Student aides are a familiar part of classrooms and administrative offices at this school. The select group of students excel in completing managerial tasks given to them by staff members and take initiative by helping students with school work and essays.
Although teachers mainly assess and educate students, they also have to plan lessons, communicate with parents and sponsor extracurricular activities. Teachers rely on their student aide’s diligence and responsibility in completing tasks that they may not have time to complete.
Aides around the school copy and file papers. In administrative offices they may run passes, answer phone calls or alphabetize student schedules. “[My student aide] helps me in keeping organized and completes tasks that would take time out of my grading assignments and planning,” history teacher Anne-Marie Steppling said.
Student aides are seniors who have space in their schedules and are willing to help the school. In only special circumstances are there juniors who student aide. In order to become a student aide a required contract is needed to be filled out by the applicant.
Although there is no formal interview, a staff member in the assigned office may ask the student questions in order to gain an understanding of their abilities and decide whether or not they would be well-suited for the job.
Aides must have maintained a 95 percent attendance rate the previous quarter and have a good academic standing with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher. Student aides are expected to be great communicators, organized, responsible, dependable and on time. Aides are also expected to maintain confidentiality, especially if they are working in the attendance, counseling or main office. “You might hear or see something and you have to be professional about it,” assistant principal and administrator Joseph Mamana said.
It is expected that the student has approached the teacher they want to assist, however prior to a request for a teacher, positions will be filled in high priority offices. Senior Carson Blum is a student aide for counselor Laura Cope and enjoys helping Cope with tasks around her office. “It’s a great opportunity to make a good connection with a staff member,” Blum said.
The jobs student aides are not allowed to do include grading papers or accessing any teacher’s grade book or secured account. During Advanced Placement testing, student aides may also be asked to set clocks, sharpen pencils and organize any unsecure testing materials. Students may also aide for teachers who sponsor any school-wide programs or clubs and may use the period to prepare for that particular group.
2017 was the last year students earned student service learning hours. The state of Maryland discontinued this due to the requirement that SSL activities must be done outside of school. There are about 100 student aides per semester, each willing to help this school in any shape, way or form.