A grand entrance

Feature Photo By: Peter Vo – Grandview High School stands tall in the nice weather. Grandview is in the Cherry Creek School District with 2,850 students in its facility.

By: Peter Vo, Review Staff

Editor’s Note: I wanted to see the difference between an APS school and CCSD school so I traveled to Grandview High School for one day and experienced the day as a student there to see these schools and how they are different from each other.

 

The first few moments I walked the hallways of Grandview, I knew I had never been so completely immersed in exhilaration. Every step I took, I studied the building in awe — the plethora of art decorating Grandview’s halls, the sunshine that sparkled through the huge windows, the sense of relief that there was finally space to walk to your classes without having a random stranger bump into you.

Grandview’s environment was extremely inviting with staff members greeting you in the hallways and students being open with a random stranger sitting in classes with them. My experience at Grandview really opened up my horizons and made me understand the school so much more.

 

Before School

It was a Wednesday and I approached the school with the junior I was shadowing for the day, David Bui. A childhood friend, he was delighted to know that I was going to follow him around all day, asking questions and learning more about his school. We arrived at 7:15, 35 minutes before school started.

With little complications and miscommunications, the start of the day involved me sitting in a few different offices, meeting a few staff members to get everything settled. The staff took the trip professionally and respectfully, trying to make it the best experience for me, and it truly was.

They wished me a terrific experience and I embarked on the short journey. Roaming the halls at the start of the day was indeed nothing short of amazing, at least for a student who comes from a completely different school.

The hallways of Grandview are decorated with mesmerizing art from students. (Peter Vo)

That wasn’t even the best part about the school. The hallways were easy to navigate, and were spacious. Sizes of hallways were at least two times bigger than Rangeview’s hallways. Walking to first period has never been more enjoyable. 

 

First Period – Honors Chemistry – Mrs. Burnett

I walked into the first class expecting robots — students who didn’t do anything else but listen and take notes. But, what I met was an environment that was really inviting as I heard the sounds of students chattering. Coming from a distant school, other districts and schools are almost always seen as completely particular, and many rumors spark these differences, from little things to how good the school food is to how the students act completely from the norm.

Stepping into that classroom I learned a lot, mostly that we’re all just students in school. Classes trudged just like any other class, teachers stood up and lectured while students took notes, and since class periods were about an extra 40 minutes longer than Rangeview classes, there was a great deal of time to learn many things.

Students collaborated with each other on assignments and joked around with their friends. It was just like any class atmosphere, only brighter. Classes had multiple windows, and they weren’t small windows, they were decently sized, where light shined through them and lit up the room. Going to a school where not every room even has one window, it was such a phenomenal experience that I was in a room filled with windows.

At the end of the class period, I talked to Mrs. Burnett and learned something shocking about her: she taught at Gateway 11 years back. She knew both sides of the districts. I asked her what was the craziest transition about moving from APS to CCSD.

“To tell you the truth, for the most part students are the same. They’re still students, but  there’s not as much diversity and it’s strange, but the atmosphere was better than it used to be. I think that was the biggest difference,” Mrs. Burnett expressed.

 

Second Period – Free Period

After the class, Bui took me to the library where we sat down in a surprisingly smaller environment. With study desks all around, the library was really different from Rangeview. We sat down and here I met a few more of his friends, who again were extremely inviting and welcoming.

They were studying for multiple AP tests together, one test of which I was also taking (AP U.S. History). I asked them many questions and became closer to them in a short amount of time.

One of these students was junior Mikhail Kaminer. He quickly became a really guiding person by helping me get a sense of the school. He expressed many misconceptions that people get by just looking at Grandview.

“I think that when people look at us, they think we’re really preppy, but when you get in you realize we’re really normal and we have diversity,” said Kaminer.

While roaming the school with Bui and Kaminer, I experienced the environment of the school and how it was compared to Rangeview. Students chatted in the cafeteria, sat in the hallways reading books, and perused their phones. It was just like Rangeview.

 

Third Period – Honors Spanish 3 – Mrs. Lopez

Going into the class, I wasn’t expecting the difficulty of skills it took to comprehend what was going on. Mrs. Lopez like any teacher greeted me brightly and told the students I was here just for the day, but she said everything in Spanish.

With only subtle drops of English most of that class was interesting. Students asked questions in English, Mrs. Lopez would give back answers in Spanish.

“I love Grandview, I teach Spanish here and the students are great!” Mrs. Lopez acknowledged.

Students grasped on the language extremely well and continued to work in class smoothly without struggles.

 

Lunch

Students hang out near the lunch area. Grandview’s lunchroom has huge windows illuminating the room. (David Bui)

Lunch was something else. With multiple places to get it within the school, I had several options. I decided to get chicken strips with tater tots, this meal would total up to be about $4-$5. This was drastically different than Rangeview’s lunch price where it’s about $2-$3 for a full meal (this includes milk and fruit or vegetables). After eating the food at Grandview, I can see why it costs so much more. The food quality was so much better. With each bite I took, I was simply satisfied.

The cafeteria was illuminated with a huge window that honestly could’ve be mistaken for a wall, every place was lit and there were lunch tables everywhere, like every other school. It was a pretty great lunch experience.

 

Fourth Period – Honors Math – Mr. Fitzpatrick

Math was the one period at Grandview where it was relatively like Rangeview. Students got a small lecture on last night’s problems and then continued to collaborate with each other to solve different problems.

Mr. Fitzpatrick also gave me the freedom to roam the class and see how other groups collaborated with each other. It felt a lot like Rangeview. Like any other school, we worked with each other to learn new concepts and study for tests.

At the end of the class if there is extra free time, the students encourage Mr. Fitzpatrick pull up a game of Kahoot, a platform that is growing and being used more and more by schools to help students learn.

 

Recap

Grandview was an intriguing experience and with being there for a full day, I can say a lot more things about the school in a positive manner than I could before. Being separated from Grandview, there’s a lot of rumors that fly around about the school that honestly aren’t true at all.

Students talked about their perceptions on Grandview throughout the day. “I think Grandview is really interesting, just like any other school. I get tired of it sometimes, but it’s a friendly school and the education here is really great!” Junior Hannah Hoong exclaimed. 

The band room is open to many students to practice their art during free periods. (Peter Vo)

With amazing staff that were respectful and flexible, they made my experience great on top of all the other students that supported me throughout the day.

The school taught me a lot, and Rangeview can take a lot away. With our differences, there are gaps that can close to create an exceptional school system for the students of now and the future.

 

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