Students lament lost noon hour time

by Lucas Bandstra and Isabella Baugh

lucband19@pceagles.org

isabaug19@pceagles.org

Starting this year, PCHS has introduced Thursday PASS, which is taking the place of morning chapel on Thursdays. During this time, the school has decided to set aside 25 minutes between 2nd and 3rd period as a time for students to focus on academics, meet with teachers to ask questions, get caught up on work, and give students the opportunity to peer tutor one another. Due to this new change, normal Thursday chapel has been moved to Friday, resulting in IMs and a long noon hour only once a week, on Mondays.  There have been many ranging opinions on this topic, but it comes down to the question: is providing time for academic help more important than allowing students a break during noon hour?

The way counselor Brad Engbers sees it, not very many students were showing interest in participating in the IMs games. “It seems like interest in IMs was declining, so we wanted to add time in the day to give students some academic help,” said Engbers. He feels that time would be better used having students solely focus on academics. There’s a higher chance of a student asking a teacher a question if there’s time set aside for it.

Principal Dan Van Kooten agrees about the benefits of PASS, emphasizing communication between teachers and their students. “(Thursday PASS) is for teachers and students to spend time together, really digging deeper and making sure students are learning what they need to learn at a high level,” said Van Kooten.

A survey was sent out to everyone at PCHS and received a record 260 responses. On the survey, 73% believe that Thursday PASS is a good idea, either “always” or “some of the time.” “It has been a great way for students to get the extra help that they need with no interference from sports, music, theater or any other excuse that might arise,” said one student. Another student believes, “It’s a good opportunity to ask for help no matter how big or small your question is.”

It appears that what PCHS doesn’t like is having IMs and a long noon hour only once a week. To put it shortly, some students really value and appreciate their IMs time. They love competing and having fun with one another during their long noon hour.

Over 100 students said that they either participate in IMs or watch IMs. I want IM’s back. Throughout my high school experience I have had IMs, and this year we have a student body that really wants to participate. That’s a special thing. Don’t squelch it,” said one student.

If interest in IMs is declining, it may be in part due to the busyness of the students. They would rather have free time to chill with their friends or work on homework during their long noon hours. “I want more IMs because then I am able to work on homework, hangout with friends, or have meetings for the clubs that I’m involved in. It’s hard to schedule anything with a shorter noon hour,” said one student.

This break is what teacher and students look forward to, which is needed to help get them through the rest of their day. According to the survey, 70% of students marked their long noon hour/ IMs as “Essential. I die slowly throughout the day without it.” Another 26% said that a long noon hour is “preferred, because it was better than having a shorter lunch hour.” This means that 96% of the student body prefers IMs noon hours, and would like more of them. On Mondays, (IMs days) the students that are let out at first bell get a 48 minute long lunch break. Lunch however on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, is only 29 minutes long, if someone is first bell.

It’s those extra 19 minutes on intramural noon hours that makes it so special. Last year, the school had IMs twice a week, and three years ago, IMs took place three times a week. It is the juniors and seniors that are really hurting the most. They know the feeling of having IMs three times a week, and now only having it once a week has caused some mixed feeling among these classes. The majority of these students would still prefer the schedule from two or three years ago.

No matter what, the schedule from this year will stay the way it is. “We will continue to do it, but we know there will be some modifications along the way. It’s kind of fluid right now, but we are going to continue doing Thursday PASS for academic reasons,” said Engbers.

A possible solution for adding another IMs/ long noon hour would be on Wednesdays, which would then prevent PCHS from their regular 2:30 early dismissals. This then brings up the question, “Is getting out an extra fifty minutes early on Wednesdays worth not having another long noon hour?” Perhaps that’s another question worth asking.

What has been concluded through all of this, however, is that Thursday PASS truly is a good, reasonable, academic-based idea with lots of potential. On the other hand, it does take away an IMs noon hour, which 96% of the PCHS population prefered. We recommend that the school administration do all that they can to protect the noon hours at PC. This may mean re-evaluating the weekly schedule once again, adding more free time. In the end it comes down to both options being beneficial, but which is most necessary for the wellbeing of the staff and students at PC?

12 thoughts on “Students lament lost noon hour time

  • September 26, 2017 at 4:09 pm
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    I think we should alternate having PASS and Inturmurals on Thursdays

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  • September 26, 2017 at 4:31 pm
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    I think it is a terrible thing that we lost a long noon hour. A long noon hour is what most students look for at school. Some people thrive during IMs. You can’t take that away

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  • September 26, 2017 at 4:33 pm
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    We really should put cages around the lights so that people cant knock them out. It seems protective wire guards over the lights are a fairly common thing. And honestly if its too expensive see if Monsma’s welding classes could fabricate some, it would be two birds with one stone. It would be a learning experience and some added protection for our lights in the gym.

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  • September 26, 2017 at 4:53 pm
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    I think that on Wednesdays we should have a long noon hour. Instead of taking that away because of the early out we should shorten classes by however much it would take. Probably like 5 minutes a class. Which in the long run makes little to no difference and we could have both 2 IMs days and the 2:30 dismissal.

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  • September 26, 2017 at 5:00 pm
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    Noon hour is so important. Please bring it back. We could make a petition, say, on change.org or something. 😀
    Lots of people like IMs. PASS is great and all, but if a student needs to go see a teacher or get caught up, they should do that on their own time, or face the consequences.

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  • September 26, 2017 at 5:57 pm
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    I think that IMs would be more popular if more people could get involved in sports instead of having 1 specific sport. Maybe splitting the girls and guys would be helpful as well. I also think that just because IMs declined doesn’t mean that our lunch hour should be taken away. Lunch hour is useful for students and teachers to unwind and have a break in their day.

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  • September 26, 2017 at 6:45 pm
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    Students should have the responsibility to see teachers on their own time if they need help. If you have questions, go ask. If you’re struggling, go ask. That’s the way it’s been for the previous years I’ve been in school, and it seemed to work out just fine. All that Thursday PASS does is enable students to not be responsible for themselves. It should be up to you whether you decide to seek the help you need, and up to you to take the time out of your schedule to do so. It’s an inconvenience to those of us who don’t need to attend Thursday PASS. I personally accomplish nothing during the Thursday PASS study hall. There are too many people in the commons, and it is too loud, even if all that’s being discussed is homework. Also, it’s not enough time. By the time I get out all the materials I need for an assignment and get focused on it, I feel as if I have barely enough time to get started. I would rather do an assignment all at once, not start it during PASS and have to pick it up where I left off. My suggestion is to hold PASS during IMs one or two days a week. In Middle School that is what we did, and it worked out just fine. I propose we have IMs on Monday and Thursday, and those who needed help in a class would either be assigned to go to that teacher, or could go to that teacher of their own free will. Hopefully someone involved in making scheduling decisions agrees with me.

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  • September 26, 2017 at 7:10 pm
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    Get rid of Thursday pass. For students who don’t need it, it does nothing to help us. For students who need it, they should be responsible enough to meet with teachers during Monday pass, before and after school, during study halls, and during lunch hour; we’re in high school, and they should understand the importance of doing well in school and make an effort to ask for help if they need it.
    As for IMs, it has gotten a little out of hand and lots are just messing around. Instead of doing by classrooms, compile a list of all those who want to do IMs for the whole year and divide them into teams. It would lose the purpose of a class winning all of IMs, but it would allow students from upper and lower classes to get to know each other and enjoy playing IMs. Also, those watching IMs would like watching people actually play to the rules instead of watching people mess around for 20 minutes. Also, during the noon hour, if we don’t participate in IMs, its a good time to take a break from school work and talk with friends or have time to ourselves.

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    • September 26, 2017 at 7:18 pm
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      I like the idea of dividing into teams for IMs. I feel like it makes the competition more fair, especially to those whose homeroom is not very inclined to play or, if they do play, take it seriously (Monsma homeroom would be a great example….) It also provides opportunity to get to know people from other grades and homerooms better.

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  • September 26, 2017 at 7:58 pm
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    IM’s are great. I think that students, (me personally – as well as others.) will do better in class if they have a time to look forward to every week. Also, an active lifestyle stimulates academic growth……

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  • September 27, 2017 at 3:43 am
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    Taking away IM’s is a catastrophe. IM’s are the sole reason I attend PC, and now that they’ve been taken away, what is holding me back from transferring to Regina? Go Regals

    Reply

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