With a new school year comes new policy changes, and academic lab is no exception.
According to the new academic lab syllabus’, “Academic Lab provides an opportunity for students to receive additional tutoring and academic support on a daily basis.”
One of the changes in class policy is the new “digital citizenship” rules.
According to the syllabus, “[Digital Citizenship] is defined as a student’s responsible and appropriate use of technology. Scientific research confirms that recreational cell phone use in the classroom negatively impacts a student learning experience and environment.”
“I have taken ac lab before, and it was a lot less strict. Last year we could have our phones out, we could sit anywhere we wanted to, and we could talk quietly without getting in trouble,” senior Maddie Haug said about the policy changes.
Also new this year, academic lab classes will give assignments.
“Though most time spent in academic lab will be dedicated to individual student work, several times a month students will complete enrichment assignments related, but not limited, to study skills, organization, adaptability and leadership,” the syllabus states.
Assistant Principal John E. Thomas has been primarily responsible for the policy alterations.
“The changes to academic lab are really not changes. Academic lab has always been a place where students have been exposed to lessons and other pertinent information. I used to work with the department when I first arrived in 2005 and we did more of that back then,”Thomas said.
About the new assignments, senior Jackson Bontty said, “I don’t feel that [the new assignments] are helpful for some students who are taking the ac lab because they have hard classes and need more time but might be beneficial to students needing assistance in organizational strategies and such.”
“I didn’t sign up for more assignments but more time,” Bontty said.
“[Academic lab]should be a place where [students] are allowed to do homework without teachers having to come and give lessons. [Academic lab] should be strictly for what [students] need to do. Students should be allowed to go to the library, see a teacher, or even go to the bathroom,” junior Molly McPheeters said.
“I feel disappointed about these new policies because I think that in an ac lab class, we should be able to sit by whoever we want, and if you are not bothering anyone, then you should be allowed on your phones,” Haug said.
“I think ac labs should be based around a students’ workload, and students of similar work loads should be placed in ac labs together. This should also be a time where there is no structure or syllabus, but a ‘study hall’ where students can complete their homework,” Bontty said.
“Our goal [for] academic lab [is for it] to be a place to better prepare our students for success here and beyond. I think what students are feeling is that we have done a better job of aligning all of the academic labs,” Thomas said.
This will be Evelyn Trampe’s second year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her sophomore year. She is also a member of Quill and Scroll.
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