Kenwood Starts the New Year with New Policies and Rules


Daily teachers give out blue bucks to KHS students engaged and on task in class.

Asharia Olukayode

It’s a fresh start to the school year here at Kenwood, with over 400 new students and many new staff in the building, and many changes to start us off fresh. But as we get back into the motion of things here at Kenwood, students are also faced with some new surprising policies given to the students by not only the school but by BCPS.

One major new addition to our school is the Kenwood Blue Bucks. Students can earn these by simply participating in class and answering questions and doing their work. This is possibly something students experienced in middle school that is now making its way into high schools. Many questions arose about the Kenwood bucks, such as the purpose of them, and why they were brought to the school. Kenwood’s principal, Mr. Powell states, “The Blue Bucks are to provide a school wide incentive for our students to earn rewards. This was something students and I had discussed throughout the last school year, and it is great way for students and teachers to build positive relationships.” And surprisingly many students-despite their age- have begun to like the Kenwood Bucks as well. Senior Ceveya Smith adds, “I think they are a good attempt to get the students to participate in class and be rewarded.”

Another addition added to our school day was the extra minute added onto class switching time. So now students at Kenwood have six minutes to get to their next class. But with the addition of over 400 new students this school year, there have been questions on if the added minute has really been making any sort of difference when heading to class with the crowded hallways. Powell states, “With our increased student enrollment of over 1,900 students, we wanted to provide students ample and fair time for students to safely transition between classes.” And students are agreeing with the new time change, though it has become more difficult with the larger amount of students in the halls. Cevaya Smith adds, “I am okay with the 6 minutes honestly. I just wish the halls would feel less crowded.”

The last rule and change that has created a buzz around the school is the new cell phone envelop policy. In each class period students are now required to put their phones into yellow envelopes, and will be given warnings if caught on their phones during work time.

This has sparked many questions and arguments, mostly among the students. But the staff in the building also agree with the policy for themselves, where Powell adds, “Our new cell phone policy is in direct alignment with BCPS updated policy on cell phones. Our students and staff have done a great job in building new classroom routines and building in brain breaks; our teachers and staff work very hard in creating lessons for our students to engage in and be successful. Cell phones are a significant distraction and our new policy promotes active student engagement as we want all of our students to be as successful as possible.”

But there is still some minor backlash for the rule of course, from students who all have different opinions and views on the subject. Ceveya states, “I think it was a waste of time and money, because students will still be on their phones and not respect the policy.” However, teachers like Ms. Scott-Cerezo disagree, arguing that, “The benefits of students putting their cell phones in the envelope is that they will likely pay more attention, as it is much harder to sneak and use their phones since they have to take the phone out of the envelope first.  Obviously, if students are paying more attention, they are less likely to fail.”

Though all may not agree with the new policies and rules, the goal is still establish a safer, more engaging learning environment for students and staff.