As we approach the end of an era at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS), we are left wondering what sort of meaningful changes we could see in the upcoming school year.
With influential members of our school, Principal Deb Smith and science teacher Steven Schaffter retiring at the end of the 2018-2019 school year, there will naturally be major changes coming to our school community in the near future. Whoever ends up replacing them will have big shoes to fill but the school has built up a solid foundation that could continually be improved.
Our school does a lot of things well when it comes to providing a safe and nurturing environment for students to learn but there’s certainly a number of things students would like to see changed or improved going forward. A major topic of conversation lately around campus has been our school spirit or lack thereof. Our most recent accreditation process from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) found that there is a severe lack of school spirit across campus.
We believe that some of the easiest ways to dramatically improve our school spirit could be for students to join clubs and for Leadership to increase the number of activities it organizes. Leadership coordinated events were few and far between this year so having more consistent events could lead to more students taking part as a result. Most clubs at our school have a substantial amount of members yet a vast majority of students don’t care to join more than one or two clubs. There could be more clubs introduced next year that are appealing to a larger audience.
A point of contention for a large number of students has been the administration not providing proper discipline when it comes to student filed reports. Students who have been subject to bullying are often left in the dark about the consequences their bully will face.
We feel that there should be a greater level of transparency between students and staff when it comes to sensitive matters like these and hope that students will become more trusting of the administration as a result.
In the past two school years, we have lost teaching positions for English and math due to decreasing enrollment. Keeping our enrollment where it is wouldn’t help us gain any more teaching positions but we can do our part in trying to increase enrollment. We could let people we know who aren’t sure of which high school to attend about DPMHS or we could continue sharing all of the excellent work we do on social media to reach even more people.
Our hope is that some of these proposed changes could help make the DPMHS a better environment for students and staff.