Changes to school policies


Policies for zones.

This school year, AHS has returned to having Collaborations in the mornings along with other changes such as Atom Time changing into a Flex period and headphones are banned during school hours.

Collaboration is a time during the day used for teachers to talk to other members of their department. Last year, Collaboration was held at 1:30 pm on every White Thursday.

In previous years, the schedule for Collaboration has been slightly different. The period dedicated to planning amongst departments was held every White Thursday at 7:00 am. It had been this way for eight years.

The program is not reverting back to its original form completely. There will still be some minor changes.

“This year, the planning block will be every White Tuesday instead of Thursdays,” Principal Vincent Randazzo said.

After experimenting with the new time slot, the faculty has decided to move Collaboration back to the mornings.

“The biggest reason we are changing it back to the morning is because we did a survey of the teachers and our teachers felt that it was better for them to collaborate in the morning. So we went back to that system,” Randazzo said.

“We wanted to try it because we wanted to combine Atom Time with Collaboration to see how that would work and it was just a little more complicated than we’d expected,” Randazzo said.

This experimental form of Collaboration did have some benefits, however. For one, this format took away less time that could be spent teaching. It gave students a maximum amount of time in the classroom.

Another aspect associated with the old Collaboration schedule is the freshman transition program. This is the mandatory program provided for the freshman class during the Collaboration period. During the block of time, the freshmen listen to their counselors give lectures on how to survive their first year of college.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors come after the freshman transition program ends.

“I love having collaboration in the mornings since I get to sleep in; having collaboration in the after wasn’t as beneficial.” senior Julia Nguyen said.

This school year, Atom Time is also being eliminated from the schedule.

In place of Atom Time, FLEX is being reinstated. This new system will consist of students going to a different class during each W4 period. This will change from the more easygoing format of Atom Time where students were allowed to go wherever they thought they needed to go unless they were directed.

“The goal of Atom Time, when it was started four years ago, was to install a format that could act as an intervention, remediation and enrichment program during the school day,” Randazzo said.

After a while, the administration was not seeing the results that they were expecting and the program became difficult to administer.

“After three years, we didn’t see the gains that we were hoping to see. Coupled with all of the work and complication that went into it, we felt it was time to go back to the FLEX system,” Randazzo said. “We knew it was pretty efficient, our teachers got to see their kids more often and then we were going to look at how can we do a system where we still have targeted remediation, intervention and enrichment plans during the school day.”

The administration hopes to reach the same goals of remediation and enrichment through the FLEX program as they did with Atom Time.

“The same goals apply to the FLEX program as well as the entire school. We’re going to start focusing on a common thread of literacy through every discipline,” Randazzo said. “And the goals are to work on our culture of teaching and learning, especially the learning part, so students can learn and hopefully that will produce the results we’re looking for.”

The last major change that is going to be seen throughout AHS is in the PED policy.

This year, the school will be using a three zone system that dictates whether or not a student can use their PED.

“There will still be three zones; the green zone, you can use your PED in the cafeteria, before school and after school. The yellow zone, you can use your PED in a classroom and in the library as long as you have teacher permission,” Randazzo said. “Finally, the red zone, when you’re taking tests, in hallways and in bathrooms, you can’t use your devices.”

The administration has elected to change this policy due to a lack of responsible use from students.

“Our teachers were having trouble starting classes because students were not taking their headphones off and things like that, so classroom instruction was being interrupted. We really try to encourage responsible use of these devices,” Randazzo said.

If a student is found to be disobeying the new policy, administrators will follow SR&R conduct in the course of taking disciplinary action.

The PED policy as well as the other changes will be reviewed in the SR&R video that will be shown during W4 on Wednesday, Sept. 3.