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The Los Alamos Public School system needs to trim some spending from this year for next year’s budget.
One proposal for doing this is to change the high school’s bell schedule next year. This would allow the same bus drivers to bus for the grade, middle, and high schools, reducing the number necessary.
While this could definitely save money, it also could have negative side effects.
The controversy centers mostly around the planned A/A period at the end of the day.
This time is meant to replace the time currently allocated before school, for students to go in for help to a teacher in whose class they need it. This plan has definite advantages and disadvantages.
On the one hand, some students cannot get to school early enough in the mornings to go in for help. This would ensure that the students were able to receive the full time from the teacher.
On the other hand, students would probably be less focused at the end of the day than at the beginning. Also, if a student were not going in for help, they would need to leave campus, as with free periods.
If a student had an extracurricular activity, they would then need to return, 20 minutes later.
The busses would most likely be scheduled to pick up students after fourth period. So, students can get home immediately after their fourth period class.
However, any students who stayed for the help would then need to be bussed home, requiring two bus trips to the school, driving up the expense.
Since the whole point of the change was to save money, this affect would somewhat negate this objective.
Alternately, the school could simply not bus these students home. Attending the sessions would still be optional.
Extracurricular activities would start at 3:15 p.m., as they do now.
While this ensures that a student would be able to attend their activities and the help session, it does nothing for one of the objectives cited, allowing students to arrive home earlier, allowing the family to eat together.
Many students who are opposed take this stance because they would need to wake up 20 minutes earlier. This is not that significant of a change.
Overall, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, but only slightly.
Also, the proposed shifting of the daily class to fourth period has stirred up a few arguments.
Many students have free periods during fourth period. If the A/A period is enacted, this would allow a student with a free period to leave at 1:35 every day.
However, any student who wanted to come in for help would need to return later that day. Also, many extracurricular activities leave for their trips after first period right now. Making first period a regular-length block would force the participants to either leave later, which could interfere with the scheduling of the activity and disrupt the schedules of the other participant schools, or else would have to leave in the middle of first period, creating a disruption and cutting short the teacher’s lessons.
On this issue, I must advocate for leaving first period the short period.
Whether for better or worse, this planned change will definitely affect the students’ lives next year.