Government class proposes changes to student handbook

Changes include dress code, parking rules and college visits

The students of the WHS Government class have made proposals for changes to the student handbook. The changes will be reviewed by Principal Jan Hutley, and if accepted will take effect in the next school year.

The students reviewed the handbook and looked for policies that could be changed to better serve the student body, as well as outdated rules that needed to be updated. “The students basically go through the legislative process,” government teacher Jess Rutledge said, “Introducing an idea, talking about it as a committee, and then writing it out for a bill, and then we send it to administration which we kind of treat like the executive branch.”

The administration then either approves the suggestions, which become “laws,” or vetoes them. Rutledge said this allows the students to better understand the legislative process. “It’s one thing to teach them about how laws are made,” Rutledge said, “so for them to physically do it and then see what all goes into it, all the various angles they have to look at, I feel like they really enjoy that.”

Proposed changes to the handbook include entries about the dress code, grading policies, parking lots and college visits. There are also proposed updates to outdated parts of the handbook such as lunch cards that are no longer in use and the correction of the table of contents.

The decision making process was largely left up to the students. “I try to stay out of it as much as possible,” Rutledge said. The students had to take the responsibility of choosing reasonable options that they believe will pass.

There was a lot of debate about suggestions. “Some people expanded on their opinions but others just said the same thing over and over,” senior Dillion Spellman said. In the end, the classes had two lists of changes to propose. “We were mostly pleased with the things we came up with,” senior Jessica Vanstory said, “most of all of us came to an agreement.”

The handbook assignment is different from past years. “The past four years what we’ve done is a bill to change WHS for the better,” Rutledge said. Of those presented over the years, one bill of suggestion was accepted by the school “administrative branch.” “It’s interesting because we’ve had a change in administration,” Rutledge said, “and with it being a different project I’m interested to see what Mrs. Hutley and the school board’s input will be.”

Hutley said she will take the student’s proposals into consideration when she reviews the handbook for changes. “It’s their school too, and I value what they have to say about the policies,” Hutley said.

— Eleanor Badeker, @ellybadeker

2B proposals

Dress Code:

 

Remove the following restrictions on these dress codes from the handbook, under the condition that they are not a distraction:

  • Jackets/Coats
  • Gloves
  • Hats/Beanies/Bandanas
  • Key chains
  • Dyed Hair Colors

 

Update the shorts policy to read as follows:

  • “Students are not allowed to wear shorts that are shorter than a 3-inch in-seam and are showing anything above the upper-thigh.”

GPA Policy:

The following should be the updated for the section titled “Weighted Grades an Honor Grades”:

  • The following weight formula is used to figure grade point averages at WHS-
    • Weighted Classes:
      • Physics
      • *NOTE- the following classes are still listed in the student handbook as classes that are offered for a weighted grade, but currently not available at WHS-
        • AP English
        • Calculus
    • The Weighting is as follows-
      • “A”= 5 points vs. the current 4
      • “B”= 4 points vs. the current 3
      • “C”= 3 points vs. the current 2
      • “D”= remains 1 point
      • “F”= remains 0 points
    • Honors Classes: Students will have 0.5 added to their GPA for the following classes-
      • Anatomy
      • Spanish II, III, and IV
      • College Algebra
      • Stats & Trig
      • Advanced Biology
      • College English
      • *NOTE- the following classes are still listed in the student handbook as classes that are offered as Honors Classes, but currently not available at WHS-
        • French II
        • Pre-AP English III
        • College Trigonometry

Parking Lot Permission

Under the “Student Driving” section in the handbook, it states that students are not allowed to go to the parking lot, and/or their vehicles, without permission from the office. We would like to amend this section to read as follows:

  • ‘Students will not return to their vehicle without permission from the office, or without a written pass from their classroom teacher, or until school is dismissed.’

College Visits/Military Policy:

 

  • Change the wording in the handbook to read as follows in regards to the policy on the amount of dates allowed for a student to miss school in regards to college visits, and/or military requirements-
  • Students are allowed 6 excused college visits, or, military visits/affairs while they attend WHS.
  • Students must present signed college visit form/military form on their visit and return it to the office upon their return to school.
  • Students are responsible for all homework missed during this absence.
  • Any additional excused visits must require either of the following for administrative approval-
  • Military requested attendance
  • Contact from the college specifically pertaining to the student

 

Work Study/Senior Hour Policy:

The handbook requirements for both of these policies should remain the same, with the exception that students are allowed to enroll in both, provided they meet all other existing requirements to be in good standing with the school and on course for graduation.

  • As it relates to the Senior Hour policy, we would like to specify that students are NOT required to be at school until the start of second hour classes.

Open Lunch:

Currently, the handbook does NOT place any restrictions on students, during open lunch, using a non-motorized bicycle to transport themselves to and from eateries. We would like to add the following policy in regards to open lunch transportation-

  • Students that are able to go off of campus during the lunch period may do so using the following modes of transportation-
    • Non-motorized bicycles
    • Non-motorized scooters
    • Non-motorized skateboards
    • Heelys
    • Non-motorized Rollerblades/Rollerskates
    • Students are NOT allowed to use the following to transport themselves-
      • Any motorized transportation

Needs Updated:

 

  • Change “Powerschool” to “online gradebook”, because we do not use powerschool anymore.
  • Remove “student lunch cards” from the handbook, as they are no longer used.
  • Change the listed days for ZAP to stating that it is on Tuesdays & Thursdays.
  • Revise the online handbook to the current edition
  • Current “Table of Contents” is incorrect with its information. This needs to be remedied.

 

4A Proposals 

 

College Visits/Military Policy:

  • Change the wording in the handbook to read as follows in regards to the policy on the amount of dates allowed for a student to miss school in regards to college visits, and/or military requirements-
  • Students are allowed 5 excused college visits, or, military visits/affairs while they attend WHS.
  • Students must present signed college visit form/military form on their visit and return it to the counselor upon their return to school.
  • Students are responsible for all homework missed during this absence.
  • Any additional excused visits must require either of the following for administrative approval-
  • Military requested attendance
  • Contact from the college specifically pertaining to the student

 

 

Ineligibility Policy:

  • The following should be added to the WHS ineligibility policy:
  • Two or more ‘D’s- After eligibility is run, students have one week of probation to bring up their grade in ONE of the two classes. If they do not come off probation at the end of the next week, they are officially ineligible for the next week.
  • Two or more ‘D’s WITH an ‘F’- Students are ineligible immediately. This includes participation in all school activities, athletic and non-athletic. The only exception to this is prom.
  • Additionally, we would like to add that students must be allotted four complete school days to raise their grades. This would be an addition to the stipulation that students must also be given two assignments to raise their grades.

 

 

Vocational Class Requirements:

  • Our class would like to change the section in the handbook regarding required classes. We would like to reduce the amount of vocational class requirements as follows:
  • Reduce the required amount of Vo-Ed elective classes from two to one credit. This would also increase the elective credits required to graduate from nine to ten credits.
  • Students would also be allowed to take four or more Vo-Ed classes, but would not be limited with what other core classes they would be able to take.

 

 

Hall Pass Policy:

  • Currently, the hall pass policy is predicated on students having their planners signed by the office, classroom teacher, or administration. We would like to update this policy to reflect as follows:
  • Written Pass Permission-
  • Student will have a completed pass slip from their classroom teacher, allowing them to go to another location (including, but not limited to; classrooms, the office, library, or to their vehicle).
  • Teachers are not only responsible for filling out a pass slip for the student, but are also required to phone the destination said student is going to visit, to make them aware the student is on their way.
  • Restroom visits and needing a hall pass slip are at that teacher’s discretion.

 

 

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