Changes coming to Windsor High School
July 24, 2008
Changes to the schedule and lunch time privileges are coming this fall particularly for freshmen at Windsor High School.
During the Windsor-Severance Re-4 School Board of Education meeting Monday night, high school principal Rick Porter announced the ideas of a closed campus for the freshmen during lunch time and late start for 26 selected days in the 2008-09 school year.
Porter said these ideas stem from talking with other administrators and staff members where the goals were to focus on more quality education time for students, staff development and aligning it with the Re-4 Strategic Plan.
— All freshmen will be required to wear name tags visible to all staff during the school day.
— All freshman will have the same color name tags, a different color than all other grades.
— All freshman will be required to stay in the classroom for five minutes after the upperclassmen have been released for lunch.
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— During the extra five minutes, a new vocabulary word will be introduced to the freshmen each day. At the end of two weeks, a short, objective vocabulary quiz will be administered for those who wish to take the quiz. The quizzes will be graded and perfect scores will be entered into a drawing for a biweekly gift certificate.
— After the five minutes, all freshmen will be released to the cafeteria for lunch.
— Staff will be assigned to specific areas on campus to control the freshmen lunch release, and be sure they stay on campus for the entire lunch period. Staff assignments will be rotated on a regular basis.
— Freshmen will not be released to go off campus during lunch period unless a parent or legal guardian comes to the office and picks them up each time they want them released.
— Special requests will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
— Just like in years past, sophomores, juniors and seniors will be allowed off campus with parental/guardian permission.
— Four lunch lines will be provided in the cafeteria, and the district’s nutritional staff is working on a different menu.
Porter said closed campus will allow for teachers and students to develop a relationship with one another and keep the freshmen from interacting with negative sources outside the building.
“First thing we are going to have a fewer number of students within the businesses and the community. We are going to take the advantage of educating them socially,” Porter said. “We also feel this is an opportunity for us to connect with these students earlier and keep them in school longer and keep them focused.”
Bobby Warner, Re-4 board member, did not agree with separating the students with name tags.
“I’m more on the individuality side of things, and don’t necessarily like the name tag idea, not much for the dress code idea either,” Warner said. “The freshmen are already trying to fit in, and now they have to wear a different colored name tag.”
The sophomore, junior and senior classes at the high school will also be wearing colored name tags.
However, Re-4 board president Rick Klimek supported what Porter and his staff would be piloting for the year, and encourages the idea to move forward into the first day of school.
“Will kids get out? Yes they will,” Klimek said. “I think the long-term goal is to make it a more productive environment as a whole.”
“We aren’t here to foster free will. We are here to sponsor bright life and future,” Klimek added.
* Late Start
— During the 2008-09 school year, Windsor High School will have 26 late starts for staff and students (freshmen will be on a different schedule, see below).
— The days chosen for late start will only be within a five-day school week.
— Staff will be divided into two groups. Staff will be involved in professional/staff development activities on a rotating basis. Each group will meet in staff/professional development every other week of late start. One week, half the staff will be in staff/professional development, the other half will be involved with extended learning opportunities and mentoring. The next session of late start the groups will switch responsibilities.
— All freshmen will be required to be in school at the regular start time (8 a.m.) each day (for at least the first semester) and report to a designated classroom. Roll and attendance will be taken.
— Each small group of freshmen will have two adult mentors.
— All students who want to take advantage of the time provided can do so.
— The teaching staff will also be responsible for a small group of freshmen each late start day.
— At selected time throughout the year, the late start time may be used for full faculty professional/staff development activities.
— The staff/professional development time will start at 7:30 a.m. on each of the chosen dates. The period will end at 8:30 a.m.
— On late days, regular classes will commence at 8:40 a.m. Each class will be 80 minutes (classes are normally 90 minutes).
— Dates, topics and activities will be posted before each meeting.
— Buses will run at regular times at the scheduled late start days. Students on the buses will be able to come into the school and use teachers and other resources.
Porter said the late starts will focus on staff development, relationships between students and staff and more training for standardized testing for the students.
“I’m really in favor of this,” Porter said. “I’ve come out of system where it’s been used twice a week. One of the days was used for staff, and the other day for students. I would like to mesh this because we are not doing it district wide.”
The closed campus and late start will be reviewed throughout the year, and changes and other improvements will be made before the start of the 2009-10 school year.
Breakout: For more
For more on the closed campus for freshmen and late start for the 2008-09 school year, read Rick Porter’s guest column in Windsor Now on Saturday.