Schedule format changes after 50 years

After the administration unraveled and introduced Veracross, they have since shifted their attention on the new schedule change

Students+try+to+buy+food+during+the+mod+5+lunch+mod%2C+which+has+over+300+students+scheduled+for+lunch.+The+new+schedule+has+two+lunch+mods+with+approximately+half+the+school+off+per+mod.+
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Schedule format changes after 50 years

Students try to buy food during the mod 5 lunch mod, which has over 300 students scheduled for lunch. The new schedule has two lunch mods with approximately half the school off per mod.

Students try to buy food during the mod 5 lunch mod, which has over 300 students scheduled for lunch. The new schedule has two lunch mods with approximately half the school off per mod.

Azanae Barrow

Students try to buy food during the mod 5 lunch mod, which has over 300 students scheduled for lunch. The new schedule has two lunch mods with approximately half the school off per mod.

Azanae Barrow

Azanae Barrow

Students try to buy food during the mod 5 lunch mod, which has over 300 students scheduled for lunch. The new schedule has two lunch mods with approximately half the school off per mod.

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JC is operating under a new eight-day schedule with multiple new adjustments. After 50 years of a mod schedule, the new format, which is now similar to a block schedule, has presented a change to the community.

“It’s like teaching an old dog new tricks,” Spanish teacher Jane Michael, who has been teaching at JC for 35 years, said.

The schedule change and adjustments comes along with an updated data base system, Veracross, that the school implemented. Both Veracross and the new schedule are part of the improvements the school plans on making throughout the year.

The new schedule has several new features, and both students and teachers have negative and positive reactions to them. The Patriot also wrote a perspectives story on the new schedule and a video including student reactions. 

D day

“30 minute late on D day is blessed,”  junior Jahbril Price-Noel said. One unique feature in the new schedule format is that every D day begins at 8:30 a.m. rather than at 8:00 a.m.

For faculty, this is a positive thing because it is a chance to have informational meetings. “It’s nice because it kind of forces us to have faculty meetings, and that’s a good thing,” Michael said.

Students are by and large in favor of school starting at 8:30 a.m. on D days because, for them, it means an extra thirty minutes to sleep. “More sleep is always good,” freshman Erin Scannell said. Other students utilize this extra time to go out to breakfast, do homework, and attend club meetings.  

Lunch

Another feature in the new schedule system is the designated lunch period for upperclassmen and for underclassmen. Because two entire grades are off for lunch at the same time, students have to seek other places to eat.

“I get food at the checkout, but I have to take it somewhere else because it’s too crowded,” sophomore Evan Tridone said. Some students think the cafeteria is too crowded to even wait in line to buy food. “The lunch room gets packed, so I gotta pack [a lunch],” Price-Noel said.  

In the new schedule system, freshmen and sophomores eat together and juniors and seniors eat together. “I don’t feel it divides the school because the age groups are similar and they are the classes that will be together the longest, so it’s good to have some exclusive time together,”  senior Anna Martin said.

This change has not only affected students and faculty that buy lunch, but also the cafeteria staff. “I feel bad for kids because they have to wait so long. We used to have 150 kids, and now we have around 360 kids to feed within an hour,” cashier Mary Rapp said.  

Eight-day rotation

The new eight-day rotation is another component of the new schedule. “Overall I like it because it does provide variety for all the different days. Personally, I forget what day it is because every Monday is not the same schedule, so I’m retraining my brain,” chemistry teacher Julie Baker said.  

Guidance counselor Carol Heflin, as well as other teachers and students, are willing to go through this big transition in order to solve other problems that the previous schedule created. In previous years, student athletes repeatedly missed the same classes and, consequently, fell behind in those classes. According to Helfin, the main purpose of the eight-day rotation is to prevent student athletes from missing the same classes every week, since most games for each team fall on the same day of the week.

55-minute classes

The new schedule is more uniform than its predecessor. Now, every class is fifty-five minutes long, a feature most teachers appreciate. “Sometimes you had a lot more time with one class than you did with another, and it was hard to keep them together. I think this evens it up very nicely, and it’s more predictable what you’re able to get covered,” Michael said.

“When I shadowed at Mercy the classes were 75 minutes long and it got boring. I think 55 minutes is the perfect amount of time,” Scannell said. With the new schedule, students get equal time in all their classes.

10-minute break

With the new schedule, the school day ends at 2:50 rather than 2:40 like last year. This extra 10 minutes is a result of a 10-minute break between the last and second to last classes. “The break is a waste of time, you only need five minutes to get to class, you don’t need 10,” art teacher Bruno Baran said.

According to Heflin, the 10-minute break still does not help decrease the disturbances from athletes packing up and leaving class early. “At first, I thought that the 10-minute break before last class was good for athletes so that they have time without missing class to pack up. What we’ve seen, though, is that students are still going back to class after they pack up which disturbs the rest of the class,” Heflin said.

“I would rather have a five-minute break and get out at 2:45 than have to stay until 2:50,” freshman Holly Dixon said. Students are hoping that a change will be made to accommodate their concerns about this topic.

Katie Sullivan and Lilly Stannard are In-Focus Editors for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

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