Card rebellion dies out

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New who-goes-where-and-when system gets tick at Waka High.

Controversy surrounding a new study system for senior students at Wakatipu High has “blown itself out of puff”.

A “study card” system, introduced early this term, drew student criticism because it appeared to discriminate against some pupils by restricting access around school grounds.

The “drivers licence”-style card is issued to Years 11-13 kids in four different colours – green allows access to anywhere, including off school grounds, orange allows limited access to rooms and must be supervised, red means kids must stay in the terminal area under supervision, and white card holders must be supervised separately in small groups.

Until the beginning of this year, study periods were only allocated for Year 13 students.

Mountain Scene recently received an anonymous letter saying cards were issued “unfairly” and a petition had been started.

“Many students are really good, high-achieving kids and are asking ‘what have I done?’.

“Things are at an all-time low for students and staff.”

But deputy principal Grant Adolph says it’s no longer an issue.

“I think there was a wee bit of heat when we implemented it but I think it basically blew itself out of puff.

“The kids who were upset about it got off their backsides and found out how they could get from a red to an orange and an orange to a green.

“Instead of restricting the kids, what we’re trying to do is take the lid off and give them responsibility and develop their own independence and self-management,” Adolph says.

“So in lots of ways, we’re giving them more freedom than what they’ve ever, ever had and that’s taken a mindshift [by] the students.”

Kids are awarded greater access according to their level of independence, attitude and responsibility in class time – and it appears to be working, he says.

“Instead of being told what to do [and] when to do it by someone traditionally at the front of the room, what’s happening now is the kids are taking more ownership of next steps for what they need to do for their learning and what they need to focus on in those particular study times.”