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Faculty opts to continue SMART period

By Dahlia Wong

At the end of the first semester, the faculty voted on whether or not to continue the Student Managed Academic Resource Time, or SMART period, this year. The majority of teachers and counselors voted to continue SMART period, a class where students can work on their homework and go to see their teachers for help every Monday and Friday.

Some teachers who did not want the Smart Period to continue find that it makes it difficult for them to cover all of their curriculum, that the shorter periods on Mondays and Fridays make for hectic days, and not all students take advantage of the extra time they are given.

On the other hand, teachers who are in favor of the SMART period believe it is a great way for students to catch up on their homework and reduce their stress

Many teachers agree that it’s “really hard to teach on Mondays and Fridays now,” said Carolyn Griffith, science teacher. Classes on those days were reduced from 55 minutes to 47 minutes.  

With the short class periods, “SMART period is not worth the time that it takes out of curriculum,” said English teacher Judith Klinger.

Michael Lamb, an AP math teacher, is against the SMART period because of the time it has taken away and also because he is “not convinced that every student is taking advantage of it.” Lamb has been using the pit during SMART period to gather AP Calculus BC students who need extra help in learning the curriculum.

“My SMART period as we have it now is more closer to the intent of what the smart period was meant to be. Students interested in a topic gathering together to see information that they might otherwise gotten in the class,” Lamb said.

AP teachers are specifically affected by the SMART period because they have to prepare students for the AP exam in May. Because of the short periods on Mondays and Fridays, AP teachers have to find ways to teach all the curriculum in the short amount of time they have.

Lamb said with the loss of time from the SMART  period class, the AP exam passing grade will drop by at least 15%. He said that is “unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, computer teacher Nancy Read thinks that SMART period is useful . “I’m on the SMART  period committee so I was one of the people that helped made the SMART period policy.”

Griffith is also in favor of the SMART period continuing because, “lots of students are stressed out so SMART period can give them a some breathing time during the day.”  

Teachers are considering several versions of a schedule next year, and will vote on this at the end of February.

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