PowerSchool: This site, also used by many middle schools, allows you to track your grades and attendance as well as see previous and dropped classes, how many days there are each quarter, and missing assignments.
Ideas Center: This area above the main office houses PHS’s free tutoring system. A place where students can go to print papers, hang out with friends, or tutor or be tutored in a class, the Ideas Center is a valuable spot for those who need a quiet place to work.
PHS Website: Though at times slow and disorganized, phs.princetonk12.org houses useful information for many students, a calendar with upcoming events and dates, and forms for guidance.
Guidance: Guidance is located next to the main office entrance, and though you may not need to go there often, you will inevitably have to go there at some point during high school, whether to change classes, choose classes for the following year, or speak with the College Counselor, Mrs. Lieberman. Try to get to know your guidance counselor and those in guidance, because he or she will eventually become a valuable resource when applying to college.
Online Databases: The PHS Learning Commons pays for subscriptions to many online databases full of articles on topics from the common to the obscure, which you can and should use for research projects in subjects such as History, Science, and English. One of your teachers may have the librarian teach your class about these resources, but you can also always ask the librarian for help yourself.
Most confusing aspects
Letter days: PHS operates on an A-G day schedule to determine which days you have an extra period of science instead of gym. On your schedule you should have lab on either A and E days, B and F days, or C and G days, and no one has lab on D days. It can get confusing, even for the most organized among us, and at least once you will most likely go to gym when you should be going to science. For help, like PHS Days (A-G) on Facebook or follow @PHSDaysA_G on Twitter.
Architecture: Since PHS has wings that were built on top of preexisting areas, you may find some zany architecture about the school. The result is classes with no windows, rooms with a ceiling barely high enough for standing room, walled up windows, and odd staircases leading into classrooms.
Bell schedules: PHS is an organized place. This means that classes begin and end on odd minutes on normal school days, making it hard to memorize when a class will let out. It doesn’t help that the schedule changes on Wednesdays (though a short day once a week is quite a privilege), meaning that there is a second set of times to remember. Try to keep the printed bell schedule with you, or download the PDF onto your phone so you can always have it; it will definitely come in handy.
Break: At PHS, all students have a “break,” which is essentially for lunch at the same time. Though it may seem like this would be awful, considering how small the cafeteria is, it works very well. You don’t actually need to eat in the cafeteria (most people are somewhere in the hallways during the half hour period), and you can use the time to hang out with friends, visit clubs, or set up meetings with teachers and counselors.
Best places to discover
English Office: Dubbed “the fortress” by some, the old guidance area now serves as the main office for English Teachers. With only one (known) entrance, the huge complex houses many secrets, and though it may intimidate students to knock, teachers will almost always be willing to help if you’re polite. It is located in the stairwell that leads to the cafeteria.
The tower: Legend has it one senior class led a cow up the tower as its class prank. There is rumored to be an entrance through the basement of the school. Regardless of the mystery that shrouds the inside of the tower, students have rarely been given the chance to see it themselves. Maybe instead of trying to find the entrance to this real tower you should settle with exploring the amazing, equally perplexing school newspaper, the Tower!
The dungeon: Almost as mysterious as the tower, the dungeon serves as storage space and the basement of the school. The only times when students are allowed inside occur when sets for the plays and musical are taken down and moved into the mysterious place.
The Learning Commons: The Learning Commons is the school’s auditorium-turned-library. Though they do in fact have books (!) that you can check out (!!), most people go there to use the desktops, check out the laptops, and hang out with friends.
Top things to do before you graduate
See a show in the PAC: With performances ranging from Choir Operettas to Jazz music to Shakespeare’s Star Wars, it’s hard not to find something to enjoy. Even if those cur- ricular performances are not your thing, don’t miss Mr. PHS, the annual male-pageant-comedy show with sing- ing, dancing, swimsuit modeling, and nearly anything that the contestants can think of to win a prize for the clubs they represent.
Stay at PHS into the early morning hours: Believe it or not, there are occasionally legitimate reasons to do this, such as cleaning up after a performance in the PAC. Clubs such as the Tower and science olympiad also often work at the school until late at night. While you may want to get home as quickly as possible after school, there’s also something special about feeling as if you have the building just to yourself and your friends.
Join a club, or three, or start one of your own: Seriously, there are so many to choose from, and no downside to trying them out. At the beginning of the year, go to the club fair and fall fest, then later to club interest meetings to find things you enjoy. With over 85 clubs on the list, you can probably find something you like, but if you can’t, that’s not a problem either because you can easily start a club of your own.
Have a picnic on the front lawn: You don’t have to have a full on beach barbeque on the lawn like last year’s seniors did, but take the time during the warmer months to enjoy some fresh air, solid food, and good friends by picnicking around the front circle.
Like the Tower on Facebook: Just do it.