Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chaos At Fox Chapel High Schools

The Pist-Gazette Doesn’t Understand At All

As reported by the Trib, Fox Chapel Area High School students are fearful of a major hardship which looms on their horizon. Ms. Pist has read the Trib article a number of times, but has not been able to make sense out of any of it.

The catalyst for the chaos appears to be a technology grant which is to supply laptop computers to 9th and 10th graders. For some reason, this laptop disbursement necessitated a shuffling and relocation of teachers and classrooms, with some teachers being assigned to smaller units.

Now in Ms. Pist’s world, both of these occurrences would be classified as good things. But there appear to be subtleties at work in the world of Fox Chapel ….. subtleties beyond the scope of Ms. Pist’s understanding.

News of the laptop distribution organizational changes taking effect on August 27th came out via a July letter from the district. Again, one would think informational letters from the school district would be a good thing. But according to Senior Tiffany Oliver, the district should have told students earlier.

“It’s a lot of change in three months,” she said. “An assembly, with a chance to ask questions, at the end of the school year would have been a better way to hear about this. Now nobody seems to know what is going on and rumors start in that kind of situation.”

(Ms. Pist says: Have I lost everyone at this point? Is there one person out there who still cares one whit as to where this story is going? I know I don’t …. And I’m writing it!!)

What kind of rumors got started, you may ask? Mind-numbingly inconsequential rumors it appears. Some students feared they would only be fraternizing with students in their own grade….. That sophomores would never get to see Juniors, for instance. (Gasp) Students further fretted that there may be a loss of course offerings. (Double gasp)

Principal Ken Williams quickly assured everyone that there will be no change to course offerings and that class makeup will be the same as before. (Translation: You all went nuts over nothing.)

But when the chaos ball gets a-rollin’ in Fox Chapel, it appears very hard to stop.

“Once school starts again, it will be Judgment Day,” Tiffany opined. “If it is complete chaos, then we’ll know. But it might go smoothly, too.”

Dear God in Heaven, someone put me out of my misery. I think the whole point of the pablum I unfortunately read was that Fox Chapel students are emotionally unprepared to handle the “change” associated with new laptops being handed out to them!!

Dear God in Heaven, how did things come to this point? What would happen to these coddled, spoiled kids if, say, their schools were closed? Never to re-open. A total loss of course offerings. And what would they do if no neighboring schools would agree to take them in? Leaving them to wander the district like Bedouins in the desert. Or to use another metaphor, like Duquesne students wandering around the Greater Pittsburgh Metro Area. Without a BMW or laptop to their name.

God help us all.


EdHeath said...

Some schools, that introduced wireless as well as laptops, have shut down at least part of their programs. Seems the students regularly crash servers, introduce virus's and other problems, overwhelm servers with high volume internet downloads ... oh, and by the way the laptops are a distraction in class.

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