Returning to school and navigating WHHS


Courtesy of Walnut.Direct

“Type (or choose from the dropdown) the name of the classroom you’re starting at or a nearby classroom. Then, type or select the classroom you’re going to. Press Go.” the Programming Club wrote on their website.

As students return to school, they are faced with lots of new challenges. One of the main challenges is finding their way around the building. WHHS has many classrooms, offices and hallways, and finding the correct ones can be difficult, even with maps and directions.


WHHS Programming Club created a website called Walnut.Direct. The website gives directions from one classroom to another. Users are prompted to select where they currently are and where they want to go. Once entered, step-by-step instructions are provided to reach their destination.


“Walnut Hills High School is a big and confusing school to navigate, especially for incoming students. That’s why we created Walnut.Direct, straightforward directions between rooms in Walnut Hills,” Programming Club wrote on their website.


There is a feature on Walnut.Direct that allows students to enter their schedule and room numbers so they don’t have to remember them. Students have also found additional resources to help them navigate the building such as maps, lists of class numbers and asking staff members or other students for help. 


I would usually Google the Walnut Hills Classroom Map and it would show an X-Ray type of vision of all the classrooms,” Brain Spalding, ‘24, said.


Navigating the building is going to be a challenge all WHHS students face at some point, in the midst of COVID guidelines and with just a few weeks of school left, some have opted to remain online partly to avoid confusion about the building.


“Stay home. Just stay online. That’s what I did.” Jack Richey, ‘24, said.


SENIOR Ajai Nelson came up with the idea to create the Walnut.Direct website. 


“We were all trying to brainstorm ideas for the Tech Olympics showcase competition,” Nelson said “I think I ended up coming up with the idea while talking to my brother, who’s three years younger than me, about getting around the school and I thought that might be a good idea for the programming club.”


Seventh graders and students here for their first year have had the most trouble because they haven’t had much time to understand the building. Some staircases have been designated as one-way only to prevent students from getting too close to each other.


“Big colorful signs around the building [could help],” Jeannie Ngansop, ‘26, said.


Many students think that maps of the building and practice getting to classes would prevent students from getting lost.


“Experiencing going around the building [would help],” Declan Mohler, ‘25, said.


According to a survey conducted by the Chatterbox with 37 responses, 32 students have heard about Walnut.Direct and 18 students have used the site. Some find the website directions for staircases confusing, but others think it’s helpful.


“I think it’s a great resource for underclassmen, especially Effies,” Clare Graff, ‘24, said.