Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 31, 2014

FHS seniors speak with school board members

School lunches were a ‘hot-button topic’ in discussions on what’s good and what’s bad at Fairfield High School.
By DIANE VANCE, Ledger staff writer | Jan 24, 2013

Fairfield High School seniors have the opportunity to speak with school board members face-to-face in government class and Monday, FHS Principal Aaron Becker shared students’ comments from the “exit meetings.”

“Seniors enjoy getting to have a voice with board members,” said Becker.

Positive student comments, in no particular order or priority, about “things going well” included:

• New track.

• Bullying not an issue.

• Plenty of opportunities for extra-curricular.

• Teachers are available when students need help.

• Students feel more engaged in class because of [teachers’] professional development.

• Like Advanced Placement classes but need more.

• Open parking.

• Caring teachers.

• Eight period day – like more electives.

• Challenging teacher for the most part; and challenging students.

• More activities created/delivered by teachers in classroom lessons.

• Open campus-students.

• Comfortable to talk with principals.

• Comfortable to talk with counselors.

• Many activities offered to get involved.

• PE classes opt out option.

The list of suggestions for improvement is longer (similar remarks have been combined):

• Safety and security of building — nothing to keep them safe — no buzzer system or view of front entrance.

• Discussion of bond issue and need to vote for renovation of FHS facility.

• HVAC — too hot or too cold in building often.

• Science and a few other classes not big enough to do hands-on activities; make two rooms from the three when moving science rooms.

• Band and choir rooms need ADA accessibility and more storage.

• Embarrassed about the look of many parts of the school; feel an updated environment will help with positive culture of building.

• Leaky roofs – see buckets in hallways when heavy rain.

• Locker rooms.

• 1:1 laptops; need more accessibility.

• Technology infrastructure inadequate for 1:1 currently.

• Cloud based programming.

• Want teachers to have access to getting around security filters for technology; sites blocked that are needed for research. Local staff have access to unblock sites.

• Students cannot open PDF files.

• Food, no improvement from beginning of the year.

• Run out of food at third shift – no salads.

• Lunch room too small, lunch line too long.

• Bring back “grab and go” lunches.

• Need more time to eat lunch.

• Could close campus if better lunches and more space.

• Open campus – not enough room to house everyone.

• Open campus and study hall for seniors.

• Honor study hall.

• Eight period day – too many classes to keep up.

• Need longer periods for classes.

• Need longer class periods for science and composition.

• Need better access to teachers during day during their free time.

• Classes not long enough.

• Some want weight training separate class.

• School spirit, want more spirit days.

“Lunch was a hot-button topic,” said board president Jennifer Anderson.

Fred McElwee, director of auxiliary services, said the popular “grab and go” lunches are no longer feasible with the new federal guidelines for school meals to include more fresh vegetables and fruits.

“I commend our food workers staff,” he said. “We applied for the federal 6-cent food reimbursement. Schools could qualify for 6-cents per meal served by demonstrating the district is meeting the new meal guidelines. Fairfield qualified. We are one of only 13 school districts [in Iowa] to qualify. “

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