By Jamie Wiggan
Taking advantage of district-wide technology upgrades, Sto-Rox administrators are pushing a policy revision that will require suspended students to complete assignments online while they’re barred from the classroom.
Presenting to the board during the Oct. 22 agenda review session, Sam Weaver, assistant high school principal, told directors the policy change would help suspended students stay engaged academically without eliminating consequences for bad behavior.
“It’s one thing for them to be in trouble, but we’ve still got to afford their education,” he said.
“[This way] the kids are not missing their education if they do have to have a consequence for something they’ve done.”
Approved by the board for the first public reading on Oct. 29, the revised policy sets out layered disciplinary responses depending on the extent of misbehavior.
Low to mid-level disruptions will result in internal suspensions, where students are required to attend online classes from a separate location at the school.
Mid to high-level disruptions will result in at-home suspensions, where students will be expected to participate in virtual classwork and fulfill all regular assignments. Students who demonstrate patterns of repeated disruptive behavior will be placed in the virtual track permanently.
In all three cases, students will have access to face-to-face time with teachers.
A district-wide technology overhaul spurred by the initialCOVID-19 lockdown has laid the groundwork for the policy revisions.
After shifting to remote learning during the spring semester, the district capitalized on technology advances by launching a full-time cyber program that will stay in place beyond the duration of the virus.
At the same time, the district has taken advantage of federal relief money to ensure all students in the district have their own technology device — referred to as “one-to-one.”
“Covid’s been kind of a little bit of a blessing for us in disguise because we are now one-to-one, and that’s huge for this district,” Weaver said.