Swinging Into the 2022-2023 School Year

Senior+Class+Orientation+in+the+Cafeteria+LGI.+Photo+was+taken+on+Tues.+August+23%2C+2022.+

Senior Class Orientation in the Cafeteria LGI. Photo was taken on Tues. August 23, 2022.

Lisa Wang, News Editor

On Tues. August 23, students of the SCASD community returned to school after about three months of summer vacation. Although the summer may have ended too soon, there are still many exciting things to look forward to this school year. Many changes were made over the summer, and students of all grades should expect a more equitable school environment.

Over the summer, the school board and administration worked furiously to rewrite the Middle School and High School handbooks into one overarching handbook. What once was multiple different handbooks that each consisted of different guidelines for students was merged to form the 2022-2023 student handbook. The intent of this handbook is to enhance the school spirit and learning environment. The new guidelines contribute to a safe and nurturing environment that is free of discrimination and harassment. Along with that, the handbook limits the amount of confusion and inconsistency in disciplinary actions and decisions. 

Despite those changes, there is still work to be done to further build the school community. In an attempt to construct a stronger, more connected community, State High administrators and the leadership council have created a theme for the school year- Unity is Key in 2022-2023. There have been mixed responses to the sudden addition of a school theme. 

“I don’t care [about the theme]. I mean, we didn’t have one last year, [but] it is important that people are unified,” Sophomore Theresa Johnson-Pritchett voiced, being indifferent to the idea of the school theme. 

While Johnson-Pritchett felt indifferent to the topic, other students had contradicting responses. Some people felt like the theme was a good idea and it could rebuild the school community. Others might not have felt like the theme could be accomplished.

“In general, it’s a good theme. The idea is good, [however], I’m not sure exactly how they are going to completely fulfill that. It’s a good theme, but I’m not sure how it’s going to work.” Sophomore Tybie Meyers commented. 

Like Meyers, Senior Jillian Carpenter shared the same opinion, noting that the past few years, State High has been really divided. 

“It’s a good theme because as a community, we’ve gone through a lot through the past couple of years.” Carpenter explained, “Even with just covid, it’s been a rough few years, and we all really need to connect [with] each other.”

Connectivity in the school community has not been the best for the past few years. Many have expressed their concerns about the issues with the school community and how connected it did not feel. There are many reasons for the difficulty of building the school community, but some feel that the leaders of the school have not been doing enough. 

“The administration team, they’re trying- which I’m grateful for, [but] I feel like they need to connect more with the community.” Carpenter expressed, “ They’ve always been really disconnected since I’ve personally been here. They are doing a lot better this year, but I still feel like they need a lot of work. I really hope that they [the administration] try to make everyone feel like they belong. I know a lot of people who don’t feel like they belong in the school, and it happens a lot after October. They are like ‘oh, no one is new anymore, it’s just back to a normal routine’.  I feel like we need to get the community back connected so everyone feels like they belong.”

Carpenter also suggested ways to start solving the problems with school connectivity. There are many ways, and the theme is the first step of many to come. 

“First, people really [should] join clubs and get connected, especially in September. We should emphasize that throughout the year, not just at the beginning [of the school year]. A lot of people have things going on, and then they end [and people have nothing else to do],” Carpenter explained, setting a good path to start rebuilding the community. “I feel like more clubs should announce that ‘hey, we’re still [allowing people to join] and anyone can join at any time’.”

When asked to comment on the topic, Johnson-Pritchett echoed the same statement. Clubs are a great way to find people with the same interests and find a community that is a safe place for people. 

“Join clubs, join clubs, join clubs. Join clubs because there is so much bonding within clubs. You [may] be like ‘oh I don’t want to do more school,’ but it’s so much fun. You meet people with similar interests [as you]. If you join [clubs] earlier on, you can get leadership positions and even run the club,” Johnson-Pritchett exclaimed, deeply emphasizing that joining clubs really gives students a sense of belonging within the school.

In spite of the lack of connectivity in the school, there still are many things that students are excited about this school year. From exhilarating courses to amazing clubs and opportunities, there is something for everyone to be hyped about. 

“I’m excited about my AP Computer Science class, ” Meyers proclaimed happily, “I’ve always liked computer science, so I’m just really excited [to be learning] that.”

As exciting as the course options can be, there are also amazing extracurricular activities that students can participate in. Carpenter has been in the State High Marching Band since her freshman year and currently has a leadership position.

“As a senior and a rank leader, it’s been really fun to watch everything come together and form lots of bonds with people,” Carpenter explained, very happy that the community was growing within the Marching Band. 

Whether it’s taking an exciting course, or fun clubs to join, there is something exciting that everyone can agree on- seeing their friends again. 

“The best part [of returning back to school] is being able to see everyone again,” Johnson-Pritchett proclaimed happily.  Whether it is seeing friends that traveled all summer or greeting old teachers, returning back to school gives people a space to reconnect with people they have not seen for a long time.

High School is filled with hundreds of people to meet and connect with. There is no limit as to how many connections can be made. There has been a divide amongst the student population for the past few years, but the administration and leadership counsel are working on ways to repair that gap.  

“As a school, we need to put our differences aside, and really just connect back with each other. We have been so isolated for the past three years.  We just need to put all of it aside and come back together so we can make it a great year,” Carpenter summarized, calling out to all students to start initializing the change that will snowball into something greater and better. 

The start of school can be both exhilarating but also horrifying. That should not prevent students from finding the place that they fit within. Having that sense of place will help create lasting bonds that make the school a safer and nurturing place for all students. 

For the students wishing to learn more about the clubs and activities offered at State High, there is going to be a Club Fair held throughout the week of Sept. 6-Sept. 9, where students can explore and educate themselves on the club that would be the best fit for them. The goal for the 2022-2023 school year is to build a connected school community that makes every student feel accepted and welcomed, and of course, create a more unified school.