Students in all grades dreaded the thought of a longer day because of the potential schedule change next year, but now it’s official, the administration has decided to postpone the schedule change of going to an eight period day for at least a year. They have decided to wait until all the details, such as how many classes each teacher will be teaching, have been completely worked out.
Although many teachers support having an eight period day, many understand that next year was too soon to put it into action. “There are still too many things to figure out. It will be better if we do it right the first time than if we push it before it is ready and it has major flaws,” said Mr. Dan Bowler, head of the math department.
Because the schedule change is not going to happen next year there will only be minimal changes to religion. “We are not going to five day religion next year, but we are changing the courses that are offered,” said Ms. Becca Walsh, chair of the theology department.
Even though religion classes won’t meet five times a week next year as was previously expected, the school is beginning to make moves toward adjusting the religion curriculum to fit the bishop’s parameters so that they can be followed exactly in future years. “Some of the classes that will not be offered next year are the Spanish-religion class, Death and Dying, and Liturgy Committee,” said Ms. Walsh.
Besides eliminating some classes, juniors and seniors will no longer be in classes together. “The juniors will be able to take Christian Service, Service Leadership or Social Justice Nonviolence, and the seniors will have their classes, Arts in the Church, Christian Prayer, Christian Vocations and World Religions,” said Ms. Walsh.
Although many students were not looking forward to the schedule change, some teachers had a different opinion. This is especially true of religion teachers who don’t have their students for five classes a week. “I am sort of disappointed that the change is not happening next year. I think the value of the class increases when it has a comparable seat time to other classes that a student is taking,” said Ms. Walsh.
According to many teachers, having an eight period day will be beneficial to students in many ways. “Having eight class periods ensures that students will have the ability to take the electives they want to take. But it also means that a student can take a free hour in order to ensure the overall wellness of the students. We want students to have the ability to take the classes they want to take but we don’t want them to be overwhelmed and take too many,” said Mr. Bowler.
Teachers believe that because the new schedule allows more students to take a free hour it will help busy students balance their lives. “Some students want to take as many classes as they can. The empty space will allow time for students to catch up and work on things they couldn’t do the night before. Having that open space is going to be beneficial to hardworking students,” said Ms. Änna Overbo, an English teacher.
The religion classes are not the only classes that will be affected by the schedule change; math teachers are going to have to find new ways to teach their material. “With the new schedule there are plans to have a couple days a week be long periods. No student is going to want to listen to an hour and a half lesson, so teachers are going to have to find a new way to use that time; it could include activities or group work. Teachers will just have to be more creative about using their time,” said Mr. Bowler.