Granby " Middle Park High students weigh in on survey questions
December 11, 2008
Middle Park High senior Kenneth Carter and a car full of friends came to Ian’s Mountain Bakery on Tuesday and grabbed a large slice of pizza.
“I greatly enjoy having the campus open,” Carter said, while enjoying his lunch.
This liberty is something the East Grand Accountability Committee could recommend the school board take away, depending in part on the results of an online survey.
“I have a feeling they’re leaning more towards closing it because a lot of kids are like going off and doing illegal things at lunch,” Carter said.
Illegal things such as drinking alcohol or smoking pot, he said.
“A lot of people are doing it daily,” he said. “So a lot of teachers don’t really know the difference.”
Drugs and alcohol are “easily accessible,” Carter said.
“It’s a tourist county,” he explained. “You’ve got a whole lot of traffic coming in and out. Just a lot of different people who just bring whatever they want, and then also the role their parents have. There’s a lot of people who enjoy their alcohol around here. I believe that has an impact on what the kids are doing.”
Carter’s happy with how the schedule is, but as a senior any changes aren’t going to affect him, he said.
“We like having our Fridays off,” Carter added. “I think how we have our schedule right now ” it’s how it should be.”
Barbara Ahrens, East Grand School Board member and Accountability Committee liaison, said other reasons the committee would consider closing campus is because of complaints from community members about students wandering around and not returning to class after their lunch hour, or not using their time constructively.
From a business standpoint, Ian’s Mountain Bakery owner Ian Daugherty favors the open campus.
“It would definitely hurt economically if they closed campus,” he said, adding that the students who come in are “well behaved.”
He said having an open campus should be a privilege. Allowing only the students who maintain a certain grade point average could be one solution. “(Then) we’d be feeding all the smart kids,” he joked.
Conduct code, calendars
The committee also will review the K-12 student code of conduct and safety and discipline policies and procedures. It will make recommendations related to the academic calendar for the 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 school years as well.
Freshman Delaney Tucker, 14, and senior Asa Miller, 18, ate lunch together at Ian’s Tuesday.
Tucker said the schedule is “fine” how it is.
“I’d rather not go to school for another eight days just for a half an hour off each day,” Miller said, referring to one of the survey questions.
These students also did not favor shortening Thanksgiving break for a longer break in February. Other schedule options the committee is reviewing include school start dates, if and when there should be a new winter break, and when spring break should occur.
Junior Cooper Knochenmus, 16, said he wouldn’t mind having a break in February because there’s more to do recreationally at that time than during Thanksgiving.
His friend Hugh McBonough said he would not want to wear a uniform again because there were not enough colors to represent his style when he attended East Grand Middle School.
The survey asks if schools should set standards for dress, which would restrict students from wearing clothes that are considered “unacceptable” or “disruptive.”
The middle school already requires students to wear uniform shirts.
Discipline, drug use
The survey also asks a series of questions about how students should be punished.
Some things from the list include: violating school dress code, damaging school property, a violent act, using a weapon, sexual harassment, or selling or exchanging drugs.
Discipline responses for the elementary, secondary and high school include: no opinion, in-school punishment, suspension, expulsion and other.
The survey asks if students in the middle and high school should be able to continue to carry knives to school; and if they believe drug and alcohol use during the day is a problem at the middle or high school.
Tom and Toni Baumgarten of Hot Sulphur Springs had a child graduate from the high school last year. They both agreed that drugs and alcohol are “prevalent” in the Valley.
“It’s just the area,” Tom Baumgarten said. “Kids don’t have a whole lot to do up here so they make their own fun.”‘
It’s more of the parent’s responsibility than the school’s responsibility to control it, according to Toni Baumgarten.
“I think that’s a parent-kid thing,” she said. “Try to steer your kid in the right direction.”
Jacob Schirado, a senior, who was eating at Mad Munchies on Tuesday, said the reason for the closed campus would be because the community doesn’t trust the high schoolers based on some students who do illegal things when they leave campus.
However, the group he was with said that’s a small portion of the student body.
The survey asks if the open campus is maintained, whether there should be random drug and alcohol testing of students.
Some of the students said they wouldn’t mind, while others said it would be a waste of money.
This is the first time the Accountability Committee has created a survey to gain the public’s feedback. The group will then begin to make recommendation to the school board in March.
As of noon on Wednesday, about 380 people had completed the online survey.
“We were glad to see that people have heard about it, and are starting to hit the Web site,” said East Grand Superintendent Nancy Karas.
” Katie Looby covers government and education for the Sky-Hi Daily News. You may reach her at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or firstname.lastname@example.org