Seminar/advisory change part of district plan

Sion Worley, Reporter

This school year brought about many changes to schedules across the district. Changes done specifically to seminar and the addition of advisory have stirred up controversy and confusion in the student body.

Seminar was moved from after second hour to the end of the day and shortened from 90 minutes to 45, and these changes have been questioned by some students. Some feel that the changes detract from its purpose as a study hall, being used more for class meetings and assemblies and making student academics a secondary priority. However, the opposite is true. More time is being created for regular classes by scheduling these events during seminar.

“Seminar is still meant to be academic time,” Clint Albers, principal, said. “However, by scheduling meetings and pep assemblies during seminar rather than regular class time, it helps avoid disrupting lesson plans.”

Moving seminar from its original time is also required to balance the rest of the Thursday schedule. By replacing the usual lunch schedule with Falcon 50’s extended single lunch period, seminar was required to move to the end of the day.

Plus, Falcon 50 offers increased study time for students

– adding 25 minutes a day to be used by students primarily for academic purposes. It almost doubles the previous amount given by seminar alone. The total amount of study time available for student use per week increases from 90 minutes to 170.

Another addition to the controversy is the advisory period – a course required for all Olathe high schools to have. Although it has been a staple of other district high schools, this is the first year that South has had it.

While advisory is required, many seniors have felt that the lessons given do not apply to them or aren’t suited to their grade level. However, the school administration and counseling team are aware of this and are working to tailor individual lessons appropriately to specific grade level requirements. Specifically for seniors, future lessons are planned to detail post-secondary education information.

“Many of the lesson plans used so far during advisory have been borrowed from other district schools while we get used to having it,” Albers said. “Feedback from the students directly on [these matters] is essential to helping out counseling staff create better plans.”

One thing that all students should remember is that the administration is open to ideas and feedback on changes done around the school. Although the modified schedule was created at the district level in order to unify all five high schools’ schedules, direct student feedback and input is extremely helpful to create better lesson plans and to move in a positive direction.