Wildcats prepare for Power Hour

Once thought to be dead, “Power Hour” is very much alive and will be a part of next school year’s schedule after district officials change course and granted permission for West Shore to alter its school-day schedule.

At Thursday’s faculty meeting, Principal Rick Fleming announced that Power Hour will be in place for the upcoming school year. Power Hour allows students a 53-minute session that includes lunch and teacher office hours so that students have an opportunity to complete homework and make up tests. It also will restore some of the planning time teachers lost when the district moved from having instructors teach five of seven classes to six of seven classes due to budget cutbacks.

As a result, the school day will begin 15 minutes earlier.

“We had to have permission from the school board before we could allow Power Hour,” said Spanish teacher Luis Martin, who serves on the Power Hour committee. “I know we start at 8:30 a.m., but we still get out at 3:30 p.m. If you’ve ever been sick at West Shore and had to make up work, it takes a really long time and it can be difficult for students to come in early or stay after school. As a teacher I also have multiple meetings in the morning. With Power Hour students can just come in the middle of the day and do the work.”

Some question how all the students will be able to eat lunch without waiting on long lines.

“We can divide the students by grades, like say the middle school students go first then the upperclassmen or vise-versa,” Martin said. “It’s going to be a workable thing.”

Sophomore Déjà Bebord said  Power Hour will give students an opportunity to go to clubs again and give students a break.

“Some students are up until one in the morning trying to finish their homework,” Debord said. “If they have that hour in the middle of the day then they would be able to finish an assignment they weren’t able to do.”

Sophomore Hector Cumba isn’t sure about the earlier start time.

“I’m certainly not looking forward to waking up earlier, but I feel like it will still be beneficial to most students,” he said.

While the exact details of next year’s schedule are still unclear, Power Hour will begin at 12:02 p.m. and end at 12:55 p.m. with a couple of exceptions.  A home room schedule will remain in place every other Monday and district-scheduled short Wednesdays will also require an alternate schedule, but the length of Power Hour will remain unchanged.

“It will be a good opportunity to catch up on homework, hopefully it will clear up some free time at home where I can relax,” freshman Ryan Patel said.


By Aakilah Hernandez and Matthew Jones