Eighth graders held accountable

Starting at the fifth grading period, eighth graders could potentially lose their end-of-the-year privileges for behavioral or academic issues.

All eighth graders receive end-of-the-year privileges as part of promotion. The privileges include the eighth-grade dance, the Knott’s Berry Farm field trip, the slide show, and the promotion ceremony.  All the eighth-grade privileges occur during the last calendar week of the school year, May 22-28.  

In other Santa Ana Unified Intermediate schools, there are similar privileges. The slideshow, though, is an activity specific to MacArthur.  The privileges are meant to cap the students’ eighth-grade year, and their entire year time spent at MacArthur with celebratory, reflective events that value intermediate school education.

Assistant Principal Mr. Ray Gonzales said, “There is a tie between Knotts Berry Farm and the dance for being the most-liked privilege.”  All privileges except Knott’s Berry Farm are free of charge to the students.

The dance will be held on Friday, May 22, on campus with free entrance, free food and beverages, and many years there are additional prizes, too.  The eighth-grade dance differs from the other school dances with a later time frame and longer length, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  Additionally, students are encouraged to dress up to match the theme, this year’s theme being “Red Carpet.”

“I think the school’s eighth-grade dance will be the best event and the saddest event this year,” said eighth-grader Angel Soto.

Knotts Berry Farm is scheduled for Tuesday, May 26.  There is a $35 cost per student that includes transportation and ticket, but the students who already have an annual pass to Knott’s are only charged $7 for transportation to and from the theme park.  

On Wednesday, May 27, the eighth-grade promotion ceremony will be held at Godinez Fundamental HighSchool, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM.  The ceremony acknowledges student completion of intermediate school and is an awards ceremony for the outgoing eighth graders, too.

Finally, the slideshow is on the last day of school for eighth-graders, May 28.  The slideshow is in the P.A.R. during periods three through five. Each year, Math Teacher Mr. Jim Axton carefully curates photos, and a few videos, from the eighth-grade class in a final farewell, reflective presentation.  The slideshow if often the emotional culmination of completing eighth grade.

“I think the slideshow is going to make me emotionally sad,” said eighth-grader Vince Enciso. 

To keep students motivated, eighth-graders have the potential of losing some privileges. Starting in the fifth grading period, February 24 through the end of the year, students will lose a privilege for each time they receive a 180-minute consequence, which traditionally occurs on the sixth step on any of the Fundamental Cards.  Also, students will lose all privileges for failing any class, receiving a suspension, or forging any school document.