The School Newspaper of Lawrence Free State High School

Possibility of reduced schedules for underclassmen

March 1, 2017

Junior+Maddison+Smith+and+counselor+Joel+Frederick+discuss+a+schedule+for+senior+year.+Currently%2C+only+seniors+are+eligible+for+reduced+schedule.
Junior Maddison Smith and counselor Joel Frederick discuss a schedule for senior year. Currently, only seniors are eligible for reduced schedule.

Junior Maddison Smith and counselor Joel Frederick discuss a schedule for senior year. Currently, only seniors are eligible for reduced schedule.

Paige Kirkpatrick

Paige Kirkpatrick

Junior Maddison Smith and counselor Joel Frederick discuss a schedule for senior year. Currently, only seniors are eligible for reduced schedule.

Exhausted after seven semesters of work, senior Justin Siler is excited to have a reduced schedule this spring.

“I feel like it’s a right as a senior because you have to wait and get that privilege,” Siler said.

The belief that only seniors deserve a reduced schedule is widespread, even among those who are not yet able to take a reduced schedule.

Junior Emma Stramberg is currently taking a full schedule but plans to take fewer classes next year. She thinks that reduced schedules for seniors are a privilege and underclassman need to earn a reduced schedule.

Come fall, however, sophomores and juniors could be eligible for fewer than seven classes. A new plan has been passed by the Board of Education to allow sophomores and juniors to take a reduced schedule if they meet certain requirements.

According to Patrick Kelly, the Director of the College and Career Center, reduced schedules for more students will help them with their lives after high school.

“If a student can show that they have a plan of study that supports their secondary or career goals,” Kelly said. “The reduced schedule gives them an opportunity to make time in their day so they can take the courses they’d like to take.”

Students must be on track to earn all required credits to graduate and have permission from their parents and counselor.

As long as they’re meeting their graduation requirements, we should support them as they make their plans for the future”

— Patrick Kelly

While many may jump at the opportunity to attend fewer classes, sophomore Sarah Pavlyak is unsure. She believes that allowing more students to reduce their schedule would have benefits for certain people, but overall the effects would be negative. Pavlyak said that students should receive exposure to as much as possible and the experience from many classes is valuable.

Paige Kirkpatrick
Junior Emma Stramberg contemplates what classes to sign up for senior year. Seniors have five electives each semester.

Kelly, however, thinks the administration should be helping high schoolers who are looking beyond their standard curriculum.

“… as long as they’re meeting their graduation requirements, we should support them as they make their plans for the future,” Kelly said.

Kelly anticipates challenges in implementation depending on the school funding formula the Kansas Legislature.

“We have no idea how our schools are funded next year,” said Kelly. “[Students] only have three more months of school left and we need to make decisions for fall now, but we don’t have a funding model. It’s stressful for us.”

Overall, however, Kelly is optimistic that allowing more students to take a reduced schedule will benefit them and help them prepare for life after high school.

“If you know what your career goal is, if you know what your college goal is and you are working towards that and making appropriate progress, why would we force you to continue to show up?” Kelly said.

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