New Comment Added to Third Quarter Interim Progress Reports

Carlie Schwaeber ’12
Web News Editor

On March 5, 2010, Interim Progress Reports (IPR) were sent out to all the students of Staples High School.  The usual comments such as “An absolute gem; always sparkling”, or, “Test grades are inconsistent” are not surprising, as students are used to seeing them.  However, this quarter, a new comment made an appearance; comment 535 stating that cell phone usage in class is a problem.

Technology advances more and more every year, making it more difficult for teachers to prohibit its usage.  For teachers, cell phones could be a huge distraction to their lesson and to the students.

“I probably address cell phone usage at least once a week,” said Ann Didelot, a math teacher at Staples.  Didelot continued explaining how she doesn’t have to take away the cell phone too often, but often has to tell students to put it away.

As a mother herself, she would take action if her child had this comment on their IPR.

“I would just take it away for a period of time,” said Didelot.  Hopefully, the comment will have the same affect on other parents.

IPRs in general give teachers a way to address parents at home on how their children are doing in school halfway through the quarter.

“IPRs [comments] are essentially directed or sent in by teachers through our E-school program, which is our sophomore management program,” said James Farnen the Junior Class’ Assistant Principle.

Although this comment should be a step forward in stopping cell phone usage during class, banning the phones isn’t something the Staples staff agree on as a whole.

“Many schools don’t allow [cell phones].  We believe and we’re probably one of the first in the area to say, we’re not going to fight this uphill battle. With your freedoms comes responsibility,” said Farnen.  He also explained that cell phones have advanced so much throughout the years, you can now take pictures, videos, play games, and listen to music, in addition to texting and receiving calls.

“Banning [cell phones] would put our kids in a disadvantage,” said Farnen.

Although banning cell phones is not something the staff at Staples High School plans on doing, this comment will hopefully make a difference to the 45 students in the school who received comment 535, as informed by Lynn Birkmaier, the Assistant Principle’s Secretary.

Cell phone usage is inevitable, but this new comment will hopefully lessen this problem, giving teachers the respect they deserve.