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Alternate transportation reroutes students’, teachers’ schedules

Hannah Kloninger-Stever, Staff Reporter

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Even though Sequoia is a public school, many students and teachers commute long distances or take public transportation to school, which can affect their work, sleep and even social life.

One problem for those who have a long commute is attendance—missing a train or bus can be detrimental to getting to school on time.

“You have to be very aware of the train schedule. I have an app that helps a lot,” said senior Julia Nemeroff, who lives in San Francisco. “They recently changed the schedule from [arriving] at 8:17 to 8:23, so now when I take the train, I’m a couple minutes late. It obviously takes a lot longer than just living close to school, but you can get things done a lot faster [working on the train].”

Graphic by Hannah Kloninger-Stever

This is also the reason science teacher Debolina Dutta prefers the train over driving. She lives in San Francisco, and commuting impacts her ability to pick up her kids from school.

“Ironically, the train is more reliable than traffic. It seems like there’s an accident almost every other day, and all of a sudden you’re stuck there,” Dutta said. “Commuting takes almost 2 hours out of my day, but the train gives me back at least 45 minutes each way.”

As well as work time, a long commute can also affect one’s sleep schedule.

“I’m up at 5:30, leaving home at 6:30 and here at 7:00,” said Cameron Dodge, a Computer Science teacher who bikes.

Dodge lives in San Mateo and has a 30-minute ride to get to his zero period.

Early mornings are an issue for students as well as teachers.

According to GOOD Magazine, teens should be getting eight to ten hours of sleep per night, but for some students, this is simply not possible.

Junior Emanuel Kenyon-Ortega resides in the Sequoia district, but mainly stays in San Francisco with his uncle, a teacher at Sequoia.

“I’ll work until ten o’clock, but then I’ll sleep after that, because [if I worked] any later then I would wake up too tired,” Kenyon-Ortega said.

Even social situations are impacted by living further away.

“My mom doesn’t like me hanging out with friends because then it messes up the train schedule and I have to find a new train,” Nemeroff said.
Similarly, teachers who commute may have difficulty finding time to hold office hours or attend conferences and staff meetings.

Dutta holds her office hours at lunchtime because of her commute and schedule.

Despite the limitations, Nemeroff finds that public transportation is helpful to her.

“The train, for me, is a really good tool, and public transportation is too.”

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Alternate transportation reroutes students’, teachers’ schedules