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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Worthy of tradition, but WOW Week can be improved

By Ashley Sanchez, Brian Ly | Staff Writers

   With scavenger hunts, competitive games and The Habit food truck, Gabrielino High School students were definitely wowed during their first week back on campus for in-person instruction. However, the three-day event known as WOW Week was a bit overwhelming for some and can be improved for next year.. 

   Administration, staff, ASB and peer helping students assisted in the WOW Week planning process which began in May of this year. According to ASB President Theresa Huynh, the goal of this event was for students and staff to reconnect. 

   “They put effort into connecting students and staff and a smooth transition into the new school year,” stated Huynh. 

   It is undeniable that WOW Week was the result of meticulous planning and aimed to ease students back  into attending school in person. The committee’s work did not go unnoticed, as many students echoed praise for the event. 

   “WOW week was […] enjoyable,” said freshman Mytam Nguyen. “It helped many people, including me, know their teachers better. I would like to do it again next year.” 

   However, while most activities were well received, many aspects of WOW Week fell short of expectations.

   Seniors Connie Yuan and Ashley Ou felt the scavenger hunt was their least favorite activity. Yuan stated that this was because of the activity “not being very organized,” as students seemed to wander aimlessly or stop briefly for a crowded photo and then move on to the next spot.

   From the lack of space in hallways and offices, to the blaring heat, the activity felt dull and uneventful, especially for students who were  already familiar with the campus.    

    Walking through crowded hallways was another complaint that students had. Classes piled up outside the Student Center and the Wellness Center waiting to take a photo or receive an introduction from Chris Saportio, the Wellness Center coordinator. This made those wary of COVID-19 transmission uncomfortable.

   “We tried to ensure that students do not come in close contact with others for a long amount of time,” stated Huynh. “Originally we had planned for rallies in the gym but a few days before school started, the health guidelines changed.”

    But WOW week is a worthy event and  these issues can be improved to ensure that students are welcomed into Gabrielino each year with school spirit.

   For example, the scavenger hunt could be better planned as a proper tour for those unfamiliar with the school campus. Teachers need to make sure that each stop in the hunt is explained in detail to the class. Or, teachers could have their upperclassmen explain to the lower grade levels.

   The Embedded Time class periods can be shortened, allowing that extra time to be added to lunch. This would give students more opportunities to socialize with friends they may not have not seen in-person for months (or, as will probably be the case in the future, over summer break). Connecting students and staff during a long, leisurely lunch would be an excellent way to host extra activities for those who want to participate while allowing others to relax with friends. 

   While the transition back to school is always a shock for students after a long summer, WOW Week managed to get the students engaged and it should continue to be implemented, with a few changes. For many unfamiliar with Gabrielino, WOW Week helps students feel oriented and slowly eases them back into the school routine. And, it can only get better each year. 

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Worthy of tradition, but WOW Week can be improved