Reinforced Rules Around FSSA

The new signs around FSSA remind students how to act appropriately in the building. Image by Isa Cava.

You’ve seen them everywhere; the hallways, the locker rooms, the cafeteria; plaques reminding us of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts rules. They came in with the new principal, Mr. Frankel. However contrary to popular belief, these aren’t new rules at all.

“I don’t think there are any new rules,” Mr. Frankel said. “I think it’s just rules that we’ve always had, maybe we’re forcing them clearer or just setting clearer expectations.”

Mr. Frankel went on to say that clearer expectations are meant to keep a professional environment, preparing students for college. Mr. Frankel hopes that reinforcing the rules will help students focus on growing creatively and academically. To achieve this he believes that classes should be quiet, cell phones be put away, and students refrain from charging phones in classrooms. 

The plaques are up to remind students of the rules, to make sure the expectations are clear and to support a respectful environment around the building.

“Students here are wonderful, they’re passionate about their art form, work hard in their academics, but teenagers sometimes need reminders about rules and so I think to hold people accountable and for students to start to be held accountable for following the rules [is important],” Mr. Frankel said.

Mr. Frankel thinks being held accountable will help students prepare for the future, as in the future there are going to be consequences, like getting fired from your job or kicked out of college.

There are also new protocols that students might have noticed. There are new school safety agents stationed in each hallway. They’re meant to make sure the hallway rules are followed, and that each student is where they need to be.

“There’s some protocols, some rules, some structure around where we’re supposed to be, using a pass, making sure the hallways are clear and quiet, so that what’s happening in the classroom can best benefit [the students],” Mr. Frankel said. Another protocol put in place are more trash cans in the hallways so that there’s less littering.

There has also been some discussion over whether students should be practicing their instruments, or rehearsing lines in the hallways and stairwells.

Mr. Frankel said that the policy has always been that students cannot be doing these activities unsupervised.

“Students can’t ever be on their own, there must be a teacher present,” Mr. Frankel said, which means some changes for the students who practice their instruments in the stairwell.

However, the need for supervision has made it hard for some students to take advantage of the space and its good acoustics.

“The problem isn’t necessarily students who play, it’s the students who stop to listen or take advantage of that freedom,” Mr. Frankel said. He added that the rules aren’t there to make things difficult for students.

I think it would be good if we could get a schedule of practice places where students can be, to make sure that people are where they’re supposed to be between security, deans and teachers,” vocal teacher Ms. Best said. “I feel like we should be able to have rehearsal spaces more than just the practice rooms.”

Some students also lack confidence that the rules will make the changes Mr. Frankel is hoping they’ll make.

“We don’t really look a the plaques, and even when we do, there are still some teachers who don’t necessarily enforce every single rule,” said Sabrina Alam, senior Fine Arts major.

These reintroduced rules, while not new, are still something to get used to. 

– by Isa Cava ’18