Northeast Considers Zero Hour Classes

Wendy Forlemu

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Lincoln Northeast High School has one thousand six hundred students. Classes start at 8 am and end at 3 pm, and students are limited to 7 classes a day. If a student happens to be in music, band, orchestra or TCA, it creates an obstacle because these classes usually consist of more than one regular class period. Of the sixteen hundred students at Northeast, sixteen percent are in AP classes. Being in any of these classes means the students have to sacrifice other classes due to scheduling.

Rumor is Northeast High School is considering offering zero hour classes next year. Zero hour classes, commonly known as 7 am classes, are classes offered to students before the regular 8am school day. Because students today live a very busy life, their extra curricular activities often interferes with their education. Northeast offers several AP classes including English, Business, Psychology, Math and science.
Mr. Runyan, a Northeast administrator, came to a conclusion that about two thirds of students who are in classes like band or music are taking or interested in taking AP classes but face a lot of difficulties. This is because Northeast is limited to at most seven classes a day, which is often times not enough for students. Mr. Runyan further said, the new program would give “more flexibility” to the students’ schedules.

Lincoln High and Lincoln Southeast are the only high schools in Lincoln that have the 7am classes. Teachers voluntarily sign up every year to teach these 7am classes. Mrs. Sara Danielson is a Lincoln Southeast Advanced Composition teacher. She claims, the reasons why she volunteers every year are because, “the parking lot is wide open, the halls are like a ghost town… and my teaching schedule concludes at 2:15, which frees up my afternoon…”

Mr. Dustin Wardyn is a World History teacher at Southeast High School. His class size ranges between 22 to 31 students. There are several reasons why students choose to take 7am classes. For example, the cheerleaders make up a reasonable percentage of his class. This is because they have practice during eighth period. According to Mr. Wardyn, these classes are great because, “Students can graduate earlier, make up missing credits, have the ability to go to work earlier, or in some cases, I have had students take a 7:00 a.m. so they could pick up their younger siblings from elementary school.” He concluded by saying, “Our students come from a number of different situations, and sometimes the 8:00am -3:00pm schedule doesn’t always work for them.”

So, should Northeast start the zero hour classes? There are several students who have had to make very difficult decisions concerning their classes. Students should feel comfortable with their schedules and not have to make sacrifices or compensate for their education. With the new zero hour program, students will have a broader variety to choose from. But it is not guaranteed that the program will start next year. After all, it is just an idea and like Mr. Runyan said, “there is no conclusion yet.”

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