High school starts with new class schedule | TahoeDailyTribune.com

High school starts with new class schedule

William Ferchland
Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / South Tahoe High seniors Francisco Barrio, Emma Gomez and Olimpia Geronimo-Galvan, from left, check their class schedules Tuesday morning during the first day of school in the Lake Tahoe Unified School District.

There were complaints of the dissected lunch period and an increased homework load.

Then there were the cheers for shorter class periods and the increased pool of electives.

The first day of school at South Tahoe High School also marked the introduction of the new schedule, dubbed the 4×4 for having four classes per term.

Coupled with the confusion inherent in the first day of school and a new schedule, the waiting room to see a counselor looked like a waiting area for a South Lake Tahoe restaurant on a holiday weekend.

Sophomore Shawna McComb was among those waiting with conflicts in scheduling. McComb was assigned physical education when she wasn’t supposed to take it.

Friend Risty Bongcaron was standing with McComb. Both complained of a lunch period for freshmen and sophomores and another for juniors and seniors.

“I think it causes kids to ditch,” Bongcaron said.

Freshman Lindsay Whalan was also among the masses at the counselors’ area. Whalan said she was in the wrong AVID and physical education class.

A tennis and softball player, she envisioned the daily homework would create a burden for student athletes.

“People with sports or after-school activities, it’s going to be a lot harder to do homework and balance all that out,” she said.

Seniors Reid Cocking and Ben Booker enjoyed the new schedule since it allowed them an early out from school because they didn’t need all four class periods.

They also liked the condensed version of previously year-long classes into a couple months.

“You get a year’s worth of classes done in a semester,” Cocking said.

Sophomore Jordan Arnold had a different take.

“I think in the long run it will benefit us but right now it sucks,” she said.

Junior Glen McDermott is intent on taking forensics, a new elective, sometime in the near future but also provided a grumbling on the lunch periods.

“It kinda keeps us from keeping in touch,” he said of his underclassmen friends.

New Principal Ivone Larson, who also represented a first at the school, thought the day went well as she tried to visit every classroom to make her presence known.

Part of the reason for the two lunch periods was adhering to the state fire marshal’s capacity of about 400 students in the cafeteria.

With the school having a population of about 1,500 students, having two lunch breaks would bring the number to 750 in each period with many leaving the campus for lunch.

“We are trying to accommodate all our students so they can have access to the cafeteria and minimize all the students coming up and down the hill,” Larson said.

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