October News Briefs


Used with permission: Pixabay

Hurricane season ends Nov. 30. This school year, Hillsborough County designated hurricane make-up days as Veterans Day, Nov. 12 and three fall break days from Nov. 20- 24.

District prepares for hurricane season 

This school year, Hillsborough county prepared for the hurricane season with designated hurricane make-up days, Veterans Day- Nov. 12 and three fall break days from Nov. 20 through 24.  

Last year for Hurricane Irma, Hillsborough county decided to lengthen four early release Mondays to make up for lost time.  

“I really don’t want a hurricane to come here,” sophomore Clara Burkhart said. “I’m so scared of hurricanes. I don’t even care if we have days off, I don’t want to have a hurricane.” 

If there’s a hurricane, Monday, Nov. 12 will become a school day. If further make-up days are required, then Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Thanksgiving break will as well.  

“Having a hurricane day wouldn’t be too bad,” freshman Maddie Blackburn said. “I obviously don’t want a hurricane, but it would be nice to have days off.” 

According to the county, students are required to be in school for a certain number of hours every year. Plant is already at the minimum number of hours required for schools.   

“I am very happy with how hurricane season’s gone so far,” principal Johnny Bush said. “But if we did miss any days, we don’t really have a say in the decision of the district.” – Addie Robey


Chorus performs fall concert  

Since the first week of school, Chorus has been preparing for the annual Fall Concert, which took place Oct. 2.   

“This was probably the best overall fall concert that I can remember.” Bruce Yost, chorus teacher, said. “I’ve been teaching here for 24 years and the outstanding effort of the service was great and the results of that effort really showed.”  

The Varisty Chorale performed two songs and the two a cappella groups, the Pink Panthers and Paw-cappella, performed as well.  

Co-president of chorus and Varsity Chorale member Elizabeth Bado performed in her a cappella group, the Pink Panthers.  

“We definitely went outside of our comfort zone with the song choice,” Bado said. “The songs were beautiful and definitely well prepared.”  

Vice president of uniform and senior Alex Collins oversaw appearance and the dress code.  

“My favorite part was everyone looking great,” Collins said. “I thought this was the best one because everyone really listened.” – Ava Nelson


Band and orchestra students perform in fall concert 

The orchestra Fall Concert took place Oct. 4 in the auditorium, featuring students in orchestra, guitar ensemble and jazz band. 

The concert lasted from 7-9 p.m. The guitar students played first, followed by orchestra and then jazz band.  

“We sounded really good,” senior philharmonic student Raelyn Hoskinson said. “We have a lot of new prospects in orchestra that can make us sound even better.” 

The concert featured three orchestras: concert, string and philharmonic. Concert went first, playing “Storm the Gates,” “A Pirate’s Legend,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.” String followed with “Galop!,” “Rise of the Olympians” and “Night on Bald Mountain”. Philharmonic played last with movements one, two and three of Boyce’s “Symphony No. 1” and then movement four of Haydn’s “Symphony No. 104.: 

“I thought the concert went very well,” orchestra director Steven Bossert said. “Especially for being the first concert of the season, I thought all the students played beautifully and just did a fantastic job.” – Ariana Cimino


District tests schools for radon

Hillsborough County is planning to finish testing for radon in all 230 public schools by mid-November.  

Although the radon levels are high in the whole state, the level can differ based on county. Hillsborough
County has between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L, which is about the average for the state.  

“It was a preventative measure to ensure that there weren’t any issues in the building,” assistant principal Lauren Otero said. 

Radon is a radioactive gas produced by decaying uranium that is colorless and odorless. It gets trapped in schools and can cause lung cancer after long-term exposure. 

“It’s scary to think that we may be constantly exposed to a gas that’s so harmful and not many people know about it,” sophomore Erin Moffit said.  – Clio Bruno


Students receive flu shots

Students lined up to get flu shots Friday, Oct. 12, administered by Healthy Schools nurses in anticipation of the approaching flu season.   

“My mother, who is a doctor, has made me get it every year, and I have never gotten the flu,” sophomore Charleigh Baab said.  

The Healthy Schools nurses gave 166 flu vaccines to students on Friday.   

“Most kids don’t realize how important the flu shot is,” Charity Judino, a nurse from Healthy Schools, said. “It helps virus-fighting antibodies to develop before the actual virus gets around. Even though there are different strands of the flu virus, getting the vaccine dramatically reduces your chances of catching it.”   

The nurses were stationed in the college resource room and shots were given throughout the day. 

“I think it’s worth it to get the flu shot,” senior Troy Burkhart said. “It’s better to be safe than sorry, and you might as well do it while they’re at school.”  

Flu season officially is from December to February, but cases have begun to occur according to ABC Action News.  

“The reason students should get vaccinated for the flu is because it is preventable,” Judino said. “It is a devastating virus for some, and can even lead to complications like pneumonia, and even death. Our goal is to keep kids in school as much as possible, and that means staying healthy and not getting sick, in this case, by getting the flu shot.”  – Addie Robey


Marching band places third in invitational 

The marching band traveled to King High School Oct. 13 to compete against 27 other schools in the Lion’s Pride Invitational, placing third. 

Each band is evaluated in areas such as percussion, music, marching, dancers and overall effect as they perform their show on the field in front of a panel of judges. 

“It’s hard to compare different bands,” band director Brian Dell said. “The judges have to make a decision and it is what it is.”  

The marching band placed third overall and earned awards for Superior Danceros, Superior Drum Majors, Superior Band, Superior Percussion and Best Overall Percussion.  

“It’s not winning, but it’s not about winning all the time,” Dell said. “It’s about how we grew as an ensemble.” 

The ensemble started their day at 2:15 p.m. when they arrived at Plant for a 2-½-hour practice. Following practice was dinner, and then loading up the buses. Once they arrived at King High School, they unloaded and got set to perform.  

“We have to push to the field really quick and we get set up,” senior Abby Hoyt said. “We have like one minute to set up and then we play our show, and it’s usually pretty exhilarating. It’s really exciting.”  – Kate Caranante


Hillsborough county replaces lights

Hillsborough County is aiming to save money and electricity by retrofitting all 2 by 4 inch light fixtures in ceilings to reduce eye strain, manage energy and eliminate glare and flickering.  

“It’s supposed to be better quality lighting and more long term in the sense that we won’t have to replace the bulbs as frequently,” assistant principal Lauren Otero said. 

The estimate is that an entire school will be finished within five days, with one classroom taking one evening to complete with school going on during the construction. 

After the project, an inspection will be done by the contractor and a district representative to make sure the classroom and school is safe.  

“I think changing the lights is a good idea because it’s more environmentally conscious,” freshman Owen Felton said. – Clio Bruno