Mrs. Circle gives rationale for new OT schedule

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Mrs. Circle gives rationale for new OT schedule

Grace O'Neil, Staff Writer

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Oracle Time, or OT, has changed from previous years. What was once a glorified study hall now has been transformed into a new learning environment. Most of the students here at Delphi High School are curious on why. Why would they change it? What was the purpose? Is it a permanent change? These are all great questions, but none have a simple answer. The central idea behind the switch was to help Delphi students graduate. 

Why the change?

This new OT has been in progress for the past couple years with the idea to help students become resilient. It’s part of the school improvement plan. Attendance is bad, and drop outs are on the rise. In order to accomplish this, each grade has a different type of OT class.

For freshmen their OT is to help them become less anxious among their peers. It’s designed for students from all walks of life to come together and learn together and become more organized. The hope is that by creating a sense of community, it will encourage students to stick with their studies and graduate, rather than dropping out as soon as they turn eighteen. 

Sophomores have a little more of a challenge. Their OT, called Project Success, is centered around the state mandated test. The state mandates that schools must remediate any student who fails the graduation tests. By having Project Success these sophomores are becoming better prepared to pass the test on their first try.

Juniors and seniors OT are designed to help those students find their purpose. In their community service and careers class, teachers and administration hope to expose students to all the possibilities of different careers.  Community service, on the other hand, is a graduation requirement. The idea behind this is to have student driven class time in which the students can become connected with both their peers and their community. This idea of community service was thought of and brought about by the teaching staff which supports the school mission statement: Delphi Community High School strives to equip students with the skills and resources needed to be productive and empathetic members of society.

Will this change be permanent?

“It will evolve,” said Mrs. Circle. “We don’t know what we don’t know.”  Mrs. Circle knows that any time new programs are instituted, problems will arise. It is still a work in progress. However, she feels strongly about stopping the pattern of dropouts. She does not want to continue to lose the freshmen and sophomores who get behind. If this works and students are more efficient in OT classes, the school might allow that OT gets more time out of the school day rather than the short 30 minute time span that is currently in place. This added time could allow clubs to meet more often and other such privileges.

How will this affect the students?

Most students are upset about these changes for a variety of reasons. Some students, especially those who work after school or participate in extracurricular activities, rely on OT time to get homework done. Other students use it to get extra homework help or to make up tests. Clubs also suffer greatly due to the new OT restrictions. When asked about this concern, Mrs Circle responded that often OT time was wasted. It was chaos.The majority of students in OT merely played on their phones or waited for the bell to ring. OT had become merely a time to fill voids in the schedule. Mrs. Circle realized that what students had accomplished during OT could be accomplished during lunch.” 

Change is never easy. The new OT schedule presents a major change in culture, but hopefully in the end it will benefit the students. “We want students to feel important and driven to finish their education. The idea is to increase the number of students graduating. I want everyone to succeed,” Mrs. Circle stated.