News & Features

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“Will Grayson, Will Grayson,” “Daylight Saving,” and “Beautiful Creatures”

  “Catherine and Claudia’s Top Spring Reads” will be a recurring feature in the final months of the 2013-2014 school year. If you’re looking for your next independent reading book for Language Arts or are in need of a good read for summer, look no further! Summaries and ratings of three books will be published every two weeks. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan is about two boys named Will Grayson. Will Grayson 1 is trying to go through life unnoticed. Will Grayson 2 goes through life without anything to hold on to except an online relationship with a boy named Isaac. Both characters go on a trip and find out that neither of them are the only Will Grayson in their city.  Stars: 8/10 Rating: PG-13 Daylight Saving by Edward Hogan is about a boy named Daniel. Daniel’s dad takes him on a vacation to a sports complex, where Daniel meets Lexi,…


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YA Writer Alex London Visits FCS

Have you read Proxy yet? Proxy is a “futuristic thriller,” according to Miss Schwoebel’s book talk video. This young adult novel tells the story of Knox, a boy from a wealthy family, and Syd, a boy who has to pay Knox’s debt. Proxy takes place in a dystopia where there is debt that makes the poor become proxies and take punishments for the rich. This amazing book was written by Alex London. If you have ever read this book, you have probably wondered, “Why did it end that way?!” Well… Mr. London has released a sequel to Proxy, titled Guardian. On Tuesday, May 13, Mr. London came to our school to talk about Proxy and his new book, Guardian. Mr. London also offered a writing workshop to a few Language Arts classes! This class was not just any workshop; we wrote a dystopian fairy tale. We were honored that we were able to receive copies of Guardian before the world did, so I hope you did…


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Spring Music Comes to Life!

On May 16, 2014, in Shallcross Hall, the Middle School instrumental groups rocked the crowd with an enthralling performance.  The Middle School Orchestra played a wide variety of pieces from Adele’s “Skyfall” to Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.” The Jazz Band played several enjoyable pieces such as the lively “Jive Samba” and the intense “Smells like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. The Middle School Chorus performed a medley of styles and musical techniques including a cappella and show tunes.  “This concert had fantastic repertoire by the Chorus and included songs like “I Won’t Say I’m In Love,” says Annie Roberts, an eighth grade flutist and singer. Another exciting performance was the premiere of the Middle School iPad Ensemble. They played a song on iPads by Brahms. Evan Sweitzer, sixth grade clarinetist and pianist in Jazz Band and Orchestra, promised the concert “would be a huge success” and we were not disappointed.  He…


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The Scoop on 1:1

In an attempt to learn more about the upcoming 1:1 iPad program, The Phoenix Inquirer interviewed Middle School Principal Alexa Quinn. She provided information about the 1:1 iPad program, including why the school decided to provide Chromebooks to the 7th grade last year as a pilot program. Mrs. Quinn shared that the administration wanted to see what the 7th graders would have to show for their exposure to technology by 8th grade. They did not give the Chromebooks to 5th graders last year because they felt 5th graders were not ready to care for them. They also did want to give it to last year’s 8th graders because they are in Upper School this year and the administration would not have an easy way of knowing whether the 1:1 Chromebook program worked. We also asked Mrs. Quinn whether she could provide insight into the iPad program. She responded that Dr. Schuster, the…


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“Okay? Okay.”

Book Review by Claudia McLendon The Fault in Our Stars is about a girl named Hazel Grace, 16, who has been battling thyroid cancer since age 13. Only through the use of  experimental medicine is she still alive. Hazel meets a guy named Augustus at a cancer support group, and Hazel and Augustus continue to see each other at the support group. Brought together by his reckless driving and her love for books, the two become good friends. When they go to Amsterdam to meet the author of Hazel’s favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, they have some difficulties. However, once the plots start to get better, the story takes an unexpected turn. This fast-paced, heart-wrenching, tear-producing, laughter-inducing book was one of the funniest and most real love stories I have ever read. It is filled with suspense and excitement. YOU NEED TO READ IT! Okay? Okay. Trailer Review by Catherine…


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Your Science Update

In Dr. Zaradic’s eighth grade science classes, students have been writing weekly blog posts on topics that interest them. The Phoenix Inquirer, in collaboration with Dr. Z., selects a handful of these to feature on our website. We will continue this regular feature as more exceptional blog entries are written so that student learning can benefit, and be enjoyed by, the entire community.   “Need A Limb? Here’s A New One” by Evan Paszamant Imagine if you could replace old limbs and other body parts in your body with new ones? While the thought of that might seem fake, scientists have found a way to do it. In a hospital in north London, scientists are growing limbs and not from the ground! They are growing them using stem cells and a cake-like material. So far they have been able to create tear ducts, blood vessels and windpipes. Currently, they are beginning to create customized…


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Console Wars

PS4 vs. Xbox One: The Introduction Sony and Microsoft released their new systems, PlayStation4 and Xbox One, at around the same time in November. Sony and Microsoft are trying to outsell each other by making better games, better softwares and better designs. The Xbox One starts at $500 including Kinect whereas the PS4 starts at $400. Xbox One and PS4 are still gaming consoles but Xbox took a turn to multimedia capabilities, while PS4 still focuses only on gaming. Both consoles are extraordinary, so choosing the one that is right for you just depends on what you value. PS4 vs. Xbox One: The Console The PS4 has a nice, sleek black design which can be propped vertically or horizontally. The PS4 also comes with a Blu-ray player so the owner can watch Blu-ray discs. Additionally, it has two USB ports in the front for headphones or charging stations. The PS4…


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Your Science Update

In Dr. Zaradic’s eighth grade science classes, students have been writing weekly blog posts on topics that interest them. The Phoenix Inquirer, in collaboration with Dr. Z., selected a handful of these to feature on our website. We hope to continue this practice as more exceptional blog entries are written so that student learning can benefit, and be enjoyed by, the entire community.   Chimps And Medicine by James Meyers I read about how some chimpanzees have been using plants to treat parasetic infections. Michael Huffman was watching some chimps in East Africa. He saw a mother chimp on a bed of leaves and sticks while the son climbed dangerously high. She was too sick to call him, so she ignored him. Later, she was able to get up and went over to a bush and removed some branches. Huffman was watching and saw that the chimp chewed on the…


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Profile: Kristen Johnson, Class of 2019

During the months of December and January, The Phoenix Inquirer hosted a Middle School-wide photography contest. Students were asked to submit original photos and a short caption explaining their photo (or photos) to the staff of The Phoenix Inquirer. Beginning on January 15, a team of photo editors evaluated all of the entries to choose the first, second, third, and fourth place winners. Then, the editors announced the top four winners in an assembly soon after. In this article, an interviewer talked to the first place photographer, Kristen Johnson, to get all the details on where, when, and how she took her winning photo. Kristen said she took the photo of a Tufted Titmouse through the window of her house, where she could see she the birds in their bird feeders and bird baths. She told us that she “started taking pictures of the birds that came to the bird feeders…


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Who Is Mrs. Petrarca?

Two reporters from The Phoenix Inquirer recently sent a poll to all Middle School students about Mrs Petrarca. The staff is happy to announce that 77 responses were received from students.   In response to the first question, 61% of students responded that Italian is Mrs. Petrarca’s favorite type of food. For the next question, 64% of students said that her favorite part of working at FCS is interacting with the children. In response to the third question, 33% of students said that gold was her favorite color. On the fourth question, a surprising 43% of students answered that Mrs. Petrarca has not been planning on moving. For the next question, 52% of students responded that she has been working at FCS for 16 years. In response to the sixth question, 46% of students thought that Mrs. Petrarca has a cat.


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