Principal reviews policy changes

Gavin Kuncl, Writer

Starting the 2019 to 2020 school year at Fayetteville High School, numerous changes have been made. Notable changes are the addition of student identification cards, a new lunch rotation and Chromebooks for the student population.

Doctor Jay Dostal, the Principal of Fayetteville High School, and Assistant Principal Warren Collier helped clear up some misconceptions regarding the new changes. Starting off, the changes that have taken effect were not last minute or some form of experimentation with the student body, the changes had been planned before, as Collier had been gone for a year watching Owl Creek, and Dostal has brought a new take. 

“One of the things we had talked about was we wanted to observe to see what was working in order to see what needed to be tweaked,” Dostal said.

The hot topic has been the ID cards. The IDs are currently dual purpose, with another use being worked on. The first is to gain access to buildings and the campus. Dostal addressed that the chips students have found in their IDs are for that purpose.

“One thing you are going to see over time is that we have installed card readers at bulldog lobby and the purple office. Over time, you’ll begin to see even more card readers at other points and other entrances to give you access,” Dostal said.

 The second purpose is for security and safety, as they allow staff and students quick identification of one another.

“When you have a school the size of ours with nearly 2,200 kids and 500,000 square feet, there’s no possible way any student or staff could know who everybody is, but being able to walk down a hallway and seeing an ID, we know that they are supposed to be here,” Dostal said.

The last use of the IDs is being worked on. A system of points and rewards.

“We are in the process of developing a system, and some students have already been awarded points for showing RISE expectations, we can scan your ID [and] award points. Eventually we’re going to get to the point where they are able to use the points to purchase items from the school store, get into certain events, things like that. Opportunities for just having your ID and doing what you are supposed to do,” Collier said.

The new lunch period, D lunch, has been a change accepted with little grumbling from the student body. The lunch shifts have changed from Phases to Departments. While initially confusing, the change has been relatively minor; and within the first week, students had adapted. The constant influx of new students has required a new lunch period to accommodate the expanded population. The hardest part of the lunch shift changes that has not been easily accepted is the inability to inhabit the commons and the wooden stairs. Students now can only eat lunch in the breezeway, courtyard, and cafeteria.

 “As for the lunches we noticed that the commons and the wooden steps were consistently being left a mess and after talking with the teachers, it needed to remain an academic building and we needed to use the cafeteria and breezeway more,” said Dostal.

Despite the grumbling about the change, the wooden steps and commons have become cleaner on a much more noticeably more clean basis. 

“I feel like the building is cleaner. It was disheartening to see the trash,” Liz Bland said, a career and technical education and business teacher.

Chromebooks are another new change that has been met with mixed reception.

“Going one to one with Chromebooks creates equity across the spectrum so everybody is on a level playing field when it comes to technology,” said Dostal.

The addition of Chromebooks for the entire school opens up more opportunities for online learning and helps prepare for the heavily tech-based industries around the globe

Changes to FHS are not only isolated to the 2019-20 school year. Dostal and Collier were kind enough to give insight as to some changes that will affect the grades after 2020. 

“As we look at it down the road, one thing that we really want to stress is the re-imagining of the senior year,” Dostal said.

By far, one of the most interesting and exciting prospects of the incoming changes is the reorganization of the class schedule and the possibility to leave campus.

“(In regards to the new class schedule) Maybe that means you don’t have to be on campus all the time, maybe that means you can leave to do an internship or work on a job, or go on a college campus to take courses,” Dostal said.

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