LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Rumored new school policies are unacceptable

To the Editor: It has been rumored that next year, Ames High School’s schedule may change. The suspected alterations include the elimination of late starts on Wednesdays in exchange for an early release once per month, and the elimination of athletic and academic exemptions from physical education. Although these are only rumors, it is very necessary that a response be made to such proposals. With regard to the elimination of the late start on Wednesdays, I have a few major arguments against the change. The current situation of moderately shortened classes is ideal. Regularly sleep-deprived students are given some extra rest at the minimal cost of about seven minutes per class period. Although the extra hour of rest per week may seem unsubstantial, for many students who can barely manage six hours of sleep a night this is incredibly beneficial. Second, if late start Wednesdays were to be removed, why have an early release at all? For many students with after-school activities, this would be an irritating hassle and for an early release to be substantial, the lengths of periods would have to be shortened to a useless length. Regarding the physical education changes, there seems to be no logic whatsoever behind abolishing exemptions altogether. During the fall, if I am running six miles daily for cross-country, the last thing I need is to get even more exercise during the school day so that I can be tired for practice. Physical education, while important, is very difficult to work into a busy schedule. If students are expected to take reasonably heavy course loads, whole periods cannot be jeopardized for the sake of exercise (especially if one is getting enough exercise anyway). Let us hope that these are just rumors and that Ames High School won’t face such poorly conceived changes in the following years. Although I will be out of this school in a year, I would not wish such a fate upon the underclassmen.