One day, I was doing my homework in the upstairs commons. After finally settling in and getting focused on my assignments, I was disrupted by the imposing figure of Eric Irwin, demanding that I should exit the upstairs commons to make space for the potential virtual sub classes and any classes that need it.
Unfortunately, I am just one of many students with a similar story. Every day, five students get kicked out of the commons, and many of the students are confused about why they are getting kicked out of the commons for doing nothing wrong. This confusion leads to anger and frustration from the students. Paige Faidley, ’18, was kicked out of the commons for three consecutive days. She was just sitting in the commons because she would rather study rather than eat lunch. “I was pissed off and really mad because it was stupid how I can’t sit there even though I wasn’t eating or disrupting and I was just trying to get work done,” Paige Faidley, ’18 said. As a student who is trying to do homework during lunch instead of eating, I would prefer to be able to work in a quiet space in the commons instead of the hectic area of the lunchroom. With not being able to stay in the commons during the lunch period that the student has, forces a negative work area. With students not able to work in a quiet place, they will be thrown off of concentration.
The commons were used as a place to help students study and work on the work given to them. They can choose from the bottom commons area, lunch room, and the upstairs commons. You can only go to the upstairs commons if you have a virtual sub. A virtual sub is an option for teachers when they are gone and they can give their classes the plan they had for the day and have the students work independently while the substitute makes sure students don’t skip the class, disrupt, or any of the normal class rules. Because of virtual sub being upstairs, students can’t sit up there even though virtual sub is not even live and up yet, making it a waste of space. “Virtual sub is a concept that is based off a model that is in a Minnesota school district,” principal Ryan Woods said “We have spoken to them on the phone, and because we are technology based, it’s a very similar setup, and when their subs come In, they don’t do much and having the sub there does not help much and is just supervision.”
If you have an open period, you can leave the building, the cafeteria, and the common areas on the ground floor. The upstairs commons area is intended for virtual sub and for classes that are working on projects on, with students only allowed up there if they meet those requirements. Most kids don’t understand how virtual sub works, and with it being not in commission people get very confused by the subject, not knowing anything about it. As of October 12th, Principal Woods is planning to contact the Minnesota school again and figure out what software to use.
Now light has been shed onto this topic more, because the school have not informed us about when, where, or what will happen. Even with the virtual sub trail from last year, it was still just a trail, with the school trying to get this up and running. Whenever it eventually gets up and running, hopefully students will understand some of the “restrictions” of the commons. For now, students just need to learn to leave the commons up stairs alone for now, until virtual sub is up and running or unless if you are in the class that require you to use it.