Winter break is over and school is back in full swing with finals, but so is traffic in the parking lots of Thousand Oaks High School.
The week after winter break is traditionally the week of finals for all freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors at TOHS. Where normally it is standard to wait around four or five minutes to follow the line of cars into the school parking lot, the week-long finals schedule has caused wait times to increase exponentially. With an influx of congestion between parents and students all trying to get to school at the same time, many students believe there is a better solution to this phenomenon.
“Parallel parking is so hard,” senior Dylan Yoon explains. “I just think that parents shouldn’t pull in and wait for their kids because their cars are the ones preventing us from pulling out of the parking lot and leaving.” This issue not only affects those trying to make it on time to school but also for those who are leaving.
The problem originates from the finals schedule itself which by design floods the school with students on Wednesday and Thursday, where all four periods within those days are mandatory periods for all students. On Wednesday, periods three and four are in session, and on Thursday periods five and six are in session, leaving Tuesday with periods one, two, and seven.
Because periods one and seven are not absolutely mandatory for many students, these two periods, in theory, should be spread between two days to minimize and balance the number of students going to school throughout the week.
Even for those without first periods, the difficulty is evident. “I don’t have a first period, but I’ve definitely heard about the parking lot issues. I’ve heard its crazy,” says senior Zohair Ali.
With the majority of the TOHS population proactive enough to anticipate the parking lot holdup, it is no doubt that most students are still making it to their classes and avoiding those tardies.
“Take the stress of finals and add a billion and that’s how the parking lot is. Just a bunch of kids manically scurring into school to try and take finals,” says senior Aden Goldberg. “Not to mention that period one and seven are on the same day, but they stack five and six next to each other and don’t even let us seniors sleep in.”