New year, new schedules


Jacob Jones

Curriculum Secretary Patti Mason is an expert on the new schedule and all THS data

By Allegra Wesson, Feature Editor

Curriculum Secretary Patti Mason is an expert on the new schedule and all THS data

The new schedule this year is a major improvement from last year’s schedule for a variety of reasons. With the new schedule, classes last all year but are held every other day. Some students are struggling with this organization, but I think it will be a positive change for all when they can adapt to it.

The main reason behind the schedule was to make putting together the schedules smoother and have students get the classes they actually wanted. Secretary Patti Mason, who manages the schedule, thinks this is a big positive over the old one. I also think that this is one of the schedule’s major strengths.

“Having the hybrid schedule that we had before made scheduling difficult and students weren’t able to get all the classes that they needed or wanted. By having one set schedule, it makes it more likely that students get what they want,” Mason said.

More students got the classes they wanted and there were less schedules with mistakes this year, so that means less filler classes and more learning overall for the students. There are fewer TAs than the previous years. For the first time in five years we had the highest percentage of students getting their first picks, with almost 79 percent of students getting the schedule they wanted compared to around 75 percent in the previous years. Although it may not seem like much, that is over 100 more students getting the schedule they wanted.

With having classes all year, I think that the pacing of classes work better. I feel that I enjoy my days at school more. There are a fair share of students that agree. They are able to enjoy their classes to a greater extent since they’re all year now. Junior Tori Lopez loves the new schedule due to the more relaxed pacing. “The new schedule is really nice with science classes since they actually get treated as core classes and they’re not rushed,” Lopez said. “It’s the same for history and foreign language classes. I get longer time to spend with my friends and more time to enjoy the classes!”

Some students’ opinions are mixed or negative about the new schedule. Junior Zachary Holmes has a few concerns about the schedule. “I like the new system in general but I think people will run into problems with memorization classes such as foreign language and history classes,” Holmes said. 

Some students don’t see many positives, like junior Sid Karki. “I don’t like classes every other day. I would rather go to the classes daily in one semester and then move on to a new set of classes,” Karki said.

So what could be some of the complaints or difficulties involving the new schedule?

People might feel that having all these different classes at once is overwhelming, but I think that after the first month or so, students will be able to get used to the amount of classes. On the other hand, the amount of classes can also be overwhelming for a teacher. Teachers who had a little over 100 students at a time before now have double. Planning can be an advantage for the teacher since they don’t have to have everything ready immediately for the next day.

Language teachers may have a challenge especially, since there is a period of a day between the classes, so that means a break in the immersion of the language.

“I think that the new schedule is really hard for foreign language because to really learn a foreign language the more you speak and the more you hear it, the faster you are going to learn,” Spanish teacher Alexis Buschert explained. “When we had it every day, students were exposed every day to the language, but now depending on the schedule I might go four or five days without seeing a student so they aren’t getting as much exposure.”

I would argue that even though students don’t have their foreign language classes every day and not getting that exposure, this system is better than what we had last year where a student would go for months without getting any exposure to it all. It’s better to have it all school year than only one semester, and I think that this can apply to other classes too. The more repetition that you have with a material, the easier it is for you to learn it really well instead of having massive breaks in between and thus forgetting everything.

Teachers were concerned that the connections with their students might also be weaker since there are so many classes that are happening at once. “Getting 210 students at once, I can barely learn names, and I really want to develop relationships with all my students and get to know them, but I feel like it’s going to take me until Thanksgiving. This makes me sad because I want to be the best teacher I can, but it’s hard when I have so many students,” Buschert said.

Patti Mason recognizes these concerns. “Some teachers who were used to the every day classes are having to adjust to having more students, but they will be able to develop the relationship all year long instead of just a semester,” Mason said. “So it’s a little tough in the beginning; like any changes, the transition can be hard, but I really think that it’s going to be beneficial in the long run.” Although annoying, I also think that it’ll only take more time and it will ultimately be fine. There isn’t going to be a schedule where everything is perfect.

“I really hope that it’s an advantage for students and I know that it was a lot easier for counseling this year to have not to balance everyday and every other day classes, so I just hope that the benefits are worthwhile to everybody and everybody gets something out of it,” Buschert finished.

Another advantage for me and other students will be more time for homework and preparation for upcoming tests. Instead of having the class the very next
day, there will always be a gap between the classes to prepare for homework. I have already found that this takes off a lot of stress about my classes when I have ample time to do my homework. This is going to be especially advantageous for full IB students or any other students who are taking a lot of advanced classes.

Junior Daniel Womack is a full IB student and feels grateful for the new schedule. “For full IB students it’s good because you get extra time to do work, so it makes it a lot easier,” Womack said. The schedule gives a better learning experience, so when we can get past our initial negative reaction to things changing, then we can recognize it as more efficient and better than before.