School Climate Change- Spring 2018 vs. Fall 2018

By Hunter Turpin

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With each coming school year, a new set of changes is guaranteed. The beginning of the 2018-19 academic year brought about a new climate in the school that invited change and welcomed diversity on a larger scale than FHN had seen in the recent past.

Biannually, the school administers a climate survey to all students, this year, the feedback was remarkable. Head principal, Dr. Nathan Hostetler, was impressed with the data presented.

“When we compare spring of 2018 to fall of 2018, one semester, we had a huge change in what we saw,” Hostetler said. “In the raw data last year 53% of the kids here reported feeling safe at school and this fall it was 88%. Moving the needle by 35 points really made me happy.”

These statistics are not just shown in numbers, students throughout the building vouch for this in their experiences day to day. Senior, Sammie Burke, feels a change in the building from her past years here.

“An obvious difference is the decrease in fights around the school, but beyond that I just think the more positive atmosphere has really made the school feel safer, not just in a physical sense,” Burke said.

Likewise, the percentage of students saying that they had been bullied at school decreased by almost half,  from 15% to 8.5%.

“Last semester [spring 2018], only half the kids reported that they liked coming to this school, this semester it was 70%,” Hostetler said. “I think this reflects the other data points, students feeling safer and such is increasing their enjoyment at school.”

Again, students embrace this change and have noticed it in the actions of others and their own personal feelings.

“I think there is a more mutual respect in the school, especially from students to teachers, which has been making classroom activities much more productive,” Burke said. “I enjoy coming to school more and I feel like my time at school is more well spent.”

All of these data points and anecdotes are indicative of change, this transformation is coming from many sources. Senior, Bushra Zaidi, is involved in many of the organizations that are being used as a catalyst for these changes.

“I think this better atmosphere is created because of our new administration, but also by different clubs such as mentors and student council,” Zaidi said. “Even though students can be a bit shy to fully embrace the activities and attempts, overall I think they feel better about their school and actually want to come.”

In the same way, Hostetler reports that these improvements inthe school have come from every level of the building through communication, embracement, an invitation to learn, and simply a genuine invitation to change and positive outlook.

“I wasn’t here last year, so I can’t report this change in every aspect, but I definitely can see a better environment that the students needed,” Hostetler said. “Howell North is a great building filled with great people and I’m glad to see it really begin to shine.”




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