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Unread 12-07-2017, 10:13 AM
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Travel Hours Feedback

Our team is considering putting into place a team policy this season to require students to complete a certain amount of hours to be able to travel to competitions. We are a third-year team and typically meet Thurs. 3pm-6pm, Fri 3pm-6pm and Sat. 10am-4pm for a total of 12 weeks a week. We typically add more sessions if need be as we get down to the crunch.

Roughly we hit 100 hrs during build season. What is a good percentage of time to require students to meet? I want students to be committed to the team but I also understand that for some students robotics is not their only activity going on as an HS student.

I was frustrated last season when we had some students always committed and some students not so committed. What was the most frustrating was mentors were giving up time away from their families and some students would not show up to work on projects that a mentor was there to specifically with them on.
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Unread 12-07-2017, 10:25 AM
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Re: Travel Hours Feedback

During build our facility is open M, T, TH, and FR from 6pm-10pm and Sat from 10am-5pm. Tuesday is our mandatory day as we do a full team meeting, the rest of the time some sub teams meet and some don't. We have a requirement of 10 hours a week during build season, 5 hours during competition season ( B&T day and after) and an cumulative escalating service hours requirement of 10 for our 1st regional, 15 for our second regional, and 20 for champs should we make it. Service hours are cumulative on a rolling calendar year from May-April.

We've had problems of students just showing up and not doing anything to get their required hours so we've been looking at ways to designate what is "good time" vs "bad time" we want the students to be engaged and doing things while they are present and not just there because we require them to. So I would say pick a number that you feel most can achieve but also a number where students aren't just showing up because they have to put X number of hours in.
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Unread 12-07-2017, 10:40 AM
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Re: Travel Hours Feedback

We have a 50% attendance requirement to travel with the team. That really boils down to attending all of the weekday meetings OR one weekday meeting plus our Saturday meeting each week. Like Eric, we've struggled with students showing up for hours without doing work. Rather than try to determine hours that count versus ones that don't, we've put more effort into coaching our student leaders so they keep everyone engaged during the meetings. For the most part it works.
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Unread 12-07-2017, 10:42 AM
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Re: Travel Hours Feedback

On 78, I tell the families its not the number of meetings your child attends - it's their effort at those meetings that will determine their child's role at an event.

Everyone one our team is allowed to come to the events. But if you are a spectator at build meetings, expect to be a spectator at the competitions.

Tracking hours requires a lot of overhead. Having a simple check-in sheet is as far as we go towards tracking attendance.
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Unread 12-07-2017, 10:49 AM
MuskieProgramme MuskieProgramme is offline
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Re: Travel Hours Feedback

We don't have a set requirement, but an expectation that you will come to at least 3 meetings a week (for at least an hour) for a total of 8+ hours / week. Anyone who does not meet this expectation will definitely be at a disadvantage for key roles, such as drive team or pit crew. They're not automatically denied the position, but someone who does meet the requirement will almost always win if the position is contested.
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Unread 12-07-2017, 11:10 AM
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Re: Travel Hours Feedback

We have 8 scheduled hours per week May-Dec and 24 scheduled hours of meetings Jan-Apr. The baseline expectation is that every member is at 80% of scheduled meeting hours. The kids sign in and out on a google sheet that calculates total time as well as percentage. That said, time isn't tied to travel, nor is it enforced in a particularly rigid manner. We use the time as an indicator of things we actually care about, those being...
  • Is everybody actively engaged in communication channels and responsive to status posts?
  • Is everybody in the loop enough that they can be engaged in a task at meetings without needing to be caught up?
  • Is everybody in the loop enough that they are aware of the current state of tasks and projects (whats critical path, what is on schedule or behind, etc.)?
  • Will everybody be prepared to fill a competition role in season?
  • Is everybody on the team doing what they are able to do?
  • Is there an approximately equal distribution of effort amongst all team members?
  • Does anybody feel like they are carrying an undue burden because others arent pulling as much weight?
  • Is everybody present enough that they are emotionally connected to the collective vision and mission?

We've been emphasizing the hours less lately, as we've come to a realization that (at least for us) by using the time too rigidly we intimidate the most mature kids that have the capacity to understand the weight of those expectations, but are also most well suited to be really powerful team members. Authoritative/intimidating methods work really well for "stop" behaviors, but they aren't great for "start" behaviors.

The hours sheet is really cool for things like writing recommendation letters, presenting to sponsors and the board of education, etc. as we have their total hours over the course of their entire time on the team. It'll be really cool when our current little ones (elementary school right now) graduate as we'll have their lifetime total robotics hours.
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Unread 12-07-2017, 11:28 AM
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Re: Travel Hours Feedback

Id establish something on the order of 40% of the team hours. I would also allow students to do homework on site so they can get hours even if academically overwhelmed, but only if they actually do homework and not if they screw around. This is similar to how 2791 handles it.
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Unread 12-07-2017, 11:42 AM
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Re: Travel Hours Feedback

We have a limit of 25 students traveling to events on school time. Many years, this is everyone. When the team is larger (e.g. 2015 we had 50+), we basically established a list of "varsity" who had earned their way on as we went. The list started out empty. The drive team went on early, as did the pit crew (selected by the sub-team leads, e.g. 2 from electrical, 2 from programming, 2 from mechanical), the Chairman's presenters, and scout lead. After all the critical positions were covered, we started with positions like spirit (mascots), more scouts, and coordinator of the craft table for the event. We would have probably added backup drive team, but IIRC, every one of them was on pit or chairman's.

Our basic shop time rules are that students shall attend all mandatory shop meetings (14-16 hrs per week until bag, a bit less afterwards depending on how much needs to be done) unless excused by the head coach in advance. You do get a couple of warnings before you're pulled.
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Last edited by GeeTwo : 12-07-2017 at 02:36 PM. Reason: added word students to first sentence.
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Unread 12-07-2017, 01:17 PM
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Re: Travel Hours Feedback

We have a tiered commitment requirement depending on team role in order to travel:

General team members are required to meet 60% of our scheduled build season hours
Subsystem captains are required to meet 75% of our scheduled build season hours
Team Captains are required to meet 90% of our scheduled build season hours

We have 134 hours schedule from kickoff through bag day, but we sometimes meet before/after hours or on "off" days, so it's really possible to get much higher than 100% or to make up for lost time.

I've only had 2 kids in the last 4 years not be able to travel because of commitment hours
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Unread 12-07-2017, 02:24 PM
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Re: Travel Hours Feedback

We have a 75% attendance policy to stay on the team and even then only 44 students are on travel team out of 80-150 students depending on year. Everyone gets to come to the Sacramento Regional as it is held in Davis where everyone lives, travel team members do their usual duties and everyone else volunteers at the event.
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Unread 12-07-2017, 08:24 PM
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Re: Travel Hours Feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
Id establish something on the order of 40% of the team hours. I would also allow students to do homework on site so they can get hours even if academically overwhelmed, but only if they actually do homework and not if they screw around. This is similar to how 2791 handles it.
On 2791, the requirement is 40 hours during build season. We have three 5-hour weekday meetings, plus another weekday and Saturday toward the end of build. So this is just three weeks of attending all three weekday meetings or attending one each week and a couple more.

I'm pretty happy with 40 as the cutoff. It's not especially difficult but most students come into competition with a place.
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Unread 12-07-2017, 08:45 PM
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Re: Travel Hours Feedback

This year will be the first time we have put a policy in place. To travel you have to have been at 50% of the meetings of your working group. We'll make exceptions where appropriate....for instance we will give bonus points for exemplary off season duty. But of course those are the students who will be at most all meetings anyway. If somebody is in academic trouble we'll give them credit even if they show up and study.
As I say, new policy, we'll see how it pans out.
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Unread 12-07-2017, 08:54 PM
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Re: Travel Hours Feedback

We require that students attend 65% of meeting hours every week during build season in addition to our mandatory full-team meetings every Monday and Thursday. We have never had a problem with students meeting that. In fact, well over half of my students attend 90% or more of the meeting hours.

Edit: I should also add that team leadership is required to attend 80% of meeting hours, plus our weekly leadership meeting.
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Unread 12-07-2017, 11:00 PM
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Re: Travel Hours Feedback

Our travel requirements.
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Unread 12-07-2017, 11:13 PM
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Re: Travel Hours Feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koko Ed View Post
Broken/ambiguous link?
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