Packet Schools - My One Hour a Week Classroom

Packet Schools - My One Hour a Week Classroom

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Ed Note: Seventh grade student Semaj Hawthorne recently got transferred to a new school for the rest of the school year. He didn't expect that "school" would mean going just once a week, picking up a packet and returning the following week.

I used to wake up for school at six in the morning and get back home at 3:20pm. Now, I wake up around nine, and go to school one hour a week. I'm in seventh grade but due to a mistake I made at my old regular school, I got transferred to this alternative school. I’m supposed to go back to regular school next semester.

The independent school I go to now is the kind where you go once a week, you get a packet that is a weeks worth of homework for each subject. The teachers there don't really teach you anything, all they do is give you and get back your packets. The most feedback I get if I didn’t grade high on my homework is the teacher says, “Spend more time on it.”

In the five months that I've been at this new school, I've seen the differences between this independent school and my old regular school. In regular school you have teachers that actually care about you, I feel that my teacher at this school doesn't really care about me.

When I walk into class I either finish up the little work that I didn't already finish or I hand in a packet to my teacher, then he gives me a science and social science books to correct those two subjects, he corrects my Math and English homework. After I'm done correcting my papers, I give them to my teacher, then he sends me to the computer to see what I'm dealing with that week in math. I don't really ask questions because I know most of the subjects I have, but when I do, my teacher gives me an answer. If I don't know something I usually try and solve it, if I can't solve it I leave it blank.

I have four subjects. I do one subject a day, it takes about an hour to do each subject. My four subjects are English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. English and Social Studies take the longest so I usually do them at the end. I usually do my work in the mornings and get finished at 10:00am. Most of the stuff are things I’ve already learned.

I feel kind of weird when I'm in the classroom because there are a bunch of high schoolers and I'm the only 7th grader.

In regular school you have lunch, electives, and after school activities. This school doesn't have any of those choices. I don't get bored, but I think regular school is better and more fun. I like to go play basketball with my friends when they get out of school. My dream is to play high school basketball and get a scholarship to either Ohio State, Oregon State, or USC.

I think going to independent packet schools effects students negatively because the teachers don't really help out a lot, which effects the students grades. I feel like the students that go to this independent school have to teach themselves for the most part. Packets make it harder for the students because if they have they have questions they can't ask until they go back to school, which is usually weekly. There are students there that look like athletes, but since there are no sports, they won’t be able to get scholarships.

I miss the lunch breaks from regular school, I miss them because they not only allowed you to chill and hang out with your friends, but it gives you a chance to give your mind a break from thinking so hard. I also miss all the after school activities that regular school such as dances, sports, hanging out, and school jog-a-thons.

I think these type of schools work for some people, but I still think they should be eliminated because they are a problem for a lot of other people also.