Representatives Mull Over Revamping Schedule- Council Update (04/25/2018)

This past week’s Council meeting began with an update from Moderator Aisling Kelly. Moderator Kelly, in a nod to past experiences, said that committee chairs should show up and be on time to executive meetings and should share committee info there. Mod. Kelly also said that most of what committees are doing should come back to Council at some point. Lastly, she reminded Council that Council elections are on Tuesday, May 8th, in atrium and that the long Council meeting for voting on leadership is May 16th. Co-Treasurers Colm Seigne and Max Taxman then said that they are working on a presentation to present to people about the co-curricular and Council fund, adding that they are trying to be more transparent about the complex system of Council finances. After these brief updates Council moved onto Notes and New Business, a type of open discussion that has been rare this year in Council.

Freshman Representative Tom Lyons began the conversation by saying that he got annoyed at the end of the Vision of a Graduate discussion because everyone talked about the schedule during Vision of a Graduate Discussion rather than the actual Vision of a Graduate, and then added that he wished in the future such tangents don’t happen. Junior Representative Elizabeth Napier echoed this sentiment by saying that Council should work on staying on topic and that Council members need to make sure they’re focusing on one thing at a time and not being repetitive. Despite these sentiments, the discussion then shifted to the possibility of a new schedule.

Senior Representative Marion Umpleby discussed how Student Life Committee has been talking about a possible schedule change, saying that the committee had been looking at possibly having just 4 much longer class periods a day so as to slow down the pace of the day. The question then arose of how (and by who) the new schedule would be determined, at which point Mod. Kelly clarified that there would be a schedule committee with a student representative on it along with staff, administration, and school board members. Mod. Kelly also added that the student would come from the current underclassmen because the process could take around two years. Assistant Moderator Jasper Meyer then added that freshman and sophomores should bring their own experiences to this long-term discussion as they are the ones living according to the school schedule every day. AMOD Meyer also added that the underclassmen who will have the majority of the say on this issue should reach out to the student body and make it a full student body discussion as this is an issue that will affect mental health of the student body.

Other Council Members then advised points that were similar to AMOD Meyer’s when it came to expanding the discussion to the rest of the student body. Co-Treasurer Colm Seigne said that often people who talk about schedule change are people who like to pack their schedules with hard classes and lots of extracurricular activities, but that Council needs the opinion of people who don’t take every class they can. Freshman Representative Julia Cook (a member of the Broadside staff) followed this up by saying that she encourages teachers to speak to the schedule change as well as it would completely change the way teachers teach and the curriculum being taught.

In a somewhat off-topic note, Junior Representative Romaney Granizo-MacKenzie then suggested that the High School should have a playground to help make the school a more enjoyable and laid back environment. This lead to a quick point of information that last year money was allocated for a basketball hoop and can be bought at any time by the organizers of the push to get a basketball hoop. After this tangent, the conversation went back to the main topic of the discussion, a schedule change.

Sophomore Representative Clay Kynor added to the discussion that he shadowed for at the high school in Thetford, VT, where students had 30-45 minutes at the beginning of each school day for an all school assembly. This was something Kynor felt gave the school a “good community feel.” However, Rep. Kynor also cautioned that kids at Thetford seemed to start to fall asleep after the first hour of class, a possible problem with a block schedule. Staff representative Mr. Bourne added that there are lots of different types of block schedules, so students should not limit their options by only looking at a few.

Moderator Kelly then said that there needs to be a change of attitude at HHS, saying that the attitude at Hanover for many people is to take all honors classes and to try and be over-achievers. Mod. Kelly said that this was more of an issue at HHS than the schedule and that she hopes kids take more music and art classes. Mod. Kelly also added that she wants more music and art class to be made available and more variety in the schedule, mentioning more cross-curricular classes as an example. Lastly, junior representative Iroha Shirai added her own experience with block schedules to the conversation, saying that when she was at a school with a block schedule, she had a lot more homework there and foreign language classes would not meet everyday. She felt that it was troublesome for effective learning.

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