Counterpoint: Two cycles is not too long

Priyanka Ninan and Ali Verdi, Priyanka Ninan, and Ali Verdi

As of this year, the administration has implemented a new rule regarding guidance and scheduling.

Students are now forbidden from dropping out of classes within the first two weeks of school due to a policy that requires students to wait a period of two full cycles before their guidance counselors can remove them from their unwanted classes.

The new policy has been criticized by teachers and students alike, with some saying that this rule does not allow the freedom that students have had in previous years.

However, this new policy can be beneficial for students who choose to take advantage of it.

“It allows a reflective decision to be made,” said Director of Guidance Mr. Hank Hardy. “Many people would rush to get to their guidance counselors, but the two weeks gives them more time.”

The new rule forces students to give their courses and teachers a chance before deciding whether to drop or remain enrolled.

In previous years, the guidance department allowed students to edit their schedules whenever they wanted, even if it was only a couple of days into the semester. This means that many students would give up on the class before they even tried.

“Some kids who initially panicked because of the workload gave the class a chance and stuck it out,” said Assistant Principal Ms. Julie Torres. “Parents are glad their children stuck it out, and this has allowed me to have conversations with parents about how classes affected their children not for this year or next year, but in the long term and what their transcript is going to look like.’’

This year, students have had more time to assess and figure out if they are interested in classes they might have enjoyed if they had switched out earlier. It is a good opportunity for students to explore before they give up on a class. “It is possible that you will do better than you expected in that class,” said junior Ben Moy. “The first day of APUSH seemed very hard and overwhelming, but as the class progressed, I realized that it was not as challenging as it seemed to be.”

Not only does the rule make students give classes second chances, but it also gives students some time to adjust to the often hectic start to the school year.

The first few weeks of school can be overwhelming for everyone. The start of new classes brings handouts, homework, and heavy textbooks.

It is hard enough to manage the initial wave of schoolwork, let alone schedule guidance meetings and rearrange classes.

“I think the new guidance rule makes the first few weeks of school less stressful because there is already a lot of stuff going on,” said junior Anthony DiCaro.

The policy also prevents students from switching their schedules based on preconceptions about specific teachers or classes.

Students might be influenced by peers or even websites, such as ratemyteacher.com, where students can view others’ criticisms of individual teachers and classes.

At some point or another, everyone has been warned by a friend that they got “the worst teacher ever” and should switch out of the class immediately.

However, with this new policy, students are made to experience classes and teachers firsthand and judge them more fairly and completely.

In addition to the hectic start of the school year, sports and other extracurricular activities can get in the way of getting classwork done on time. Students committed to many sports and clubs might start to feel that the workload will be too much before giving it a fair chance.

Waiting the full two cycles allows students to get a feel for how much time they will need to commit to the class.

It will also give them a better idea of how much they can handle, and might even force them to learn better time management skills.

The new guidance policy is effective for several reasons. It gives students more time to seriously consider their schedules instead of making impulsive decisions that they might regret later in the year.

It also allows students the opportunity to experience their classes firsthand and to settle into the new school year without the added stress of schedule changes.