Students and teachers react to new Access Period schedule


Madi Bailiff

Sophomores Rylee Kirchmann and Britney Zeleny work together to finish up math homework during Access Period. This year, Access Periods are extended by 5 minutes but are only scheduled twice a week.

Yutan students noticed a significant change in their schedule this year: instead of having Access Period every day, it is now only on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. 

Principal Brandy Thompson explained the motivation behind the change. 

“They weren’t being used as effectively as they could have been used [last year]. So seeing a lot of game playing on computers, kids on phones and not doing anything. We had kids who were on the downs lists that weren’t getting homework done and all those kinds of things,” said Thompson. 

Last year, Thompson sent out a form asking for students’ input on the Access Period schedule. 

“Students picked overwhelmingly Tuesday/Thursdays are the days that they want to have Access Period,” said Thompson.

Social studies teacher Elliot Ruleaux was part of the team who finalized the Access Period change and said they discussed multiple options before the final decision.

“What happens if we have no Access Period? That was all on the table too at some point. You know, maybe we don’t need an Access Period. But again, as teachers I think there is value in that it gives students who want to take advantage of it time to finish assignments, go get help if they missed a day,” said Ruleaux.

Students have had mixed reactions with the change in Access Period. Some students feel they still have enough time to get their work done.

 “I do a lot of my work at home. Fortunately I have the time to do that. I do some during my Sencap periods if I don’t have my college stuff to do,” said senior Mallory Zeleny.

However, Zeleny recognized that students who have activities after school don’t have the same amount of time to do homework as she does. 

“I know how busy they can be and how much homework they have to make up. I understand that they have less time to do it,” Zeleny said.

Through a lot of diverse opinions, perhaps the hardest part about the Access Period change is the new schedule because the bell rings at different times on Tuesday and Thursday than Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This change has been challenging for both students and teachers.  

“I know it messes with the schedule. I think that’s what kind of frustrated people, like, okay, what time do I get out of this class today? I think that’s almost the biggest adjustment right now…that we have two schedules that we have to remember instead of that one,” said Ruleaux. 

Despite the challenges, Thompson mentioned that Access Period will not change anytime soon, though she did not rule out any changes in the future. 

“At this point, not right now because we’re just kind of still trying everything,” said Thompson. “We’re still trying to see what fits and what works.”