Students overwhelmed by new daily schedule

By Lindsay Devereux | A&E Editor

The complicated schedule at Marshfield High School makes attendance crucial.  With only four school days per week, classes are packed with information, forcing students to learn quickly and leaving slower ones behind.

According to the Coos Bay School District Administration, having a four day week will help students succeed. They back this up with the fact that they would focus more on professional development of teachers, which in turn would supposedly improve student performance. However, students with frequent absences find themselves getting further and further behind in their studies as lessons build on each other due to the short week.

In addition to the four day week, MHS begins at 7:40 a.m. which makes morning assistance nearly impossible for both students and teachers. Even if a student has their own transportation to school, teachers struggle to arrive much earlier than 7:15, allowing only 15 minutes before the first bell rings.

The early start and four day week are not MHS’s only schedule issues, however. A modified block schedule is spread out throughout the week as well. While Mondays and Thursdays consist of all seven classes, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are what we call ‘block days.’ Tuesday includes periods 1, 2, 5 and 6, whereas Wednesday periods are 3, 4, 7 and advisory. Not only is the schedule strange and confusing, it is also a main factor in the problem with attendance affecting academic success. Each block class is equivalent to almost two days of standard learning so if a student were to be absent on a Tuesday, it would be as if they missed two days of regular class.

Though school remains open for tutoring on Fridays, the hallways remain fairly empty. Some say this is because of the lack of motivation towards academics in the current student population. However, it could be that the students who need help the most are the ones who cannot find the transportation to get to school. It is very common that a student may struggle with academics due to a difficult home life.

Although the schedule itself is somewhat necessary due to lack of funding, there are changes that could be made to make life easier for students.  Simply considering moving back to a five day week would solve many of our problems. If that is not at all possible, providing transportation on Fridays would certainly be beneficial. It is understandable that students must be responsible for their own absences. However, since MHS is a school that highly encourages involvement, the schedule should be created with busy students in mind.