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The Eagle County School District on Friday issued the following message to parents about bullying, social media threats and overall bad behavior at both of the two public high schools in Eagle County during the first semester of the 2021-22 school year:
We are reaching out as the combined administrations of BMHS and EVHS to send a common message regarding some issues we have been facing at our schools. We are seeking the support and help of our students’ families to address these challenges.
The return to what we had hoped would be a “normal” school year has been anything but. Teachers, students, and parents have continued to experience various impacts from COVID-19. As schools, we did not have a great response during the first semester to the surprisingly poor student conduct regarding disengagement in class, how to appropriately interact with others, and unsafe behavior.
It isn’t just Eagle County School District that has struggled with poor student conduct. Educators across the country are dealing with dysregulated and disrespectful students. High school staff are responding with unusual frequency to incidents of fighting, damage to school property, bullying on social media, confronting teachers, and a general lack of regard for basic social norms.
In order for large comprehensive schools to function effectively, order and decorum are essential. In our efforts to improve student behaviors we have, and will continue to promote respectful and supportive cultures. Students have experienced nearly two years of disrupted schedules and modified expectations. Now is the time when students will benefit most from schools that provide structure, and hold high expectations for academics and behavior.
Minutes matter; we believe that students who come to class on time, are prepared, are ready to learn, and who actively participate and engage in the learning process find academic success. Thus, our priorities next semester will be on eliminating distractions including cell phones, unexcused tardies, period absences, walk-outs, and disruptive behaviors on campus.
It will take an increased amount of time, energy, and focus on these outcomes to get the results that we want. Our teachers, counselors, and administrators will be unified in enforcing the rules as a priority. As parents we ask you to support the ideals of tighter school structures and your role in reinforcing with your child that it is what we need right now. Our goal in doing all of this is to reclaim a school culture of academic rigor, student engagement, and positive relationships.
We have great kids and great school communities. We look forward to partnering with you as we navigate these challenges. Thank you for taking the time to read this message and understand our collective efforts to support your children.
Jason Mills, Principal BMHS
Greg Doan, Principal EVHS
Philip Qualman, Superintendent
Dr. Katie Jarnot, Assistant Superintendent