Implementation of Royals Connect seeks to bring community back to HHS

Charlie Shaw, Staff Reporter

When COVID-19 first hit the country it threw everything out of rhythm. HHS seniors are finally able to experience a regular year of high school with no COVID-19 restrictions. 

 HHS alumni remember all the exciting events and traditions that used to happen that have since fallen out of place. One of the goals this year from the entire Hopkins School District is to bring back the sense of community. 

Royals Connect, a new adaptation of opportunity hour, was implemented at HHS to bring a sense of community back to the school. After the first two weeks of the class, students will be able to sign up for different classes in order to help them academically. 

There has been some confusion among students and staff about how often students would sign up for classes during their Royals Connect, and a decision was just made to have 1 sign per term for the classes. 

This will allow students to be able to choose what classes will help them most academically that specific term. Students that don’t choose a class for the week will report to their homebase. 

Nora Paul, junior, wishes she could sign up everyday for classes. 

“Some days I need help with math or science and I could go to a class that would help me with those subjects specifically,” Paul said. “Being able to sign up for classes daily would allow students to focus on different classes throughout the week instead of one.”

HHS isn’t the only school that gives their students a free academic period. Minnetonka High School gives their students this academic freedom as well. MAST (Minnetonka Academic Success Time)is a period in which teachers can invite students to come work with them during their assigned department hours. 

There has been some backlash about the new class from some of the students. Many believe that the class has no additional benefits to their learning and that the time they use in that class can be more beneficial elsewhere. 

Sean Lucas Brace, junior, believes that the class isn’t helping himself or his fellow scholars. 

“People aren’t taking in the lessons that the teachers are giving us,” said Brace. “They should switch it back to opportunity hour.”

Benjamin Poupard, Social Studies, is a new teacher at HHS who didn’t experience last year’s opportunity hour. In his class, the students haven’t been very responsive to the slideshows that the curriculum requires. 

“It’s a good concept; however, there’s always growing pains when it comes to this sort of thing,” Poupard said.

A poll of 226 people was done to see whether or not kids left or stayed for opportunity hour last year. Of that, 71% of people said that they left. The administration hopes this new switch to Royals Connect will help raise the attendance of students.