1. ON-CAMPUS OPTIONS: The new schedule for the 2014-2015 school year has been changed to a 33-minute lunch. After you subtract travel time to go somewhere and come back, there isn’t much time to actually eat if you head off campus. Take the worry out of being late for class by packing a lunch. You can people watch in the stairwells or sit on the front lawn. Don’t want to bother making a lunch? Register for an account in the basement cafeteria.
2. HEADING OUT: The quickest and cheapest places to go (if you aren’t exactly trying to be healthy) are McDonald’s, QFC, My Cahn and The Blind Onion pizza.
3. THE COUNSELORS: If you need to get in touch with your counselor, go to the counseling office before school, during lunch or a free period. Set up a meeting and get your questions answered. Counselors are guides. They have a good grasp of what’s going on at school and they are here to help all students. If you have concerns, don’t put it off. The sooner you act, the better the outcome.
4. TALKING TO TEACHERS: To get in touch with teachers, visit the Grant High School website. On the side menu, there is a staff tab where you can find email addresses and phone extension numbers. Or try and talk to them during the short Thursday tutorial, because the best way to talk to teachers is to actually go to them. That way, they can get to know you.
5. COLLEGE AND CAREER CENTER: Head into Room 130 and it may seem a bit intimidating. But it’s not just a place for seniors. It’s a great environment to get some quiet work done and use the resources offered. If you think you might be going the college route, find out about financial aid, scholarships and other information that can help narrow down your search for a school. The CCC is open every day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
6. NAVIANCE: One of the great tools to help you prepare for college and career opportunities. It helps you plan out events, set goals for yourself and explore what options you have for the future. It doesn’t just apply to upperclassmen. The sooner you start to look ahead, the better prepared you’ll be even if you have no idea what you want to do after you leave high school. Talk to one of the counselors about how to work it.
7. SCHOOL-BASED HEALTH CLINIC: If you wander way down to Room 102, you’ll find a room brimming with toothbrushes, tampons, Band-Aids and Kleenex. But that’s not all. Funded by Multnomah County, this center is one of 13 throughout the Portland Public School district that provides all school-aged youth with a wide range of health services, including – but not limited to – sports physicals, immunizations, prescription medications, STD testing and mental health services. Whether you find yourself in need of some counseling or you’re looking for information on pregnancy prevention, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from the clinic.
8. CENTER HALL: Center Hall quickly becomes a sea of students throughout the day with people standing and chatting before school, during lunch, at the bell and after school. To avoid the chaos, go through the second floor center hall or meet your friends somewhere outside. Don’t get caught up conversing so much that the bell rings and you’re late to class. Get your bearings, get moving and get to class.
9. TIPS TO HELP YOU NOT GET LOST: Grant is a pretty cavernous school. It’s easy to get confused about the best way to get to a class or someone’s office. If you have a free period, use the time to explore and figure out the best way to get to and from your classes. Or come to school early when the halls are fairly vacant. In the meantime, here are a couple of tips:
* The school is U shaped.
* The basements do not connect.
* The girls locker room is in the old gym.
* The boys locker room is in the new gym.
* There are a variety of portable classrooms and the science pavilion in the back of the school. Make sure you know which classroom is yours.
10. GETTING TO SCHOOL: If you’re a student who drives, then you’d better get to Grant early. Street parking is pretty wide open until about 15 minutes before the bell rings. Show up before then and you’ll have a choice. After? Good luck. The school has plenty of bike racks for students to lock up their bikes. Those are located on the east and north sides of the school.
11. WATER: Stay hydrated by bringing a water bottle to school. During the first few months, the weather will still be nice and classrooms will be hot. With little ventilation and limited time during passing periods, be prepared and make sure to drink a lot of water.
12. CLUBS: These represent a great way to hang out and work with people who enjoy doing similar things. They can be academic and informational, or just fun and relaxing. Attending the Club Fair is a great way to see what you might be interested in. Do not sign up for all of them because you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Try to just pick a few, attend some of the meetings, and then choose those that interest you the most. There are lots to choose from such as Black Student Union, Model United Nations, Robotics Club, Jewish Student Union, Environmental Club, American Red Cross and Jesus Pizza.
13. SPORTS: There are a number of no-cut athletic teams at Grant. These include men’s and women’s lacrosse, Ultimate Frisbee, Dragon Boat Club, Hiking Club, ski team and snowboard team. It’s a great way to keep busy after school and to get some worthwhile exercise.
14. TURFING IT: Grant has a variety of sports teams and the fall season is already in full swing. Catch a football or soccer game on the school’s new turf field. Check in at the Athletics Office for information about when the games are played. Or go to pilathletics.com.
15. TO BE OR NOT TO BE: Throughout the year, the Grant Theater Department puts on a fall and spring play. Audition notices will be posted around the school, so be ready to jump into action and get a chance to perform in front of the community. There are also other chances for students to be involved in drama. The school features a series of One Act plays, put together and directed by seniors. For more information, check out the Grant website under Performing Arts.
16. NEED SOMETHING? Check out the Student Store in the south hallway of the school. You can get everything from snacks to coffee to sweatshirt swag and more. The money raised by the school store benefits Grant’s programs, so come spend your money and keep it in the community.
17. MAKING THE TRANSITION: High school marks a time in the lives of students where they are trying to establish independence and an identity for themselves. It’s not always the easiest place for parents – because kids don’t really want them around school. Talk to your student about routines and when the best time might be for you to check school out if you need to. Try not to drop in on students, especially in the classroom. If you need something, always go to the main office and ask for help.
18. VOLUNTEERING: There are plenty of things that parents can help out with around school. Whether it’s athletics, the Parent Teacher Association, the arts or the Booster Club, adults are always needed to help build the school community. To find out more information, visit the Grant website and look under the Parents, Community, and Alumni tab. ◊