S.T.A.R.T. Time Thoughts and Opinions Around THS


Isabel Valencia, Writer

The whole point of changing the schedule to incorporate S.T.A.R.T. time is for the success of the students and faculty at Tahoma Senior High School. S.T.A.R.T. time is a block in our Monday schedule that is meant to help students with planning their week out. S.T.A.R.T. stands for: Student-Taking-Academic-Responsibility-Time. 

Having both sides of an argument is an important part when considering both thoughts and opinions about a topic.

A couple of reasons why START time is a good change to THS are as follows. It helps with the graduation rate. Our principal, Mrs. Beliveau exclaimed that, “9th grade students who fail even one class are 30% more likely not to graduate, so we want all students to be clear about their grades and have the time to plan accordingly.”. This is one of the main reasons why S.T.A.R.T. time is present at Tahoma High School. 

Mrs. Beliveau believes that in the second semester of the 2022-23 school year that S.T.A.R.T. time will improve. “Change is hard and it takes time to make small tweaks to new systems to find success.” Beliveau stated.  when i asked her if S.T.A.R.T. time should continue when going into the second semester of this school year. 

This statement hopefully gives the students and staff hope that when the S.T.A.R.T. time continues, we will see progress that we all have been wanting to see.    

When looking at the downfalls and negatives that S.T.A.R.T. time has brought, you will hear a lot about the impact on grades, deadlines and just the overall success of the students at Tahoma. And that is just from the students’ side.

A few students were willing to share their opinions and how they are impacted by the schedule change. 

Ethan Bredow a Sophomore here at Tahoma said that S.T.A.R.T. time was a necessity for being successful at Tahoma he stated, “I do not think that this is necessary to succeed at Tahoma.” He continued to talk about ways that S.T.A.R.T. time was both positive and negative.

“One way that it helps me out with succeeding is that it gives me time to plan out what I need to do for the week and what I need to get done.” Ethan Bredow expressed. However, he mentioned that one issue with S.T.A.R.T is that it takes away from lunch and that limits the time he has to do school related tasks. 

There is always going to be positive and negative feedback for any situation, but understanding the positive and negative feedback from the situation is another thing that needs to be considered. 

Students might feel that this time is used for a 25 minute free period, which isn’t the case, but it is a prime example as to how S.T.A.R.T. time is being improperly used because most people do not take it with the level of seriousness that it is intended for. 

Business Education Teacher, Cristina Azizeh gave a few recommendations on how to possibly use the S.T.A.R.T. time differently and more effectively . “S.T.A.R.T. time lightens the load for students and gives them work time (i.e. Study hall) I’m not even sure that is possible in reality.”. Mrs. Azizeh stated that she was affected by this change.

“It’s just one more time schedule to try to remember. I hate that students hate it and don’t want it.” Azizeh said. 

Some of the teachers at Tahoma, much like Mrs. Azizeh, are feeling that there is not enough time during the S.T.A.R.T. schedule for students to get their work done and do all that they are supposed to do. 

 Math teacher at Tahoma High School, Kate Barry stated how she has been impacted by the change in schedule. “My Power Hour can get very busy… I often wonder if I am helping fewer students or if I am providing fewer minutes of help to the same number of students.” Barry said.  Not having enough time is something that you hear a lot when talking about how START time impacts both students and staff. 

Now, of course there will be some students that are not going to do all that they are supposed to do or set up to do during this time. Whether you use this time wisely or not. Proposing solutions to a problem and concern is great,  but it is vital to hear from both sides when making changes in a schedule. Tahoma serves about 2,700 students, and that makes it nearly impossible to accommodate all of the needs and wants for everyone, but we can try our best to do so.