Wells Middle School -- April 2021 -- Catoosa, Oklahoma

State testing to be given to all Wells students in April for first time since 2019

by Jeremy Glazier

State testing by Oklahoma's State Department of Education returns to Oklahoma public schools in April, beginning April 7 for virtual students and April 12 for in-person students. This will be the first time in two years the state has tested public school students because the pandemic forced the state to cancel testing in 2020.

Wells Middle Schools students have been asking questions about this year's tests. So Wells Press asked those questions in this interview with counselor Kristy McMillan who is responsible for organizing all of the middle school's state testing.

Q: Why do we have to take a state test?

Mrs. McMillan: “We have to take a state test because the state is requiring it so that the school can monitor the students' progress from year to year.”

Q: How is this year's state testing going to work?

Mrs. McMillan: “The classes should allow you to sit six feet away from each other to where you can take your mask off. Some classes may not let you, so you might have to keep your mask on. But it will be just like a normal day-to-day schedule following the guidelines.”

Q: How many questions are there, and how much time will we have?

Mrs. McMillan: “I don't know the exact number of questions, but I would say there are about 30 to 40 questions for each subject. There is no actual (time) limit.”

Q: What happens if we don’t pass the state test?

Mrs. McMillan: “For eighth graders who don't pass their reading or language arts test, they are not allowed to go and take their driver's permit. They will have to take another test to be able to do that. For the other students, it's really just used as a guideline. It's not a pass or fail, saying you can't move on to the next grade, so it's just for the teachers and the state to monitor and guide.”

Testing schedule - virtual students

April 7: math and English/language arts for grades 6, 7 and 8

April 8: writing and science for grade 8

Testing schedule - in-person students

April 12: math for grades 6, 7 and 8

April 13: English/language arts for grades 6, 7 and 8

April 14: writing for grade 8

April 15: science for grade 8

Wells' science teachers share their thoughts about Earth Day

by Hannah Sanders and Rachel Gonzalez

Earth Day on April 22 is about finding ways to give back to the Earth. The Earth has done a lot of great things for us, including having a place to live and air to breathe. So we use this day to return the favor.

Wells Middle School science teachers seemed the best to comment on this Earth Day. “It's important to acknowledge that we are on this planet and need to take care of it,” science teacher David Brown said, but he also confessed, “to be honest, I had no plans to participate on Earth Day, and being asked about it makes me realize that I don't have any plans, and I should do something.”

Science teacher Miranda Phillippe talked about what she does personally and as a teacher to help the Earth. “I recycle, I use as few plastics as possible, and I never litter,” she said. “I also teach the kids (to do those things).” She added that some of the greatest benefits from Earth Day are “spreading the knowledge that this is our planet, and it's important that we take care of it because it's all we have.”

“I don't do anything specific on Earth Day, but I do gardening,” science teacher Robin Barrett said. She added that the greatest benefits from Earth Day are that “environmental conservation awareness is important, and taking that day to remind people to take care of our planet is also a good thing.”

Science teacher Bryan Andrew said his favorite thing to do on Earth Day is to visit the zoo. For him, Earth Day means “promoting less pollution and more recycling and things that humans can do better where we live.” We also said “I don't think Earth Day gets the notoriety that it used to, and I think it needs to be in the press, social media, more advertisements, and celebrated more often.”

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See the two-page layout of all the 2021 New Year's doors in the 2021 Wells yearbook. Order yours now at jostensyearbooks.com. [photo by Hannah Sanders]

Wells yearbook to immortalize a year like no other

by Timothy Taylor and Natalie Fitzgerald

You wouldn’t want to miss out on the year that changed everyone. After working on the yearbook since September, the Wells Middle school media class is done with the yearbook. You can buy it for $30. You also can donate a yearbook to a random student for $30.

The cool thing about this yearbook is that it is HALF THE PRICE of the $60 high school yearbook.

Although the year may have been tough, we made it through the weirdest year of most of our lives. We were all quarantined throughout the year. We probably all knew the seniors were worried about graduation. This yearbook shows what this year was about and how much it changed our lives. When we get older, we can show our family and friends the yearbook so they can see what this crazy year was about.

This 2020-21 school year was changed because of the coronavirus. We have had to wear masks, use hand sanitizer, and get our temperature checked every morning. You can see all of the different things we have had to do like virtual Fridays, virtual assemblies, virtual school -- all in this yearbook.

Remember the crazy, life-changing, once-in-a-lifetime pandemic: buy a yearbook. They are only $30. Buy your yearbook for only $30 at jostensyearbooks.com. Click the link below to order now.

Catoosa/BA initiative to transpire 124 years after it started

by Bailey Cameron

A little-known news item from 1898 finally will take place next year. On April 1, 1898, the Wiley Oklahoma Post reported a story announcing that Broken Arrow would be taking over Catoosa.

Broken Arrow finally will make this happen on April 1, 2022 and STEAL the little town of Catoosa. Catoosa citizen David “Hooch” Cuetip said, “A demonic Starbucks napkin stole my money! So that’s why I’m excited to become a part of Broken Arrow.”

Queen Elizabeth II of England commented on this major news event. “Who’s Catoosa?” she said.

A petition drive led by Catoosa community activist April Pfurst pressured the idea of completing the 1898 initiative to get completely rid of Catoosa because “its a Debby Downer,” Pfurst said.

“I’m all for the getting rid of Catoosa because sometimes when I close my eyes I can’t see,” Pfurst said. “That’s the main reason for the Broken Arrow takeover.”

To prepare for this switch, authorities recommend you hide your kids, hide your wife and hide your Uggs because not everyone is happy about saying bye-bye to Catoosa.

Pfurst is one of these people, who said “this is very important to me because, I am the April Pfurst. Catoosa is no longer needed in the state of Oklahoma because, I mean, it’s Catoosa.”

Wells students tell Easter Bunny 'gimme a break'

by Kyleigh Pate

If they were good boys and girls, Wells students didn't need to sing the "Gimme-a-break" Kit-Kat jingle on Easter. A recent survey of Wells students learned their favorite Easter candy (even though not everyone voted) from several choices of candies. The one most people chose (by far) was Easter Kit-Kats.

There were so many delicious choices that maybe the reason not everyone could vote was because they had a hard time picking which one.

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Staff commentary: Nixon Dickinson ----- WIN time restroom rule causes grumbling

You probably know the new rule at Wells Middle School because people are talking about it (and not in a happy way): If you need to use the restroom between 2:50 and 3:20, you have two options. Either you can just hold it or, if it’s an emergency, then you can go to the office and call your parents and tell them you couldn’t hold it.

“The reasoning for closing the bathrooms during WIN time is because we were having an issue with students being stamped, but then instead of going to their stamp location, they would be hiding out in the bathroom,” said Wells Principal Mark McVay.

I personally think that if people are misbehaving so badly that they have to close the bathrooms, then that really disappoints me. It must have been a lot of people doing it because, if it was only one or two, then Mr. McVay might not have been so extreme as to just close them entirely.

And it doesn't just affect me. It also affects the people who have long rides home because they ride the bus. When I asked Mr. McVay what he thought about that, he said “We encourage students to use the restroom before advocacy and during it if they need to. Also if any student has an issue then they can come to the office on their way to the bus.”

So the people who ruined bathroom privileges for the rest of us? They know who they are. And they owe the rest of us their apologies.

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Catoosa goalkeeper Kaydence Welch (green jersey) punts the ball following her save of a shot by Muskogee. The Catoosa junior high girls won the match 1-0. [photo by Bailey Cameron]

Wells soccer girls, boys trade shutouts with Muskogee

by Ava Pruett

Catoosa’s Lady Indians junior high soccer played a close, tough defensive game March 25, blanking the Class 6A Muskogee Roughers 1-0 at Catoosa.

The Lady Indians said they were very proud of themselves, and their coach ageed. “I thought you guys did good,” head coach Ben Pruett told his players. He said that he had no complaints with the defense overall, but added “I wish the outside backs would get more involved in the attack.”

Coach Pruett complimented the midfield saying they also did a great job, but still have many things to work on like their diagonal balls and their runs from the outside toward the goal. He also said he wants to see more overlapping and movement into open space.

“The forwards did good, but needed to make more of those one-on-one opportunities,” Coach Pruett said. “They even need to try and interchange with midfielders and overlap into open space.” Overall he gave his team a B-plus.

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The Catoosa junior high boys on the other hand didn’t manage to come away with a win against Muskogee. They lost 2-0 unfortunately but tried their hardest with the players that were able to play. They struggled with players being out because of serious injuries and kids who aren't passing. But overall both Catoosa middle school teams did well.