Administrators mod-ify schedule


Alex Rasmussen

Next year, the schedule will switch from being a five-day cycle to an eight-day cycle, where each class meets six days. These schedule changes are the result of several years of work.

Students will be faced with changes regarding the schedule for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year. It will switch from being a five-day cycle to an eight-day cycle, with each class meeting six out of eight days.

These changes were announced by Vice Principal of Academics Gary Scholl and Vice Principal of Student Affairs and Technology Brian Powell to the National Honor Society and Student Affairs Council on Nov. 17.

All classes will be 55 minutes long, and, as a result, all class periods end on a five or zero to make it easier to remember class dismissal times. This also creates a five-minute mod change, instead of the four-minute one we have now.

Each day will consist of eight blocks, one for the 30-minute lunch time and seven for classes. With the addition of the eighth block, this will get rid of conflicts that involve STEM and band.

Since the current schedule only has seven blocks, it creates a conflict between fitting both STEM and band into the normal school day. The current schedule also causes a conflict in scheduling some AP classes that only have one section. Some students have to go a day without a lunch mod in order to fit all of their desired classes into their schedules.

According to Scholl, the additional class period will ease schedule restrictions. “It enables us to meet your needs better,” he said.

Lunch time in the new schedule will take place during the fourth block and will be longer than the other blocks. Half of the school will be off to eat lunch for the first 30 minutes and then the second half will come into the cafeteria and eat. Whoever isn’t eating will be in class.

“This could cause trouble, but we trust our students to be mature,” Scholl said.

Senior class Vice President Amanda Brannan attended the meeting with the administration. “At first I didn’t like the lunch mod thing. But after they talked about it, I accepted that they know what they’re doing,” Brannan said.

For those who do not participate in STEM or band, the extra eighth block will be a normal free mod that lasts 55 minutes. “You will have a comparable amount of unscheduled time,” Scholl said.

There is also a 10-minute break between the last two periods of the day. This will extend the school day to 2:50 p.m.

According to Powell, this comes from the idea that students should have no more than two classes without a break. The 10-minute break offers students a chance to “recharge,” Powell said.

While junior Nicolette Ficca doesn’t mind the eight-day rotation of classes, she still isn’t sold on the idea of the schedule change.

“I like how the schedule is now, and I don’t want my classes to be longer daily and I don’t like the day going to 2:50,” Ficca said.

Two out of the eight days will be a Professional Development Day and a Community Day. The Professional Development Day allows for a 45-minute class prep time where teachers are given the opportunity to catch up on any backed up work or plan lessons.

On this day, students won’t have to be in class until 8:30 a.m. This provides flexibility to clubs that want to meet in the morning instead of after school, which could cause conflict.

Community Day is designed for assemblies, Mass, and ceremonies. On this day, there is a designated time frame set into the schedule where schoolwide events can occur. Classes will be shorter and will only last for 45 minutes.

After examining the current schedule, Scholl and the rest of the committee decided that they needed to create a schedule that gives the students a time for lunch where they can eat and relax.

A rotating schedule, free mods, and no more than two classes without a 10 minute break are other inclusions that Scholl and the committee felt were necessary.

“No schedule can meet 100 percent of the student needs, but this is much better,” Scholl said.

Before the next school year comes around, a calendar will be published with the designated letter day planned for each school day. This will be set in stone and won’t change whether snow days occur or not.

“Honestly, I don’t really have any feelings one way or the other. If it’s a scenario that clearly benefits the students, then I think the change is needed and warranted,” SAC Moderator Rodney Johnson said.

The Nov. 17 meeting with NHS and SAC was intended to introduce the student body to the changes to be made to the schedule and to  raise any possible concerns the student body would have about it. According to the members that were at the meeting, possible kinks in the plan include the 10-minute break, the lunch periods, and the 10-minute extension of the school day.

According to Scholl, next year could be an experiment year for the schedule. “We may learn something that none of us like. But we’re not going back to the modular schedule,” Scholl said.

“They will have to experiment with it,” Brannan said. “But in the long run, I think it will be better for everyone.”

“There are definitely good aspects to [the new schedule],” junior class President Joe Kyburz said. “It has potential to improve my senior year.”

Caroline Cooney and Hailey Ishak are Reporters for The Patriot and