In Depth

Changing Times

By Prithi Srinivasan

STAFF WRITER

   From teachers to schedules to iPads, much has changed at Pinewood over the past 10 years. In 2010, students would often have to pass tanbark and blacktop on the way to class, and now, all they see is turf. The Cue Quad, Murphy Patio, and Mark Gardner Terrace are all recent additions that have provided students places to bond and spend time outdoors.

   “In terms of the physical aspects of Pinewood, the school is now more useful for the students, and it seems like a more welcoming environment,” writing teacher Sabrina Strand said.

   Another shift that has impacted the lives of students and teachers alike was the switch 43-minute classes to a block schedule. Not only has it reduced the amount of homework students have to complete each night, but it has provided them with more time to understand class material and get help from teachers. It has also given teachers time to cover more material in class and provide an in depth exploration of the material.

   “Before block schedules, I could only assign 20 pages a night. Now, my students can read 40,” literature teacher David Wells said.

   There are also many new opportunities available for students to reflect their own interests and changes in the real world. Clubs such as Green Coalition and book club have provided more opportunities for enrichment, for high school and junior high students alike. Even the computer science department is a recent addition, reflecting a greater focus on technology outside Pinewood.

   The growing interest in technology is seen not only in the always-full computer lab, but also in the backpacks of every student—iPads. iPads were introduced to Pinewood in 2014 and have since provided students with greater access to information and applications. They have allowed for students to combine technology with traditional learning and have become integral to their academic lives. 

   “Students and teachers feel comfortable using technology to look up, research, present, and do other useful work. It helps prepare students for the future,” computer science teacher Haggai Mark said.

   The biggest changes that Pinewood has undergone, however, are those brought by new members of the Pinewood community. In 2018, Gabriel Lemmon became the principal of Pinewood, bringing in new ideas like advisory meetings and “Storytime with Mr. Lemmon” that now seem indispensable. New students come in every year, bringing their own interests and perspectives as well. Since 2010, Pinewood has grown in innumerable ways, and it will continue to do so for decades to come.

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