Castaic’s Spring Reboot: Pros and Cons

Castaics+Spring+Reboot%3A+Pros+and+Cons

Kendra Leroux, Editor of Creativity

Castaic High’s journey since its opening about three years ago has been a roller coaster. Because of Covid, there were many challenges the school had to face. Rallies were canceled, classes were taught virtually, and there was a severe lack of school spirit. This year, students are fully in person and attempting to find a new “normal.” The first semester of the year was successful with Castaic’s first dance and attempts to create a positive environment and culture such as lunch time activities, rallies, and music at lunch. In week one of the second semester, many students were shocked by the news of a Spring Reboot. The goal of the reboot is to implement new policies that will help Castaic “reassess, regroup, and rebuild,” for another successful semester. The information about what the policies included was released through a google slide presentation during the advisory period. Three major changes were put forward involving attendance, cellphones, and campus safety.

 

Attendance has been an ongoing and prevalent issue administration and parents have had to deal with since Castaic High’s school inaugural year. For some students the bells have become a “suggestion,” but this new policy is enforcing that bells must be taken as a signal to arrive to class on time. Teachers are using parent meetings, lunch detentions, and revoking off campus privileges to compel students to arrive in class on time before the final bell rings. This issue has become even more prominent at Castaic High in the 2021-2022 school year since the first junior class is on campus. Many upperclassmen have their license, meaning off campus passes were released for lunch and brunch. Many students have a hard time arriving to class on time after using their off-campus privileges. 

 

For many parents and teachers, this rule was much appreciated. The new policy helps students get to class on time, so the tardy count should significantly decrease by the semester’s end. The issue is, some students view the policy as too harsh. If five tardies in one quarter are counted, the school will call their parents and set up a meeting with the admin. This is considered a small amount of tardies, so some are wondering why it calls for such a major course of action. 

 

The cell phone policy is debatably the most hated change from students. The school’s goal for cell phones is to make them less of a consuming distraction by having students silence and place their phones in a bag or backpack. If a teacher sees a student distracted by their phone during class, they have the right to take it and use a cell phone pocket, also known as a “cell phone jail.” Students can retrieve it after class and use it after the period freely. This concerns parents because they might not be able to reach their kids if there is an emergency. Another problem is music is a big part of many students’ lives, so they fear this new policy will take that privilege away. The school stands by their actions because cyber bullying, filming without permission, and texting during class interrupts student focus, hindering learning. However, if students obey the rule of keeping their phone in their backpack, the cell phone pockets won’t need to be used. 

 

Campus safety is the final policy and a constant concern. There are 2 overarching rules: students must wear their ID on a lanyard at all times, and “students will not be allowed on campus without being enrolled in a class.” The ID is used to scan and prove Crisis Go was completed in the morning and record student attendance. If lanyards are worn throughout the day, supervisors have an easier job removing people who do not belong on campus. Students that have an open period are not technically enrolled in any class at that time, limiting what they can and cannot do. During a free period, students are either able to leave school and come back, or participate in student service. The class is eligible to help students earn elective credit and a letter grade. 

 

This is another highly debated rule, especially with the lanyards. Many students feel it is pointless to constantly wear a lanyard when we already scanned in, while supervisors and admin say they will use it to differentiate people who should not be at the school. It is an extreme safety precaution, but one that helps eliminate campus threats. In fact, Castaic was on lockdown due to an adult from COC on campus. This policy of IDs helped supervisors realize he should not have been at the school. He was detained and thankfully nothing bad happened. Situations like that are why the board is limiting student freedom, yet many students are still unhappy about the other changes. For some students, parents are not available to pick them up for an open period and they are not old enough to drive, therefore they are forced to participate in student service. Additionally, it is inconvenient to leave campus and come back very shortly after. Some students treat Castaic extremely disrespectfully, making administrators implement these types of policies. TikTok trends like the “devious lick” challenge and days such as “slap a teacher” all encouraged the limitation of student freedom on campus. Not all students participated in these challenges, but enough did to permanently damage our beautiful campus. Since they abused the privilege of being in school for the open period, the admin took it away.

 

The new policies fully went into effect, yet many people on campus are not wearing lanyards and are keeping cell phones out to use them. There is a split on campus of people who believe the rules are necessary, while others completely disagree. Either way, these policies will be continually enforced to help the students at Castaic be safe, focused, and create an improved 2022 school year.