With the loss of In-School Suspension (ISS) and the addition of Saturday School, questions might be raised as to why the change was made. Saturday School provides an opportunity for students to reflect upon their actions while not missing educational opportunities. ISS was pulling kids out of class for something that might have occured in a completely different class.
Dean of Students Mr. Owen Sanford states, “If we can keep [students] in class and hold them accountable that’s great; and, for that accountability to be meaningful, and to have conversations at Saturday School and to talk about what happened — that’s something we didn’t do at ISS.”
Another key change that is present in Saturday School is talking through the incident that brought the student there. There are specific staff members that have been brought in to assist with Saturday School and are there to help with talking through issues.
The initial concept for Saturday School was brought up by Dr. Liza Sejkora, she had experience with this system in previous school districts she worked in. With any new school policy, there are question or concerns. For administrators who decided on the change, the concern was, according to Sanford, “When it comes to behavior it’s really nice for reinforcement to happen as quickly as possible.” The next Saturday School might be 4-5 days after the incident, and that was cause for concern. Although the pros seem to outweigh this.
Students, parents, and teachers might want to know what constitutes going to Saturday School. It varies from case to case, but those familiar with what has previously resulted in In-School Suspension, the same actions now result in Saturday School. Acts of aggression, assault, harassment, intimidation, bullying, as well as possession of weapons, unsafe items, illegal substances, and selling, buying or transferring illegals substances all fall under that classification. This is all according to the Student Code of Conduct, which can be found on the Camas High School website.
The opinion of Chase Mecham a junior that attended Saturday School recently is, as he states, “The idea of Saturday School is kind of scary– having four hours of my Saturday morning taken away; I don’t really like it but I do see how the idea can work.” For many students unfamiliar with the system, Saturday School is, according to Sophomore Kiana Malu Willhoft, “[it] sort of reminds me of the breakfast club, because it’s old school. I believe for the ones who are truly causing trouble — they should be put in Saturday School.” After hearing the reasoning behind the switch she states, “I think it’s smart of the administrators to use Saturday School because they know that students don’t like to attend school on Saturdays; Hopefully Saturday School will help students have better behavior in school.”
The change to Saturday School may seem odd at first, but realizing the flaws of in school suspension, it makes a great deal of sense. Hopefully, all goes well in future sessions and students can get the most out of this change.