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Math classes regroup after turmoil

by Tessa Tappe, staff writer

Due to the sudden resignation of Maria Carrillo High School math teacher Thao Wakefield, substitute teachers were required to fill in from September to November this year, switching either every week or every day. This led students to struggle to learn new material, resulting in some failing grades. However, due to the changing of schedules of both students and teachers and the hiring of a new math teacher, the situation has been largely resolved.

Wakefield resigned just two weeks into the school year. According to the email from Vice Principal Amy Wiese email sent Sept. 8, Wakefield left due to personal reasons. The specific reason for her resignation has not been disclosed, and she could not be reached for comment.

 Instead of a grade on Aeries, on Oct. 13 students were given a single piece of paper by Wiese with their grade on it. This was the only grade update students had received as of that date and consisted of how well they were doing on tests and assignments. Sophomore Jack Ginn was not pleased with what he received. “It was not a good reflection of my knowledge,” he said. Ginn added, “We didn’t learn anything, and we were given time-consuming work. We didn’t know how to do it, so we just turned in work that we didn’t understand how to do, so obviously, we got low grades.” 

On Oct. 7, Wiese sent out an email stating that students’ current grades were going to be reset, saying,“[students] will not be held accountable to any non-proficient grades.” According to Wiese’s email, any student that received a non-passing grade would have a fresh start as soon as a new teacher stepped in. 

After the grade printout, students could partly resolve their grades by completing missing assignments. Some went from low grades such as Ds and Fs to higher grades by turning in missing work. “When I first got my grade, it wasn’t what I expected, but when I turned in my missing packet, it eventually raised my grade,” said MCHS sophomore Sofia Yocum. 

Before her resignation, Wakefield, a Math 2 and Math 3 teacher, taught third, fourth, fifth and sixth periods. Math teachers Holly Hunter and Carol Abramson have switched their schedules around in order to teach some of these classes. However, this meant some entire math classes have had to switch classrooms. For example, period four Math 2, which was originally in F-2, has been relocated to E-2. There, they are being taught by Abramson. Sophomore Andrea Manzaranes, who is now in Abramson’s class, was “just tired of all of it in general” when she first found out about switching classrooms but said it worked out fine. “At first I wasn’t sure if switching classrooms was worth it. Now I’m glad we did because Mrs. Abramson has been really helpful, being understanding and patient with us,” added Manzaranes.

Additionally, a new member of the MCHS staff, Chris Langland, has taken over teaching Math 1. However, Langland is only available on certain days. “We had to rearrange our schedule so that he could work 1, 3, 5,” said Wiese. For this reason, he is only teaching Math 1 in F-2, Wakefield’s old classroom.

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