New year; new school

Students, staff adjust to new spaces and policies

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photo credit: Heath Hadley

Day’s End \\ Students head to their individual modes of transportation at the end of one of the first Mondays of the year. The first day of school was Aug. 12. “The year has just started, but it’s going,” senior Jacob Cline said. “There are a lot more people in the hallways, and it’s good to see people back. I’m just excited for senior year.”

writer: Heath Hadley, Editor in Chief

A new year brings new possibilities for change and growth, and the school and its policies are experiencing that. There are whole new hallways and areas in and around the school for students to learn in and explore, and the dress code has been updated too. Last year’s COVID-19 policies no longer apply.

“Being able to see all of my students face-to-face has been really nice,” physics teacher David Shipp said. “It was much more difficult to know what was going on with those at home when I was in charge of remote and in-person instruction.”

The new areas within and outside of the school were mostly completed over the summer and the still roped-off areas will open up throughout the year.

“I can’t wait until everything is totally opened up, ”Student services secretary Jennifer Crane said. “I think it gives this fresh new look to the school.”

Some students, like senior Elbert Haney, complain about the hallways being too crowded and hope the new hallways will fix that.

“I like the new areas, and can’t wait for them to be finished, and hopefully when they are there will be less crowding in the halls,” Haney said. “The biggest difference for me is the lack of technical difficulties. We are all a bit more experienced with the technology after last year, but not having to worry about Google Meets and breakout rooms all the time is certainly refreshing.”

New spaces include the atrium, the new Career Technology Education building, more area for both band and choir, and extra parking space.

“I’m really excited to have the new spaces,” Assistant Principal Kris Cravens said. “I think they will meet the demand we have with the increasing student population.“

This year, the school dress code has also been changed to be simpler and more relaxed.

I like the new dress code because it allows more people freedom to be who they are.”

— Heather Love

“I love the new dress code because it makes my job a little easier,” Student Services Secretary Jennifer Crane said.“It is so fun to have everyone back on campus and to be able to see their beautiful smiling faces.”

The dress code now allows students to wear collared t-shirts as long as they wear a hoodie over them, seniors to wear their senior shirts and jeans every day, and everyone more options with patterned shirts and shorts.

“I like the new dress code because it allows more people freedom to be who they are,” sophomore Heather Love said. “I also like wearing jeans every day.”

On the third day of school, teachers and staff started to enforce the new policies by counting dress code violations and school tardies.

“I prefer the dress code being simpler this year,” Mr. Shipp said. “I would like it even more simplified.”

Throughout the week, the announcements came on to perform random dress code checks to enforce the new, simpler dress code.

“I like the new dress code,” senior Jacob Cline said. “I am a big fan of the opportunity to wear jeans every day. I like how we have more freedom with the t-shirts.”

This year, the coronavirus policies relax, with masks and social distancing no longer required.

“I like how everybody is in person and not having to wear masks,” Love said. “We are all facing adversities, and we can beat them together.”

Teachers no longer have to have online classes during their physical classes, and almost everyone has come back to school this year.

“I have really enjoyed having my previous students come back and getting to know the new ones,” Mr. Shipp said. “This year, I want to elevate my personal connection with the students through small personal interactions.”

Every new school year comes with an opportunity to grow and challenge oneself, and most people have their personal goals, like Haney.

“I have absolutely loved the excitement that everyone seems to have to just jump in and do the hard work. It makes me want to work even harder,” Haney said. “My main personal goal this year is to keep improving and inspire others to do the same.”

Other students, like junior Anthony Chu, have goals more focused on their extracurricular activities.

“Being a junior in general in contrast to 10th grade has a more daunting sensation and stress attached to the year overall,” Chu said. “I want to feel accomplished by way of progressing in various competitions such as Accounting UIL.”

By Labor Day, the construction should be completed and the students free to explore all of what Wylie East has to offer for their academics and lives.

“I want it to be a year where students can be challenged and to grow,” Mr. Cravens said, “not only in academics but also through positive contribution to society.”