Features — October 19, 2016 at 11:08 am

Falling into Place


With over a month into the school year, students and faculty are becoming accustomed to the daily schedule. The schedule, which was daunting to many returning students involves a flexible schedule with 80-minute class periods and variable days. The idea behind the new schedule was to provide students with a more independent, college-like experience.

The 80-minute class periods. allow more time for classroom instruction. Since students are in class for a longer period of time, teachers have more time to implement a variety of activities. Many student have found the additional time useful.

“Instead of lecturing, my Government teacher has us do projects on each chapter, therefore, the learning feels more student driven,” said junior Danielle Engel.

The additional time is especially useful in classes where longer projects and activities are part of the curriculum.

“There used to be an insufficient amount of class time when labs were scheduled, and now I can ensure that my classes will be much more interactive,” said chemistry teacher Ryan Trott.

The schedule rotates among four different types of days: Prime, Community, Raider and Flex. Two of the most unique aspects of the schedule are the inclusion of a “Raider Seminar Course” where students are allowed time to learn something new just for the sake of learning it and not for a grade. Flex days include a two hour and 40-minute block where students can have lunch, and utilize the rest of the time as they need to. Some students welcome the freedom and flexibility.

“I like that my Raider Seminar allows me time to work on my college applications and during Flex Time, I catch up with friends I don’t see everyday,. It’s like a brain break,” said senior Shannon Kunkel.

Some students find the block classes difficult to manage.

“Even though there are fewer classes a day, by the time I get to my last period, I’m exhausted and it is hard to concentrate,” said senior Catie Schwartzman.

Community Flex is reserved mostly for Wednesdays, when the school can come together for a pep rally, presentation or other community- building event.

“I love having the gym packed and I love the energy. I think having pep rallies in the middle of the day, truly helps build community,” said Activities Director Danielle Bowen.

In addition to the changes to the academic schedule, lunch periods were also modified. To alleviate possible overcrowding, lunch takes place in two shifts depending on students’ location on campus. The student union is also serving lunch for juniors and seniors.

“With an added food line for upperclassmen in the Student Union, students are able to get their food more quickly and will let them make use of their lunch hour,” said Prep Principal Jonathan Schoenwald.

Students and faculty can utilize the GoGulliver and Advantage apps to navigate the schedule. Plans are underway to add links on the GoGulliver app that include the daily bulletin and RaiderVision broadcast. This addition will provide everyone with all the important announcements they need on a given day, in addition to the daily schedule. Even with digital assistance, Schoenwald recognizes that it will take time for some to adjust.

“There might be bumps in the road, like everything in life, but we had to try this new way to approach school and education. I hope everyone will benefit from this and will be fully prepared for college,” said Schoenwald.

Comments are closed.