The health, safety, and security of our students and staff are priorities at Hamilton High School and the Hamilton City School District. In an effort to improve the safety of all, Hamilton High School and District administrators recently sought out and participated in discussions and a building safety overview with the Department of Homeland Security regarding our safety procedures and daily operations. From these discussions came changes to our physical structure and operations.
One of the recommended changes could directly impact your student on daily basis. Moving forward students will no longer be allowed to carry backpacks, drawstring packs, or large purses. All students will be required to store such belongings in their assigned lockers. All students will be assigned a locker. It is the student’s responsibility to purchase a lock.
This move at Hamilton High School is in alignment with other secondary schools within the District which already have implemented this expectation. For our students coming from Garfield, Wilson, and Hamilton Freshman Schools, this will be an easy transition. For current students it might take a few days to adapt to our expectations.
Hamilton High School, through the increased use of technology and classroom sets of books, has tried to limit the use of individually assigned textbooks. While some classes still assign textbooks, most do not. The need to carry a large backpack throughout the day has lessened. Additionally, we want to eliminate tripping hazards that backpacks present in the classroom.
I do realize there are challenges with this expectation. We have a large building and many students have classes throughout our building. It is incumbent upon the student to plan trips to their locker when necessary, but still find time to get to class within our five minute transition window. I trust our students to be able to do this. Likewise, many students participate in clubs or athletics and need to store equipment which might not fit in a standard locker. For these situations please work with your coach or director to determine a course of action.
Also, backpacks will not be allowed at home football games. All unaccompanied students will be required to enter a student-only gate located behind the east side of the home grandstand.
I would ask that you speak with your student about our expectations and please support our decisions which we make with safety in mind.