New and returning students of Webster City high school and their parents gathered yesterday for orientation as the start of the school year closes in. Webster City high school principal John Elkin kicked off orientation with an overview of the evening's events and introduced 2012 Webster City high school graduate Lissandra Villa. Her speech, entitled, "Making the Best of WCHS," focused on the importance of staying active and involved in one's academic and extracurricular life.
Students and parents took a tour of the facilities after the presentations. Elkin said he hopes the tour helps alleviate any jitters students might have coming to the school.
"I think we all have that concern of not knowing where you're going at times and I think when you know where you're going ahead of time and you can relax and I'm hoping the open house people can go around and see where they're at," Elkin said.
WCHS principal John Elkin began orientation with an overview and discussed new protocols for the year.
This year, the high school is partly hosting students from Northeast Hamilton high school. Those students are part of a partial day sharing program where Northeast Hamilton will hold their student's core classes and Webster City high school will host their elective and math classes.
Juniors and seniors of Northeast Hamilton will be in Webster City for periods one through four, with freshmen and sophomores there for periods one through three. Elkin said this was done to keep Northeast Hamilton economically viable with declining enrollment and to give their students the best possible education.
Another addition to Webster City high school is the recent employment of new associate principal Troy Smock. He started his new job on Aug. 1 and Elkin said it has been a great fit for him. Smock was hired over the summer after what Elkin said was a rigorous interview and screening process.
One of Smock's duties will be that of disciplinary action and dealing with office referrals at the school. While office referrals have decreased substantially in the past decade, the 2011-2012 school year saw an increase for the first time since the 1995-1996 school year. Elkin said last year being his first year on the job, combined with athletic director and head football coach Bob Howard taking much of the responsibility of an associate principal as dean of students last year was a tough change.
"I think we didn't do some things maybe we should have as adults, teaching expectations and all that," Elkin said. "A third of my staff is new, we have a new freshman class coming in and we have Northeast kids with a partial day. It doesn't matter if the administration had changed in previous years, just that is a culture change right there. So I think this is the perfect time to revisit procedures and protocols."
Those protocols will be discussed on the second day of school with students.
Elkin said he has high hopes for the 2011-2012 year. He said the school is evolving with new things coming into play at Webster City high school and he's excited for it.
"There are new ideas, new teachers and students from Northeast high school, there's the new gym and the evolution of the school through those new things will help the school grow and become a better place," Elkin said.