Missing morning announcements

Alicia Naranjo-Champion, News Editor

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“Good morning Knights! Please stand for the flag salute. Put your right hand over your heart. Ready? Begin…” Knights stand every morning to recite the Pledge of Allegiance but once done, sit down. The sports scores, student recognitions, joke of the day, and other announcements are no longer presented at the beginning of second period.

Dr. Laura Quintana explained that “it was requested by … our teachers that we try to minimize the interruptions … and find a different way to deliver announcements.” At first, administrators decided to just shorten the announcements (they were not read every day anymore) but there were still a few complaints coming in.

“We [the administrators] decided the best way would be to send them out as an email,” Jose Gallegos said. Students and teachers can check for announcements through their school emails. Just like when they were presented during second period, the announcements sent out as emails include sports scores, student and group recognitions, upcoming events, and other general announcements.

The change has received a variety of responses from students, teachers, and administrators.

When asked whether the change was a good idea, Gallegos said “yes and no.” He explained that though it may be helping some teachers with instruction time, he “heard from a lot of students who want the announcements” that one thing they missed in particular were the student recognitions.

During the morning announcements, students were often recognized for their accomplishments in sports or academics.

“I liked it better [when the announcements were read] in the morning,” said Harshita Monga, 10.

Monga explained that when emails were sent to teachers to read the announcements, her second-period teacher wouldn’t read them. Even though only about half of her class would actually listen when the announcements were read over the intercom, Monga explained that she enjoyed hearing them.

Muskaan Sandhu, 10, explained that the morning announcements would make her laugh. Sandhu particularly missed hearing phrases like “Gooood morning sports Knights” and the joke of the day.

Quiche Roura, history teacher said, “I’m kind of on the fence about it. The truth is I know that people don’t always pay attention to it [the morning announcements]  but … when we have something special going on I think it’s nice that everyone at least has the opportunity to hear it.”

Roura used a track athlete as an example to explain his point, “say you would have got first at a track meet or something like that, I think it’s nice to give props to people who did well rather than leave it to a teacher who may or may not read it [the email with the announcements].”

Roura suggests that if students don’t get recognition for their achievements over the intercom, they should be recognized in other ways like “putting [the students’ achievements] up on the kiosk.”

Some teachers pointed out that when the announcements were being read during second period, it took a significant amount of time out of their class time.

Shields Up, a 24 minute period right before lunch is a support class aimed to help students who are struggling in certain classes was put in place at Arroyo at the start of the 2017-2018 school year. Before it started, classes were each a few minutes longer than they are now. Second period used to be longer than every period, allotting an amount of time for the announcements to be read. To create time for Shields Up, time was pulled from each period, including the extra minutes in second period meant for the announcements.

Jennifer Daniels, chemistry teacher, explained that because all periods are now the same length, with no additional time to read announcements in second period, listening to them took away from class time.

“If they do announcements and if they do all of that including the flag salute, it takes five to ten minutes away so we wind up only having 42 minutes instead of 52 minutes and so period two gets shortened instructional time,” said Daniels.

Daniels believes that the change has been effective in making the most out of class. “We do the flag salute and get started immediately,” said Daniels.

Dr. Quintana explained that the goal was to help with instruction time. “The only way we would be able to find out if its working is if we visit the classrooms and see how teachers use instruction,” said Quintana.