At the start of the 2011-2012 school year, students and teachers alike began enthusiastically following a new schedule, which the administration had been planning and contemplating for years. The foreign 75-minute block periods and erratic class sequencing required some adjustments, but the School soon completed a smooth transition. Although most of the schedule changes have been received positively, we at the UltraViolet believe that student athletes are at a serious disadvantage.
With the current schedule, classes are permanently assigned to either the morning or the afternoon of certain days of the week, such that Monday mornings always begin with either C or B period and Friday afternoons always end with either H or I period, for example. On Tuesdays and Thursdays student athletes often have to leave School early for games. Because Tuesdays always end with F or G period and Thursdays always end with B or C period, athletes miss these classes almost every week. Furthermore, because the class periods are now so long, if you miss one or two class periods, there is an immense amount of material to make up.
How can a student enjoy her Contemporary Poetry English elective when she’s constantly missing class for water polo games? How can a girl stay on track in her Algebra II Trigonometry Honors class when she’s absent for every other period to catch the bus heading to a basketball tournament?
Marlborough has instilled in us an ambition to strive for excellence in everything we do, yet how can we achieve our best in a passion, like sports, and reach our potential academically when the two activities conflict so often? We feel the new schedule has accomplished more good than bad; however, we propose a more frequent rotation of the schedule to avoid these repetitions. The School should also communicate with the Athletics Department and try to negotiate ways in which student athletes wouldn’t have to leave School early so frequently.
Now that we have lived with this schedule for a year and learned about its many advantages and occasional drawbacks, we should think about what alterations are necessary for next year. Allowing for increased variety in which periods bear the brunt athletic absences wouldn’t cause too much of an uproar. We understand this process is an extensive and trying one, yet we still believe student athletes have a right to know what’s going on in class.