The four assistant principals for each class held an AP Town Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 26 during lunch in the lecture hall.
AP Town Hall first began towards the end of the last school year (2018-2019) for students to get to know who their AP’s (assistant principals) are on a personal level as someone they can feel comfortable talking to regularly.
“We did one [AP Town Hall] last year towards the end of the year which was more to get to know who your AP’s are. So we decided this year that we can do more so that more kids have opportunities to get to know us and also to provide snacks and refreshments… because if it’s during lunch time we’ll make sure people want to come eat instead of having to worry about running to the cafeteria. Our hope is that it will grow and more and more students will be interested in attending and we can basically just all have lunch together.” Assistant Principal Ms. Russell said.
Due to Jefferson’s large community, some students have difficulties forming close relations with some of their teachers. Many students are unfamiliar with their assistant principals, which the AP Town Hall aimed to reduce by providing an open environment during lunch where students could get to know their AP’s personally.
“If you think about it, when you think of administrators or principals or assistant principals; you always think of them as someone you only talk to when something is wrong or if you’re in trouble. We don’t want there to be that stigma that you can only come to us when you need to complain, or need help in a negative way such as needing help with the teacher who didn’t give me a certain grade, but we’re here to support you in various facets.” Ms. Russell said. “I’ve worked with the partnership fund, the PTSA (parent-teacher-student association) and now I’m starting to work with the Black Student Union. So it’s a lot of different things that we are associated with.”
Students were provided with a google form to RSVP and submit questions that they had beforehand, whether they were for their AP or to get to know Jefferson better. This year, Ms. Russell is mainly the department administrator for the class of 2023 (freshmen) and the science and technology department.
“The first time we held it, it was more about knowing who your AP is and what their role is. So you can know that I’m in charge of science and technology so if you have an issue or if you even want to commend one of your science teachers then you know who to go to.” Ms. Russell said, “It’s more of knowing who we are but connecting it to our regular duties and if you have questions, concerns, comments or suggestions you know what specific AP to go to.”
The AP Town Hall is a great way to meet your assistant principal in an open environment during lunch, but Ms. Russell also encourages students to visit her personally to get to know her personally anytime.
“I have students coming in here and talking to me all the time about random stuff. You can come in here (as long as you’re not in class, of course) you can give me suggestions, ideas of things you would like to see go in the school, for staff or students, or both.” Ms. Russell said. “As long as you’re comfortable, of course. And you can only get comfortable as you get to know somebody.”