By Alexa Bleth
Many students and teachers have been outraged at the disruptive lawn mowing noise during school hours near the social studies classrooms. Teachers have been unable to teach, and many students unable to learn because of this distracting and deafening noise that goes on every Wednesday outside the 2100 wing.
The noise from the NUSD groundskeepers and maintenance workers goes on during 2nd, 4th, and 6th periods. It consistently stops teachers when they are lecturing and makes it harder for students to focus.
Gabriel Garcia is a junior at Novato High and has all three of his class periods in the 2100 wing on Wednesdays. All three of them are AP classes which are the most crucial in his schedule, so this time is precious to him.
When asked about the noise, Garcia said he was disturbed “to a certain extent, but other days I don't mind it. It is mostly disruptive because teachers are getting distracted by the noise.”
More often than not it's the teachers that are becoming distraught by the noise during their lecturing time with their students.
AP U.S. History teacher Tim Mahoney has been a teacher at Novato High for two years and his classroom is located on the corner of the 2100 wing, where the noise persists during the day. He has frequently been annoyed by this noise in almost every class he teaches.
Mahoney has written many letters to the school board, frustrated that he cannot teach during the disturbance.
“The noise makes it so that verbally I have to yell across it,” said Mahoney. “It's like stereo music. I got lawn mowers or weed whackers on either side and I physically have to raise my voice so students have to hear me.”
Along with Mahoney’s first point about the noise, he also agrees that it takes away the students ability to focus.
“Asking for students to read or concentrate on something very academic with a very distracting noise in the background makes it hard for them to focus,” Mahoney explained.
The NUSD Groundskeepers have a designated schedule for all schools in the district, but for NHS it’s every Wednesday during the school day. This serves as a constant interruption during class periods on the block day.
Mark Silva, the NUSD Director of Maintenance states that, “it may cause a temporary disruption, but if the teacher allows for it in their lesson plan, the disturbance may be minimal.”
Having teachers with a temper or an angry mindset can offset the tone for the entire class time. Mahoney has even confronted the maintenance workers about the noise.
All faculty members understand that the mowing has to be done in order for the school to look maintained. However, it would clearly be beneficial for the learning process if the lawn mowing, leaf blowing, and weed whacking started after school or before school, instead of within the 7AM-3:30PM Monday through Friday schedule.
With the possibility of a new schedule coming soon, teachers and students could request a different groundskeeping schedule as well. Allowing for the complete focus of all students should be the number one priority for the district.