Shenandoah High School students have a few new things to look forward to when they return to school, Monday, Aug. 26.
Shenandoah High School Principal Jason Shaffer said the district continued with building updates started last summer when new lockers were put in, new door signs were put on the rooms, the courtyard by the high school office was cleaned up and a conference room was added adjacent to the office.
There is new carpet in the library this year and Shaffer said work is being done to bring new furniture into the space as well.
Every window in the building is scheduled to be replaced in the next month. Shaffer said the project was originally scheduled for the summer, but was delayed. All the work is scheduled to take place evenings and weekends to cause minimal classroom disruption.
The building also has a new fire alarm system this year.
In the classroom, students will have three additional Advanced Placement (AP) courses to choose from in American History, Music Theory and Art. The advanced art class adds to what Shaffer feels is “probably the strongest art program in the conference.”
The district pays for students to take the AP test at the end of the unit. If a student scores high enough on that test, they earn college credit at select colleges and universities.
The district has also added two zero-hour courses in fitness and metals. The two classes start at 7 a.m. and Shaffer said offering these classes gives students more scheduling flexibility.
Shenandoah Vo-Ag Instructor Sarah Martin continues to add internship opportunities for students. The district has an agreement with several businesses in the community and students can shadow someone at one of those businesses as a junior and then intern there as a senior. Some of those internships are paid and can lead to the start of a career in that field.
Julie Mount has taken over the high school robotics program, one of several new instructors in the building.
A marketing class has also been added, which Shaffer hopes can lead to those students being in charge of marketing the school in a variety of ways.
The high school will also take part in a new discipline model that is being implemented throughout the district this year.
Shenandoah Superintendent Dr. Kerri Nelson said the model is called the Boys Town approach and is a research-based model that teaches social skills. Nelson adds this gives the students a consistent structure of discipline throughout the building.
The high school also has three foreign exchange students this year. Nelson said Shenandoah High School has had at least one foreign exchange student every year for more than 50 consecutive years.
The district is hosting an open house, Thursday, Aug. 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. Students can bring school supplies, look around their classrooms and the school and meet their teachers and friends.