Changes to homeroom

Homeroom, dreaded by some and loved by others, is undergoing responsive changes.

Every Tuesday, students meet in their homeroom classes, immediately following fourth period, for 30 minutes. Students are allowed this time to work on assignments or have free time. Complaints were made about first semester’s homeroom, so Mr. Craig Bruns, assistant principal, and other members of the administration proposed changes for second semester.

“The changes are both in response to students’ and staff’s feedback on ways to improve homeroom,” Mr. Bruns said. “We want to make a computer lab available as well as a room to collaborate with different groups of students. We also want to give students the opportunity to go see their academic teachers to get extra assistance or make up work, and we want to try to find a way to incorporate the opportunity for clubs or different organizations to be able to meet during the school day.”

The changes come with mixed opinions from the students.

“The majority of the feedback is negative, but I think it comes down to the student,” Ms. Kayla Negley, health and P.E. teacher, said. “The students who want to utilize that time to get stuff done will do that, but the other students just want to complain.”

Overall, many students have found something from the changes that they will utilize.

“I like how they are letting students go with other students for help because peers can help you to understand things better,” senior Samantha Martinez said. “I will also like that it allows you to work with teachers.”

Teachers like the changes because it allows them to meet with students who are not normally in their homerooms.

“I am in favor of the new changes,” Ms. Negley said. “I think it provides students more opportunities to make meaningful experiences during homeroom. If they need to meet with a group, if they need access to a computer, or if they need to meet with clubs, they can utilize their time better. It is also fun being able to interact with the students; we are not in a class, so we can get to know them and form some relationships. I am excited about it.”

The changes were made with the students’ and teachers’ thoughts in mind.

“We put a survey out for our teachers as well as our students, and we took their feedback and their ideas and tried to formulate it or design it in a way that the school could support,” Mr. Bruns said. “The changes are very much driven by ideas that were given to us by the students and the staff. We hope that the students see that they do have a voice that is being heard by the school administration and that they do have some ownership in their education. We hope as well to provide the opportunity for clubs to meet, so that students who perhaps couldn’t meet after or before school because of their busy lives can.”

There are some changes the administration is not sure about and plans to keep an eye on.

“With any change, there’s a period of time where you figure out what’s working and what’s not, so you make adjustments,” Mr. Bruns said. “While we are excited about the students new freedom and choice, there is kind of an unknown as well. We can only write approximately 10 passes per teacher, so we don’t know if there will be a battle over which students get to go see a teacher. There are items that we aren’t necessarily concerned about but are on our radar. We will see how they work, and, then, we will take feedback and have conversation with the students and staff on how best to improve those ideas.”

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