Staff Editorial: Communication Issues Cause Confusion
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Throughout the school year, NHS students have commented on the lack of communication from administrators, which has caused confusion and stress.
Several issues have been brought up about communication such as inability to hear announcements over the loudspeaker and not being informed on new hallway rules, ACT dates, Chromebook check in and finals schedule.
The quiet announcements have been an issue for awhile. With announcements only occurring once per week combined with not being able to hear, students are less in the loop about school news. This issue could be solved by frequent Schoology posts or daily announcements being shown on the hallway monitors. The loudspeaker is obviously not the best way to communicate information to students. Transcripts of daily announcements are available online, but few students know of this resource. Satellite hopes to inform students by linking to the announcements on our homepage.
Why does such a large disconnect exist between the administrators and students? With various forms of technology at administrators’ and students’ fingertips, news should be easily spread. Yet, students seem more uninformed about events than ever before.
New hallway rules were apparently put into place during the middle of November, however, students wondered for weeks what those rules were exactly. Not knowing the rules left students hesitant to ever walk in the hallway, especially after hearing rumors that being caught in the hallway without a pass would lead to an immediate suspension or a $200 fine. Months after the new hallway rules, NHS students have reverted back to the old rules and now roam the hallways without passes.
Both students and teachers felt stress over not knowing whether a finals schedule would be in place or not. No official notice was sent to students indicating the change to no finals schedule. Rumors circulated about having a half day on the Friday of finals week to “go over” tests with teachers, having a full day of school on Friday for finals, having finals Monday and Tuesday and having no finals at all. The final decision that no finals schedule would be in place took people by surprise. Teachers had to make changes to their plans in order to accommodate the schedule. Students stressed about the possibility of having seven finals in one day. Clarity of communication could have relieved some stress.
Juniors have spoken up about the confusion over ACT dates. Many students have wondered if the ACT will occur in school during the day, as it did last year. The ACT will happen on March 1-2 during school, however, this is not common knowledge. This information should have been spread to juniors much in advance since they need time to prepare and study or schedule other ACT testing dates.
Finally, teachers have expressed concern over the newly announced Chromebook check-in dates. Chromebooks will be turned in the week of May 16, three weeks before the end of the school year. While this announcement may seem well in advance, it has concerned teachers who expected to use Chromebooks through the end of the year. Now, without Chromebooks, teachers have rushed to schedule lab time and reserve computer carts. Taking away Chromebooks before finals seems inconvenient for students and teachers.
This year seemed like an opportune time to utilize technology since every student has a Chromebook. Instead of communicating important information to students through e-mail or Schoology, administrators have continued to use the loudspeaker and once-a-week “daily” announcements. The hallway monitors should be a tool to show students the announcements. Better communication is essential to create a better NHS.