Melrose High School, Melrose, MA

Melrose High School, Melrose, MA

Saturday, September 14, 2013

New Policies at the High School

It’s a new year and with it have come many new policies for Melrose High School. The most noticeable for everybody is the new schedules, which were changed over the summer to accommodate the new Advisory blocks, which have replaced homeroom this year. The Advisory period will meet every other Tuesday and are designed to allow students from different grades to interact and build relationships that they would not normally have. Older students can offer advice to their younger companions and the younger students can meet and interact with the juniors and seniors who have traditionally held themselves apart from the freshmen almost entirely. “The goal is to give students a source of experience that they can draw on and help them build relationships with other students they normally wouldn't come into contact with,” said Mrs. Farrell, MHS’s principal and one of the designers of the policy, “We want to try and see if having these extra advisors will help students be more successful over the course of their high school career.” 
However, the addition of these new periods has required a major overhaul of the schedule. As everybody has probably noticed, G block is now locked as the last class of the day, similar to how A Block is locked as the first. “We wanted to give students a little more stability for anything after school that might cause them to have to leave early or affect their schedule,” said Assistant Principal Mr. Stephen Fogarty. “This also makes it easier for us to find students at the end of the day if we need to pass out anything or talk to any students. They’re always in the same place, so we don’t have to spend as much time tracking them down.” This has also affected the lunch schedule, as some blocks now are lunch blocks multiple times within the seven day schedule rotation. What most people probably haven’t noticed, however, is that there are now two extra minutes added to the school day, giving students a full five minutes to get from their second to last class to, the locked last block, G Block. This will hopefully reduce the number of people who were reporting late to their last block every day last year.
Another change most people have noticed is the extra emphasis being placed on the food and drink policies. Food is not allowed outside the cafeteria, period, and all drinks must be in a sealed travel mug. The singular exception to the rule is that water may be had anywhere in the building (though the Resource Center frowns on it). Although, contrary to popular belief, these are not new rules but ones that have been in effect for years now, this year the administration is enforcing the rule much more strictly mainly because they have gotten sick of seeing spilled drinks and food in the hallway. “We come in, the first day of school, and before school even started we saw three different coffee spills around the building,” said Mr. Fogarty, “Really, enough is enough.”
When asked if there was any policy that he thought could use a little extra attention, Mr. Fogarty mentioned the skateboard policy: “We can’t have skateboards being ridden around in the hallways during school. It isn't safe. And there have been issues where students want to keep the board on their desk or next to them and they end up arguing with the teacher about it. It wastes class time.” So now skateboards are required to be checked in and left at the first floor office during school hours. “Just head down there, drop your board off, and come back and pick it up at the end of the day. Nobody’s going to take them or mess with them; they’ll just be kept there while classes are in session,” stated Mr. Fogarty.
By: Andy Griscom

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