Under the gloomy sky, Coppell High School was a stark contrast to the dismal rain. Walking in through the doors of CHS, each student was greeted by the cheering faces of Red Jacket ambassadors, Lariettes and cheerleaders.
This bright and cheerful first day of school is a small look into the rest of the year. With three new assistant principals and a new principal, the CHS administration has made numerous changes to continue this optimistic atmosphere.
Physically, CHS is experiencing numerous renovations with new coats of paint, walls and flooring scheduled to be completed prior to the 2020-2021 school year. Despite the evident material changes, one of the most prominent modifications to students is the requirement of school distributed iPads that has met mixed reactions among the CHS community.
This year, the district has mandated iPads to address the necessity for more integrity within CHS students.
“We’re making sure every test is on the iPads and locked down so students can’t share it with anybody,” CHS Principal Laura Springer said. “My ideal is some [students] work so hard—you study hard, you do the right thing— and for somebody to cheat and get ahead of you, that makes me angry. We wanted to make sure we put some things in place to prevent it.”
After years of using their personal devices and computers, students are adjusting to the iPad mandate.
“A lot of software is more adaptable on the computer and can be used with a higher efficiency than on the iPad,” CHS senior Victoria Wiegand said. “It’s going to be hard to break that transition from using my own Mac to using the school iPad.”
Another adjustment this year is the modified block schedule. As opposed to the strict alternating A days and B days, this school year introduces a C day every Friday. On C days, students will go to each class for 40 minutes, similar to the schedule of the 2016-17 school year. However, this year, the order of the periods on C days is first, fifth, second, sixth, third, seventh, fourth and eighth period.
“A lot of us have activities on Fridays—UIL activities, games, those types of things—so I wanted to make sure that on Friday, we didn’t give tests or quizzes so that you have an opportunity for two things,” Springer said. “If you miss something, you’ll have a chance to make it up. The second thing is that we can slow down a little bit and get to know you and do some fun, interesting things with you.”
For teachers, C days are also a beneficial way to review material with students and keep the knowledge fresh in their minds.
“I think C-days are great,” environmental science teacher Holly Anderson said. “I get to see my kids more often and use that time for revisiting things. This way, students don’t have to wait four days like before between the time I teach material and reviewing.”
The emphasis behind fostering relationships between students and teachers and creating an environment where students feel comfortable interacting with faculty is the impetus for all the changes made this school year.
“Hopefully [students] feel there’s an atmosphere of love for you and care for you,” Springer said. “Our teachers are taking some time to know who you are, what you like, what you don’t like, what’s happening. To me, those are 10 times more important as the curriculum we’re going to teach you.”
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