Archive for Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Principal to initiate changes at THS

June 13, 2007

Students at Tonganoxie High School adapted to a reconfigured campus when the winter semester started this past January.

They'll need to adjust again for the start of the new school year in August.

Incoming Tonganoxie High School principal Jamie Carlisle has some major changes planned for his new school this fall, which he shared with the district's school board Monday during its regular meeting at Tonganoxie Middle School.

Last semester, when the former junior high school west of the existing high school was transformed into an extension of the high school campus, classes were divided by class subject, which meant students jumped back and forth often between the two buildings.

Beginning this fall, the original high school building primarily will hold 11th- and 12th-grade classes, while the former junior high will contain ninth- and 10th-grade classes.

"There will be some movement," Carlisle said. "You can't eliminate all of it. But for the most part, we have minimized the travel between the two groups."

Board member Ron Moore said the configuration was one some school officials originally favored last year, but the classes-by-subject configuration won out under Tatia Shelton, whom Carlisle officially will replace this summer.

"Some things certainly need to be undone," Moore said.

Carlisle replied diplomatically.

"I'm not going to go there," Carlisle said, bringing a roar of laughter to the room.

The reconfiguration was one of many changes Carlisle will bring for the 2007-08 school year, including the high school's motto.

The high school's motto for the upcoming year, Carlisle said, would be "AIM for Excellence," with AIM serving as an acronym. "A" would stand for attendance/assessments, "I" for improved communication and "M" for modernize technology, Carlisle explained.

Late start Wednesdays

Carlisle reported to the board that, through teacher negotiations, late-start Wednesdays had been approved for the upcoming school year.

School will start roughly a half hour late, at 8:40 p.m., every Wednesday. Teachers will conduct teacher meetings and collaborations for nearly an hour before the late start, beginning at 7:45 a.m.

Carlisle said the change would not hinder the school's required in-session time of 1,116 hours during the school year.

Dress code, et. al.

At the high school, students and faculty will be required to wear clothing with sleeves at all times.

"As long as they have a sleeve, I'm fine with that," Carlisle said. "I think that would make things a little dressier and would make things a little easier to deal with."

Carlisle, who officially will begin duties at THS on Aug. 1, said he had no problems with the dress code, aside from allowing shirts with shoulder straps.

As for in-between classes, bells again will ring to alert students of when their classes start and end. Last school year, bells were not used at the high school, a policy that Shelton started.

Carlisle and THS assistant principal Brent Smith also mentioned plans for a universal parking sticker for all students' vehicles.

Smith said in the past various stickers have been issued at different times, which has led to a lack of continuity.

School board member Darlyn Hansen asked about assigning specific parking stalls through a numbering system. Carlisle said he had seen that format used at another school and planned to evaluate a numbered sequence.

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