New students see BHS with a fresh perspective
By Hialeah Bever
With the first week of school completed, new students and foreign exchange students reflected on their expectations of Bettendorf High School. From India to Illinois, the students’ view of BHS was positive and accompanied by an optimistic outlook on the days ahead.
One common reaction was the sheer size of the BHS campus, which stood out to many of the incoming students on their first day.
“My school is three times smaller than BHS, [and] we don’t have a planetarium and other classrooms like that,” said Quentin Legrix, an exchange student from Switzerland. “I was also surprised to find the stereotype of America completely true. You all have cheerleaders and yellow buses. Just like the movies.”
“You have such a huge campus and nice infrastructure, along with labs and computers,” said Deekshith Alluri, an exchange student from India.
Technology was another interesting comparison the students made. While BHS students are provided their own Chromebook, many new students had limited access to technology.
“We don’t have smartphones, laptops, [or] Chromebooks at my school,” said Alluri. “Only paper, books, and pens.”
“Some of our classes have us bring our own device, but other than that most classes don’t need computers,” said Elin Blatter, a Swiss exchange student.
The students were also impressed by the positive student-to-teacher relationship, as well as the focus on academic achievement.
“The staff is nice, the teachers talk to you as if you are friends,” said Blatter.
“Personally, I think the teachers here are reasonably strict. But they’re not going to shout at you or talk to you in a mean language,” said Bulgarian exchange student, Ventsislav Ivanov. “They’ll be nice and helpful; if we don’t understand something, they help us.”
Xavier Lolli, a new student from Rock Island who previously attended five different schools due to his father’s military career, had not only optimistic views on the staff of BHS but the new principal as well.
“With all of the assemblies I’ve been to and orientations, I like him a lot. Out of all the past principals I’ve had, they can seem bland. I always think ‘Okay, I’ve already heard this speech six times,’ but with Mr. Boley, it actually sounds like he wants to change things. I like that he wants to reward students who are doing good.”
Beyond the staff, the students, and the building, the incoming students had one final thought on BHS: the schedule.
“At my old school, we had eight blocks in a day and different classes every day. But here your classes are the same for a quarter,” said Kate Froelich, who officially moved back to Bettendorf after living in Switzerland for eight years. “We didn’t really get a lot of homework, but here if I get a piece of homework, I have that class the next day, not sometime in the next week.”
“Every day you have the same subjects. Back in my country, we have a different set of subjects and we learn different things. Here, it is divided into four classes, and you only have to focus on those classes, instead of being all over the place,” said Ivanov.
Now, with the building and its inhabitants figured out, the incoming students are hoping for a productive year of studying and learning at BHS.
“The reason that I came to America was to learn how to speak English fluently,” said Legrix. “I want to live the American high school experience, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Hialeah Bever, class of '23, is a junior. This is
her second year as a staff writer for The Growl.