Unnecessary Change?

Linnea Fawkes, Staff Writer

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Change can be great when it is proven to be effective. Although we are in a stage of transition many students and staff have voiced their disappointment with the new seven period schedule. As a junior, the new schedule changes have impacted my day negatively.

While I do enjoy the wide variety of course selections, I find the shorter classes to be pressed for time, leaving us shuffling to get things done quickly. Last year we had 60 minutes of class instruction compared to our current time of 50 minutes. Every single course out of the seven, is individually missing (2-3 weeks) of instruction due to these changes. Since I am in AP and honor classes, this additional lack of time is stressful, especially because I am taking an AP exam in the spring. Adding the seventh course contributes to a heavier homework load which can increase stress among students, especially those who participate in after school clubs, athletics, or recreational activities. At times, I find myself up till 11:30 pm, completing my homework, projects, and studying for tests/quizzes.

Being on time is an important factor in life and especially in school. Let’s be honest, five minutes to pass in a crowded hallway within a school as large as Barnstable often makes it impossible to be on time. Not to mention, having to use the restroom or visit your locker on the other side of the building. By the time I leave class to use the restroom, an unusual bell rings from the speaker system before I have the chance to wash my hands. The passing time between lunches is four minutes, which is even more ridiculous because we students use that time to use the bathroom or get to class on the other side of the school.

Twice a week I go to first lunch at 10:23 a.m. My teachers, classmates and I refer to this time as “brunch” since most students eat breakfast at this time on the weekends. As a student athlete that runs five days a week until 4:30 p.m, I require a nutritious meal at school to keep me energized. I bring my own lunch from home because I do not want to lose more time waiting in line just to get my food. Our student handbook states that we can’t eat snacks after first block, which is a problem for student athletes, ultimately forcing us to sneak in protein bars to stay fueled for our practices or games after school.

Over the last four years I have been fortunate enough to have remained with the same TGA teacher whom I have built a personal connection with. The TGA time (now known as advisory), has been reduced from 5 days a week to 2 days, which upsets me as I use this time to prepare for the rest of the day.

During this advisory period, it is surprisingly frowned upon to visit your locker or request a time to visit a teacher or counselor. Teachers are directed to prevent students from leaving the classroom. Advisory is longer since it is two days a week, however, it passes by very quickly leaving students feeling rushed.

I support more opportunities to become college ready and I appreciate the school making the effort for students to have a fulfilling school experience, but this schedule change was unnecessary. Last year’s schedule, was more manageable for students and teachers, with longer classes, lunches, and passing times. I know I’m not the only one with this opinion, and I’m hoping that students’ and teachers’ voices will be heard and addressed.