Two Boiling Points of View: Remodel provides more room for everyone

Ariella Joffe, 12th Grade

I drove into school when I got back from summer, and all I could say was, “Wow!” The walls as I entered were painted Shalhevet bright red. The color shocked me at first, but then I thought all we are doing is showing our school spirit, which we pride ourselves on.

Then I went inside, and it was even more remarkable. After school ended last year, I was helping out so I knew about some of the changes before, but when I got back, I was shocked that so much construction had been done in so little time. I saw the final stages — tiles being put down, walls being painted and classrooms being moved around – and got to help paint the lockers a darker, brighter blue (which was an awesome experience).

The way the school works now is that there is more space for both the teachers and the students. They moved all the teachers to one hallway in the school and gave them a new teacher lounge that is frankly more sophisticated in space as well as style and technology. Teachers now get an entire hallway where they can get away from the students for a few minutes a day.

The teachers at Shalhevet love to help out the students in their spare time, but they still need some alone time, just like members of a family. This extra space will give them a chance to share ideas and teaching styles with all the teachers in the school, rather than just their own departments. Plus, the students can still come into the teacher’s hallway; it is not off limits.

Another notable change has been the creation of a super-sized classroom combining Mrs. Sunshine’s and Mrs. Gidanian’s old rooms. This means there won’t be an air conditioning problem anymore, as some people know, and it will allow for teaching more students at a time. Also, classes taught there won’t have to be cramped up like they were before. Entering the merged room now, I cannot picture it as two separate rooms any more –they’d be too small.

Another new development of Shalhevet is the addition of Student Committees room and the Israel Guidance room. Now if a student has a Fairness issue, they can just bring it to the Fairness room instead of trying to find the chair and deliver it in person. The Israel Guidance room will make it less complicated to discuss a gap year in Israel.

Other changes have given the school more of a professional look. Shalhevet prides itself on being a college preparatory school, and the conference rooms are similar to how students meet with teachers in college. The Head of School’s office is now adjacent to the offices of the principals, instead of at the end of the building. That just makes sense.

Some smaller changes are important and helpful too. Instead of faded blue with writing on the inside, the lockers are a nice blue with plain grey on the inside. And for all the kids who love to open the windows but can never get them closed, you will be glad to know that handles have been placed on every window in the building.

Rachel Hecht’s counselor office has been moved upstairs, so it is easier to reach. There are now no classes downstairs except PE. The student lounge is now right next door to the lunch room, so it is easier to eat there. In addition to eating in the lounge, students can also eat outside in the front or on the side next to our marvelous garden.

I think that everyone will be skeptical at first about all these changes but will learn to love them. Change is hard, but it must be embraced.