Among the upcoming changes to the Havre High School student handbook, two of the biggest are attempts to reward students for positive behavior.
At Tuesday night’s Board of Trustees meeting, Havre High’s Assistant Principal Kipp Lewis explained some of these changes that had passed through year-long discussions in a committee of faculty, administrators and students.
The first change is to reward students who are not tardy with an extended lunch once a week.
The idea came from Corvallis High School, where every Tuesday students are allowed to leave for lunch five minutes early. If a student is tardy or absent without an excuse however, they have to sit and watch the punctual students enjoy the extra time.
Corvallis Principal Jason Wirt said the program has been quite a success.
“We basically wanted to start rewarding kids for following the rules, ” Wirt said. “It was more a way of saying ‘We appreciate you being respectful and on time. ’ Kids always ask about a longer lunch.
“For the kids that don’t follow the rules, we still do the detentions, but hopefully there’s some positive peer pressure there. ”
The other change is to allow students who have missed too much class, but are otherwise performing well academically, to make up missed time.
Currently, if a student misses 10 days of class, they automatically lose credit for that semester’s classes.
Lewis said that there are students who approach that limit, but are still getting A’s and B’s in their classes.
Under the new rules, these students would be able to make up missed time either before or after school.
“Not a detention, but like a detention, ” Lewis said.
For every class period missed, the student would have to stay an extra hour. For every entire day missed, the student would have to stay for five hours.
Lewis explained to the trustees that the extra time will allow students to avoid losing credit, but also teach them the importance of attending class, because they’ll have to spend that time in a desk anyway.
The trustees approved these changes for the 2012-2013 Havre High student handbook.