New technology policy will not include iPad ban

Administration to set higher expectations for using technology in advisery

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It has officially been confirmed that there will be no iPad ban during the 2018-2019 school year, according to administration. However, the school will have stricter expectations about technology usage.

Winnetka Campus Assistant Principal Scott Williams said there has been miscommunication and misunderstanding in regards to technology usage.

“The important aspect to understand is that the ‘iPad ban’ during advisery has been twisted.  I want to be super clear that there is no change in board policy or any policy. There is no ‘ban’. This is just a matter of raising expectations and expanding the circle of what has been placed in the school environment.”

Northfield Campus Assistant Superintendent Timothy Hayes agreed that the administration wants “We want students to have their best experience during advisery possible. Therefore, as administrators, we thought it was best to reinforce the expectations in advisery.”

“Next year these expectations will apply. We will continue having conversations about this issue. We will also continue to encourage advisors to set higher expectations when using technology,” said Williams.

  “If you’re in advisery, or any class the only time you should be allowed to use electronics is when you have received permission from your adviser or your adviser has said ‘today is the day you are going to be using electronic devices’. This will apply to any class as well,” said Hayes.

The Northfield campus has taken a different approach and elected to ban technology in advisery altogether.

  “Over at Northfield, adviseries have adjusted to these arrangements and have actually decided not to use technology during advisery. In fact, student interactions are improving during advisery,” said Williams

“We are hearing from the Northfield advisors that students are interacting more. The reality is the twenty five minutes over the course of New Trier will make a difference, not just twenty five minutes per day,” he added.

Even though some students don’t think an extra twenty five minutes will help improve interactions, administrators do, said Hayes.

However, though interacting with other students would be ideal, sometimes, students  just want to relax by themselves.

“I understand that advisors want to facilitate an environment that is more socially healthy, but it’s not always necessary for students to be talking to each other to truly fulfill the role of what advisery is,” said sophomore Karl Florida.

Hayes believes this enforcement isn’t just to make students more social, but is to prepare students for their future.

“In advisery, you will develop social and mental skills. Students will also need to learn skills that will help them develop into adults. Nowadays, including myself, we are not very thoughtful how we use technology; we need to be conscious of our decisions and take time to get to know one another,” said Hayes.

Florida and Sophomore Alex Bander, who designed a petition to go against the school’s iPad ban, believe the purpose of advisery is to provide an environment in which students can build a community and have the opportunity to freely interact with one another.

“I believe that there are multiple important purposes to advisery. We need to protect all aspects of advisery and not assign a greater degree to another. I do take time to talk to my fellow advisees on a regular basis. I also believe I have a very healthy relationship with my adviser who I respect a great deal. Balance is a very important part of it, and I think that we should do our best to maintain that balance in advisery.”

Junior Neil Dhote believes advisery is a place to decompress the stressful day: “iPads allow us to relax before a stressful day. It’s also great that we can use it as a time to finish up homework rather than waste our time doing nothing. Also, we are still socializing with each other in advisery. It’s not like iPads prevent us from socializing.”

Junior Tyler Janczak, who is in charge of Public Relations and events of Student Alliance, believes the purpose of advisery is to build a strong connection with people.  “Advisery  provides a ton of support in both the academic level and the emotional level,” he said.

However, some students take advantage of advisery and consider it a study hall. Hayes would like to make it clear that advisery is not another study hall.

“If a student really needs that extra twenty five minutes to do  homework, then we need to have a conversation about what’s happening before school, after school, how many classes are they taking, and how much time they need. We will do our best to address this problem,” said Hayes.

Junior Meici Yang agrees. “I don’t think advisery should be treated as just a study hall. Advisery is supposed to make a big school feel small, and to start the day on a good note. That being said, advisery should help students de-stress before the school day and often, that involves doing schoolwork. Doing homework in advisery is completely fine unless it becomes the only purpose of advisery.”

“Essentially, our goal is for students to develop themselves and to develop relationships. The administrators goal is to have adviseries that are consistent. Meaning, every advisery should follow these guidelines, and expectations  when having conversation the future We wants students to have the best experience in advisery possible,” said Hayes

Student Alliance will be open to student feedback on these arrangements: “We will continue to work on a solution if there are problems, but as always, we will try to work with the administration, not against,” said Janczak.

“Before we open our iPads or devices during advisery, we should acknowledge the people around us, and appreciate one another. Despite that we are living in a place where technology is moving fast, it’s important to appreciate and hold onto relationships,” said Williams.

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