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Rant & Rave

Tuesday, November 7, 2000

Scheduling matters

Editor's note: Students can make their voices heard in the Kids Voting election today. These students offer their opinions on two of the ballot issues:

Should all
schools have the same
vacation schedule?

By Jarisse Corcoran

Mug shotTHE idea of having schools statewide adopt the same vacation schedule is encouraging to families with more than one child in more than one school. My parents are glad now that my sixth-grade sister and I share a "modified-year-round schedule."

Growing up, I spent two years going to the same elementary school as my younger sister . Having us in one school made it easier for my mother to pick up both of us.

When I entered intermediate school, our situations became more complicated. I chose to participate in after-school activities, and being in another school in a different district from my sister's school was hard on my parents who would argue over what time someone was supposed to be picked up from which school or who was or wasn't going to school on a particular day.

Having children with different schedules appeared to be more than my parents could handle. Surprisingly, my family survived those two years.

When I first entered high school, I could sense my parents loathing the thought of my ever-changing weekly schedule. But with my new vacation calendar coinciding with my sister's elementary school schedule, our household has regained its sanity.

The last time I remember a "family vacation" was when I was in sixth grade and my sister in second grade. Now that our vacation schedules overlap once more, my family is planning a trip this coming year.

Jarisse Corcoran is a junior at Pearl City High School.


Should all
schools offer classes
year ’round?

By Benjamin N. Jehle

Mug shotI feel that all schools should be open not only year 'round, but on multiple time schedules to allow smaller class sizes and an increased hours for class.

The traditional school has sessions that include about five to six hours of classroom instruction per day, August through June. There are only two breaks during the year. In a year 'round format, there would be evenly spaced breaks that would give students time to recharge from school pressures without losing an edge academically as they might during the long two-month summer break.

I think that having flexible schedules where students have the option of starting at different times is a good idea. The bottom line is the total number of hours spent in class. It shouldn't matter whether classes are held during the day, afternoon or evening.

Libraries and technical centers should be open all the time to enable students to stay on campus to complete assignments or to work on projects. The result would be more learning.

The challenge would be helping teachers deal with a non-traditional schedule. Maybe parents or community mentors could be used as support.

I also believe that more of the basic curriculum must move to an Internet-based study program for those students who can work independently. It will free up more school computers for kids who don't have access to computers, and teachers can concentrate their efforts on kids who have trouble learning on their own.

Benjamin Jehle is a freshman at Moanalua High School.

Rant & Rave is a Tuesday Star-Bulletin feature
allowing those 12 to 22 to serve up fresh perspectives.
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