Prep News

The Student News Site of Rockhurst High School

Prep News

Prep News

From Schedule to Staff, New School Year Brings Changes to the Rock

The start of a school year means all students, new and returning, are granted a fresh start. With that fresh start comes adjusting to what is oftentimes many changes to the school.

This school year, the biggest change at Rockhurst for students is the removal of almost all of the combined A/B days. Combined A/B days were implemented last year. On them, all of a student’s classes take place in one day–both the classes they have on ‘A’ block days as well as ‘B’ block days. That means seven 45-minute classes as well as just a 25-minute lunch break. Having all classes in the same day often leaves students with much more work to be done.

“The A/B day cluttered everyone’s homework too much,” said junior Jack McLane. “It made students and teachers have more work and planning that they had to cram the night before.”

Administrators say there were multiple reasons for removing most A/B days. Some of them included allowing time for more activity periods, the desire for more late starts for student programming and the potential benefit for student health and wellness. Conversations with students and teachers alike reveal A/B days are widely disliked around the school, which caused many to advocate for their removal from the week-to-week schedule.

Story continues below advertisement

“As a Jesuit school, we constantly reflect on decisions,” said assistant principal Mike Wickenhauser. “The reflection process includes gathering information from students and teachers.”

Something else the new school year brings is new staff members. There were three new staff hires this year, including teachers Zander Haddad and Anthony McMurray, as well as a new director of security, David Loar.

Haddad is teaching in the Spanish department, and McMurray is the new Drama Director.

Loar came to Rockhurst after spending 27 years with the Kansas City Police Department. He retired earlier this year as a captain. His position is officially called the Director of Campus Security. This is Rockhurst’s first year with that position.

Rockhurst administrators set out to have teachers and staff become more consistent in enforcement of many policies and rules this year.

“We’re wanting to put an emphasis on doing the little things right,” said Dean of Students Matt Darby. “Doing the little things right matters. It puts us in the right spot to do the more important things.”

Specifically, teachers were asked to focus more on the dress code, attendance, technology use and language.

“Doing those things right will give us a greater school experience,” said Darby.

Something that’s not exactly new, but that students will continue to be tasked with is a product of Rockhurst’s Camino Ignaciano Program. The Program, whose name translates to the “Road of Ignatius,” is in its second year. All students will participate. Starting freshman year, students make e-portfolios about their experiences through their years at the Rock. The program helps students model and illustrate the five pillars here at Rockhurst: intellectually competent, open to growth, committed to doing justice, loving, and religious.

“We create e-portfolios that will capture all the activities the boys have been doing for the past four years and send them in to colleges or any career,” said STEAM director Tyler Baker.

The school building and grounds also received some updates this school year. Most visibly was the completion of the outdoor classroom, which can be used for any class now. However less noticeable, was the installation of a new HVAC system for more controlled and consistent temperatures throughout the school.

Both visible and not, the 2023-2024 school year brought multiple changes all students and staff will deal with in some capacity.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Prep News

Your donation will support the student journalists of Rockhurst High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Ted Truebner, Staff Reporter
This is my second year writing for Prep News. I originally joined newspaper to add on to my college resume, however, I stayed in the class because I liked the freedom I received in choosing my own stories and being able to write freely. In this class, I am forced to go out and find information by myself, opposed to other classes. I also enjoy getting an insider view on events going on at the school. Outside of newspaper, a lot of my time is spent playing lacrosse, as I play all year for the school and club teams. During the summer, I work as a lifeguard at Fairway pool. After high school, I plan to either take the political route or go to journalism school, however, I have not completely made up my mind on what route I want to take.
Donate to Prep News

Comments (0)

We at Prep News believe conversation is vital to an informed population. However, we reserve the right to delete comments that include: profanity, attacks on other users based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition, graphic violence or pornography.
All Prep News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *