This year, BSM implemented a new schedule with hopes of building a community within homerooms and creating time for miscellaneous duties. The schedule removed the daily fifteen-minute homerooms and turned them into 25-minute homerooms that occur on block days. Despite this schedule’s goals, it failed to take into account the regularity of events, usual tasks performed in homeroom, and the utilization of the time for many clubs. We wrote about our initial concerns with the schedule change in our October staff editorial; now a semester in, we still feel that the lack of daily homeroom needs further attention.
The first problem is the infrequency of homeroom. Due to masses, speakers, and late starts throughout first semester, homeroom has been eliminated during multiple weeks. This makes it very difficult to build a community as students rarely see each other. This means students can often go weeks without spending time together, greatly decreasing their chance to form friendships.
With more time being allotted to homeroom, most believe that it would allow for more productivity during that time. However, one of the crucial features of the old homeroom is that it occurred daily. This block of time allowed students to check the bulletin, listen to announcements and hear important messages from their teachers.
With the new schedule, announcements are read at the end of the first hour. By that point, students have already sat through a forty-minute class and their attention spans are depleted. Announcements then become a five-minute conversation time for students, and many important messages are left unheard. The old homeroom schedule encouraged students to always pay attention because that was one of the points of homeroom.
Similarly, the bulletin often contains information vital to students. With the new schedule, students are encouraged to check the daily bulletin on their own time. Yet, this task rarely happens. Students aren’t motivated to go out of their way to find the bulletin, and the bulletin is sometimes not even posted.
In addition to the daily tasks performed in homeroom, the time was often used as a meeting time for clubs. Many groups such as Knightlife, RKVC and Link Crew would gather monthly during one homeroom period. Yet, by decreasing the frequency of homeroom, groups have limited days to meet. Link Crew uses homeroom as a time to meet with freshmen, but due to the lack of homerooms in the beginning of the year, leaders didn’t see their freshmen until much later. This weakened their chance of building strong relationships, one of the main goals of Link Crew.
With the irregularity of homeroom, clubs are forced to meet on a limited number of days. This means homerooms are rarely ever fully together as students are off attending these meetings. This further depletes the goal of building a community.
Clearly, this schedule does not achieve its intentions. We appreciate the goals that were put forth and the administration’s effort in making real changes to reach them, but, these targets would be better met by simply using our old schedule.