Seminar Scuffle

Changes are coming to seminar, possibly for the worse

Seminar is one of the most important “classes” we have here. It gives students a chance to travel to multiple teachers to make up any missed work during the school day instead of having to come in outside of school hours to do it, but the freedom of seminar might be cut back quite a bit.

All of the previous years, seminar didn’t really have many rules. As long as you were quiet, did work, had a pass when you left and got back before 2:30, you were golden. This meant that if a student missed multiple days of school and subsequently multiple tests, quizzes and science labs, they could make up as many as time would permit. This is no longer going to be the case though.

Seminar will now have a set amount of times that you can travel per seminar. There will still be the normal 1:15 bell to let students out of seminar if they have a pass, but now seminar will be chunked into two 40-minute portions. After a student arrives in their class that they received the pass to go to, they will have to stay there for 40 minutes until about 1:50. At 1:50, another bell will sound letting students travel to another room if they have a pass or back to their seminar class. They will have to stay in that room until 2:30 where all students that aren’t in their seminar class must return back to it.

This normally wouldn’t be too much of a problem, but for students that actually have to use the time to try to make up assignments, this change could be detrimental. Imagine if a student missed three days of school due to some sickness. They would most likely try to use seminar to catch up on what they missed, but with the new rule in place, they could only make it to two classes to make up quizzes, tests or whatever else they might have to do. The student would now have to come in before or after school to make up for their other classes.

This change is going to negatively impact many students. In some classes, like Chemistry, some quizzes are only about 15 questions that are fairly straightforward, like writing the atomic symbol for a specific element. Finishing this quiz would take about 20 minutes at most, but with the new rules, a student that finishes the quiz early must stay in the room until the bell rings to release them. This rule wastes valuable time that a student could be using to make up more assignments.

This change does have some merit to it though. Some students abused seminar’s freedom in the past years. Due to most teachers having a seminar, it is very difficult to have a hallway supervisor. Because of this, some students would use their pass to leave and then proceed to roam the hallways for their entire seminar. This change would make it more difficult for students to leave their seminar, and therefore more difficult to walk the hallways. These students are a problem, but a bad apple can’t be allowed to spoil the entire bunch. Just because some students take advantage of seminar’s freedom does not mean that all students should be put in lockdown for about 40 minutes at a time.

To end this, we are going to try to make an appeal to any staff members that have power over this change. We at “the Epic” do truly understand the reasoning for changing the seminar schedule in order to control students that disobey the seminar rules, but by changing the schedule, many students are being limited to the amount of work they can get done. Do not let the disobedient students ruin seminar for the ones that actually want to use it to its fullest potential and make up assignments and tests or quizzes that have been missed.

The staff needs to be receptive to student feedback, and there will be plenty of feedback. Students have already been voicing complaints about this system. Their complaints might be unwarranted since we haven’t actually had a seminar with these rules in place. By listening and cooperating with each other, students and staff can truly make seminar a place where students that want to be productive can be, while still being able to keep students out of the hallways.