On Friday, January 5, 2018, 23 Roosevelt teachers and administrators met in the library to create new schedule for the 2018-19 school year. For the fourth year in a row, the Roosevelt schedule will be different than the previous school year. The proposed schedule is designed to address the stress surrounding the 24 credits the Class of 2021 and beyond must earn to graduate.
The proposed schedule has numerous changes, including:
- The addition of a seventh period
- 50 minute class periods on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays
- 80 minute class periods on Wednesdays and Thursdays
- Wednesdays: Periods 2, 4, and 6, with a 45-minute advisory period that is similar to Rider Time
- Thursday: Periods 1, 3, 5, and 7, with a 35-minute tutorial period to allow students time to ask teachers for help or make-up tests.
- Juniors and seniors (Class of 2020 and below) would only take 6 class periods
- 1-6 with an early dismissal, or 2-7 with a late start. Athletes would most likely attend 1-6 in order to minimize lost class time on game days
- Juniors and seniors could take a seventh class under specific circumstances
While the new schedule would better accommodate the new 24 credit requirement for student graduating in 2021 and beyond, the new schedule would result in the loss of 45-minutes of class time per week. School day would remain the same — 8:45 a.m. – 3:35 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and 8:45 a.m. -2:20 p.m. on Wednesdays.
A variety of opinions exist among the staff and students surrounding the schedule proposal. Kristi Barnes, an 11th grade APUSH and 9th grade World History teacher, really likes the new proposed schedule. While noting the addition of a seventh period, she states, “It gives them [students] more opportunities to earn credits. Instead of earning a potential 6 credits per year, they could earn 7.” She likes the flexibility the new schedule would bring to students, especially “those locked in year-long electives,” by allowing them to take more classes, such as art or PE. Barnes also strongly supports the mandatory health class proposal, adding, “The mandatory health class was my suggestion actually.” She believes the curriculum would help “bring a healthy lifestyle to kids.”
In addition, the new schedule would have a positive impact on the teaching staff, according to Barnes. She comments, “I like how it gives teachers two prep periods because I think that is really essential in terms of planning.” Additionally, Barnes believes the two block days “allows for some longer lessons,” which would prevent topics from getting separated between multiple days. However, nothing is perfect. Although Barnes supports the proposed schedule, she states, “I wish there was more Rider Time.”
Similarly, students seem to appreciate the proposed changes. Current sophomores and juniors love the opportunity to have a free period. Junior Emma Browning says, “There are now multiple options on how a school schedule could go. It could start late or end earlier.” Even the freshman like the flexibility the new schedule would bring. Freshman Colin Baker comments, “I feel it will help me earn my credits.” But, Baker, much like Barnes, believes the schedule could change for the better. He states, “I like the schedules by themselves, but when you mix two different plans together it’s stupid.” Baker likes the block days better than the 50-minute class schedule. “I would like it if the long periods were for the entire week,” he continues.
On the other hand, some members of the Roosevelt community are less enthused about the schedule proposal. Frank Heffernan, one of the school counselors, acknowledges the benefits of the new schedule – longer class times and schedule flexibility – but he also understands the disadvantages. He says, “We have to be careful not to make the day more busy for students who are already feeling overwhelmed by six classes.” He believes the best way to avoid overwhelming students with work is to make the seventh period a study hall. He argues, “I am a proponent for that seventh class be used as a study hall instead of an additional course…it could somehow be accredited class.” Heffernan also suggests “granting more credits to advanced courses” in order to resolve the stress surrounding the 24 credit graduation requirement. Lastly, Heffernan understands the concerns presented by Baker and other students surrounding the mixed schedule. “It’s ok. We are trying to make a compromise between block days and not losing the daily continuity of subjects like math and language,” he says.
The proposed schedule for the 2018-19 school year has many advantages and disadvantages. Like most things, it is not perfect. Nevertheless, it is the reality. On Friday January 12, 2018 the staff of Roosevelt voted to pass the proposed schedule.
Graphic By: Emma Snavely