The Student News Site of Hendrick Hudson

The Hendrick Hudson Anchor

The Student News Site of Hendrick Hudson

The Hendrick Hudson Anchor

The Student News Site of Hendrick Hudson

The Hendrick Hudson Anchor

What’s New at Hen Hud

This year at Hen Hud has brought a new principal and new rules. Freshman this year have been welcomed in the high school with a series of changes that have affected a variety of aspects in Hen Hud daily life. 

But how much has really changed? Upperclassmen can admit they feel a difference in the school this year, but freshmen haven’t experienced the Hen Hud of the past. As the new year begins, we will analyze some of the changes so far.

Hen Hud Life

Freshmen this year at Hen Hud now have a new required class to help them adjust to life in High School. The class, “HenHud Life,” is intended to make the transition from high school to middle school easier by educating students on executive functioning, social-emotional learning strategies, or other important skills such as keyboarding. 

“The focus of HenHud Life will be to transition to the HS,” Principal Scollins stated in an email, “I am sure most staff and upperclassmen will remember how difficult the transition can be from BMMS to HHHS.” 

The class is still very new and developing, but students are conflicted on how effective the class really is in achieving its preparational goals.  

“It’s not really helping that much,” says Morgan Savva, a freshman taking the class, “It could be useful for some people, but for me it’s just really not helpful…it’s [about] things I’ve been hearing for years.”

Despite some student’s troubles regarding the class, Ms. Scollins hopes that it will encourage them to practice important skills as they transition to high school. 

No Phones at Hen Hud

Mrs. Denler’s personal phone system, which involves students leaving phones in cubbies. Photo Credits: Elaine Clarke.

In order to combat the distractions in the classroom caused by phone usage and encourage face to face relationships, Hen Hud has enacted new and more specific rules regarding phones at school. 

Previous years saw lax rules and policies that were different from teacher to teacher. Now, however, a school-wide regulation on phones has been implemented 

Student backlash has been minor, but some are still bothered by the new rules. Some teachers, on the other hand, have greatly welcomed the universal regulations. 

“I am thrilled with it,” says choir teacher Erica Denler, “I feel like now that we have a consistent policy, it is easier for each one of the teachers to be able to stick to the policy. It really, really improved the focus and attention in the classroom.” 

Bathrooms Redone

Students in the art wing this year were welcomed with a freshly painted bathroom. Although the paint job is clean, many students were upset to find that the colorful space had been turned into a regular bathroom. 

“It’s sad,” says sophomore Ve Lenz.

The pink stalls had been covered by graffiti and writing, and keeping the bathroom neat was becoming increasingly difficult.

“There was a lot of vandalism on the stalls, a lot of writing, and the upkeep to that, to keep it nice, just didn’t happen,” art teacher Kristen Dini responded in an interview, “Art Honor Society did that years ago, so they needed to refresh it and that was just the easiest way to do it. I’m happy they did it because it was getting really bad, it’s sad that it’s like we lost our pink bathroom.”

Mrs. Dini expressed interest in redecorating the space.

“At some point I’ll reach out to administrators, if people are into it, to redo a mural of some sort.”

No Sign and Releases or Free Periods

In an effort to encourage students to be productive and use educational opportunities offered at school, the school’s policy on free periods has changed.

“Academic Advantage periods are now a privilege for seniors,” says Principal Scollins, “With the inclusion of Study Halls we are encouraging students to use their time productively and take advantage of elective and other opportunities in the scheduled school day.”

Along with this change, the practice sign and releases have been removed from Hen Hud. As much as students would like the freedom of a sign and release, Principal Scollins wishes to emphasize safety at school.

“After consulting with our policies and safety plans,” she stated through email, “sign and releases were not a safe practice, therefore they are not something we will utilize moving forward.”

Transportation

This year, the Board of Education has decided to eliminate bussing for students living within a one-mile radius of the school. This change has raised concerns, particularly regarding the upcoming winter months. 

Buses lined up at dismissal at Hendrick Hudson High School. Photo Credits: Elaine Clarke

“Hendrick Hudson has always had a Board of Education established ‘walking’ policy,” says Elizabeth Gilleo, Hendrick Hudson’s transportation supervisor, “The Board of Education felt it was important to follow the policies that are in place.” 

This policy dictates that students and parents who live within the radius need to use alternative forms of transportation, like walking, biking, or carpooling. Some are worried that many, such as those that do not live at walkable distance or cannot drive themselves, will have a harder time finding their way to school.

“I think it sucks, especially for those who don’t have cars. It just makes everything harder,” says senior Kacie Burns, “My walk home would be like 30 minutes, and it’s like that’s 30 minutes I could be doing homework.”

She lives within the radius and although she is able to drive to school with a friend, she understands others’ concerns. As winter weather approaches, issues with safety and navigating the icy sidewalks and roads are becoming increasingly prevalent.

“Not all the roads have sidewalks and when it snows, like half the people don’t take care of them properly,” she says, “One part [my friend] and I [walked] was just like pure ice. So either we would walk in the street, that was already pretty skinny, or just pray that we don’t fall.”

Many of these changes can be hard to adjust to, especially for the upperclassmen who are used to how things have always been. Most, however, were done in an effort to better our school. As we welcome in the new year, these improvements will hopefully be welcomed in tandem. 

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Elaine Clarke, Opinion Desk Editor
Elaine Clarke is a Senior at Hendrick Hudson High School. This is her fourth year writing for the newspaper and first year as editor. Alongside this, Elaine participates in the school musicals and plays, film club, as well as the senior club. In her free time, she likes to hang with her friends, listen to music, or just chill with her cat.
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