OPINION: A Seven Period Day is Not Okay


Samantha Cornett, Editor in Chief

I am a student of McIntosh High School and a six period day works for me. After reading Mrs. Marion Key’s Letter to the Editor of local newspaper, The Citizen, regarding the seven period day, I felt the need to learn more on the topic to enlighten myself on the upcoming changes to McIntosh. Mrs. Key is a former teacher and member of the Fayette County School Board, so the fact that she reached out to give her negative opinion on the idea was interesting to me.

McIntosh’s new principal, Dr. Dan Lane, held a meeting for students and parents regarding the change to a seven period day on November 15. During the meeting, he shared a power point with those attending regarding the “issues” of a six period day. He said that there are more “issues” with the current schedule than positives.

One aspect of the power point that particularly caught my eye was a bullet point on the power point saying that in a six period day there is a “lack of professional learning time.”

He is using teachers learning time as an issue for our six period days, but by giving us a seven period day next year, we will lose 10 minutes in every class. Teachers will have more planning time but overall less time to teach the content to us.

That is not even mentioning that students will have an extra class to worry about. We, as students, will have more homework, an extra class, and less learning time in our classes.

To think that by taking away class time and giving us an extra class to worry about is going to help our learning time is ridiculous.

Following the discussion of “issues,” Lane did go on to say that there was no perfect high school schedule. He shared other high schools with different kinds of schedules: block, six period, and seven period.

Lane then went on to discuss that the seven period schedule will open more opportunities and choices for the student body- basically saying that it will help students pick another elective to participate in, as well as help students that are in need of credit recovery.

That all sounds fine and dandy, but to be realistic, students are not going to take that opportunity to take interesting electives. Not to say that none will, I am sure some will, but the majority of McIntosh students will see it as an opportunity for an additional rigorous class.

I would be shocked to see students take interest in easy electives rather than AP classes or languages that will look more impressive on their transcripts for college.

Lastly, the school has decided that juniors and seniors can exempt a seventh period, but only if the student has an overall 90 unweighted GPA as of the end of the fall semester for the upcoming year. This is also ridiculous. McIntosh is very rigorous and it almost seems as though the kids that take the harder classes are being punished. To think that students who have taken multiple AP, gifted, and accelerated classes have an overall GPA of at least a 90 is a long shot.

Generally, kids tend to struggle in at least two classes during high school. For those who take harder classes, they will have a harder time meeting that requirement. That is the reality of it. The kids who take easy classes will exempt and those who take hard classes will not have the opportunity to. The kids that can’t exempt will take more difficult classes and drown even more so in their work than they already are.

This new schedule will hurt the school. The students are already stressed, so why add to that. The guidance office held a December stress relief workshop on December 11. Students were to RSVP to attend the meeting. No one did, so they cancelled the meeting.

Some students have jobs they have to worry about. Most can’t just stay an extra hour after school in order to attend a meeting to relieve their stress. Not even to mention the fact that students are stressed because of school; they don’t want to spend more time here than already required.

Students go home to spend hours studying and doing homework. We don’t have time to spend an hour sitting in a meeting that is going to give us pointers on relieving our stress. If anything, wasting that time is going to add to the stress not make it better.

McIntosh High School should want to prepare us for the future, not make us anxious for it.