Twin Bridges School Board reviews student handbook

TWIN BRIDGES – At their regular July meeting the Twin Bridges School Board reviewed the first reading of changes to the student handbook and requirements for graduation.

Trustees Lori Harshbarger and Allison Wentzel recommended in their performance report that the district drop the world history requirement and change the fine arts requirement for graduation from two credits to one. Wentzel explained the change favors students who will begin work out in the field after receiving their diploma or go to a trade school instead of going straight to college.

“This loosens it up a little bit and allows them to have some elective options, where they didn’t have before,” said Wentzel.

Harshbarger added to Wentzel’s logic, explaining that there were two sides of the spectrum when they discussed the number of required fine arts credits.

“Some of the students that wanted to get more advanced classes academically, they were kind of locked by having to have the two fine arts requirements,” she said. “And then the students that don’t want to necessarily go on to college, now with all these electives they can pick something that will help them further, more so than a fine arts credit.”

“If they want to, they can certainly take more,” Harshbarger said.

The subcommittee also recommended that teachers make their own policy for using cell phones in their individual classrooms at the beginning of the school year. Some teachers were in favor of allowing their students to use certain applications on their phone, such as a calculator, to help with their classwork, while other teachers are stricter, Harshbarger said.

“We had quite a lot of discussion about this,” she said. “If in English class, for example, they say no phones, then the teacher could take those phones and put them in a box at the front or whatever they want to do.”

“What it does is also puts more responsibility on the student to be more responsible with that phone,” Harshbarger added. “So in between class, if they want to run and call home for something, they can.”

The school will also utilize a generalized, blanket policy for when and where cell phones may be used. For example, they are prohibited in student locker rooms. The board approved the first reading of the changes to the student handbook, and the language will be finalized before the handbook is printed for the 2012-13 school year.

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