How is St. Pete High treating this year’s freshman?


Miles Gorham

Mr. Benton’s freshman class

Coming from middle school to high school can be a big change, but just how challenging can that change be? A Google Doc survey collected data from 18 freshmen to get their first impressions of St. Petersburg High School. The survey consisted of 50% of students in the IB program and 50% in the traditional, construction, and 3DE programs. Their responses are as follows:

The survey included the 9th graders’ opinions on many different topics, ranging from how they feel about their teachers’ knowledge of their subject, to their current workload, to their schedule. The majority of students replied that most of their teachers are well-versed in their subject and that they’ve only received the average amount of work. Most IB students found that their schedules were somewhat easy to understand. A mixture of students found that while they were confused at first, they eventually got the hang of it. It was stated by multiple people that the schedule is something that you have to experience to fully understand.

When asked, “What have you enjoyed the most about SPHS so far?” most students responded: “Making and hanging out with new friends.” One student commented, “I have enjoyed being a part of clubs and going to football games. It is fun to be a part of the school.” Another student in the IB program says, “[there is] more freedom compared to middle school, [and] school spirit” These were common responses among multiple students. Freshmen have found that they have a lot of freedom compared to previous years and the environment is a lot different. Going along with the last question, they were then asked, “what have you disliked the most about SPHS so far?” As expected, some freshmen answered that the workload was the worst. More commonly than that, students said getting around the school was difficult for them. A student in IB wrote about the “lack of signs” and directions at the school. The layout of the school can be confusing, especially to new freshmen. A good solution that would benefit new students would be to add some extra signs around the campus.

Coming from middle school to high school can be a big change and it’s good to be prepared, so the next question asked was, “if you could have known anything before coming to the school, what would it be?” An IB student named Sarah Rowland said that something she would have liked to know is, “that it’s really not as scary as it seems, and that the schedule for IB is very easy once you experience it.” A student from the traditional program, Camden French, talks about how “it’s a way different environment than before.” Most students agreed that high school was not as scary as they thought at first, but it is still a lot different than previous schools.

Finally, the last question asked was “if you could change anything about SPHS what would it be?” While some students enjoy school how it is, others had some different things to say. A freshman from the IB program writes “I don’t think classes are long enough for me to settle in and really retain information.” Another student states that they would want “more time with [their] block teachers.” Though both students would like some extra time with certain teachers so they can get the most out of their classes, other students would rather have more time in-between classes. Two students claimed that they think there should be more drink options in the vending machine. One student from 3DE thinks it should be easier to change electives, and others came back to the issue of getting around school.  They stated that there should either be more visual directions. Also, one student described the issue of the main building doors, claiming that “there should be more of them.” Getting around the school and being able to get to class on time has been a recurring issue throughout this survey. This seems to be one of the biggest issues for new students at St. Pete High School. While there were many responses, positive and negative, overall students have loved the school and we hope that nothing changes that.