BNHS Courtyard Goes Unused

Anna Hulstedt, Features Editor

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      Belvidere North has a nice courtyard space that goes unused for almost all year. Why is this? Towards the end of year, when the weather gets warmer, I begin to wonder why our courtyard space isn’t used when it could make the day much more enjoyable.

      It can’t be that difficult to allow students to eat lunch in the courtyard for a day, take students outside for a class period, or host other events outdoors instead of being stuck inside a classroom setting for a typical, long, 7-hour school day.

      In reality, students really don’t get the chance to use the courtyard much at all. I went out there once for ice cream for having 100 North Way points, once for a Best Buddies lunch party, and one other time for filming an English video sophomore year. Every time I have the opportunity to be in the courtyard, I wish there were more times when students could use the space to their advantage. Fresh air and sunshine during the day can help to relieve stress for students, especially during the week of finals or AP tests.

      Finals, sports, and end of the year projects can pile up rapidly to make the end of the school year a stressful time. It could be beneficial to students if there were more fun activities at the end of the year for students to participate in, as long as they happened during normal times of the day when students didn’t have other commitments, such as lunchtime.

      For instance, a North Way incentive for students with a certain number of points could be lunch in the courtyard. It’s exciting to get a little more sunshine and time outside during the school day with friends, why not take advantage of the opportunity to change things up?

      In my opinion, Belvidere North isn’t using its resources as it could. The courtyard is a pretty, spacious area that could be used in a variety of ways but remains locked and closed off to everyone. The area is entirely closed off inside, so if it was used during lunch it would be safe in allowing students outdoor without the possibility of anyone leaving the school campus.

      Fun activities for students to take part in gives a school more character. For instance, fun outdoor events at North would make our school more unique and the activities more memorable. Improv Anonymous could host a spring show in the courtyard, band could play there during lunch, or a sports team could use the space for a potluck on the Spring Sports Awards Night.

      Although use of the courtyard depends on the weather, it’s still a viable option for our school that nobody seems to consider. There’s plenty of other spaces to use instead if courtyard activities would be rained out.

      Overall, there’s several small things our school could do to make high school a little bit more memorable, such as considering the courtyard as an option for activities either throughout the school day or making it available for use after school for different groups could make the space more functional for everyone.

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