Lack of Agendas Has Little Impact on Students

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According to a 2018 survey conducted amongst students during AIM, 37 percent of students do not have a method for tracking their homework and deadlines.

At the beginning of this school year, District 156 stopped providing agendas for their students. When I originally began this story, I thought losing the school-provided agendas would be a horrible thing, but as I researched the process, I began to rethink my stance on this issue.

According to a poll sent out amongst students at West Campus, 59 percent of students liked the agendas, yet, according to the survey, losing them only affected approximately 41 percent of students.

By doing away with the agenda, it has saved the school a lot of money, which West Campus Assistant Principal Greg Eiserman said can benefit students. 

“Without having agendas, the school saved $8,000, which is the equivalent to the student activities fund,” said Eiserman.

Eliminating the agendas nearly doubled the budget for student activities and “allows the money to be used toward what students actually want, not just wasted on agendas students may or may not use,” said Marsha Potthoff, the principal at West Campus.

The student activity fund is what the school uses to order spirit wear, pay for Pride Camp, etc. and administrators said they look forward to putting the additional funds to more effective use.

Another benefit I have observed by this change is that it has reduced the number of people in the hall and allows security to keep better track of students. Although last year, the first year agendas were no longer provided, if a student needed a pass to get somewhere, it became more of an obstacle to obtain it. This may have been part of the reason for the new hall and office passes that were provided at the start of the 2018-19 school year.

When it came to finding an alternative for homework more than half the students had found a new method, such as using their phones, a Google Docs, or even the Schoology calendar. In the survey, they noted that they did not feel their organization had been affected much. I was surprised to find that even seniors who had agendas for the last four years didn’t feel too impacted.

So, maybe not having agendas isn’t such a bad thing, as many students seem to be able to function without them, me being one of them. Though I didn’t think it at first, I now believe losing the agendas is just one step toward improving our school for the better, not the worse.