At Charter Oak High School, students are given the option of taking a zero period, which allows students to take more classes and get out of school earlier. The benefits and reasons to take a zero period certainly outweigh the negatives.
Zero period begins at 7:00 am and ends at 7:55 am. Many students have to arrive before to get to school before the first bell rings at 6:55 am. Zero period is very similar to first period; there is only an hour difference. Students have a choice to get out after fifth period if they are freshmen or sophomores, and fourth period if they are juniors or seniors.
Students, who choose the path of honors and IB, have to take a zero period to fit in all the classes they want. Sabrina Rodriguez, freshman, said, “I selected a lot of classes, and [chose] to take three electives as well as honors.” She is taking Spanish, ASB and Honors World History this year for her electives.
While many might choose to skip breakfast or choose something fast to eat rather than get up earlier to eat. There is also the option to stop before class to the outside cafeteria line to get your free breakfast. Even though it is early, breakfast is still served fifteen minutes before zero period begins.
Other students choose zero period because they are taking a sport and have to have it sixth period. All sports are in sixth period because that is when practices and games are held.
Michael Wiard, sophomore, said, “I chose to take a zero period because I needed to free up my sixth to play baseball. I did not want to drop my elective.” A zero period allowed him to keep the classes he is currently taking. He manages his time so he can still be well rested.
While many reasons deal with academics, some students have to take zero period so that they can pick up their siblings after school, or go to work. There are quite a few seniors who have to help with their siblings so a zero period allows them to.
Other students just like the option of having free time after school. Nardin Henen, senior, said, “I take zero period so I have the rest of my day after school to do whatever I want, and the school should still keep it.” An hour or two can make the difference when an individual has errands to run or wants to finish homework.
Many students choose specific classes to take when registering at the end of the year, but they never know what period that class is till the day they get their schedule. For juniors and seniors, AP Statistics and ROP Intro to Emergency Medical Service has only one class period, which is zero.
Whether students like it or not, they have to take zero period if they are committed to that class. So, students choose a zero period so that their schedule will not have any mistakes on the first day of school.
Zero period should ultimately be kept part of the master schedule because it allows students to be able to do more and is overall helpful to them. Mrs. Susan Traudt said, “Students in my zero period class tend to be one of my more engaging classes.” According to Mrs. Traudt, students in her Biology class seem to be doing very well even early in the morning.