By John Lee
While there are drawbacks, according to some students, the pros to this schedule outweigh the cons.
There seem to be a lot more students with zero periods and no sixth periods compared to last year. Students are leaving almost a whole hour earlier because of the later zero period start. That seems like good incentive to me, although I prefer sleeping in.
However, some people live far from our school, so it’s understandable that thirty minutes could mean the world to them. As for me, I’ve had the blessing to live only seven minutes away from school, so half an hour really isn’t much of a difference, but I’ll take it.
Tanthai Pongstien, a junior on the Academic Decathlon team, believes that having school start later is a great benefit, but not one that we so desperately need.
“I think starting later is really helpful for most students in general. Many of us are going to sleep late at night, so thirty more minutes is a lot in terms of how much energy we have in the morning,” Pongstien said. “On the other hand, if we all just learn how to better manage our time, sleep deprivation wouldn’t be a problem and those thirty minutes wouldn’t be necessary.”
This schedule also brought more changes by introducing study hall for athletes. Basically, study hall is a new addition that allows many of our school’s athletes to do homework or study during fifth period, instead of having a core subject during that period. This class keeps students from missing core classes on game days as well.
While some do not like this new study hall because it leads to distractions, others love it. Just imagine: thirty or more athletes are crammed into a classroom with a teacher telling them to sit and do homework. For some this does work, for others it doesn’t.
No matter how distracting study hall may be, it’s still an extra hour to catch up on work. You can be rowdy on the playing field, but at least use study hall for what it’s worth. It seems like a good idea to me, but then, I don’t have one.
Justin Lee, a sophomore on the boys junior varsity soccer team, shares the same opinion.
“Some of my friends on the team think study hall isn’t that great, but I like it. I was always rushing to finish my homework at home last year, but now I have an extra hour to catch up. It makes things easier for me, since practice takes up a lot of time.”
Well said, Lee.
And finally, we come to our teachers. After interviewing a few, it became clear to me that the new schedule affects some teachers differently than others. For teachers who don’t have zero period on Tuesdays, this schedule doesn’t affect them much, except for the fact that Tuesdays now basically have four periods in a row (a three-minute longer passing period is not any difference at all!).
But the “Most Tired” Award goes to the teachers who actually do have zero periods on Professional Development Tuesdays because they have to come early in the morning, teach for one hour, attend a meeting for another hour and then switch back to teaching for another six hours.
Students may complain about that one hour on Tuesdays when they’re locked in school while the teachers have their meetings, but at least they have a choice in what they can do during this hour. Think of the alternative; you could be in a meeting.
Accommodating these students on Tuesdays, the school opened new opportunities: tutoring, bereavement management, weight training, intramural sports, etc. It’s the school’s way of saying, yes, you may be locked inside for another hour, but at least you’ll be occupied by something fun. So it’s obvious that everyone has different opinions about the new schedule. As for me, it seems to have more positive aspects than negative.