Free Press

Administration releases new dress code

Sabrina Castle, Editor-in-Chief

November 11, 2019

On November 7, USD 497 Board of Education released an updated dress code draft. More lenient than past policies, the administration seeks to define more open guidelines of appropriate attire.  According to the outline made public by email, the board intends to “support of the district’s focus on...

Blocked and Reported: Inaccessible websites restrict curriculum

Blocked and Reported: Inaccessible websites restrict curriculum

Ridwan Firman, Reporter

October 9, 2019

Whether in ceramics or ball sports, the internet is an extensive resource that both teachers and students utilize. However, in recent years the full freedom of the web has been restricted as certain websites and programs are being blocked by administration for seemingly no reason at all. This issue ha...

Open parking receives mixed feedback

Open parking receives mixed feedback

Brooke Burgess, Reporter

October 8, 2019

In past years, the school’s parking spots have been separated by grade, giving seniors priority to the spots near the front. This year, the lot is open to all grades, giving students who come to school early better access to front spots. Administration was forced to make this change because of budgeting...

School Redesign Part 3: Restorative practices predicted beneficial to students

Jack Bellemere, Reporter

May 17, 2019

When a student gets in trouble at Free State, teachers traditionally “write up” that student, and send them to the office where administrators will dole out their punishment. However, english teacher Kylee Wright sees this protocol as archaic and ineffective. Instead, Wright wants to incorpor...

School Redesign Part 2: Teachers emphasize need for student feedback

Jack Bellemere, Reporter

May 17, 2019

“I don’t believe that teachers should have desks in their classroom,” said special education teacher Patrick Dipman. “I believe that what that creates is squatters rights.” Dipman is explaining one of his many ideas for the school redesign coming next school year, with suggestions such as ...

School Redesign Part 1: Plan approved by staff, efforts begin

Jack Bellemere, Reporter

May 17, 2019

“We customize everything everything,” graphic design teacher Michelle Salmans said. “We customize our phones, our laptops [and] our clothing. Why can't we customize our education? Salmans is referring to the upcoming school redesign project, dubbed “Kansans Can School Redesign.” The projec...

Teachers value maternity/paternity leave

Teachers value maternity/paternity leave

Daulton Meadows, Reporter

May 15, 2019

Having a child is time consuming and expensive, which is why paid maternity is so crucial to new parents who teach. The Lawrence School District recognizes this and therefore offers paid maternity leave, something which many jobs do not provide to their employees. While taking a parental leave, some teachers...

Seniors Max Lillich and Spencer Yost-Wolf take debate State title

Seniors Max Lillich and Spencer Yost-Wolf take debate State title

Jack Bellemere, Reporter

April 22, 2019

Seniors Spencer Yost-Wolf and Max Lillich are competing the finals round of the Kansas state debate championship at Garden City High School. It’s midnight on January 13, and they have been debating for more than 16 hours straight. Yost-Wolf and Lillich are affirmative—meaning they have to def...

Head choir director Hilary Morton announces resignation

Head choir director Hilary Morton announces resignation

Sabrina Castle, Editor-in-Chief

April 11, 2019

After being head director of the school’s choir program for 13 years, Hilary Morton has announced her resignation from the position after this school year. Living in Lawrence her entire life, Morton received a double major in musical education and vocal performance, as well as a masters in chora...

Student Council brings awareness to eating disorders within the school

Student Council brings awareness to eating disorders within the school

Brooke Burgess, Reporter

March 19, 2019

In an effort to raise awareness for eating disorders, Student Council gave out purple ribbons at lunch during the last week of February. They encouraged everyone to wear purple on Thursday, February 28 in support of those who struggle with self image. Handing out ribbons annually for the past two...

Students express religion through accessories

Students express religion through accessories

Brooke Burgess, Reporter

February 18, 2019

Faith can be expressed through having or wearing something that represents a religion. For these three students, these items serve as a symbol of their values and a reminder of their beliefs. Kaitlyn Fisher Kaitlyn Fisher wears a ring with the bible verse "The Lord your God is with you wherever you go...

“9 to 5” Musical censored after parent complaints

“9 to 5” Musical censored after parent complaints

Alex Decker, Reporter

January 22, 2019

Upon opening night of Thespian Club’s production of “9 to 5”, originally a movie featuring Dolly Parton as lead female role, parents expressed discomfort towards multiple scenes in the musical. Acknowledging the disapproving emails and phone calls received by principal Myron Graber, Thespian advisor ...

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