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Posted on May 15, 2019

QHS bell schedule for 2019-20 meets resistance

The move to a new building has some students a little worried about what will happen to their clubs’ meeting times next year.
The new bell schedule does not include time for club meetings during the school day, QHS principal Marcus Pimpleton said. Students wanting to hold a club meeting will have to do it either before or after school.
The new high school will have a new start time, and the building is larger, so students will need to be allotted more time to go from class to class, Pimpleton said, terming that in-between classes time “passing time.”
“There is a question of where is that time going to come from: Are we going to take that away from instruction or from the club meetings?” he said. “In order to keep the instructional minutes up, we are reducing the minutes of High School and Beyond and taking away the club meeting time during the day and giving that to passing time.”
High School and Beyond is a state-required planning time for students to set out a course for their high school and post-high-school days.
For now, meeting times have been moved to the beginning and/or the end of the school day, another move that has some students scratching their heads.
“A lot of students were really upset, because a lot of them could not join clubs if it weren’t during school,” student Silvia Esparza said.
Esparza has started collecting signatures from fellow students to get the decision changed. She wants to get around 250 signatures, and she has gathered around 100, she said.
“I hope that gives them something to reconsider,” she said.
Club meetings are allotted 20 minutes on Wednesdays, Esparza said. Moving the meetings to after school would conflict with sports practices and games for students who want to do both.
Moving the meetings to lunchtime would not work as well, since the school offers different lunchtimes for different grades.
Conversely, Pimpleton said some students use the club meeting time to just hang out instead of participating in those clubs.
“It’s potential instructional time that is going to a club meeting time that most of the kids aren’t participating in,” Pimpleton said, later adding that the students haven’t spoken to him about their concerns.
“It’s interesting that there would be a petition, because it would just be easier to survey all of the kids, just ask ’em all,” said Pimpleton, who added that the changes to the bell schedule for 2019-20 passed with a majority of the staff in favor.
Moreover, Pimpleton wondered whether a majority of the student body participated in clubs.
“If there’s 300 kids participating in clubs, and there’s 800 kids in the school, there’s 500 kids telling you they don’t need that club time during the school day.”
At the same time, Pimpleton sounded open to dialogue with the concerned students.
“That decision is where we are at right now, but we are always open to suggestions and ideas,” he said. “We are always open to talking about things.”

By Sebastian Moraga,