Change The, New, and Unimproved, Schedule of the Saratoga Springs High School
Change The, New, and Unimproved, Schedule of the Saratoga Springs High School
An Argument of Why the New Schedule is Horrible and Why it Should Be Changed.
Hi, you may know me or you may not, but my name is Kazumi Hosier and I would like to make it known to the staff of the Saratoga Springs High School that the schedule made for the 2021/2022 Year is dysfunctional, annoying, confusing, frustrating, and overall stress inducing. It’s come to my knowledge that the new schedule was made to reduce stress, or that what the official statements say, however if absolutely any student was asked about what they thought, a good chance even before the school year had started, they would have agreed with my previous statement, however when i originally made a petition and statement to the school over the summer it was rejected and I was asked simply to give it a try, and we the students of Saratoga High School have tried it, and even though it has only been about a month of school, its already apparent that the predictions I and many others had made about the schedule, have come true.
Lets start with flex, flex is supposed to be a time period where all the teachers are available to help the students, it was also created to have some down time as well study time for students, however in practice this just isn’t true. The Amount of time providing in flex, effectively 20 mins, is not enough time to do basically anything, you could possibly start your work, but theres no way anyone is really getting anything done, most people cant even use it as down time due to its short time. To add to that, the time that was taken away from our schedule to free up time for flex was taken out of student lunches, which simply put is frustrating and annoying to say the least. Lunch was used as a time for students to eat, yes, but also socialize, have a nice relaxing break where we could talk with friends, a nice eye of the storm that is our school day, however due to flex our previously decent lunch time has been halved, for something that promises to give something, that the lunch already did, and on top of that it cant even deliver what it promises. Lunch was good as it was, we did not need flex, and this is where we start to see the common theme of my argument, the school tried to fix something that wasn’t broken, and ended up making it worse in the end. My final statement for Lunch and Flex is that, if you really wanted students to have downtime, study time, social time, and less stress, we already had that in the form of lunch, and now thats been stripped away with flex.
My next point comes in the form of the new format of the schedule, by this i am referring to the Monday (M), Tuesday (T), Thursday (R), and Friday (F), system. First of all, naming the schedule day after the day of the week actually makes it more confusing, especially when it comes to Wednesday when we have to make redundant statements such as “Wednesday is a Monday, day, this week” its frustrating, confusing, and annoying, and realistically even if you wanted to change it, you could have made it something like A, B C, and D, days, which would have made much more sense, but to be honest the scheduling system of A and B was already fine as it is, adding two more days that are only slightly different adds more confusion and stress to students lives, as well as the teachers. My final statement on the scheduling layout is, once again trying to fix something that isn’t broken, that effects a lot of people, and than not representing those peoples opinions in the decision leads to frustrating and annoying and stressful things.
My Third point relates to Wednesday and how its been effected by this new schedule. Wednesday during the previous year had changed, and it actually wasn’t that bad, it was used as more of a check in day where teachers could catch up students, and you could get some work done, really all it needed was to make those classes a little longer in my opinion to get work done. However it was completely reworked this year into something that is worse in many days. Lets start with the late starting time, once again in theory this would be great, however for students who ride the bus on a daily basis, your still required to go to school at the same time, and any person who is at the school earlier than around 8:22am is crowded (something that should be avoided during a pandemic) into the cafeteria or auditorium where the students must sit there and wait, for some people they may have to wait there for long times, for children with different sensory related disabilities the crowded loud atmosphere is stressful and can cause break downs or panic attacks, and for the teachers they are supposed to have meetings in the morning, however many have remarked that the 25 minute meetings aren’t enough for them to get much done. My final argument on Wednesday is, the late start is redundant, it should either be an **actual** late start, or should just be taken out in favor of a full day, Wednesday randomly oscillating between the already confusing other days of the week, confuses and annoys students. Wednesday as a whole is confusing, frustrating, and annoying.
My Fourth point relates to physical education classes, to be honest i personally think a lot of positive changes have been coming out of PE, such as co-ed and being able to chose what kind of curriculum you want within your PE class, however, making it a full block only once (twice depending on the week) a week really is a bad choice from a physical training aspect, for a lot of people PE was the most exercise they would get in a week, and even though, yes technically, its the same amount of time, from an activity perspective, spreading out that time makes more sense, it keeps your body on its toes, and you are technically exercising more often, whereas 80mins once a week kinda can bring down the endurance of a less active person, to be honest that one is my weakest point however i felt it was worth mentioning.
My Fifth point is something that a majority of the students at the highschool might not relate to, but I’m sure would see the issue. My sibling, like a good percent of the school, has an iEP, for those who don’t know, an IEP is a document that dictates extra help tools for students in need, for other students, like myself, they may have a 504, which serves a similar purpose. This school year, many students who require the help from their IEP have been “cheated” out of their extra help tools, students who used to require a resource class called “Strategies”, 4 days a week, have been downgraded to 2, many other things like this has happened, causing many students to go without the tools they need for success, and in some cases the school sends home slips that if not read carefully, may sign away the unsolicited changes, so that you cant argue them. Overall i find this to be horrible, for a school trying so hard to help its students, they have completely neglected those who need it most.
My Sixth and final point relates to the class scheduling, not to be confused with the schedule formatting, this relates to the classes that students have picked. Many students, including myself have been forced to switch classes mid week due to mistakes made by the scheduling department, which before the school year usually isn’t a big issue, however so many people have had to switch, 1, 2, 3, or more classes during the school weeks, often time like the last point, being swept under the rug, and made to look like nothing happened, most parents aren’t even aware this is happening, and students are forced into other classes, usually for arbitrary reasons. Students take a lot of time deciding their classes, and I can tell you having to switch mid week, feels horrible, it feels like your not good enough for the class, it feels embarrassing, and frustrating, and all the work that you did for that class is now useless.
Overall I believe there is overwhelming amounts of evidence to support that this schedule, that was made to reduce student and teacher stress levels and increase productivity, has inadvertently caused more stress, made students and teachers less productive, our curriculum feels rushed and messy, like its not full. due to all the time cuts made for things such as Wednesday and flex, we seem to be learning less, we seem to be getting a lesser quality education, and all for the purpose of reducing our stress and confusion, while not doing that at all whatsoever. These changes have taken away the tools that students had for their success, without their consent, they have changed our daily schedules for arbitrary and random reasons. The Staff of this school has ignored and my voice, and others before and sadly I wouldn’t be surprised if they do it again, but I refuse to be pushed to the side and silenced, I will attempt to use my words to bring about a change for the better, and hope that I’m heard, hope that we are all heard. And for the staff who are reading this, think to yourself, think, this is your chance to try and change things for the better, to make a real difference, please, I ask you to not just read, but to listen and to heed my words, before its too late, before things get unbearable for some students. And for the students and and teachers seeing this, don’t let your voices go unheard, speak up, sign my new petition, and comment your reasons, why the schedule is difficult for you, and why you wish for change.