Room changes, new events and a schedule study are just some of the things occurring at Washington High School this year.
Principal Dr. Kelle McCallum gave a building report to the school board last Wednesday night. She was first up on a new rotating schedule of monthly reports by Washington School District principals to the board.
“We have a lot going on and it’s very exciting,” said McCallum, who also led a tour for board members Friday morning at the school.
A total of nine room changes have taken place for the start of the school year.
The weight training room moved to the former metal shop room, and the metal shop relocated to the agriculture mechanics classroom.
Those two programs are sharing the space as classes are offered at different hours, McCallum said.
The wrestling room moved to the woodworking classroom, and woodworking is now in the former weight training room.
McCallum said the No Excuses classroom has moved into the former wrestling room and the Project Lead the Way Engineering program moved to the former No Excuses classroom.
The health classroom is now in the former PLTW Engineering room, and the woodworking and metal shop classroom space — which is different from shop space — have moved to the former health classroom.
“Our goal is for the rooms to all provide an improved classroom experience for our students,” she said. “Some finishing work, such as painting, is still being done in some of the rooms, but they are all looking great.”
McCallum said the new No Excuses room is probably the “shining jewel.”
Almost all of the work with the moves and room improvements was handled in-house by the district’s buildings and grounds crews.
Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer thanked those workers and the technology staff for their hard work in making the room changes possible.
McCallum said several new events are in the planning stages at the high school for this year, including an Armed Services Day (which will be held independently of Veterans Day); several college tours; and a Trades and Manufacturing Day.
“I’m really excited about Armed Services Day, which will likely be held in January — more details to come on that event,” she said.
Two college tours will be offered to seniors this fall, mostly likely to East Central College and State Technical College.
Juniors and seniors will attend a college fair at ECC which will feature representatives from many Missouri colleges.
In the spring, juniors, and possibly sophomores, will have the option to tour two four-year colleges — one large, one small.
“All of these are optional, but we hope a lot of our students take part,” McCallum said.
A team of educators from the high school will participate in a restorative practice training which McCallum described as a holistic approach to discipline.
“It’s looking at the whole student in disciplining and connecting them back to the school,” she said. “This is something we try to do already, but we will send a group for this training who will then come back and share what they learned with all of educators.”
McCallum said “very preliminary” discussions also have been held about the possibility of adding a girls tennis team and boys volleyball team at the high school.
These discussions have been parent-driven, she said, and are in the very early stages of exploration by the athletic department.
Adding a speech and debate team also is under consideration, as well as other activities.