Changes at Township

Gianna+Casella+%2722+scans+in+to+the+G-Hall+bathroom+at+the+end+of+the+day.+The+new+policy+requires+students+to+scan+their+school+IDs+in+order+to+sign+in+and+sign+out+of+the+bathroom.

Thomas Tait '22

Gianna Casella '22 scans in to the G-Hall bathroom at the end of the day. The new policy requires students to scan their school IDs in order to sign in and sign out of the bathroom.

Kelly Wei '21, News Editor

As the 2019 – 2020 school year approached, Washington Township High School lived up the saying of “new year, new ‘me’”, but more specifically, “new school year, new adjustments.”

In time for the start of the new school year, the bathroom procedures were altered from previous years. In order to enter any of the seven bathrooms at the high school, students are required to barcode scan in and barcode scan out using their IDs. There is a maximum of four students allowed in a bathroom at one time. The reason for this is to add a level of safety when monitoring improper uses of the lavatories and be able to identify who is in the bathroom at a certain time if a situation arises. The final reason that contributed to this new change was the consideration of lock down drills.

“If we were in a true lock down situation and we needed to know and account for everybody, it would be a lot easier to go to a digital sheet rather than pulling out binders and books,” Principal Jonathan Strout says.

Strout also emphasizes that a student is able to get a temporary ID from his office located next to the Core Main Office. Each student is allowed two free IDs per semester, and a five-dollar replacement fee will be charged to the student at the third use.

Washington Township High School also no longer has bells that ring to alert students and the staff at the beginning and end of the period.

“There are no bells because at the moment, we are working to get our PA system replaced or refurbished,” Strout explains, “we are in a situation where the bells do not completely work and the only way we could get a bell would be through a phone pressed to the speaker like we do with music.”

To resolve the situation until the PA system is up and running, it was decided that music would be used to signal the end of the period. Using music to end the class periods also meant discontinuing the thirty-second bell music.

Strout also does not see the school going back to the two-minute bell, however, does stress that the additional two minutes would not be taken away from the students.

“We believe that it is more valuable for a class to end together instead of beginning together,” Strout says, “because at the beginning, teachers have to take attendance and students are off doing do-nows.”

In addition to the changes to the bathroom policies and bell schedule, homecoming this year was moved to a Friday night rather than a Saturday. One of the key reasons for this was the homecoming football game occurring on a Saturday evening.

“This is not the first time that the homecoming dance was on a Friday and the homecoming game was on a Saturday,” Strout informs as there were multiple times where the order has been reversed from year to year.

In order to determine when the homecoming dance will be, the Minutemen football schedule is organized first. This schedule is then sent off, and it was reasoned that October 26th was the most ideal game.

Another key reason for the dance being on a Friday was mainly due to lack of chaperones. Most of the staff found it best to work through the day, stay the night for the dance on a Friday and then get to enjoy the rest of the weekend for themselves or with family. In the previous year, Washington Township High School was warned by the fire marshal that there were not enough adults for the homecoming. The high school was most definitely not eager to come into the same situation again either.

The reasoning behind the game being more ideal on a Saturday also took in the community’s best interest as far as availability. For example, graduate students have an easier time participating in the festivities by not missing the Spirit Parade.

“Just to be clear, it could be either way next year,” Strout expressed.

Strout also made a point to address some of the many rumors that have flown around recently. Firstly, senior trip would not be moved to Busch Gardens or cancelled. Moreover, there would be no cancellation of homecoming or Mr. WashingtonTownship.

“I am all for them. I think they are good for school and community,” Strout proclaims.

Lastly, some minor efforts have been made to slowly ease the school population into the upcoming schedule change for next fall. Strout has disclosed that a whole school assembly, allowing some students a few minutes of freedom before the first class following the assembly, and the loss of the wall that separated the freshmen and sophomores in the 9/10 cafeteria were practice for next year. Strout has yet to reveal most of the details about the schedule and conveys that the decision is not fully finalized. More information will be divulged to the community at a later date.