Are we fueling the fire?
How implementing a new schedule could prevent or cause burnout for students.
February 9, 2023
The addition of two periods into students’ schedules in the upcoming school year is beneficial. This includes a “house class” period and an elective class. Students have the opportunity to choose an extra elective to put in their schedule. This change will also result in only A and B block days in the schedule.
This change helps ensure that students get the required credits they need to graduate. If a student doesn’t pass a class they’re enrolled in, getting a 60% or lower, they do not receive the credit for that class. They have to make up for the credit by taking summer school, an early-bird period, or find another way to make up for the credit. At the moment, students need 24 credits to graduate. Attempting to achieve the credit minimum can be difficult. Having eight classes allows students to obtain more credits than the required 24 because of the increase in classes. This creates a chance for students to have more options to graduate with enough credits.
House classes are required for all grades, which could also be a benefit. This may be similar to a homeroom class, or if allowed by teachers it could be used as a “study hall.” If given the opportunity to use this period as a study hall, more homework could be finished by students during the day. This will reduce work being done at home, which can be especially beneficial for students that participate in extracurricular activities. Student athletes, club members, musicians, and others can all gain a chance to lower time being spent on homework. This can even benefit students that get overwhelmed with school work. By getting homework done during the day, there will be more time that can be devoted to studying or getting larger assignments done.
There are a lot of restrictions in our current six period class schedule.”
Realistically, because of the house classes, there is only one real elective/period being added into students’ schedules. Some students are prone to believe that more classes inherently mean a greater workload. However, this change is not all too drastic. Our current rotation of A, B, and C block days include classes that are around 90 minutes long. Because we have integrated this into our routines already, making the change to having block days every day won’t be that big of a change.
This still gives students the freedom and flexibility of having to choose the classes they want to take. There are a lot of restrictions in our current six period class schedule. Students that are enrolled for year-long electives get more opportunities to expand their choices in classes, without having to prioritize one class over the other when forecasting. The new schedule offers a larger number of classes that students may have not had room for in their current schedule. This can give students the chance to enroll in an AP class, try out a new language, or become a part of an elective class they’re interested in. Even having the chance to gain more credits, get a study hall, and try new classes, is extremely beneficial for all students.
The West Linn-Wilsonville School District has been weighing the idea of an eight period schedule. Some see it as a needed change as students may believe they will be able to benefit from more courses, however, the impact of this change could have drastic effects on students who just this year had to deal with a schedule change, one in which there is an eight period schedule.
Students would be required to take eight classes in one semester to give students more credits. A fair amount of students already struggle with the current schedule and at times the long days fail to keep some students’ attention, some even skipping classes to do things that seem to engage them more, such as socializing with friends or interacting on social media. In fact, the hall pass system was put in place to deter students from crowding in the halls and the bathrooms.
Several teachers do not enforce this and at times students don’t care. With more classes and more work for students, students may find themselves disengaged as a high influx of information can be overwhelming for students and lead to burn out. This could have drastic consequences when it comes to grades, which are more often than not tied into the wellbeing of some students, for the self-esteem of students could suffer exponentially if their grades drop. Mental health is an important factor to take into consideration, for there are things going on in the lives of students, whether it be issues with their own identities, social lives, dating lives or things that are going on at home.
Freshman already struggle with the transition to high school.”
Not to mention, a change such as this would also create many problems for freshmen who would have to deal with eight classes, which could be a stressful transition for them. Additionally, freshmen already struggle with the transition to high school. This could have a massive impact on many of our newer students and their outlook on school, possibly giving many of our new students a distaste for the school and their classes.
Though a fair amount of students support the eight class schedule, the decision is mainly built on the ideas from the adults that work for the school board. These board members have views that are very idealistic and oftentimes support decisions that seem good on paper. However, due to the fact that some of them have not been in school since the late 20th century and early 2000s, their experiences are vastly different, making their idea of a modern high school more based on hearsay and more embellished than your average student. Hence, their opinions are often based on emotion and their experiences and not based on student’s opinions and their views on teaching and logistics are much more idealistic. Therefore one should take into account that an eight period schedule would most likely have a large impact on their life and their peers, new and old. Decisions made for the coming school year could make already present issues even worse. So if you as a student are unsure, you should weigh the risks along with the benefits and think about its impacts on your wellbeing and the bearing it has on your fellow peers.