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Administrative changes for 2017-2018 school year

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All students are required to wear their IDs on lanyards for the 2017-2018 school year.

All students are required to wear their IDs on lanyards for the 2017-2018 school year.

All students are required to wear their IDs on lanyards for the 2017-2018 school year.

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As the 2017-2018 school year begins, many changes are underway in terms of student policies and academics. According to York’s administrative team, these changes are being enforced to ensure that all students and staff operate more efficiently in the new year.

The most impactful change is that all students and staff are now required to wear their IDs on lanyards in order to enter the building. The decision to make this a standard was catalyzed by a need for better safety precautions.

“Every year the Elmhurst Police Department does a safety check of our building, and last year we had an undercover cop or police officer get into the building and walk through the building without being asked who he was,” said Assistant Principal Drew McGuire. “Was the school ever in jeopardy? Never. Was the school ever unsafe? No. Was anybody ever at risk? No. But that was a real clear kind of, “okay, this is an issue and we need to address it.””

While McGuire highlights that the school was never at risk, the need to identify people while in the building was cause for the clear identification. Administrators also hope that the IDs will help instill responsibility in students.

“Our job here is to make sure that all of our students are ready for whatever they do after they leave high school,” said Mrs. Melissa Moore, assistant principal for student services, “and one of the things that is really important at work and school is you always have to have some kind of identification on you. That’s a really important life skill, and we were finding a lot of our students don’t have their IDs on them.”

By having to remember to wear their lanyards every day, students will be held more accountable for keeping track of and presenting their IDs.

Student entrance changes

Another change around the building lies not within the doors, but directly with the doors.

“After 7:40 all students [including seniors] will enter and exit through the Academic Entrance, which is by the flagpole,” said McGuire. “Last year we would funnel kids in door three, the attendance area, and we have a lot of guests coming in the building–we have a lot of parents who come in for meetings, and that was always a bottleneck of students. What we’re doing is [now] the attendance door is going to be all guests/parents that need to come into the building, and  students will go through door one. If students need to pick up passes for a doctor’s appointment or anything, those passes will be at door one with the campus supervisor.”

For seniors exiting and entering the building for off campus, it is important to note that they will only be allowed through Door 1, or the Main Entrance. The same goes for all visitors and staff entering after the bell has rung for first period.

Senior off-campus changes

Another change for seniors with off campus is that seniors cannot be roaming the halls during their off campus periods. They will be allowed in the courtyard and the hallway between the band/orchestra room and the courtyard, but are not allowed to sit outside of any other classrooms.

“For seniors with off-campus, we really want to make sure the hallways are clear. Seniors will have the ability to leave their study hall and lunch to leave the building, but we don’t want seniors sitting in hallways outside of classrooms–[they should be] either in the Learning Commons or the Math Lab, or they can leave the building if they have off campus,” said McGuire. “The exception is the hallway outside the band room and outside the senior courtyard; seniors are still allowed to access the senior courtyard and that hallway, but other than that students really should go to where they need to go.”

Academic changes

Along with building changes, there are also changes to academics. The first change that will be impactful to students who are faced with many challenging classes is that you are no longer able to drop down a level during the school year.

“We started messaging that [there will be no level changes] probably in September, all the way back when the eighth graders were coming here for the first time, and thankfully we made that decision early enough that when students were signing up for classes, the counselors could say “Are you sure about that? We won’t be making level changes,”” said Assistant Principal Ryan Doherty. “When [students] are in the spring they are really up for a challenge; when they get back in the fall they’re a little nervous about it, and sometimes, when you doubt yourself, you make a decision to level back down, when if you push through and had more resilience and find that help, you would remember that spring self that said you’re ready for that challenge.”

The administration hopes that, because students can no longer drop classes, they will make more conscientious decisions when deciding their courses for the entire school year. If students are finding themselves faced with an overwhelming amount of work, the new study hall system can hopefully help ease that.

“It’s another way for them to have access to a teacher for a period where you’re not getting up in front of a hundred kids asking the teacher for help; this is in an academic classroom,” said Doherty. “We tried to give it a little more of an advisory feel so that kids can get the assistance that they need when they’re there.”

Administrators realize that the York community will take some time to adjust to the changes–but, they believe that once everyone adjusts, York will be even safer and students will have more academic support than ever.

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