by Kaitlyn Kozalla, staff writer
Take note: get caught up on all your work by the end of the day tomorrow, Dec. 19. That’s the deadline. After that, students who have not completed their classwork will not be able to attend the holiday activities scheduled for Dec. 21. That’s the new policy that was shared in the latest Principal’s Talk during extension period on Wednesday, Dec. 13.
Too many incompletes and too many students who are simply refusing to do assigned work have caused the administration and staff to implement this change. According to Assistant Principal Kylene Koper, “Teachers have really complained about students not getting their work done.” She noted that teachers give grades to understand the skills students have, and giving a zero tells teachers nothing about what students can do.
On Thursday, Dec. 21, all eligible students will be able to attend the Second Annual Lip Sync contest in the morning as well as the afternoon activities being held throughout the building. Any student who has more than one incomplete assignment will be in an assigned work room. If students turn in all incomplete work before the Lip Sync ends, they will be able to participate in the rest of the afternoon activities.
Students and faculty have mixed opinions on this new policy. “I agree with it, because if they don’t get it [their work] done, they don’t deserve an activity,” said ninth grader Lucas Burdick. Other students are doubtful that the change will work. “I think some people will do their work, but for the most part, I think people are just going to get mad, and it will cause more problems,” sophomore Darian Kaye said. Math teacher Mr. Steve Simcheck sees it as a positive move. “I feel the new policy has taken place of the refocus room which allowed students an opportunity to make up the work,” Mr. Simcheck said. He added, “I think we’re trying to do more with less.” Mrs. Koper said, “I feel like we can do a lot more work on getting the students to feel more comfortable here at school and to build bonds with teachers to make school seem like a safe place,” noting that improved school climate can encourage students to want to complete their work.
In addition to the workroom policy, changes regarding athletic eligibility tutoring were also rolled out in the Principal’s Talk. Athletes who receive a yellow form must attend tutoring on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school, and if they do not attend, they will not be eligible to play or practice the following week. Students will continue to receive yellow forms on Fridays until they are passing all classes. “I didn’t know is no longer an excuse,” Mrs. Koper said.
Journalism Adviser, Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School