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Grace Ballenger

A new school year always brings a rush of change. There
are always new
books, new teachers, new classes and…  A new system for the
announcements?

At the beginning of this school year, the HHS
community was
greeted with a surprising change in the school’s policy
toward
announcements. The daily announcements, which had formerly been read
over
the PA system at the beginning of the day, will now be posted on
Twitter,
Facebook and the HHS website. The Pledge of Allegiance, which was
read along
with the announcements at the beginning of second block, has now
been moved
to the beginning of the day.

Vice Principal Ms.
Adams says that the decision to make the
change was made over the summer.
This decision was prompted by teacher
comments about the low number of
students that listening to the
announcements, and that the announcements too
up too much class time. Ms.
Adams also remarks that “Students spend so much
of their lives online and we
should use the skills that they already
have.”

This change has been met with mixed emotions by the
faculty.
Science teacher Mr. Galster recognizes the fact that the old
announcements
were not always effective and said that in the past, “Many
students would
choose not to hear [the announcements],” adding that, “While
[the old
announcements were] broadcast to the whole school, not everyone
took
advantage of [them].” There are, however, flaws in the new system.
According
to English teacher Mr. Bailey, by moving the announcements online
and onto
social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter the
administration
has “taken something that students use for fun and made it not
fun – and
that is difficult to make fly.”

Mr. Bailey has
adjusted to the new system of doing the
announcements by signing up for a
Twitter account, and submitting his
announcements for the Radio Club to Ms.
Adams to be posted. Mr. Galster says
that he hasn’t signed up for Twitter or
used Facebook to check the
announcements, but that the changes allow him “to
start class on time. I
don’t have to wait for the announcements, which would
sometimes start a few
minutes late.”

Mr. Bailey says that
announcements should be sent via email
because it would allow the
administration “to set an expectation of checking
[your email] and gets
students in the habit of checking their email every
day, which is something
they’ll do in the workplace.”

Junior Michayla Kelley believes
that the old way of doing
announcements was more effective. She says, “Most
students can’t check their
Twitter, Facebook, or the [school] web page during
class, DSB, or between
classes.” Kelley adds that she does not check
announcements during the day
because she has “No desire to get [her] phone
confiscated.”

She also brings up a privacy issue involved
with the new
system, explaining that “Most students don’t want the
administration to be
able to see everything on their Facebook or Twitter” and
therefore do not
follow the school on these websites.

Ms.
Adams has noticed the varying opinions and says that “Some
people love it.
Some people miss the old system… Some people are unsure that
they want to
like us or follow us on Twitter.”  She points out that for
students who are
unwilling to use social networking websites, “The new
school website is a lot
better and has the announcements and calendar on the
front page.” For those
who don’t have access to a computer, the
announcements are posted on the wall
of the Main Office.

While the school is striving to make the
announcements known in
many ways it realizes that there are faults to the
current system. Ms. Adams
notes that the new method “will be more effective
if more people follow and
like us.”

Lately there have been
announcements over the loudspeakers as
well as in other forms. According to
Ms. Adams, the school is “definitely
stilling going to use Twitter Facebook
and the website, but the
administration is “not sure if we’re going to
continue doing [announcements]
over the loudspeaker for the rest of the
year.” Ultimately the goal is to
include everyone. “We don’t want a system
where we leave students out. So
we’re still evaluating whether this is the
best system,” says Adams.

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