New Changes on the Flint Hill Campus


By Saanvi Lamba, Section Editor

As we go into the new 2022-23 school year, along with welcoming the Class of 2026, there are several accompanying changes at the Flint Hill Upper School. This ranges from the very schedules that make up our days to lunches, phones, and mask mandates that had once taken control of our lives since March of 2020.


Looking into the new year and our daily schedules, there is a new addition: ALS block. This period, also known as the “Activity, Lab, and Studio Block,” creates an extra study hall opportunity for students not taking certain APs. These APs include Arts and Sciences, which students use as time to complete their labs. This block every Wednesday and Friday allows students to work on assignments or communicate with their peers. “I really like it,” said a fellow student who prefers to remain anonymous. “It gives more time to study or have a break from classes. It also gives extra study time to those who may have meetings during office hours.” For those braving AP sciences, there is also a positive outlook, “I am in AP Physics C, so in previous years I would have had two class periods dedicated to physics. Instead, I have a second free period which helps me tackle my heavy workload this year,” responded senior Kathleen White. 


From a student’s perspective, the ALS block is broadly liked. Apart from a block addition, the time for morning advisories has been removed from the schedule. This change allows teachers to have more time for meetings, work, and class preparations; for students, it allows them to prove that previous tardiness was only due to the morning advisories and gives them an extra couple of minutes of sleep. While in favor of both student and teacher, opinions on this situation vary. “I’m glad we don’t have morning advisory because if your first period is free, students are allowed to arrive late and have more time to sleep in,” responded freshman, Shaunak Rajpara. But there are also students with opposing opinions, “I do wish we had advisory in the mornings. I think it allowed me to ease into the school day without going straight into learning,” commented a freshman who prefers to remain anonymous. While we have to credit the faculty for creating an amazing opportunity known as the ALS block, students have different reasonable narratives regarding the loss of morning advisory. 


As individuals have been welcomed back onto campus, there is a new addition we refer to as phone holders in every classroom. These implementations were made in the interest of promoting focus for students and minimizing any scenarios of cheating. As each student walks into class, they are told to put their phones in one of the phone holder’s pockets and are not allowed to take them out until the end of class or with permission. Some students believe this change is no different than their previous learning experience, “I don’t think the implementation of phone holders will have any significant impact,” said White. Other students agree with the ideas behind the new additions, but some have expressed frustration. “I mean it’s very stereotypical phone addicted teen of me to say but I feel more comfortable having my phone near me even if I’m not on it,” quoted one student, preferring to remain anonymous. These phone holders are a new change, and as the year progresses, students will eventually adapt to this new standard.


Midday, students break off into classes or their lunch periods. These meals, made to fuel students’ and teachers’ working bodies, have gained a variety of opinions; one of these is a group idea of approval. Students have voiced their appreciation for this improvement in menu and quality, also reminiscing of how these meals resemble pre-Covid lunches. Along with a frequently changing menu, there is a variety of drink options that students can choose from. Students agree that Flint Hill’s provided lunches aren’t bad, but their main concern has been the lunch lines and crowds; Apart from that, it’s smooth sailing.


Following the Covid-19 pandemic, a time of confusion and struggle ensued; because of this, Flint Hill’s dress guidelines relaxed as leeway for the stressful times students and teachers had to endure. What once required students to wear business-like attire every day, Flint Hill’s dress code has become casual, with the limitation of remaining respectful. For the past two years, teachers have politely reminded students what they can and cannot wear. This year, though, teachers have voiced they will start to crack down on dress guidelines and deliver detentions when seen as necessary. Students are grateful for this freedom of dress code, however, their only minuscule response is the preference of being able to wear sweatpants. 


In exchange for this kindness, Flint Hill has informed students of the mandatory Business Dress days during special school occasions, such as our recent all-school gathering. “I don’t despise them, but it’s kind of a pain. I think five per year is not unreasonable, though,” responded freshman Brecken Paige, when asked about her opinion on business dress days. Students have been abiding by this exchange but have made small requests, such as fewer limitations on what to wear and how dress shoes often had people coming into the nurse’s office for bandaids. A suggestion of the guidelines following what the original dress code was has been another suggestion. With a relaxed dress code and Business Dress days as a compromise, the Flint Hill community has a mixture of thoughts and opinions, waiting to be voiced.


During mid-morning Office Hours on September 16, students were allowed to showcase their talents during Open Mic. After signing up, from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. students take turns using their voices to spread their capabilities and creativity. This opportunity, though many students do not participate, is seen in a positive light. “I think it’s a cool idea. I like that people have a way to share their creativity,” shared one anonymous student. The ability to showcase your talents not only prepares performers for real-life audiences but shows audience members the different capabilities of their peers.


March of 2020 marked the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing people to mask to avoid the sickness that was ripping its way through the world. Towards the end of the 2021/22 school year, Flint Hill made masking completely optional which has carried into the current school year. This lack of necessity has created a feeling of moving on from this challenge and has sparked positive remarks from many students. “I think getting rid of the mask mandates was definitely the right move,” responded a student who would rather remain anonymous. “If people are more comfortable wearing them then they still can, but I don’t think the pandemic would’ve ever come to a close if we kept wearing masks. We needed to take steps to get out of the pandemic and I think stopping mask mandates was the right thing to do.” To some, this change has marked the closing of the chapter we knew as the Coronavirus pandemic. This closure has prompted events to return to normal, also agreed on by Paige, “It’s so awesome to sit next to people and see their faces and everything like that. I love having a normal high school experience.” As with the idea of returning to normality, the concept of common illnesses, such as colds, has begun to spread as usual. The Flint Hill community took a big hit from the pandemic, and as a community, we have been supporting each other to return to normalcy.


New members of the Flint Hill community are settling into the school year, alongside returning students becoming acclimated to the new changes. As Huskies, we are taught to stand alongside one another as one family, this also means adjusting as a family. All the new changes made have been considered to benefit each member of Flint Hill; with that in mind, good luck and I hope you all have a good 2022-23 school year.