Johnston Students Start New Year in Brand New High School

JOHNSTON, Iowa – The brand-new Johnston High School opens its doors to students Friday.

10th, 11th and 12th graders from Johnston will be at the new high school.

Principal Ryan Woods said the school was built from students' suggestions about what they want to see.

“In the old high school we had pretty much, I don’t know, 1,000 of the desks look exactly the same. That is something you’d see in most traditional high schools. Here, the furniture was purchased by content area, so as a student goes through their day the desk and tables they see in their math room would look different than in their English room, which will look different in their social studies room,” Woods said.

The classrooms have a variety of options for seating, which include adjustable tables and desks.

The hallways have different seating arrangements with chairs, couches and stools. The goal is to have a space for students to relax during free periods.

Sophomore, Kyle Delanoit said he is nervous about the new school.

“It’s pretty big. So it might be a challenge from class to class, but I think I’ll manage,” Delanoit said.

Another feature that is missing are lockers on the walls.

Director of Communications Laura Sprague said student’s don’t use lockers like they used to, so they changed the layout.

“I like the iconic high school where there is lockers covering the walls, but I like this. It looks really modern. It looks new. Different from the old high school,” Delanoit said.

U.S. History Teacher Thomas Griffin said the teachers are starting a new program to make sure students don’t fall through the cracks.

“It’s such an important transition that we want to make sure students and teachers feel supported. Really the goal of sophomore house is to give sophomore core teachers time to meet and talk about their students,” Griffin said.

There are 1,600 students attending the high school.

The school can hold 1,800 students.