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UPDATE: Courtyard closes due to student misuse

Since last year, students have waited through wind, rain, hot and cold for the courtyard to open. Now, the courtyard is free for use.

The+completed-and+now+open-courtyard+ready+for+student+use.
The completed-and now open-courtyard ready for student use.

The completed-and now open-courtyard ready for student use.

The completed-and now open-courtyard ready for student use.

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UPDATE: The courtyard has been closed for the remainder of the week leading to fall break due to students leaving trash in the courtyard. The decision was made on Sep. 12. 

Ever since construction in the school began early last year, students have looked forward to the idea of having a courtyard in which they could eat lunch while taking in the sun and fresh air of the outdoors. After enduring a year of construction, the smell of fresh tar and then waiting with bated breath, all students finally got the chance to be the first of a long line to step into the courtyard Wednesday, Aug. 29.

Excitement filled the air as students of all grades got accustomed to their fresh new space. They happily chatted amongst themselves, walking freely in and out of the cafeteria and settling on the short grass outside.

The unique experience of really being outdoors in high school was savored by all the students who attended.

Capriola (right) and students of all grades quickly get accustomed to the courtyard with their friends.

“I feel like my body is thawing from being in the cold classrooms and it’s so nice.” said senior Jenny Capriola. “ I’m glad that I can breathe in the fresh air and I think it’s very exciting.”

“I’m really happy about it because I get better service out here and it’s warmer,” sophomore Scott Butterfield said as he was also enjoying the change in scenery.

Staff were equally thrilled about the opening of the courtyard to everyone.

“I think it’s an awesome opportunity for our kids to have some extra space so they can hang out, be outside, get some fresh air and just enjoy each other’s company,” assistant principal Susan Weber said after helping to oversee the courtyard.

In creating the courtyard, there were some issues to address. Chief among them was trash.

“The only thing that we see as potentially being a problem is kids leaving trash. So as long as there is no trash left behind and everybody picks up after themselves the courtyard will be left open,” Weber said.

The trash can in the courtyard, full after a day’s good lunch.

I just really hope everybody picks up their stuff so the custodians don’t have extra work to do,” instructional coach and IB coordinator Debra Ledoux said.

Another popular topic of this exciting lunch was seniority, specifically whether or not the courtyard would be a seniors-only space. Most asked thought it wouldn’t be fair to the underclassmen.

I wouldn’t like that because it seems like a lot of people would be upset if they changed the rules to just seniors or upperclassmen,” said junior Chloe Allowitz. “I think that would just cause unhappiness, so I think it’s good now.”

This was also discussed extensively within the administration of the school, and they came to a similar conclusion.

“We talked about that as an administrative team and we felt like we wanted to keep it open for everyone,” Weber said.

Contact the writer, Jared Dyche, at 07jaredych@csdecatur.net

Photos Courtesy of Isis Amusa

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Decatur High School, GA
UPDATE: Courtyard closes due to student misuse