Administration breaks down the blocks

TKC Staff

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Everyday before school, the question, “What’s the drop?” echoes through the halls. KHS’s daily schedule is an important part of the school day for students. Recently, the administration and teachers have been discussing changing this constant aspect of students’ lives. In a vote of 33-18, The Kirkwood Call decided the current daily schedule is the most beneficial to KHS students.

Students are accustomed to six, 57-minute classes everyday. Some students have the time when each class ends memorized. While it has its negative aspects, KHS’s schedule fits students needs. There are no major problems to the schedule considering KHS’s high success rate as evidenced by its ranking as the sixth best high school in the state of Missouri, according to US News, so the schedule needs no changing.

Preliminary discussions were held by a committee of two administrators and six teachers about changing the daily drop schedule. Each member of the committee submitted a new schedule to be considered. For example, Michael Havener, principal, submitted a schedule with some drop schedule length classes and some block classes, including weekly time for staff development and shorter, more frequent homerooms.

There are two main points the administration is attempting to address with a new schedule: adding more time for teachers to talk to each other in staff development and evaluating the effectiveness of homeroom.

While teachers do need time to discuss curriculum with their departments, they have development days for this when students have half days. Teachers may believe they would benefit from more discussion time, but 79.7 percent (330/414) of students do not feel that it would be worth changing the entire structure of the school day.

If the schedule were changed, the pattern of daily life would be disrupted, potentially causing confusion. Of course, students would adapt to any new schedule just like they have to the current one. Since the current schedule works, however, the energy spent adapting to a new one would be wasted.

According to Havener, the committee is trying to determine if the way homeroom is structured now is the most effective for students. They are considering more frequent but shorter homerooms. While questioning tradition can prevent policies from becoming outdated, there are other times for students to connect with teachers than homeroom, such as contact before school and scheduling individual times to meet with teachers.

Extending the school day by 10 minutes is being discussed to make up for potential lost time in early dismissals,. In theory, this makes sense, but an extra minute or two in every class will not help further students’ understanding of their work. They will waste them by feverishly packing their bags and waiting impatiently at the door for the bell to ring.

KHS’s current drop schedule has been in place since the early 2000s; the last change made to it was adding homeroom on Wednesdays and dropping two classes on that day. This change has been successful in allowing for students to seek extra help from their teachers.

The administration got the schedule right the last time they changed it, making additional changes unnecessary. If teachers need more time to talk to one another, they can schedule time before or after school, just as students do. KHS’s drop schedule is fairly unique to Kirkwood; most schools in the area have a block, modified block or a straight seven or eight class schedule. KHS’s drop schedule with two drops on Wednesday is a part of a tradition that should not be changed.