Features

Stressful Start to the School Year

DANIEL SINGER

     It’s finally the end of summer. Everyone’s looking for a calm, relaxing start to the school year. Unfortunately for everyone, this and every year has had a rude awakening to the year.

     “It’s been really difficult in the classroom when we have classes of 26, and in a lab-based class, it is very difficult and on the verge of being dangerous…Plus there’s had to be some math classes of 28, I think too,” said chemistry teacher Laura Ashburn. 

     Indeed multiple schedule changes and fluctuating class sizes are difficult for teachers. For the school counselors, the first days spent in the commons dealing with schedule changes may be the hardest days of the entire year.

     “The first two days there was a steady flow of people in the lines…but everyone rushed in those two days to get their fixes,” said counselor Lisa Ramaccia. Ms. Ramaccia and the five other school counselors spent the first six days school year in the commons working away on computer scheduling systems for the roughly 1000 students of ELHS.

     According to Ms. Ramaccia, the counselors try to always have individual conversations with students, and the commons just isn’t the right setting for that, leading to some frustrating or not ideal outcomes.

     “We would like to hope that if the students didn’t have a good experience in the process that they know that conversations are going on at all levels and we’re working on how to make it better,” said Ms. Ramaccia. It is overbearingly clear that something needs to change when it comes to this process – but what?

     “They need to fine tune the system so that it works out better for everyone,” said Ms. Ashburn. However, the timing of everything makes the whole situation much more difficult. 

     “The tricky thing is that the classes can’t be set before the budget gets put in place,” said Ms. Ramaccia. This means that the computer system and the counselors are working on a very tight schedule and might not have sufficient time to find all the errors. Overall, for everyone involved in this yearly painstaking start to school, change is on the way, and although those changes aren’t clear yet to the student body, people should be optimistic for next year.

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