Welcome Back: New Policies and Programs for the School Year

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Welcome Back: New Policies and Programs for the School Year

New seniors Byron Ehrke, Cade Demro, and Halle Johnson laugh in the west hall while walking to their classes on the first day of school, August 14th.

New seniors Byron Ehrke, Cade Demro, and Halle Johnson laugh in the west hall while walking to their classes on the first day of school, August 14th.

New seniors Byron Ehrke, Cade Demro, and Halle Johnson laugh in the west hall while walking to their classes on the first day of school, August 14th.

New seniors Byron Ehrke, Cade Demro, and Halle Johnson laugh in the west hall while walking to their classes on the first day of school, August 14th.

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After another short two-and-a-half months of summer vacation, Platteview High School students have returned to their classes. For this new school year, however, many changes have been made to policies and student life that students might not be familiar with quite yet. Below is a summary of some of the main developments this year at Platteview High School.

New Policies:

Platteview has introduced a few new policies this school year. One of the most prominent is the difference in content on the iPads; to many students’ surprise and irritation, the App Store was removed.

“We can no longer download apps that we usually use for school unless we ask a teacher. For the first couple of days, our iPads didn’t have calculators until we asked our teachers for it,” says junior Kyley Bishop.

According to Principal Ron Alexander, “Mr. Staskiewicz (the Director of Technology for the District) recommended that our district tighten down what we were allowing on our iPads (in terms of apps). This is a statewide recommendation as technology directors across the state found that many of the apps schools were allowing had some privacy issues for students. The state has established a vetting process to make sure when we add apps back to iPads that the apps are safe for educational use.” These new restrictions also eliminate unnecessary distractions, such as gaming, that can distract students from their classes.

Juniors Emma Mathias and Brianna Yeager talk about the new school policies before continuing their online class in the Media Center on August 21.

Another new policy is the ban of cellphone and headphone use in class, unless students are specifically instructed to use them for an activity in class. Already, there is an impact on the classrooms; “Teachers no longer have to tell students to take out their headphones or to stop playing music,” says Bishop. Without the new policies, phone usage could have become more of a problem. “We have always asked students to refrain from using these items during class time,” explains Mr. Alexander, “but this year we decided to make it a priority and to be 100% consistent across the staff.”

The new dress code is a change that many students are elated about. “I like the new dress code. It is much more relaxed,” Bishop states. “The new dress code is equally directed towards everyone in the school rather than unequally towards part of the school,” she adds. These new and exciting changes to Platteview are setting students and the school on track for a brighter future. “One of our primary goals since I arrived three years ago is to rise Platteview High School up to be exceptional. To not just be average or good, but rather be exceptional,” Mr. Alexander shares. “I personally will not rest until we are there.”

The Trojan Zone:

Garrett Johnson starts coffee, tea, and smoothie bar on August 14th in the PHS cafeteria to provide students with energy.

So what’s new about our school store, the Trojan Zone? There are a select variety of teas, such as peppermint, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and many more. This year, the student store is going online; it can be found at thetrojanzone.com. They’re going to be selling t-shirts, stadium seats, water bottles, window stickers and other selections. Some of the revenue will be reinvested into the student store and part will go to the business department.

New Parking Lot:

The first difference students noticed coming back to school on Wednesday, August 14, was giant heaps of dirt, fresh concrete, and dozens of streetlights in the teacher’s parking lot. Over the summer, Mackie Construction razed the former parking lot in front of Platteview High School and Platteview Central and closed off the alternate south exit onto Platteview Road. 

Among many of the aesthetic differences, the south exit has morphed into a teardrop-shaped loop for vehicles to turn around in, lane lines and arrows have been revamped, and the parking spaces in front of the high school now run North-South. Crosswalks have been added as well, and streetlights cover the newly-paved expanse.  

So far, the new traffic pattern has worked great: “I have been impressed with the easy flow of traffic,” Platteview Central Principal Mr. Johnson observed, “[as well as] the simplicity to navigate the parking lot.”

Pictured above is the entrance from 108th onto the Platteview High School/Platteview Central campus. New concrete, crosswalks, streetlights, and earnest planting greet students every morning on the way to school.

Although this doesn’t encompass all of the changes that students may come to see throughout the school year, these new policies and programs were highlighted because of their immediate effect on student life. Although some changes may affect certain students more than others, they all will play a part in making this year feel different from last year.

Welcome back to Platteview High School, Trojans.