Column: Schedule changes allow for Access, may not be used to its full potential


Allegra H.

New school year, new students, and of course new schedules, but these new schedules are quite different from the norm. With school days being 15 minutes longer, class periods a minute shorter, and 1:30 out passing periods now replacing our standard four minutes, a wave of change has been rippling through DCHS. Mainly, to allow for an additional 33-minute period known as Access period.

The main purpose for these schedule changes was to create learning environments that weren’t often interrupted by school activities or organizations and to allow students to have more time to utilize school resources during the school day.

So, instead of having assemblies willy-nilly, we have them during Access Period, and rather than seeking help on an assignment early in the morning, we now have the end of the school day to get our questions answered.

In theory, this new scheduling plan sounds ideal, and on paper, I would be in full support of it. In reality, I don’t like it, predominantly because I don’t feel it’s necessary. While I understand why the school went forward with this schedule, I don’t know if it will bring the change they are looking for.

In a perfect world, all students would promptly and cheerfully perform the tasks assigned to them, and Access period would solely be used for the advancement of one’s own education. Welcoming you all back to the real world of DCHS, you find that Access period isn’t living up to expectations.

Although Access is supposed to be similar to that of a study hall, many students aren’t using it for homework. Instead, it can be used as more time to procrastinate, game online, and chat with friends.

Perhaps my ideology is cynical, but what I’ve found is that you can’t make students care about school. You can give them all the tools and resources they need to succeed, but if they’re apathetic and don’t want to try, all of your efforts are futile.

In the same way, if students are determined to get academic help, they’re going to get academic help regardless of an Access period.

Academically, I don’t know if this schedule will bring great change to DCHS. That being said, having class time uninterrupted by assemblies is swell I suppose, but honestly, I didn’t think assembly interruptions hindered my learning.

Ideally, the schedule change is meant to improve our academic performance, but academic performance is based more on the attitude and determination of students than it is on the daily schedule.