MEDICINE HAT, AB -- Crescent Heights High School has made a significant policy change for their Middle School students.
As of September 2019, students in Grades 7 to 9 won’t be allowed off campus during lunch time, due to concern from parents, teachers and community members.
“The staff and the parents in the community identified a desire to have junior high students be more present in school all day, have a greater opportunity to develop a relationship with the school and for staff to wrap their arms around them,” says Mark Davidson, superintendent for the Medicine Hat Public School Board. “They just feel that it’s a more secure way for younger students to go through their school day.”
Currently, Crescent Heights is the only school in the city that allows students between Grades 7 and 9 off-campus during lunch-time.
According to Davidson, survey results from parents showed there’s concern allowing the students to roam the community every day.
“It was identified a number of times that we had really very young people walking off campus and heading up the road to stores and so on,” says Davidson. “Many of the parents who responded thought it would be better for the younger students in Crescent Heights High School to remain in the building, and for us to think more about what we do with them during that time and engage them in clubs and teams and extra curricular activities and make it more of a place to be and a place to go.”
There was a concern about letting out roughly 1,300 students into the community every lunch break as well.
As a result, lunch hours will be staggered between high school and middle school students.
“This actually allows us to stagger lunch hours for high school and junior high, make better use of our cafeteria and other facilities and keep our middle school students close to us and create more opportunities for us to engage with them, teacher to student and so on,” said Davidson. “It’s a good thing I think."
Students will be consulted as well, about what they’d like to see for new intramural sports, clubs, and cafeteria options.
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