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LPHS changes school policies

LPHS changes school policies

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LaPorte High School has changed its vaping, attendance, and lanyard policy for the 2019-2020 school year.

Vaping has become a national issue among teens, and LaPorte High School is trying to address this problem. LPHS has made a change to the disciplinary actions for students caught vaping. In the past, students would receive a three day suspension, and that did not always alleviate the issue. These new changes are going to add educational interventions, while reducing the vape related suspensions.

The first offense will result in students receiving an all day In School Detention (ISD), as well as being enrolled in a Slicer Support Service course called “Vape Educate” with Mrs. Christine Rosenbaum, who is a certified Addiction Counselor.  If the students do not complete the course and have it verified with Rosenbaum, they will be issued a citation ticket by School Resource Officer (SRO) McCoy. 

The companies who make the vaping devices target teens, and vaping devices are being used at an alarming rate, and the LPHS staff is hoping students will learn about the dangers related to vaping.

“We want to create a safe and healthy educational environment for all students and staff here in the building, so eliminating this from our building is something we are trying to do,” Kris Staats, assistant principal, said.

Attendance

The new attendance changes and point system are intended to acknowledge misused verified absences, to organize the attendance grade, and to help improve tardy interventions.

A study done in the 2018-2019 school year, showed a relative increase in tardies and verified absences in the attendance policy from 2018. During an April faculty meeting in 2019, the research was shared with all staff, who proposed the idea of a new grading system. An additional open-forum meeting was conducted in May. Based on the input and various models during that meeting, updates for the new system were chosen.

“In addition, staff expressed a need for a cap on verified days, so a cap was chosen based upon the IDOE (Indiana Department of Education) definition of excessive absences, which is 18 days per school year, equating to nine days each semester,” Andrew Merritt, LPCSC Attendance Officer, said.

The structure of the points will remain the same and is 10 percent of the final semester grade. Instead of students receiving 100 points total per semester, the new system will allow students to earn 200 points twice per semester–one at midterm and one at semester’s end. 

Students may be excused up to nine days per semester, after the nine days they will not be excused, unless the missed days are followed with a doctor’s note, identified as exempt by state, or the student has a Certificate of Incapacity Form on file.

“Continued research and input from staff will be gathered during the 2019-2020 school year and compared to the previous year to determine if there were positive results,” Merritt said. 

Lanyards & Safety

The final change is to lanyards and safety rules. The purpose behind the school ID’s is to be able to identify staff and students to create a safer environment. This lets staff know if someone is in the building who isn’t supposed to be. The yellow lanyards are for visitors, the orange for students, and the staff has black lanyards.

The lanyards will be used with the new lunch program this year. For students to be able to order lunch, they must have their school issued ID or a temporary ID.

“This new step of tying it to the lunches is to encourage kids to always remember to have them,” Staats said.

As far as safety changes, students and staff will be introduced to the “Run, Hide, and Fight” policy.

The “Run, Hide, Fight” policy will allow students and staff to be aware of what is happening in the event of an emergency. It provides options to students and faculty based on the situation and location in case of an emergency. 

“Not only does Run, Hide, Fight aim to prepare you for situations at school but also it will help prepare you for any situation out in the real world,” Staats said.

Many schools around the country are adopting this emergency technique, and LPHS will learn more as the year progresses.

It is the hope that these changes help make LPHS a safer and better school for all Slicers.

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