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Hallway congestion & tones/bells
Old 04-23-2008, 10:34 AM
 
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I'm on a focus group looking at our building climate. One of our problems is students congergating in the halls, making passing very difficult. We are looking for ways to help eliminate this problem.

Background: Our building is a 6-8 Middle School, with ~700 students. For as long as I have been here, 7 years, there have not been tones/bells to start classes or end classes. So far the adminstation doesn't belive in bells/tones during the school day.

Secondly,there is also a major problem with student tardiness to class.

I would appreciate any input related to these problems. If your school has a system in place that works well, or know of a solution, I would like to hear from you.

Thank You,

WB


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Old 04-23-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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We do not have dismissal bells, but we do have a one-minute "warble" and a tone for class beginning.
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Old 04-23-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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We have bells...but teachers are also in the hallways between classes. The teachers shuffle the kids along to make sure they are on their way. Sometimes the administrators also walk down the hall (along with youth assistant) to help shuffle kids. We also limit access to their lockers...so they are not stopping in the hall for that. Biggest help for this is having the teachers in the hall.

We also have a uniform policy for lateness...that all teachers inforce. This helps because kids know if they are late, they are going to have to serve the consequence...no matter what teacher.

We also have a "hall sweep" activity that we do from time to time. When the bell rings, all teachers close their doors and let nobody else enter. An administrator "sweeps" all kids left in the hall without a pass into an open room and delivers a consequence.
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bells
Old 04-24-2008, 05:26 AM
 
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We used to be a no bell campus, and our passing periods kept getting longer and longer as the year went on. We also had a problem enforcing tardies since every clock in the building is
different.

We implemented bells, teachers stand in the hall to make kids move along, and almost daily there's a tardy sweep during one of the periods. Kids who are caught in the sweep get an automatic lunch detention.
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My School
Old 04-24-2008, 06:39 AM
 
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My School is a Middle School 6-8. We have over 600 students. We have a beginning bell, bus students- from the cafeteria bell, and a tardy bell in the morning. All of our students go to the cafeteria if they are on campus before the first bell at 7:55. We are outside in the hall supervising our students and all of our classes have something that they are suppose to be doing in their classrooms. We don't have any bells throughout the day, but we have the time on our TV's and clocks in our hallways. We line-up in the hallways and spread out in the hallways to exchange classes. Students are to be silent and earn silent lunch if they aren't. They are given warnings. Students have to have their coats unzipped at all times and boys shirts have to be tucked in. Pants are warn with belts etc. or are not allowed to be baggy. We have designated bathroom breaks for each class and locker times. I also split my classes for the lockers by top and bottom lockers. I post this on a file folder in the room and in the hallway. This was all in place when I got here last year and usually things run really smoothly. If you have any more questions or if I can think of anything I'll message again.


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Old 04-26-2008, 09:20 AM
 
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We're a K-8, with 6-8 in our own building complex. No bells at all, and it's really a struggle. One thing we tried this year is setting our Outlook meeting reminders for all the bell times (after making sure we were all on the same computer time), and turning up our speakers. Then we can hear the reminder ding for dismissal and for tardies. But I still routinely have a group of 6-8 kids show up several minutes late because the art teacher or someone lost track of time. Kind of frustrating as the year goes on! Having atomic clocks up in the class helps, because they are all set the same, and the kids can see them easily to check if they are late.

We still track tardies and give detentions (for 3 in a given class), but you have to give a little leeway because of the teachers who may not dismiss on time. But by leeway, I mean that I give an extra 30 seconds or so!

For congestion in the hallways, we find it's pretty much the 8th graders. Teachers are in the hallways to greet/tell them to move on. But if one teacher is letting out late, all those kids have to stand in front of that room and wait! I have 7th graders, and the class next door is 8th, so I usually try to release my kids a minute or so early, so they can get past that room before the big rush.
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Old 04-27-2008, 07:04 PM
 
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Oh, I forgot that we also have teachers in the hallway between classes, and the kids are only allowed in their lockers twice a day--before first period and before sixth period. They're allowed a third stop if they have band or PE.
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7-8 middle school
Old 05-03-2008, 11:10 AM
 
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We do not have any bells because every team is on a different schedule. This in itself cuts down on hallway behavior. Also, our teams' classrooms are all right next to each other. When I dismiss my class, I step in the hallway to make sure they made it to their next class (just next door) and watch for my next class to come. There is no bathroom breaks and lockers breaks in between classes. They go in the morning, during a 10 minute break at lunch, during a 10 minute break before exploratories, and before going home. They carry materials with them for 2 classes at a time.

My schedule is very different from the teams across the hall so there is rarely a time when too many kids are in the hallway.

I do not worry about tardies because we have digital clocks in the hallway and kids know if they are not in class at a certain time they have to go get a tardy slip - 3 tardies equals detention.
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happy to have bells
Old 05-19-2008, 07:11 AM
 
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I am at a MS of 850 which was built for 650. We have dismissal tones most of the time. However, we do occasionally run without tones for special reasons, and we have a "school time" that shows on our internal TV system that everyone uses then. Teachers who don't dismiss on time receive targeted advice from admin.

We always have teachers monitor hallways. We also have one-way hallways as a major solution to congestion. With teachers out before classes, we can move along stragglers. Our classes line up along the wall leading into the room. That means that in our 12 foot hall, we lose about 2.5 feet to the width of a classroom line, and leave about 9.5 for traffic. Since it is moving only one way, that seems to be plenty. When someone new goes the "wrong way," kids can really see how crowded it would be without the restriction.

We also did away with lockers. We live in Florida, so there is no need to put away snow boots or parkas. We found that without lockers, there was a huge drop in fights, too. (No hanging out for a kid in front of his locker to beat him up. No getting angry because someone bumped into you at the lockers, etc.) We did have to slightly increase our textbook purchases for this. Every student has a book to keep home all year (no locker= can't drop off books, so they need to stay at home) and every teacher of a subject has a class set that is used for in-class activities, hanging out at the desks until needed by the next class. That means that every 110 kids requires 132 textbooks or so.

If admin won't budge on bells, you'll be much happier with one way halls and reduced/eliminated locker access.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:39 AM
 
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Our school faced the same problem. We did have bells, but the kids ignored them. The high schools actually requested that we do something about the tardies, because in high school, students lose credit after 7 tardies (some of our students have WAY exceeded that number in several classes).

For this final month of school, they are experimenting with something that they want to implement from the start next year. Students have limited "passing times"-- they may only stop at lockers during specifically designated times. It is different for each grade level, depending on when their allied arts classes are (these classes are at the opposite end of the building). They have to carry the books for multiple classes and go directly to class-- no stopping at the bathrooms, no going to their lockers. Today was the first day, but it went all right.

Basically, we're trying to get the kids used to carrying books for more than one class. Their excuse for always being late was "I was at my locker". But they still felt they needed to go to lockers after every class. The high school most of them are going to is one level, very very spread out. We're also trying to stop the "mob mentality"-- if we're all late, what are they gonna do?


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Consquences/HallSweep
Old 06-09-2008, 10:33 AM
 
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Wow...what exactly is a consequence that your students are given for their tardy.... We have a problem with that and I would be interested in putting something in our handbook for this.

Also...what is a hall sweep and what does this intell???
Thanks
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hope you don't mind a little thought from ...
Old 06-09-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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the peanut gallery. At the middle school that I have subbed at they use music as their "bell" system. It is a little less jolting and the students (with admin. permission) get to pick the songs, so they have a say in it as well.

If you are on different schedules, is there a way that parts of the building can hear the tone and others don't have to?
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