Press enter after choosing selection

Opinions Vary On Double Shift High School Plan

Opinions Vary On Double Shift High School Plan image
Parent Issue
Copyright Protected
Rights Held By
Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
OCR Text

1 Opmions on the doublé sluit instituted as a temporary measure this fall in the Pioneer High School building differ- usually depending on whether you question a Pioneer or Huron High student. . , But from an administrative point of view, the consensus seems to be that things are going "fairly smoothly" and "about as well as they could, under the circumstances." Pioneer High Principal Theodore R. Rokicki and Huron High Principal Paul Meyers praised the students, teachers and parents for their efforts to adjust to the situation. Nearly everyone has an "excellent attitude" and is "cooperating wholeheartedly," Rokicki commented. The doublé shift- with Pioneer students attending classes from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Huron pupils going to school from 1 to 6 p.m.- was instituted because of further delays in opening the new Huron High School, originally scheduled to open last fall. The shift will continue until Huron High opens its doors, either in February or next September. All of the Pioneer students, who were questioned at random without fail were extremely enthusiastic about the doublé shift. "I like it because I'm on the morning shift," Lynn Bucholz, a Pioneer senior, remarked. "But I wouldn't like the afternoon shift." Her friend, Barb Shehan, also a Pioneer senior agreed, saying the doublé shift was "very popular" with her classmates. W h y s u c h overwhelming popularity? Mainly because the afternoons of the Pioneer dents are free- for relaxation, study or jobs. A large number of Pioneer students have parttime jobs, and though the actual number has not yet been determined, it is undoubtedly much higher than last year's total. Rokicki lists this "great opportunity" to find part-time employment as a "major" advantage of the doublé shift. The Pioneer students agree, and several expressed hopes that the doublé shift would continue for the entire year. Most Huron High students queried, on the other hand, were decidedly unenthusiastic about their afternoon shift. It is more difficult, as one disgruntled boy put it, for them to get part-time jobs, and "who wants to go to school until 6 o'clock?" Problems have also arisen for some Huron students who had afternoon jobs. imately 18 Ann Arbor Newsl carriers, for example, have had to give up their paper routes or get help f rom their families because o f their afternoon shifts. The majority of Huron students said they could live witb the situation for a semester ori a year, however, and one young lady was quite happy about the whole thing, "I love to sleep in the mornings," she explained. The doublé shift has precipitat-1 ed a number of problems of course- most of which were anticipated. Extracurricular and club activities, for example, may suffer this year because of scheduling and space problems. Pioneer High's approximately 2,200 students will up nearly all j the classrooms in the morning, making it difficult for Huron i students to find places to meetj for their club activities. Meyersj acknowledged tnis as a "seriíus situation" for Huron 1 ients, but said the number of t slubs will not be cut back [ less we're absolutely forced to because of space problems." [ The extracurricular and club' situation is not as serious for I Pioneer students, since a number of classrooms are availablej in the afternoons. (The Huron j enrollment is about 1,350). Rokicki said all clubs consid-j ered "absolutely necessary" will be retained, and as many clubs as possible will be "kept! alive." One step which might allevi-i ate the space problems for extracurricular activities, and also would give students a place to go for recreation and study, is the opening of a building or buildings in the area as "drop-in" spots. Possible facilities for these uses are being investigated. The shortened classes (45 1 minutes instead of 55) are considered a problem by some teachers, but the students "have adjusted and seem to! like it," according to Rokicki. Meyers said the teachers must now be more "definitive" in their teaching and must givel "more careful preparation" in order to teach the required subjects in a shorter time. He added t h a t the shortened classes can be "geared to maintain quality over a shortterm period," but said problems could arise if forced to continue them over a long perind of time. The schools . also face the irobability of receiving a citaion for a violation of North Central Association standards jecause ofthe shortened lasses. The NCA is the accredting institution in this area for ligh schools. Such a citation is the lowest )f three types of censures, and ís "not uncommon" in a "year )f transition," according to School Supt. W. Scott Westerman Jr. Such a citation will not impair the accreditation of the schools, nor the future college plans of the students, Westermanhas said. No lunch breaks for either Pioneer or Huron students is somewhat of a problem. But again, both principáis think the students are adjusting. The stu dents have been "very gooc about this," Meyers says, an are allowed to eat sandwiche and snacks between classes. Lunch is also provided in the cafeteria for those students who must come early or stay late. There are problems, too, for some teachers who feel they do not have adequate desk or office space. And there are adjustment and transportatron problems for the families- some of whom may have children in school f rom 7:30 a.m. to 6p.m. But there are some goodl points to the doublé shift. The main advantage, for which the principáis, teachers and students alike are grateful, is "a less crowded situation.t and students alike are grateful, is a less crowded situation. Last year, nearly 3,300 students were jammed into the Pioneer building, which was built to accommodate 2,400. This year's smaller ments makes "a big differenee," according to Meyers and Rokicki, and the difference] is obvious in the relatively quieti corridors during change of 1 classes. j Other advantages to the doublé shift are the opportunities for part-time employment, the lessening of traffic problems around the school, and f uil utilization of the Pioneer High buildi n g - a f act w h i c h should please many taxpayers. The building is in use Monday through Friday from about 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (there are adult evening classes sponsored by the Continuing Education Department of the public school) and much of Saturday. Despite some of the "advantages" of the doublé shift, however, Rokieki stressed that i high-sehool education should not be thought of as a "halftime proposition." The schools are simply making the most of a trying situation, and most people should be happy when the high schools are again operating on a full-time basis.