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A Thespian in Good Standing advice

  • 1.  A Thespian in Good Standing advice

    Posted 08-09-2019 09:07
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    Looking for advice and guidance:

    At the end of the last school year, I ran into a problem that I never had before.  Seniors who did not participate that much during their final school year wanted to be able to wear cords and receive honors at graduation. However, due their minimal participation (they were not in the productions nor did they participate in the service projects)  and their lack of attendance at meetings, they did not seem to have earned the honors.  Parents called and it was very uncomfortable to explain why their peers earned cords they did not. In order to head off this issue this year, I want to publish a set of guidelines that will be sent home to students and parents so that their is not any confusion or disappointment. I am attaching what I have come up with, but am wondering if I am missing anything or if someone has better wording for "the rules" for remaining a Thespian in good standing.

    If you don't want to read the entire document here is summary:  Thespians in good standing must
    • earn a total of 40 cumulative points (which is an average of 10 points a year). 
    • attend all meetings (two per month) and stay for over half the the meeting time (40 minutes of an hour meeting)

    Thanks for any wisdom you can share : )

    Marla Blasko
    Director/Teacher Theatre Arts
    Long Reach High School
    Columbia, Maryland

  • 2.  RE: A Thespian in Good Standing advice

    Posted 08-09-2019 11:38
    Overall I think it looks good. It's clear and concise. I would probably add info on the days, in addition to the times, the meetings occur.

    Do you ever need to remove someone from a meeting for being disruptive? You may want to add a piece on this and how that can affect being in good standing. I'd also add a line that addresses the possibility of things changing and that there will be new information sent out if this occurs. Just a thought since I was actually out for 5 months last year with an injury that affected how students received their points and honors last year.

    Shira Schwartz
    Chandler Unified School District
    Chandler AZ

  • 3.  RE: A Thespian in Good Standing advice

    Posted 08-10-2019 08:29

    I have a feeling this is becoming more commonplace in recent years.  Last year we had 23 Thespians graduate.  So there was a lot spent on pins and cords.  We had an issue with a few people but it wasn't until the end of the year our Clerk and Secretary told me about it.  Since we didn't deal with it during the season, let it slide this one last time.  

    Moving forward I have made it clear the Secretary needs to be on top of the attendance tracking and the Clerk needs to be on top of the hours. 

    At our first meeting, I am handing something similar to each Senior.  More of a contract.  It will need to be signed by the student to show they understand.  They will agree to fulfill their commitments this year or risk becoming a Thespian on Trial and possibly not getting any of their Senior Honors.  

    The other major issue I've had is with board members.  When they are seniors, some of them pretty much abandon their duties after the Spring Musical and everyone else has to pick up the slack for Inductions and other end of the year activities.  This new "contract" will hopefully help with that issue too.  

    Good Luck 

    Chuck Yarmey
    Advisor/Technical Director
    Wyoming Area Drama Club
    Thespian Troupe 4795
    Exeter PA

  • 4.  RE: A Thespian in Good Standing advice

    Posted 08-10-2019 08:49
    You could use the Thespian pledge as the basis because it covers things like commitment, being positive, etc. I require my seniors to earn ten points or participate somehow in two of the four major events of the year.

    Sent from my iPad

  • 5.  RE: A Thespian in Good Standing advice

    Posted 08-10-2019 10:39
    Our constitution spells this out in plain language. In our troupe, a student must earn at least one point per year to remain active and I am 100 percent comfortable with that. 

  • 6.  RE: A Thespian in Good Standing advice

    Posted 08-12-2019 14:05
    I also had this problem.  I require my Thespians to earn 5 points every year (.5 has to be in community service).

    Laura Russo
    Teacher/Director of Theatre Arts
    School District of The Chathams
    Chatham NJ

  • 7.  RE: A Thespian in Good Standing advice

    Posted 08-13-2019 11:41
      |   view attached
    We pretty thoroughly covered the way Thespians stayed in good standing at the school from which I retired in June.  Each year we had one to three students have to be put on probation due to lack of participation, and most of them voluntarily withdrew from active status.  Some high school students find some other interest, and that's fine.  I never allowed a student who was not in good standing to be listed in the graduation program as a member of ITS or wear cords.

    I am uploading our constitution (modeled on the one on the EdTA website) with our By-Laws at the end.  I have highlighted the sections most pertaining to status.

    By the way, members voted shortly after I reinstated the troupe in 2001 that students should have the option to borrow or buy the graduation cords.  Members brought checks or cash for the replacement value of the cords the week before graduation, and I handed back the money when they gave me the cords after the ceremony.  Students who wanted to buy the cords didn't give them back, and I deposited their money.

    C. J. Breland
    Asheville High School
    Asheville NC