This school year, Fountain Valley High School (FVHS) has made some modifications to the structure of the school administration compared to last year. The responsibilities of each assistant principal have been altered, and there will be two new assistant principals by the month of October.
Assistant principal changes
Over the summer, former Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction Jonathan Hurst left to become an assistant principal at Canyon High School in the Orange Unified School District.
Former Assistant Principal of Guidance Rachel Kloppenburg took over Hurst’s old role overseeing curriculum and instruction. Current Assistant Principal of Guidance Casey Harelson moved to FVHS from Westminster High School.
However, it was announced in an email that Kloppenburg would be leaving FVHS to take on a position within the Newport-Mesa Unified School District as of Sept. 29.
Gretchen Ernsdorf will be taking on the interim role of Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction. Ernsdorf will remain in the role until a full-time replacement is hired.
Administration responsibilities changes and tardy policy
Starting this school year, Assistant Principal of Activities and Athletics Hayato Yuuki will join Assistant Principal of Supervision Elliot Sklonick to assist in supervision tasks.
The assistant principal overseeing curriculum and instruction also has new responsibilities to assist Yuuki regarding parts of ASB and FVHS clubs.
The main reason for this switch in administration responsibilities was the implementation of the new tardy policy.
“A lot of the changes have to do with the need to track student attendance. We had a tardy problem last year, so we wanted to look at it,” FVHS Principal Paul Lopez said. “We knew that we needed to have enough administration support to track tardies and absences. There were a number of students that had a lot of absences and were not being tracked.”
For example, Lopez credited part of the tardy problem to students who would not arrive at school on time during zero to first period or when returning from off-campus lunch to go to fifth period. The new tardy policy intends to make it easiest for teachers to track student attendance and also involve administration when necessary.
According to the FVHS tardy policy, there are now three tiers of consequences to address tardiness. The first few tardies involve conversations with teachers, but additional absences could lead to detention and the loss of parking permits or lunch passes.
Lopez believes that this new system will also hold an alternative benefit: the school can hold conversations to assist students if they need additional support with personal circumstances affecting their school attendance.
“If you don’t track things, we can’t get better … We don’t want ‘gotcha’ moments [but] just want students to be on time because continuously having students walk in late becomes a disruption to the learning environment,” Lopez said. “I think the school year is off to a good start, and everybody is seeing the little tiny improvements we’re making here and there.”