Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Holes. Common Areas, and Attendance

Mike I am concerned about the students who are being allowed to hang out in the commons area during their free periods without any adult supervision. The bathrooms have been locked as a result of vandalism that I am sure are being committed during these unsupervised periods. I know it is illegal for me to leave my students unsupervised in a classroom how is it these students are left unsupervised in a commons area?


Dear Freire Family,
Part of the problem is that many of the student in the common area are not Freire and our students are not allowed to be in the other common areas creating an excess of students in the area. I will be patrolling the area during class changes and making sure the light stays on. We also discussed in the 10th grade team meeting ideas for changes to project learn that will minimize the problem. We will discuss at our next faculty meeting.


Hello All:

Whether or not the students in the hall or commons belong to any given community is essentially irrelevant (although Fox and I both saw several Freire students: in the Emerson common area at about 9:45am on 12/5. Freire students were also asked to report to class on numerous occasions on Friday, 12/1). The issue is that students are not being held accountable to report for "filler classes" ie project learn or auditorium/library duty. They are not being held accountable because attendance is not being taken and they are not recieving credit for such courses. In addition, adults in the building turn a blind eye to their meandering the hallways. It is essential that we are all on the same page with this issue.

It is our obligation and responsibility to do our best to usher students out of the hallway regardless of what community they belong to. We are members of the QHST family and must behave as such even though we identify with different branches of the family tree. The issue is school wide, it is not endemic to one community alone. Our students are NOT COMMUNITY CODED!!!! A student is a student, and we all know that we can't identify what community a student belongs to unless we ask them, which, frankly, is the topic for another conversation.

I am curious to hear the thoughts of other members of our QHST community. I am also more than willing to work with anyone that really would like to solve this problem regardless of their branch of QHST!


I agree with Cathy. Here are my questions:

HMMMMMMM.......Let's think about our situation: Kids are expected to report to a place where attendance is not being taken and credit is not being given, when they do not report, there are no repercussions for not showing up. What do we think will happen? I know I am only an art teacher but I expect bad situations to arise when students are unsupervised. What do you think?

This is a fascinating topic. Like Eric, I am wondering why attendance is not being taken, why a grade is not being given and what people really expect if there are no consequences to student non-attendance. I was unaware that attendance was not being taken or that a grade was not being given – these were certainly not presented as part of the design plan. In fact attendance must always be taken – it is a legal obligation. In the original design, each class was to be pass/ fail.

Within a few days, all students will have their scheduled attached to the back of their ID and this will make it much easier for security, deans, teachers and anyone else to check that a student is in the right place. Of course, each day I see and hear many of you - who know perfectly well without looking at any documentation who is supposed to be where – moving students along. As Cathy says, this is good practice and we should all be doing it. Most of us are already. This will allow security to address the more serious resisters.


For the most part, I agree with the issues that have been raised. I also want to point out that, as a project learn instructor, I ALWAYS take attendance and DO issue grades (even though it is only a P/F grade). Aside from two students who have never attended the class, my students enter class and work on their projects and/or homework assignments. They are NEVER unsupervised and are never given the liberty to do what they please.


I must weigh in. Students in Project Learn classes are expected to report to class with either work to do or a book to read. Attendance is taken and students should be held accountable for their time and behavior as they would be in any other class.
The only students in the common areas should be students identified as those with a free and not programmed for library. When I see students in the third floor common area I ask to see a program. Those without programs are sent to their guidance counselor to get a program to verify they are free. We are reluctant to allow students other than Montessori in the third floor common area because they are not known by the teachers that may be looking out from 318 (which is often left with the door ajar so we can monitor the area), or myself, or Ms. O'Neill. There has been vandalism in the common area during times when students other than Montessori are left in there, perhaps because they do not have a sense of ownership for the space. We try to be vigilant in supervising all students on the third floor, and in the rest of the building as we travel through it.


Is everyone defining the word "free" as a whole in student's programs or does it mean free periods anywhere in their programs?

Why is Nancy's information different than the one we recieved at the Emerson meeting yesterday. According to our meeting, no students should have a free in an unsupervised area such as the community common areas. We need to be on the same page. We need to obviously communicate better with each other.

What kids are supposed to be where and when? How do we know this?


Hi All:

I appreciate the responses, but the question of "Project Learn" in the Library and the Auditorium remains unanswered. It stands to reason that "teachers" with actual "project learn" classes take attendance and give a grade, albeit P/F, however, issue of the library and auditorium remains. I saw two Emerson students in the hall yesterday and asked them for their programs. Guess what? There was NOTHING scheduled for that period (6). These students are good students, but good students can go "bad" when left to their own devices. I am still confused and honestly, I am getting a bit frustrated with the situation.


Administrators and colleagues, take note. I have been in communication with UFT point personnel for the NYC school libraries. Students should not be assigned to (programmed for) the library. Since the library is not an assignment, school librarians do not--I repeat, do not--take attendance. "Different by design" should not mean "Ignore the UFT contract."



Anonymous said...

Joanne is right. Students should be programmed for classes, electives, work study, etc., etc., not forced to use the library or sit in a made-up, non credit-bearing class.

W Brown said...

I agree "anonymous" but what is the solution? One period electives? Wouldn't teachers then be upset with the extra prep? Montessori was thinking of starting an Online newspaper if the school with be more flexible with the technology filter, the hope here would be that studnets would be able to pubish articles pertaining to school events and issues. Project LEarn classes could be used as editing classes.

Anonymous said...

-When I get dropped off in the morning I go to the common area and do homework. Sometimes I see people reading or catching up, studying or talking. I like the freedom and I wouldn't want that to be taken away.

-I don't like that the restrooms are locked. It also wastes our time and energy and most of my classes are on the 5th floor. Which means I have to come all the way downstairs just to wash my hands.

>>>[I don't know whats amusing about using ALL the toilet paper/paper towels but whoever's doing it REALLY needs to get a life!]<<<

-I like Mr. Brown's idea for the online newspaper where we can all stay up to date on events and other issues. The technology filter should be a bit more flexable also.