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Voting on Trimester vs. Semester Schedule

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  San Luis Obispo High School staff is scheduled to vote the week of February 5-9 on the age-old choice between trimesters and semesters. However, the controversy is given a whole new twist with the addition of a third option on the ballot, a hybrid semester schedule.

  In total, there are three options to choose from. First, the hybrid semester schedule with a built-in tutorial period on Thursday mornings. Option two consists of teachers teaching five of six class periods with seventh period being optional for a sport. In both of these schedules students take six classes, and the school day is designed to end at 2:46 p.m. While the third option is the current trimester system.

  Although the vote is restricted to the teacher’s union, last year’s student walk out in support of preserving the trimester system demonstrated the strong opinions of SLOHS students. Expressions interviewed sophomore Joe Wilson and junior Ellie Amesse to give the student population a voice on the issues at hand.

Expressions: Do you think students should be able to vote on the schedules?

Junior Ellie Amesse: I think that students should have a say in what schedule is chosen since it will be impacting our education, but working out all of the details of having students all vote directly on a new schedule could be a little difficult.

Sophomore Joe Wilson: I do think students should be able to vote on the schedule. The majority of the school’s population are the students, and the decision made would affect them the most. If the students decided, it would appeal to the majority.

Expressions: Which option do you think is the best to implement at SLOHS?

Amesse: I think that the current trimester system is the best because it allows people to take all of the classes that they want and need to, but also provides more variety and a change of scenery for students since they have three new sets of classes per year instead of just two.

Wilson: I personally like option one [the hybrid semester schedule]. It offers longer lunches on some days (a much needed change), later starts some days, and we would get out earlier. The only problems I would have with it though is the ninety minute periods. It seems like that would be really exhausting to listen to one subject for that long.

Expressions: What are the pros and cons of our current system?

Amesse: I like the trimester system because I have more opportunities to meet new people and switch up which teachers I have which makes school a little more exciting. However, having three sets of finals rather than two is not fun.

Wilson: I think the pros of our current system is that we have longer periods, which give teachers more time to explain and help students learn their subjects. Also, it’s consistent and simple, meaning there’s little confusion. In addition to that, it lines up with the seasons, making it easier to implement sports into the schedule. The cons are that we end later than the alternatives, and we have very short lunch periods.

Expressions: Do you prefer the block schedule at Morro Bay High School over the trimester system at SLOHS?

Amesse: The block schedule at MBHS sometimes made it easier to get class work done on time, and it also allowed for more time for class discussions, which was very helpful for some classes. However, I did not like having to sit in the same classroom for two hours, especially for classes like math, or classes that had lots of lectures, which is why I like the SLOHS schedule a lot better.

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