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Audrey Paulino

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Don’t Think about IT
November 9, 2017

New School Rules

New rules have changed the way LRHS runs to better fit students and make their day, along with the staff’s, more fluid.

Mr. Wasilewski

Principal Wasilewski has implemented new policies for the 2016-2017 school year to create a positive learning environment for all of LRHS. These policies include the one or none headphone policy, responsible phone use policy, and the tardy policy. In light of recent changes, some students are wondering why new policies were necessary after last year.

“I identified [what procedures needed to be changed] by meeting with staff and some students, as well as the community, and just looking at all the information I had,” Principal Wasilewski explained.

Last year’s policies gave teachers flexibility to set the procedure for cell phone use and tardiness protocol in their classrooms, while the new rules make the procedures uniform for every classroom.

“There has been a concern about [staff] being supported by [administration], when a student doesn’t [follow the rules], that we are supporting them. But overall I think they [staff] have responded positively to it. Is it perfect, the whole system? No. But nothing is,” Mr. Wasileski stated.

Expecting the same outcome for a behavior regardless of what classroom you are in provides consistency and stability to every student’s routine. This is in contrast to last year, where teachers would enforce different rules in their classrooms, leaving students confused as to whether they could eat in class, among other concerns.

“We need to be up to par with the student handbook and what the expectations are and also make sure things make sense and are clear for students,” Principal Wasilewski explained about his modifications.

Students should reflect back on previous years to realize that school rules actually have not changed all that much. Students were not allowed to have food or phones in class last year, and this is still true today. Now, there is a new procedure in place to get students back to their learning and away from these distractors.

“The no cellphones in class at all is a little bit more enforced this year, which is also good,” science teacher Mrs. Sherman noted about the improved policy.

To balance these stricter procedures, there are more freedoms being granted during lunch, such as using Reach tickets for activities like karaoke and ping pong in the atrium, and being permitted in the atrium after students have finished their lunch to socialize before transitioning into going back to class.

These changes send the message that class time is for work, and recreational time is for breaks. Some students agree that this is moving in the right direction.

“I think it [all the rules]  has a positive impact on the school because it [the rules] shows freedom toward the students,” Araksan Omar, a sophomore, commented.

These policies were put in place to help Long Reach nurture, grow, and brighten our futures. These new rules also make it easier for teachers to complete their jobs and make the whole day, for students and staff, run smoothly. Thus far, the school has been more organized and the classrooms are very clean.

Mrs. Sherman commented, “The policies made it easier, especially with the late log and the discipline forms…and I know all the students see it in their other classes, which makes it easier to enforce.”

Despite the benefits, some students lament the new changes.

“I feel as if I was back in middle school!” Meleah MacDonald, a Junior, stated. “The rules are very strict.”

Certainly, rigid procedures may not sit well with some students. Consider this: the less time you are in the hallway, or sitting in class using your cell phone, the more time you are actively present for what is happening in class. Hopefully, the new procedures create the effect all students and teachers hope for: improved grades.

This model even mimics modern business structures at high profile tech companies. For instance, Google’s workplace features a foosball and ping pong table for employees to utilize during the workday, among other perks. Many companies endorse this work hard, play hard attitude, including local tech company Cision in Beltsville, MD. The more that students learn when (and where) to work, and when to play, they will reap the benefits of both environments.

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