October 16, 1997 in Washington Voices

No Bell, No Problem; Kids Still Get To Their Class Absence Of Ring Takes Away Factory Kind Of Mentality

By The Spokesman-Review
 

From EDUCATION NOTEBOOK, Valley Voice, page V6, October 23, 1997:

OOPS, THE WRONG SIMPSON

Brenda Simpson, physical education teacher from North Pines Junior High School, was misidentified in last week’s Education Notebook.

On the third day of school, the aging bell system at North Pines Junior High gave up the ghost.

No bells and 800 seventh- and eighth-graders - counting the Bowdish Junior High students who are “house guests” at North Pines this year? Yikes.

But Principal Dave Bouge decided to let the students get to their classes without any signals. It’s something he’s wanted to try for a long time.

“It changes that sweatshop, factory kind of mentality,” Bouge said.

“At first I was real concerned. I was afraid they would meander through the halls.”

It hasn’t happened that way.

Tardy notices haven’t risen. Students aren’t sure they like the new system, but teachers give it a thumbs up.

An informal survey in the North Pines lunchroom showed that some students think the quiet hallways are better, some think they’re worse.

“It makes us feel older.”

“They sounded cool.”

“We don’t even know when classes are supposed to start.”

“No more headaches.”

“You want to get to class sooner, because you think you’re going to be tardy.”

Few of the students wear watches.

“I just stand in the hallway and holler ‘Let’s go, little darlings,”’ Bouge said.

Even a 10- or 20-second delay between groups of students entering the halls seems to relieve the worst bottlenecks, said Bowdish Principal Bob Johnson.

Outside the girls locker room, gym teacher Marge Simpson waits for stragglers.

“Maybe the teachers let them go a little earlier or later,” she said. “It seems less ‘mobbish’ in the halls.”

As a matter of fact, Simpson has only one complaint about the yearlong combination of schools: the urinals in her girls locker room.

The boys and girls locker rooms were switched so that football players with cleated shoes wouldn’t tear up the hallway carpet, Bouge explained. And a girls restroom is just across the hall from the girls locker room.

Taking a dip for CV

Central Valley High School Marching Band Director Kent Meredith told his students that if they won top honors at last weekend’s competition at Albi Stadium, he would take a dip in Shelly Lake.

They did, and he did. On Monday evening, after practice.

“The water wasn’t that cold,” Meredith said.

Maybe not, after the winter-like temperatures the band has played in.

It’s vacation time for some

East Valley School District’s new Continuous Curriculum School has a Harvest Hoedown planned next week.

The event at Otis Orchards Elementary School includes harvest fun, from hayrides to candy corn bingo.

Partly, it’s a fun night for the families of the first-year school which has a modified year-round calendar. And partly, it’s a kick-off for the school’s first vacation.

The school’s 126 students have the last week of October off.

, DataTimes MEMO: The Education Notebook is the spot the Valley Voice devotes to telling our community about students’ accomplishments, about learning in classrooms across the Valley. Teachers or parents whose students have earned honors, feel free to toot your horn. Contact Marny Lombard at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call: 927-2166. Fax: 927-2175. E-mail: MarnyL@spokesman.com

The Education Notebook is the spot the Valley Voice devotes to telling our community about students’ accomplishments, about learning in classrooms across the Valley. Teachers or parents whose students have earned honors, feel free to toot your horn. Contact Marny Lombard at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call: 927-2166. Fax: 927-2175. E-mail: MarnyL@spokesman.com


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