By Melody Young
Several unfamiliar changes greeted 4,600 students as they returned to campus Monday, August 17. New lockers and newly installed windows toA6 and G1 sparked a murmur in the student body about the changes the school made over the summer. Throughout the first week of school, Executive Director Brian Bauer announced a few of the campus changes including the relocation of several offices. The Activities office merged with the Attendance Office since students visit both offices often, allowing the Office of Instruction to move to the Administration building where it can work more closely with the Counseling Office. The Business Office also moved out of the Administration building to A6 and wasremodeled to host the Chromebook office to support the new 1:1 Chromebook program. In addition, the dean’s office was renovated to create more offices and meetings spaces, optimizing the office space to facilitate the deans’ support of the students.
“We are seeing great benefit from all of these changes. The deans are using their new offices to support students as the year gets rolling. Also, the sound at the pep rally at the end of the first week of school was fantastic and increased the level of enjoyment for everyone,” Chief Business Officer Eugene Straub said.
The school installed a permanent wireless outdoor public announcement (PA) system to replace the previous system whose technical problems and cumbersome size made outdoor Associated Student Body (ASB) activities a hassle. On Friday, August 21, ASB tested out the new outdoor PA system, which was largely funded by Councilman Mitchell Englander, in the first pep rally of the school year.
“We’re still getting the hang of it because it’s really loud, but it’s effective to get people to hear what we’re saying and hear the music too. I’m actually really excited. Those [campus] changes are really going to have an impact on the student body, on their participation and in their learning,” ASB president Noel Vargas said.
Other improvements include three shaded areas. During nutrition and lunch, students enjoyed the shade next to the student store and the outdoor stage. The shaded areas have helped protect students from the heat, but the three areas are only a portion of the improvement the school has in mind. Straub stated that the school will be working to add more shaded areas.
The additional lockers were added so that every student could have his or her own locker. The school hopes to promote students’ responsibility in taking care of their textbooks and Chromebooks as well as to reduce the chance of theft.
“All of these activities were undertaken with the intent of improving the day to day experience for students and to provide greater efficiency and service on campus for our entire school community,” Straub said.