Why is student engagement important at GJHS?

Student numbers are soaring above expectations this year at GJHS events


Izzy Cornelison

Students walking in the GJHS 2022 Homecoming Parade.

Student engagement at GJHS has gone above expectations compared to last year.  More than 1,000 students attended the GJHS Homecoming dance on Sept. 24. This surprised organizers by topping the previous year’s attendance by 400.

But the definition of student engagement can vary from one person to another. For one it could be if a student goes to all their classes, for the next it could be if they’re involved in sports. For most people it’s about whether or not students interact outside of class.

“When you’re interacting with somebody, it gives you a one on one interaction,” said Alexa Myers, GJHS junior and Student council member.

Student engagement has gone up in the past year alone and this is partly due to Covid-19 being almost out of the picture. 

“Because it’s our second year of establishing traditions after Covid 19,” said GJHS teacher and Student Council advisor Lisa Moot.

This can be seen this year in increased student engagement compared to last year.

“I have seen such a big increase in student participation in  activities outside of the school day,” said GJHS assistant principal Josh Warinner.

 There’s a reason for positive student engagement being important. High school is meant to be the prime of our lives before we go out into the real world. Having strong student engagement is important to separate the work part of school from the fun part of school.

“It helps people feel like an actual person,” Myers said.

“School is supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to be enjoyable,” Warinner said.

The school emphasizes the importance of student engagement. One way it is measured is by judging data based on the surveys given out in advisory. This data is used to measure how much students are engaged in school.

Another device to get students to interact more is the new club of the week introduced during announcements. Every week a new club is in the spotlight as a way to get more students involved.

The school is also working on advertising events more.

“We’ll keep advertising, we’re really working on bringing up our social media and advertising through advisories,”  Moot said.

 However, not every event in school is treated evenly. Some events don’t have as much interaction as high-profile events like football games and Homecoming.

Softball games, for example, are events which experience low student attendance.

“I’ve seen students there but not a lot,” said GJHS sophomore softball player Lindsey Cooley. “I feel like we would be more happy and be more engaged in our game.”

Student sections are a good way to help players playing the game. They’re also a great way to boost energy and excitement in the crowd.