The Lion's Roar

Students React to Labbing Out

Nick Di Vietro '18 and Jessica Rech '16

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It is West’s students that are both most affected by this year’s new labbing out schedule and most opinionated about it.

Homeroom is viewed as an essential time for many students to support their success in classes and have some time to breathe in the middle of the seven hour day. For many students, homeroom is viewed as a “buffer” period. It serves as a time for relaxation and catching up with friends without the hustle of the cafeteria. It is also a time to do extra homework when necessary, see teachers for extra help outside of class, and run errands, such as printing papers or visiting guidance counselors. Now that some of this homeroom time has been replaced with a science lab, some students have realized how much they have taken their twenty-five minutes of free time each day for granted.

In an interview discussing their preference between this year’s and previous lab scheduling, students, who take a variety of science courses, from Chemistry to Physics to Human Anatomy, generally prefer the previous lab outs. “I like that I can go in for help if I need to,” says Mirlinda Papraniku ‘16, a Physics 1 student. Although labbing out only occurs one day during a class cycle, students still have trouble finding time to finish work or see teachers when dealing with specific due dates. Michelle Le ‘16, who takes Physics 1 and Human Anatomy dislikes the new labs for the days when she needs “to do stuff during homeroom” and she “miss[es] lunch because [she has] lab.”

Some students who take multiple science classes miss both lunch and homeroom on the same day, such as Tiffany Le ‘16, who takes Chemistry 2 and Physics 1 and labs out for both classes in consecutive periods. During these lab periods, “we do the same things we would do in a regular period,” says Qendresa Papraniku ‘18, who takes Chemistry and Biology 1. Instead of being viewed as helpful, the labs “seem to take away more time,” says Tiffany Le, and “it just makes everything more difficult,” says Michelle Le.

Mrs. Lord, a science teacher at West explains how the schedule change has affected her.  “I can already tell that I am behind where I was last year, so the schedule change has not necessarily been beneficial.”  Although the schedule change is not beneficial for herself, Mrs. Lord expresses how it may benefit students. “It is helpful for students because they don’t have to remember a change in schedule or miss classes where there could be important content that they are going to miss.”

The lab out schedule was changed this year due to students not making the required amount of attended Phys Ed classes in previous years, where it was common to lab out of such classes. With a new schedule, “the different sections of homerooms had to be built in the system, so that students could be placed in homeroom sections according to their science labs,” says Guidance Counselor Mrs. Strimel. “It didn’t exactly make it more difficult to place students into homerooms; it just took time and work to set up the different sections”.

Although there is a prominent negative view in regard to the new lab outs, some students and teachers find aspects of the new scheduling helpful. Vivi Mikhael ‘16, who takes Physics 2, claims that she “gets more work done” with the new labs, and Toby Warren ‘16, who takes Physics 2 and Human Anatomy, likes the homeroom labs because he “gets extra time in class”.

Similar to Phys Ed and Health teachers, Mr. Mark, the instrumental music teacher at West, has “had years where over half of [his] class has been out for lab and that was tough on the groups.” In previous years, students who took instrumental or choir class were eligible to lab out of those classes and/or PhysEd/Health. These lab outs took a toll on the music groups, for “if a lab day fell on a Thursday, let’s say with a non class day on Friday, students would go four days without playing and I would have to re-visit all the material I may have taught on that day they were in lab,” says Mr. Mark. Although music groups also have lessons/sectionals during homeroom/lunch time, Mr. Mark greatly prefers the new labs. In regard to the sectionals, “it has made for some creative scheduling on my part as far as the lessons/sectionals,” says Mr. Mark. “However, I would much rather have to deal with it during the lunch breaks than the classes.”

Though this new schedule has brought some difficulty to West students, it has also come with many benefits, that hopefully foreshadow a completely successful labbing out schedule in the near future.

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Students React to Labbing Out