Academy Trips Slow Down Core Classes

Influx of absences can take a toll on academic courses

Evan Myers, Staff Writer

The AP classroom was more than half empty as the substitute sat at the teacher’s desk reading a book while the few students sat and chatted with one another. All the AGS students and their teacher had gone off to Thailand, leaving the class with only seven people.

“It’s not the best situation for our grade because it’s either AGS or comprehensive.” senior David Williams said. “Such a large percentage of people are in AGS, especially in AP classes that it’s not good to have less than half the class in the room and the teachers have to postpone work.”

In another classroom, the teacher continues to teach to the best of their ability to a class of ten, trying to use the time as wisely as they can.

“I did plan for a lot of students to be out so I made sure the lessons are going to be a little slower pace,” frisbee coach and statistics teacher Steven Trenfield said. “I wanted to make it so that students who missed will have an easy time catching up, but we’re not just gonna stop because that’s a waste of class time for the people that are here.”

The students rejoining the classroom from their trips feel the pressure of missing lessons in their classes that went on without them.

“I feel like when I get back, I have to catch up and also deal with the quizzes we’re doing soon,” senior Addeline Sutherland said. “Especially as a senior, I have to deal with college applications at the same time. It’s actually a lot easier than I thought it would be, but the jet lag has made me super tired on top of that.”

Others sympathize with their struggle, using their own experiences of missing large portions of classes for school activities to relate.

“Last year I went to MUNSA for Model UN, and just getting back to school after that was hard because I missed so much work and so many AP classes,” senior Skylar Weum said. “Nothing caters to [those that are] gone. I can’t imagine what it’s like for the Thailand kids to have an entire week of missed work. I was only gone for 3 days, and I was overwhelmed.”

Some, however, feel like the time they spent with smaller classes was beneficial to their workload and helped them get things done.

“I personally don’t really mind it.” senior Ethan Benavides said. “It could be helpful to the people who stayed behind to get the help they need specifically, but unfortunately, those AGS kids won’t get that help.”

Teachers who go on the trips appreciated the help they got from the others who stay home, allowing the students with absent teachers to continue their work.

“Since I had coverage from teachers who teach the same subject as me I think they did pretty ok,” english teacher Renai Jackson said. “Fortunately we have a staff environment where a lot of teachers are willing to pitch in and help out, so there was no great loss.”

Certain AGS students don’t seem too phased by missing class, however. Junior Joseph Hendrix claims he’s able to make up the work he missed relatively quickly.

“The trips interrupt my classes, but it only takes a week to get back on track,” Hendrix said. ”A lot of teachers are kind and understanding about being away for a week so they’re there to help you if you need it.”