WILLIAMS — Several groups of Williams Elementary-Middle School seventh-grade students were encourage to Speak Out under the tutelage of Language Arts Teacher Lela Schober. During the presentation, she might have had second thoughts when one group learned during their study that she used the most paper in the school.
The students were encouraged to tackle a problem they felt the school had, collect data on the problem and present a solution.
Ms. Schober introduced the program and said that they conducted this experiment last year, but this year there was an addition. Citizens from the community attended the presentation, asked questions and also added their suggestions.
On the paper trail, one group revealed that too much paper was being used by teachers and students at the school. Their solution was to issue iPads to the students to conduct their work. They said that students would be responsible for replacing the equipment if they damaged it.
Also on the technology front, one group desired to have Wi-Fi access restored to students. They explained that Wi-Fi was available until one student abused the privilege. The infrastructure still exists.
Three groups cited a problem with electives. Either the electives are not fun or there are not enough. The presentation by Sasha Adrian, Kaylee Robertson and Mary Martinez included a hand-out which said that the WEMS middle school deserves electives to provide skills that prepare them for adulthood.
Among the electives suggested by all of the groups were shop class, home economics, ceramics, robotics and even forensics. One group suggested that teachers could volunteer to teach more electives during their preparation hour.
Three groups noted a problem with sports equipment and facilities at the school. There were suggestions that the school could conduct fundraisers for new equipment and donate the old equipment. One very effective presentation included photographs of the poor condition of the gym and sports facilities.
Apparently students and others attending sporting events have received splinters from the wooden bleachers in the gym. The students said that the floor gets dirty and slippery.
Carol Glassburn suggested the students might get in touch with the Arizona sports teams to see if the could contribute replacement sports equipment.
One group believed that there was not enough time for lunch.Their solution was to start school fifteen-minutes earlier. Another group added that the school needed better lunches with a vegetable and a fruit choice.
One group with the best power point display pointed out that there should be a study hour. They cited studies that indicated homework stress. They said that students that have extracurricular activity have little time for homework and a study hour would assist in resolving the problem.
One group cited the prairie dog problem at the school. They noted that during track, students tended to fall into prairie dog holes.
Superintendent Rachel Savage, in attendance at the presentation, explained that there was a plan worked out with Arizona Game and Fish to relocate the animals. The person they were working with, however, was moved to another jurisdiction before the plan could be put into effect.
One group, surprisingly, pointed out that the school needs more discipline. They felt that disturbing influences distracted from learning.