To returning students, announcements may seem a little short. New students at our school may not know this, but, normally, the morning student announcements include information about the clubs meeting that day at lunch.
This part of daily announcements is missing because all clubs were dissolved at the beginning of the school year. According to Mr. Thennis, this decision was made because there have been “some court cases and challenges around the state regarding what is and is not a club.” He says the goal of this change is “to protect the school and district from being affiliated with groups that are counter to our educational message.”
The lack of clubs at Helena High is a big deal. Not only do clubs look great on job, scholarship, and even college applications, they are also a great way for students to meet new friends and awesome teachers while making a difference in our school. For example, the club Niceness is Priceless placed sticky notes with positive messages on students’ lockers a little over a year ago to encourage students through the stressful week of finals.
If you want to start a student group, you must first decide if it will be curricular or non-curricular. According to the Helena High Handbook, “Curricular student clubs are those approved student clubs that directly relate to the body of courses offered by the school” while non-curricular student groups are “any student group that does not directly related [sic] to the body of courses and classes offered by the District but has a regular meeting schedule and established operational structure.”
The two types of student groups have some common elements. For instance, both must have an adult present. However, the handbook specifies that “Employees of the District that are present at a non-curricular student group meetings [sic] must only serve in a supervisory capacity.”
A major difference between the two group types is that “Curricular student groups and organizations may raise and deposit funds with the District.” For more information about how the club types differ, check out page 9 of the student handbook. (link to https://41ucju4djrhu40k5hl1v1qbk-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Helena-High-Handbook-2021-2022.pdf)
Students can start or restart a club by having their desired club advisor (teachers who are willing to advise or supervise) fill out a club form that specifies the club’s name, the proposed adviser, the proposed meeting place and time, and a description of how the meeting place will be used. They will also need to attach a document with any rules and procedures that the club will follow. And if you want the club to be designated as a curricular club, the application must explain how the club is tied to the curriculum.
Curricular student groups meeting right now are Key Club (Thursdays at lunch in Mrs. O’Malley’s room), DECA (Wednesdays at lunch in room 307), and Latin Club (Thursdays at lunch with Mrs. Richmond). Three clubs aren’t a lot, especially compared with the dozens upon dozens we used to have. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.
If we want to see more activities happening around school, we need to take the initiative to form clubs for ourselves.
So, Helena High, how about we make some clubs?