Budget, Editorials

Ashira Morris: Seventh period should not be axed

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Ashira MorrisBudget cuts are looming, and everyone waits with baited breath to hear the final word. Who is going to come out of this financial brawl in one piece?

The honest answer is no one. Academics are a must, obviously, for graduation and basic skills. The arts are an enriching experience for everyone involved, whether it is music, drama or drawing. Sports provide physical activity and camaraderie to active students. Clubs are a service both to the school and the community.

So where does Leon choose to make the dreaded cuts?

Currently, it highly probable that seventh period is the place where the money will fall short.

This year, Leon County decided to only fund 300 minutes of class time for each student enrolled in its schools. If you do the math, that’s only six periods. Two-thirds of Leon’s student body, however, is taking seven classes a day.

Thanks to an accumulation of money obtained from the Advanced Placement classes that Leon students have passed, Leon was able to pay, albeit out of pocket, for the extra period. Since some students opted out, the final number of students enrolled in seven periods is approximately two-thirds of Leon’s student body.

The seventh period has been the extra something special in the school day. Since most students take four or five academic classes, having a total of seven periods leaves room for not only one but two electives.

This is the part of the day when choices can be made not by a guidance counselor or parent or advisor, but by the student; it is their turn to select what intrigues them, not what interests of a college admissions officer.

Eliminating seventh period eliminates the chance for students to explore new subjects. Not to be too trite and cliché, but seventh period truly gives us the opportunity to grow, both mentally and creatively.

Leon offers such a colorful plethora of electives, from construction to comparative government to weightlifting. Even the very newspaper class that I write this column in is at risk of being discontinued.

A selection of sports teams also have the privilege of having a seventh period class. For the varsity lacrosse, tennis, baseball, softball and volleyball teams, this time is vital for conditioning in the off-season and practice during the whirlwind seasons that high school sports are allotted.

The success of Leon athletics often rests in this fifty minute period.

Without a seventh period, Leon students lose the possibility to take that additional class, to learn an extra subject, and to pursue less “traditional classroom” interests.

Yes, I realize that in the grand scheme of school budgets and other financial decisions, cutting seventh period may be the most logical choice.

It is logistically impossible to fund seventh period the same way that we did this year. Where the extra money would come from is a mystery. Currently, there is a lack of funding, not an abundance.

This economic downturn doesn’t just affect the Wall Street investors or business owners. As students, our education is going to be aversely affected.

We are losing the enriching extra classes that make school enjoyable, creative and active. Seventh period is a valuable part of the day. It would be a shame for us to lose it.


  • Andy
    January 27, 2009 at 1:31 PM

    I highly agree. 7th period was going to help me out to advance in courses, but now I’ll have to catch up the hard way.

  • Janie
    January 27, 2009 at 1:36 PM

    I completely agree, 7th period should not be cut. It’ll result in people having to take to many classes online, and not everyone can learn as well that way.

  • Jordan
    January 27, 2009 at 1:38 PM

    7th period shouldn’t be cut because it helps us students get the credits we need.

  • Allison Crolla
    January 27, 2009 at 1:39 PM

    I loved it overall. And i think your completly right on this topic. I wish now the seventh period shouldn’y be elimanted. Because that extra class can help people learn what they want to purse. Taking that away, is like taking away so many oppurnities.

  • amelia keaton
    January 27, 2009 at 1:39 PM

    I agree with needing a 7th period. It really helps to get in those extra electives and now im not sure if i’ll have all the credits I need senior year.

  • Buzz Bryan
    January 27, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    if seventh period is cut I will freak out.

  • peter petrachi
    January 27, 2009 at 1:41 PM

    I agree 100%, I’ve moved from Italy and I need to recover a whole lot of credits and cutting 7th period would make it twice as hard to achieve the necessary credits even with online courses, it might even delay my graduation year by a semester or two.

  • Jamie
    January 27, 2009 at 1:41 PM

    Next year i will not neeed the 7 classes, but some people will and that would suck if they weren’t able to get it.

  • Taylor Seay
    January 27, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    I completely agree. I think that having a 7th period is such a huge asset to a student’s academics. I myself (a sophmore) was planning on taking seven classes for all four highschool years and now that this new info has come about, I’m not entirely sure about what Im going to do. Im pretty positive that others students are in this same situation and I dont think that Leon County fully understands how much 7 period school days are needed. Well said Ashira.

  • Taylor
    January 27, 2009 at 1:43 PM

    Colleges are looking not only at academics, but at the enriching extra-curricular activites that are, in some cases, only made possible by a seventh period.
    This was a very well-written article.

  • Danielle
    January 27, 2009 at 1:45 PM

    I totally agree! Seventh period should not be cut. It gives the students an option to learn more or if they need to pass a class they can take a seventh period. It also gives you a chance to have more time when you’re a senior.

  • brody
    January 27, 2009 at 1:46 PM

    i agree i have a 7th period sport class and its one of the only chances i gey to play during the day,because of homework i cant play at home!!
    if it gets cut i wont be able to play as much as i would like to play

  • shauntaea
    January 27, 2009 at 1:47 PM

    i agree in many ways. seventh period is very helpful for alot of us here at leon, and i dont think that it should be cut.
    that one period may determine if some us are able to graduate on time, and if seventh period is cut alot of students may have to take classes on line or some other way to catch up and get all their credits.

  • Danielle Faulk
    January 27, 2009 at 1:47 PM

    I agree that 7th perios should not be cut. There are many classes a student needs to take in order to graduate and then there are the electives they want to take that relate to their specific interests. It would be unfair if they cant because they dont have enough class periods to fill them in.
    True you could take them online but you wouldnt be getting the same learning background you would if you were in the classroom.

  • Maegan B.
    January 27, 2009 at 1:47 PM

    great story

  • Cecelia
    January 27, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    if i dont get the chance to take a 7th period i will be behind on the classes i should take and will probably take classes online.. but i dont want to. i like having an actual teacher and not staring at a screen.

  • lina
    January 27, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    i agree.!!! 7th period should not be cut off. having 7 periods help me get advanced in my classes, and i got the chance to get some fun electives in there. 7th period should stay. 🙂

  • Shaquan
    January 27, 2009 at 1:52 PM

    I agree because most students want and need all their credits especially me.

  • mary
    January 28, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    Florida has some serious issues regarding the educational system….

  • cece
    January 30, 2009 at 2:12 PM

    i agree.. 7th prd should not be cut…i’ll be a senoir next year…and i have had 7th prd since i have been in high school..i really like the choice…so we shouldn’t cut 7th prd.

  • Alexis Jefferson
    February 4, 2009 at 2:14 PM

    There are many classes that i would like to take at leon and if there is no seventh period there is no way i will be able to take all the different courses that i would like to take before i graduate.

  • Elise
    March 12, 2009 at 12:44 PM

    i think that its good that they are cutting the second period classes, if something has to be cut thats probably the best choice.

  • maegan
    March 12, 2009 at 1:06 PM

    I think its dumb to cut the 7th period. mostly because of credit issues and school is more important than anything else.

  • Amber
    November 14, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    THE 7TH PERIOD CAN NOT BE CUT! I am a freshman at leon and i need that extra period to get my credits!