New administration allows hats, sweeps halls to get kids to class


Hezekiah Likekele

Junior Vivian Mendez Donis shows off the hat that she is now allowed to wear.

Sara Durr and Sarah Elbeshbishi

Hall sweeps and the hat policy are the two main changes that came with the new administration this school year, allowing students more freedom while ensuring students’ attendance.

The new administration has certain priorities for this year, including shaping the culture at Watkins Mill rather than changing it into something unrecognizable, enforcing a respectful environment, and limiting the conflict between members in the building.

The new policy change that students seem to enjoy the most  is the ability to wear hats during the school day. “We don’t want [students’] first interaction to be ‘take it off,’” assistant school administrator Steven Orders said.

“Some staff members would ask students to take their hats off and some would not, it caused conflict among staff members,” principal Carol Goddard added. With new changes to the dress code, there is a decrease in conflicts between teachers and students.  With fewer guidelines, there is less that students feel they can defy and less staff needs to reprimand.

Though school policy allows hats to be worn, some teachers still enforce the old policy. “I enforce the hat policy inside of my classroom,” social studies teacher Sandy Young said. “I’m a little old school about hats in buildings…I just think you should dress a certain way for school.”

Hall sweeps are a new policy implemented this year, which are being used to clear up all expectations of the students, provide structure throughout the building, and to enforce the accountability of the students. The possibility of a sweep at anytime means students are now more aware of getting to class on time, therefore avoiding detention.

“I’m doing hall sweeps because there was a great amount of kids missing the first great instruction in the classroom,” Goddard said. “They’re missing the purpose of the lesson.” Hall sweeps seem to be doing their job by reducing the amount of kids in the hallways and tardies to class.

Some students have even thanked Goddard for the new policies. “I think hall sweeps are actually very good for the school,” junior Jerome Naulgan said. “It encourages students to get to class on time due to the fact that students can get lunch detention.”


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