Joke’s over: freshman study hall becomes class

By Quinn Gonzales, Reporter

Recently, many students have been curious about the clump of students they see in the closed off back corner of the library. Believe it or not, a class is being held. It is a new required class for freshman that has taken place of study hall called the Academic Success class. These freshmen meet in the library rather than a classroom, due to the limited number of open classrooms in the school.

There are a total of seven Academic Success classes, five taught by Mr. McCann and two taught by Mr. Frank. The class is similar to a study hall, but also contains instruction. McCann explained, “The students and their parents were already really concerned about making sure they still had this time to get work done. What we wanted to offer is a better space to do it and also some support for academic skills that maybe they are just learning or just practicing. So periodically, I’ll have short lessons on how to take good notes, how to stay organized, how to communicate with teachers, but a large part of the time, they’ll be able to work on assignments from other classes.”

The class is more efficient than study hall, as McCann said, “They have a little bit of oversight now, instead of just doing what they want.”

These classes are just a semester long, but second semester, these students will switch to a different academic class. McCann explained, “Each of these students will switch into the college and career exploration class. All the people in the college and career get this class in the second half of the year.”

Although the Academic Success classes are taught in the library, McCann commented, “The college and career classes are taught in the classrooms where the teachers have their classrooms, if they have classrooms.”

Though some are skeptical about the validity of this class, this class will be graded with the letter system. Even so, the first quarter students in the Academic Success class will receive a Pass/Fail grade, as the district recently implemented this requirement. During the middle of the first quarter, the district had a new idea for what they wanted the freshman to take in place of study hall, and created this new class, coined Academic Success. Because of this, McCann was hired late in the year, as opposed to during the summer. He doesn’t know the full story about why this class was added on so late, but he said, “From what I understand, the freshman class was bigger, and so some additional [teachers] needed to come in, and then the district did have some change to their ideas about what should happen in study hall. Because it is graded, then you have to have a licensed teacher to teach. So they had to bring in people late, and it just took some time.”

As stated before, these classes take place in the library. They usually are in the back right corner of the room, but because eighth and fourth period have gotten so big, they have had to occupy the main larger part of the room. This has caused a limited amount of space in the library for other students and other classes. Before these classes were created, teachers could bring in their classes to the library, and had three options for space. They could be in the lab, in the main area, or in the corner. Now, their options are limited.

Bryan Smith, the librarian, explained, “It doesn’t disrupt the library, it just makes it so other classes can’t come in. So basically, we can only have a class in the lab, because there is not enough room.”