Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Freshman Advisory

Back in January we were invited to a meeting at the high school. It seemed they were going to a new schedule, "the drop bell rotation" or some such. The class length would be increased, one period added, the number of electives would be increased. In order to fit everything into the schedule, lunch periods would be changed and you would also "drop" one period each day and rotate (hence the name). So, you'd start your day with period one on Monday, period two on Tuesday, etc.

The attraction here was an increased number of electives. If there's one issue we've had in school it is boredom. When The Young Lady gets bored, she gets distracted and does not do her work and her grades drop. She's a smart kid, I'll happily admit smarter than me...but easily distracted.

So we picked electives and back-up electives, six in all, for the two elective periods. And waited for the schedule...and waited...and waited. If there's one thing our school system is known for, it is inefficiency!

The schedule is posted, so I take a look. O.K., there's the drama class she picked, but I don't see another elective. And what's this "Freshman Advisory" class? I flipped through the course catalog, searched the various websites...nothing. So I called the guidance counselor (and again) and e-mailed the guidance counsel (and again).

Finally, the guidance counselor called back. It seems "Freshman Advisory" is a class for all incoming freshmen. Well, other than those who have not done so well on the ASK test (a test that they teach you how to pass, rather than actually teaching material and having you learn things so you can think). Anybody with lower ASK scores will take a math "lab" or a language "lab".

What is "Freshman Advisory"? Well, students will have the "opportunity" to do their homework or to meet with a teacher about a subject and the like.

Oh...we used to call that "study hall". Or, more appropriately, "uncontrolled chaos".

My theory is they got this new schedule but they didn't get the money to pay for the electives. Or, in the great leveling, we don't want to slight those who have poor ASK scores by giving the other kids a chance to take an elective (which they might enjoy, and therefore, learn from) so we'll "punish" all the other kids by having them waste 90 minutes each day (four days a week).

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