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The (Empty) Heart of the School

What the courtyard was, and could be

Everyday, students walk past the school’s courtyard. Hardly anyone is ever out there, save for the occasional class or teacher lunch break. As the days get warmer and the school gets stuffier, the green grass continues to look more and more inviting. So often, it is wondered why students are almost never allowed into the yard. Almost all day, the doors leading out to that small breath of air are locked.

When students were asked about the using the courtyard, almost all students replied yes to being allowed out for times such as AAA and lunch. Out of 163 responses, 97% of students said they would use the courtyard if it was available to them.

Hazel Wintermantel | Hoofprint.net

We talked to Assistant Principal Kristen Thompson about the courtyard, asking her about the original idea of it. Ms. Thompson said the courtyard was built “to give the kids some green space”, as well as to showcase the work done by landscaping and agriculture students. Some years ago, the courtyard was used for dances, and for fun night. As for now, Ms. Thompson said it’s used “on an as needed basis by teachers… it’s still used, it’s just used differently.”

We inquired whether or not the school would consider letting students use the courtyard a little more. Ms. Thompson replied that “the whole thing comes down to supervision.” In the past, when there were courtyard dances, there have been incidents with things such as broken bushes and an excessive amount of trash. Thompson also replied with “As long as kids are takin’ care of stuff, there’s some flexibility. It’s when kids don’t take care of it, and we have a mess.”

With summer fast approaching, students would enjoy having a break from the brick walls. The admin have spoken, and it seems that if we were ever given the opportunity, it would be up to us to keep it clean and show our respect for the courtyard.

By Hazel Wintermantel and Caitlin Drews

Hazel Wintermantel

"You've gotta follow that dream, wherever that dream may lead." -Elvis

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