[Editorial] Communication is Key
by The Milton Measure on Friday, September 30th, 2016
If you were in the upper school last year, you returned to a plethora of changes at the start of this school year. Besides the usual differences, such as new teachers and the absence of last year’s graduating class, Milton appears to have underwent a micro-revolution over the summer. The removal of computer labs, the addition of a “social” study area in Cox, and the new printer system are among the reforms students have encountered in past weeks.
The effects of these modifications aside, did the administration sufficiently communicate with the student body regarding these changes? As a board, we acknowledge that students were asked to take multiple surveys last year, many of which influenced the changes in our community. For the most part, however, these surveys were vague in their implications and unclear about the concrete changes that might result. Asking “Do you bring your laptop to school every day?” is not the same as asking “Would you like the majority of computer labs/spaces to be removed?”
The SGA typically does a good job at making sure our opinions are heard and bridging the gap between the administration and the students; the SGA welcomes everyone to its meetings and often opens forums for discussion about any important issues in the community. So why, when we have a student governing association, does it feel like students were left out of some important decisions going into this year?
At the same time, we also acknowledge that the administration may not have consulted the student body on purpose. We can imagine the difficulties the administration might encounter when trying to implement changes within the community. It comes as no shock that our student body is fairly opinionated, so the environment that students create for change cannot be easy on the administration. So, while it is understandable that administrators may have wanted a more calm or respectful environment when making important decisions about the school, there needs to be a balance. Ultimately, Milton should aim to make our school the most effective space for students. The best way to accomplish this goal would be to ask students’ opinions to gauge the effectiveness of potential changes, including the specifics.
Of course, this is not to say that students would have rejected all of the administration’s ideas. For instance, while we as a board would have liked to veto the elimination of the computer labs in the student center, we appreciate the general idea of student_print_anywhere. We certainly recognize and are thankful for ATS’ efforts in making the entire student body more comfortable with the technology adjustments; we are simply bothered by the fact that the community was never asked whether we wanted the changes in the first place. As a board, we believe that having our voices heard before the administration makes us more likely to accept new changes. Going forward, we hope for more communication between the administration and students regarding the specifics of any other significant changes to the school.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=8354