A student rips their schedule over the trash. Photo by Aja Purvis.
“If you’re a senior and you’re supposed to have early release, go to Balu’s room!”
The hassle of schedule changes during the first few days or weeks, at William B. Murrah High School is not foreign to its staff or students. Students receive their schedules, by grade, from the school’s gymnasium or auditorium, and often find that they are missing classes essential for graduation; some students even have no schedule at all. With seniors being a priority, many students in the lower grades feel as if they have been getting the short end of the stick. Asiah Clay, junior here at Murrah High School has been having trouble changing her schedule. She desires to drop APAC Performing Arts and only take on APAC Academics while maintaining her high QPA. “I filled out the schedule change form on the Murrah website as the counselors suggested, but nothing has changed,” she shares on August 16, 2018, “This has been an issue for me since August 8th, the first day of school.”
The severity of schedule errors has definitely increased over the years, and it goes further than students’ meeting graduation requirements--It stunts the educational progression of students in the classroom as well. “I never know which students are going to be in my class to stay, so it pushes back the time I have for instruction,” says Mr. Joshua Quinn, teacher here at Murrah High School.
Many students believe that the mishap of poor schedule production is the fault of the limited time teachers and staff have to compose schedules. “It could be improved if they started earlier on rather than starting two weeks before school begins,” says Nakengee Lowe, senior at MHS, “At the end of the year prior to our next school year, counselors should go into depth with what choices we really have when filling out choice cards for the next school year. What credits do I need for the traditional diploma? How can I succeed if I decide to take another route?”
A lot of students don’t realize how much effort some of the staff put into working out our schedules, but there are 1500 students and few counselors. “Staff has to return to work a week or two before school starts, and that’s when we handle schedules,” says Ms. Williams, the graduation coach, “but some of us returned to school after the weekend of 4th of July.”
Despite the limit on time given to staff, they still aim to be productive as possible as far as composition of schedules.
Months in, the issue is still ongoing, but Algebra teacher Ms. Gibson is still working towards diminishing this issue.