School Changes Privilege


The privilege system is making a major transition due to outcome-based grading which stirred up feelings from students October 14.

With the new system, all seniors who attend regularly and avoid discipline referrals can leave for lunch, regardless of grades. A switch to mastery learning in several classes triggered the change. 

“[Teachers] have to have learning targets, and basically that’s telling kids in the classroom what it is the teacher expects them to know and be able to do when they’re done with that lesson,” Principal Tom Chambers said.  “So, there are different levels of understanding, based on that standard. This standard-based assessment is [telling the student], “okay, this is where you’re at in that standard. That doesn’t give you, though, a percentage.”

The new standard could be a problem for students who pride themselves on getting good grades. On the other hand, some students like this new senior privilege. 

“I really like the new senior privilege,” senior Sami Hanson said. “Like, people who deserve it, even if they don’t have the grades for it, they still get the option because they show up on time. They do what they’re supposed to do which is everything but the grades.”

Privilege allows all seniors to go off campus during the lunch period, something that was implemented only last year. However, there is a policy about following school rules during this time both on and off-campus.

“I don’t mind it because like, it makes sense like they took away the grading, so then they’re gonna have to do something that’s going to be an incentive to be there,” said Hanson. “You have to show up, you have to show exemplary behavior and whatever. It’s still giving people an incentive, but it’s making them work more instead of just getting it without showing that you deserve it.”

Freshmen through juniors, however, don’t have the same privileges as seniors. They are not allowed to leave for lunch, but rather get time to either study in the classroom, library, and have the opportunity to go to the gym. These little privileges are also based on the new system. If violated they might be roosted(asked) to go to a certain classroom to get help. Or might face some time in Lunch detention. Some students feel as if this is unfair.

“Yes, I think grades show how much effort and dedication students put in, which affects the number of privileges you get during the year,” said junior Ethan Marsh.

In years prior, juniors got the privilege to leave too, as long as they had good grades.

“I think we should have the same opportunities because we’re not much different in grade level and we take almost the same classes,” said Marsh. “So, there’s not really any difference in us but somehow we’re still getting downgraded to the sophomore and freshman level.”

Even though this is how some juniors might feel about the topic, they are only a year away from getting the off-campus during lunch privilege.

“There’s been a lot of research done about grades, percentages, and things. That truly is not the best way to rank students, because some students start out at different levels,” said Chambers. “And so, with the former system it only really benefited those students who had a really high GPA, and we want to encourage all students to learn. We want all students to be a little bit smarter tomorrow than they are today and a little bit more talented this week than they were last week.”