The starting sprint in the beginning of a race is just as important as the last few steps to the finish line. Similarly, a good start to the beginning of a school year is critical to students’ success. However, due to the conflicts created by the two-week policy for schedule changes, many students cannot get a good start to the school year.
The current two-week period for schedule changes is time-consuming, ineffective and should be shortened.
A major conflict this year with schedule changes was evident with several sophomores who wanted to drop out of Algebra II Honors. Sophomore Lauren Kim wanted to switch out to the regular Algebra II class after realizing that she no longer wanted to be in the class. However, Lauren’s counselor told her that she had to wait until the two weeks was over in order to drop Algebra II Honors.
“I was frustrated because it just got dragged out longer and longer,” Lauren said. “It just put everything on hold until the Monday after the two weeks.”
Even after the two weeks, she was still not guaranteed a spot in a regular Algebra II class and had to consider taking math outside of school. Students end up having to take online classes and classes at Foothill that are costly, when the classes they want are offered at school at no cost.
On the other hand, Principal Wynne Satterwhite said that the two-week policy was created so that students would not just sign up for an AP or Honors class and easily drop the class after the first few days. Satterwhite said that staying in a hard class for two whole weeks is very overwhelming, but students should learn to endure through the challenging courses a bit more.
“The two-week rule makes sure that students made the right decision—that they thought about it carefully,” Counselor Perla Pasallo said. “By staying there for two weeks, they give the class a fair chance since they are exposed to more than just two days and they didn’t just run away with the misconception of the class being too hard or anything.”
However, the school should not force students to stay in a class they do not want to be in. In fact, many students who have to stay in a challenging AP or Honors course for two weeks in order to drop the class end up with a low grade in the class that will carry onto the regular course class they transfer into.
“I totally understand why they have that rule but I think maybe a shorter time period would be good,” Lauren said. “I think two weeks is a little too long to be sitting in a class you know you aren’t going to take.
It is true that students should be more careful with choosing the classes they want to take for upcoming school years. However, a large responsibility remains on the part of the administration to take students’ needs and preference into serious consideration.
The two-week policy is cumbersome complicates the schedule changing process and is ineffective for many students. As students from every year have schedule conflicts and express urgent concerns about their schedules, the administration should at the very least shorten the policy, as it is better to make such schedule changes earlier than later.
Changes such as revising the two-week policy must be made to lessen drastic circumstances and ensure that students are not neglected and stuck in classes they don’t want.