By Todd Bonzalez
It is no secret by now that Federal Hocking has had what some would say are controversial changes in mind for the next year. Our very own principal, Mr. Amlin, along with Mrs. Wright, had pulled aside our students a few weeks back to discuss some of these changes planned for next year. These conversations were pulled by groups, a separate session for each high school class. The goal of these meetings was to address the new schedule, as well as any questions and concerns among the students. In this article, these new changes will be discussed.
Let us start off with what is at the surface. The big idea of the new schedule is to switch to an 8-Block day. There is one main point that those who advocate for the schedule want to drive home — Test Scoring. And the point for the ones against? Financial Issues. Let us start with the argument supporting the new schedule. The staff at Federal Hocking seems to be stressing the test scoring of the students very much, as our school does seem to consistently be scoring below the state average. Having eight blocks year-round would ensure that the information needed for the tests will always stay in mind, as opposed to having an English class your first semester, and having to take a test on the stuff they learned over four months ago the next semester; I imagine we’ve all had that problem before, haven’t we?
As for the issues with money, the school doesn’t get much funding as it is. Heck, even the teachers at the school have to buy their own supplies. The eight block schedule would arguably make that situation significantly worse. Let’s use English again, as the example. Now for English, we have only two classes per semester. This means we only need to buy two classes worth of books, as we can re-use them the next semester. Doubling the blocks means doubling the books, which therefore means doubling the costs. This is where the problems arise, as we may even have to go as far as to cut the funding for sports and clubs. This includes Basketball, Band, Drama and more.
But what if I told you this isn’t as deep as this rabbit hole goes? I have a whole list of the stuff that the administrators of Federal Hocking won’t tell you, and believe me folks, things get strange very quickly.
- To ensure variety, the Baseball / Softball teams will be replacing with Pickleball.
- PE will be replaced with an E-Sports class.
- Mr. Tabler’s Spanish class will be cut and replaced with Russian.
- A week-long school holiday will be instated during the first week of every March to celebrate the Boy’s Basketball team’s success this year.
- Due to budget cuts for new materials, the kitchen staff will be replaced by the students themselves – this will become a graduation requirement.
- To take the place of one of our leaving English teacher, Mr. Bonner will be rehired to teach.
- Due to jarringly low test scores, as well as the lost progress over the pandemic, all grades will be forced to repeat a year – this includes the Seniors
- Federal Hocking has connected with a new sister school, which is located within the Pacific Samoa. The name of the school is Saint Tonga. At the start of each school year, we will hold a lottery to choose a student to send to Saint Tonga as a part of our new exchange program. We wish all odds in their favor.
This is only the start of the changes that Federal Hocking will bring to it’s school within the coming years. I will be trying my best to keep you updated on all inside information that I here at Lancer Local News can gather. Stay vigilant, my fellow students of Federal Hocking. We will prevail. Thank you, and enjoy the year while it lasts…
Originally published Friday, March 31 because April 1st was a Saturday.