New Leaders at St. Robert School

Sophia L. and Maribel M.

With a new principal, new students, new teachers, and new rules, the middle schoolers, the student leaders of the school have a lot to contend with this year! One of the largest changes shifting things for these student leaders is that Mrs. Beckmann, the former principal, retired in 2022. Now, Ms. Ward is the new principal, helping to shape the middle schoolers into being the light for the student body. With a new principal comes new rules, a new dress code, new teachers, and new improvements in the middle school.

Julia, an 8th-grade student at St. Robert School has an interesting perspective on the new rules at St. Robert, particularly those connected to the dress code. New enforcement of the skirt lengths has been established at St. Robert. Julia feels that “the lengths are impractical.” Furthermore, she thinks the skirt can’t be too short. She also feels that tucking in the shirt is appropriate, something that Ms. Ward makes a point to remind students to do over the morning announcements. Maybe not agreeing with the rules the eighth graders still abide by rules and try to find new perspectives besides their own opinions. 

Furthermore, Payton, a 7th-grade student at St. Robert and has a different take on the new changes made at St. Robert. A new behavioral tracking system in the middle school has her on high alert. Last year the school had a behavior tracking system called the PEP Program. Students would receive a “PEP” on a PEP card if they were acting out, tardy, or had missing assignments. This year, students at St. Roberts can be given “infractions.” Infractions are similar to PEPs, but they cover many more expectations. The new system tracks learner behaviors, citizenship behaviors, and discipleship behaviors. In the past, only learner behaviors were tracked. With an increase in the behaviors being tracked, some students have felt increased pressure as they see more infractions being noted. “The infractions/PEPs don’t bother me very much compared to when they did it in my first year of middle school,” comments Payton. She goes on to explain that she sees them as a learning experience and grows from them. This is, of course, the intention of the program – tracking student infractions in order to help students consider their actions more intentionally as well as create support when a student is struggling. Payton also explains that she likes the new system and wants to make a goal to not get a lot of infractions. The teachers at St. Robert use this system to prepare adolescents for high school and beyond.

On the other hand, Aaron, an 8th grader, believes that the infractions are too harsh and unfair to students. These feelings contradict the opinions of 7th grader Payton, who feels infractions are reasonable. Aaron Egan recommended that the teachers show the middle schoolers the number of infractions they have gotten in order to help ease some of the anxiety around them. Instead of students carrying around or tracking the reports this year the teachers track and meet to chat about where some students need help.  

Saint Robert School is facing some changes this year, but these changes have created a better, more well-rounded middle school. Students in middle school are trying to be leaders for the elementary students. Some students have been a perfect example for upcoming middle schoolers. Others still need time to adjust and improve. 

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