Coed transition progresses as school begins new era

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The Crusader Staff

On June 11, construction began on the weight room, as well as girls’ and boys’ locker rooms, working toward the mid-August deadline.

In late January, Archbishop Riordan High School announced their plans to become coed starting in the Fall of 2020.

After being known as San Francisco’s oldest all-boys school, the board of trustees voted 14-4 in favor of the decision and there was also support from alumni and current students. The move came shortly after Riordan’s sister school, Mercy High School, announced their intention to close after the 2019-2020 school year.

To accommodate the addition of new students is the addition of new staff hires. An additional Dean of Students, sports coaches, counselors, and teachers will be hired for the upcoming year.

In the meantime, there is work to be done in order for the campus to be appealing to young women. Construction began on June 12 to work on updating the locker rooms and bathrooms, all of which were designed solely for young men.

Recently, Riordan released an online blueprint of how the final product will look. On their website, a goal of $500,000 has been posted in order to help with the pricing.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the orientation for new students was held online via Zoom in early May. Aside from talking about quarantine activities and binge watching shows, the young ladies were brought up to speed on important information.

Incoming transfer from Mercy, Lindsay Wray ’21, said, “The first orientation was great. The staff on it did a great job answering questions and giving us information about what the fall is going to look like.”

“It was very comforting getting to know Mrs. Nagar and Mrs. Martinez before going into Riordan, because now I have staff I am familiar with,” Wray said. “If I need someone to talk to in the fall, I definitely feel like I could approach either one of them with confidence.”

The first orientation was great. The staff on it did a great job answering questions and giving us information about what the fall is going to look like.”

— Lindsay Wray '21

The boarding department is also expected to grow over the upcoming years with the integration. Due to the pandemic, a lot is unknown for future applications. According to Residential Program Supervisor David Lin ’99, the boarding department will have a “small number” of young women during the 2020-2021 school year.

While it is still not certain how the House System will look like under the new coed model, one thing is for certain, and that is the school will be different. School Captain elections will be held in the fall, when school resumes. As for student activities, many expect the clubs to receive a rush of new members as young women become a part of the school community.

Another aspect of the coed transition raising questions is technology. According to the Riordan administration, they are requiring that students have an iPad Air (2013) or an iPad Pro (2015) or above. They are no longer recommending that students use an iPad mini due to the smaller screen size. Administration is also requiring that the iPad needs to be running the latest iOS software at all times.

However, there are some exceptions. First, transfer students are allowed to use Apple MacBooks or Google Chromebooks. Otherwise, they encourage them to purchase an iPad. Engineering students are also allowed to have an exception as they are not required to have an iPad, but have a MacBook, at the minimum a MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM.

A big change next year will be the new bell schedule, with later start times for Block 1 at 8:00 a.m., and later dismissal times ranging from 2:30 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. The new bell schedule also includes double lunches and earlier munches.

In a memo to the Riordan community, President Dr. Andrew Currier released statistics for the 2020-21 school year, saying that it will be the biggest Riordan student body since 1985, with 820 students. Out of the 800 plus students, 181 of them will be young women.