First half of the school year in review
January 18, 2019
About halfway done with the school year, this year over all has been a pretty good year at HHS, but it still has its challenges, just like every other school.
This year, the student behavior has been better than other years here at HHS, but there is always room for growth. Mr Doug Bullinger, principal, says that the staff try to ‘put things in a learning perspective’ and thinks that the adults in the building have done a good job of forming relationships with the students in order to prevent issues.
Bullinger also says there is ‘still ugliness and meanness, but students treat each other pretty well, except social media.’
Vaping is still an issue as HHS, but it is noted that vaping is in issue at all high schools across the nation. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, 3.62 million high school and middle school students vape. The canine results were similar to last years results, with a small number of people having been caught.
Of course Hopkins would like to see the amount of vaping in its school district decrease, but it is understood by administration that it will not be zeroed out as it is an issue all over the country.
One thing that Bullinger says the counselors have noted this year is that the sophomores have been challenging themselves more than previous years. Bullinger says that this is good, but not to overwhelm themselves.
The sophomores have been taking more honors and AP classes than the sophomores in years past. They have set the bar higher and are doing well so far, but Hopkins does not want sophomores setting the bar to high that it becomes to much to handle.
It is good to see students challenging themselves, as long as it is manageable.
The flex spaces, which are new this year have been beneficial but have also had its troubles. In the beginning of the year students joined in on whoever was in there to socialize with friends during class times. The amount of people that were hanging out in the flex spaces instead of being in class became problematic.
With adjustments being made to the use of the flex spaces, they have been used more correctly now. Passes are now needed to be in the flex space and its nice to see that students can spread themselves out and get comfortable in a classroom environment.
The flex spaces allow students to get a different classroom environment. It is a little brighter, more comfortable and more spread out. It is conducive to group projects and teachers during a time where they need to meet one on one with students.
There is still hope to make the use of flex spaces even more beneficial.
The mall can become a very crowded space, especially in the mornings and during passing time. Bullinger added the flex spaces are also nice because it reduces the amount of people in the mall during transition times. It makes the school more spread out, easier to hear your friends and it is also easier to find them.
Some of Bullinger’s highlights during the first half of the year consists of the fishbowl, which is great because of the student led conversations. The wellness center has also been great but it is not receiving as much use as expected. Bullinger hopes that maybe in the near future the wellness center will become more useful hoping that more people take advantage of what they are being offered. The third highlight is the flex spaces now that they have been figured out how to use them properly.
Recently, advisory was cut out of the schedule on Mondays extending TASC time. An email is provided to all students with weekly updates and information.
In the first half of the year HHS also managed to put on a great play, Damn Yankees.
HHS has also brought in speakers to speak during task time, including Dean Phillips.
In September, a sit in was hosted in the mall to protest sexual assault. A recent program to de-stigmatize mental health was hosted in the mall in early January.
Clubs have been created to stand up for a variety of different causes. Fliers are placed around the school to find out more information or you can find out more online at hopkins.com or in the media center.
As for his note to students for the second half of the year, “build your connections with one another. Find a balance, don’t take on too much. Enjoy your days at school as much as you can. And even though it may be early to say it, finish the year strong.”