New Year, New Rules

IDs, Liberty Hour and tardy policies change again.


Photo by Makenna Smock

Emma Stauffer and Jennavieve Carmony

Be aware. Or, beware? There are changes to the student handbook this year. The revised rules come after careful evaluation by administration, who hope to solve problems and improve the school environment. But that doesn’t mean some of the transitions will be easy.

Carrying Student IDs

This year students have been asked to carry their IDs whenever they are in the hallways and produce it if requested. The administration is also emphasizing the importance of having a pass whenever a student is out of the classroom.

Photo by Makenna Smock

“Our stance right now is a recommendation because we want this to be the safest place possible, and we don’t currently discipline for it,” Sharp said. “However, we most likely will move towards that direction in the coming years. We want to make it a smooth transition and part of the culture here.”

As for why the administration made this change, it’s simple.

“From a safety standpoint, we want to know that the people in the building are supposed to be here,” Sharp said.

Liberty Hour

Misuse of Liberty Hour, students’ free time to take care of class work, is no secret. To counter the problem, this year students must be in a teacher’s classroom during Liberty Hour — no more open Flex Spaces.  Although that may be no problem for many students, some are frustrated trying to find a place to go.

“All it does is crowd the classrooms, and when there are people who are actually trying to learn stuff and seek help there are going to be 20 other people in there being loud and not doing anything,” junior Olivia Sherman said.

However, ELA teacher Taryn MacGee hasn’t seen that issue in her classroom so far.

“It definitely has increased the number of students in my room, but I don’t think it has decreased the number of students that are going to work on something,” MacGee said.

Tardy Policy

Maybe you took too long in the bathroom, or got caught up in hallway traffic, or had to talk to a teacher, but for one reason or another, you arrive to class late. Last year, your teacher made time to mark you tardy in Powerschool. This year, students must report to one of three tardy tables located around the school, where a scanner accessed by the student produces a tardy slip to hand to the teacher when they head back into class.

Photo by Makenna Smock

“A big push for us in implementing the tardy tables is that it takes the responsibility off the teacher, which then increases instruction time for teachers and creates less disruption to the learning environment while class is going on,” Assistant Principal Mike Sharp said.

And although the tardy tables achieve this, Senior Grace Cotton feels as though some issues arise as a result.

“First, you’re already late to class but you have to then go to a tardy table and go back to class,” Cotton said. “It seems illogical to be missing class time when it can be done in class to fix it.”

Sophomore Megan Crouch has a similar viewpoint.

“I do think it’s a bit of a hassle to walk all across the school to a tardy table if you are 20 seconds late,” Crouch said. “I think it’s more about catching kids who are walking in five minutes late.”

Twenty-one percent of 180 respondents to a poll sent to the LHS student body said they disliked the new policy, while 10% said they were fine with it.

As for what teachers think about the new policy, Science teacher Maria Knowles has found success in the new policy.

“I have seen a decrease of tardies in my classroom. Not major, but I think students know before they even come to my door if the bell has rung,” Knowles said.