7-period schedule benefits core classes, challenges electives

The new WHS schedule caused debate among students and teachers last year. After nearly a semester of the new schedule, opinions are mixed.

WHS introduced a 7-period daily schedule for the 2019-2020 school year, after using a block schedule in previous years.

The Charger polled sophomores, juniors and seniors to gauge the general feeling among the students most affected by the change. Incoming freshmen ran on a 7-period schedule in junior high, so this schedule was not new for them. The majority of students greatly preferred block scheduling, another large portion of students slightly prefer 7-period and 18 percent didn’t have an opinion.

According to students, the impact of the new schedule depends on the type of class. Core classes like English, math and science have largely benefited from the change. Students reported that the shorter classes make the day go by more quickly, and interacting with the teacher and material every day makes it easier to retain information. “I get to see my teachers every single day and don’t forget about what we are learning since we are in there for 40 minutes every day,” senior Macy Falk said.

The core teachers expressed positive feelings about the change. Science teacher Lisa Hull said that her classes are several weeks ahead of schedule compared to last year. “We all thought it was going to be helpful, but I had no idea it was going to be this helpful,” Hull said. Hull reports that her class averages and grades are higher than in previous years, and she is sending fewer students to ZAP.

Math teacher Roger Alderman said he sees trends towards improvement. “I find that I will get more covered this first semester and it doesn’t feel as rushed,” Alderman said. Of the 15 tests Alderman has given so far this year, 9 have had higher averages than they did on block scheduling.

Elective classes and those with more hands-on content have suffered due to time constraints and the loss of an elective in a student’s schedule. Screen printing teacher Amy Cassel said that enrollment in her classes is down this year. “I have approximately 12 screen printing students in my three classes when last year I had over 20,” Cassel said.

The schedule has also affected woodworking teacher Lyle Strait’s classes. “It’s not long enough for my classes,” Strait said, “kids don’t have time to do anything.”

The polling also reflected this opinion. Many students listed electives such as art, body fit, ag classes and wood shop as subjects that did not benefit educationally from the 7-period schedule.

Art teacher Caroline Smith said it has had mixed results for her classes. “I like the 7-period for the intro classes where people who don’t really like art but they’re here for their humanities credit. For the intermediate and advanced I prefer the 90-minute classes because people can actually get more done. They don’t have to just get their stuff out and then put it away.”

One of the main issues emerging with the new schedule is that students may feel more stressed and overloaded with every class happening every day. “It’s harder to keep up and stay on task with so many things going on,” sophomore Sarah Vanstory said.

Several students responded that homework for some classes needs to be done every day, and this can build up and put stress on students. “It’s a lot of homework and it’s very tiring mentally,” junior Justice Houston said, “If you miss 1-2 days of school you have to make up lots of homework and it’s a lot for people who are really active.” Houston said it feels like you never have a break from school.

Principal Jan Hutley has been observing the schedule throughout the semester. Hutley feels the schedule has had a positive impact. “I think it’s better for students because they have significantly more time in front of teachers providing instruction,” Hutley said.

The new WHS schedule caused debate among students and teachers last year. After nearly a semester of the new schedule, opinions are mixed.

WHS introduced a 7-period daily schedule for the 2019-2020 school year, after using a block schedule in previous years.

The Charger polled sophomores, juniors and seniors to gauge the general feeling among the students most affected by the change. Incoming freshmen ran on a 7-period schedule in junior high, so this schedule was not new for them. The majority of students greatly preferred block scheduling, another large portion of students slightly prefer 7-period and 18 percent didn’t have an opinion.

According to students, the impact of the new schedule depends on the type of class. Core classes like English, math and science have largely benefited from the change. Students reported that the shorter classes make the day go by more quickly, and interacting with the teacher and material every day makes it easier to retain information. “I get to see my teachers every single day and don’t forget about what we are learning since we are in there for 40 minutes every day,” senior Macy Falk said.

The core teachers expressed positive feelings about the change. Science teacher Lisa Hull said that her classes are several weeks ahead of schedule compared to last year. “We all thought it was going to be helpful, but I had no idea it was going to be this helpful,” Hull said. Hull reports that her class averages and grades are higher than in previous years, and she is sending fewer students to ZAP.

Math teacher Roger Alderman said he sees trends towards improvement. “I find that I will get more covered this first semester and it doesn’t feel as rushed,” Alderman said. Of the 15 tests Alderman has given so far this year, 9 have had higher averages than they did on block scheduling.

Elective classes and those with more hands-on content have suffered due to time constraints and the loss of an elective in a student’s schedule. Screen printing teacher Amy Cassel said that enrollment in her classes is down this year. “I have approximately 12 screen printing students in my three classes when last year I had over 20,” Cassel said.

The schedule has also affected woodworking teacher Lyle Strait’s classes. “It’s not long enough for my classes,” Strait said, “kids don’t have time to do anything.”

The polling also reflected this opinion. Many students listed electives such as art, body fit, ag classes and wood shop as subjects that did not benefit educationally from the 7-period schedule.

Art teacher Caroline Smith said it has had mixed results for her classes. “I like the 7-period for the intro classes where people who don’t really like art but they’re here for their humanities credit. For the intermediate and advanced I prefer the 90-minute classes because people can actually get more done. They don’t have to just get their stuff out and then put it away.”

One of the main issues emerging with the new schedule is that students may feel more stressed and overloaded with every class happening every day. “It’s harder to keep up and stay on task with so many things going on,” sophomore Sarah Vanstory said.

Several students responded that homework for some classes needs to be done every day, and this can build up and put stress on students. “It’s a lot of homework and it’s very tiring mentally,” junior Justice Houston said, “If you miss 1-2 days of school you have to make up lots of homework and it’s a lot for people who are really active.” Houston said it feels like you never have a break from school.

Principal Jan Hutley has been observing the schedule throughout the semester. Hutley feels the schedule has had a positive impact. “I think it’s better for students because they have significantly more time in front of teachers providing instruction,” Hutley said.

— Eleanor Badeker, @ellybadeker

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