosing to supply pads instead of tampons follows the letter of the law, it is not in the law’s spirit and is counterproductive to the goals of the legislation as outlined in DeCataldo’s memo, which explicitly includes tampons in its list of feminine hygiene products that should be provided to students.
Students have also complained about menstrual pads being in low supply, claiming that “it seems as if having the products at school is a waste, because whenever someone needs them there are none left”. Mantia explained that a “dispenser holds 16 packages” and that “they are filled daily as needed”, adding that these refills “could be once a day or more as needed”. However, with so many students using each bathroom, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which dispensers are replenished often enough to serve every student in need of these materials.

An empty menstrual product dispenser in the girls’ bathroom in the Commons

“Menstrual products are essential items we need to manage our health and manage our productivity”, explains Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, the Vice President for Development at the Brennan Center for Justice. She notes that providing free tampons and pads to students is “a small price to pay to keep girls in class”. The lack of tampons or good quality pads contributes to the stigma surrounding menstruation and can make female students feel uncomfortable around their peers. As another female student at the high school explains, “there’s not much privacy [for students] when taking them [menstrual pads] from their own bags”, a problem perpetuated by the fact that many students aren’t permitted to bring their bags to the bathroom.
The question then remains: who is responsible for the decision to provide only one type of menstrual pad to students? The memo from DeCataldo explains that schools should determine what products to provide “in consultation with their school nurse or medical director”. However, Ms. Memole explained that the school’s nurses “did not have a say in the selecon [sic] of feminine hygiene products”. Mark Dantuono, the Director of Health, Physical Education & Athletics had the same response. Even Dr. Roger Perrone, the district’s Chief Medical Officer who “advises the Northport School District on all medical issues”, was not consulted.
John Moran, the Chief Custodian for the district, says he made the decision. He explained that, “When the new legislation came out, we were instructed by the Director of Student Support Services [Cynthia M. Fitzgerald at the time] to ensure compliance. Based off of that guidance, I shared what my intentions were and made the purchases”. The assignment of this important task to a custodian, rather than to health personnel, violates the instructions that were put forth in the memo sent by the New York State Education Department. The result of this action is as expected: the selection of a single type of pad that is thick, uncomfortable, and potentially unusable for certain students.
When it came to a solution for this problem, students gave a variety of suggestions. Some proposed that “The machines [referring to the product dispensers in the bathrooms] should also be constantly refilled when possible”, while others demanded that “some higher power [referring to elected officials and state legislators] should be taking a stand on this.” The disparities in the resolutions aside, almost every student agreed that the school should be providing tampons and a larger assortment of pads.
“Schools are always saying they want the best for their students,” says Mezzasalma. They just “really [are] not paying attention to the little things that are very important.”

Note: A number of student sources were granted anonymity, due to the sensitive and personal nature of the questions asked. Professional journalistic standards for anonymous sourcing were followed, with each statement being confirmed by additional sources.

About the Contributors
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James Connor, Freelancer

James Connor is a Junior at Northport High School and a freelance reporter for the Port Press. His writing focuses on investigative journalism within the...

We Have the Technology: What happens when policy isn’t adapted to meet technological developments?

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We Have the Technology: What happens when policy isn’t adapted to meet technological developments?

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Technology is constantly changing – the past ten years have shown that. Humanity has gone from paper to computers, from traditional programming to adaptive AI, and from telephonic to instantaneous communication – all in the span of a century. Despite the dynamic nature of technology, the Northport-East Northport School District’s official technology policy is flawed, outdated, and lacks the necessary updates to keep it applicable to the current standard of technology.
The district’s technology policy centers around two Board of Education documents: Policy 4526, known as the “Computer Network for Education” policy, and its subset, Policy 4526.1, titled “Internet Safety.” While parts of these policies – such as the ‘Administration’ section of “Computer Network for Education” – are well thought out and were created to benefit students and educators, other parts of the policies are unjust to students, contradict district behavior, or are significantly outdated (the most recent revision of these policies was in 2010).
One example of these flawed policies is the “view.northport.k12.ny.us” subdomain designed for to enable students to access their school account desktop from home. Most people who have used this technology have probably never obtained “written permission from the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Administration” prior to using it. By failing to do this, most people who access their school accounts from home are in violation of the “Computer Network for Education” policy, which explicitly bans this practice without the aforementioned written permission.
The prohibited uses outlined under the same policy are even more interesting. Prohibited activities include “Revealing the personal address, telephone number or other personal information of oneself or another person” and “Wastefully using finite district resources.” This means that if a student were to tweet out personal information using the district’s Wi-Fi, they’d be in violation of the District’s IT policy. The second policy point, wasting district resources, is a vague prohibition that could forbid anything from running a computationally expensive program (like those used in AP Computer Science classes), to downloading a large file from the internet or network, and every other “wasteful” action in between. If you’ve ever used a personal USB drive or SD card on school computers, you’ve violated the part of Policy 4526 that prohibits “installing personal software or using personal disks on the District’s computers and/or network without the permission of the appropriate District official or employee.”
While some of these “rules” may seem funny, certain parts of these policies have serious consequences. One such policy point states that “Each individual in whose name an access account is issued is responsible at all times for its proper use.” This one line in the district’s “Computer Network for Education” policy allows the school to blame a student for the improper use of their network account, even if they are innocent of any wrongdoing. If a user with malicious intent logged on as another student in the district and committed a violation of district policy, this policy allows for the district to punish the student whose account was used instead of the person who actually committed the violation. While it is unlikely that a situation like this would ever occur, the fact that such a possibility exists in the district’s computer policy is indicative of the larger problems surrounding it.
The district’s internet and computer use policies are outdated and require revision in order to stay up to date with modern day digital technologies and concepts. As technology changes, the district must adapt to meet new technologies head on, with policies that are adaptable enough to apply to new technological developments, but outlined to protect student privacy and security online.

James Connor
Figure 1 – A snapshot of the NENUFSD’s Policy 4526 taken on 11/15/19

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James Connor, Freelancer

James Connor is a Junior at Northport High School and a freelance reporter for the Port Press. His writing focuses on investigative journalism within the...

Listen to the Very First Northport High School Podcast!

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Attention Podcasters! You can now listen to the first Northport High School Podcast right here:

You can also go straight to the source as well if you prefer to listen that way…totally up to you.

Interested in podcasting for the Port Press? Stop by the library!

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Kaia Beatty, Contributor

Kaia Beatty is currently a senior at Northport High School, who loves to read, write stories, and draw. In addition, she loves traveling the world, eating...

Students Raise Awareness for the Homeless With “SHANTY”

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Students Raise Awareness for the Homeless With “SHANTY”

Photo Credit: Students for 60,000 Facebook Page / Karen Paquet

Photo Credit: Students for 60,000 Facebook Page / Karen Paquet

Photo Credit: Students for 60,000 Facebook Page / Karen Paquet

Photo Credit: Students for 60,000 Facebook Page / Karen Paquet

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In an effort to raise awareness of homelessness in the local community, Students for 60,000 ran their annual event, SHANTY (an acronym “Shelter the Homeless And Needy This Year), on Saturday, November 9th. To simulate the “homeless experience,” students slept outside in below-freezing temperatures in self-provided cardboard boxes. To participate in the event, each student was required to raise a minimum of $100 which would in turn be donated to various food pantries and homeless shelters on Long Island. As always, the Students members went way above the bar and as a club, raised over $22,000.
Students began setting up their boxes around the front of the school at 7:00 pm. After the students settled in, they went inside to listen to three guest speakers. The first to speak was Peter White, a former teacher at Northport and the founder of Students for 60,000. He reminded the students of the importance of SHANTY and commended them on what they had accomplished through the club so far. White’s empowering speech urged members to carry on the legacy of the club by continuing to help the community and the world. The next two speakers shared personal stories about how homelessness has impacted their lives. One of the speakers was homeless for while, but now actively volunteers at the Northport Food Pantry. For many, this was the first time learning that people in the local community struggle with hunger and shelter. Nonetheless, these stories added a new level of meaning to SHANTY; all the students felt obligated to understand what homeless people have to experience every night.
The students were given a bagged dinner consisting of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a small bag of chips, and a water bottle, food similar to what is provided in homeless shelters. Although it was a difficult night, exasperated by frigid temperatures, the 170 participating students managed to pull through. Around 5:30 am, the students were allowed to go home. As always, the students realized how lucky they were to have a nice, warm bed to return to. However, this is not the reality for the actual homeless, who can’t escape the cold temperatures. For them, every night is like SHANTY.

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Jillian Preston, Freelancer

Jillian Preston is a current senior at Northport High School and this is her first year working on Port Press. She is a captain of the Girls Varsity Soccer...

NHS Launches “Feed 200” Initiative With a Goal of Feeding 200 Families This Thanksgiving

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NHS Launches “Feed 200” Initiative With a Goal of Feeding 200 Families This Thanksgiving

Photo Credit: The Port Press / Griffin Crafa

Photo Credit: The Port Press / Griffin Crafa

Photo Credit: The Port Press / Griffin Crafa

Photo Credit: The Port Press / Griffin Crafa

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Over 250,000 people will suffer from hunger on Long Island at some point this year. More than a quarter of these people will be children under the age of 18. It is this disturbing statistic that has inspired the “Feed 200” initiative at NHS. While this project is new to Northport High School, it’s actually a variation of Sachem School District’s “Feed 2,000.” The goal of what is essentially a giant, school wide Food Drive is to provide 200 struggling families in the community with a “Thanksgiving Dinner.” In order to accomplish this task, 200 boxes will be prepared with a $20 Stop and Shop gift card to purchase a turkey, a variety of ingredients used for traditional Thanksgiving sides, and a dessert. The project is being co-coordinated by the IB Program, Interact Club, and Key Club (and their advisors Mr. Jensen, Mrs. Klein, and Mr. Slagle, respectively). NHS Senior David Kraydman, who is incredibly passionate about this cause, has taken the role of Student Leader for the project. 

Northport has chosen a goal of putting together at least 200 boxes for three reasons. Since this is the first year the project is being run at the High School, the coordinators don’t know how successful the food drive will be. At the end of the collection, there may be more than 200 boxes, but setting a target higher than 200 would be too hopeful. Another reason for a smaller target is due to the fact that the Northport-East Northport School District encompasses a significantly smaller geographic and demographic area than does Sachem. This means that Sachem not only has more families to feed, but more students to contribute donations. Building off the last point, the Northport-East Northport community is very fortunate; many of the students come from families where hunger isn’t a problem. Nevertheless, there are still community members who would appreciate the Thanksgiving meal, thus 200 boxes is a good number.

Due the size of the project, the “coordinating committee” has delegated food and money collections to “student captains.” Any student who attended one of the informational meetings on Wednesday, October 30, could become a captain of a class or club. The job of the captain is to make sure all the items in a box are covered by the class they are captaining, including the $20 gift card. In order to do this, captains can either collect a certain sum of money from each student in the class, by dividing the total cost of all the items in the basket ($45) by the number of students in the class, or have each student bring in a food item from the list and divide the amount of the gift card ($20) by the number of students in the class. While participation in this project is strongly encouraged for those who are financially able to, there is no pressure on those who cannot.

The captains will be busiest during the week of  November 12, when the donations are due and must be sorted. On Tuesday, November 12, the “coordinating committee” along with several captains will stay after school to set up the Commons for collection day. Collection day will be Wednesday, November 13. On this day, students and captains can bring in their donations and place them in their class’s designated box. After school that day, the captains and the “coordinating committee” will meet to sort through the boxes and determine if a second collection day is needed. If that is the case, the setup for the collection day will be after school on Thursday, with the actual collection day taking place on Friday, November 15. Depending on how successful the project is, the Interact and Key Clubs will be holding food drives at Stop and Shop to collect the remaining items needed to complete the goal of 200 boxes.

If one of your classes is putting together a box, consider making a contribution. If none of your classes are, think about bringing a donation in on collection day. It is the least we can do for a community that supports its schools as much as ours does.

About the Writer
Photo of Griffin Crafa
Griffin Crafa, Editor

Griffin Crafa is both a member of the Class 2021, and an editor for the Port Press, which he thoroughly enjoys doing. Griffin is also a Rank Leader in...

Getting Schooled in Cyber Security

Due to increasing cyber attacks on districts, educational services are playing catch-up in online security

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Getting Schooled in Cyber Security

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University

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New technology and online sites have pushed forwards the educational potential of school districts. Websites, apps, and other technological developments are responsible for enhancing the way that students learn and communicate throughout a school day. However, as is the case with all online services, cyber security should remain a primary focus. Yet most major educational websites, including Khan Academy, Quizlet, and TEDx, lack basic account settings to help students and educators secure their accounts.

In the age of data breaches and phishing scams, passwords cannot be trusted to serve as the only line of defense against hackers. A technology called “multi-factor authentication” was created to solve this problem. In addition to a password, multi-factor authentication requires a code which is sent to a user’s email or phone, to verify authentication through a different medium. This is extremely beneficial to the security of an online account. Despite this, ten of the online web services analyzed, many of which are utilized in school districts, do not support any form of multi-factor authentication. These websites are Khan Academy, Turn it In, Quizlet, Remind, Castle Learning, TED, edX, Coursera, CK-12, and Conjuguemos. While many people may view multi-factor authentication as unnecessary, supporting this extra layer of security can be beneficial to the online safety of students and educators.

Another more pressing issue found in half of the explored sites was a lack of required authentication to modify account information. Picture this: a student that needs to do some extra work accesses an account at school. They do their work, then get up and leave when they’re done; or perhaps they get up to use the bathroom. In the time that the student is away, another person gets on the computer. Since no authentication is necessary to change the password, backup email, or other important account info, the person can simply change this information, compromising the entire account. It’s not an unheard of scenario in a school building in which many students share the same computers. Sites specifically designed for use in schools could improve educational security by requiring a password to be re-entered before changing account information. However, Turn it In, TED, and Conjuguemos don’t, while Khan Academy and Quizlet allow a password to be added before requiring authentication. These sites are used by thousands of students, including many in the Northport-East Northport School District, but lack this basic form of online security.

All ten analyzed sites were asked for the reasoning behind the design of these account settings. Castle Learning, a service for providing online and offline testing; Remind, a web-based communication service aimed towards educators; and Khan Academy, a website made for students to study key subjects, each responded to our request for comment. Castle Learning explained the design decisions behind not offering multi-factor authentication: “The current security controls in Castle Learning are based on requests from our school/district administrators”. These requests included support for “relatively easy access for younger students”, “centralized control/management of student user IDs and passwords” and “centralized and automated enrollment updates”. Meanwhile Quenton Cook, Vice President of Product at Remind, explained that “Given that so many Remind users are [text message]-only, MFA hasn’t yet made it on our roadmap—but it’s definitely something we plan to tackle in the future.” Khan Academy followed this same line of thinking, saying that in an effort “to operate with minimal personal information” they don’t support their own form of MFA. They did go on to explain that they “support using either a Google or Facebook account to log in, and both of those authentication options have the ability to set up MFA”. It’s important to note that while connecting an external account would support MFA, having a non-Google email address linked to the account would bypass any additional means of authentication. Multi-factor authentication, while important, appears to have taken a backseat until users start to request the ‘feature’ en masse. Seven of the sites – including almost all of the sites that didn’t require re-authentication to change account information – did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

So why should students and educators be request MFA? What cause for concern is there for the regular operations of a school district? Unfortunately, educational providers have become targets for hackers in recent years. Many districts face phishing attacks on a regular basis, while others have been subjected to expensive and damaging ransomware attacks. As the New York Times has reported, school districts across the United States, including those in Houston, Louisiana, Upstate New York, and even here on Long Island, are beginning to face cyber attacks and data breaches. With these new emerging threats to cyber security, school districts and educational service providers need to empower users to protect their information in the online world.

The settings for TurnItIn, one of the sites whose user settings were analyzed. / Photo Credit: James Connor

The settings for Conjuguemos, one of the educational sites analyzed. / Photo Credit: James Connor

About the Writer
Photo of James Connor
James Connor, Freelancer

James Connor is a Junior at Northport High School and a freelance reporter for the Port Press. His writing focuses on investigative journalism within the...

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