OPINION: Three things to change next school year

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As the 2022-2023 school year approaches, students are eagerly awaiting getting their schedules and a chance to finally reunite with friends and teachers. But the excitement of the back-to-school season often leaves students blinded to ongoing areas in need of improvement in the building. After careful consideration, The Classic’s summer team has chosen five things to improve this school year, and this is what we propose.

  1. Ending The Quiz Loophole

With designated departmental testing weeks defining the testing schedule at THHS, “the quiz loophole” has arisen to get around the point of A, B, or C weeks. The quiz loophole is when teachers use quizzes to administer assessments that are just as difficult or time consuming for students without technically giving a test. 

According to the 2021-2022 school year testing schedule memorandum, teachers can give quizzes any week, but they should be “no more than 10 minutes.” This rule is often disregarded, with quizzes in multiple courses exceeding ten minutes. Moreover, multiple quizzes can be given in one week which ultimately become a test equivalent (when points from each quiz are combined). To close this loophole, the ten minute quiz limit should be enforced. Alternatively, quizzes could be mandated to be weighted less heavily or to be graded as classwork assignments to alleviate pressure for students.

  1. Reopen the Lobby for Lunch 

After precautionary Covid restrictions in the cafeteria left students with limited space, students were given access to the lobby as a secondary lunchroom. However, towards the end of the 2021-2022 school year, students were once again required to eat in the cafeteria and were not allowed to leave without signing out. The lobby holds many advantages, including access to the piano, more bathrooms and a more casual environment. It also provides a space for students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to find a comfortable seat in the frequently crowded cafeteria. 

To re-implement this successfully, students need to be more responsible and clean up after themselves, as the custodial staff has been burdened with cleaning spills and messes in both the cafeteria and the lobby. Furthermore, students should refrain from sitting in the main entrance corridor to ensure that security is able to clearly see who enters and exits the building. Therefore, students would still be able to enjoy the comfort of the second floor hallways while allowing the security guards to maintain safety in the school.  

  1. Tech Issues: Laptops and Wifi

In the digital age, the lack of accessible devices makes it difficult for classes to run at full force. Classes are often in need of laptop carts, limiting the activities teachers are able to implement in their curriculum and affecting classroom productivity. Students are then expected to complete classwork at home, piling more work onto Harrisites’ already packed schedules. In order to eliminate the shortage of devices and allow classes to run more efficiently, there should be a clearer schedule of which classes have access to devices and which might require students to bring more equipment from home. 

In addition, wifi has become a necessity in and out of the classroom, yet the school wifi never seems to function consistently. Over a thousand students, each with at least one device, are connected to the school wifi at any given time, along with the many iPads, Chromebooks and desktops throughout the school. Consequently, students have taken issue with the speed and the spotty service in the building. Students themselves should be more aware of their Wifi usage, disconnecting when they aren’t using their devices and limiting themselves to one connection. However, this is difficult to implement and oversee. THHS and the DOE could also contemplate upgrading, considering the necessity of multiple devices and the many students who rely on wifi to do their classwork.