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Backpacks and Bell Times

Posted on: August 9, 2018
Tags: Back to school


Wilmington High School is committed to providing a safe and inviting environment for learning, one that enhances all of the educational opportunities that we provide our students. We feel it’s vital to be responsive to current concerns, as well as to be proactive with our planning. After recent focus group discussions with students, parents, and staff, we’ve decided to make a couple of changes for the 2018-2019 school year to improve the climate at the HS.


The first change is to allow 3 minutes between classes, rather than 4. Our administrators have tested walk times from the furthest classes, locker stops included, and feel that 3 minutes will be ample time to get to the next class on time.  This will take some strategizing for students to figure out the best path, and to organize their locker visits so that they can be prepared and on time for class. This will also decrease the amount of loitering in the hallways, making travel to class more pleasant for students.  Most importantly, this will add time to the instructional day, and every minute counts!


The second change is that we’ve decided to go back to asking the students to keep their backpacks in their lockers during the day.  Students will be permitted to carry bags up to 11”x11” with them to classes if they need something to carry basic school supplies, their chromebook, a couple of textbooks, etc. Backpacks present a tripping hazard in tight classrooms, in addition to other safety concerns. We want to be proactive and address those issues head-on.


For incoming freshmen, this will be no big adjustment, as the Middle School does not permit students to carry backpacks to classes.  We do realize that for students that have been in the HS for a year or more, this will be a bit more of an adjustment. We have intelligent and thoughtful students at our High School and we’re confident that they can adapt to changes, in the interest of improving the climate and safety at WHS for everyone.


We know it’s a big adjustment. We’ll be working with students and staff the first few weeks of school to help them to develop routines and problem solving skills as they adjust to these changes. We’ll be evaluating the changes and their impact, and will make adjustments if warranted.


At WHS, we want all of our students to feel welcome. WHS is their 2nd home during the school day, so we hope students look at this as an opportunity to put the “luggage” in the locker, simplify their travel time between classes, focus on their learning, and help us to make WHS a great experience for all students.