Staff Editorial: A Step in Time

As the district continues to look at the schedule of classes and school day for the upcoming school year, we believe there is a solution that will bene t ALL students. One that needs to be considered to honor the voices of the student body, provide more elective opportunities and secure a lunch.

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Staff Editorial: A Step in Time

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We like the number nine. Not for any particular reason outside of the
fact it is the number of periods we believe we need to be in a school day for our schedule to be the most bene cial it can be to ALL the students in Community High School District 117. With the 2020-2021 school year in mind, changes to the current schedule are being considered in order to bene t the student body as a whole.

Eight periods. Sometimes nine if you are willing to count zero hour, and, for ten of us, we do. Eight periods is what we currently have in a school day. Fifty minutes for each of those classes, with the exception of the ve minute announcement bump in second hour. That makes 405 total minutes in our school day.

Based on the current minimum requirements, there is room for a study hall in nearly every student’s schedule. Yet, with only 318 students currently enrolled in study hall (not including students with a PE exemption or a lunch study hall), only 76.7 percent of the student body of

Antioch Community High School is not currently taking advantage of that perk.

For us, electives have priority over study halls. We’re currently required to take a semester of ne arts, a semester of consumer education and one credit (or a year) of an Illinois elective, which includes career and technical education, ne arts and world languages. We choose to go beyond those basic requirements to take our media classes, but we also take: additional ne arts classes, three to four years of a world language, the AP Capstone sequence of classes or even more AP courses. Yet, we still don’t have time for one thing: lunch.

We understand the importance of maintaining healthy eating habits. We are fortunate that
our teachers give us opportunities to eat when
we don’t have lunch. We are thankful that our counselors give us the bene t-of-the-doubt to take a class in lieu of lunch. We, however, don’t want to be forced to take a lunch if that means giving up the opportunity to take elective classes—classes that make school worth coming to sometimes.

Our proposal adds a ninth period to the day and reduces our classes to 45 minutes a piece. This means students can be required to take a lunch, but still be allowed to take eight classes. This, in some ways, can eliminate students taking a zero- hour class because it can then be taken during the day. If we don’t go to a nine-period day and lunch becomes required, then we are risking the jobs of many faculty members—especially in the elective areas. While we respect that the District is attempting to do what’s right by us by making us take a lunch, we are asking the respect the dignity and livelihood of their teachers by not compromising their jobs to accommodate us for a semester or a year. We should all be valued; one shouldn’t be given priority over the other.

Our proposal asks the District to increase the minimum required credits for graduation from 22.5 to 25; however, we are not asking they add more to each core department requirement. We are asking the increase to be in elective classes, but not by specifying where those elective credits come from. Under the current model, students who achieve the minimum graduation credit requirement can take a study hall each year and graduate early (or take half days as seniors). Increasing the graduation requirements will not only accommodate the updated schedule, but it will also encourage students to be more well- rounded in the classes they take outside of the core subject areas.

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