PHS Journalism

Another Year, Another Change

Responsibility release is no longer available for students

Mariah Sullivan and Chloe DeYoung

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Seminar release is no longer. The three-year program was removed because of the increase in student enrollment. Sophomore Jacob Farmer said he was disappointed because he liked seminar release.

“I really thought that it positively affected the overall grade of everybody,” Farmer said. “I think it will negatively affect grades because people won’t care about having missing assignments.There is no reason to turn them in if they don’t care about grades.”

Freshman Marie Peterson said she feels left out. She said responsibility release may have gotten in the way of homework time, but most students finish their homework quickly.

“I like how you get to do your homework and other stuff in seminar now,” she said. “Personally, I would want the old way back.”

Peterson said she never experienced release, so she doesn’t know much about it, but she said she wishes the freshman could’ve gotten the chance to go to the gym.

Junior Jackson Macfarlane said he was disappointed to see seminar release go, but understands why they got rid of it.

“From a student’s perspective, I only see downsides because we’re forced to stay in seminar and we can’t go hang out with friends,” Macfarlane said. “But if I were a teacher or faculty member, I could see some upsides.”

Macfarlane said the upsides would be teachers not having to be occupied watching hundreds of students during seminar.

“It is very hard to supervise 100 or so students with only two gym teachers, so it relieves some stress off their back,” Macfarlane said.

According to Justin Elliott, counselor, the main reason responsibility release ended because of increased enrollment.

Elliot said that there were about 130 seniors last year, and this school year they were replaced with 180 freshman.

Another reason administration decided to get rid of responsibility release is because many students still had missing assignments and grades that were D’s and F’s. Elliott said students viewed seminar more as their time to do whatever they want, not time to work on school.

So far, principal Jeff Hines said the change has been in place long enough to have a noticeable difference in grades from last year.

​”I have honestly been very surprised that there was not a backlash regarding this decision, I have yet to receive a complaint from students about this,” said Hines. “I think we did a good job at class meetings of explaining why this decision had to be made.​”

Hines said alternate ideas were discussed, such as creating a rotation where all teachers in the building took turns supervising release, but that created too many issues to implement.

“We feel students are going to be more likely to use their time for academics and club sponsors will get more active participation from their members,” Elliott said. “The downside is there will be more students in classrooms.”

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The school newspaper of Paola High School
Another Year, Another Change