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The West Press

The West Press

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Changing for the Worst: Lakota Does it Again

Seriously, how many more things are going to be changed?
Changing+for+the+Worst%3A+Lakota+Does+it+Again

Since the first day I can remember attending Lakota West, there have always been changes made throughout the year to things we are oftentimes familiar with. Whether it be the XH schedule change from last school year to this school year or the most recent migration of class enrollment location, how many more times is Lakota going to change things that either don’t need to be changed in the first place, or manage to make it even more of an inconvenience?

Before you even take a step into Lakota West’s Main Campus, changes have already been made to how our day is structured that, quite frankly, makes going back to school a huge pain in the neck. During both the 22-23 and 23-24 school years, Wednesdays and Thursdays would be considered “block days,” where only half of your bells would be taken, with extended 80-minute bells and a period around the end of the day called “XH,” where students can receive help from other teachers or use their time to complete homework and be productive. Wednesday XH would be held in your 6th bell classroom, meanwhile Thursday XH would be held in your 7th bell class.

Why? Can someone please explain to me what this does to benefit students? If the reason is simply to get students moving around the building more, then they understand the only gain is 5 minutes or less of walking to your next class… right? No matter what class you are going to, you are most likely going to be sitting down and doing your work, so what’s the point of having students go to a classroom that they won’t even have for the rest of the day? I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but what is the point? It benefits absolutely no one.

Around the end of each semester, students’ schedules also become crammed with exams, AP, and state testing, taking multiple days to complete everything, often intruding on other bells, not for that class. Not only that, but the end of the semester exams often leave students with loads of downtime, that the majority of students do not use for their own educational benefit. Teachers have been heard complaining that they are not sure what to do during the last week before exams because there is no point in teaching more if the students won’t have time to work on it. Plus, putting all the exams on Monday and Tuesday before break allows students to go home over the weekend and forget about what happened in class. Are teachers going to be able to sit at their computers and answer every email, while also trying to finalize grades? The current exam schedule has become not just a hassle for students, but also for teachers, many of whom have been in the district their whole career and have not seen a proper schedule that satisfies everyone’s needs.

The most recent change that sparked me to write this was a software adjustment to where students will sign up for next school year’s classes. Announced at the beginning of the month, students would be given over 20 days to enroll for classes using SchooLinks, a service that half the school hasn’t seen before (demonstrated in half of my Honors English 11 class not even knowing what the website is, despite having “done” their grad plans). SchooLinks not only has information cluttered up and hard to find, but it also has false classes to sign up for, information not updated for certain graduation classes (such as Financial Literacy being labeled as required for the Class of 2025, even though the requirement was only for Class of 2026 and on). What was wrong with HAC? Teachers knew how the service worked from years of using it, and students and parents knew where to go since it is one of the most essential software the district uses, so why change to something half the students at Main Campus have not even bothered to touch? 

Continuing to make these changes around the district could spell serious disaster for students, especially those whose families might not be able to afford all the options or keep track of what they need to be doing. If something works, it’s time for the district to stop messing with it. When will Lakota learn to stop playing with its food and feed its students the right stuff, without any gimmicks?

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About the Writer
Thomas Price, Website Manager
Thomas Price is a second-year student in Journalism who has been heavily involved in The West Press over the last school year. He participates in many of Lakota’s extra-curricular and in-school programs, such as being a member of the Hope Squad, Junior Board, Lakota West Drumline, performer in the Marching Band, and a Percussionist in Symphonic Winds. As a creatively driven student, Thomas is also skilled in many technical areas, whether through the use of photography, video design, or media creation. Through The West Press, he focuses on writing local news and opinion articles, giving daily insight into the good and bad West has to offer to its students and staff.

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    OliviaJan 30, 2024 at 9:33 pm

    Thomas your article is soooooooooo good I love it sooooooooooo much thank you for your effort

    Reply