What’s New on the Block, Hawks?

The must-have information you need to know for a successful school year


Matthew Hanke, Staff Writer

The return to school brings in a wide array of emotions to the minds of students. While some feel excited to bring productivity back into their lives and see their friends again, others absolutely dread the notion of returning to seven hours of uniformity five days a week. Either way, the inevitable has arrived: School’s back in session.

However, like all things, the routine of the school changes, as this year proves. These changes prove important information to everyone from veteran seniors to freshman still getting used to high school life and anybody in between as the school year starts to accelerate. Principal Lane talked to the Hawk’s Eye about what to expect.

Rumors circulated last year that students would be receiving personal Macbooks this year, in a similar vein to the iPads that are assigned in middle school. However, the truth turns out that personal laptops are actually going to be Surface Pros.

“Students are going to be getting them [Surface Pros] before winter break,” said Lane. “They said they are going to give them to you guys in the fall. I don’t know if that means November, October, or tomorrow.”

The district made the switch from Macbooks to Surface Pros primarily due to “a host of connectivity issues” the MacBooks experienced under their pilot period at Olathe West last year. Lane also illustrated what features the Surface Pros have to offer. They have touch screens and pens to write, draw, and more with; a capability the MacBooks that originally got assigned to students lack. Students also may take their assigned Surface Pro home with them from school to do schoolwork.

The parking situation was also addressed by Lane. While getting in and out of the parking lot isn’t regarded as as much of a hassle as it was at the beginning of the year, for many it still remains a headache trying to get out of their parking spot at the end of the day. The congestion most likely has to do with last year’s closing of the back exit: a road that fed out onto Black Bob Road. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like a solution is going to appear any time soon.

“That road is not district property,” Lane said. “We had someone last year that came in and decided that they were going to develop that land into and build on it. They said after they’re finished building out, we can open that road again and we can use it.”

However, that was in August of last year.

“We thought they were going to be finished by the time school rolled around, but clearly they are not.” stated Lane.

The buses delay some traffic, too. The school buses actually take priority on leaving the building, as they need to pick up the elementary school kids once they drop off the high schoolers.

“We have to get those buses out before we can allow traffic to move,” says Mrs. Lane.

The school and administrators don’t control the bus schedule nor the development in the back area, so from the looks of the situation everyone just ought to be patient and wait for these issues to work themselves out.

A few minor changes occurred regarding Hawk Hour as well, but do not affect the grand scope of the popular free period.

“There’s really not [any significant changes to Hawk Hour],” said Lane. “We’ve just been a little bit more picky about where we let kids eat.”

While common sense dictates that lunch shouldn’t be eaten in some places, like the bathrooms, students are also asked to not eat in certain carpeted areas, like the foyer between the theaters. Classrooms hold fair game, so long as their respective teacher allows it. To see what classrooms that students can eat in, look for a sign with a circle of silverware outside their door (see picture). One expectation is that in all eating areas trash is thrown away, and not left lying around. Also, a new shelf is stationed in the foyer of the main office provides space for leaving food coming in from the outside Parents are allowed to bring fast food in for their students, but the office will no longer call students down to retrieve their food. All communication on when the food should be picked up is now down between students and whoever is dropping off the food for them. Some have voiced concern over theft of food left in the shelf, but according to Lane, this infringement hasn’t happened so far.

“Kids aren’t taking other kids’ lunches,” she said. Other than that, Hawk Hour is the same as always and here to stay, so long as students use it appropriately.

Matthew Hanke, Staff Writer