PCP: Controversy around Park Connections effectiveness
Changes to the Connections schedules raises debate over necessity of the class
January 11, 2023
Park Connections beneficial for students
Each Wednesday, classes are shortened to take time for Park Connections, a 45 minute long class in which short lessons are planned by the administration and students are given time to finish individual work. However, there has been a debate amongst staff and students about whether or not Park Connections is a good use of time. After having had Connections as a class for almost three years, it’s clear that the opportunity to take 45 minutes of time each week for Park Connections is a positive thing. It caters to the needs of each individual student and gives them a chance to take time for themselves in a class setting.
In my experience, Connections mainly allows for students to catch up on work and get help in classes they might be struggling in. Giving students this chance is important and ensures that they will not fall behind and if they do, then Park Connections is the perfect time to meet with a teacher and figure out the best way to get back on track. There have been countless times that I’ve found myself studying for an upcoming test or finishing work for a different class in Connections and it can be really valuable to have that designated time to avoid getting overwhelmed when work inevitably piles up.
Connections is also designed to be a time to start planning for college. Through the use of Naviance, students are able to learn more about the things they’re interested in and set up a path for the future. As a junior, starting to think about what colleges I want to apply to and what subjects I want to major in can be overwhelming on my own. Having a designated class to work on all of this makes the future less daunting.
Additionally, important announcements regarding school events, clubs, scholarships and job opportunities are all made during Park Connections. Without designated class time to talk about information like this, students probably wouldn’t know about it and could miss out on opportunities they might not get again.
Having Park Connections as a class not only helps students get work done, but it can also be a time to rest and get a break from work. For a school whose administrators claim to advocate for taking care of mental health, having Connections is a time for students to do so. Taking breaks can be just as important as getting work done and with Park Connections, it gives us a chance to check in and take a break if needed.
Extra assignments during Park Connections overwhelming, unnecessary
Park Connections is a class similar to homeroom, like other schools may have, but instead students are required to do extra assignments to earn a pass. During Park Connections we get assignments, but I believe that these assignments are just useless since we have other assignments for different classes. Students already have seven other classes with grades in each Adding another course is just stressful.
We should just do discussions in classes and get a point for that instead of getting written assignments. Writing assignments aren’t that bad, but it’s just too much time for students so early in the morning. Having seven other classes is already stressful enough for the average high school student.
Some teachers won’t understand where most students are coming from and I don’t blame them whatsoever. A lot of students use their park connections period to do missing work or finish up work from other classes, but if they have assignments in park connections then they can’t keep up in other classes. If park connections don’t give us assignments, it’ll take off weight from students shoulders, since it’s less of a class they need to worry about.
Park Connections is a class similar to homeroom, like other schools may have, but instead students need a grade to pass. Homework is already too hard to keep up with from seven different classes. Can you imagine how hard it is to keep up with one additional class? It is even harder for students who participate in extracurriculars. Students like to think of park connections as a study hall or as a time to catch up with friends, since in their regular classes they have to pay attention instead of socializing. There are also kids who spend their time in park connections studying for something in their next class, or they spend their time trying to finish classwork.
Some assignments in park connections are understandable because we’re getting prepped for college and the world outside of high school. It’d be easier if those assignments were not graded. Students have D’s and F’s because some of their teachers never talked about these assignments in connection class,
In conclusion, assignments for connections should be exempted, or students can participate in the assignments for extra credit. I feel like students will feel relieved to have a break in at least one class of the day, and since connections are once a week it’ll be great for others to catch up on assignments.