New Connections Propelling Optimistic Goals

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New Connections Propelling Optimistic Goals

Instructor Robin Hundt's Connections class forms a human pyramid during the door decorating contest.
From left to right-
Bottom row: Junior Hunter Hauger, Sophomore Joseph Usher, Senior Zander Carda.

Middle: Freshmen Connor King, and Luke Neuhalfen.

Top: Senior Madyson WIlson

Instructor Robin Hundt's Connections class forms a human pyramid during the door decorating contest. From left to right- Bottom row: Junior Hunter Hauger, Sophomore Joseph Usher, Senior Zander Carda. Middle: Freshmen Connor King, and Luke Neuhalfen. Top: Senior Madyson WIlson

Robin Hundt

Instructor Robin Hundt's Connections class forms a human pyramid during the door decorating contest. From left to right- Bottom row: Junior Hunter Hauger, Sophomore Joseph Usher, Senior Zander Carda. Middle: Freshmen Connor King, and Luke Neuhalfen. Top: Senior Madyson WIlson

Robin Hundt

Robin Hundt

Instructor Robin Hundt's Connections class forms a human pyramid during the door decorating contest. From left to right- Bottom row: Junior Hunter Hauger, Sophomore Joseph Usher, Senior Zander Carda. Middle: Freshmen Connor King, and Luke Neuhalfen. Top: Senior Madyson WIlson

Gordon Tuomikoski, Features and Photography Editor

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The new school year always brings change, and with new administration like Rick Nickerson taking on the role of principal and Cory Faust joining him as Assistant Principal, change was bound to happen. Among these changes was a revision of Connections.

“We have taken the time to be intentional with our time and structure the period so that there should be limited down time where students have nothing to do,” said Nickerson. “We have a team of teachers that meet every week to discuss ideas and come up with plans.”

He discussed why a change was needed because the old Connections was unsuccessful.

“I think last year we started Connections as a new program and needed time to figure out what would work best and what students needed.  So the message hasn’t changed, just how we structure our time,” Nickerson said.

Faust sees the neatly structured Connections as warranted.

“I think Connections time has been highly improved this year,” said Faust. “We’ve covered some really important topics that are helping to improve our school culture.  The structure of having teachers and students working on particular things multiple days a week instead of reteach / reassess every day has helped staff keep better track of students. As always, there are things that could be improved, and we will continue to evaluate and make adjustments to make our high school as good as it can be.”

Nickerson appreciates the comradery and respect being shown by students in the new Connections.

“I feel like students and staff are making great connection just like in the past, the difference is we are spending more time together and working side by side, staff and students.  Look at the door decorations for Homecoming. There was so much work and fun students had doing that activity. It was amazing,” said Nickerson. “The more we get to know one another and work together, the easier it will be to overcome any obstacle.  We want to have fun and learn more each time we meet.”

Despite its optimistic goals, some students still feel like Connections is hurting them more than it used to.

“It’s so confusing,” said Sophomore Ethan Parks. “I wish we could come in and do work any day of the week, not just Thursdays. It makes everything stressful. I felt more comfortable and got along better when we stayed in one classroom the whole week. Now we’re constantly moving around.”

Only time will tell how Connections this year shapes up with students getting more involved in team-building, or if it it could pull them further behind.