The 2018-2019 school year has finally come around, and a new year means an orientation for each grade. When it comes to the seniors, they’ve been here long enough to know the rules and the regulations of ISPA, such as the uniform policy or attendance and tardies. However, there are a few things that have changed this time around. For instance, hoodies are no longer allowed at school, so the ISPA crewneck sweatshirts are the only acceptable options. Similarly, the khaki pants are not allowed to be in the style of joggers, so any individual that still has those needs to either cut them off the end of the pants or buy a new pair. When it comes to the attendance policy, a maximum of 10 excused absences and 20 tardies are considered to be admissible by the district. Exceeding those limits puts one at risk of missing out on fun events or field trips, or even worse, not being able to graduate. Instead of having a Winter Formal dance in December, there is now a Homecoming dance near the end of October. Furthermore, a school trip to Islands of Adventure has been added in October, and the spots are limited so it’s best to purchase them as soon as possible. Since the seniors are the oldest bunch in the school, it is only fitting that they receive the privilege of having senior sweatpants (only to be worn on Fridays) and senior hoodies (which can be worn every single day of the week). Unfortunately, all of the parking spots for seniors are sold out, which means that there are no available spots for those who wish to park their cars at school. In case anyone already forgot, we have a different Cap Advisor who is known as Ms. Luis and will be located in the media center to answer any college-related questions and concerns. As per usual, grad bash will be taking place in April, while prom will be happening at the beginning of May. Although it has only been a short amount of time since school started, there is no doubt in my mind that the seniors are going to make their last year at ISPA be the most memorable and enjoyable one thus far.
As we finally begin ushering in a new school year, ISPA is helping its Class of 2021, of which many members are new students, adjust to the sudden transition through Sophomore orientation. Although they’ve already made it through freshman year, and therefore already have a basic understanding of how to navigate through the trials of a high school term, ISPA still decided to give them the extra push that they might have needed to fully understand the resources at their disposal, such as a new CAP advisor, and any other members of the staff that could aid them as they continue their high school careers and prepare for the rigorous testing (SATs/ACTs) that they will have to endure in the coming years. In addition to this, new changes that were recently implemented for the first time this year were reviewed, and it was made clear that the policies regarding everyday uniforms and student IDs were made much stricter than they had been in the past (joggers are no longer allowed, any sweaters or jackets with hoodies attached to them are permanently banned, and student IDs must be worn around your neck at all times). Security measures have also been greatly increased, and a police officer will now be coming into school every day to make sure that tragedies such as what occurred at Parkland and in Jacksonville are not repeated. As well as discussing these more serious adjustments, since the Class of 2021 is fairly large, students participated in an activity that allowed them to better get to know other sophomores that they had not yet met, hopefully easing their nerves and further opening their minds. All in all, faculty and students alike are looking forward to a productive and enriching year, everyone ready to work hard and succeed to the best of their abilities.