Seniors at Abilene High School are being allowed to reduce their second semester schedules for the second consecutive year. Dr. Smith, the principal, explains that schedules tend to be filled with classes that are not useful for graduation progress and do not prepare them for college. “It was not uncommon for many seniors to have multiple assistantships across the district, unneeded work place experience classes, or P.E. classes, all done for the sake of nothing more than completing an 8 block schedule.”
Those who choose to reduce their schedules can use their free time to work on college applications, scholarships, or earn more hours at their job. Seniors have government and English 12 or English Composition. These classes can be time consuming and is a lot of pressure. Seniors need these classes in order to graduate. Having more free time reduces stress, elevates work time, and overall benefits the sanity of the senior class.
Abby Clark reflects on her schedule, “A full schedule consists of eight classes and I’m only taking two. I have a lot of free time and can get the full eight hours of sleep that I need. My grades are even a lot better.”
Olivia Weltha compared her first semester compared to her last. “Last semester I had four main classes and the rest were fillers. I had to sacrifice time for the main classes to work on projects for the less important classes.” This semester, Weltha has more time to work on her assignments and to turn in quality homework assignments, instead of rushed homework. “I feel like my time management is better, and my attitude towards school is more positive.”
Not only are students affected by senior schedules, but so are teachers. Art teacher Alex Moyers explained that he sees fewer students in his top classes, such as Art 5 and project management. “Students are less interested because they do not have to take art classes like they do for common core classes.” Art is an elective, and students can choose if they want to take this class. Some elective classes includes band, cooking, and photo imaging.
“I believe it has been successful so far. Being able to utilize extra time in a multitude of ways offsets any fear of possible negative results.” Reflects Dr. Smith. He explains that the process of making sure that schedules are valid and follow the correct procedure tends to be tedious.