Students, staff weigh in on new changes

From ‘ROMS’ to backpacks in classroom, 2015-16 school year has seen many developments

The new school year has brought many changes for Red Oak ISD, including a new elementary school and the addition of 6th graders to Red Oak Junior High, now known as Red Oak Middle School.

Some of the 7th and 8th graders at the main campus are unhappy with the name change, considering it to be a “setback.”

“‘Junior High’ had a special ring to it, which made us feel more mature,” 8th grader Camille Condron said. “It’s unfair to the incoming 7th graders because they don’t get to experience the school without the 6th graders, unlike the previous 7th graders.”

But ROMS Assistant Principal Bob Magier sees the addition of 6th graders as positive.

“The 7th and 8th graders really shouldn’t have issues with the changes, because they affect the 6th graders more and have made the transitions between schools smoother and easier,” Maiger said.

Justin Thompson, principal of the 6th grade center, agrees with Magier, noting that the addition of 6th graders has caused everyone to up their game.

“[I think the changes have been] pretty positive,” Thompson said. “Our campus is becoming more of a learning community with everyone trying to outdo each other, creating a little friendly competition.”

Still, Magier notes that challenges remain.

“I think that in the long run, these changes are going to be very beneficial,” Magier said. “But for now, there is just going to have to be a lot of problem solving and help adjusting to having another grade on the campus.”

Another change to ROMS is that students are now allowed to have their phones out during passing periods and at lunch.

“It’s nice [to be able to have our phones out in the halls and at lunch] because it feels as if we are given more privileges and that the school trusts us, “ 7th grader Noe Sauceda said.

This year, students and staff are now allowed to wear jeans and a spirit shirt every Friday versus last year when they were only allowed to wear them on certain Fridays.

“I love it [the new spirit day rule], it’s more fun and exciting,” 8th grader Jazmine Wilson said. “It feels like we’ve been given more freedom for Fridays.”

Another big change: Students are now allowed to carry their backpacks around with them.

Students believe that carrying their backpacks around has been very beneficial.

“Being able to carry our stuff around has limited the trips students originally would have to take to their locker,” Wilson said.

Sauceda agrees that carrying backpacks will bring positive changes.

“Carrying everything with you is just much easier, and it will help [prevent] all the tardies [that normally occurred when students had to go to their locker after every class period],” Sauceda said.