Starting a new school year can be stressful for everyone. With new classes, teachers, and peers a lot can go awry. Around 1500 students attend Battle each year, inevitably it doesn’t always work out. Career Center students definitely get a heap of trouble with their schedules. Taking a bus creates a lot of accommodation in order to stay in the class students wish to take. This year Baking and Pastry lost 60% of their third block class due to schedule conflicts, leaving only five students.
“I understand the challenges it includes, with lunches and the buses. However, it’s a little frustrating to lose over half of your class,” said Chef Carri Risner, Baking and Pastry teacher at the Columbia Area Career Center.
“Misinformation between buildings is a part of the problem too. I think offering more classes at the individual schools or scheduling around the lunches could be a solution,” Risner stated.
“It’s just difficult when all the schools have different schedules. The Career Center doesn’t only have students from CPS, but surrounding districts as well. So it can become very chaotic,” added Risner.
Most third block career center students have C lunch. Students leave class ten minutes early to go through the line and grab some food before the bus arrives at 12:20pm and leaves at 12:25pm. The students then eat lunch on the bus, or if they drive they eat on the way.
“It’s hard for me to find a time to eat lunch and be ready for my class everyday because of the timing of the bus for the career center,” says Lexus Wall senior at Battle and Baking and Pastry student.
“I am a Teacher’s Assistant during second block. So when the teachers can’t or won’t let me leave earlier to get lunch, it gets frustrating. You know? It’d be much less of a hassle if I could take Baking at Battle, but I know it might not be an easy option,” Wall states.
“We are exploring ways to bring more upper level education to Battle,” says Dr. Brandon Russell, assistant director of CACC. “For example, this year we added Culinary Arts 2, and Certified Welding 2. It’s really one of our goals to bring more classes over,” Russell states.
Travel seems to be the biggest issue. “Spartan Time really helps with second block classes, but there is just not enough time between blocks to transport students,” says Russell. Dropping a class seems to be one solution for these struggles.
“I would suggest for students to really think about their career paths if their classes are conflicting,” mentions Russell, “The jumpstart and dual credit of that CACC class might just outweigh the other class. I would definitely say to try to get both classes in, but really think about which would be more beneficial if that’s not an option,” Russell says.
Overall, fantastic opportunities lie in these inconveniences, CACC classes provide upper level education and major headstarts on the careers of CPS students.