What’s new this school year?

Changes made in morning announcements, technology and science classrooms


Catherine Xu

Room 154, one of the renovated classrooms, is now a fully-functional science lab. Due to the rise in enrollment, more labs must be created.

Catherine Xu, arts&style editor

Behind the camera

Every morning, The Knightly News broadcasts its school news show to over 3,000 students and staff, covering everything from recent community events to features and entertainment. Recently, the show has undergone a few changes, including its airing time and general look.

“We changed the time at the request of Dr. Poole,” senior and executive producer Mattie Culver said. “The hope is that airing it at the end of the period will encourage kids to arrive to class on time and have all students and staff watching, as they will be more attentive at 9:35 than they would be at 8:10.”

Aside from the shift in time, the show itself has altered its look, especially regarding the background. Unlike the old hand painted backdrop, the staff’s new green screen allows the student producers to use multiple settings, including the classic news channel background.

“In terms of the new layout, we wanted to mix things up a bit and make it as entertaining as possible. Thankfully, we finally have the green screen we wanted,” Culver said. “We’re so excited to experiment with it to enhance the aesthetic of the show for a more visually appealing final product.”

The Knightly News staff makes these changes in order to modernize their show and more smoothly portray updates.


Tech upgrade

In recent years, Fairfax County has made a significant effort to keep up with changing technology. This year, Chantilly shipped the old FCPSOn laptops to other schools and replaced them with Dell 3300 laptops.

“The major improvement with the new [computers] is battery life,” senior and former tech aide Kyle Beene said. “They have newer batteries so we don’t have to constantly replace them like we did on the older laptops.”

In addition to better batteries, the new computers have larger screens, faster drives and more storage. However, with this upgrade comes a $50 fee. 

“It’s pretty impractical for Fairfax County to supply laptops for every high school student in the whole county without at least taking in a little money,” Beene said. “The $50 charge helps cover that so that we’re not spending the entire budget on laptops.”

The hope is that these new computers will help students work more efficiently and provide greater ease in their experiences with technology.


Classroom transformations

Over the summer, a lot of construction occurred at school. With just under 3,000 students enrolled this year, the county had to make sure there were enough resources for certain classes. Science classrooms in particular were renovated to accommodate the surplus of new students.

“We are actually over capacity in terms of students and were really short on lab space for our science classes,” Principal Scott Poole said. “We converted three rooms to labs to try and meet this need.” 

Necessary additions to these new labs include sinks, eyewash stations, containers for chemical storage, chemical fume hoods and natural gas for experiments. Modifications like ventilation and natural gas were more complicated to construct.

“[The rooms] have propane for experiments, so those rooms have to be completely rewired and plumbed,” Poole said. “It’s a pretty extensive renovation.” 

Thanks to the hard work and coordination of the construction team and the school staff, all of the main construction was completed before the start of school.