Changes in 2022-23 school year

Vincent Niewald News Editor

A collection of physical changes around the building, as well as staff and faculty changes, and even some changes to policy kicked off the 2022-23 school year at East. 

“We tried to think of a way that would streamline the tardy policy for teachers because they have to change the attendance every time someone walks in late. We tried to figure out an idea to streamline that policy. The QR codes are  to help with that,” Schultz said. 

Other items to note are the school rules posters all around the building, as well as the Boys’ Town Social Skills, and the Bellevue East Referral and Behavior Management Protocol. Said protocol is divided into minor and major categories, with minor infractions being occurrences like disrespect to a peer, or insubordination to an adult. 

The more major infractions include verbal/written abuse, or harassment and bullying. Of course, they are only a small part of the actual protocol. East has an MTSS committee (Multi Tiered System of Support) that handles academic and behavioral issues within the school. Schultz said that the committee is crucial to changes like the QR code. 

“Something like 16% of our students had 40 or more tardies last year, and almost half of our student population had received an 18 day letter of absence. We sent out a survey to staff to get their input, and all of the ideas came from the staff and committee,” Schultz said. 

Aside from changes in tracking tardies and referrals, there have been some physical changes as well. Improvements have been made to the library and Beast Brew, as well as a new Student Support Center in the school. Principal Jeffrey Wagner notes that he welcomes outside ideas. 

“A lot of it comes around either by student or staff requests. Really my job is to hear it. So yeah, let’s go with it and find out, how do we pay for it? Really it’s a lot of student ideas and staff ideas,” Wagner said. 

With so many changes occurring, it can be a bit jarring for some students, especially seniors who are already used to the status quo. 

Developing relationships with the new staff is one challenge that seniors face, after having familiar faces for the past three years of their high school careers. 

“Personally I don’t think they really affects me too much because I do what I’m supposed to anyway, but I think with the old deans in their old rules, relationships and trust were built but now with all the new deans they don’t know all of us the way the old ones did so that trust isn’t really built up,” DeMeo said.

While she can understand the reasoning behind the recent changes, DeMeo thinks that the new deans are just a bit too strict and uncompromising. That, combined with teachers’ varying levels of enforcement in regards to upholding the rules, can send mixed messages for students. 

“I just think that eventually the strict rules need to be let up a little. I know some kids don’t earn trust from their teachers the way others can and it’s not fair to treat people differently, but if a student is showing that they are trustworthy I think they should be given a little more leeway,” DeMeo said.