Much has been said recently about the rule changes for this school year. Why would there be any changes at all? Well, I am so glad you asked! It is always a great idea to come in and talk personally or pick up the phone and call to speak personally when you have a question or comment. Only one parent has done this. This summer Mr. Goss and I sat down and went over the entire Student Handbook very carefully to weigh every aspect of it.
Student safety remains at the top of our concern for any and all changes in the rules. The first such change came with no book bags or backpacks in the classrooms. This change happened in our state in 1999 with the very well known school shooting in Columbine, Colorado. 13 students were killed and 20 wounded by two fellow students who brought weapons into the school under their clothing and in bags. Similar shootings have followed with weapons brought into the school in duffel bags. Do we believe that our students would do this? God forbid! It is not a Colorado Revised Statute (law) that students cannot bring their backpacks or book bags into the classrooms; however, many superintendents and principals have joined together as well as Emergency Management Officers around our nation to recommend this to our legislators. It is just simple common sense that we keep them out of the classrooms. It is an extra precaution that I intend to take to keep our kids safe. In our particular school building, students have wonderful storage in the elementary classrooms right at their desks and beautiful wall cubbies and hooks. In the secondary wing, their are large full length lockers with hooks and shelves just feet away from their classrooms should they need anything. Mr. Goss is quite excited that he will no longer be tripping over the backpacks strewn all over the floors!
Another priority in our school is academic excellence. Achieving a great education for every student is not an easy task. There are many distractions that hinder this in the classroom environment. One of these distractions is the cell phone. In years past, our school has tried unsuccessfully to work with the students on different ways to allow cell phones in the classroom. Students have a very hard time pulling away from their social media, music, and much more. They have become expert at multi-taking while supposedly listening to instruction. As an educator of over 29 years, I know that this is setting students up to fail and not creating the best environment for them to maximize their learning. Although it has not made me their most popular “friend” or “newbee,” I am willing to take on the role of one who loves them enough to help them through this transitional time. Students must either keep their cell phones in their lockers in the OFF position or they may get the Cell Phone User Agreement Form signed and carry their phone in the OFF position. If they carry their phone they may not have it out during school hours. If it is out, it will be kindly taken by any staff member and only a parent may pick it up from the office. You may be wondering how you can reach your student or how they can reach you. If you read the handbook those questions were addressed. The school office is a cell phone zone. If a student wants to call home or use their cell phone, they simply come into the school office and ask permission to use the school phone or their cell phone. Parents may also leave a message for their child in the school office. We are happy to get a message to your child.
We have done some wonderful things for the students. Have they shared with you that the middle and high school students have a daily break outside? How about the fact that they can wear their hats in the building? Did they share that you, as their parent are respected and will have the authority to call in their absence? The school does not usurp your authority but supports you and upholds the law in regard to absences. Did they share there are no more pre-arranged absence sheets? Have you seen the new Athletic Contract Agreement?
Anytime you have a disagreement, question, comment, or just want to talk please come into the office and ask to see Mr. Goss or Mrs. Richard. We are here for you.
Working for you,
Mrs. Richard, Superintendent