With a new academic year set to begin in September, Como Park Senior High School Principal Kirk Morris is planning and preparing for what everyone hopes is a more “normal” school experience.
Principal Morris has spent over two decades in education as a teacher, coach, and administrator. The 2021-2022 school year will be his eighth as a principal, and second as Como’s principal. The following interview was conducted at the end of July.
How would you describe your first year as Como’s Principal?
Being a first-year high school principal in a pandemic was challenging. Despite the challenges of transitioning from distance learning to on-site support and then to in-person learning, it was a great first year. I have many great memories from my first year as principal of Como Park High School. My most memorable day of the school year was April 14 (the first day of in-person learning).
What are you looking forward to as you plan and prepare for the new school year?
As I prepare for the new school year, I look forward to spending time in classrooms with students and staff. Witnessing students learning in their classrooms has always been a highlight of my job as a principal. I am very much looking forward to seeing the learning happen.
How do the pandemic and new variants impact the planning process?
As of today, I’m hoping that the pandemic and new variant will not greatly impact the planning process. We are planning as though full-time in-person learning will happen. We are planning for a “normal” school year.
Are there any new academic offerings or programs that students will have available during the upcoming school year?
We continue to have one of the strongest AP (Advanced Placement) programs in our district. In addition, we continue to have high level CIS (College in the Schools) courses. This school year we have added a CIS Spanish course. Other new academic offerings are: Medical Careers Exploration, Sustainable Foods, Critical Ethnic Studies, and MCTC Intro to Urban Education.
Are there any changes with the building or schedule that will impact students and families?
I’m proud to say that all of our renovations to our building have been completed. We are hoping there won’t be any roadblocks to our in-person return to school.
What are some strengths of Como Park Senior High School that you’ve witnessed as the Como Principal?
Como is a very diverse school that is not too large and is not too small. Our students are hardworking and kind to each other. Our teachers and support staff are collaborative and growth-oriented. There are many opportunities for students to get involved in extracurricular activities. Every student at CPSHS is able to find their niche in our academic programming as well as our extracurricular activities - we have something for everyone.
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