WHS to switch from block to 7-hour schedule

WHS will have a new schedule format next school year.

The current schedule format at WHS is an 8-hour block schedule. Students have four classes each A day, and four different classes the next day with a 45 minute Adviser Base period between 1st and 2nd block every day.

The new schedule beginning next school year will be a standard 7-hour schedule with an Adviser Base period every day.

“The primary driving factor in my mind and I think in the staff’s mind is ultimately ‘What is the best case scenario for the success of kids academically?’” principal Jan Hutley said. “That is the number one thing we’re looking at, it’s what’s best for the kids. I want you guys to do well.”

The suggested new schedules included an 8-hour standard schedule, blended block schedules that included both block and standard days and the 7-hour standard schedule.

“The schedule has been looked at in the past,” Hutley said. “I don’t think anything prompted it with me. I think that conversation had already started before I got here.”

With the 7-hour standard schedule, there will be an increase in student time in each class by about one hour every week. Currently, students have about 3.5 hours of each class a week, not counting classes missed for any absences. With the new 7 hour schedule, that time will increase to 4.5 hours in each class per week.

“I think it will improve the students academically as they will retain information better when they see the subject every day instead of the current every other day,” math teacher Roger Alderman said.

Along with the core classes hoping to benefit from the change in the schedule format, classes such as weights are looking forward to seeing students more consistently.

“Weight class will be able to have more of a routine,” physical education teacher Garrett Eck said. “The shorter class times will allow workouts to be more intense as there won’t be a need for long break times.”

With the schedule change, students will have one less elective class each semester. The loss of a class each year requires a change in graduation requirements, which the school board approved last week.

Along with one less elective, senior hour will no longer be an option for eligible seniors and changes will also be made to the way teacher aides are assigned.

However, despite having one less class offered each day, there are no foreseeable changes in classes offered at WHS.

“I don’t feel like in the long run, if students do an appropriate job of planning, that the loss of elective opportunities is going to be an issue,” Hutley said.

Students are doing preliminary enrollment this week, which will allow the school to build a 7-hour schedule before the end of the year. Possibilities include moving advisor base to the end of the day and moving band and choir to the end of the day.

— Hannah Mumpower, @Hlmump01

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