The current school year has already been very different from last year. With all new administrators, a failure-due-to-absences policy, e-hallpass, allowing seniors to paint parking spots, there is a different vibe around school. The new administration is trying not to focus on rules that do not impact learning and rather is focusing on students and their success while trying to help students feel comfortable enough to speak to either teachers or administrators if there is a problem.
Previously, students were falling behind academically, not feeling acknowledged by administration, which lead to many other issues, including skipping class, many hallways alterations and an overall feeling of students not wanting to be here.
With the new admin team changes have been made to address these issues. I spoke to Mr. Hargrove, who is one of our new members of the administration and Mr. Crabtree, a second-year teacher here at Person High, to see what they had to say about these new changes.
It is important to know how administrators and teachers are viewing the new changes. Mr.Crabtree says he is happy about the new administration and thinks they will actually get things done at school. He says the e-hallpass has its ups and downs, it is helpful by keeping students from walking around the school so there is less skipping, but has its problems. Girls and boys bathrooms, for example, are labeled specifically in the e-hallpass system. Unfortunately, there is a maximum capacity on the bathrooms.
If there is a total of six people allowed in the bathrooms, this could prevent students from using the bathroom because the max amount of people are all in, for example, the boys bathroom, this means no girls can go, even if no one is in their bathroom. Crabtree believes that the changes are really helpful and that new administration will bring new consistency that we did not have last year. He additionally feels that the e-hallpass will help keep proper usage of our bathrooms.
Mr. Hargrove believes that the changes that have been made are positive and well- intended and wants to make sure our new admin team stays focused on why they made the changes so they can have a good impact on the school. He believes that these changes were very necessary for the good of our school, specifically, the seniors painting parking spots go along with students having school pride and give them something to be proud of. Admin is hoping that the changes here will help students feel like school is a place they enjoy coming to.
Now we know what our administration and teachers think about the changes, but they have opinions about what the student might think. Crabtree thinks that students will be unfazed by the e-halllpasses because it’s just more technology, which has become the norm for students. Hargrove says he thinks students will like this new environment, since it feels different this year and more positive. These changes seem to be helpful to the school, but are they here to stay? Crabtree thinks they will last, because several of the administrators have have been here before, so they already know how the school runs and the e-hallpass will stick around because it holds students accountable with the bathrooms. Hargrove is hopeful, but stated it takes people acting on these changes and not just making empty promises. He also indicated that admin is looking for feedback from the students, and one way they can give feedback is by joining the student council.
The changes that were made are a good start, but there are always more that can be made. Crabtree thinks we need better AC units because students cannot properly learn if they are focused on how hot it is and we need more student involvement in the school. Crabtree noted “it’s their school; let them be more involved.” Hargrove says we need to focus on how we, as a school, can be more involved in the community. The students are the future of our community and they should be more involved in it. Although there have been many steps towards change since last school year, we have to keep looking for more ways to make improvements.
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