The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Discontinuing BHS’s Reduced Hour

For many years, students at BHS have had the opportunity to get a reduced hour during their senior year. This means that students can have five class periods instead of six. Having this extra hour in the day can be incredibly helpful for students as it gives them more time for studying, working, and other extracurriculars, but it also has negative effects like less time in the classroom learning. However, for the 2024-2025 school year, BHS will no longer be offering this as an option for students. In a recent email to the BHS community, Meghan Ashkanani, Berkley School District’s Director of Teaching, explains that the Michigan Department of Education has changed its guidelines and will no longer allow students in the state to take less than six classes per semester. Berkley can only offer reduced schedules on a case-by-case basis from now on. When this news came out, many students in the BHS community were upset, while others had a more positive perspective.
Sophomore Katelin Sills believes that getting rid of reduced schedules could be harmful. She expresses that in high school it is important to have a break from school and not having a reduced schedule gets rid of this helpful break. Not having this break can be harmful to one’s mental health and can create added stress she explains. “When having a reduced you can go home or rest which is great for students’ brains throughout their busy day”. She also thinks that having an extra hour can allow you to have time for other things. For Sills, she can have “more time to study and get homework done before her many after-school sports”. She has soccer seven days a week and basketball five, so having extra time would make it easier to have a school and sports balance.
Similar to Sills, junior Madi Bonsall is against the switch to no reduced schedules. She expresses her frustration with this change because she thinks that the school day will feel much longer. She was excited to be able to get an extra hour to herself each day. With this hour, Bonsall says she could’ve used it to get homework done and have time to prepare for sports. Without this, she will feel rushed and overwhelmed with homework and sports. Overall, Bonsall wishes she could still have the option of a reduced schedule.
Contrary to Sills and Bonsall, sophomore Claudia Smith feels that having mandatory six hours of school is beneficial to students. By having more classes, Smith thinks that it can only be helpful in picking one’s major and interests. Another argument Smith provides is that it is smart to take electives and interesting classes in high school instead of college. She thinks that because you can take whatever class you want and not have to pay for it like you would have to in college.
BHS counselor Mrs. Weiss also has views on the new alternation to the reduced hour. Mrs. Weiss thinks that this change can “allow students to learn how to use their time in class wisely and learn how to schedule more study time after school”. Also, if students are overwhelmed by this change she suggests students can take fewer AP classes. Similarly, Mrs. Weiss thinks that reduced schedules were not all that helpful in the past, so this change can only help. “Having a reduced at the beginning of the day kids were just able to sleep in, and at having a reduced end of the day kids went home early and maybe didn’t use this reduced schedule for studying purposes”. Mrs. Weiss is hopeful that this can allow students to be the best students they can be.
Similar to Weiss, Mrs. Colman, assistant principal at BHS, believes that getting rid of reduced schedules can be beneficial to students. She believes that this change can “open students to be able to explore some electives that they wouldn’t have considered if they had reduced. Students can explore classes in performing arts, visual arts, foods, or even band”. This new change she adds can alter the class sizes and how many times a class is offered, but this would mainly affect electives and AP classes. Mrs. Colman also states that students are now in a position where they have “more exposure and opportunities to grow”.

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About the Contributor
Jane Heller, Editor in Cheif
Hi! I am Jane Heller, and I am Editor in Chief this year. This is my fourth year on staff. I decided to join writing for publication because I wanted more opportunities to improve my writing. In these past four years I've learned so much in this class. I've learned how to write, work with fellow peers, and lead a class. This class is so special to me and I love to be apart of this community every year. 

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