Student handbook will undergo its yearly review


Maddie Kurtovich

The handbook revisions may also impact small pieces of the dress code.

Alicia Fripp, Staff Writer

Unknown to students, every year a review is taken of the Student Handbook. The Administrators at BSM go through it and make changes to make sure that the handbook stays relevant to the community.

Even though the handbook is currently being reviewed for next year, it isn’t confirmed that any changes will actually be made. “It may not be changed,” Principal Dr. Susan Skinner said.

That said, the handbook is under a more thorough review than it has seen for a while. The Administrators are looking at the rules in the handbook to make sure that they are both relevant to the community and in line with its values. “This year we’re taking a deeper dive and asking two different questions of our handbook. Every year we review, and there are usually some changes but right now we aren’t ready to say, and this is what the changes are,” Skinner said.

The handbook is reviewed by asking two main questions of the current policies: does it say what the staff actually enforce, and do these rules reflect the values of the BSM community. In other words, are we applying these rules? If no, then is it because they don’t work or are no longer relevant? Or do we just need to enforce them more?

This year we’re taking a deeper dive and asking two different questions of our handbook.

— Dr. Susan Skinner

The second lens that they look through pertains to the values of the community and whether or not the guidelines of the handbook uphold those values. “With every procedure that we have, there has to be some underlying value that means something to us, that we find to be important. That really helps us to function well as a community, that is respectful, that shows compassion but yet accountability,” Skinner said.

This year, in addition to the Administrative Team working on the handbook, senior high teachers have also been asked to weigh in on what they think about the current policies in the handbook. To answer the two big questions but also to see if there are any rules that are just difficult to enforce or that they think should be changed, modified, or added.

As far as where they are looking at making changes, nothing is really decided on, but dress code, wellness, and attendance are definitely on the list. “We always look at dress code. We probably would do a deeper dive on attendance, especially with wellness, we are going to have to change how wellness is done in terms of attendance. I think it was pretty cumbersome for students this year… I think we always want to look at our bullying policies and our acceptable use policies for technology. Those always get reviewed,” Skinner said.

We are going to have to change how wellness is done in terms of attendance.

— Dr. Susan Skinner

Although it would be easy to suspect that a lot of the new changes are because of the new principal, this isn’t the case. In fact this year the new assistant principal won’t be involved in the process of reviewing the Handbook, although next year they will be. “We’re not going to include the new assistant principal in this spring review, just because she hasn’t been here, she doesn’t have as much of a context as maybe the rest of us do, but every year we review so she’ll be involved in next year’s review,” Skinner said.