Office hours at its best, there are still ways to improve

Office hours is an important tool that has been implemented for students to make sure they have dedicated time to catch up on any school work they might be missing. Even though it is a very useful to many, the problem is that not many people use it.

This is the second year of office hours and it has been changed three different times to optimize efficiency for all students.  The office hours schedule that is taking place this year has been better than the others, but there is still room for improvement.

Office hours happens every Wednesday close to the end of the school day from 1:18-2:10 p.m. Each class period is shortened to 40 minutes so all classes can fit within a day without making the day longer. One notable difference from the other years is students attend the sixth hour before they go to their fifth hour. 

“Lunch is a big constraint for us. Lunch is very very difficult to schedule, and right now our lunch is built around period five,” Principal Rob Bach said.

Bach said there is a challenge of rescheduling lunch since there are four different lunches and almost 2,800 students. It would be difficult to remake a whole new schedule, so they decided to make it around lunch. The main goal of office hours is to help students get caught up on homework, tests or be able to check in with a teacher.

“After we implemented it, our grades and data metrics that we have tracked have been trending in a good direction,” Bach said.

Office hours has shown it is beneficial for many students and teachers and is proven to help because of the extra time everyone has to do their work. Last year, during the first semester, office hours was in the middle of the day between third and fourth hour.

“That just wasn’t working well for teachers / students…they weren’t able to get the help they needed during the time,” Bach said. 

During the second semester they decided to try something new so put it at the end of the day from 12:30-2:10 p.m. and students did not have to stay for lunch.

“The early release helps us target the students that actually need it. That’s why it’s better,” Bach added.

Students have wanted to improve and take advantage of these hours and have done a great job doing so.

— Ryan Miller

There are always improvements to be made. Bach said the idea of this office hours schedule was made because of the recommendations from students, teachers and parents through surveys. This year’s office hours gives students a lot more freedom of choice. Students can stay or go as long as they signed the form on Smartschool.

“I like the freedom it gives students to make that choice for themselves,” history teacher Ryan Miller said.

This is one of the main differences from last year, which has made it better. With office hours, if a student has below 70% then they are supposed to stay and get help, but if it’s higher in every class, they are able to leave.

Teachers have seen an increase in students from last year to this year which means “students have wanted to improve and take advantage of these hours and have done a great job doing so,” Miller said.

It is true the attendance during office hours is higher, but the attendance of office hours is still relatively low. 

“There’s still pretty light attendance from what I’ve seen,” Miller said.

Last year, several students were skipping office hours and going home early because they did not want to stay and do homework. This year’s office hours has for the most part fixed this issue.

“As a senior who doesn’t have a sixth hour it’s kind of annoying for me to have to sit in the main forum for like, however long we’re supposed to. I feel like it’s kind of a waste of my time to be honest, because it’s really loud and no one really gets their homework done,” senior Brady Benning said.

There are many seniors who do not have a sixth hour, and since they changed the office hours schedule this causes issues for those seniors. This is one of the only parts of the new office hours schedule that makes it difficult for students.

Since office hours has been so successful these past couple years and there has been more positives than negatives, Bach is planning to bring it back for next year.