Fremont High gets progress report

Six weeks into the redesigned Fremont High School, the Green & Gold has decided to turn the tables on the adults. Instead of students receiving grades, we are grading them on how the school is doing so far.

Bell Schedule — D
The school faculty last year decided to change the bell schedule as a way to make the students feel the unified school was different, and they also wanted to make a bell schedule that would better serve students.
We think the bell schedule they chose is poor and deserves a D grade.
First, the release time on Wednesdays is set at 2:25 p.m. rather than 1:22 p.m. as it was for many years. The Green & Gold staff finds this change to be unfair. Few other high schools in Oakland have such late releases on their “minimum days.” Why should Fremont students suffer?
It is true that the old Wednesday schedule had students complaining they were hungry and this year they get lunch within the school day. However, the school could have fixed this problem without extending Wednesdays. Why not do what they did with CAHSEE breakfasts — walk around with food to give to hungry students during class?
Further, we get out four days a week at 3:20 p.m. instead of 3:15 p.m. Why? Because the school is supposed to give us a second chance breakfast for students who didn’t eat at home, didn’t eat in the cafeteria or didn’t grab breakfast at the carts. The school is making all of us stay in class five extra minutes for those students, but six weeks into school and not one “second chance breakfast” has been served.
If the school were to give us back our five minutes, we would change the grade on the bell schedule from a D to a B.

Academies — D
In combining three schools and adding a freshmen house, one academy has been virtually demolished. Media Academy is almost dead.
First, the school gave the freshmen now their own hallway — the hallway that was decorated by Media Academy students and filled with Media Academy pride. The school also gave freshmen many of our Media Academy staff — Sonja Totten-Harris, Sunny Chan, Paul Strain, Sarah Mazzotta and Eric DuBois.
These are adults whom students had known for years and with whom they were comfortable. Many of the 15 newly hired teachers are now assigned to Media Academy students. They just don’t understand the way we are, and they probably won’t have time to really get to know the seniors before they graduate.
Media Academy has been affected the most because they had to give up their lockers to the freshmen and now many of them walk around with books in their hands all day long.
Even worse, many students who attended Fremont last year had their things thrown out when the school decided to give the lockers to freshmen, and the school refuses to pay for their losses.

ASAP Center Workers — A
The school opened an ASAP Center. ASAP stands for Academic Excellence, Social Responsibility, Accountability and Proactiveness. The ASAP Center was created to help students who are having trouble with those attributes because of things going on home or in other parts of their lives.
ASAP Center Co-Directors Ashanti Branch and Jo Brownson are hard workers who motivate the students who come to the ASAP Center to go to class and do their best. They are doing a great job and deserve an A.

ASAP Center Abusers — F
There are a lot of students who come to the ASAP Center who are simply trying to get out of class. They write themselves self-referrals for little things like when a teacher tells them to sit in their assigned seat. They then turn the ASAP Center into a party. That’s a “fail.”

‘Bully’ Field Trip — B
The school went to Jack London Square to see “Bully” on Sept. 21. It was a field trip for the entire school and one planned at the last minute.
Considering that the trip was put together so quickly and it was for 700 students, it was a success.
The film itself was heart-touching. Some students from Fremont realized that they themselves could be considered bullies. Others realized that they could do more when they see bullying.
The school should continue with field trips for the whole school rather than just separate academies. It helps us feel like we are united.
The only reason this trip wasn’t an A was because some students were disrespectful. Maybe now that we know how to be upstanders, people will step in next time to change that.
The grade would change from a B to an A. But overall the trip was a success.