By Ben Vastola and Alex Ritsch
The new school year brings new policy, specifically to hall sweeps. There are now sweeps every class, every hallway, every day. Last year lunch prevented fourth or fifth period hall sweeps. Academy 6 Administrator Fredericka Smith said, “Last year we did not do hall sweeps during lunches because it was not something that was manageable, but this year it is more manageable to do hall sweeps the way the lunch periods are set up.” New lunch policy enabled this hall sweep change; students are now required to go to their fourth or fifth period class before A lunch.
Another change to policy is when students are swept, they are now supposed to go to the nearest administrative office–even if it is not their academy. After getting the tardy logged in the computer, students will be given a pass to go back to class. This aims to limit missed class time. Smith said, “[We’re trying to] make sure everyone comes to school, is sitting in a classroom, and getting instruction so that we can make sure every kid is instructed and is working towards graduation.”
To further help students get to classes on time, there are now seven minutes between classes. The added minute gives students more time to navigate the crowded halls of T.C. Williams, hopefully reducing tardies.
Students caught in hall sweeps will face consequences, but most likely not out of school suspension. Smith said, “[We are not necessarily going to go] to the extent of giving an out of school suspension because of being in the halls. The ultimate goal is to have more students in class.” Students will be punished with detention and in-school suspensions, but out-of-school suspensions will only occur in serious cases.
The administration has several goals for the new, more regular hall sweeps. The administration expects increased attendance rates from the stricter policy. Smith said, “The ultimate goal is to have more students in class.”