It’s an A-B Schedule, Can You “C” Your Way Out of it?

29 May

The plan to eliminate C and D days to create a common schedule for the Watkins Glen schools.

By Caitlin Connelly

It’s going to be a blast from the past next year as not only new freshmen are coming over from the middle school, but the classic A-B schedule is making its appearance at WGHS.

With only 7th and 8th graders remaining in the middle school, it has become unnecessary to keep all the staff currently working in the school there for only two grades. Staff needs to be shared between the middle and high school and, in order for this to occur, the schools need to operate on a common schedule.

A committee was formed amongst the middle and high schools with representatives from each. They reached the decision that the A-B schedule would be the simplest solution. This schedule would consist of eight 42 minute periods each day. Students must attend the same classes everyday (besides gym and science labs). Rather than the typical six period days, there will be eight transitions for classes.

Attending the same classes everyday may seem beneficial, but with less time per class, students will not have more time to get their work done.

“Continuity is good in a difficult concept,” said Mrs. Coon, but shortened class periods means less time to assist her students. In-class practice will become homework and Mrs. Coon will lose the ability to help clarify concepts they may be struggling with.

Megan Daigle enjoys her “breathers” away from classes once every four days that decrease the stress from homework. Teachers prefer the longer class periods to cover complicated lessons. However, the concern 7th and 8th graders cannot adjust to the A-B-C-D schedule persists.

In the long run, it’s the A-B-C-D schedule that is preparing students for college. In college, students won’t be attending classes every day, and not for only 42 minutes. Less class time will require both teachers and students to adapt.

Juniors Matthew Gill and Natasha Patel are both concerned about switching to the A-B schedule the year before they will attend college. High school should prepare students for the college experience, not step away from it, these juniors say.

Teachers will need to rewrite their lessons for shorter class periods, and students will have to take additional responsibilities because of this change. Without a day of no class for certain subjects, students will need to seriously consider finding assistance when they need it. Less class time will also limit the time teachers have to work with their students individually.

“I think it is more time efficient to only have students switching classes 6 times a day, now they will have to switch classes 8 times a day,” stated math teacher Mrs. Debolt. “Being late to class won’t be an option,” due to the increase in transitions between classes and a “waste of time in the halls,” she continued. Students will need to get to class quickly to still have a functional amount of time to accomplish their work.

Most believe this will be a negative change for our school, not understanding why the middle school can’t adjust to the A-B-C-D schedule or have the two schools “meet in the middle” with a completely different schedule that has longer class periods. The middle school has never tried any other options besides the A-B schedule, some say. So why should we adjust instead of them?

However, the A-B schedule will be followed next year, so students are encouraged to at least give it a chance. This may be a positive change for the school system, but if problems with the schedules persist, Mr. Warren is willing to accept students’ opinions. He wants the best for the high school, and if they are determined to make a change, he is open to what they have to say.

This change will be relooked if drastic effects occur, but the A-B schedule will still make its appearance whether WGHS is ready or not.

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