A new school year comes with new additions for the students of Marshfield high school.
Student planners have been introduced to students this year and many are questioning whether it's helpful or not. Students are expected to use their planners to stay organized. The planners are part of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, which teaches educators skills in order to prepare students in high school, college and future careers.
“We are an AVID school now,” Assistant Principal Eli Ashton said. “It's a five component program that involves inquiry, collaboration, organization, writing and reading.”
Marshfield is focusing on one of the components—organization—to benefit students not just in school but in other activities as well. According to senior Skyler Houghtaling, he uses the planner mostly for extracurricular activities.
“I have less school work written in my planner, but I have more of my extracurricular activities written down.” Houghtaling said.
To encourage students to use the planner, teachers have decided to grade them during Pirate Advocacy Time. They have developed a specific rubric in which they follow to help grade the planners in an efficient way. This change can be hard for students to adjust to.
“I feel like the planners would have been better off as an optional thing, given to us as an opportunity as opposed to something that we have to do for a grade,” Houghtaling said. “Organization should not be spoon-fed to a student, a student should be able to learn organization on their own. In real life no one is going to force you to be organized.”
Some students work best on systems that they have established themselves, not ones that they are forced to adapt to. Houghtaling said forced organization could be detrimental to students.
Freshman Conor Heckard said, “I believe that some kids do need it, so it encourages them to use it more.”
Students have different ways of being organized, but there are some that need help in improving their organization skills.
Though this is the first year the planners are being used, there is much speculation on whether it is beneficial or a drawback to the students. Organization is a crucial skill that students can learn by using these planners.
“Obviously it's not gonna be 100 percent successful right off the bat,” Ashton said. “They're not going to see the benefits right away, they're going to see it as a nuisance and just an extra thing to do.”