CHAMPION SCHOOL BOARD DIALOGUE WITH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
QUESTIONS FOR MONDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2017 BOARD DIALOGUE
1. How would you critique Champion Schools? What are the strengths and weaknesses as you see them?
Strengths: Education-test scores higher than surrounding districts; offer more classes/choices for students; administration listens to our suggestions for new classes; student voice/student advisory; academics are strong; teachers are strong; CCP classes are a strength; CCP teachers are great; taking CCP classes here is good; everyone gets along; great college classes; teachers are really good; class preparedness for college is good; teaching staff goes above and beyond; a lot of opportunities here; teachers are good; newsletters on email good; a lot of teachers are good; like having teachers multiple times; clubs have grown; like the participation; fairly good.
Weaknesses: No life skills; no home ec.; school unity/no sense of community; no school spirit; don’t support other sports; fine arts are not acknowledged enough; communication not enough to students; first period announcements only—do them after lunch; nurse only here for two hours a day. (Correct information is that a nurse is at the high school building two hours but in district and on call the rest of the day.)
2. What do Champion parents say about Champion High School?
They’re well informed; my mom likes the school, she’s an alum, thinks it’s a good school; hear good things (softball/baseball teams); good sense of support (especially for the teams even when they’re not the best); my mom went to another district and she says this school is way better; my mom likes the teachers a lot; we get opportunities that other schools don’t get; feel good sending kids into a safe environment; teachers help the kids; think education is good; more academic classes good; speak highly of Champion; schools have a bit of everything good; a better education, good community; very impressed with great college opportunities; glad I can open enroll; like the system; like being updated; they send out reminders, schedules; like the college course opportunities; I’m prepared for college.
3. How would you rate the discipline at CHS? Is it fair? Consistent? Good or not good? Explain.
Not consistent; not enough discipline in some situations; it’s lenient when it shouldn’t be; dress code and coming in late handled more severely than should be; not consistent among teachers; “I’m having a problem with a person.” “What did you do to him?”; when something bad happens and student tries to take care of it in a mature way one person could get in trouble for something that another person doesn’t; if you are more involved (in sports) you get away with more; two groups in the school didn’t get along, no guidance from teachers; inconsistent, laid back until something happens then it’s harsh, no middle ground; dress code is inconsistent; girls have problem not boys, some teachers are more involved with dress code than others; teachers are ones who apply dress code differently; Fair-not much trouble.
4. What degree of input do students have regarding matters at CHS? Are you asked for your ideas on matters important to you? Give examples.
Yes, we got a say on almost everything; wanted Writing 2 class, philosophy, journalism; we worked on rules; CCP flex get to come in late/early, no lunch, we asked for this; powder puff game, pep rallies; pretty much everything we have a say in; student advisory board does well; feels like they have input; dress code is relaxed because of it; rule book is better due to input.
I don’t think we are asked; scenario based on coaching; should have more input on school matters; not really a problem; clubs get more of a “say so”; students can ask teachers for flexibility.
5. How do the students treat each other at CHS? How much bullying takes place? What type of bullying happens most? What ideas do you have that would help eliminate bullying?
Not much bullying; too much passive-aggressive; cliques; we try to be nice but there are some people that talk about others; we may not hang out with others, but we do talk to them; I have 4 or 5 groups I’d hang out with; Sophomore class had a lot of issues; majority of kids are good; CTC mix it up at lunch—ways to meet new people; the more involved you are the more friends you have; even though we do that some kids who won’t talk to others, like at a pep rally some kids won’t cheer—some may be quiet; everyone has friends, someone to talk to; not much bullying now; just some joking around; pretty much not here; still haves some on social media; don’t see it a lot; mostly friendly banter, not much; don’t see much; I think everyone treats everyone pretty good; not much bullying; no problems seen or heard; verbal; rumors; judgmental; done through phone, social media; double-edged sword; tech is tough to eliminate; outlet for those who have issues; goes away with maturity.
6. Do you feel safe while you are at school? What makes you feel safe? What could be improved in this area?
The police officer makes us feel safe; glad to have an officer; ALICE drill, fire drills help; during the bomb threats I didn’t feel safe because nobody was doing anything; cameras at entrances help; during bomb threats in girls restrooms only girls had to sign in even though there were threats in the boys; been to schools where anyone can walk in; seen the cop stop people without the visitor pass; ALICE drills feel real; feel safe; cop here somewhere so it’s good; must be buzzed in; safety in right spot; ALICE training is good; feel safe, no problems; safe; having a police officer certainly helps; feel safe; feel safe; feel safe; when bomb threats came feel parents weren’t contacted enough; here I feel safe.
7. Describe the problem with smoking by students during school hours? What ideas do you have to eliminate that problem?
Not a problem; someone got in trouble for vaping at a football game; some kids do smoke in their cars on school, maybe this needs to be added to contract for parking spaces; people smoke by bathrooms at football games or outside the door at basketball games; at soccer games on visitor sides-athletes breathe it in; is it illegal to smoke on school property? Because if it is, they should be asked to stop; we need NO SMOKING signs and on announcements; non-existent; never see anyone smoke; no not me. Never seen; no not seen; no I don’t see it; no not seen (mostly vaporing); see vaping occurring.
8. Do you think the random drug testing program has done anything to reduce or discourage the use of drugs by students in school or out of school? What about the baseline testing for all athletes starting this year?
Baseline—good idea—caused some kids to stop smoking; testing helps encourage kids not to do drugs; people that do drugs—not stopping them; kids that do drugs aren’t involved; baseline is what caused most kids to stop; even though it’s random it’s not random; good excuse for peer pressure; when kids did get caught with a positive drug test, kid only had to sit 2 games not enough punishment; effective deterrent; want alcohol testing too, feel it would address weekend drinking; the athletes start doing it won’t matter going to do it anyways; only been during testing; going to do it after season is over; helps a bit; virtually pointless waste of money, only helps doing drugs but not in summer; should have been split up, more random; people stop for a period of time; good for the time being; but a lot of people think that the same people get tested.
9. Describe the degree of alcohol usage by students during school. Do you think alcohol usage is more prevalent by students on the weekends? Do you have ideas that could reduce student use of alcohol?
Alcohol was worst the past two years; never during school; coffee for school, not alcohol; on the weekends but only certain groups and every weekend; a lot of kids that drink their parents let them; it’s just part of high school; awareness is here—it just doesn’t change their minds; but it’s still important to have awareness assemblies; we do enough there’s nothing more to do; breathalyzer was a good idea; none at school; yes on weekends; testing of students; assemblies are effective; more on weekends; a lot of the home life; more outside of school definitely; out of school, weekends, not the school’s responsibility to stop it; more family involvement; mostly on weekends; more on weekends; out of school, weekends.
10. What benefits can you cite to having a resource/police officer here at the building?
Car outside is a deterrent; It’s nice to have him here, it’s comforting with what’s going on in the world; they know our policies (pass book, visitor badges); in a small school and we all know each other; PO is a deterrent like a security system; they seem to like to be here—they’re passionate about being here; they’re actually monitoring the school; they talk to us; not a total stranger (should something happen) it’s good to not be afraid to talk to an officer; safer; interacts with students; has their back; people know not to bring things in; assures that they are safe; valuable resource; third party; good thing; like to have resource officer here; more comfortable around the police.
11. How would you describe the level of respect between teachers and students here at CHS?
Low level of respect between; last year a teacher told me another teacher was talking about me; teachers start the disrespect and talk about one class or another; “she hates your class”; you’re irritating the teacher”; we don’t feel like there’s mutual respect; we would like to be treated more like adults; some teachers are very respectful; it’s hard to get along with some teachers; some teachers push the line of a laid-back relationship; can go to some teachers about anything, things outside of school; some teachers want you to succeed; more good helpful teachers than low; two-way street; if you give respect you get it; not a lot of disrespect here; a few teachers that don’t get any respect; varies on teachers; the respect is there; kids kind of forget that the teacher is the authority but also a friend; very low; students back talk; not a lot of respect.
12. What kind of help do you receive through the Guidance department? Do you have ideas how your guidance office could help you more?
For emotional aspect need someone to talk to about life issues; they do see “troubled kids” regularly; there are adults that we can go to at the school for issues—just not the counselors; we’re just more comfortable (especially teachers); I’m an aide for Guidance so I know them better; at the middle school they have conflict resolution (mediation); people are amazing; super heroes; helping with scheduling; helping with future; accessible; get called down to find out what he was going to do with his life; helped a lot; sometimes it’s packed during scheduling time; would be good to have temp help then; very good; no problems; help with schedules; thorough; helpful with college; need another CCP counselor; meet with seniors more.
13. What extracurricular activities at CHS are most popular with students? What are not? What makes some more popular than others? What do you think would make more students want to get involved in extracurricular activities?
Most people that are involved are still involved because they start early; it should be more accepted to start sports late—offer support to kids that want to start late; at other schools they won’t let new kids on, but we do here; it’s more readily available; some people aren’t motivated to join groups, they don’t understand how rewarding it can be to be in a group; Freshman activity assembly we should include the whole school; sports—a lot of people won’t go out because they haven’t played in a while; the plays—a lot of the kids aren’t involved in a lot of other activities; a lot of activities kids join when their friends are joining; need to make it easier for kids to make friends, Freshmen with upperclassmen; a lot of kids don’t have time, can’t do musical because of sports schedules; bowling least; cross country, less kids are going out for sports now; success of teams and other opportunities lessen team-size and those going out; softball, baseball, basketball most popular; learn to do the volunteer projects; very limited on winter sports; football needs more emphasis; sports, golf is getting bigger; clubs are growing; advertise clubs more; get people to stick with it; band is least recognized; hosted regionals here and no one knew, only a handful of middle school.
14. Do you know your grades in your classes? How do you know this? Do your parents use the P.A.M. system, and what do you think of it?
I love P.A.M.—I would cry without it; I like that kids can have their own account; all kids should make their own account; have noticed mistakes so it’s a good thing to check; I don’t know what I’d do without it; like that we don’t have to bother the teachers; yes, use P.A.M.; parents use P.A.M., everyone knows to check daily; know the grades, parents check; use P.A.M. system; can see grades before the end of the 9 weeks.
15. What opportunities do you have to use any type of technology in your classrooms? Is more technology needed? If yes, what kind? How do you think technology should be used in the classroom?
Better WiFi—go over on data because I can’t get on WiFi; student WiFi isn’t strong; Chromebooks are good but they’re on teacher WiFi; media center computers slow; don’t like coming to library—like to be by teacher; can’t print off of Chromebooks yet; need to connect to the teachers; some classes require several paper copies; online college classes need print; WiFi slow—we can’t use our own devices; need codes for printers—can be difficult; stigma if you don’t have a printer at home; more access to a printer; like phones over Chromebooks; 50/50 use of online only by teachers; update speed of network; “very slow; many just use their own data plan in class; two classes only; not allowed to text parents during the day; too much tech, no pencil and paper; no books; no backup plan if computer off; locked down too much; cannot do research; Chromebooks do not allow CCP students to do things.
16. How would you rate the range of courses you have to choose from at CHS? If more are needed, what are the courses most needed?
Good range of courses—core CCP; could use more electives; sometimes classes get eliminated because only offered one time a day; can’t pick classes because of schedules; need to know when (what period) classes are offered; would like to schedule later; junior honors writing 1 they kept changing when it was offered, course was changed after school year started (liberal arts); a lot of variety; could use more electives; home economics—would take cooking classes; engineering elective was great and should be brought back; college/honors classes; amount of teachers good; a lot of college classes at Kent; Home Ec; general business-checking/finance; more electives, more art classes, more student input of classes they want; a lot of electives are 5th period and interfere with band.
17. How challenged are you in your classes? Are classes too tough? Too easy? Just hard enough? Explain.
Good mixture; I’ve studies a lot more now than ever; CCP more work; normal class not so much; honors classes challenging; courses for everyone even if you don’t do honors courses it’s a good challenge; lots of good challenging courses that everyone can take something and still succeed; we are more for college than other schools; can take classes based on what you want to do in the future; non-CCP classes are pretty easy; electives are really easy; core classes are about right; depends on the teaching style; everyone has strengths/weaknesses; tough rigor; difficult sometimes; depends on class and teacher; depends on person also; decent balance of hard/easy.
18. How many of you have taken or are now taking any CCP/Post-Secondary classes for dual college and high school credit? What benefit does taking dual credit courses offer you?
Five of nine at this table taking CCP; prepared for college more than not taking them; free credit and more prepared; helps with no loans; wide variety of pre-req. Good leeway, they’re not as hard as college—good transition. Five of eight at this table taking CCP classes; are much harder; saving for college; teachers really work hard with them; gets you ready for college; writing/calculus are hard like college; very thankful for it; such a savings to parents. Two of nine at this table take CCP; lots of homework.
19. How are the TCTC programs regarded? Quality of the programs at TCTC? Discipline at TCTC?
Great opportunity; good opportunities for them; negative base stigma; great program—we feel bad people view them like this; keep for the work field; people who don’t know what they want to do after high school; those that need help; core classes are easier there; more focus on trade; none of us go there; good school if you know what to do; if they come back they are really behind; more trade based.
20. How many of you have some idea of what you want to do after graduation?
All nine (at this table) have some idea; some are college bound; were pushed to do that here; or the military—recruiter at lunch; we are always told of all our opportunities
Seven of eight (at this table) plan on college, one to welding trade school.
Medical field; no idea; college NYU travel photography; music education; electrical engineer, geological engineering; doctor/surgeon; not sure; police officer; accounting; forensics; photo journalism; biomedical engineering; pharmacy.
21. Do you have any recommendations or concerns you would like to share with the Board of Education?
Toilet seat covers in the bathrooms; senior skip day—people from sports were punished, goes with school spirit, want traditions honored; longer pep rallies; library—we wish we had one—shelf of books; maybe we need to get library cards—can someone come here to get them for us; better hand sanitizer in classrooms—foamy stuff makes hands smell; Use STEM lab for study hall; study hall-teacher in media center; digital arts disrupts; work on getting out of campus (copy or someone directing traffic would be great); flex schedule for upperclassmen; open lunch would be awesome to eat at home; parking lot needs fixed; air conditioning is needed as rooms are scorching; 94-100 scale hurts students going to college on their GPA; portions in the cafeteria are small, not enough food for athletes; quality varies—try to be healthy but it doesn’t work; bring back French fries and Bea Small’s cookies; Chromebooks for all; Google classroom is good; synchronize use by teachers to Google exclusively; students checking multiple sites; bring home ec classes back to prepare us to go out into the world; wrestling would be good; weight room more accessible with possibly a camera put in so kids have a key to room; heat and air; food not good; salad bar; better fruit instead of apple sauce/pear sauce; would buy every day if had grilled chicken; panini press added this year; portions are small.