Policies at Our Peer Schools

Photo+courtesy+of+Mary+Anne+Porto+%2716

Photo courtesy of Mary Anne Porto ’16

Internet Policy

As mentioned above, Williston has no internet shutoff. With such a privilege, students are given a greater role of responsibility to use their time judiciously. Freshman phones are taken away during study hall, but besides that, “if you want to stay up watching YouTube until 3 am, that’s up to you.” says one Williston student. Choate recently moved back their freshman internet shut off to 10:45 when it had been 9:30 before. Berkshire has a slightly later time for freshmen and sophomores: 11PM. Loomis internet policy is similar in attempting to guide younger students to manage their time and get enough sleep during the week, but in comparison to others, it gives far less freedom to juniors who have as much work, if not more, than seniors. Eagle Wang ’16 shared the Junior All-Night Internet Proposal with his room, noting that “students find other ways to get around” internet shut-off. As a Deerfield representative pointed out, their school-wide internet shut-offs give an unfair advantage to those who can afford hot spots.

 

Stress/Schedule

As Loomis students groan about “fake Fridays” with Saturday classes that follow, Choate students have parent visit days on Saturdays. In light of the new schedule Loomis will be adopting next year, it is interesting to hear that Deerfield already has a similar model with four 70-minute classes on some days. Choate shared its idea of how to maximize productivity in longer time periods while keeping students engaged: split up the block into lecture then application. “The second part is integrated and creative, utilizing what you’ve just learned,” a Choate representative explained.

 

Disciplinary Policy

Ethel Walker and Suffield treat academic dishonesty more severely than substance use. The general rule for missing classes is an automatic detention. More than ten skipped classes means passage into DC for Suffield students, while Choate and Deerfield students judiciously use their 12-16 accountability points per term to not go to class, or to attend a sit-down lunch, or to study for another test, similar to how some Loomis students strategically plan their deeps each term. “Going to class is important,” the Choate representative quipped, “it keeps you a functioning student.” Perhaps StuCo should consider why students resort to deeping or using up their accountabilty points, namely, issues with homework and time management.

 

Amnesty Policy

No drugs and alcohol. No sex. Though the rules themselves are clear-cut, the disciplinary actions that they call for are not. Almost all the schools represented (except Canterbury) carried an amnesty policy of some sort. Known to Loomis as sanctuary, the general idea behind this policy is to protect a student’s health by encouraging him/her to claim sanctuary once and receive medical help and counseling with no repurcussions from that one instance. Williston recently adopted a one-strike sanctuary policy, and they offer a Plan B pill to girls. On top of this, Loomis is looking to modify the consequence of a no-sex rule violation to a Level II without notification to the student’s potential colleges.

 

Disciplinary Committee

As the platform on which disciplinary issues are treated, the Disciplinary Committee (DC) and the respective policies of each school differed fundamentally in some aspects. Williston noted that they anonymously select four students for each session. Ethel Walker’s council of seven students would make a recommendation with which the dean of school generally concurs. However, announcements at their frequent school-wide meetings easily become platforms of public shaming to drive home the “no sex on campus” rule. Deerfield also shares the decision of the DC with the entire school. Along with the concern of transparency came the issue of confidentiality and responsibilty, as many school communities would nonetheless find out about DC proceedings through gossip. Overall, the fact that student input was included in these decisions reflected the effectiveness of the student body.