Student Satisfaction?

Spartans question damaged objects and lack of class supplies


One of many cracked chairs in the school remain available for student use. Complaints regarding the damaged chairs have begun to make their way into the daily conversations among students. (Bella Smith)

In one classroom, students stare at the large cracks in their chairs that run from one corner to the center of them. In another classroom, an insufficient supply of materials for their classes require teachers to improvise on their previous class plans. The financial aspect of running a school is not considered quite as often by students when questioning the conditions or inventory in common areas of the school.

Art teacher Ms. Michelle McCune’s class funding directly depends on the school budget.

“The department supplies all of the materials for the students,” Ms. McCune said. “If we spend any funds on anything other than consumables, we always meet together as a department to decide how to spend the funds.”

Assistant Principal Andy Downs describes how the school receives a budget each year to fund the different activities and classes that FHC has to offer.

“At the district level, sometimes you’ll have different budgets,” Dr. Downs said. “The budget is really complex and […] there are so many layers of it.”

Some clubs do not have enough of a supply to go around for each student. While students question the lack of supplies and why more can’t just be bought, Activities Director Mr. Scott Harris refutes this idea with the inner workings of the school’s money, including requests for use of the money.

“The [budget] is based on prior expenditures as well as from requests from coaches, directors & sponsors,” Mr. Harris said. “We are very fortunate to be able to sit down with the district finance people to work through our budget requests. [We] only ask for what is absolutely necessary for our groups.”

In addition, money is put towards competitions and practices for sports and other groups, rather than putting money only toward the equipment that would be necessary for teams.

“In our [activites-specific] budget, our biggest expenses are transportation, game officials, tournament entry fees, general supplies, and  uniform replacement,” Mr. Harris said.

Vending machines are constantly out of order, not accepting any form of payment, or simply denying students the ability to purchase from them. As a result, students have been out of luck getting a quick little snack between classes and at lunches. (Bryce Cash)

One common issue seen by students is cracked chairs, among other broken materials and equipment within the school. For example, many chairs in classrooms throughout the school are damaged, some to the extent that they cannot be used by students. Dr. Downs provides assurance that this issue is getting fixed; although, the process of fixing this problem may not be visible right away.

“Those [chairs] continue to be assessed throughout the year,” Dr. Downs said. “You might see a slower turnaround in terms of replacing [a] chair, but we are going to ultimately replace [the broken] chair[s].”

Teachers are on board with getting materials for their classrooms and the replacement of equipment and chairs in their rooms as well. 

“We can always use more funding,” Ms. McCune said. “In the visual arts it’s all about supplies.”

As far as the general school budget goes, FHC is putting the safety and security of its students and staff first to ensure that they feel safe and comfortable to attend. 

“We look at student surveys and pay attention to see if kids are saying anything about academics, if they think they need more than they’re getting. Are they saying things about safety and security that we need to consider?” Dr. Downs said. “The biggest priorities never change — they’re always going to be safety and security.”