Letters to the Editor

Luke Buescher, Jared Schifman, Catherine Ryan, Sally Cochran, and Jenny Tabakh, CA I Students

Dear Editor,
When I asked ten students in my CA class if they would rather have eight than seven periods in a school day, nine of the ten indicated that they would prefer an eight period schedule. Ninety percent is a significant amount to warrant a change, and I believe something needs to be done. BV has had seven class periods per day for quite some time, and it has several faults.
Some schools have eight periods, and students there think it is perfect, as they accumulate their credits more efficiently. In middle school, we had eight periods in each day, and the day had a much better flow to it. There should be seven periods in each school day, while keeping the same 7:45 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. schedule. Accruing credits would become much easier with this change in effect, and credits would not be crowded into four years. I wanted to do Broadcast II as a sophomore, but I couldn’t because there aren’t enough hours in the day to do an elective (any elective) plus all the required classes in my schedule. While some may argue that seven periods is plenty, I believe that for high school students to truly figure out what they wanted to do, they need to be able to take as wide a variety of classes as possible. Eight periods in each day would provide BV students to have the opportunity to take as many classes as possible.
In addition to helping with scheduling, an eighth period would make each day less monotonous and allow more change and action. Each day in middle school seemed to go by much more quickly with eight shorter periods than the seven periods we currently have in high school. It is true that six less minutes in each class could make each class seem more jam-packed, but I believe teachers would be more effective because the students would be more focused.
While maintaining the same number of total school hours, I firmly believe that each school day should include an eighth period. Though our school has a strong tradition, I think that it can continue to evolve and start new customs. Students will feel much less forced to attain their graduation credits, and each day would be more action-packed. So, please consider an eight period day for students and teachers, and start making a change for the better in your school community today.
— Luke Buescher
Dear Editor,
The majority of teenage high school students have a laptop, so why don’t students use personal laptops during school for taking notes, turning in assignments and using online textbooks? Laptops are a much more efficient and easier replacement for the paper assignments and textbooks which are soon going to need to be replaced. Students should have the option of using laptops during school as a substitute for handwritten notes and assignments.
Many students’ grades are poorly affected by their organizational skills. The use of laptops instead of folders and binders could greatly improve this. Every assignment could be turned into a digital inbox and saved into folders and notes could be typed. Many people will argue that laptops will cause students to become off-task because they will have such temptations right in front of their faces. This could hurt students’ grades instead of boosting them. However, Internet access could be clocked at certain times and turned on when students need to use it for research. Teachers would have to trust students to stay on task and do what is assigned.
Another reason why laptops are beneficial is it would help the environment. Schools waste so much paper annually on textbooks and paper handouts, but with the use of a laptop, all this unnecessary paper usage could be abolished. All notes would be taken on a digital word document and all assignments could be completed and submitted electronically. Laptops are not recyclable when they break, but would still benefit the environment much more than all the paper schools use.
To summarize, laptops help students stay more organized and significantly benefit the environment. Laptops should be allowed for student usage in everyday class, as it is advantageous in many different ways.
— Jared Schifman
Dear Editor,
Students should be able to share their opinion on how well teachers teach by grading them. The way teachers teach affects the students at BV. If a student has a good teacher, chances are they will be successful in that class. If a student has a bad teacher, they won’t be as successful.
Some teachers are responsible for their student’s poor grades. Teachers get paid to help students succeed and understand the subject that they teach. If they don’t thoroughly review the material and make sure everyone understands, the student might do poorly in the class. People say that it is the student’s responsibility to ask questions if they don’t understand, and it’s the student’s job to make that clear. Some students are embarrassed to ask because of what other kids might say or think of them. Everyone learns at a different pace and teachers should understand that. Teachers need to go over the material as many times as it’s needed to make sure the students understand, even if they don’t ask.
It’s easy to tell the difference between a great teacher and not-so-great teacher. A quality of a good or bad teacher is planning. People might say teachers do put effort into planning, but it is obvious when a teacher doesn’t spend a lot of time preparing, teaching and making sure the students understand.
Teachers grade students on how they perform in the classroom. Students should have the opportunity to assess their teachers the same way. Teachers don’t work for free; they get paid to teach and prepare kids for the real world when they are out of school and have jobs. In the real world, good isn’t good enough. For students to be taught that, every teacher should demonstrate it, which is why they should be graded so they can also have feedback.
— Catherine Ryan
Dear Editor,
How would BV District officials feel if every week they were required to spend 40 minutes of their time with pointless activities, when they could be using their time productively? Surely that would please them, right?
Well, that is precisely how many students feel about Tiger Time.
All students are required to attend advisory as freshmen and sophomores. Juniors and seniors can attend Tiger Time or become Tiger Mentors.
I think Tiger Time should not be mandatory for any students.
The first reason Tiger Time should not be required is we spend time “learning” about topics that should be obvious. For example, we used an entire Tiger Time period “learning” about how respecting our teachers is important –– really?
Hopefully, any freshman would understand that. Week after week, we have unimportant lessons like this one. Some students might need reminders of these simple things, but most people don’t.
There should be a system that allows teachers to excuse responsible students from Tiger Time.
Another reason why Tiger Time should not be mandatory is we do certain things, such as organizational tasks, that should have been done previously.
We have spent time going to our lockers to clean them. Maybe some students need time to organize their personal space, but others do not. For those of us who are already neat, it was an unprofitable Tiger Time period. I do not need to be forced to clean my locker. It is plenty organized. Those who do not need this time to organize should be exempted.
Also, BV is not helping the disorganized students by enabling their disorganization. No one will be mandating organization in college, so high school should given them an opportunity to develop their own system.
Basically, for many students, Tiger Time is a waste of time and should not be a requirement. If you agree with this, I encourage you to speak with our administration.
I hope they have taken what I have said into account and will consider changing our advisory program.
— Sally Cochran
Dear Editor,
What if you completed more than 75 hours of community service, and your work wasn’t counted?
Nine out of 10 students have experienced this or a situation similar to this.
I’m a freshman at BV. This letter is on behalf of the BV District rule that states: “BV students can count a maximum of 75 hours per community service activity.”
BV students should be able to count all the hours they complete on a given activity, and not just 75.
First, if a student feels strongly about a certain organization, they should be able to volunteer there and have their work acknowledged.
For example, if a student volunteers at a homeless shelter for more than 75 hours, it is more effective than volunteering at a few random organizations that aren’t important to the student.
Yes, students should have a variety of activities. Currently, BV is not counting students’ hours if they exceed the 75 hour limit. Instead, BV should require two or more activities.
Most importantly, all hours are equal amounts of work, and it is not logical to only count a certain number of hours. All hours take the same amount of time, so why not treat them the same?
For example, if a student completes 10 hours, all 10 hours are equal. Sure, students should not just help one organization. But those hours take a lot of time and effort, even though they are only through a single activity.
If a student does more than 75 hours, they should be counted for all of their hours, not just the 75. If an organization is close to a student’s heart, they should be allowed to volunteer there as much as they want and count all hours equally.
It is about time for BV changed this unfair rule.
— Jenny Tabakh