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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

High school implements new lanyards

Olivia McMinn
New Style! Students’ grade levels are now easily spotted by the color of lanyard they wear. Seniors wear black, juniors wear white, sophmores wear maroon, freshman wear grey.

The start of the 2023-24 school year brought changes to the old maroon lanyards. This year, each grade level has a different color lanyard that also displays the particular student’s lunch.  The changes were inspired for two reasons: students need to eat their appropriate lunch as well as an overall need for the safety and identification of everyone in the building. 

“I know a lot of kids who try to eat more than one lunch or eat the ones that others go to because they want to hang out with their friends,” Assistant Principal Jeffery Shultz said.  “People need to eat their own lunch for a reason – cafeterias are only so big and get congested as is.” 

“We do this every year. We try to balance the lunches so they’re not overloaded. We looked at all the fifth period classes in Skyward and tried to put an equal amount into each lunch. We only have so many seats, we don’t want our lunches loaded,” Shultz said.  

Halfway through the year, the change of semester brings the change in students’ schedules and lunches. Many students inquire about what will happen to their lanyards when their lunch changes. Shultz reassured that students who switch lunches will get a new lanyard that displays their correct lunch. 

An additional reason for the lanyard revamp is to improve student identification for safety and security reasons. Administrators and teachers need to know who is in the building and what they’re doing, especially if there is an issue. 

“Easy identification, right? Ultimately, we are responsible and accountable for the students. If something happened, God forbid, like a fire or emergency, and we don’t know where kids are, how do we get them out of the building and eventually to their parents? We have to know where students are…that’s why we have these systems of accountability,” Shultz said.  

Shultz happily saw the changes, thinking back to his time in the military, an organization he still is very involved with. 

“It’s about accountability, and we need to make sure that we know where all our students are. The first thing you do in the military is learn accountability. If you don’t have accountability, you’re not a very good leader,” Shultz said. 

The lanyard color depends on grade level: black for seniors, white for juniors, maroon for sophomores and gray for freshmen. Although Shultz is normally seen wearing his blue Penn State lanyard, he stated that he would probably be sporting a black one if he had the choice. 

“I would probably pick black,” Shultz said. “Maybe maroon for school spirit.”

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About the Contributor
Olivia McMinn
Olivia McMinn, Reporter
My name is Olivia McMinn, and I'm a senior here at AAHS. This is my second year writing for the Mountain Echo; however, this year I am also the editor in chief of the Horseshoe yearbook. I am excited for both opportunities this year because I enjoy writing, working on new ideas and helping others. Outside my academic life, I am also a member of the track and tennis teams. In my free time, when I'm not playing tennis, you can find me with my dog, a good book and a large cup of coffee.

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