The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

An ideal worth striving for


As the school welcomes a new interim High School Principal through its doors, we look forward to the fresh inclination that Jack Phillips, who will succeed current High School Principal Paul Richards at the helm, brings to the position. There are a few topics – not necessarily issues – that still need to be addressed, and as Phillips strolls through Waverley Place’s automatic doors to his new office, these topics need to be brought to attention.

Primarily, the Core Values initiative needs to be settled. In a series of grade-level meetings held to reinforce and modify the properties of the Code of Conduct, Richards hosted dialogues. Students were asked to circle, highlight and change what they saw fit in order to strengthen the constitution that safeguards the standards for our community. But where was the demand for the changes? There must have been a discussion, either within the Board of Trustees or between administrators, to begin the talks leading to the revamp. Phillips has the potential to be a more vocal intermediary, a “middle man,” so to speak, between decisions made in top boardroom meetings and the choices imparted to us at class meetings. Richards informed us that the Board and the administration were looking to modify these values. Now that we’ve understood the situation, our next principal should keep all of us in sync with what the Trustees are discussing in order to bring about schoolwide cohesion.

Which brings us to the next point: Reconsideration of the individualized laptop program. Middle School students are cyclically transformed into gigabyte-munching fiends, their procrastination rates bolstered by countless YouTube tabs and iChat windows. This mentality will only be spurred on by the institution of a mandatory laptop program that is supported throughout High School. Sure enough, classes won’t exactly tailor their curriculums to include laptops, but surely it’s within boundaries to state that asking students to bring computers to school everyday might have unfavorable side effects. Therefore, in order to quell any technology-related fears or concerns, we ask our next principal to publicly assess the validity, necessity and effects of a High School laptop program.

Furthermore, we believe that Phillips can be the first to delineate the school’s boundaries. A previous Features article, which dealt with the school-issued party cancellations, clarified the situation for many. But, if Phillips was to begin his term with an ongoing dialogue regarding where exactly “the line” is for the school to intervene, Dean of Students Joe Chodl’s phone calls to parents would be justified and understood. Less hostility between the administration and partygoing students would become apparent, and the rule book regarding the school’s view of parties would have a chance to be written.

The final point is one that doesn’t pertain to any concrete achievements, but deals with the day-to-day relationship which students want to foster with their principal. We ask that Phillips maintains the precedent that Richards set of transparency. We look forward to having a constant open forum and working with “Action Jackson” to clarify and confront any issue that needs conquering.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Standard Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *