Senator Square: New technology policy at Carson High |

Senator Square: New technology policy at Carson High

Phil Brady
CHS Blue Thunder Band. Photo by Paula Doty.

A new, yet not-so-new, technology policy at Carson High School has upset some and caused others to look at the potential benefits. No longer are students allowed to possess their earbuds at school let alone use them during breaks or at lunch time. Accessing cell phones during class may also result in confiscation, delivery to the office, and a call home to have the parent or guardian come and personally pick it up from the office. The purpose of the not-entirely-new electronics policy is to promote student safety and focus on student learning, so administrators decided, for the safety and welfare of CHS students, cell phones are permitted on campus with limitations, but earbuds and headphones are not permitted on campus at all; however, headphones will be provided if needed to support student learning. Additionally, during testing, cell phones and iWatches will be turned off and collected. Students who violate this policy face progressive discipline, and violations of the CHS Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) may result in students losing use of a school Chromebook or desktop computer. According to CHS Language Arts Department head Adam Whatley, “I have received quite a few comments about the whole ‘no headphones’ issue in the last few days, and I am always torn, both professionally and personally, at initiatives that restrict what I can do as an educator; however, I really think that the headphone ban is something that, as a school, we should implement and try.” Whatley, also an English teacher at CHS, said, “We had an hour’s long conversation in the M-Team [management team] meeting about the topic, and importantly, this is something we are being asked as employees to do.” If it works, he said, “we’ll be a better school for it.” “Like any global initiative, it won’t work at every grade level … broad brushes cover imperfectly … we will have to adapt around its edges.”


Dear Friends, welcome to the start of a new school year. I hope your time off was everything summer vacation represents to educators. As I visited schools today, I observed much that is familiar. There were throngs of parents accompanying their children to school (some for their very first time). The sight and sounds of school buses back on the roads was comforting and reassuring. Students donned fresh clothes and shoes, and happy faces were seen everywhere. Thanks to you all for the welcoming roles and warm assurances you provided to our students and their families today. As this new year commences, I want you to know how much I value your efforts and appreciate your roles in our schools. Educators play a vital role in actively preserving the strengths, perpetuating the ideals, and teaching the values and characteristics that make our community, state, and nation great. The work we do matters so very much. It is our obligation to help students grow in knowledge not only of the academic kind, but also in the understanding of desirable, personal characteristics like citizenship, integrity, and honor. Our country and its people are extraordinary. While both face daily challenges, as educators we love and serve them both. Our love of country and our fellow man inspires us to find ways to overcome challenges and provide opportunities. Ultimately, our work promotes the growth and progression of both.

Through our daily efforts, by seeing past individual differences, by supporting each other, and by lifting those around us, we can strengthen all who need us by our words and deeds. I cannot think of a calling that has greater impact for the cause of good than being an educator. Thanks to you for your service to our students, their families, and our community. Have a wonderful school year.


Fall is just around the corner, and the beginning of every school year at CHS offers the current class of seniors the opportunity to get together in the morning, have some baked goods, hot chocolate, and coffee, and make a few decisions for themselves. Senior Sunrise for the Class of 2018-2019 begins at 6 a.m. Aug. 31 on the bleachers of the CHS football field, and it will be time for seniors to decide on a school song, quote, and T-shirt which represents who they are as students, individuals, and upper classmen.


Social Studies teacher and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Adviser Angila Golik would like to thank locally situated and family owned Farmers Insurance-The Bonkowski Agency for generously donating supplies to the government and economics classes at CHS. Owners Shelley and Zach Bonkowski reached out to Mrs. Golik when they heard of the need for her senior age students, those who are living on their own and finishing high school, but cannot necessarily afford all of the items required for supplies in a classroom. This year’s seniors have four to seven classes; with supply lists for each class, it can be difficult to pay for these items if students are living on their own and paying for rent, food and other essentials. The Bonkowski Agency was able to get enough supplies to help out 20 seniors with the items needed in Mrs. Golik’s classes. A binder, loose leaf paper, composition notebook, dividers and pencils were purchased by the agency and given to Mrs. Golik to provide to her students. Farmers Insurance-The Bonkowski Agency is located on Topsy Lane, Suite 442, and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


The event, scheduled Sept. 10 from 4:30 to 8 p.m., takes the traditional back-to-school night to a whole new level. Open House, Open Hearts highlights Carson City based activities, family friendly events, and provides information and screenings for a variety of local services. The purpose of Open House, Open Hearts: build bridges to local services for teens and their families; increase parent and guardian engagement with CHS staff, students, and activities; celebrate the community, creativity and diverse talents of Carson City. There will be entertainment along with food and beverages. In fact, CHS’ own Culinary Arts will be doing the catering. Questions? Call CHS at 283-1910.


Required for all students in all extra-curricular activities, free entry to home games, and discounted dance tickets is the SBC sticker for $25. To anyone who missed Senator Kick-Off, parking spaces are also available in Student Finance. Lockers are also available for $10, and this fee covers all four years at CHS. Students who have already purchased a locker will keep the same locker throughout their high school career. The $10 fee includes the lock; however, a $5 replacement will be administered for lost locks. There is no sharing of lockers. PE uniforms are $25. Student ID cards will soon be provided to all students because the State of Nevada requires all students to have a picture student ID when registering for State of Nevada tests. Yearbooks may be pre-ordered, too; see Mrs. Quinn-Davis in room 136. For more information, go to


Having an ongoing partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno, CHS decided to continue to offer the course EDU 110 Society & Education. The course, first offered in 2017, has grown in popularity from 15 juniors and seniors to 40. CHS teachers Jennifer Chandler and Cheryl Macy have teamed up with University of Nevada instructor Sarah Lobsinger to teach the course. EDU110 is designed to introduce students to the resources and expectations of the College of Education and the University of Nevada, Reno. Students will enroll as UNR students and receive access to university library and campus resources as well as tour UNR. Students will learn study skills and strategies to meet the challenges of university-level learning and will be introduced to the field of education as a career choice and college major. They will have the opportunity to visit local schools for observations and hands-on activities with younger elementary and middle school learners. Students will learn how to take charge of their university studies and career preparation path in order to meet their goals for a timely graduation and career entry. Questions about EDU 110? Email Sarah Lobsinger at


Need help with assignments? Need a quiet place to study at CHS? Need extra time on assignments? Tutoring is available Tuesday through Friday from 2:20 to 3:50 p.m. in room 235. Transportation is also provided once the Solutions class begins. Need a bus after tutoring is finished? Check with CHS teacher Wendy Tims at 283-1759.

Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.