hallways, the excitement or fear of
challenging classes, the heavy traffic
on Knox Road--all are the norm for a new
school year. But at Corona del Sol High
School, the new year will bring some
changes that could alter longstanding
practices, policies and, in some cases,
Corona, of course,
will remain a highly competitive school,
both in academics and athletics.
Principal Jim Denton says that's a
Also unchanged will
be the code regulating what students can
wear on campus and at dances or other
extra-curricular activities. Likewise,
no change is planned in the hard-line
policy of expulsion for students
involved in threats of any kind.
As to possible new
regulations, Denton says the staff is
considering a rule that would forbid
iPods and MP3 players.
“We are really
encouraging parents and students not to
bring MP3 players,” Denton said.
“First of all, they
get stolen, and second, they are a huge
classroom disruption. We are at the
point where we might say they are just
not allowed on campus.”
This change may
even be placed in the student handbook
as a specific rule for students to
“In a perfect
world, everybody could bring their stuff
and we wouldn’t have any problems, but
we don’t live a perfect world,” Denton
“It takes away from
learning and teaching in the classrooms
While parents and
students should realize that this rule
does not apply to cellular telephones,
Denton says it still can be a risk to
bring them to school.
“We are not
emphasizing the cell phone thing as much
as the MP3 and iPod. We realize that
parents need to get in touch with their
sons or daughters. I have two kids at
home with cell phones, so I know,”
administration can still confiscate cell
phones if they are being used or causing
disruption, but students can bring them
Corona dances may
also see changes in the amount and type
of security utilized.
breathalyzers relatively inexpensive,
and we will pretty much breathalize
anyone we suspect to be under the
influence,” Denton said.
The dances that are
causing the most problems for the
administration are those with a “casual”
atmosphere, Sadie Hawkins and Morp.
According to Denton, the behavior at
these two dances must improve.
freshmen, sophomores and juniors/seniors
(who have not passed the AIMS), can also
expect more preparation for AIMS
testing, especially for the writing
portion. Corona fell 10 points this past
year in the writing section from the
2004-2005 school year, and 4 to 5 points
in the reading and math.
were down, but they were down
statewide,” Denton said. “We were down,
but no one went up.”
“They say that a 4-
or 5-point drop is overall
The slump in the
scores statewide is partly credited to
the change in the writing essay prompt
given students, according to Denton.
“AIMS always used
one type of essay, but they changed it
last year and it kind of caught everyone
by surprise,” he said.
“We are taking
steps to make sure that our English
teachers are working on all sorts of
This year will also be the first year
for freshmen and sophomores to see the
science portion of the AIMS test. It
will only be a field test, but could
become mandatory to pass for the class
The dates will not be set until results
from this year are processed.
“[AIMS] validates what we have been
trying to say we have been doing for a
lot of years,” Denton said.
“We have been preparing students and we
are validating that with our passing
Personnel changes will also be felt this
year as they are every new school year.
Longtime science teacher Steve Woodward
and drama instructor Linda Parish won't
“They will be very hard to replace,”
“Mrs. Parish and I go back to the first
year I was at Corona in 1980.”
Also, Spanish teacher Kevin Chapin has
signed on at Basha High School in
Chandler so he can work closer to home.
Replacing such veteran teachers isn't
easy, Denton says.
“There is no substitute for experience.
When you lose that many years of
experience, it’s always hard to
In capsule, suggests Denton, the coming
year may have many small changes but
overall it will be similar to years
past. A high school grows and adapts to
the times, he says, and that's no
different at Corona del Sol:
Veteran teachers leave and new ones take
their place. New updated policies
replace those that are outdated; it is a
“I hope that students come to school to
learn,” Denton said.
“Corona is a great school. We have some
great students come through here and a
great community. I am very proud to be