New Schedule Synopsis: Pleasant But Not Perfect
After trials of block scheduling last year at HHS, the administration had adapted it to become a lasting system. In addition to new block periods, which meet for an hour and a half every other day, and skinny periods meeting every day of the week, there is also a standing lunch period, a period not included in past schedules. The scheduling committee has also opted to include a weekly advisory lunch, similar to common ground in previous years, and periods dedicated to Circle and study. With so many changes to the schedule there are bound to be some complaints from the student body, but overall I think the change has been a positive one.
One of the biggest issues of the new schedule was incorporating the block and skinny classes together. Language classes, which are mostly skinny periods to allow for more consistent practice, often made scheduling difficult. Band director Mr. Gollub describes how many band students were forced to make choices between continuing to play an instrument or sticking with a language. This was the biggest issue in altering our previous schedule, the only other minor problem was fitting in a period for Circle.
When Circle was introduced last year it was met with a wide variety of reactions from students. With advisories only meeting once a week, there was confusion about whether or not Circle would continue this year. Now, every week on Fridays there is a 35-minute period committed to talking about problems, whether personal or school related, with your advisory. This period does cause a halt in the normal flow of the school day and prevents students from using this extra time to work on other assignments for classes. However, this “lost time” is made up for by the new study-flex period dedicated to silent work time once a week. This period was also met with some hesitation from students, but has received a warmer welcome than expected, providing some extra time during the day to block out extra stress.
One of the best new changes in the schedule was unexpected. The passing periods between block classes was extended from five minutes to ten. While this may not seem like a lot of extra time, it allows students to have more options between classes. Students are now able to have short meetings with teachers after a class, have the time to get a book from their locker, or use the bathroom, all without having to worry about being late to their next class. The teachers also appreciate this time to take a quick breather and prepare for the next period’s class.
Overall, a block schedule in general helps to relieve the stress of HHS. Instead of having 6-7 classes worth of homework each night, assignments are more spread out throughout the week, allowing more time to focus on certain projects. While there is less time to meet with teachers about projects or questions about class, the general pacing of after-school work is much more manageable than before.
With all the changes to our schedule this year it is good to see the overall positive reception from the student body. While there are some negative feelings toward some of the new additions, it is important to remember that it is still a work in progress and there is still much change that can be made.