All high school students should take option

All high school students should take option to balance their day and learn how to manage their workload.

Photo Credit: thebluediamondgallery.com

All high school students should take option to balance their day and learn how to manage their workload.

by Andrew Kastelman, Staff Writer

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The Glen Rock High School Guidance Department describes the option course as “essential in helping students develop time management skills and providing access to teachers, guidance counselors… [and other resources]”. The course is applied as a class, so during the one period students can use their time wisely to do homework, classwork, and other school related projects.

I believe the option course should be required to take at least once by each student during their four years in High School. The opportunity to learn how to manage skills, and have a less stressful semester will be very important to the student in both the short-term and long-term. The time management skills learned by the students can help them the rest of their lives, especially when they have a job.

However, the decision of if or when to take option is difficult. Currently, around 45 percent of kids in Glen Rock High School are taking option. In addition, about 90 percent of those kids are either juniors or seniors, according to the Glen Rock High School Guidance Department. It is more common with juniors and seniors because they usually have a heavier workload, and underclassmen have to fit in more electives.

Ms. Yancy, an English teacher who has taught option the past two years, has seen the kids use their time productively.

“As long as you keep the number small, kids do actually really use their time,” she said.

She sees the difficulty in taking it as an underclassman, but encourages them try to it anyways.

“I think it’s a really good opportunity for kids, but I understand with electives it’s really hard to fit into the schedule.”

With these facts, not taking option until you’re an upperclassman is understandable. However, I strongly believe that when you become an upperclassman you should be required to take option for at least one semester, if not both.

Sophomore Ryan Burstiner, who is taking option this semester, sees the benefit.

“I can get my homework done and have more free time at home,” he said.

In addition, students who participate in sports have less time to do their homework at night. For example, if a student plays soccer and does not get home until 6:30 pm, the student will only have a few hours to eat and do their homework, while still trying to get sufficient sleep. Most kids get a few hours of homework each night, so taking an option course and doing some homework during school will allow for students to have enough time to complete their homework at night. In addition, getting homework done in school will lessen the stress many high school students are under. Since time management is crucial for adult life, students will learn how to use their time wisely during their option period.

People who disagree with this idea raise the college side of the argument. They say that students need to take as many electives as possible, and need to beef up their resume to an extreme amount. However, I believe that taking one or two less electives, and taking an Option period will allow for students to succeed better in their core courses, which is just as important for college.

Overall, option is designed to give students time to do homework and work on skills such as time management. I think students should take option at least once during high school to enhance their skills in these categories and give them less stress during high school, which will help them in the short-term and long-term.