Future junior Alex "Skippy" Domecic receive a class card from Mr. Tena
Future Junior Alex “Skippy” Domencic receives a class card from Mr. Tena for his upcoming science class.

Welcome to the arena!  Year after year Avonworth’s ninth, tenth and eleventh graders take on the auditorium, or the arena, and select the classes they would like to take in the following school year.  But what is the point of arena scheduling?  It is not just to get out of class for a few minutes, but to be interactive and interpersonal with the scheduling process.

After sitting through an electives assembly, being sent a master schedule and choosing which classes you want and when for the upcoming year, you have to wait your grade’s day for scheduling.  The first day is upcoming Seniors, followed by the current 10th and finishing with the current 9th grade. Within each grade, groups are selected randomly.  A down side is that it is mostly a first come, first serve situation in selecting classes.  Once a class is filled and out of space, it’s full.  Often they are unable to get their choices, but in most cases, they always have the next year to take an elective, for instance.  Although once they chose their classes and give them to the counselors, it is up the the administrators to keep them in those chosen classes.  A lot of times kids will not get the classes they wanted/chose but that is just a struggle with being a student.

Why use this method of scheduling?  It is designed to get kids to exercise their communication skills and apply decision making abilities.  It makes students think about what they like and help them with what they may want to pursue in their post high school lives.  It also gives Mr. Como a reason to yell as loud as he can in the auditorium, “WELCOME TO THE ARENA” and play some of his favorite tunes instead of having a normal work day.  In some ways he makes the actual deciding of classes a lot less boring.  “By having the tables up front there is still an opportunity for conversation with counselors and teachers… It makes it very valuable,” said Principal Dr. Lockette about the arena scheduling format.

Dr. Lockette later added, “Some schools are still trying to figure out their master schedule.”  Doing it this early makes it easy for the school and administrators to create the schedules for the students quickly.  Thus, administration and guidance have more time to adjust any problems that may occur and students know their schedule before they finish the school year.

Administrators from other schools have recently come in and reviewed the process.  Other schools are interested in adopting the same idea for their student’s scheduling.  It may be boring and tedious for students, but it is effective and gets the job done.  And hey, it gets the kids out a class for a little.

Every student has to experience the arena at some point and it is very helpful for getting your schedules for next year.  It helps kids with more than just picking classes and missing class.  You never know, you may find a class that will change your life and become a big part of your future.

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