Behind The Scenes: The Reasons For The Changes At Sunset
By Ethan Tsai and Tyzo Vangrunsven
Interview Audio: https://shorturl.at/qvI04
Beaverton— Dec. 6— At the beginning of the school year, there were many new policy changes at Sunset. The first ones that come to mind are the stricter “no-cellphones” policy, sports games sign restrictions, and the movement of AT from 8th period to 2nd period. Others include the hall pass system, the limiting of student off-campus travel during lunch, and even rules around when and for how long bathroom breaks can be. There has been widespread disapproval by the student population so far, so our journalist Gordon asked Principal Schorr about some of the reasoning behind these decisions.
On the cellphones policy, she said that: “It was a habit that kids learned during the pandemic, and last year we didn’t want to make a big deal of it, because we just wanted people to get used to being back in school. We know there are times people will need to use their phone, whether it’s to record something or use the calculator, but we really students focus on class, and not ‘my twelve notifications.’” This has generally been enforced by teachers, with many of them opting to confiscate phones if they see them out during classes.
At sports games, banners and posters larger than a standard Letter size (8.5 x 11 inches) have also been banned, under Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) rules created to prevent overzealous crowds. In the interview with Principal Schorr, she referenced a case where a referee paused a game due to an offensive remark directed by a fan at a Sunset player; and referees are technically allowed to call games if the situation becomes serious enough. Fears over heated rivalries ending games early have led the OSAA to adopt these new policies, forcing schools to begin limiting sporting event privileges.
Finally, one of the most controversial changes has been the movement of AT from the end of the day to the beginning. Seniors have been most drastically affected by this; in previous years, they were not required to come into AT during their second semester, acting as an early release for those who had jobs, plans after school, or just wanted to get home early. Many seniors have been understandably irritated by this change, viewing it as useless for them to be in Apollos Rise. In response, Principal Schorr replied: “I think there’s a lot of things that need to happen, whether it’s college, learning how to write a good resume, or how you manage your future budgets. All of those pieces about adult skills provided in AT are really good uses of seniors’ time. I definitely want to hear from seniors, such as more information on resumes or job interviews, we can build that so it’s senior-specific; so they’re feeling more comfortable with job applications and college interviews.” According to Principal Schorr, new guidelines by the BSD have also led to the change in AT time, due to the CRLE curriculum now being required for all grades. Therefore, the movement to this new time slot also makes it easier for seniors to be present.
Much of the student population still hopes that some of these policies will later be relaxed, or even reversed, but it all depends on whether the administration believes that the Sunset community is responsible enough to manage itself — something that they will be watching for over the next few years.