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  • M

    Matthew Pate, Assistant PrincipalFeb 25, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    I understand John Doe’s concern. Stress was a huge topic of conversation with the committee and the staff as a whole. We dedicated a few evenings for parents and students to come and discuss this very topic.
    The thinking here has many dimensions, but first and foremost adding a period is not designed for students to add another academic class. Rather, students can take a 7th class if it is a performing art (i.e. instrumental music, drama, or choir) or class that is of service to the school (i.e. yearbook/video yearbook, journalism. or ASB). It is not for the student that wants to add another AP class. We want students to be able to have the ability to take one of these types of classes if they wish. We aim to have students try other things they otherwise would not have room for in their schedule. We desire to make available experiences a student may otherwise not have in high school. About 350 students currently come after school into the evening at least once (but many more than once) a week to partake in classes that should be available during the regular school day.
    As to your point about “teachers stubbornly want the new program implemented”, we have had numerous conversations, surveys, and meetings with all stakeholders to gather information regarding the needs of all involved. As decision makers, it is our obligation to hear from the constituents and take ALL the information into account. I understand if you do not think this is a perfect solution. I am pretty sure it is not a perfect solution as nothing will satisfy everyone at the same time. However, with all input, the committee members who developed this plan have spent many hours considering, creating, presenting, and honing the ideas. There has been a great deal of dialog, debate, ideas, and critical input that went into this final product. I believe this to be a very elegant outcome and I believe the committee and the teachers deserve praise and kudos for making the hard choices to make this change a reality. It is good for kids.
    Likewise, if you would like to discuss this in more detail or if you have any other questions, I encourage you to come find me or one of my colleagues to discuss the many dimenstions of this new plan.

  • J

    John DoeFeb 2, 2014 at 12:00 am

    I’m opposed to the new bell schedule for multiple reasons. I don’t think that the people in charge of implementing this program understand that by forcing students to trade sleep for an extra class, they really aren’t reducing any stress. Uni is known for being an environment filled with academic rigor and students who are extremely competitive for colleges. By adding an extra class, the administration is essentially allowing various new loophole to appear. For example, someone who would take 5 academic class and one elective (language, asb, art, ect.) can now take 6 academic classes and one elective. If the teachers/principle wants to argue that the additional class is purely option, they would only be half right. A majority of Uni’s population(asains) would feel the need to take that 7th class in order to appear more presentable to colleges. If the students themselves don’t feel the need, then their parents would more than likely force them to take an additional class. Therefore, those exact same students, whom you hoped to relieve of stress, now have an extra academic class and 30 minutes of less sleep.
    So what would be a solution to this problem? As a student, I am extremely frustrated that the teachers are try to help us without knowing what we want. If this change is really for our own good, then why are the students not allowed to vote and help decide what is best for them? If the teachers stubbornly want the new program implemented, then at least move the starting time for zero period back to 7:30, or limiting academics classes to a maximum of 5(although limiting classes would cause quite an uproar.) I like the idea of a homeroom but at the same time, I dislike the fact that Wednesday office hours are cut short by 15 precious minutes. In addition, IMPACT and anything that resembles it, needs to be scrapped. The start time of school needs to be pushed back preferably to 8:30 everyday.
    If I was unclear on any points or any of my arguments have flaws in them, please reply to my comment so that I may clear up any misunderstandings.

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UPDATED: UHS passes new bell schedule