The changing appearance of NCHS contributes to a new atmosphere

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High schools are constantly updating and improving their physical attributes, but what about their standards of achievement? The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) highlights an up-and-coming argument that is changing the atmosphere of high schools; “Rather than concentrating on academic scores alone, the findings explore the critical connection between wellbeing, belonging, and achievement.” These new values aim to replace the team records and standardized test scores that normally define the success of a high school.

If you’re a freshman walking the halls, you’re probably unaware of the physical changes our hallways have been under and more caught up in the idea of a new school, yet upperclassmen may notice something a little different. The new boards awarding student, athlete, and faculty recognition

The memorabilia to class of 1930 graduates no longer adorn the glass showcases, instead are photos of current students, classmates you can see walking in the halls. Although the history of NCHS is still apparent, it is a clear goal to incorporate more ideals highlighting the present-day community and engage students.

The inspiration for these changes are apart of the idea of “New Norms”, which were brainstormed in advisory classes last year. New quotes that hang on the walls are designed to inspire the students that read them as they pass. They pass off messages and reflect a value of not just academic achievement, but the quality of the people and student body and how it shapes our community. Yet, these boards and encouraging words aren’t just used spice up the hallways, but to change the atmosphere of our school. Increasingly, schools are recognizing qualities other than paper records.

These new boards aim to recognize students who normally wouldn’t be recognized. It acknowledges not the students with the highest grade point average or the person who scored the most goals in a game, but the boys and girls who contributed to the NCHS community in a positive way. The awards cover a range from holding the door open for a fellow classmate, contributing to school spirit, to a teacher that positively impacted a student’s life.

Although the administration and committee that ensured this project doesn’t think our school has low morale, but instead intend to use these boards and changing atmosphere to further contribute to school enthusiasm. These changes are not confined to school hallways as Principal Egan uses twitter as his platform to get messages out to students besides the formal weekly update emails. All these efforts are made to further engage students in the school around them.

The replication of the staff yearbook page in the English hallway is also directed at building a tighter community where students and visitors of the school are able to recognize the faculty without ever interacting or having them as a teacher.

These extensions work toward a building a bigger, more profound community through celebrating the school within the walls of NCHS. There is a stronger connection in acknowledging the work students put into school off paper records. In no better words than the cliche, every student has something special within them, and school’s are starting to recognize it.

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Features Editor for the NCHS Courant newspaper.

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