Sandpoint High School administration changes Wednesday access


Joe Parsley

The ACCESS period where students can meet with teachers after fourth period is no longer happening on Wednesdays. The time is now being used for teacher collaboration.

Sandpoint High School administration has decided to remove access on Wednesday’s, effective Wednesday, Sept. 27, to encourage collaboration amongst teachers. Subject teachers rarely have time to communicate with each other about the pace and difficulty level of their courses.

“A lot of teachers have complained that there wasn’t enough time to meet with their department,” math teacher Wendy Auld said.

As a result of their busy schedules, SHS staff had already delegated two Wednesday’s out of every month for staff meetings and PLC (Professional Learning Community) early release, and a third is often utilized for department meetings.

“It’s not so much that they took it away, but what they really did was take away the confusion,” Auld said.

Because there was only one Wednesday out of each month for most teachers to assist students after school, this is more of a clarifying action, rather than a drastic change.

The idea behind such a change is to allow teachers to work together to teach students in a way that truly leads to learning.

Principal Tom Albertson explained that the change attempts to rectify some essential questions.

“This year, we really have four essential questions that we’re trying to answer: What do we want students to learn? How do we know they’ve learned it? What do we do if a student isn’t learning? If a student does get it, are they just sitting there, or do we have an enrichment program?” he said.

All of these questions will hopefully be discussed during the newly allocated staff meeting time now available with the removal of access on Wednesdays.

A concern for some students and parents may be the time taken away from students to work with teachers, however many feel the change won’t affect students greatly.

“Probably less than fifty percent of the time I have students in here on any given day,” teacher Barbara Leedle said.

Maybe this time is being used more efficiently for teachers to collaborate rather than waiting in class for the few students who utilize access.

When asked if they used access, Junior Ephriam Weisz and Sophomore Paige Lanie both replied, “No.”

While some students may find this change to be a bit difficult, Albertson assures us that it was made with the best intentions.

“It’s not about new bells and whistles, it’s about student learning,” he said.