By Kelly Coleman ‘23
While we here at the Eye have our own opinions on the new schedule, we want, dear reader, to know what your opinions are! If you have thoughts on the new schedule that you want to be heard, then you only need to take a few seconds to fill out our short survey. (It’s only three, optional questions!) Your responses will be compiled and released in an exclusive article in the next edition of The Eye.
Remember! Our team at the Eye aren’t the only ones interested in hearing your thoughts on the schedule. Your comments may be read by the very people in charge of deciding the schedule, so please leave them here!
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While the jury is still out on this topic, you’ll have to settle for my opinion instead. So, let’s start with the good aspects of the new schedule. As someone who was very fond of the longer periods and rotating schedule, I am very pleased to see them return this year and I wholeheartedly support their continued inclusion in the schedule going forward. (You can read my previously published thoughts on the rotating schedule here.) In regards to advisory periods, I feel that, as a senior, having advisory one day a week, even if it is longer on paper, is much more bearable and effective than having them two days a week like last year. The activities period, while shorter, still feels effective in its original goals, though time will tell how the reduced length will affect clubs meeting during the day.
Now, however, we must turn to the not-so-pretty side of the schedule: the lunch periods. From what I can tell, the changes to the lunch period had one main goal, and that was to reduce the stress on the lunch system of over a thousand students trying to buy lunch at the same time. Any soul unfortunate enough to have eaten lunch in the cafeteria last year can well remember the clamor of a tidal wave of students flooding the dining hall at once, blissfully ignoring Mr. Franzinger’s calls that the lunch period was for underclassmen only. So this year, it seems, in order to divide the student body and enforce separate lunch periods, the decision to create two, offset third periods was made.*
The east side/west side of campus split is a natural consequence of this decision; under the current system, lunch periods could not be split up by grade, as third period classes with students from multiple grades would be split up across two different (and overlapping) third period time slots. The current system does make sense as a way for third period classes to function with all their students, but just because it makes sense does not make it any less frustrating to deal with. Not being able to eat lunch with friends four out of seven days is aggravating and, for some unlucky students, that number might be even higher. The split periods don’t even seem to be very effective in reducing the load on the lunch systems, with lines as long and as crowded as they’ve ever been. (Whether the changes have succeeded in making things easier for the lunch system behind the scenes is something I can only speculate on.) Whatever gains might have been made from the new system simply don’t seem worth what has been lost to achieve them, in my opinion. While the motivations and reasonings for the changes to lunch are understandable, I can’t help but feel it was a swing and a miss on the execution.
There are some smaller aspects of the schedule that I feel deserve comment. Having to be in first period at 8:25 and not 8:30 like you’d expect, and having to come in early every seventh day for AP science are both annoyances, but bearable ones. The way the day is structured now, with the flipping third period followed by activities then fourth period, is a bit of a mixed bag for me. Always having that break between third and fourth period does wonders to help preserve energy throughout the day and prevent mental exhaustion, but days with three morning periods in a row can quickly become draining. Last year I praised the inclusion of the activities period in the schedule, but now I can’t help but feel, especially on days when I’ve had three morning classes in a row, that I’d much rather skip the activities period and go home an hour early instead of: going to lunch, then the activities period, and then my final class.
In the end, my feelings on the new schedule remain split. While I feel that it has continued much of the good from last year’s schedule, and even improved it in some areas, it has also created several of its own flaws too large to simply ignore. Only time will tell how effective the changes will prove, as students and teachers adapt to the schedule, and the schedule, in turn, to them. But that’s enough about what I think. Please, remember to leave your thoughts on the schedule!
*This is mostly speculation on my part. Take it with a grain of salt.