By COLLEEN GAPUZAN
Three strikes and you’re out..
This 2018-2019 school year, drastic changes have been made to our school policies.
For example, the tardy policy now has harsher consequences for repeated unexcused absences in attempt to limit the number of truancies in a school year. By the third tardy, the student must face an instant disciplinary action. Furthermore, students will meet with their assigned homeroom teacher and student leader every other Wednesday as a part of a brand new program called Responsibility, Ownership, Adaptability and Resilience (ROAR).
In response, students have been expressing various opinions on these new guidelines, which leads to the question: have the recent school policies proven to be effective? While these new policies serve as a good starting point to foster student discipline and success, change ultimately begins with the students.
Through student and teacher collaboration, ROAR helps foster a strong sense of community in such a large campus. With the implementation of the ROAR curriculum, students are able to focus on their academics and goals for the upcoming school year. Moreover, assigned teachers and students played icebreaker games and discuss social and academic strategies with each other. Though well-intended, this new curriculum may actually be redundant and unorganized, therefore not beneficial. For instance, during the goal-setting activity, students—as well as their student leaders—were confused about the instructions. Although the activity may encourage self-improvement, the poor execution of the activity halted students from fulfilling ROAR’s intended goals. This caused disorder and interrupted the purpose of the activity. Ultimately, if more trainings took place to prepare them, homeroom teachers and student leaders would be more equipped and coordinated.
Another prominent criticism is that the 40 minute ROAR period is superfluous. Substantially, the assigned icebreaker games are meant to be quick, yet effective. Therefore, prolonging the period will unnecessarily protract the length of these activities and distract students. Since homeroom is the same length as a regular class period, students are more likely to view it as a chore, or a “class” they are obliged to go to. Consequently, students would rather view homeroom as a free period to finish the Crucible or to rapidly complete last night’s calculus packet.
However, student success all ties back to student discipline, which this year’s tardy policy strictly emphasizes. According to last year’s statistics, a total of 11,008 tardies were documented. In retrospect, the tardy policy was much so enforced as it was understood. Students neglected the actual consequences of being late and failed to take them seriously, which ultimately became an unconcern.
Regardless, the updated tardy policy reminds students of their priorities and reiterates that tardies are serious offenses that should not be taken lightly. In essence, students are more likely to be in their seats when the bell rings knowing that their Homecoming privileges are on the line, compared to knowing that they are simply missing their teacher’s morning announcements.
It is pretty safe to say that the word to describe this upcoming school year is change. Ironic enough, despite all the drastic changes, nothing truly will change if the student body does absolutely nothing to make their discipline consistent.
So, the next time you decide to waltz in at 8:00 am with your venti pink drink, consider if you are actually striving to make a difference. Ultimately, complaining is not going to solve anything, rather make the problems worse—believe me, I should know.