Hillcrest High School has appreciated the 250 students and the 25 parents who participated in our public forums. We value and consider all of the opinions expressed and will be holding more opportunities for students and parents to express their opinions in the future. Hillcrest is a positive and inclusive environment and we would like to be proactive in addressing any concerns.
To that end, both in the parent and student forums, comments were made and questions were asked about how our new building is being constructed. There will be a public forum for comment on the new building plans on April 18th at 6pm at Hillcrest High School
The other topics discussed at both forums are as follows:
- Students want more training on what to do during a drill, with the teachers and other students taking it seriously. Students specifically want to know what to do during passing times, lunches, and when an intruder is visible. Multiple suggestions were made for an opt-in active shooter drill.
- Parents also made suggestions for better drills and for the opt-in active shooter drill, although concerns were expressed about the traumatic impact such a drill might have.
- These are great suggestions and administration will hold more specific training on drills for both students and teachers. We are required by the state to only have four drills per year - we probably won’t increase this but we will make them more effective.
What makes students feel unsafe:
- Parking lot is chaotic and people just need to follow rules in general. Not having relationships with counselors, teachers, and other adults. Students want a way for the school to mass communicate in emergencies. Suggestions were made to better advertise the SafeUT app and to provide training for teachers, counselors, and administrators that is similar to Hope Squad training.
- Parents also expressed concerns about the parking lot and crosswalks around the school. They were shaken and scared by the false alarm active shooter situation last year, but felt that the communication helped. Parents were excited about the reporting possibilities of the SafeUT app.
- The school community council has addressed the walking routes and sent letters to Midvale city. Mr. Leavitt has also met with the mayor on these issues. We invite parents to contact Midvale city with their concerns regarding walking routes to and from school. We will continue to monitor the parking lot and teach explicit behavior expectations for our student drivers. This will become increasingly important as we will have temporary parking lots during new school construction. We believe strongly that adding two more entrances to Hillcrest High School will greatly enhance safety and this has been included in the building plans.
- Administration will also develop a plan to talk about the SafeUT app with students and reward students for having the app on their phone. We will train students on how to use the app wisely.
How to make a more positive environment:
- Students want everyone to treat each other with kindness. Again, students emphasized wanting relationships with the adults in the building and coping skills to deal with negative social situations. Suggestions were made for empathy lessons and trainings to develop a culture of connectivity (actual student words!).
- Parents emphasized the diversity of Hillcrest and the positive effects that has had on student relationships.
- We appreciated the responses celebrating the diversity of our population. Hillcrest is a unique, wonderful place to be. Administration feels that with our new Academic Prep Period (APP) next year, there will be greater opportunities to teach explicit behavior expectations, create positive relationships between adults and students in the building, and build tolerance. As one student said, at the end of the day it is everyone’s responsibility to just be nice.
- Students felt that they should be responsible for monitoring their own social media and emphasized that students need to be encouraged to report things that make them feel unsafe or threatened. They also feel that school personnel has an obligation to act on those reports.
- Parents felt that social media could be used for good – both for communication during a crisis and as a reporting mechanism. Some parents expressed concern for the false information that could go out on social media. Parents also suggested Hope Squad training and better teaching of coping skills.
- This question was a little misinterpreted. Administration will not be monitoring social media on students’ private phones or accounts. Under state law, we do reserve the right to question students and search their social media accounts concerning posts and activity that have been reported as suspicious. The exploration of the topic of social media is more about students and parents being aware of reportable events being trafficked on social media and then following through with police and school reporting. We encourage students and parents to be more public in their conversations about out-of-the-norm social media activity.
Canyons District and FFKR will be showing off renderings of the new HHS on April 18th at 6pm at HHS. The public is invited to come look over the architectural drawings and speak with school officials and architects. Below is the picture of the site to pique your interest.
Click here to access the full-size image