Close QRT: Quelling Resource Time?

Maya Lapp, Obama Eagle Staff Senior Writer

This semester a new policy has been inducted into students’ schedules- a highly unpopular change by student standards, although much more understood by the Obama staff. Due to clusters of students parading the halls during QRT, the high school teachers gathered and jointly decided to “close” this final period of the day.  This means that no student is allowed from the classroom of their assigned teacher for any reason without express permission from the principal or dean. This has caused a great deal of controversy among the students of the school. When asked for their opinions on the matter, many begin to spout unprintable material.

One of the main nuisances that is often mentioned while discussing closed QRTs is the makeup work that often must now be completed after school. When a student misses a test for a certain class most teachers refuse to let them take the test during their class period and instead ask them to complete it on their own time. This was fine for most students before this lockdown, because they could complete the test during a QRT period when their assigned teacher had finished a lesson or was working with students individually. Now that students are no longer permitted out of their classes during this time they are required to stay after school to finish a test. This is difficult for students who join extracurricular activities such as sports.

It also can create complications regarding transportation, although, according to mathematics teacher Mr. Dean, “Students can get a bus pass from the vice principal if they have a note from their teacher that says they must stay after school in order to complete and assignment.”  He admits that it is harder for students to make up tests and stops him from helping struggling students. “On the reverse side, I like knowing that I can always count on my students to be in QRT as full class. It allows me to extend my lesson deeper, or help with difficult problems or concepts that students are struggling with; things that it would be difficult to do if a third or more of your class is gone.”

Many of the students understand where the teachers are coming from, but feel that banning students from visiting other classes defeats the purpose of “Quality Resource Time”. One of the most valuable aspects was for students who have missed a class visit their teachers to retrieve missing work and for students who are having trouble with a topic visit their teachers for aid. “It would be easier if they just had a sever punishment for being in the halls without permission rather than close it for everyone,” Ben Foster, a tenth grade student, puts in. “It’s most frustrating when we have work to make up and we are being held in a non-class QRT, such as Steel Band, when we are not even with our own teacher for that time.” A classmate, Damon Singleton, agrees. “They are punishing everyone for what only the minority of students are doing.”

Some students also criticize the work that they are given during QRT. Now that each teacher is required to have their entire class during that time they often assign meaningless work with little or no importance to the class because they feel obliged to keep the class busy. Some teachers really do have work or information that they go over during QRT that is essential for the class, but more often than not it would be more productive for students to get help in areas that they need assistance with. This would not undermine a teacher’s authority during QRT, since they would have to give permission for a student to leave their class, but would allow students to use the time as the resource it was meant to be.

One of the main things most students do not know is that it was the teachers that requested a closed QRT, and the halls definitely seem to be more clear since this polity has been adapted. Many teachers regret the necessity of the closed QRT, but most understand and support the school policy. Perhaps if students begin to leave the halls during this time QRT can return to its previous and more constructive state, but at this point the productivity of this period has been greatly diminished.