Scheduling issues cause problems at Athens

Colin Meagher, Staff Writer

Many students at Athens have voiced their negative opinions about some of the scheduling issues that had been going on at the beginning of the school year. Students were complaining about how late the schedules were mailed and how they were in classes with over 40 students.

Athens Drive Assistant Principal, Jeremy Parrish, said that the transition from NC Wise and Student Parent Access Network (SPAN) to a new system, PowerSchool, was the reason why there were problems in the scheduling process. NC Wise was the main system that all North Carolina public schools had been using before PowerSchool. SPAN was a system only Wake County used, but PowerSchool replaced that as well.

Parrish said that the schedules had to be done by May 1 of this year, which did not give the administration an appropriate amount of time to put together the schedules. With the new system, it made creating schedules a lot harder than it was before with SPAN.

“We didn’t have a choice,” said Parrish concerning Athens switching over to PowerSchool. Athens is not alone; all of the schools in North Carolina had to start using PowerSchool. North Carolina wanted all of the public schools to be in the same system. Parrish said that this new system would make it easier to schedule new students that were coming in from other in-state schools.

There were several classes that were hard to fit into schedules with PowerSchool. Honors Algebra II was one of the classes that the administration had problems with. There were several students that wanted Honors Algebra II first semester, but some of the students did not get in because of the lack of classroom space. Parrish had to look at many students individually to see if they absolutely needed the class or if they could be moved to second semester.

The administration did get the chance to fix up some of the schedules starting July 12, but that only gave them about three weeks to work on the schedules. This is why the schedules were mailed out only a week before school started.

“It was frustrating this year, but it will be better next year,” Parrish said.The master schedules will not be due on May 1 next year, which gives the administration more time to create them. More time to create the schedules will make classrooms less crowded than they are this year.

Parrish’s goal for next year is to get all of the schedules out by August 1 so students have time to look at them and request for changes if needed. Students now have access to their PowerSchool accounts where they will be able to check next summer when the schedules are posted.