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March 15, 2021
Volume XXXVII | Issue XIV
Happy Coronaversary and belated Pi Day, Los Altos! It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing distance learning for an entire year, but a hybrid on-campus return is finally in our sights, and while some have taken to celebrating the news, The Talon has been busy asking questions about whether the WiFi will hold up. As we look back at this unparalleled year, we see growth and understanding, such as in our staff writer’s changed perspective about learning history and the transformative power of social media. This newsletter looks back at the past year and forward at the coming changes, so we wish you happy scrolling!

Looking back on one year of COVID-19

By Parisa Larson, Olivia Hewang and Naomi Schulze
Olivia Hewang
As we mark the one-year anniversary of the transition to distance learning, we surveyed the LAHS student body to highlight their diverse, yet unifying experiences during the pandemic. From embarrassing TikTok obsessions to self-discovery to loving grievances surrounding family members, 57 students shone a light on their lives behind the screen. Click here to read about their takeaways from a year of reflection at home.

WiFi concerns loom as April reopening approaches, ‘best practices’ may hinder teaching

By Cedric Chan and Navya Singhai
 Cedric Chan
Los Altos High School’s notoriously volatile WiFi networks have largely faded from the limelight since last March when schools shuttered. But as the Mountain View–Los Altos School District plans to break the year-long stint of distance learning with an April hybrid return to campus, questions remain as to whether the networks will be able to handle the sudden influx of users. Click here to read about how following “best practices” provided by the IT Department will impact the return to in-person classes.

Ghaffari sisters: Serving up support and success

By Barrett Wong
 Barrett Wong
For a decade, senior Hannah Ghaffari and sophomore Melody Ghaffari have been serious tennis players, so it’s no surprise that they’re now at the top of the varsity girls tennis team. But more importantly, the sport has allowed them to build a relationship strong enough to last a lifetime. Click here to read senior writer Barrett Wong’s feature on the dynamic sister duo.

GRAMMYS 2021

By Elli Lahdesmaki
“As an artist, I believe it’s my job to reflect the times. And it’s been such a difficult time. So I wanted to uplift, encourage [and] celebrate all of the beautiful Black kings and queens who continue to inspire me and inspire the whole world." 
Beyoncé

Listen to a collection of songs from nominated artists in the 2021 Grammys with this playlist.

News

District planning hybrid on-campus return next month

By Natalie Wei

Emily McNally

At a Board meeting on Monday, March 8, the Mountain View–Los Altos School District proposed plans for a hybrid return. Given that the county remains in the red tier or lower, the new hybrid schedule will begin on Monday, April 19. In addition to students, teachers will be returning to classrooms in a simultaneous teaching model, where in-person and synchronous groups will be taught together using tools like Zoom to “maintain academic progress and provide social emotional support.” Click here to read more about the proposed hybrid model.


LAHS protest turned celebration in response to new reopening decisions

By Talon Staff

Rohan Vaswani

A protest usually consists of angered loud chants and bright, vibrant signs, but the gathering on Friday, March 5, regarding school reopening looked quite the opposite. A group of parents and students were originally set to meet at Los Altos High School to advocate for a faster transition into in-person learning. The scheduled protest quickly turned into a celebration with the news of a planned hybrid return set to start Monday, April 19. Click here to read more about the gathering and parent perspectives.

Sports

Cheer team welcomes new coach after full year without leadership

By Marie Godderis
Courtesy Alexandra Perez
Alexandra Perez is no stranger to taking on new hobbies and lifestyle changes. Over the last few months, her home and work lives have taken many unexpected turns: she refurbished her living room into a roller skating rink and took on the position of the newest LAHS cheer head coach. Click here to read a breakdown of Perez’s journey and her goals for the cheer team.

Opinions

U.S. History: We need an honest education

By Emilie Enser
Rohan Vaswani
Truthfully, history has consistently been my least favorite subject. But this past year has given me the perspective to realize history is not just a thing of the past. In recognizing my own ignorance and privilege, I’ve come to terms with the detriment of our simplified, skewed education. Click here to read staff writer Emilie Enser’s opinion on the importance of accurate historical knowledge.

Arts & Culture

How TikTok blew up ‘Bridgerton’ the Musical and is changing the entertainment industry

By Kaley Kwan
Via Netflix
After Frog TikTok, Driver’s License Tiktok and Ratatouille the Musical TikTok, Daphne and Simon from the “Bridgerton” show on Netflix have come to take Remy’s crown. With BBC interviews and merchandise, the musical is shaping up to become something real — evidence of TikTok’s growing influence on the entertainment industry. Click here to learn more about the “Bridgerton” musical and the power of TikTok.

Talon Tunes: Changeling takes you along for her journey of self discovery in her debut EP ‘Go Grow’

By Kathrina Welborn
This week’s up-and-coming artist is Changeling. Born Hayley Brownell in Fresno, Calif., Changeling currently resides and works in Los Angeles. With a production style reminiscent of Bon Iver paired with lyrics as introspective as they are sweet, Changeling adds a new dimension to the LGBTQ+ music scene. Click here to read staff writer Kathrina Welborn’s take on this emerging artist.
Changeling
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