The Royal

The Student News Site of Hempfield Area High School

The Royal

The Royal

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Bridging the Disconnect

Bridging+the+Disconnect

In every kid’s life, the transition from middle school to high school is a rite of passage. It marks a new beginning that comes with new freedoms, expectations, and responsibilities. 

However, this school year is a little different for the class of 2027. Imagine beginning the start of your high school career in a previous middle school with only freshmen. This is the new reality for these freshmen and more in years to come until renovations have been completed.

With this new adjustment, the staff and students are trying their best to make the most of the situation at hand. Many people have voiced the concern that the freshmen are missing out on things. Yes, this may be true in some aspects as they are missing out on the experience of actually being at the high school, but the teachers are putting forth their best effort to provide an authentic high school experience with the things they can control and the resources they have. Some of these things include what classes they offer, bringing them to events, fundraisers, clubs, and the bell schedule. 

To really grasp what life was like at Harrold School, or the “high school annex”, as teachers like to call it, I was given the opportunity to actually step into the building to talk with some students and teachers. 

One of the main things many students I spoke with voiced was that they wished they were able to connect more with the upperclassmen. Many of them are on sports teams and friends with the older students at the high school. They miss being able to see them at school and form stronger bonds.

From a teacher’s perspective, Mrs. Sternick expressed that she believes some of the freshmen this year would benefit from being around older, more mature upperclassmen. They act as role models for the freshmen by demonstrating the four P’s instilled by the high school’s principal Dr. Palmer: Prompt, Proud, Polite, Prepared. 

 To bridge this disconnect, many students at the high school along with staff have been brainstorming ideas to get the freshman more involved with not only upperclassmen, but also the “ways of the high school”. 

One way we are already starting to bridge this disconnect is through pep rallies. Pep rallies are not just fun free periods; they help unite our classes/grades as one through the pride we share for our school. It is important that the freshmen know they are still a part of the high school even though they are in a different building. 

One of the most exciting times during the school year is football season. Everyone in the community comes together to not only support the football team and cheerleaders, but also the Hempfield Area Marching Band. On big game Fridays, the band marches the hallways of our school to get everyone excited for the night ahead, and just like previous years, the freshmen will be included in this excitement. Shuttles will bring freshmen band students over so they can march with their fellow band members at the actual high school and fill the halls with music together as one.

Another way staff throughout both the “high school annex” and the high school itself are working to ensure the class of 2027 get the same opportunities as the upperclassmen is through the clubs they offer. For example, United Spartans Advisors Mrs. Kertoy and Mrs. Hale work together to make sure the ninth graders are able to stay involved and in the mix. Over at Harrold, Mrs. Hale helps run the club by organizing events and keeping them familiar with what is occurring. 

Bridging the disconnect between the ninth graders and the upperclassmen is no easy task, but the teachers and staff are trying their best and making improvements everyday to make the freshmen’s ninth grade year as normal as possible. Most importantly, the freshmen themselves can also make the most of the situation and do their part to be prepared for next year. 

If you are a freshman reading this, tell your friends about The Royal because the school Newspaper is another amazing way to stay in the loop.

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About the Contributor
Miah Bentz
Miah Bentz, Contributor
"Beautiful in my opinion has nothing to do with looks. It's how you are as a person and how you make others feel about themselves." The Notebook of Life created this quote, and it is something that Miah Bentz believes in with her whole heart. Miah loves spreading positivity and uplifting others in any way she can. She has been a student in the Hempfield Area School District since kindergarten and is now a junior in high school. She has a strong passion for volleyball as she is a member of the Hempfield Area girls volleyball team and plays travel all winter long. She also loves making art, listening to music, and reading and writing poetry. Her hope this school year is to share positive stories about life at Hempfield that will brighten the days of and inspire others in the community.