During the final stretch of first-period class, a common question floats around the room: are you coming back for ASB?
While the new 2022-2023 academic schedule has caused a variety of different reactions amongst the student body, a common complaint from students has been the Academic Support Block, more commonly referred to as “ASB.” After the community block, students are expected to return to their first-period class, to be proctored by that teacher. Still, some students fail to return to that class, causing a divide between the students and faculty.
Some Sixth Form students believe that they should not be obligated to return to the ASB.
“As seniors, I think that we should have the ability to use this free time as an independent study time in which we can go to teachers as we please,” Student Body President Luka Sekulić said.
“We still have seniors not showing up for assemblies, so there’s no incentive for us to relieve you guys from ASB,” Upper School Dean of Students Mr. Luqman Kolade said.
Underclassmen use ASB to get more familiar with the school and catch up on any late work.
“I use ASB to get my work done if I forgot to do homework or something, but if not I just hang out with my friends or go to The Café,” Fourth Former Ian Thomas said.
“I think [ASB’s] definitely been useful for our younger students,” history teacher Dr. Bridget Gurtler said.
Faculty have caught on to the students’ feelings towards ASB. They’ve thought of ways in which Sixth Formers can spend this time diligently.
“I think if the senior is in good academic standing, they should only have to check in,” math teacher Ms. Barbara LaPenta said.
“Perhaps as long as students have been doing well in their classes, we can think about a system that allows them more freedom during their ASB time,” Dr. Gurtler said.
Sixth Former Andrew Kirwan agrees that there should be some sort of leeway for Sixth Formers attending ASB.
“I think it should be a free block so that seniors can get breakfast or just hang out, which many teachers do not allow students to do, even if they have not had breakfast,” Kirwan said.
Some Sixth Formers think that they should have their own space where they can spend this time.
“I think the seniors would require a senior ‘space’ that they could occupy, whether that be the library or the Big Room. I think that the seniors should receive a designated space in the high school where they can relax regardless of ASB or just the school day,” Sekulić said.
For many Sixth Formers, the majority fail to realize the possibility of free time to replace ASB lies in their own hands.
Mr. Kolade said, “I think that when seniors show that they can do all the things that are expected of them, [ASB not being mandatory] is something that we can consider.”