To the Editor,

I am writing in response to the article concerning proposed schedule changes at the high school.   What was missing from the article was what we would be losing with these proposed changes.  Currently our teachers are very generous with their time and provide numerous opportunities for students to come for extra help or to make up work they missed due to absences during the common lunch.  In my experience many teachers offer help to their students most days during the week. 

With this new plan students cannot be guaranteed that their teachers will be available during their lunch time because their teacher may be teaching a class.  Under the proposed changes therefore students would have less opportunities to get help from their own teachers, those who know them best.  They may need to see another teacher who cannot help them with their work in the most productive way.

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In addition, numerous other activities that are offered at lunch would be jeopardized.  These include clubs, study groups, time to study or work on projects at the media center.  Common lunch also offers students an opportunity to widen their social networks and make new friendships with students of different grade levels.  Finally, having a common lunch gives students a sense of independence that they really appreciate after the middle school experience which is more regimented in nature. 

There are also drawbacks to giving up the rotation schedule.  A rigid schedule format combined with an early start time means that students have the same class first thing in the morning every day.  Just imagine taking calculus every day at 7:20 in the morning.

I would like to encourage parents of students at the high school to discuss these issues with their children and if they have similar concerns to provide feedback to the principal and members of the school board.

Annette Hoffman

Sparta