Students must have more power to contribute to district decisions, changes
Berkeley High School is filled with students who are eager to create a better atmosphere. But can they change the community when they don’t have many direct pathways to get their say about major decisions?
BHS has several different leadership programs, but the most influential and largest one is Associated Student Body (ASB) leadership. ASB leadership is composed of students from all small schools and grades, all working together to create a better school for all students. Despite there being around 75 students on ASB leadership, there is only one student who can vote in school board meetings: the Berkeley Unified School Board Representative. The School Board Representative is the only true bridge between BHS students and the school board, meaning that BHS students can only contribute one out of many total votes for any given resolution. BHS students should be able to contribute more towards school board decisions.
In the past few years, the idea of exchanging the current class schedule at BHS for a block schedule has been talked about. There are several types of block schedules, but the most popular types utilize three two hour long periods a day and have schedules swapping either every day or every semester. The block schedule that utilizes different schedules every semester would negatively affect students’ learning. Languages and AP classes would only be taught for half a year, and students taking AP classes would possibly take an AP class in the first semester, which would leave many students extra stressed and underprepared for their exams.
Additionally, sitting in class for two hours can be very hard for many students, especially since they are learning the same topic for two hours straight. Students with ADHD specifically struggle to sit still, and this could lead them to fall behind in their studies. It’s clear that students don’t want a block schedule, as they have already voted against a block schedule multiple times, but the idea continues to be presented to students.
In addition to this, many problems around BHS that have been around for a long time that are very much affecting students haven’t been solved. An example of this is the conditions of the bathrooms on campus. The BHS bathrooms are constantly destroyed and are sometimes left in a completely unusable condition. This has been a problem at Berkeley for several years now, and little to no progress has been undertaken to fix them. This problem affects all BHS students, and if students had more power when it comes to executive decisions, this problem would receive more attention than it currently does, and will possibly even get solved. If students had more power for changes happening in our school, we would vastly improve the quality of our school.