Administration Seeks to Break the Trend: Ohlone Policy Changes

Vivian Hoang, Staff writer

This year, Irvington administration has decided to crack down on students taking classes at Ohlone that are already offered at Irvington, denying the required principal signature needed to access said classes. Every year, after administration finalizes the upcoming year’s schedules, students have trouble with setting up their upcoming school year. Problems arise and changes happen that affect many students. Students are often left confused with the ever-changing policies that arise every year.

“Everyone is always confused,” Counselor Bennett said. “Students are always coming in every year asking about new policy changes. This year we [the counselors] have had to tell students that they couldn’t take extra classes at Ohlone. It’s our job to clear up the confusion.”

The constant policy changes are the results of the administration’s responses to trends they notice. Administration used to allow students to take any Ohlone classes, having a “no-holds-barred” policy even allowing students to go over the credit limit. However last year, they noticed a trend of students deciding to take certain classes outside in order to take more AP classes during the school year. They also saw increased stress in students taking extra classes at community colleges and then saw those kids ask to drop classes as a result of the stress.

“If we [the administration] are looking at our mission of reducing stress, we want kids to have a break,” Principal Barrious said. “We want their brains to have a break. We don’t want them to be overloaded in their classes during the school year and go to community colleges at night.”

This policy move also provides security for teacher’s job and course sign ups. The administration is concerned that if the trend continues, too many students will opt out of taking classes offered at Irvington. For example, if too many students decide to take Spanish 3 outside of Irvington, then that will drastically limit the number the Spanish 3 classes offered during the school year and potentially endanger a teacher’s job.

“It’s not like Mr. Ballado can just decide teach math next year,” Barrious said. “He’s a Spanish teacher. If we don’t have enough sections then it starts affecting people’s jobs.”

However, even with the new Ohlone policy, Principal Barrious has considered allowing students to take classes at Ohlone that are outside of the A-G requirements, though a decision has yet to be made. Students are still able to take classes that are not offered at Irvington.

“Kids are smart. They are always trying to get the edge of the advantage in the process to look more competitive versus their peers,” Barrious said. “We are trying to reduce student stress. We want kids to have a break. We know that you guys work really hard during the school year to do well in all your classes, not you pass them. It is all for the health and well-being of students that we make this decision, and we also have the responsibility of looking after the teachers working here.”