Litz: providing free planners to student body ‘cost prohibitive’

This year, Marshall will no longer provide complimentary agendas or lockers for sophomores and upperclassmen. With the increase in student population, the overall cost of agendas rose to approximately 12,000 dollars, making buying agendas for everyone cost-prohibitive. Students from grades 10 to 12 may now choose to purchase an agenda for five dollars and request a locker.

“[Most of] our kids do not use a locker,” principal Jeff Litz said. “Because we have more kids than lockers, rather than issue lockers to every student, we decided to offer up the ability for students to fill out the Google Form if they wanted a locker. So we’re still offering lockers to kids, it’s just opt-in and not opt-out.”

Only six percent of 100 polled students requested a locker this year.

“[Requesting a locker is a good thing] because students last year that didn’t use lockers [had] lockers that were closer to the gym, which isn’t necessarily fair to those that actually use their lockers [for sports],” senior Anabelle Lee said.

Due to the fact that there are 39 more students than there are lockers, Litz said he only chose to assign freshmen lockers as a way to ease them into high school.

“I wanted to assign the freshmen lockers because that’s what they’re used to from middle school, and I’m trying to make that transition from middle school to high school as comfortable as possible,” Litz said. “That’s also why I made sure to give [them] agendas. I [spoke to] my high school principal colleagues and only about two or three of them still purchase agendas for all of the kids.”

According to a poll of 100 Marshall students, only five percent said they bought an agenda.

“[I purchased a school agenda because] the other agendas are too expensive and the schools’ is only five dollars,” senior Isabella De Mesa said.

Although students from grades 10 to 12 are no longer receiving agendas free of cost, next year, all Fairfax County Public School students will have the option to receive laptops as a way to organize their work online, replacing the need for agendas.

Because of Litz’s decision not to provide school-issued agendas, the FCPS board approved the full county budget.

“I’m happy that our full county budget was funded this year,” Litz said. “It’s the first time in a long time.”

Additionally, Litz said he plans to introduce a new app made specifically for Marshall students after he had a discussion with the principal of Westfield High School.

“My long-term goal is to create an app that will have the red and blue day calendar on it and some other [features],” Litz said. “Westfield High School’s principal worked with a company for two years to make an app for kids. I’ve been talking to them about how we might do that for kids here.”