By: Tori Auckland/A&E Editor and Sarah Marble/Senior Feature Editor
There are things that we want to be able to change in every aspect of our lives. Most of the time, we have no control over the things that we long to change. But what if we could? What if for one day, we could change anything that we ever wanted, but our powers were only within the school? What would we change about our school?
We went around and asked a whole bunch of high schoolers and a classroom full of 5th graders this question. We had a variety of responses, ranging from changing the dress code to replacing the brown ceiling tiles to make our school look neater.
We went to Mrs. Wolfe’s fifth grade class to see a younger point of view first. Many of the fifth graders thought that the dress code should be changed, and that they want to avoid school uniforms at ALL costs! There were a few answers that talked about the elevator. Bryder said, “I would change the safety of the elevator because people that are hurt shouldn’t have the chance of getting more hurt.”
Some of the fifth graders also talked about Red Bird, which is the math program that has replaced Study Island. They said that it doesn’t work as well for them and it is not nearly as fun as Study Island. Rose Birtch stated, “I would want to get rid of apps that don’t help us, like Red Bird and Moby Max.”
Finally, a common answer among Mrs. Wolfe’s class was starting school later. Getting more sleep and getting to wake up later could help many students in their studies. Tyler Bianchi stated his feelings by saying “start school at 9:00am and end at 3:00pm so we aren’t tired when we get to school.”
We then asked sixteen students from the high school to receive more mature feedback. Due to the most recent changes in the middle and high school, a majority of the students would like to change how flex is held, and, of course, the dress code. Some students gave other input on things they would like to have changed in the school.
Out of the sixteen students that were asked what they wanted to change, half of them wished that the dress code was removed. Senior, Gia Fiore, brought up a valid point regarding the dress code. She stated that, “the dress code has no positive effects on learning or school experience,” and that it “promotes increased attention on what students wear and causes more self esteem issues.”
Other students felt that an overall change in the way our schedule is formed would benefit students. The schedules are so strict that it limits the classes that students want to take that could help them in the future along with, yet again, the issues that are still prominent with flex. Juniors Mason Conklin, Marissa Derrick, and Olivia Colwell believe a change here would have positive impacts on students. Conklin states, “I wish the school could be more flexible with our schedules. Students who don’t want to do music should not be forced to. If we don’t want to take an AP class, we shouldn’t be put into a position where we need to because it’s the only thing that will fit due to other AP classes.”
Two other students brought up other concerns schoolwide. Madison Welsted mentioned a common grievance within the school, referring to “heat in the winter and A/C in the summer. Some rooms are okay, and some days rooms are awful.” She says that it is distracting and takes the focus off of the things that are important, like an education. Andrew Scott talked about the ceiling tiles and how “they need to be changed so they aren’t brown,” explaining that the way the school is presented is important.
Students across the district had some bright ideas on how they wished things would change in the school. Will these bright ideas lead to changes that the students wish to see? In either case, we will see what the future holds for Blue Ridge.