Having returned from an unexpected eleven-day break from school due to Hurricane Irma (weekends included), administrators at CCHS didn’t seem to skip a beat getting back into routine.
Tuesday began with a junior assembly first period, followed by a senior assembly second period. On Wednesday, freshman and sophomores were called fifth and sixth periods, respectively. Each class’s assistant vice principal headed their respective class assembly, with additional announcements from guest speakers. Class sponsors, class counselors, class officers, school social workers and BRACE advisor Christine Siwek all made an appearance at every gathering, regardless of grade level.
“Though they put a unique spin on their own presentation, each administrator carried the same message throughout, which was about kindness and taking care of one another,” Vera Perkovic, the twelfth-grade assistant vice principal, said. “I think the biggest theme that we tried to get out of all of these [assemblies] is the kindness.”
All the presentations went over basic school regulations, contact information for faculty and the introduction of class officers.
Among all assemblies, reminders of school guidelines consisted of warnings about attendance, skipping, phone use, sign outs and drug use on campus. One particular section of the assembly was dedicated solely to social media use. Despite its constant presence, CCHS rules state using social media on campus, during school hours, is prohibited.
“Social media can be a great thing,” Perkovic said. “But it can also be a place for cowards to hide behind the screen and say really mean things about other people. Let’s use it for the right thing.”
For seniors in particular, parking and skipping rules were expanded upon explicitly. During fourth quarter for the 2015-2016 school year, 46% of seniors missed more than ten days in that period, double the juniors’ absence rate.
“We have rules for safety and learning,” Principal Wendy Doll said. “We want you guys to have every opportunity to learn and have the best education available. But we also need to ensure that the halls of Cooper City High School are safe every single day.”
For juniors, Herff Jones stopped by to hand out class ring leaflets and explain how to purchase them. Student Nicole Generali won a free ring from the graduation accessory company. Administrators also touched base upon Halloween Horror Nights information for juniors and sophomores and junior parking.
Each grade’s assembly focused on different aspects of their high school education: for seniors, it was graduation and senior events; for juniors and sophomores, it was keeping up their grades and beginning standardized testing for colleges, and for freshman, it was introductions and an orientation for their first year of high school.
“This was a reminder of students who have been at Cooper already, but also an introduction for ninth graders,” ninth grade assistant vice principal Carla Hozebin said. “We wanted to go over the basic rules of the school, to get across to the students that academics are important, to be involved is important, to be in clubs and sports is important too.”
Photo by Benjamin Milgram