by Natalie Brennan
Starting this week, juniors and seniors are required to follow new rules regarding open lunch; students are to exit solely through the rear entrance and scan their IDs when they depart from and return to the building, according to Assistant Principal Ms. Mary Asfendis.
The Genesis program Turnstile will be used on the computers at the rear entrance to scan students out and back in during lunch periods.
According to Asfendis, this program has been used in the Guidance, Attendance and Health Offices as well as quiet study to record where students are in the building.
Principal Mr. Peter Renwick said, “The changes being implemented provide us with a more accurate picture of where our students are during the school day, when we are responsible for their well-being.”
Added Asfendis, “If there ever were an emergency situation, or a parent had to pick up a student, or [if we just had] to generally know where students are, [the system] helps us better understand who is in the building and who is not.”
The decision was made to have all students come through one door to better manage who is exiting and entering the building and control the flow of traffic, according to Asfendis.
She added: “In all of this, we are definitely testing out the system to see how it works. We are seeing if having one entrance works. It may not; we may look at other solutions, but for right now, this is what we are starting out with.”
As well as the rules designating the door to be used for open lunch and the need to scan IDs, the administration will enforce that students are only allowed to leave the building once a day, during their lunch period.
Asfendis said: “[Upperclassmen] have always only been allowed to leave for open lunch during their lunch period. Students believe that any time they have a free period they can leave the building, but unfortunately, they are only allowed to leave during one lunch period.”
According to Asfendis, if a student has off during multiple lunch periods, he or she can choose to leave during only one of these periods.
Senior Gianna DeVito said: “Because of the way that my schedule fell this year, I have a few off periods. But if I had known about this policy at the beginning of the year, I would have filled my schedule with more classes; I don’t just want to be sitting around.”
Added senior Gemma Larché, “I think it’s unfair and a little ironic that the administration has just made this huge move to be more conscientious of how stress affects students, and now they’re looking to restrict something that relieves our stress.”
Asfendis said that there are no plans to take the privilege of open lunch away; the administration’s main goal in taking these measures is to know where students are during the school day.
Said Renwick, “We appreciate the cooperation our upperclassmen have already shown with this change.”