Full Tuition Scholarships Already Awarded to Four BSGE Seniors Reply

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The Award Recipients: Ivan Pereda, Ricardo Aguayo, Andrea Joseph, and Kyle Diangkinay.(Left to right) Photo Credit Kei Hyska

BSGE Seniors Andrea Joseph, Ivan Pereda, Kyle Diangkinay, and Ricardo Aguayo have already received full tuition scholarships to college by receiving highly competitive, esteemed awards.

Andrea Joseph received a full scholarship to Vassar College through the Quest Bridge College Match program (http://www.questbridge.org), the first BSGE student ever to win this prestigious award. Her scholarship covers full tuition, room and board, books, and a work study job with a total value over $200,000.

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Ivan Pereda, Kyle Diangkinay, and Ricardo Aguayo received full tuition scholarships through the POSSE program (http://www.possefoundation.org): Mr. Pereda to University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mr. Diangkinay to Wheaton College and Mr. Aguayo to Brandeis University. Each POSSE scholarship also includes full tuition with the total awards varying by school.

Several of BSGE’s past graduates have also More…

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Completion of Ventilation System Tackles Environmental Issues under BSGE Reply

Work on a ventilation system for potentially harmful chemicals below the BSGE building was recently completed. The presence of the chemicals was brought to the attention of the BSGE community on November 14th 2011 when the School Construction Authority (SCA) notified BSGE that in 2008, vapor testing below the school’s basement revealed the presence of two chemicals , tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) which in high enough concentrations are toxic. The levels of PCE and TCE , used in dry cleaning and industrial degreasing respectively, found in 2008 through soil vapor testing were above the background levels in New York (amounts found that might in the average household in the area) but below the Air Guidance Values for New York (amounts that could cause concern or health risk). More testing done in 2009 reveled similar air values that were once above background levels. Although these values seem harmful since they are soil vapor readings below the schools foundation they did not pose an immediate threat to the BSGE students. Since the ambient air concentrations of these substances were quite low it was no immediate cause for alarm. Nevertheless further testing after BSGE was notified revealed values that were well below both standards.

Unfortunately the reason these values were not disclosed to BSGE community when More…

The New School Spirit Council Reply

BSGE has its fair share of extracurricular clubs such as Ping Pong, the Bacc Rag (join! we need writers!) and Helping Hands, but a new after school school club has emerged to address the need for school spirit. In the past month, two people from each advisory (grades 7-12) have been elected into a School Spirit Student Council organized by Ms. Jackson’s advisory, though their progress in electing students for the council has been slow and steady, still under work. The first meeting will be on Monday, December 17th at 2:20. The purpose of this council is to try “to bring students together to do something as a school,” said Ms. Jackson, BSGE’s yoga/dance teacher and now supervisor of the new spirit council. The idea sprouted from her advisory while discussing ways to build school spirit and after some e-mails to teachers and more opinions on how to solve this issue, they came up with the innovative solution of the new student council for the entire school. This idea has only been done once in the history of BSGE, the council started More…

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Lockers Reply

Rushing towards the locker room, panting while you sign language the teacher through the door a plea to let you in while a class is going on. Clustering outside of closed locker rooms in the morning, creating a pleasant fire hazard to start the day. The percentage of students who actually use our lockers are nodding along to these everyday BSGE situations.

One would think lockers are highly sought after, considering the limited amount and the growing student population; however, a surprising number of students don’t actually use their lockers.

Ergisa Xhuveli ’16, poses next to her locker on the third floor.

“I remember how I used to use my locker at the beginning of seventh grade. But More…

Personalizing Politics: Political Campaigns in the 21st Century Reply

In the most recent political election, season campaigns made better use of private data and patterns gained from personal information to make political ads and reach new voters than in any other previous election. This new method of campaigning involves using social media to lead to the ultimate success of the campaign. Polls about certain issues have been used to find out what people want to hear from certain candidates. In this way, candidates can better target their audiences and cater their viewpoints to be inclusive of the audience they are trying to reach.

Due to DVR (digital video recording) and other technological, developments it is More…

Welcoming Ninth Grade New-Bees Reply

Former eighth grade students transferred from BSGE to a different high school this year, like Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, Frank Sinatra, and Laguardia to name a few. The students who stayed make up two ninth grade streams, and new ninth graders transferred in to BSGE to fill in the void of missing students.

New 9th graders mingling with BSGE veterans at lunch

The new students (“new-bees”) travel together in a stream of their own, Stream 9-1.  “I think the new-bees should be put into our streams,” says Nicholas Wong ‘16. “It allows them to get to know more people.” One student, who would like to remain anonymous, says, “It’s like some of them are in their own bubble. They don’t have many opportunities to talk to people outside of the new kids because they don’t have the same classes as us.” Most of the new ninth graders are More…

The Syrian Civil War Reply

The Syrian Civil War, like many of the revolutions and revolts that swept the Middle East, came out of the Arab Spring in early 2011. On March 15, 2011 much of the conflict that swept the countries like Bahrain, Tunisia, and Egypt made its way to Syria after a feud over government graffiti. Like the many forms of protest present during the Arab spring, Syria’s conflict eventually escalated to such an extent that, by the early Fall of 2012, the country was in a Civil War. Like many countries taken up by the wave of unrest, less than a year ago the political scene in Syria seemed to be fine. Media headlines estimate death tolls as high as 30,000 people. As the conflict continues to rage on, the UN estimates more than 350,000 refugees have fled Syria into the neighboring countries of Iraq, Turkey, and Lebanon. Newly appointed Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Haqi estimated the conflict has cost Syria nearly 34 billion dollars with current costs of rebuilding razed infrastructure at nearly 40 billion dollars.

The conflict in Syria is rooted primarily in a country torn by ethnic divisions – a minority sect of Allawites that has ruled Syria through More…

The Difficult Transition from MYP to IB

As many of BSGE’s juniors have recently become aware of, the transition from the MYP to the IB curriculum is a particularly difficult adjustment. Moving up to the eleventh grade not only signals the third year of highschool, but also the first year of IB. The two to four years that these students spent at BSGE prior to junior year are supposed to prepare them for the heavy workload and demanding nature of the IB Diploma Program. Whether student or teacher, many at BSGE realize how intimidating the IB DP is made out to sound – with the more work expected to be done and the seemingly less time that can be put in to work on each assignment.

Two classes in which the transition from MYP to IB seems especially difficult are More…

Seniors Reflect on the College Application Process

As the school year is wrapping up, seniors have some time to look back on the college application process after submitting their final choices. They thought that one of the hardest parts of the process was the beginning of the school year. “The first few months of the college process, it’s really hard because you have all your college essays to do on top of all your schoolwork,” explained Sofia Chelpon ’12.

However, for many, the offers they received made things even harder. “The hardest part for me was deciding where to go in the end, because I ended up having to choose between a lot of schools that I wanted to go to,” she added. Ram Bhadra ’12 felt that sometimes the results were difficult to accept. “I think the hardest part would be when you work so hard toward getting into a really good college, and you don’t get into your dream school,” he said.

One challenge seniors will face in the next few months is making the switch from high school to More…

BSGE’s Silent Vow Reply

On April 20th, 2012, some BSGE students participated in the Day of Silence, a silent protest against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) name-calling and harassment, particularly in school. The silence copied the silence LGBT teenagers must face every day because they aren’t accepted for who they are. The Day of Silence takes place every year in many schools across the nation, and is organized by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
Students were not required to take part in the event, but those who did signed up to be either silent or supporting. A supporting student wore a placard stating that he or she supports the cause, but was allowed to speak during the school day.
Students who took a vow of silence remained silent throughout the entire school day, from More…

We’re Number One! Reply

BSGE has once again ranked high on US News and World Report’s list of the nation’s best high schools, and this year the school has been named the 21st best high school in the country. BSGE is also the top school in New York State according to the report. On May 8, teachers and students alike walked into school and immediately began conversations about the news. People walking into school that morning were even more excited to see a NY1 reporter outside and interviewing members of the BSGE community. Everyone at BSGE was proud to learn that their school had accomplished this.
The US News and World Report ranks schools on a number of factors, including test performance and how well the school prepares students for college. There are a number of steps that the report goes through to judge the high schools. The first two steps measure how well the students perform on tests, and if minority students, who statistically perform more poorly, are faring better in those schools. According to US News and World Report’s description of their methodology, “For those schools that made it past the first two steps, a third step assessed the degree to which schools prepare More…

Insideschools.org Reviews BSGE Reply

The website insideschools.org is known for reviewing high schools all over New York, and now, they have reviewed our very own BSGE. In fact, last week, we were even featured on the front page, which is screen-capped below. The website ranks schools based on criteria ranging from daily attendance to college readiness. There is a pros and cons list, and a slideshow of pictures taken in the school. Students and parents can also leave comments, agreeing or disagreeing with the review.
BSGE received good marks in almost every criteria: a 98% graduation rate, 95% daily attendance, a 94% six year graduation rate (percent of students who graduate within six years) and More…

Eighth Graders Reflect on School and Look Ahead Reply

The 8th graders at BSGE feel that the workload hasn’t changed much since seventh grade. “I think it’s about the same amount of work as last year,” Eunice Kim said. Many students, however, feel that the work is more complex and difficult this year in school. Elbert Savinon explained, “It’s gotten harder in some aspects, especially math – there’s more explanation and more graphs.”
The students feel that they learned how to manage the work in 7th grade, and this helps them balance their schoolwork and other activities. “My life outside school is pretty chill and relaxed,” said Vivian Yan. When it comes to their social lives, the 8th graders said they had made new friends this year. “We were put into different streams this year so I did make some new friends.” Eunice pointed out. “I’ve also kept the same old friends,” added Nikola Mirkovic. More…

BSGE Finishes 4th in Queens Math Competition Reply

BSGE Students at the Queens Math Competition held at Queens College. From left to right, 8th graders, Tracy Zheng,
Maya Juman, Risa Parham, 7th graders, Justin Hamlin and Kyle Ni. Photo Credit: Mo Math Staff

BSGE’s middle school students finished 4th in the Museum of Math Queens Math Competition on Tuesday, March 13th.  The math competition open to 7th and 8th graders across Queens took place in Queens College. Sponsored by Museum of Math (which is set to open in Manhattan later this year) and Con Edison, the competition accepted one team of 5 students (including both grades) from each participating middle school. BSGE’s team won 4th place out of the 25 schools involved.

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BSGE’s College Readiness Reply

BSGE is among the top public NYC schools rated with what the DOE calls the “college readiness” factor. This means BSGE among other schools is no longer being evaluated solely on grades, but also on how well-prepared students are to pursue higher education. The New York City Department of Education defines the “college-readiness index” of a New York City public high school as the percentage of graduating students in a given school who qualify to avoid remedial college courses. While BSGE boasts a 100 percent graduation rate, according to NYC standards, only 97 percent of its graduates last year were considered “ready” for college. The majority of schools rated by the DOE do not hold a 100 percent readiness percentage. In fact, only 5 of the 28 ranked schools mentioned in a More…

Six Years of the French Language Reply

Imagine walking into a classroom full of faces that you have seen for nearly six consecutive school years. This is a scenario Mr. Rajiv Mahajan, the current French teacher at BSGE, has dealt with before. As the French teacher, educates some BSGE students on the French language and culture, which he has been doing in BSGE since 2006. Currently, he teaches classes in the 7th, 9th, 11th and 12th grade. He has a different view of students than that of other teachers in BSGE who may see students for only two or three years. He is tasked with teaching the students for all the years that they are in BSGE, preparing them to receive the IB diploma. This may amount to six years in the end, so he sees More…

Behind The Metal Counter Reply

“Pizza and fries please.” Four words may be all we ever say to the people working our cafeteria, but what really goes on behind the metal counter?
The “School Food Service Manager” (the professional term for the person who runs our cafeteria) is named Dorothy. She comes to BSGE twice a week and works at three other schools. Her job as manager consists of ordering food, making phone calls, and making sure the kitchen is clean. Her orders are sometimes read off of a preprinted menu that’s made for New York City public schools.
Dorothy says that she tries to talk to BSGE students to understand More…

BSGE Class of 2011 Receives a Record Number of IB Diplomas Reply

                         The Class of 2011 at Graduation.                             Photo Credit: Ms Van Schilfgaarde

BSGE’s Class of 2011 received a school record 36 IB Diplomas last year. Of the 64 students who graduated in 2011, 55 were IB Diploma candidates and 36 students received enough points to earn the full IB diploma, a major achievement for the students and the school. “They worked together to support each other in the gauntlet of senior year and the IB exam process. Hopeful- ly this will continue to benefit them in their college years” said 12th grade IB History of the Americas teacher and Diploma coordinator, Ms. Jennifer Dikes.

In addition to their hard work, Ms. Connie You, 10th and 11th grade English teacher, identified More…

BSGE’S Humble Beginnings Reply

The Story of the early days of BSGE

BSGE has come a long way from its modest beginnings in the basement of Robert F Wagner High School. When starting out we were a small student body of only two grades, 7th and 9th, and worked in a rented space with uninhabitable facilities and working areas.After advancing to our current building, we now have advanced to the school we love today with over 400 students, our own school building, 6 grades and excellent curriculum.
A lot of effort is needed to build and stabilize a school. According to BSGE teachers who have been here since the beginning, one of the most important things in this school, which was also the hardest to advance with as the school grew, was the IB program. The IB program is one of the main things that makes our school one of the More…

A Breakdown of Junior Year Reply

  Juniors are always warned that Junior year, especially at BSGE, is the hardest and most important year of high school. In an only partially scientifically valid manner, based solely on my personal evaluation of each assignment’s difficulty, I kept track of the work during my Junior Year from September 21st on.

Method: Each homework assignment was given a point value, from 1-3, based on difficulty. Difficulty was assessed by time spent doing it and mental effort exerted. Quizzes were worth 3 points and tests and essays were worth 5 points. The points were added to come up with weekly totals for each class. For each day off, 1 point was subtracted. The Extended Essay was treated as a class. More…