Taking incoming school year in stride

CHS9 preparing students for transition to main campus


Disha Kohli

CHS9 student Reid Lucas prepares to pie CHS9 GT Geometry teacher Michael Wang during the pep rally at CHS9 on March 22. CHS9 Student Council held a competition where they nominated six faculty members, and whoever raised the most money would get a pie in the face at the pep rally.

Anika Arutla, Staff Writer

Next year, a new generation of students will enter the halls of Coppell High School. This body of students will differ from others from the past 54 years, as they are the first generation coming from the Coppell High School Ninth Grade Campus (CHS9).

CHS9, which opened in August, is a stepping stone for freshmen as they prepare for the main high school campus.

Prior to CHS9, freshmen were allowed to take certain AP classes, such as AP Human Geography and  AP Biology, which were offered as options for the 2017-2018 school year. For the 2018-2019 school year, freshmen are allowed to take a maximum of one AP course, with exceptions.

“Just as a district, we want our students to be balanced,” CHS9 Principal Cody Koontz said. “We’ve all seen some of the negative implications when you overload yourself with too many AP courses or you put much emphasis on grades and GPA that you don’t have a good balance on the other aspects of your student life. We want to be very cautious about overemphasizing that one aspect because that is one measure of success. There are other ways to be successful and market yourself as a successful student.”

Next year, incoming sophomores can take multiple AP courses as long as they have taken/are enrolled in the prerequisite courses. For example, to take AP Physics I, sophomores must have taken Algebra I, Geometry and be in Algebra II at the time. However, other courses such as AP Chemistry and AP Physics II are not available.

Teachers have recognized the emphasis on GPA that Koontz mentions and have began to prepare the students for more rigorous classes they are planning to take.

“As sophomores, they are allowed to take AP Bio, but I’m not sure a lot of them are choosing to go that route,” CHS9 biology teacher Madhavi Phadke said. “We’ve kind of beefed up the honors biology classes, and we’ve made them very reflective of the kind of thought process and work ethic that’s required for AP Bio. That’s not a bad thing, we just have AP Bio and IB Bio in our mind all the time.”

Being the campus’s first group of students, year one has provided challenges, in addition to celebrations, for the CHS9 staff.

“We’ve learned a little bit about what’s worked and what hasn’t in terms of efficiently communicating expectations [and] what has worked in terms of motivating students to meet those expectations,” Koontz said. “We’re making some really good headway, and part of that is we had to put into place some consequences that involved losing privileges of block lunch. What they’re seeing is that if they don’t have their ID, they don’t get to go around the school and do whatever they want during block lunch.”

The transition from CHS9 to the main CHS campus will be a different experience from past years; when they enter the campus, they are sophomores and no longer freshmen.

“We won’t know all the students in the high school,” freshman Mihir Chaudhari said. “If we’re taking classes with kids in other grades, it will be a little bit more smooth. But it also depends on the people individually. I guess more people will feel a little more isolated and may try to stay more with their own grade, but there will be others that will be more outgoing.”

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