Counseling drafts student survey, administration brainstorms new locker policy, Harmas says

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Principal Tom Harmas looks at an art piece in the art show. Harmas said currently he is working on coordinating a counseling survey to assess mental health among students and brainstorming ways to prevent a locker shortage next year despite an influx of students.

Carson TerBush

According to Principal Tom Harmas, the counseling department plans to send out a school-wide student survey about mental health during finals week to assess how the counseling center can improve. Harmas also said administration is considering a new locker policy for next year that will involve students opting in or opting out of lockers to address a predicted locker shortage as the school population is projected to increase.

Harmas said he recently showed a draft of the mental health survey to students on the Student Advisory Council (SAC), a group of students who meet regularly with the principal to discuss school policies, to obtain feedback on the survey’s content and distribution.

“We took all of (the SAC students’) suggestions and kind of ran with it, so that was a good thing,” Harmas said.

Harmas said the survey is tentatively planned to be distributed to all the math rooms during Final Exam Week and will be given to students after they take their math final, allowing everyone in the student body a chance to take the survey since everyone is enrolled in a math class. However, he said this plan is not finalized and may change in the coming weeks.

Harmas said an issue administration is trying to resolve for next year is providing lockers for all the students despite a predicted increase in school population. To avoid the costs of buying new lockers and finding a space for them in the school, Harmas said he is considering an opt-out policy next year where people who do not plan to use their locker will be able opt out of having one assigned at the beginning of the year, providing enough lockers to those who plan to use them.

“(We) talked about the lockers and how we might be able to (offer an opt-out policy) instead of buying new ones,” Harmas said. “Mr. Schaller’s working on that and what that might look like, so that was a great idea.”

Senior Hannah Niyaz, who said she doesn’t personally use her locker, said she is hesitant about the implications this new locker policy may have if it is indeed enacted next year.

Niyaz said, “Maybe the student might want to change their mind during the semester once things get tough, especially if the student started out without having a locker if they opted out, they might think, ‘I have more books than I thought I would,’ or, ‘I want to put something in my locker. There might be an issue with that.” By Carson TerBush

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