A Review of The New Schedule
Lucy Isaacs, ‘21
The new schedule implemented at the beginning of this school year has proven to be quite disappointing. Initially it proposed more free periods, more instructional time per class, and IE periods, which would serve as structured office hours integrated into the school day for 9th and 10th graders. Instead, the schedule has only increased the day by 25 minutes, made it more difficult to receive tutoring, and had little effect on how much we learn in class.
Probably the most frustrating aspect of this new schedule is the “IE” period, which was intended to serve as in class tutoring, making teachers more available for struggling students. Even conceptually, this idea makes very little sense, as a teacher is being tasked with occupying and monitoring a larger class, while helping students one on one, all within our now only 45 minute long periods. Teachers, for the most part, have been using the IE period as an extra class, or a test taking period. Some teachers use the period as a way to complete group work, or simply play videos, which doesn’t really do much for the students. The only thing teachers don’t do is use it for tutoring, which makes one-on-one time with a teacher even more elusive, as their new schedules now cut out any office hours Tuesdays after school, as well as Mondays. Ultimately this IE period is just 45 minutes wasted per class.
Meanwhile, the shift from 50 minute to 45 minute periods doesn’t do much of anything, except throw off all of the students and teachers who are used to the 50 minute period schedule. Losing 5 minutes of all of our lunches and frees is annoying enough, but coupling that with 15 minute longer days makes this new schedule even worse. The idea was to fit more periods into the day, but in all honestly having an off day from a class is nice. Now most students in the high school program have their classes five days a week, and if they don’t, they certainly have at least one double if a class meets 4 times a week, which are now mostly split thanks to the IE period. I don’t see how these have had any sort of beneficial impact whatsoever. Additionally, having more periods a week means that many 9th and 10th graders can no longer attend Dean’s Hour, which is very frustrating because there are often very interesting talks, which seem like a better use of time than another period of sitting in a classroom and doing the work we do the rest of the week.
The new schedule has been nothing but annoying, and feels like the school was overcompensating, trying to fix problems we didn’t even have. Tutoring was available to those who took the initiative to come in before or after school, or during lunch or a free. Teachers were for the most part pretty flexible when it came to making time, and with the old schedule, they had more of it. Also, the 50 minute periods were actually fairly nice, as they gave you more time to finish exams, to get classwork done, while still fitting seven periods into a pretty reasonably-lengthed day. All-in-all, this schedule is a change nobody needed, and if the school were to revert back to the original schedule next year, I doubt there would be very many complaints—certainly none from me.