Many students, including myself, are upset about the change of schedule for next year. The school district will be releasing students out of school an hour earlier every Wednesday. This early out will eliminate the 45 minute late starts on Wednesdays for high schoolers.
Next year, when we will be getting out one hour early, teachers will be having professional development meetings after school. This will cause many more conflicts with sports and activities that take place after school. The early outs will mean that practice times for sports and activities will need to be adjusted. Since I am involved in school sports and activities, this worries me. I do not want to get out one hour early, just to wait for teachers to finish their meetings, and then come back to the school for my practice.
This will also be difficult for students that do not live very close to the school because they will not have enough time to go home and get back to the school for practice. Which means they would have to stay at school, completely defeating the purpose of an early out. Not only would this waste gas money, but also in the time it takes to drive home, and drive back to the school, the students could be doing homework. Sophomore Rachel Godwin also does not like the idea of an early out. “I don’t want to have to come back to the school for sports,” Godwin said.
According to Gary Ross, the athletic schedule for early outs next year is not finalized yet, but practices are likely to start around 3:45- 4:00 on Wednesdays. This could also interfere with activities that happen outside of school. I know that many students, including myself, attend church on Wednesday nights. If the practices end up being later in the afternoon, that creates issue for them to get to their church gatherings as well. Personally, I have church every Wednesday at 6:30 at night. I will have less time to do my homework making me stay up later than I do now to finish it all.
Board President Mike Farrell has his own opinion. “I can only speak for myself as other board members have their own reasons for approving this item. Today, our elementary students begin their day at 8:45. One of my concerns with pushing that back to 9:45 would be the fact that we would have students having just one or two classes and then heading off to lunch,” Farrell said. “I also supported the early out based on research that younger students are more attentive and at their learning peak earlier in the day rather than later. The early years of elementary school build the educational foundation and I think its important to maintain that process.”
This does not help the students’ sleep schedule. Most students are not getting enough sleep as it is, and if the late start gets taken away, they will be getting even less. After doing homework for a long time, knowing that there is a late start the next day is a bonus. “I like being able to stay up on Tuesday nights and get my homework done,” Godwin said.
Professional development across the district is important, but the problems it brings to the students is not worth it.