January 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm

GSA Survives Semester of New Schedule

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GSA has just finished its first semester on the new eight-period rotating schedule. The Procrastinator asked students and teachers what they thought of it.

We heard everything from junior Philip Shaheen’s “the new schedule is junk” to Ms. Jellison’s “it’s better.”

A common criticism is that the new schedule doesn’t allow enough time for homework when a class meets on two consecutive days. Keenan Hilsinger, Junior, pointed out that this wouldn’t be a problem if teachers “adapted.” Keenan noted that Ms. Richards, who avoids assigning homework assignments due the next day, does a good job. Mr. Kazmierczak added that these consecutive meetings make it nearly impossible for students to be prepared for class following an absence.

Mr. Case feels that he does not have enough planning periods and that with kids rushing to five classes a day, GSA feels like a “pure public school… it’s rushed.” Mr. Kazmierczak considers five periods to be too much for teachers and students to prepare for.

Many want more advisory and more activity period, including several freshmen who said that the ­A/B schedule would have “sucked” and that “it’d be too long,” but changed their tune when they learned that A/B fit in two activity periods.

Ms. Richards and a few students say that lunch is too late on Wednesdays (Mr. Stearns counters this argument with a succinct “that’s life”).

While freshman Arianna Reynolds claims to have never gone to the wrong class and describes the schedule as “easy to figure out,” Mr. Kazmierczak must check his schedule at least daily to know which classes he’ll be teaching and considers the ordering of classes to be confusing and unnecessarily complex.

Ms. Jellison likes the schedule because of the extra class time. She answers to criticisms by saying that our current schedule is “not easier, but it’s better.” Senior Maddie Heilner says the schedule “makes more sense” and that “teachers don’t load on as much as they used to.” Mr. Stearns noted that he gets more done in “three classes of sixty-five minutes than 2.5 of seventy-five.” (Mr. Case and Ms. Richards conceded that they are further along in their classes, but both claimed that their classes are getting cut off because of the shorter periods and are lacking in depth).

Mrs. Rosemeier says that while some classes do better with longer blocks of time, “good teachers can adapt” and it all comes down the amount of time students spend in the classroom.

Might it really be that simple?

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