The hybrid instruction that defined the 2020-21 school year saw fewer student safety incidents at High Point Regional High School. But so far in the 2021-22 school year, Principal Jon Tallamy told the school board on Oct. 19, “students’ needs issues” are rising quickly and rising early, as students adjust to always being together for the first time in two years.
Students who jump from eighth grade in township schools to ninth grade at High Point are making a leap, he said. Some are entering High Point as sophomores for their first “normal” school year, and some freshmen are jumping back into the school environment for the first time since seventh grade.
“Eighth to ninth is always a big jump, and now it’s an even larger jump,” Tallamy said. “We’re seeing it in some of the 10th graders as well. They haven’t been in a structured environment for a while, but we’re making progress every single day.”
To help students, the district is intensely focusing on communicating with them, building relationships, and strengthening trust.
“We talk about the fact that we all struggle,” Tallamy said.
He said counseling agencies are backed up to serve the needs of students and their families. The school is working to fill the gap by strengthening ties with the TIE-Scholl Climate Team and the student council.
They’re also planning to increase intervention, create a program for parental engagement, and launch activities like classroom visits and presentations, the Week of Respect, and Violence Awareness Week.
“They need us more than ever now,” Tallamy said.
During 2020-21 school year, there was one reported incident of violence, which was recorded as a “sexual contact,” and three substance abuse incidents.
“All these incidents are reported to the state police,” Tallamy said.
“They need us more than ever now.” Principal Jon Tallamy