Passing Periods: Students battle time, congestion

Jazlyn Satasin, Writer

So much to do, but so little time.

Four minute passing periods are just not enough — many students are rushing to get to class and the stairways are overcrowded.

Other necessities, such as needing to use the restroom, take up about half the passing period. It is also important to note that there isn’t a restroom on the first floor. If students have class on the first floor, they have to walk up to the second floor, which takes up more time.

However, according to Principal Kenneth Wooten, there is no chance, at this time, that passing periods will be extended as there are many “factors that go into how long passing periods are.”

First, the start and end times for Melissa Schools are actually determined by the transportation department rather than each campus. Elementary students ride separate school buses than high school and middle school students and all the bus routes must be coordinated.

Second, if passing period times were extended, that would cut into the amount of quality instruction time. The current schedule allows for eight 45-minute class periods and time for Mega Lunch (a full hour-long lunch divided into two 30-minute periods), which is intended to help students by giving them enough time to attend tutoring and clubs.

According to Principal Wooten, every summer, the school’s schedule is reevaluated to determine if adjustments need to be made.

As for a student needing to use the restroom after walking a long way such as from the fine arts building to the main building or for those students that ride the bus from the Cardinal Wing, teachers can allow those students to go to the restroom during the remaining passing period and not count them tardy. However, students shouldn’t abuse this courtesy and ask everyday, and they shouldn’t miss an excessive amount of classroom time.

When making the decision to set the passing periods to four minutes between classes, Principal Wooten said that the core grade level classes were located on the same floors. For example, the freshmen and sophomore core classes are primarily on the second floor. The juniors are mainly on the third floor with seniors on the fourth. Therefore, all students should have some passing periods where they don’t have to travel far and would have plenty of time to use the restroom between classes.

For now, students will just have to plan the most efficient times to take their restroom breaks or coordinate with their teachers if they have special circumstances, and they will just have to continue to “hustle and bustle” to get to class on time.