New schedule comes with many concerns

January 21, 2016 — by Frederick Kim

After the Schedule Advisory Committee (SAC) explained the new schedule to the parents in the at the board meeting in the Los Gatos High Library on Jan. 12, disappointment and disapproval instantly swept across various faces, and many proceeded to express their concerns during the public speaking section.

Given the new schedule’s many flaws, the opposition certainly does have reason to worry.

While the late starting time of 8:40 a.m. allows students to have extra sleep, it still causes much difficulty. The resulting end time of 3:40 p.m. is 80 minutes later than the shortest day in the current schedule, meaning that students will have less time to spend on after-school, extracurricular activities.

Unless students reduce their after-school commitments, they will have far less time to complete homework and study. As a result, some may need the extra morning time to do work rather than sleep in, which will be difficult as students tend to be more sleepy in the morning.

The late start may also cause trouble for parents. Many students have two working parents, who need to drop off students on their commutes to work. 8:40 a.m. is far too late for some parents to drop their kids off to school if their jobs demand otherwise.

Walking or riding a bike is an option for some, but others have to walk for over 30 minutes just to go home or school. Moreover, students would have to wake up earlier to take the time to travel to and from school, thus defeating the purpose of the earlier start time.

The shorter tutorial time is also questionable. Instead of having three tutorials on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, there will be a shorter 25 minute tutorials every day. The increased frequency might help students meet with their teachers more often for help, but the shorter time limits the possible uses.

For instance, make-up tests or labs during tutorial will no longer be an option. Currently, students can make up missed tests or quizzes during tutorial, but tests generally require more than 25 minutes and therefore cannot be completed during the new tutorials.

Furthermore, for those who do homework during tutorial, 25 minutes might not be enough to even complete one assignment.

The new eight-period schedule will also bring inconsistency to weekly schedules. Since students will only be able to take seven classes, every student will have at least one free period. A rolling block changes which days that empty period comes, so students will be unable to schedule weekly extracurricular activities during that time.

Athletes who take seven classes will also face difficulties with the new schedule. Two to three times a week, they will have school until 3:40 p.m., which is usually after sports’ practices and games start.

Despite having taken over five months to think of a schedule that will fit the need of students, teachers and parents alike, the SAC should seriously reconsider the schedule it has proposed — ultimately, there are still many  problems that will hurt a wide range of people.