Student opinion: Schedule change benefits outweigh negatives

In the transition from a year focused on COVID-19 to something closer to what everyone was used to, Yutan High School decided some changes were necessary. Two major schedule changes were made for the 2021-22 school year, which both come with their positives and negatives.

The first of these changes was the addition of Access Period. Access Period is a 25-minute period at the end of the day used as time for homework and for assemblies or class meetings.

Similar to a study hall, Access Period allows everyone—teachers and students—time to work on assignments or other classwork. In contrast to study halls, though, everyone has Access Period at the same time. This change is positive because it allows students to talk to any teacher they might need since it is a dedicated work time.

“Last year, it was really hard to touch base with students when they missed class, didn’t understand something, or when they just had general questions,” one teacher said. “It’s awesome to have a dedicated time during the day when every student in the building can get the help from every teacher they need.”

Many students were upset when study halls were removed last school year, and rightly so. Extracurricular activities such as sports or fine arts and jobs take up most available free time for students to do homework, so Access Period is useful to get started on the workload.

However, some students feel this amount of time is not going to be enough.

“I think we should’ve just kept study halls,” one senior said. 

Although not everyone is satisfied, having some time is better than having no time, especially when sports are in season.

The second schedule change is that Fridays were made into full days. While it has been regular for Yutan to dismiss at two o’clock on Friday afternoons, this year the school made the transition to getting out at 3:32 p.m., the same time as the rest of the week. 

Cartoon by Hayley Witte

This change is not as positive because the weeks now feel much longer since a short day at the end of each week cannot be looked forward to. 

“It was just something that got you ready for the weekend,” a freshman said. “It made the week feel shorter.”

However, this change is helpful for the teachers and administration, so it must be adapted to. It allows them to have full in-service days and have more productive meetings as a whole district.

On the plus side, because Yutan doesn’t have short Fridays anymore, there will be more singular days off during the actual school year. This provides students time to spend with their families and friends or just take the day for themselves.

“It’s nice to just have a day,” a sophomore said. “Sometimes you just need time to relax and recover.” 

Despite their drawbacks, the good outweighs the bad with these changes, and they will benefit Yutan students and staff now and in the future.