Changes under way for new school year

ROJH could see changes to cell phone policy, some classroom renovations

Victoria McCoy, General Assignments Reporter

Red Oak ISD is set to see a number of changes next year, including 6th graders added to ROJH, the possibility of more cell phone usage in class and classroom renovations.

At a recent school board meeting, it was proposed that classrooms be renovated to make them more interactive for students. These new classrooms would include new furniture to help boost group work.

“They have put in piloted classrooms controlled by technology. We are going to see which programs work the best, or which furniture works the best,” ROJH Principal Cristi Watts said. “The furniture we would use would make classroom work more like group work. With that same furniture, we would outfit the whole sixth grade center with it.”

Also, a recent technology quiz ROJH students were given asked about the amount of times they use technology for academic purposes.  The questions included the amount of times students use their phones for academic research and how many times a student needs to use their phone for possible emergencies while at school.

“I think there is a lot of value when using your phone for educational purposes. But there is a fine line as to when is it educational, and when is it abusing the privilege of your phones,” 7th grade ELAR teacher Dawn Rickman said.

Next year’s changes also include Phase One. Elementary schools will now include grades 1st-5th, while the junior high will consist of 6th-8th. The 6th graders will now be in the building next to the actual junior high. The main problem being discussed for Phase One is the pickup and drop-off system that is in front of the school. As of the 2013-2014 Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) report, there are 897 students attending. Some are concerned that adding more students may result in a struggle to get students to school on time.

However, many students are optimistic about the addition of new students to the junior high.

“I think the change could cause conflict with other grades, but I think the change will benefit more than hurt the school,” 7th grader Vy Truong said.