New Schedule Produces Mixed Reactions

Attiana Collins, Editor-In-Chief

At the sound of the bell, she grabbed her backpack and nearly flew out of the classroom door. This new schedule is proving too much for junior Francis Penn to handle.
“By the end of the day last year, I was exhausted and ready to go home,” Penn said. “Now that we have another class not only do I have to be in school longer, but I have homework for an extra class. The only positive thing that came out of the new schedule was the fact that I can earn more credits.”
This new schedule, going from six classes to seven, was the result of “months, if not years” of discussion, according to Dr. Elias Ali, principal.
While the requirements to graduate rise, the number of class periods remained at six. Adding an extra period allowed more room for students to complete all the credits necessary to graduate.
“The discussion as to whether we should change our schedule was in effect before I became principal,”  Dr. Ali said. “A majority of teachers needed to vote in order for the seventh period schedule to be implemented. Also, the school community council needed to be in favor of it [new schedule]. The old six period schedule didn’t allow for much room within the four years for students to make up classes needed for graduation.”
According to Dr. Ali, administration is hoping that the schedule will give students more opportunities to make up any credits needed to graduate and that students who want to accelerate and start college early have the chance to do so.
English teacher Mr. Andrew Jones said he’s “finding it a big challenge” to get used to the new schedule and that classes are meeting three times a week, compared to last year’s four.
“I’m viewing it positively,” Mr. Jones said. “The fact that we have less time together is encouraging all of us, teachers and students, to be more focused because we know we have a job to do and a limited time frame to do it.  It’s a lot to get used to, but it’s a good direction for the school to take.”
While the number of minutes of class time decreased this year, teachers’ expectations and homework loads did not. Junior Cierra Hollington feels “overwhelmed and stressed out” due to the feeling that there’s more work to be done and not enough time to do it.
“There are so many classes and the work demand is becoming very heavy and tiresome,” Hollington said. “I feel as if I don’t have enough time between classes and homework, to get more involved in my school. We’re losing class time and it seems like there’s not enough time to teach the material.”
Homework isn’t a problem for sophomore Sarah Burch, who said, this year “feels the same as last year.”
“This new schedule hasn’t really affected my day at all,” Burch said. “With the two days we get out at 1:30 p.m., I have enough time to do my homework. I really like the fact that we have classes only three times a week, but I could do without the 75 minute periods on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.”
It remains unknown as to how this new schedule affects the students, school and the district.
“I believe that this schedule will not affect the students when it comes to test scores,” Dr. Ali said. “Or have any other negative effect on student achievement. But like anything new at the end of the year, we will the evaluate the effect of this schedule on students, teachers, budget and other areas.”