What really goes down in W4?


Jessica Salisbury and Kavi Shamdin

In 2015, administration decided to start something we all refer to as Pride Time. Pride Time is held on white days after the first 35 minutes of W4, and gives students the opportunity to meet with any teacher they seek help from.

“I think W4 allows me to be more successful in school because it helps me keep up with all of my classes,” freshmen Orlando Torres said.

This class was created with the intent to help students catch up on work they have missed, get help with teachers when they don’t understand the material being taught, or to allow students to get a jump on upcoming assignments. Yet, it is still very common to see students using this time as a free period to do whatever they please, rather than a work period.

With this being said, the big question that comes to mind is, what really goes down in W4?

If students actually use W4 and Pride Time for its intended purpose; to focus on academics, many can find it to be very beneficial. Unfortunately, according to a poll the A-Blast took from a total of 197 students which included 73 freshmen, 56 sophomores, 23 juniors, and 45 seniors, only 13% said that they always use Pride Time to prioritize school.

“In my opinion, I think W4 is a good thing. It gives me the freedom to do what I want, and allows me to take a break and then refocus back into school, which I think helps me do a lot better,” junior Jonathan Ruiz said.

What students end up doing during Pride Time also can depend a lot on whether or not they get requested by a teacher. After the 35 minutes of W4, teachers have the option to request students to come to their classroom to either make up work they missed when they were absent or to better understand the material taught in class.

“I find Pride Time to be helpful when I need time to work with students, especially those who missed class that week,” English teacher Sasha Duran said.

According to the poll results, 38% of the students said that math is the class they get requested for the most, followed by electives and science. Additionally, 35% said that they get requested once a month, 33% said they get requested weekly, and 31% said that they never get requested at all.

Some people aren’t really affected by W4 and figure that they would be fine with or without it.

“For the most part, I build remediation and revision time into my general classes, so I am fine with or without it,” Duran said.

Other individuals, such as student athletes, find W4 and Pride Time to be a very useful and necessary study hall. Students who participate in other extracurriculars after school do not always have time after school to get their work done so W4 can help them with that.

“Practice takes a lot of time after school and after that it is very hard to do homework because I am usually tired. I am very thankful for W4 because it allows me to catch up,” Ruiz said.

As for those who don’t actually focus on academics during W4 or Pride Time, what are they actually doing?

According to the polls, 36% watch tv shows or movies, 20% sleep, 18% use that time to catch up with friends, 13% play video games, and 10% just skip it all together.

“In W4 I usually hang out with friends or watch youtube, there is usually nothing else to do,” junior Philip Barlow said.

W4 can be seen as a “free period” for many, a time where they are able to do whatever they want. This also depends on the students W4 teacher. According to the polls, only 25% of the students said that their W4 teacher requires them to use their block for academic purposes.

“I have a senior W4 and it seems like I have a total 50-50 spilt; some students use it quite effectively, while others don’t, but it also depends on the day,” Duran said. “My seniors seem to enjoy having the block to catch up on work, see teachers, and give their brains a break.”