Policy Board Update 1/31

by Simon Hatcher

Hello, student body! Good to see you all. Now that second finals are over, we can all relax, yeah?

Maybe you can, but us PoBo members are doing BIG things. Heed this update on the awesome work we’ve been doing!

First of all, the policy board2® is up in the GH, make sure to check out what we’re working on and drop off suggestions.

To get us started, we have very exciting news from Sara and Rachel. Check out this update that Rachel wrote: “Jennifer and I have been in contact with community members regarding the accessibility of menstrual products in bathrooms. We are planning to put small baskets with free supplies in bathrooms around the Upper School, as the old machines are not regularly supplied and don’t always work (trust me, I wasted about $1.50 in quarters trying all the machines with Jen).” This is really exciting and has been a long time coming, and these two committed PoBo members did this in a matter of two weeks or less from conception to final plan. Excellent work!

Megan, Sara, Charles, Jennifer, Ellie, and Teddy have been hard at work with work on transparent grading. We’ve dropped the term “online grading” because it implies a controversial solution to a problem that really extends to a deeper level: ambiguity/murkiness in grading systems. Their current goal is transparent grading, or grading in a way that a given student is aware of the criteria on which s/he is being assessed and is aware of her or his grade to an appropriate extent WITHOUT detracting from the learning experience offered by OES. Charles also wants to add that, “We’re also looking at solutions for parents who feel ‘in the dark’ about their child’s academic life until conferences.” They’re combing through your feedback from their recent form, and we should start to see some proposals in the works. Talk to them if you have more questions!

Annie is doing excellent work with the Dorm Honor Council. She’s been busy as can be working on its implementation and is meeting with dorm parents about this as I write this. She’s targeting her implementation for late winter/early spring, so get excited to see what she’s working on as the project continues to unfold!

The Parking Tsarina, Olivia, has been hard at work with the reinstatement of parking monitors and generally keeping the US safe from parking malfeasance. She’s also been working on carpool spots and making sure these rules are clear in gathering. But it’s a wonder she’s even had time to accomplish this, given the other MOMENTOUS work she’s been doing on…

…THE HONOR CODE! Last week, Simran, Rachel, Jack, Olivia, Deb, and I all sat down in the DVR for four hours straight, with Bevin, SkyCat, Ed, and Pushkar (important figures in the HC) all joining us for a while. We generated lots of information for our upcoming conference: questions, goals, concerns, areas for growth and areas of strength, and even some proposals. We worked on implementation strategies, our overall purpose for the code, and different ways that we can make sure the discipline process is clear and benefits the entire community involved. The community affected by an infraction is much larger than is immediately apparent, and we’re discussing methods of restorative justice so that the ultimate result is the best thing for the health of our whole community. Meanwhile, the Honor Code still offers its appeal as a way to look past concrete, punishment-focused rules and draw on the sense of integrity that lives inside you and me and every one of us, although we may not all exercise it all the time.

With that deep thought, I leave you, Upper School. You probably feel a little winded just by reading all this exciting stuff, but hang in there. Take a quick walk, catch your breath, and get back to that essay (it won’t write itself) after thanking your PoBo member. I’ll catch you next week.

Take care,

Simon Hatcher