As humans, we often hear that change is good. However, we also know that consistency and an organized routine is beneficial to learning.
On Wednesday, the Glenwood Springs High School student body will vote on yet another change involving the daily and weekly schedule. If implemented, 2019-2020 will be the third consecutive year students will have to navigate a new and unfamiliar schedule.
According to Glenwood Springs High School Principal, Paul Freeman, the potential changes were introduced because recent academic data has concluded that the ideal class length for high school students is around 60 minutes and the current 95-minute classes aren’t the best model for academic success.
Freeman created an informative video to thoroughly explain the pros and cons of the potential changes. (To watch click “video”)
Student Body President, Ashley Weir saw that there was hesitance and concern when the new schedule was proposed at the STUCO meeting last Tuesday, however she believes that with all change can come negative reactions.
“Its safe to say that this initiative was met with significant pushback and reluctance. Its important to consider that all change is often met with this reaction,” Weir said. “Many students argued that Red and White days worked well with regards to homework, especially with respect to students immersed in a plethora of extracurricular activities.”
With both options having support, Weir believes we must look at the benefits of both.
“Both systems have their pros and cons. Its just a matter of which system has benefits that outweigh the other”
The changes would mean that each student would have seven 55-minute classes three days a week. The other two days would be similar to the current schedule with three classes plus crew on Wednesday and four classes on Tuesday.
Some teachers have already customized their classes and have lessons planned for 95-minutes. With 35 fewer minutes, certain classes will feel the time crunch.
“We have 10 minutes to set up and 10 minutes to clean up and that would leave just 35 minutes to work,” Art Teacher Tish McFee said. “Artists usually need more time than that to get into it.”
If you wander the halls looking for input from GSHS students, you’ll have a hard time finding overwhelming enthusiastic support for the proposed changes. Most of the opposition feels like the added work outside of school will be too much.
“I don’t think it’s right and I think we should keep the schedule we have this year,” Freshman Sophie McGhee said. “If we aren’t able to finish homework the night we get it, we have an extra day to finish. If things changed, that would go away.”
“With the schedule we have now, if someone misses a day they miss four classes,” junior Audrey Steen said. “If the schedule is changed, those students will miss seven. After all the changes in the previous years, I don’t like the inconsistency.”
Fewer opportunities to take electives is also a concern for students.
“I kind of rely on electives for a break from core classes,” sophomore Morgan Reed said. “I think it’s important that all students have an opportunity to take an elective and study something they might be interested in away from core curriculum. I would hate to lose that.”
These students seem to be in the majority. However, as days go by, and students become more familiar with the benefits, support is growing.
“This might be self-centered, but I have A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder) and it’s hard for me to stay focused for more than 40 minutes at a time,” sophomore Willow Walden said. “I would get a lot more out of two 50-minute periods than one 95 because it’s much easier for me to stay engaged.”
Teachers seem to be nearly down the middle when it comes to the changes. Like the students, support for change comes down to what will work for them individually.
“I am very much in favor of the proposed changes,” Science Teacher Diana Buirgy said. “I will get to see my students 120 minutes more every two weeks, which to me means that I have to assign less homework because I’ll get it done in class instead. This way I can get through more stuff and it won’t be as rushed.
The school’s administration will make a decision based upon Wednesday’s student body vote and the academic data that sparked the proposed changes.
“We just want to make sure that we are getting the most out of every minute, each day,” Freeman said.
This story is developing and will be updated at a later date.