The Kirkwood Call

Schedule changes in the works

TKC staff

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Taking into consideration feedback from students, parents and teachers, the KHS administration is developing a new schedule to be implemented in the 2015-2016 school year. However, The Kirkwood Call voted 50:4 against some of the proposed alterations.

From the moment school begins at 7:50 a.m., the day is a blur of six classes, rushed passing periods and a lunch just long enough to scarf down a sandwich before getting back to the grind. This hectic atmosphere of recent years is one reason KHS administrators have cited for tweaking the schedule beginning in 2015.

In simplified terms, the new schedule would be a modified version of the current one, the key difference being a no-drop schedule. The day would be made up of eight periods , each an equal length to be determined, somewhere between 47-51 minutes. Students would meet for every class every day, and lunch would be a period the same length as each class.

To accommodate the additional period, the school day would most likely have to be slightly extended with no more than 10 minutes added to each end of the day, according to administrators. Any changes would have to be marginal enough that they would not affect the busing schedules of the other schools in the district, as the new schedule would only be implemented at KHS.

According to administrators, a major benefit of meeting with all seven classes each day would be the 25-27 additional periods per year. This would allow teachers to more thoroughly cover all the material necessary for their students to learn. The extra classes would be particularly helpful in AP classes where teachers must make sure KHS students get through the same material as students from schools around the country without drop schedules.

Even with the schedule as it is, however, students often grumble about overlapping due dates resulting from lack of collaboration among teachers and departments. While dropping one class a day may not seem insignificant, any little bit helps when you’re up to your neck. Being able to replace an hour of AP physics homework with an hour of shut-eye can be a godsend for students at their breaking point

Another suggested change is the creation of an academic resource called the Pride Center. The center would be open before and after school, as well as throughout the day, and it would offer tutoring and opportunities for makeup tests or retakes. Academic assistance for every subject would be available in one place as opposed to students roaming the halls during their free period hunting for a teacher to help with their math homework.

Students may be able to make use of the Pride Center during the longer lunch period, but many have extracurricular activities immediately after school, and research has already suggested that an early start to the school day is less-than-ideal for our teenage brains, so trying to fire up your wits even earlier than normal to tackle a test before the start of the school day isn’t the best strategy to get that A. Also, the Pride Center would either require drastic reconfigurations of our current building setup or the addition of new space. The idea is solid, but what about the costs?

Another noticeable change would be the elimination of homeroom due to its being described by students and teachers as a misused time. However, why would an extended lunch period be used any more wisely? If students lack the discipline to work during an hour-long period set aside for that purpose, they won’t be motivated to get anything done during their lunch hour.

If the new schedule seeks to slow down the pace for students, extending the day and adding periods does not seem like a helpful plan of action. The eight-period day will add another six minutes of stampeding through the halls, and the no-drop schedule will take away the slight semblance of a weekly break students get from each class. And speaking of stampedes, several students have voiced their opinion on what would relieve some stress from their day: longer passing periods.

Although a new schedule has not been officially established yet, administrators are fairly certain that changes similar to those one described will replace our current schedule beginning the 2015-2016 school year. They plan to give additional surveys and get more feedback from students, parents and teachers and use that input to continue refining the changes. Their final decision will be made during the first semester of the 2014-2015 school year before being implemented the following year.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Schedule changes in the works”

  1. Grace on March 12th, 2014 12:40 pm

    I went to KHS as a freshman but moved away at the end of the year. We have a schedule that matches the proposed changes at my new school. I definitely prefer drop scheduling because it makes each day unique and cuts out some of the day-to-day monotony. In addition, it works a little like college because you don’t have all your classes every day.

    I miss having a reliable homeroom as well. Homeroom made making up tests or scheduling time to meet with teachers easy. Due to the schedule here, many students and teachers are unable to meet during lunch. In addition, between after school meetings, jobs, and extracurriculars it can be very hard to schedule a time with teachers to complete make up work.

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Schedule changes in the works