Category Archives: Student Life

The Harrison Report: Leadership Club

The Bird Eye News is back again and ready for the 2017-18 year. For our first report we introduce you to a new teacher, Mr. Benage. He is a math teacher and our new personal finance teacher at the school. In this interview we discuss his recently formed leadership club and how it has taken the tasks of the our cancelled student council.

New Students in FBCS… Story by Leah Roth

With every school year comes an influx of new faces, and often we don’t take the time to say hi. The Bird Eye News recently interviewed some of these new students and here are a few of their responses.

Question 1: What was your first impression of our High School?

Freshman Thomas Carty: “My first impression of when I first arrived was amazement. Compared to the Sandpoint High School which I had considered, I was very impressed. The overall layout and openness of The Forrest Bird Charter School makes it fell very relaxing and comforting in contrast to the claustrophobic halls of the standard High School.”

Socializing in the Commons… An aerial perspective of the study lab.
Socializing in the Commons… An aerial perspective of the study lab.

Sophomore Lydia Martin: “My first impression was quite good. I like the teachers and I enjoy all my classes. The people are pretty nice and I look forward to making some new friends.”

Question 2: Why did you decide to come to FBCS?

Freshman Lucy Lang: “I have been homeschooled for the last few years, and my parents decided I should go to Charter School for High School.”

Freshman Reese Litster: “They have a very specific teaching style that I liked, and I wanted to come here and be a part of that teaching system.”

Freshman Tracy Mullinax: “I came here because I went to a very small school back in California, so I am used to smaller schools, and Sandpoint High is definitely bigger than here.”

Question 3: What is something interesting about you?

New Students and Magic… Freshman Reese Litster and his friend Ben play Magic in study lab.
New Students and Magic… Freshman Reese Litster and his friend Ben play Magic in study lab.

Sophomore Griffin Smith: “I slept with my door open from 8 to 11 years old because I was scared the snake from Harry Potter was going to kill me.”

Freshman Jeremy Trantum: “Interesting things about me: I am really good at fixing most small motor vehicles. I am good at coding, computers and programming robots. I am really good at riding dirt bikes and taking them apart and putting them together.”
Junior Eliza Litster: “I lived in the Dominican Republic for three months a couple of years ago.”

On behalf of everyone here at Forrest Bird Charter School, I’d like to welcome you all to our school! We hope you enjoy your time with us!


Conspiracy Theories Elective… Story by Vaughn Kinman

As school electives near the hard due date, the course material is obviously getting more in depth, and the subject at hand become important. Mr. Webber’s conspiracy class is the most eye-drawing elective, and probably the schools most iconic one, merely because of the controversial content in the class.

With all the conspiracies surrounding the most recent disasters, the conspiracy class likely is booming with tons of theories. However, some may argue that conspiracy is not right to teach in school for many reasons. It could be used with offensive intent against particular students, despite being unlikely.

Scouring the Internet... In order to find such crazy theories, students and professor alike take time finding and studying them
Scouring the Internet… In order to find such crazy theories, students and professor alike take time finding and studying them

Also, theories thought up by one student can disagree with another’s beliefs. For example, there are many creation of the earth theories—a religious person might take offense to such a theory because it contradicts their beliefs. Mr. Webber seems to try and stay to the “worst” theories out there to limit disagreement, and then allow students to explore other ones through independent and EAD assignments.

A conspiracy class, on the other hand is an elective that kids seem to enjoy more than other electives, resulting in students grades likely being better than an elective that was less engaging. Surveys showed that students enjoyed conspiracy theories class on average more than other electives, regardless of their performance in the class.

However, knowing conspiracy theories is almost certainly less practical information compared to classes such as emergency services, another elective at the school. Conspiracy theories usually deals with fringe or extremist beliefs and cults, debunking them in class.This could lead some to argue that a different elective would be more attractive to students because of practicality.

Nay to Type 1 Civilization?... You may be a terrorist (according to Michio Kaku). There are some extreme views explored in conspiracy theories
Nay to Type 1 Civilization?… You may be a terrorist (according to Michio Kaku). There are some extreme views explored in conspiracy theories

People who were interviewed maintained that conspiracy theories should be taught in school. Joseph Fullerton said they would consider it as an alternative to other electives because conspiracies are something they could just do on their own time, a view that seemed to be shared by most of the class.

Overall, any potential critics of Mr. Webber or the classes intentions would go against the students who signed up for the elective, and there is no shortage of students, it seems.

Intro to Interact Club… Story by Eliza Lister

There is an air of excitement when you first walk into our school Interact Club. Though it was just formed last year, you can tell it’s already gaining momentum. Now, what exactly is Interact Club? Interact is a student driven community service organization that is connected to Rotary. They believe in “service before self.”

Last Wednesday was the first meeting, and around 13 people were in attendance. An opportunity came up for the club to work with Family Summit to serve soup on October 26th. The funds from this will go back to the club to do more service based projects.

What is Interact?... Lindsay Holland explains to the group. Photo by Eliza Litster
What is Interact?… Lindsay Holland explains to the group. Photo by Eliza Litster

There are hundreds of Rotary clubs in our country, and thousands of Interact Clubs. Representatives from the Sandpoint and Ponderay Rotary clubs were attending the first meeting last Wednesday. Debbie, the representative from Sandpoint Rotary said, “Together the two rotaries have 200 of your “best cheerleaders” here to support you in whatever type of service you can dream up, whether it be a service trip to Mexico in the spring or sending tennis shoes to Ethiopia. They’re here to help make that happen.”

You may be thinking, what can I get out of that? There’s so much joy in serving others. Really what it’s all about is giving. “Everything is do able,” said Lindsay Holland when answering an inquiring about busy scheduling, “If your heart is wanting to serve then we can find a place for you. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t make every event. There are so many other things you can do if your heart is wanting to do it.”

This is a year-long club, but you can join at any time. They do encourage you to stay because they are constantly working on service projects. The nice part about Interact Club is that it meets Wednesdays and club day is Thursday, giving you the ability to join 2 clubs. However students must make-up the CIS Wednesday Advisory assignment on their own time.

We’re official!... Last year saw the Interact Club officially chartered. Photo by Suesan Roth.
We’re official!… Last year saw the Interact Club officially chartered. Photo by Suesan Roth.

Debbie said, “We need your ideas, first and foremost, and that counts. It doesn’t cost any money to join but you need to have your heart in service before self. Ask yourself that question. Can you bring yourself every Wednesday morning to this meeting prepared to contribute with your ideas and energy? Then you’re an interactor at heart and we need you and we want you.”

Interact Club is a great way to give back to your community and meet likeminded people. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, then come check it out on Wednesdays during advisory in the Sunshine room.

New Teacher at FBCS… Story by Aurora Reishus

The Forrest Bird Charter School has received two new staff members this year. One new staff member is Mr. John Stevens, the new history teacher. Mr. Stevens has had experience as a substitute and student teacher, but this is his first year as a full time teacher.

Growing up, Mr. Stevens had always enjoyed school. When he was younger he had thought about becoming a geologist or a paleontologist. “Loved the dinosaurs; a Land Before Time kid,” puts Mr. Stevens. As the new history teacher, Mr. Stevens is extremely passionate about his job. Even as a kid he preferred to watch the History Channel over other TV shows.

Exploring History... Mr. Stevens talks about the explorations of the New World
Exploring History… Mr. Stevens talks about the explorations of the New World

In high school, Mr. Stevens struggled as in the middle of his high school career he became homeless. “Mom left; dad was struggling. There were some times when I tried to reconnect with my dad, but we were living in a rundown house with holes and no running water or electricity,” explains Mr. Stevens. Due to the condition of his father’s house, he often couch-surfed. Before the start of Mr. Stevens’ Junior year of college, his father’s house burnt down. After Mr. Stevens had graduated from Lewis-Clark State College in December of 2015, he got a place of his own.

Before Mr. Stevens became a teacher he worked as a janitor during his time in college. As well as working as a janitor he did yard maintenance and started student and substitute teaching. When asked why he decided to be a teacher he talked about how helpful his teachers had been during his troubling years of high school. “I love the idea of helping others; I always have. I also love history, so those two connected and made it a really easy choice for me to want to be a teacher,” stated Mr. Stevens.

Everything’s Magic… Learning Magic 101 in the Magic club at FBCS
Everything’s Magic… Learning Magic 101 in the Magic club at FBCS

Just like anyone else, Mr. Stevens has a life outside of school. Mr. Stevens described his hobbies with the opening statement, “Any student who knows me already they’ll find out really quickly I’m a huge nerd. I love Magic the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, and I like anime too.” Magic, the card game, is one of Mr. Stevens’ favorite things and he has been playing for a very long time. Mr. Stevens is the new advisor to the Magic club at FBCS and is willing to teach anyone who wants to know how to play. Mr. Stevens used to be into the card games YUGIOH and Pokémon as well. Other than participating in Magic tournaments, in his free time, Mr. Stevens also loves to experience nature and goes on walks and hikes.

Mr. Stevens is an important member of FBCS and the community. He is charismatic and friendly and hopes to have a good year teaching. As a new teacher, he hopes to leave a mark of “history” on those he teaches.

All Photos by Aurora Reishus.

Schedules and Semesters… Story by Isaac Solly

As students get back into their school routines, at least one aspect of the day is sure to be different than last year, as class times have been adjusted to add a total of 15 minutes to each day. Starting school 5 minutes earlier at 7:55 and finishing 5 minutes later, at 3:15 made up for this. The rest of the added time came from student lunch period, reducing it to 25 minutes.

Bus Timing… School ends now at 3:15, but buses won’t leave for another 10 minutes past that
Bus Timing… School ends now at 3:15, but buses won’t leave for another 10 minutes past, until 3:25

Period timing is now somewhat changed from last year, but not by more than 3 minutes per class (which is about the time between classes anyway), so it is unlikely that there will be far reaching consequences. Students seem to prefer losing 5 minutes at lunch rather than the alternative of taking away holiday-time to make up for the deficit.

However, what was the reasoning for the schedule changes?

In order to get a credit for a class, 60 hours must be spent in it per semester. These are the rules that national public schools, including SHS, go by. However, Forrest Bird goes by trimesters, meaning that the third trimester project’s extra hours and half-credit isn’t part of state requirements.

The necessity of a half-credit is debatable in on itself—on one hand, it provides a “safety net” that can add up to an additional 2 credits per subject should a student spend 4 years in Forrest Bird. There also is merit in having a school-wide project that promotes creativity and individual thinking, as seen recently in the service-learning project last year. Then again, this is all extra time not mandated by the state, and won’t be required for graduation.

Rethinking the Schedule… Class periods times have been adjusted slightly to create an extra 15 minutes at school
Rethinking the Schedule… Class periods times have been adjusted slightly to create an extra 15 minutes at school.

This leads to the argument between keeping trimesters as they are or switching to a semester based schedule. Learning in semesters would keep Forrest Bird more in line with NIC and SHS, and would limit disruption that happens to the middle school during third trimester. However, though the middle school doesn’t do a project, 8th graders make up the time with a week-long trip to Yellowstone, and other grades have field trips as well.

Third trimester can either be seen as an integral part of the Forrest Bird identity, or as an unnecessary drain on student time for a token half-credit. This question is essentially the basis of the trimester-semester debate, and will be the basis of any decision to keep or do away with our new schedule.

All Photos by Isaac Solly

The Creature… Fiction by Daniel McLaufe

Part 1:

I grew up in South Pittsburgh on a little street called Redding Street. The year was 1984, and I had just gotten out of High School for summer break the day previously. I woke up to the fan going back and forth like a serpent blowing the breeze into my hair and on my bed. I got up turned on the radio on the shelf behind my bed. It began playing some unfamiliar Rock music. I walked downstairs and to my surprise both my parents had left for work–after all it was a Thursday. I poured some orange juice into one of the glasses and grabbed some bacon my dad must have cooked before he left. As I chewed on the dry and cold bacon I walked to the phone and called my friend James’ house.

“Oh Hello” James’ Mom said.

“Hi, is James there? It’s me Nick,” I replied.

“One moment, Nick honey…JAMES! Nick’s on the phone for you!” James’ Mom yelled.

I heard him say that he would be over in a few minutes and James’ Mom told me the same thing and hung up. James and I live a few streets down from each other, so I knew he wouldn’t be long. About ten minutes later, James got to my house and walked in.

“Hey Nick, what’s up?” he asked.

I asked him if he wanted to go for a bike ride, and he agreed. We got on our bikes and started riding down the street before getting to our hang-out usual spot–a tree fort in the forest a few miles out of town. James and I usually hung out there whenever it was nice outside as it was a nice fort we had had built and put carpet and windows in. It was pretty deep in the forest so no one ever messed with it. The fort even included a battery powered radio mounted to the wall. We spent a few hours there until about 5 or 6 PM when James had to go home for dinner.

“You sure you don’t want to stay over? My mom’s making spaghetti,” asked James.

“No, I’m fine. I think I’ll hang out here for a while.”

I got bored and decided to turn on the radio to my favorite station. I heard the song Panama by Van Halen come on until the radio cut short. It came back on with a man saying,

“Attention listeners: there has been strange sightings of a human like creature roaming around the Axel Swamp. Be on the lookout and call the police if you see this creature.”

I grew an eerie feeling in my stomach because I wasn’t too far from Axel Swamp as well as being out of town. All I had with me was a dimly lit flashlight—insufficient for the pitch black night. The radio’s message continued to echo through my head over and over. All of sudden I heard knocking at the hatch to the treehouse. I froze as I got this tingly hairs on end feeling up my spine.

“H- H- Hello?” I stuttered.

“Let me in…” the voice replied in a deep voice. I instantly turned off the radio and my flashlight and got to the corner wall.

“Open up!” the voice boomed. I remained quiet as a church mouse with my back pushed against the wall trembling.

“If you aren’t opening up, then I am coming in!” the voice yelled. The latch suddenly thudded and thudded until it opened. A pair of bright green eyes with blue pupils peered slightly above the trap door almost looking like two flashlights. This creature was obviously searching for me–I slowly began to crawl my way to the other side of the fort, barely making a sound until I sat on a leaf.

The creature stood up and walked towards me in the treehouse. I began kicking and twisting but to no hope. It grabbed me by the leg and turned me around and I saw the creature…

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 3.06.52 PM
Artistic impression of the creature. Of course, it’s true appearance will never be known…


Part 2:

Its eyes seemed to bulge from its sockets, green ooze dripped from its jack- o – lantern like mouth. Its warm, moist breath breathed down on my forehead. I desperately grabbed a pair of scissors and jabbed them into the beast’s eye. It roared in pain and ran down the ladder in a very quick motion.

I quickly ran to the hatch and locked it. The screams of the monster continued as it ran away distantly disappearing as time went. I grabbed my flashlight and went to run to my bike. I had never run so fast in my life; I grabbed the bike and began peddling. I peddled so fast and so hard that I ran out of energy. All of sudden I heard a snap! It was my bike chain. “Great what’s better than having a broken bike and a maniac monster after me,” I thought.

I was quite far from my home, however, I was close to James house , so I began pushing my bike as I continued onward. Suddenly I heard a noise behind my left shoulder. I turned just to see a dog cross the street. “I’m really scaring myself,” I thought.

I finally made it to James house after 10 or 15 minutes or so. I knocked on his door. “James are you up?” I yelled.

The door suddenly burst open. “Nick is that you?” James asked very frantically. “It ran up to my house and began screeching!” he yelled.

“It found me at the tree house, “I replied.

It suddenly dawned on us, what if the creature was targeting us? We began to ponder why the creature might be after us. We thought maybe it was because of how close our tree fort was to the swamp We weren’t a hundred percent sure as the creature methods and motives confused us. What did it want we continued to brainstorm until we heard a thumping noise at the door.

“It might be the monster,” I whispered to James. We opened the door slowly to find a tall man in a black suit and fedora standing there.

“Excuse me boys. Have you seen anything strange recently.” he asked in a serious tone.

“Yes there was a creature running through the neighborhood it’s been after me and my friend James. Wait who are you?” I asked.

“My names Agent Thompson, but you boys can call me Tom.” He replied.

“What’s with the suit; are you a detective” James asked curiously.

“I can’t disclose that information. All you need to know is that I keep boys like you safe from things that howl in the night” he replied.

“Boys, why don’t you take a ride with me and help me track this creature?” Tom asked. We agreed and got into Tom’s all black Sedan. We drove down the street for some time until Tom stopped an turned around.

“Boys do you understand what it takes to keep Americans safe from foreign invaders?” Tom asked.

“Like the Commies, Sir?” I replied.

“No, something a lot more foreign, something foreign to this earth?” He replied with a serious tone.

“Like ET?” James asked.

“I guess you could say that, but a lot more troublesome.” Tom replied.

“It takes a lot boys it takes sacrifice, and tonight you boys are going to pay that sacrifice, I’m afraid you’ve seen too much”

“Wha… what are you going to do to us?” I stuttered.

“I’m going to have to kill you boys, erase you do you understand?” Tom said.

“Please don’t do this, we have families!” I replied.

“Im sorry boys, it’s for the safety of all of us”. He reached into his pocket of his coat revealing a large suppressed handgun. I began to look around the back seat for something to throw at him, then I spotted a beer bottle. I grabbed the bottle and bashed it on his head, glass went everywhere and James and I got out of the car and began to run.

“He’s after us. Go, James, go!” I yelled. Tom said something indistinguishable in the distance as James and I ran into the swamp border lining the neighborhood we were in. We continued to run until we didn’t hear him anymore.

“Finally we are safe” I whispered to James.

“Nick… Ni….. Nick don’t look behind you!” he replied. I turned to see the creature it stood at what seemed to be 10 feet tall. It opened it’s mouth to reveal some several hundred razor sharp teeth under it’s skin flaps.

“Please! NOOOOOO!” I yelled.

I woke up in treehouse out of breath, I looked around.

“It was all just a dream thank God.” I said to myself. I began to calm down and switched on the radio. The announcer began to say something.

“Attention listeners: there has been strange sightings of a human like creature roaming around the Axel Swamp. Be on the lookout and call the police if you see this creature.”

“No, it can’t be, no please, it was a dream; it’s all a dream!”


What is a Meme? How can one make a Meme?… Story by Bailey Stapleton

What is a meme? A funny Internet post? A picture with text at the top mentioning something funny? A remix of a movie? To understand what a meme is we need to look back to the beginning of YouTube, 2005.

In February of 2005, three men who were former employees of PayPal came together to create a website where people could upload home videos of random things ranging from comedy to Christmas morning gift openings; this service was called YouTube. YouTube was an innovation never seen before allowing many to share their videos with the world. This is also where the first “meme” appeared.

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Never Gonna Give You Up… Rick Astley likely featured in the very first internet meme, and this re uploaded video has over 300 million views

It’s not exactly sure what the first “meme” was, but many speculate it to be the famous “peanut-butter jelly time” banana which appeared on in 2002 and became more widespread because of YouTube. However, many believe the first meme was actually Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” a 1984 single that was turned into a “Rick Roll” because of the song’s common appearance on YouTube people began to troll people by mistitling videos with the song appearing instead of the title name hence the first widely seen meme.

But, what is a meme? Usually a meme is a funny parody of an educational cartoon or even a children comedy evolved to be more funny for adults and trends happening. One such of these is the tv show “Lazy Town” which stars humans and puppets on their wacky adventures in the town of Lazy Town. Users from 4chan and YouTube have taken their time to primarily make two characters the center of recent memes “Robbie Rotten” and “Stingy the puppet”. Basically the Robbie Rotten meme is based around the song he and his hench men sing called “We are Number One.” Internet Users have used these songs and remixed them or have added other sound effects rather than the regular song, essentially creating what we know as a meme.

Mr. Webber's Meme... Several students have had the honor of featuring in Mr. Webber's meme debut
Mr. Webber’s Meme… Several students have had the honor of featuring in Mr. Webber’s meme debut, an entirely original production

But how does one make a meme? Many have theorized how a successful meme is created, but usually memes are created based off of three main components. First, there are trends—trends are essential while creating a meme so it can appeal to the masses and not just a certain group of individuals. Next, you must follow the ways of memes past—as many say, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”. You can reuse the same picture another poster has used and just retitle the text above or make a different remix of a funny meme you see going around.

Finally, social sharing is key to spreading your meme and creating a successful meme. One way to do this is by sharing the link to your meme to your friends, and if your friends find it funny they might share it with their friends and onward. If you don’t have friends, YouTube or even IFunny are great ways to share your meme with others and will spread by themselves through these networks. The most important thing, however, is to give credit to whoever helped you with the meme or if your meme is a reuse of someone else’s meme.

Because of the attention of this article, Bird Eye News have decided to create a meme contest in which students can take part in. All you have to do is email your meme and how you came up with it to; the winner will be announced one week after this article is published. Our favorite “memester” will receive a lunch for themselves and one friend, paid by the Bird Eye News.



FBCS Art Project: Cosmic Under-The-Sea Mural… Story by Jada Giddings

At Forrest Bird Charter High, several students have chosen to partake in painting an art mural in an alley in downtown Sandpoint.

For their community project, students of Forrest Bird Charter School collaborate to paint a massive mural of a whale floating through a space setting.

Work in Progress… The students plan to add other sea animals in addition to the whales they’ve already started on

Through these past few days, kids have been painting this mural for the community to inspire citizens in an artistic way. From the beginning of May, these groups of students have worked diligently on the beautiful mural to now, working in the mornings and even after school. Anna, Sloan, Drew, Ariel, Kiley, Colleen, Daniel, and Brandon have all worked on this mural and intend to create a full piece containing not only the whales, but octopi, jellyfish, starfish, and eels.

Though this mural was thought up by Sloan, all are contributing with their amazing artistic abilities. Because the mural is so large and only halfway finished for the project, these eight FBCS students will be working through the summer to make the art piece even better than it already is. On Oak Street, nearby Finnan McDonald, the mural is located for all Sandpoint citizens to see in one of the well-known art alleys.

Alleyway Art… Sandpoint is known for being open to murals. The FBCS mural is featured near Oak Street

The students chose to paint a mural because they wanted to bring art into the community. Many believe street art is simple graffiti, or vandalizing, but Sandpoint is also known for being open to community art. They hope to impact the next generations in an artistic way and bring light to Sandpoint and its citizens. From the FBCS students working on the mural, they state the title of the mural will not be released until the hours they have to meet on the project are over. Until then, the mural will be a mystery.