What does the word change mean to you? 


Sophia Alpert, Staff Writer

At Waltham High School we have experienced a lot of changes in school culture and rules. Juniors at WHS have had three principals in three years. I am a sophomore at WHS and want to know how my peers in all grades feel about the changes and what they believe their role is.

What word do students associate with change? I received a mixture of responses including “better things happening” and “growing up”,  but overall, students view change as a positive thing. Before I learned how students feel about the changes this school year, I wanted to know how they felt about last school year. 

“It was fine but, everyone was trashing everything and breaking things, and it was crazy,” recalls a WHS 10th-grader. Last year was our class’ first entire in-person school year due to Covid. Many students struggled and that made our 2021-2022 year hectic. I believe the staff and students recognized it was time for a change. 

We have a new principal Mr. Braggs and three new assistant principals along with numerous first-year staff. Policies are being added and changed and students can sense that this year will be different.“I like the year so far. I think Mr. Braggs cares about the school and changing things so that we are actually learning,” a WHS student stated. Another student responded, “I think it’s a big change. There are definitely more rules, but it’s better.”

Although most students feel we are off to a positive start, we still have a long way to go. The most important question for me to ask was what change WHS students want to see. The change we are making has pros and cons, but the only way to move forward is to look to the students. I asked 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade students what change they are looking for: 

“I would add more BIPOC teachers. There are not enough teachers of color, the teachers don’t match the demographic of students.” 

“I see a lot of physical violence. I don’t know, maybe work on being more kind.” 

“I would put an end to the negligence of students that need help and Spanish-speaking students. I think that a lot of the time teachers push them to the corner.” 

These were powerful responses that prove the point that students see problems and have solutions. I want to make sure that the students know where to go to share these opinions. When asked if she knows where to share her thoughts about the student experience at WHS,  a 10th-grade student said, “Where would I even go?” 

I came to the conclusion that students see and feel the change all around them. They have reflections and opinions, and I hope this article is the voice they didn’t know how to share. 


Note – This article was written before the October 26, WHS student walkout, and that protest was a perfect example of students making change in the school. Everybody that spoke was really brave.