A High School Catastrophe

This+was+the+bell+schedule+before+all+of+the+changes+at+PVHS

This was the bell schedule before all of the changes at PVHS

Karley Broadhead, Journalist

   Freshman year at high school is always an interesting experience for newcomers. But why is it that even teachers and upperclassmen are just as confused as a freshman trying to figure out their schedules for the first time? Things are changing at Pahrump Valley High School and it is time to address the issues that have surfaced this past year.

  The first thing that seemed to be a major change at PVHS was the Tuesday advisory schedule. Advisory was supposed to be a short class taken once a week to keep students on track. Teachers were expected to meet with each individual student in their advisory class, review their schedule, and discuss changes that needed to be made. Advisory on Tuesday’s only lasted a couple months until it was moved to Wednesday and students no longer had half days. Each class was significantly shortened to allow students who are not failing to enjoy a full hour of lunch while the rest “catch up” to meet borderline passing.

  Minor changes were easy to adapt to but those minor changes were only the beginning of what has turned into a big mess. It’s almost like each student is expected to meet borderline passing in order to “prosper” among their fellow classmates. This line is literally just enough needed for graduation and once a student passes this line, their progress from there almost becomes insignificant because teachers are expected to pay more attention to those who are below the line.

  There are many teachers who do more than what they are expected to. They are the teachers who legitimately want the students to reach their full potential, no matter who it is. They are the teachers who encourage and push their students to do their very best and stay longer than they are required to just to provide extra tutoring.

  But is anybody doing anything about this corrupt school system?

  On March 7, 2018 the District Office held a meeting to discuss the problems at PVHS. The public was welcome to attend and anybody was allowed to speak with a maximum of three minutes. Although no more than fifty people attended, there were some valid points brought up.

  PVHS Juniors Darien Rivera and Amanda Cavey spoke at this meeting and addressed issues in their AP classes, saying that the shortened schedule does not give them the time they need in order to learn all of the material that they are expected to.

“Due to the shortages on time, teachers cannot afford to answer all questions a student may have,” says Cavey. “This leaves it in the hands of the student to find time in between classes, at lunch, or before or after school to ask questions.”

  The shortened schedule was a result of the hour later start time at PVHS. Instead of 7:00, students are now starting at 8:00. Although this reduced class time, some believe the later start time is more convenient and that the school day should just be extended a little longer.

“A longer school day may benefit us greatly. We would have more time to learn subjects that would be incredibly helpful,” says Rivera.

  Not only did students speak at the meeting, but concerned parents of students did as well. Michael Lucas, father of PVHS Junior Shelbie Lucas, passed his three minute time limit but spoke for practically everyone in the room when he said, “The fact that you have shortened the classroom time, I think, is stupid. I’m sorry to put it that way but it’s stupid.”

  Meetings such as this one address very sensitive subjects that could hurt the reputations of any staff at the school if they were to voice their opinions, but parents like Michael Lucas voiced multiple.

  “My dad was really raw with what he said,” says daughter Shelbie Lucas. “He didn’t sugar coat anything. People are afraid to be raw because they have things to lose and my dad spoke for what everyone was thinking.”

  The sad truth is that those who want to make changes here at PVHS don’t have the power to. Those who want to speak up, who legitimately want the students to succeed are prevented from doing so for the sake of their career.

  If it weren’t for the patience of the students and staff here at PVHS, the system would fall apart. Although their words will remain anonymous for their protection, their thoughts and opinions are still crucial.

  A common belief here at our school is that the teachers are able to voice their honest thoughts to make some beneficial change. However, the teachers are practically powerless.

“The reality is that those who can change the system don’t listen to us,” says an anonymous teacher at PVHS.

“We don’t take part,” says another. “We are told what to do and our experience means nothing.”

  There are teachers who want change just as bad as the students but are not in charge of the system. From students constantly disrupting the learning environment to parents complaining about the grade a student has because of their actions, it never ends.

  The truth is that students are taking out their anger on all of the wrong people. It is not the teachers’ fault that our system is the way it is. The ones who can make the biggest impact on our school system are students and parents.

  It is not fair to expect change without doing much of anything to support it. So here is where students, staff, and parents need to come together to fix this corrupt system. It is amazing that this has been going on for as long as it has, and it is definitely time for some beneficial change at PVHS.