Top things to know about the 2022-2023 school year


Credit: Genevieve Morrison

As WHS returned to school on Sept. 1, administration has implemented some new regulations to student life. Here are eight new changes to know about heading into the new year.

WSPN Staff

New phone policy:
As a result of the rise in phone usage during class, the WHS administration decided to create a stricter phone policy for students to follow. Phones and headphones should no longer be used during class periods unless a teacher has allowed them. Some teachers have chosen to set up a phone collection method where students must drop off their phones in a bin for the duration of class. In the upcoming weeks, the administration will be gathering data and listening to feedback to decide on regulations for the rest of the year.

“Currently, cell phones are not banned at WHS,” vice principal Sean Gass said. “Students are allowed to use them during passing time, at lunch and during free periods.”

Governor Charlie Baker extended the free school lunches program, which will allow students in Wayland to receive one free lunch a day for the entirety of the school year. Students will also have the opportunity to buy snacks or additional lunches.

After two years of having substandard drinking water in town, the wells have been fixed and tested. As the fountain filters  need to be changed, water fountains will not be immediately available. They are expected to be usable within the first few weeks of school. Until then, there will continue to be water bottles provided around the school. However, it is recommended to bring your own water bottle from home.

“Don’t waste plastic, and make sure you recycle your used water bottles!” Vice Principal Laura Cole said.

Changes to math and science departments:
Both the math and science department heads, Ms. Coughlin and Mr. Rideout, respectively, resigned from their leadership positions at the end of last school year.

The new math department head will be Dr. Shanely Heller, who previously served as the department chair for Medway Public Schools. The new science department head will be WHS wellness teacher Mr. Berry.

Sophomore history:
Sophomore history will be changed from “Old World New World” to “U.S. History 1” for the class of 2025 and all subsequent classes. Junior history will be “U.S. History 2.”

For this year only, US History 1 teachers will also cover the Holocaust, to make sure that this year’s sophomores also learn about the topic. However, for following classes, the subject is being moved to the ninth grade course.

Classroom allocations:
This year, classrooms will not follow any COVID-19 restrictions, including the previous desk spacing layout. Each classroom will be set up at the teacher’s discretion. A second classroom for the innovation, design and engineering course will be added to WHS. Some special education spaces have changed locations, but other classrooms will remain in the same locations as last year.

Students will remain able to choose whether or not to wear a mask. WHS will continue to follow the COVID-19 protocol of five days of isolation following a positive test before students can return to school. Students who test positive must also mask until day 10 of isolation or until receiving a negative antigen test. Close contacts will not be required to isolate.

“Under normal circumstances, students are not required to mask anywhere in school right now, but everyone is certainly welcome to,” Vice Principal Sean Gass said.

Pooled testing will not be offered at WHS this year. Students will not have the option to receive weekly at-home tests, but school nurses will continue to administer antigen tests in their offices.