The ups and downs of an extra CHAT

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The new school year brought another new change to the schedule:  a Thursday CHAT. Though this addition has improved many of the time constraints from last year’s schedule, more could be done to increase the benefits for students.

First of all, there are some solid benefits. Socially, having two CHATs allows for less overlap of club meetings. Placing all of the meetings at the end of the month has reduced some of the confusion about when various clubs meet. Senior release every Wednesday reduces the length of the lines in the cafeteria and frees up space around the school for students to eat.

Despite these benefits, an additional CHAT has failed to solve many of the scheduling problems. Though freshmen and sophomores might only belong to one club in each of the three categories, many juniors and seniors belong to clubs and honor societies that still have overlapping meetings during lunch.  This problem is compounded by fixed schedule at the end of the month. Many clubs have yet to define what their policy is for members who skip a meeting to be a part of another club.

Most importantly, the second CHAT does not do enough to increase remediation time. Students still have less than an hour to get lunch, eat, and run to a class to make up work or get additional help.  Two consecutive days of CHAT does create more time to get help. Instead, it makes students rush around the school for two days in a row in the hopes of getting everything done before third block begins.

Though the new schedule has improved the overall CHAT condition from last year, it does not do enough to aid students.  The best change to the schedule would be a return to the school-wide eight period study hall.