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Briefs

Friday October 2, the Varsity football team plays North Farmington in their Homecoming Game. The homecoming tailgate will be at 6:00 p.m. before the game, and the game starts at 7:00. The Homecoming Dance is at 8:00 p.m. in the gym, doors close at 9:00, every student needs an ID to attend. This years Volley for a Cure is being played at Andover on October 15. Varsity plays at 7:00; Tshirts will be on sale soon, all proceeds are donated to fight Breast Cancer. October 24 is Make a Difference Day, Bloomfield Hills Schools partner with Gleaner’s and Kids Against Hunger.

Photo by Maddie McIlhon

Sophomore Danny Vessels walks into newspaper class tardy and will need to come back with a pass.

School year starts off with reinforced policy Administration and teachers are cracking down on tardiness this year Melanie Greenspan co-life editor

Due to the lack of attention to arriving to class on time, the attendance and tardy policy is taking top priority in the eyes of the administration in order to change the culture at Andover and to initiate responsibility upon its students. Tardy Policy “It is pretty common behavior for about 100-125 kids to come to school late after the bell has rung,” Associate Principal Lou Ruggirello says. “Not only are they coming in late, but they are coming in with their coffee cups from Starbucks and they’re walking slowly and not making any attempt to get to school on time.” Principal Rob Durecka explains how from a teacher perspective, enforcements are the same as in the past, “The emphasis has really not changed from a teacher responsibility. They are responsible for anyone who is tardy between zero minutes up to five minutes. After five minutes is where the change has come into place, we are sending students to the attendance office to get a pass and it will be an unexcused late pass.” Durecka continues on the policy, “The next time, the same procedure happens and you get your pass to enter. It’s noted as your second unexcused late and a letter is sent home. The third time, you have to get a pass and that is when

a detention is issued by Mr. Bowers. The fourth time, two detentions. The fifth time, three detentions, the sixth time, an in house suspension and then after that, there will be some sort of formal meeting with the administration.” The official count will start on September 21 of how many unexcused lates there are and the letters will start to be generated, according to Durecka. “Actually, there are really no new policies here,” explains Durecka, “other than how we have added an enforcement measure to the existing policy. The code book does talk about attendance and we are within that perimeter, but what we have added is a formalized consequence. If students skip class then that is something the administration will deal with.” “So far, kids have been pretty good. Ninety-nine percent of the time kids understand what we’re asking them to do and that one percent we will deal with,” Ruggirello adds. Senior Omar Hadied has strong feelings about the enforcement of the tardy policy. “I don’t like it because if you get stuck in traffic, then you have to wait in line at the attendance office to get a pass. You’re going to be running late once in a while,” says Hadied. Math teacher Linda Robinson adds, “I have never had to ask them to go get a pass. They know they are coming too late and they go get a pass. Being in class on time ready to work is really an important part of the learning process. When the tardy bell rings students go ‘oh yes, I better go to class’ and a lot of teachers had given up on marking tardies because there was no support. Mr. Durecka observed for a year, and he put in a new tardy policy

and I think its doing great.” Attendance Not only is getting to class on time becoming a priority, but so is regularly attending class. According to Robinson, “If it’s unexcused, we have a policy that we need to enforce. The fourth unexcused absence you lose credit for the course. There is no policy on excused absences, so they can miss as much as they want, but then they miss content.” Ruggirello agrees, “If a kid has 50 absences, it is going to be reflected in their grades. If there is an illness or a legitimate reason that is different. But, ultimately, its going to come down to the classroom and it’s going to come down to the parents.” “For those students who are absent, generally the curriculum has its impact because they miss that much instruction. Most students who are absent that much are not successful because they miss the opportunity to receive the benefit of instruction,” Durecka adds on why they are enforcing it. The consequence from the code of conduct is that after three unexcused absences, teachers have the option to affect the grade, according to Durecka. For more information on the new administrative focuses, please contact the main office.

It is pretty common behavior for about 100125 kids to come to school late after the bell has rung.

The upcoming Andover vs. Lahser soccer games are Thursday, October 1. Junior varsity plays at 5:00 p.m. and varsity plays at 7:00 p.m. There will be a blood drive at Andover on November 2 run by the American Red Cross. You must be at least 17 years of age in order to donate blood. Spirit Week hallway decorating will be Thursday, October 1 from 3-6 p.m. Pizza will be provided.

MYP: Rohr’s prideful project from A1

I dedicated to my project and evaluate the end result, I have nothing but pride. I love that I created something that directly impacts my community. Parts of my project are even being currently used at the Nature Center. I am truly grateful for this experience. At the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year, the administration decided to require all sophomore students to complete the personal project. This year, the students will get large amounts of time to work during the school day. I believe this will only take away from the greater goal of the project. The personal project isn’t meant to be just another required school assignment. It’s supposed to force students to be independent and push themselves to do something they wouldn’t normally do. If required to do this, the sophomore class won’t appreciate this experience nearly as much. However, the requirement is not going to change. It has already been decided that every student in the sophomore class will complete the personal project this year. The most important thing right now is that each one appreciates the great opportunities this project provides. Very few schools offer this. Why not take advantage of it? They should push themselves to new heights. They need to pick something they want to do and will enjoy over the course of the year. There is absolutely no reason any of the sophomore class should be saying they don’t like MYP at the end of the year. When else will they get complete control over a project? At the end of last year, once I had completed my personal project, I turned to my mom and said, “You know what? I wish I could do the personal project next year too.” That wasn’t a joke either.

PINE LAKE: School debacle

from A1

Izabela Koscielny is the mother of former Pine Lake student Maya Koscielny, and is upset with the closing of this school for Bloomfield Hills students. “Pine Lake School was a home away from home. The principal, Tony Kruzman, created of a very, very close community. Parents were watching over each other’s kids, the principal knew every child’s name and their families. Closing

this school was a tremendous loss not only to the community, but to the children and their perception of where they belong. Children are thrown into this bigger school where classrooms are smaller and more crowded.” Koscielny adds, “Middle school is a hard period. It is a tremendous transition for a young person to go through,

Pine Lake was a home away from home. The principal created a very close community.

and having [building] operating. It kids at an also preserves the school even youngproperty and brings rever age goenue into the district. ing through The contract that we have such a transiwith Waterford brings tion is quite a in about a $250,000.” lot for them Martin Brooks, president to handle. It of the Board of Education, is a lot for us, says that, in a perfect world, as a family, to he would rather have all take. We acof the school district’s tually considbuildings being used by ered changBloomfield Hills students. ing schools However, Brooks conand moving cludes that, “This is not a Photo by Bridget Sanders out of the black and white decision. A view of the newly deserted Pine Lake Elementary district.” There is no right or Many parents like Kosciwrong answer. There Gaynor believes that, “It elny disapprove of the closwere many factors to be [the lease of Pine Lake Eling of Pine Lake Elementary considered, and it was a ementary] is ideal. Numto Bloomfield Hills students. tough decision to make.” ber one, it keeps the school

Andover Shield September 2009  

The online publication for The Andover Shield newspaper from September 2009.