Hampton High Rings in the New Academic Year


Your 2021-2022 Hamptonian Staff

The Hamptonian Staff

August 26th, 2021, was a day of nervous energy. Student emotions mixed, with some excited, others anxious as the four grade levels and faculty entered the high school altogether again to start the 2021-2022 school year. To describe the day as smooth would be putting things politely. With new policies, shifts in schedules, and a generalized overhaul of most things from previous years, things were surely different, to say the least. Despite all of this, morale was high within the school, and the day managed to pass on with some relative ease. Albeit rocky, the HHS community held out well on the first day back and set a strong start for the days to come.

Parking and Dismissal

In the wake of the new year, two major adjustments have been made to our schedule. First, our school is undergoing renovations, which limits and rearranges students’ parking accessibility. Student parking has been moved to the community center parking lot. This shift has affected students quite a bit when it comes to traffic and getting to school. After questioning several on how they feel about the situation after their first day back, we’ve managed to gather that the general consensus seemed to be that while the new situation was a bit hectic at first, it was organized enough that the traffic wasn’t bad, and the students managed to get to school just fine. However, some have expressed that they were displeased with the longer walk to the high school and the fact that the gravel lot is still open at this time yet unavailable to students. While a few aren’t happy with it, most seem to be fine with the new parking.

Additionally, we have later start times, which disrupts previous routines that upperclassmen followed. While new dismissal rules are being enacted after class, students are disproportionately unhappy with the new regulation. In order for the busses to have a smoother transition in and out of school, administration has enforced a diffused schedule for students’ busses to come. The biggest problem as of dismissal for the first day was miscommunication. Joyce Yang in 9th grade shared “Dismissal was bad. I went to the front even though I was [going to] pick up.” Construction just starting all around the building has certainly caused some skepticism on where to be and when, although as the year progresses there is room for improvement.

Dress Code

The new leniency of the dress code has come as  a pleasant surprise to many students. “[I] expected the dress code to be strict,” Junior Giulia Mauro said,  “[But] It was not.”  The relaxing of the restrictions of what can be worn has given many students a lot more freedom with the clothing they choose. The response to this revised dress code has been overwhelmingly positive among the body. In previous years girls have felt threatened by the dress code because of the limitations it could put on their closet, but now it opens up many more possibilities. In particular, tank tops, skirt lengths, and cropped shirts have been much better tolerated. The original controversial requirement on the width of tank top straps have finally eased. Self expression can be done in many ways, but one of the simplest is clothing. So, for young adults to have some type of freedom in the clothing they choose can improve their school experience. Something as minimal as dress code could be seen as futile, but many students find that fashion makes their year much more enjoyable.

Masks and COVID-19

After all of the immense changes to our school in the last two years, students are finding past disruptions remain in place. Social distancing stayed the same, mask regulations stayed the same, along with the constant reminders to put it above your nose and to keep it there. It’s obvious that school hasn’t had a dramatically different change since COVID. Marlee Rudy, a junior, said, “I was expecting exactly what I actually experienced considering I really didn’t think we were going to go back without masks.”

Senior Bailey Ware had some of the same thoughts: “It was like any other school year, I was nervous. I didn’t want it to be like the last school year but it was the same, sadly.” Many students seem to feel some sort of disappointment. Whether it be that they can’t show their face or have to remember to bring a mask everyday, these challenges are clearly affecting the student body. It’s especially disheartening now that COVID is 2 years old and vaccines have been available to almost anyone who wants one. It’s obvious that Hampton High School students are dispirited about the similarities to our last school year.

Masks are here, once again, at Hampton High School, with a non-optional policy in place during the 2020-2021 academic year. The school board voted that masks would be mandated for the older grades at Hampton just a few days before the start of school on August 26th. “The sudden change in the mask policy was unsettling, to say the least,” says Dan Bratu, a sophomore. In lieu of this, some students were questioning whether or not the mandate would be followed, but ended up surprised at the level of compliance. “There was talk about all the seniors walking in without a mask,” says senior Michael Witherup. “I came in and I saw everyone wearing one.” Fellow senior Kendall Pryal was also surprised that “everyone wore one willingly” after the requirement was announced.

Additionally, students seemed dismayed that COVID cases were up and mitigations were back in place. “I wanted this to be a normal school year,” Witherup says. Haley Donnelly, another senior, agrees it is anything but normal. And yet, if there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s to effectively cope with change and be flexible. The first day of school was “good overall” according to Donnelly. “The masks are making it so hard to interact with people,” adds senior Noah Pilarski. “But it’s another year.”

Freshmen First Take

Adjusting to high school is one of life’s milestones. But how does this “milestone” translate in a pandemic? These past seventeen months have been a struggle for everyone,but the class of 2025 feels especially mystified by this transition. Unlike the upperclassmen, this year’s freshmen enter high school without many of its amenities. Although protocol is different, freshmen have agreed that it’s not quite as disorganized as they expected. “We still have to wear masks, but we still are pretty much normal and I haven’t heard of many cases happening yet, so that’s good.” commented Jacob Barton. “I thought it would be more uncoordinated, but it seems like the teachers and the students all followed the plan.” says Elizabeth Twomey. Though the pandemic regulations were easy to overcome, typical shocks still sting. “ I can think of a couple classes that did not meet what I wanted.” adds Liz Dowling. “I feel like things would be going a lot faster, we wouldn’t be taking so much time to ease into things.” states Sienna Lasek, adding that “there seems to be less freedom.. but either way, school is school.” “Honestly I can’t remember much before the pandemic.. but I really don’t know how much different it could have been” Dowling reports.  Is this seemingly impossible task  just a  part of all of the ninth graders’ lives?

(Elin Boyce, 9)


Adapting to high school is a freshman’s first daunting task. The High School has a different  ambience than the Middle School’s. The new  atmosphere is something  to get used to. Walking in the building for the first time was a new world. People were laughing throughout the halls and there was an overall feeling of relaxation. While at the middle school, there were teachers everywhere and  no breathing room. However, it was the total opposite in high school. The phone situation was  completely different. The freedom to use it in the halls added a new excitement. It was a little nerve-racking at first, because usually phones are not allowed out in school. But, with this rule in place, my phone became a useful tool for communication with other freshmen. The upperclassmen were tall, distant figures. In the hallway they seemed very old and intimidating, while freshmen seemed young and inexperienced. But over time, when an upperclassman would pass in the hallway, I eventually felt at ease.  All in all, it was a great experience that had many emotions rising for the day of school.

(Maria Zebrine, 9)


The school year starting off great does not diminish the world’s biggest concern: COVID-19. We are still in a pandemic, with multiple questions in our minds. How long will these routines last, how comfortable should we truly get, what happens if we all fall down? While there are some vague answers, there are also some optimistic outlooks: how far we’ve come, the stronger relationship between teachers and students, and the ability to work from different places. Hybrid had many students in the dark, but now with a year of experience we are stepping closer to that light. We have not forgotten everything we have learned and are continuing to grow and move forward as a school and as people. There is much hope for this school year, and students are more motivated to have fun than any year before.