Introduction to Analysis & Calculus teachers announced the administrative decision to collapse a fourth period IAC class and replace it with a precalculus class to make more room for existing precalculus students on Oct. 17. After the teachers announced the decision, 16 students in the fourth period IAC class were transferred into different IAC periods.
IAC teacher Zachary Barnes said the precalculus classes became too large and students couldn’t receive proper attention as a result. “In order to be successful, the student to teacher ratio is vital,” Barnes said. “For the precalc classes in particular, it had gotten to a point where the teachers could not be effective with all the students.” Administrators declined to comment. Barnes also said administrators discussed concerns about precalculus class sizes in the weeks leading up to the decision. “Any change in classes is disruptive,” Barnes said. “This is telling 16 people that their schedules are going to be changed.” Barnes said some students were understandably upset over the sudden change, especially since it took place well into the school year. “(The day after the announcement), I saw more emotions about it,” Barnes said. “You get into a routine, and it feels safe, and you feel successful with it, and then you get to this unknown place where things get changed. And it doesn’t feel safe anymore.” Junior Felicia Bulchhoz said the unexpected schedule change prevented her from downlaning in the IAC class she was struggling in. “The only period I could drop into would be into a class which I cannot switch,” Bulchhoz said. “So I am stuck in the lane I am currently in, and they’re forcing me to not drop.”
Guidance counselors declined to comment. Junior Kaitlyn Abassi said she felt the relationships she built with her teachers became cut short, even though her schedule did not significantly change. “For one of my classes that got changed, I was hoping to get a letter of recommendation from the teacher,” Abassi said. “But then the teacher changed, so I couldn’t do that anymore.” Abassi also said the reactions from students in her class varied depending on the severity of their class change. “I think it’s different for every person because it was random what classes they got changed into,” Abassi said. “If they had a teacher they really liked, or they got moved into a class they didn’t want to be in, that could be annoying for them.” IAC teacher Misha Stempel said because the curriculum and lesson schedule across the different IAC classes were aligned, students should have an easier time transitioning to their new math class.
However, Stempel said she could not say the same for the rest of the students’ schedules. Barnes said he trusts that the kids in his class will succeed despite the disruptions in their schedules.
“That fourth period class is an amazing group of kids,” Barnes said. “We all want to do what’s best for them and to make that a continuous path of success, and I think we will. I really do.”