NEW PARIS — Mike Eyler’s first school year as National Trail Middle School Principal has officially begun.
He reported on his first school day during the National Trail Local School Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 22.
To kick off the school year, Eyler made a visit to every middle school class on the first day of school. He even made it to the seventh and eighth grade lunch period, and planned to attend fifth and sixth grade lunch the following day.
He added, the seventh and eighth grade students were well behaved during lunch on the first day and he complimented them.
“We did do a couple small changes at the staff meeting on Friday, Aug. 18. I had some concerns, but we went over the handbook,” he said. “We talked through my expectation of what the teachers should be doing and some concerns with cellphones at lunch policy.
“Seeing fifth and sixth graders at recess with their phones rather than playing, it was kinda disappointing,” Eyler said. “After talking with many of the teachers, we decided that fifth and sixth graders were not to have phones from 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. If they need to call home, they can come to the office, that’s our job. The whole idea is that they’re kids, they don’t need to be on their phones.”
“However, for seventh and eighth grade we’re going to refrain from taking them outside for now as they complete lunch,” Eyler explained. “A concern was that between the cafeteria and outside, we didn’t have enough people to watch. Last year we were having issues with students hiding in the bathrooms and escaping to parts of the building — we just didn’t have enough people to watch them.”
“For now, we’re going to allow them to hang out in the cafeteria,” he added. “As a compromise there, we are going to allow them to use their phones only during the lunch block. Hallways, classrooms, any time not at lunch — there are no cellphones. They are to be turned off, in bags, in lockers, or in their pockets — whatever it takes. So far, that has gone over well with the staff, we’ll see how the students do with it.”
According to Eyler, phones are allowed after school if students stay after for activities — the phones are just not permitted for use during school hours (with the exception of lunch for seventh and eighth graders).