Seniors face extra frustrations during the coronavirus.
On the first day of school students got a link for a class change. Many seniors requested class changes and after freeze outs from administrators, they are left with one question. Why? Why are seniors encouraged to stay in classes they are struggling with? Why is there a multi-day lag and no viable way to connect with our administrators? Why can’t seniors have more freedom to take the classes we want?
One of the Hollywood High School requirements students said they disliked most was the requirement to take math all four years, even past the fulfillment of the requirement. “I could be taking an AP class instead of this” is an often-heard sentiment. Although I understand the encouragement for students to go above and beyond requirements, I wholeheartedly agree. The freedom for seniors to be able to take another fun class or another challenging class should be encouraged by administration also.
“I think it adds unnecessary stress to an already stressful time, especially since it still happened through online learning,” said Amanda Brooks, a PAM senior.
The push for students to stay in classes they are not enjoying simply because they are AP classes irks me too. The fact that we are a college preparatory school should prepare us for college as much as possible. By senior year, most college students are taking major requirements and classes they love; most high school seniors I know don’t have the same sentiment.
I would, however, like to praise the school for their care for students’ mental health. While other schools require you to fail a class to switch, here counselors care about how a class is affecting you and take that into consideration when switching.
Speaking to counselors is even more problematic than the class requirements. I reached out to counselors for comments on this topic and received a response from Raul Grijalva, SAS counselor.
“Yes, I can understand the frustrations of some seniors who are struggling in their required classes to graduate, while they are taking other courses that are not required,” he said. “But the district mandates that all students have six periods. It would be ideal that a Senior could just take the two or three classes that they need to graduate. So oftentimes, students end up deciding to prioritize and just concentrate on those required courses to graduate.”
I could not find a record of this district mandate and emailed Assistant Principal Catrisa Booker for it, but I have yet to receive a response. Due to the online environment it is increasingly difficult to reach counselors and administrators. The school being closed because of the virus means there’s no number to reach them, and through email it’s easier to miss (or ignore) a student. These are all problems a school must learn to adapt to and fix during this environment. I commend the school for the hard work they have put in so far, but we all have a lot to improve.