Extra Days Leads to Extra Questions

by: Kalista Willason and Jacob Herald

Who would have known the future of Chaparral High School (CHS) included lengthening the schedule? The upcoming school year (2019-2020) is going to be extended by 10 days. This is a first for CHS because since the school was built it has always run on the same (or a similar) schedule.

Most of the students at Chaparral High School that were interviewed already knew about the increase in days. Their sources were teachers such as Ms. Phillips and Mr. Bailey. Most of the students assumed the change of days had to do with test scores. One source, (Senior) Sebastian Almonte said, “I imagine we’re not performing to the academic standard that has been set for us, so they’re trying to stretch out the school year.” Another student, (Sophomore) Ray Amador said, “because students are stupid and they’re failing.”

Many students had concerns about whether or not there would be compensation for the extra long school year. Will they be able to graduate early? Would they be allowed more sick days? These are all questions they asked. The answer is, no. Students will run on the same exceptions as before and will not be allowed to miss more school even though there are more school days.

The students weren’t very opposed to the idea of a longer school year, but it didn’t seem as they were for it either. (Junior) Sara Raines said, “The biggest problem is attendance so maybe they should give us more days off so more students are able to come. The more hours we’re in school the more hours we have to owe from missing. I just don’t see the point I guess.”  (Senior) Aaliyah Navarette said, “yeah…” that she’s all for the longer year as long as they, “…space out testing.” When asked about graduation, the students didn’t see how this could possible help with graduation, “If anything, it’ll have an opposite effect.” Making it so more potential graduates don’t actually graduate.

Considering this the education department just recently received a statewide raise in pay for all the teachers, who aren’t exactly happy about the longer year. An anonymous source said, “No, I don’t support the longer school year because there’s technically no pay because of how the raise worked.” Some teachers are open to the idea of change, like Ms. Campbell who said that, “It all depends on the calendar.”  Many teachers are more focused on attendance than the testing. Ms. Garcia said, “Attendance will be affected by the extra days because it’s hard enough to get students to come to school.” Mr. Bennett said, “The students that don’t want to be here, just won’t be here. So it won’t help with attendance.” Other teachers believed the same; attendance would either stay the same or get worse.

When it comes to the extra days, many don’t realize that Texas schools have the exact same time frame.  The New Mexico schools were more relaxed than Texas schools but New Mexico seems to have taken a turn for a better education for students.