Changes and Challenges: Adjustments Faced by Students and Staff in the New School Year 

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It’s a new year at Ann Richards, and students and staff are just beginning to settle into the rhythm of school.

Picture left to right, Victoria Olguin (11), Emme Veselka (11), Tiff Booe (11) and AP English teacher Jaime Langley discuss the book, The Grapes of Wrath, during a “Flex Day” book club. Photo by Camille Pfister.

The year starts with a major shift in schedules, now distinguishing Mondays to be used for personalized schedules which we call “flex days.” This change took a lot of getting used to, for both 

students and teachers. Students have more time between classes to complete homework and study, but less time for in class teaching. Teachers must cram a full year’s worth of curriculum into a schedule that now has fewer days during the week. This makes class feel more like college, where students have more ownership of their own education. They must take responsibility for their time, using the flex days, staying before and after school, and spending more hours outside of school learning by themselves. 

New year, new grades. The 6th grades are getting used to a new school environment. They have new teachers, new peers, a new building. All things to get used to and begin to blend with. They are the class that will only spend a year and a half in the old building and the m

ajority of their Ann Richards education in the new building. 

The 9th graders make the switch from white shirts to blue shirts, middle school to high school. They begin their pathways, starting the long standing tradition all over again. The freshmen are also in uncharted territory as they are the first freshman class with a required AP Computer Science course. They have the traditions that years of Ann Richards students have done before them, that come with lots of advice and lessons. They also have unknown lessons

The entire sixth grades gather in the cafeteria for morning assembly. Photo by Camille Pfister.

that are being added to the required curriculum, ones that the previous students haven’t experienced before with little advice from older students that can be offered.

The 10th graders move into the stress of having their first AP course. Now, they are experiencing for the first time the rigor that comes along with an Advanced Placement class, which is World History. They must learn the content that the exam will cover, as well as the type of questions and essays they must get used to in order to pass the exam. 

The 12th graders are now the top dogs on campus, in charge of leaving a lasting legacy. As seniors, they have a responsibility to their little sisters to be a good example and lead them. Throughout the year, their college acceptances are broadcast through social media posts on the account @co2020admitted, which has never been seen before. As the year comes to a close, the seniors must prepare to leave their school of up to 7 years and move onto the next adventure. 

We’ve only finished two six weeks of this year. There is plenty of time to make memories and face new challenges. The time is now, the place is right here. Let’s conquer it.