Council Update

By Gabe Brison-Trezise

Two weeks ago, the new student representative, Ethan Gorman, and the two tuition student representatives, Lazlo Bardos and Susanna Penfield, officially joined Council.

Council has also been looking at ways to attract a larger audience to its meetings. Council currently meets on Fridays during fourth period in the cafeteria, but we may be moving our meeting time for next semester to Mondays during seventh period. Meetings are open to anyone and everyone, and if you would like to speak at one, just show up and get a Council member to get on the speaker’s list and recognize you. Here are short summations of what Council has been busy discussing:

Dance Guidelines motion—passed

Brought by Ms. Stevenson, this motion changes the handbook to require non-high school students interested in attending HHS dances to receive prior permission from the Dean of Students. There have evidently been problems with college students coming to HHS dances, and this motion is designed to avoid future problems with college-aged guests. Because the motion was passed, it is now within Mr. Smith’s purview to permit or not permit non-high school students to go to HHS dances.


Freshmen Co-op motion—no action yet taken

Council has discussed giving ninth graders off-campus privileges many times over the years. This motion specifically states that freshmen would be allowed to go to the Co-op in their free time during second semester. Some Council members noted that it would be hard, if not impossible, to allow freshmen to go only to the Co-op, and others said the cafeteria’s business interests should be considered. Traditionally, people have defended not allowing freshmen to go off-campus by saying that it softens the transition from middle school to high school and that it requires them to focus more on their schoolwork, and these arguments were again made in recent weeks. It was also pointed out that giving freshmen off-campus could jeopardize off-campus for the entire student body. A motion to refer the motion to Student Life was failed, after some people questioned whether further research was really necessary. Ethan Winter moved to amend the motion to allow freshmen off-campus second semester, with no restrictions on where they could go. Council is still discussing the motion and amendment.


1:1 Technology Initiative discussion

The Committee on Instruction, or COI, is composed of every department chair, as well as members of the administration and school board, and Dmitry Steesy, the Council and Curriculum Committee representative. COI recently voted, by a vote of eleven to three, to pursue the 1:1 Technology Initiative, meaning it is aiming to plan, research, and ultimately implement the initiative, which would entail providing a personal laptop to every HHS student. Based on feedback he received from Council members and other members of the student body, Dmitry voted to not pursue the initiative, on the grounds that it appears untenable and educationally unnecessary and would damage the school’s public image. Council discussed the initiative only briefly; I assume Council will continue to discuss it in upcoming meetings. In the meantime, please see Dmitry’s memorandum regarding the initiative, which I have posted on the Council bulletin board.


Thanks for reading!

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