Category Archives: Student Life

The Yearbook is on Life Support! Keep Trying or Pull the Plug?: Story by Phoebe Tietjen-Archie

This Year Forrest Bird Charter School (FBCS) might be facing a devastating loss; the death of the yearbook. Earlier in the year student council tried to revive this important tradition amongst high school years by giving the student body an ultimatum; purchase 100 yearbooks or wave goR.I.P. Yearbookodbye. It’s now the end of November and saying that this attempt was unsuccessful would be the understatement of the year. FBCS’s journalism teacher, Mark Webber, stated that he doesn’t think students are actually understanding that if they don’t reach this goal of 100 yearbooks they are saying goodbye to the yearbook not just this year, but forever. Is FBCS really okay with that? Junior Tommy Smith said “I would really like to have a yearbook, and I know a lot of other people agree with me; It’s just that people our age have so many things on their mind and remembering to buy something that isn’t tangible yet is something that is hard to make the top of our priority lists. I think yearbook would have a better chance if they were pre-purchased by the school and then put on sale for the students, that way we could receive them the same day we pay for them.”
Many of you are asking why exactly the goal is set at 100, and what happens if we don’t reach it. The goal was set at 100 yearbooks because the yearbookYearbook Sales company FBCS goes through has a minimum purchase requirement of 100 yearbooks for the page number and price break that the FBCS staff wanted. If the student body were to fulfill this goal a yearbook class would be created next year once again and a yearbook teacher would be budgeted in. On the contrary, if the student body fails to meet the yearbook goal, they will be looking at the yearbook’s less-qualified, younger cousin; a Shutterfly photograph book equipped with only 20 pages, a page amount that isn’t sitting well with the staff. Educational Leader and English teacher, Mary Jensen, stated that with the new addition of about 60 FBCS students; it’s going to take approximately 15-18 pages just for student pictures. That doesn’t leave much room for “fun” pictures of anything else such as pictures of drama districts, extra-curricular activities, prom, etc. Without these events it actually defeats the purpose of the yearbook. After all, Mary Jensen, Educational Leader and administrator of FBCHS, may have a point; think about it, do you really want 20 pages filled with nothing, but other student’s portraits?
As of right now, everything is up in the air, and the power to decide what happens to the yearbook ultimately lies in the hands of the student body. This means that as a whole the student body really needs to ask themselves, “Do we want a 2013-14 yearbook? Is this year important enough to us to document the memories we have made as high-school students?” If so, then it’s time to step up and make a commitment and effort towards making the yearbook happen this 2013-14 school year and to secure its future.

Wednesday’s : EXTENDED LUNCH !

On the last Wednesday of every month, all the students of the Sandpoint’s

Forrest Bird Charter School have something very special…

If you are a student at the Forrest Bird Charter School, you might have noticed

that on the last Wednesday of each month, you get an extended lunch. This idea

was created by James Mize (the culinary arts teacher) and Paul Gunter (Music

Teacher).  The normal lunch at the Charter School normally last from 11:35 to

12:05. With this brand new idea, the students can have their lunch for about an


Extended Lunch 1Students also have the opportunity to dress down for the Wednesday concert if they bring two dollars ro two cans of food.  All proceeds are donated to the local Sandpoint food bank. Also, the school lunch only costs three dollars.  Not bad a meal and a music concert for less than 5 dollars . The originality is that the lunch is prepared by the cooking class. This class is directed by James Mize. James Mize has teaching at Forrest Bird Charter for many years.  Through the years, he has learned what the students really like and want.  The thing that take James’ class out of the crowd is the amazing quality of the food. The lunch that they propose for this occasion is much better

than what you will ever find in any other school. By the way, Forrest Bird

Charter School is one of the only school’s in Idaho who supports a cooking


The orginal plan of this extended lunch is that the students can part-take in a concert that is prepared by students of the school. Paul Gunter, the music teacher,

who had the clever idea to offer this concert. ” I like the idea of having an extended lunch each month, it provides an opportunity for students to showcase their talents” he said. The first concert this year was such a success ! It was very creative, we saw a student who made electronic modern music only with his Game Boy. This first gig really made

people excited. The Charter school gives the opportunity the students to practice

their music with a Rock Band class taught by Paul. “This extended lunch gives

the rest of the student body the opportunity to see what their peers have been

working on in music class as well as private lessons”.

The second edition was on october the 24th. This time, 7 differents bands

performed. They were from the middle school and also from the high school.

The audience’s response was awesome…People of New York might have heard

the audience applause ! Most of the music performed was composed just for this

occasion, the result was professional.Paul Gunter at the drums

Every last Wednesday of the month, the students will have the opportunity to see and to enjoy a concert. To do this concert, Rock Band’s student have to work  and to

practice a lot to be prepared. “The show must go on” and for sure, all the concerts that are performed have a real professional quality.

“The groups I choose to play are from my classes or students in the school that are involved in music in some way, shape or form” said Paul. This way, Paul can be sure of the quality of the music that will be performed.

As you might guess, Forrest Bird Charter is a very enjoyable place !

Dramatic Much? You Bet! Story by Phoebe Tietjen-Archie

Story by Phoebe Tietjen-Archie

Recently the drama students participated in INTAF (Inland Northwest Theater Arts Festival) a two-day event about drama, acting, and tech for high school students. The festival was attended by over 320 students and offered 40 classes, which ranged from stage combat to belly dancing, stage management, pantomime, fencing, and improvisation techniques. The classes were taught by revered drama instructors and performers from the area. Students also got the opportunity to enjoy several performances and speeches from the very instructors that taught them.  The Blue Door Theater, a professional acting company in Spokane, played twice for the audience, and a cabaret singer put on a wonderful performance. Overall there were five showcases (musical performances and one-man acts put on by other students) as well as a catered dinner.

A group of drama students in mid-act

Forrest Bird Charter School’s drama teacher, Wendy Thompson said “INTAF was a true dream because students get perspectives of theater arts from professionals, other teachers, and other students. They experienced new tactics and reviewed old ones simultaneously. INTAF is a whirlwind of knowledge, experience, and entertainment. We drove away tired and thrilled. We are already planning to attend next year!” Senior drama student, Charles, added to that by saying “The experience was mind-blowing, and I had a blast. You really got the chance to work with professionals, and that was truly amazing.”

Furthermore there is a buzz throughout FBCS about the drama class having a real shot at the state competition. First however they must place in Districts which are being held on November 23rd at Lake City High school; the top 1/4 to 1/3 of all competitors will progress to state, which is a two-day event held from December 6-7 in Twin Falls, Idaho. The drama class has several entries in most acting categories ranging from original serious to published serious and humorous, and several of their competitors are second-year returners. Wendy Thompson said “I believe we will place at Districts. We have talented actors who specialize in characterization. We work on character building often; when we are on stage we are crazy loud and boisterous, that is usually a sign of FBCS actors evolving and morphing into a new personality. We work hard as a team, and help each other in and outside the classroom to perfect our acts.” This year, the drama class will be performing their acts for FBCS students, teachers, and parents, who can’t make it to the out-of-town shows, to enjoy on November 26th.

- The infamous drama faces
The infamous drama faces

All together the INTAF experience seems like it was pretty magical and an extraordinary experience for the drama class. Hopefully the experience for these talented students continues on through Districts and State. Birds Eye News bids good luck to our fellow classmates on their theatrical arts journey!

Stop The Bullying! Story by Sam Berkey

Story by Sam Berkey

Ever been bullied? Ever been the bully? Here’s one fact; bullying is not cool. It doesn’t matter whatever the form is: verbal, cyber, physical, or emotional; it’s still bullying.

 - Bullying hurts, and leads to depression. Students need to learn to stand against it.
Bullying hurts, and leads to depression. Students need to learn to stand against it.

Bullying isn’t just at your home or school, it’s worldwide. Studies have shown that an estimated 200 million kids are affected by bullying across the world that means half of all children are bullied sometime in their life, ten percent of which occurs in the United States.  In Canada and Australia one in every four children is the victim of bullying. However across the world the age group that is primarily targeted by bullying is 11-14.

If you lined up seven kids in a row from the grades kindergarten to senior year, one of those seven kids in each group has either been the bully or been bullied. The percentage of students stating that bullying is an on-going problem is 71% while 61% having said that bullying resorted to school shootings. 77% of kids today are being bullied mentally, verbally, and physically however only 14% of that 77% have admitted to being affected. With the introduction of electronics such as texting, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and so on, bullying has morphed into a new sub-branch called cyber-bullying.

Approximately 50% of students are victims of cyber-bullying and only one of ten children that are cyber-bullied will tell their parents about this. Cyber-bullying happens 24/7 and can strike anyone at any time without warning. Only one in four cyber-bullying cases are reported to the authorities and most of the participants of cyber-bullying are surprisingly female. Those that are cyber-bullied have been known to skip school, get into drugs and alcohol, have health problems, and worst of all some cases have resulted in suicide.

Of course you might be wondering: Well, the teachers must be doing something about this. Truth is that teachers only intervene 4% of the time, and one of four teachers find nothing wrong with bullying. They also dismiss bullying as “building character” and “growing thick skin” or even the common “boys will be boys”.  In fact, teachers can be both the offenders and the victims in school bullying situations.  Teachers don’t just bully the students; they can also bully their fellow staff members and most of this may go both unnoticed and unreported. The victim, if a student, may not trust adults after being bullied by one and could feel vulnerable towards the bully teacher and other bully students. The same might go for the adult victim; however they might feel like more of a “tattle-tail” on their co-workers rather than vulnerable towards them.

Alright, you’re thinking “I’m just a normal person. What could I possibly do to stop bullying?” The answer: anything you can! For those that are being bullied; face the bully and look them in the eye, use a strong firm tone of voice and appropriate language when you tell the bully to stop. If that doesn’t work, go get an adult and tell them what’s going on.


People that are witnessing someone being bullied, don’t just stand there speak up to the bully. Be an advocate for the “under dog”, be the voice for someone who is too scared to use theirs by speaking up and stopping the bully. Remember SAVE:

S-speak up. “Cut it out.” “We don’t do that at our school.” and so on. But only speak up if you feel the bully isn’t hostile.

A-adult help: report it to the teachers or the principal if the bullying is serious.

V-volunteer solutions: Ask the victim to join you and your friends, or help remove them from the bully’s presence.

E-end the victim’s sadness: “I’m sorry that _____ was mean/did that to you.” cheer up the victim, and if you have been a victim tell them about it.

As for cyber-bullying, put it in your spam-mail where it will be deleted automatically. If the mean e-mail keeps happening, have your parents tell the school, police, or the phone/internet provider. That will stop the bullying by tracking them and stopping their ways of harming you, even closing their account. Also, hang out with your friends if the cyber-bullying is bothering you, just disconnect from the technology world.

If we stand up to the various bullying, we can not only decrease the percentages, but hopefully stop this abuse. Many kids are abused by kids either around their age or older than them and barely anyone notices or cares. So unite, speak up, and stop bullying once and for all.

Standardized Tests!? Give Me A Rest! Story by Phoebe Tietjen-Archie

Story by Phoebe Tietjen-Archie

Recently the sophomore and freshman class has received a bit of not-so-cheerful news: they have testing right around the corner, big testing. What test are we talking about might you ask? On Wednesday the 16th the sophomores and freshmen will be oh so fortunate enough to take the PSAT and the PLAN standardized tests.

   Ok, let’s get serious. Standardized tests are never fun, but they’re something to be taken seriously. Right now is a time for sophomores and freshmen to buckle down, and start putting their studying skills to the best of their abilities. Mary Jensen, FBCS’ Educational Leader, shared that she is very happy that our school is taking these tests, especially the PSAT, because it prepares students for their SAT’s. She went on to say that she doesn’t have much advice on studying for the two tests other than for the students to get a good night’s rest before, and to eat a good breakfast on the morning of, and she said most importantly to relax; these tests don’t count against you, they’re just helping you prepare.

   So this is the moment where one begins to think “ok, so I now need to prepare, but how in the world do I study for a standardized test?” When it comes to preparing for the PSAT and PLAN you can’t go over flash cards or read notes, but what you can do is go over what you know the test will be generally covering.  The PSAT has 3 sections which include critical reading, writing, and math, and PLAN has 4 sections which include reading, writing, math, and science. There are practice books available at the school for both tests, and according to a good way to study for the PSAT and PLAN tests are to skim through your textbooks and refresh your brain on the subjects you will be covering.

   Many are asking what the PSAT and PLAN tests are, and why we are taking them for the first time. The PSAT stands for preliminary SAT; it’s a standardized test administered by the National College Board, and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The test provides first hand practice for the SAT and it also gives students the chance to enter NMSC scholarship programs, and gain access to college and career planning tools. The most common reasons for taking the PSAT are to receive feedback on your strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study ; you can then focus your preparation on those areas that could most benefit from additional study or practice. The test is also used to see how your performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college, and to help prepare for the SAT. You can become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions you will see on the SAT. If you are interested in the National Merit Scholarship Program, which is available to juniors in high school, you can re-take the test next year for a fee of $13.  As for the PLAN test, which is a preliminary ACT, is a pretty simple concept. PLAN helps students clarify their strong and weak points, so they can take the best possible courses in high school in order to help them succeed, as well as help give ideas for career and post-high school educational options.


   Even though standardized testing isn’t fun, it is clear that both these tests are extremely useful stepping stones in our educational journey. Sophomore, Wes, said “I’m pretty nervous for the PSAT, considering it’s a rather large test, but it’s nothing studying and good preparation can’t take care of. I don’t feel it’s fair that we are getting judged on a basic test, instead of what we go over in the classroom; however, with that said, I understand their purpose and how important they are, so I’m going to try my best, and I think that’s what everybody’s goals really need to be about for this test.” Overall, it looks like the freshmen and sophomores have a pretty big day ahead of them, may we wish good luck to them all!

It’s That Time of Year; The Fall Dance is Drawing Near

Story by Phoebe Tietjen-Archie

October is drawing near, and with that comes all the festivities of Halloween including the Fall Dance. With a new student council just elected we should be expecting a pretty good outcome for the dance.  Sophomore Trista Hindberg said “I think the dance all really depends on how they plan it; we could be facing an upcoming disaster, or one amazingly magical night.”

For the most part everyone is excited about the upcoming dance, which will be held on October 25th, for the freshmen class this is especially big news; the first high school dance one attends will always hold a place in the memory scrap-book. Freshman Camille Wagner said “I’m super excited for my first high school dance; I love dances and look forward to it! I expect the dance to just be fun and drama free; after all we’re all in high school now.” For the rest of the classes we are all bouncing around with wide eyed wonder about how the dance will actually end up… Will the music be good? How will the decorations turnout? Will it be costume, formal, or casual attire?  Dance Committee member, Jennifer Kobelt, said “We would really like everyone to come in costume, but it’s not required.”

Last year FBCS’ financial planning for the dance, was not at its best; we made $350 in revenue from the dance, however we spent  $526 on preparing and decorations for it which means  we were roughly $176 in the negative zone.  Hopefully with a new student council in place that will change this year. Student Council Treasurer Jenifer Kobelt said “Instead of spending money on decorations I’m planning on having the decorations made at the school or reuse decorations that were bought and unused from prior dances or that are in top condition. Also I will make sure I refer to the budget at hand before making any final decisions to buying something and to make sure it is really needed not just wanted. I’m also really good with efficient spending so I will put that to use when wanting to spend money because I could possibly get the same thing cheaper somewhere else with the same quality as the more expensive product.”

The big question overall is what is the theme going to be? With this we also begin to wonder who will be the DJ, and who will be in charge of the main decorations? Junior Tommy Smith, who decorated the board used for pictures last year as well as rapped on the open mic, said “If I’m asked, which I think I will be since I’m on the student council as Junior rep, I would definitely like to help with the decorations for the dance again this year as well as rapping and or singing.” Middle school choir, and sophomore advocacy teacher, Paul Gunter, said “If student council, and or the dance committee asked me to DJ I would be more than pleased to. Plus I have a lot of the gear, and machines to do so including fog machines and lights; basically at this point I’m just waiting for someone to approach me with a set date.” Dance committee member, Jennifer Kobelt, said “We are planning on having a Halloween themed dance, hence the costumes. We will be putting up posters soon, advertising that we will be holding auditions for DJ’s for the dance in the near future.”

The dance is looking like it’s going to be a big hit this year; all that’s left to do is patiently wait for this magical Halloween themed night to pull you from your seats and get you moving on the dance floor!