Following the news since 1972

The North Star

Following the news since 1972

The North Star

Following the news since 1972

The North Star

    Unlocking the Maze: The Path to Improved Navigation at ONHS

    Coming up from the stairway nearest the commons, you find yourself staring down a long, white hallway. You must go to the opposite side of the upper level to find your class–at least you think.You take a left (hallway 1) and still can’t find it after scouring the walls for a 7 by 8 inch sign with the numbers you so desperately need to find. The music cuts out. You have 30 seconds. You frantically take a right (hallway 2), looking for something, anything, you recognize to help you get around. Nothing but more lockers and brown carpeting. You end up taking another right before finally finding your class 20 seconds after the bell rings. You’d better hope your teacher likes you!

    Which hallway is hallway 1?


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    This common scenario doesn’t only affect newcomers to the school. Instead, this can happen to anybody; after all, solidifying your sense of direction can prove very difficult when nothing in your environment aids you.

    The second story of Oshkosh North High School often confuses students. The displayed classroom numbers next to the door hardly make a difference, and few things distinguish the four hallways. Unused Lockers monotonize the halls, relics of the pre-chromebook era (PCE).

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    For comparison, Oshkosh West High School has signs in their hallways clearly indicating the room ranges of each hallway.  North needs something similar to this. You might argue that North does have signs indicating the location of classrooms. The signs, only visible when standing close to the door, don’t do a good job of helping students. Like a hospital or a hotel, knowing which rooms populate each hall provides more efficiency and less confusion.

     North needs to install clearer, better signage because it’d help with directions and create a starting point for decorating the halls. North’s hallways have little to no differentiation, leaving students feeling like an explorer in the Minotaur’s labyrinth. The posters on the wall, almost impossible to see from down the hallway, provide one of the only things giving students a sense of direction. And recently, many of those have been removed.

    Even the posters that “decorate” the hallways stay mostly unchanged, more artifacts of a long ago event that needed advertising such as the blood drive or club starting date. The posters lack the eye-catching ability to have students use them as landmarks.

    The way that a school looks can influence stress, mental health, students’ performance in school, and sometimes physical well-being. On top of that, tardiness seems to plague Oshkosh North. Having signs would help students (especially freshmen) get to class on time and not have to suffer detention. Right now, it requires experience and experience alone to efficiently navigate North’s hallways.

    It would require at least four signs (one for each hallway) to help students navigate the second floor. Simply listing room numbers in the hallway could greatly improve the ability of students to get to their classes. For example one sign could read:

    Odd: 207-215

    Even: 202-210

    Additionally, it would also help to have signs near straggler classrooms, such as the ones on the outskirts of the Library/Media Center. While students often memorize the class location after the first few times, this doesn’t assist students in finding Excels located in uncommon places. Having a sign showing room numbers in hallways for both levels would allow students to find their room faster, instead of having to scour the school and end up late to class.

    The easiest signs to read (electronic signs) can cost up to thousands of dollars. I doubt that the school has the kind of funds to do that, but surely the majority of us would settle for a physical one, which only costs between $20-40. Even that would greatly improve the students of ONHS’ ability to maneuver the hallways. ONHS should begin gathering funds to make this change, similarly to what they did with the new seats in the cafeteria and the new rug in front of door 1.

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    About the Contributor
    Elliott Kipp
    Elliott Kipp, Column Editor
      Class of 2026 I love spiders and insects, and I'm a huge science nerd

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