The Smoke Signal

BOE addresses uncertainty regarding cheerleaders at football games
District reflects on reopening plan
Students return to school amid pandemic
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Photo of the Week
Blast from the past
PV Theatre abandons fall play due to political controversy
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Sydney Ben-Yishay defending the ball during a scrimmage Sept. 24th.
Photo of the Week
Matt Austin, Photographer • September 25, 2020

Fall sports begin amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The football, girls soccer, and boys soccer teams faced off in their first scrimmages of the season on Sept. 24. The only...

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Protesters walk along Old Tappan Road. Many held signs advocating for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Photo of the Week
Ava Kim, Photographer • June 11, 2020

The death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, has sparked many protests throughout the country. Local citizens...

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Students comment on Pascack Valley
Students comment on Pascack Valley's reopening
Spencer Goldstein and Ellie Kim September 14, 2020

Pascack Valley opened its doors for the 2020-21 school year on Wednesday, Sept. 2 after nearly six months without in-person schooling. The freshman class was first to enter the school on Wednesday for an orientation day, followed by the sophomores,...

The Board of Education discussed the final details of the reopening plan before school begins on September 3. The district approved  new curricula, a temporary change in course credit for all full year science courses, and new faculty for the 2020-2021 school year.
District puts finishing touches on reopening plan
Ilmie Xhaferi, Spencer Goldstein, and BJ McGrane August 31, 2020

District Superintendent Erik Gundersen revealed during the Board of Education’s virtual Zoom meeting Monday night that a total of six teachers are opting out of the 2020-21 school year, with over 96% of the district’s faculty returning....

District Superintendent Erik Gundersen and Assistant District Superintendent Barry Bachenheimer presented the district
District presents and approves reopening plan
Ellie Kim and Sarah Buttikofer August 17, 2020

The district’s Restart and Recovery Plan, presented by District Superintendent Erik Gundersen and Assistant District Superintendent Barry Bachenheimer, was approved at the Board of Education’s virtual meeting Monday night held on Zoom. The...

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Girls soccer plans to succeed behind experienced team

Noah Silver, Assistant Sports Editor
September 30, 2020

Coach: Amy Lombardo (11th year) Last Year’s Record: 7-10 Key Returners: Sydney Ben-yishay (Sr.), Ellie Schaumberger (Sr.), Erin Kearney (Sr.), Caeleigh Reger (Sr.), Mallory Downs (Sr.) Key Losses: Paige Skene, Sam Conjour Key Newcomers: Amanda Polyniak (Fr.) and Sarah Mastowski (Fr.) Strength of team: Last year, there were several juniors, sophomores, and freshmen on the varsity team, meaning this year’s team has experience. “[We] have a lot of returning varsity experience,”...

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NJSIAA releases updated “Return to Play Plan”, additional season included for 2020-21

BJ McGrane, Sports Editor
August 22, 2020

The NJSIAA released its updated “Return to Play Plan” regarding high school sports, which includes four seasons for the 2020-21 school year. The plan was released Wednesday with dates for the beginnings and ends of the seasons, as well as dates for the beginning of practices and postseasons. The indoor fall sports – girls volleyball and gymnastics – are being moved to Season 3, which will take place in March and April. If outdoor fall sports are unable to be played in this season, they...

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New coach, no problem for PV graduates’ “Last Dance” team

BJ McGrane, Sports Editor
July 15, 2020

With all the controversy surrounding the removal of the mascots for the Pascack Valley Regional High School District, it didn’t take long for Jake Lutz and his fellow PV Class of 2020 teammates to come up with a nickname for their team in “The Last Dance” baseball tournament. “The team my dad started when I was six years old was the Jersey Storm,” Lutz said. “For him, we decided to be the Valley Storm.” Rick Lutz, Jake’s father, passed away in March due to cancer, so his son...

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‘Fangirl’: Another masterpiece for young adults

Minche Kim, Staff Writer
June 9, 2020

In only 427 pages, Rainbow Rowell succeeds in conveying a complicated story of an everyday college freshman. While other authors prefer eye-catching characters to go along with their dramatic plots, Rowell, a bestselling author, chooses to catch the readers’ attention with an ordinary main character. “Fangirl” tells the story of Cath, a student who attends the University of Nebraska-Lincoln....

‘It was a key to her livelihood’

Olivia Jones, Isabella Tjan, and Mel Brentall
June 8, 2020

Following the abrupt leave from school on March 13 per New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s orders, our AP Spanish class — like every other class — was forced to adapt to a new digital learning environment. This presented particular challenges for language classes, which emphasize constant practice of the target language in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Our understanding of various...

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