Staff Editorial: Park Connections called into question

Class’s flaws begin to unveil during in-person learning


Lauren Thon

Sophia Ross presents during Park Connections Oct. 7. The Echo Editorial Board believes that changing the focus of Park Connections will benefit and engage more students.

The new schedule for the 2021-2022 school year includes a unique period that was added last year to combat issues during distance learning: Park Connections. Although the class proved its worth during distance learning, the same cannot be said for in-person learning.

Last year, the lack of connection between students during distance learning warranted the new class, but now that classes are in-person, its functionality has been decreased and has not had much of an impact compared to last year. Students don’t need that extra community building time and it causes scheduling confusion.

The lack of structure and balance has also been an issue. Although teachers are given a prompt to lead the class, it doesn’t accurately respond to the students’ needs. Having Park Connections multiple times a week is redundant and often feels like a time filler.The redundancy can be combated by having Park Connections fewer days a week. Once a week for a longer period of time would be more effective in addressing students’ needs.

The Echo Editorial Board believes that changing the focus of Park Connections will benefit and engage more students. Splitting the curriculum by changing the prompts based on grade level would focus attention on each grade. Many seniors are behind on the college application process and giving out college prep information would be helpful to seniors. For underclassmen, community building activities would be better as many students are still new to the building and haven’t formed bonds yet with their peers. For days without a designated prompt, the Board believes it would be useful to have a support session during this time.

Even more general topics like how to apply for a job or other practical, real-world skills would be favourable compared to the current system, as at times, the prompts feel unnecessary and aimless.

The Echo Editorial Board believes that by changing the focus of Park Connections, whether it be the content or the structure itself, would be more beneficial and students will be more engaged during this class.