Stop Hand Cramps : First Day Handouts


By Megan Perrin

On the first day of school, students are handed a manila folder filled with handouts, and each class a syllabus.  In the folder are multiple contracts:  some on behavior: physical, technological and mental; others on health, academic standards or technology usage.  A topic that repeatedly appeared throughout the documents was contact information.  Each year parents are asked for contact information and each year they have to fill out multiple papers asking those same questions.

This is killing trees and hand cramp, printing the same forms in a different format and writing the same answers.  Students should be given one paper for contact information that can be inputted so all of his or her teachers have access to it.  Most of the information is the same, so why tell them something they already know.

“There is a lot of paper work,” Newspaper Director, journalism and English lV teacher Mrs Kroeker admits. However, “I don’t think the students understand the importance.” The paper sent out is not pointless, there are reasons such as the protection of the students and staff to keep them safe and parents well informed.” But how much paper does that take?

There are approximately 2,100 students attending George Ranch High School and all of them are given a manila folder filled with approximately 30 pieces of paper.  Fifteen of those papers were not required to be returned back. For example, math; each math teacher distributed a calculator forms.  This same forms was in the manila folder.  Now kids have two identical papers when they only need one.

Also, with the addition to the manila folder, teachers send out papers asking for contact information.  Though many do refer to those sources throughout the year, a new system GRHS is participating in is Skyward.  Skyward is a way for students to look at their grades and many other features such as information to enable them to contact their teachers.  Teachers, as well as students, have this feature.  When a student is first enrolled into George Ranch High School, they are given forms that ask for phone numbers, email addresses, and such.  This information is then added to Skyward.  If teachers need to contact parents, they go there.

Another popular way to get information teachers use is their own handouts.  However, an average teacher has six classes and the average number of students per class is thirty.  Students themselves have 7 classes. With the additional contact information in the manila folder, parents write their phone numbers, emails, and addresses at least eight times the first day their child returns to school.

The overwhelming paper work can be eliminated.  Teachers can all just refer to Skyward or one single paper can be sent out and parents can confirm it’s the same with what information the school already has or make edits if it has changed.  Information can be available to all teachers without unnecessary tree killing or hand cramps.