The Paw Print

Schedule changes being discussed

Sophomore+Aaliyah+Rodriguez+checks+her+schedule+before+walking+to+class.
Sophomore Aaliyah Rodriguez checks her schedule before walking to class.

Sophomore Aaliyah Rodriguez checks her schedule before walking to class.

Christina Rufo

Christina Rufo

Sophomore Aaliyah Rodriguez checks her schedule before walking to class.

Christina Rufo, Staff Writer

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Big changes are being discussed at MHS with talk of schedule changes and various new ways to balance classes and freetime.

According to both Jarrod Mulheman, the Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Staff Development, and Principal Jeffrey Legan, the main goal for the school and its schedule is to increase the amount of intervention and enrichment time. It’s also important to open up more opportunities for kids.

Intervention time would allow students the ability to get extra help when needed, especially if their schedules don’t match up with their teachers.

Mulheman supports the idea of a new schedule and would like to have the best plan possible. He said, “We are looking into many different schedules from all over the country and talking to different high schools as well.”

Rumors have been circulating around school about the possibility of block scheduling, but health teacher Tina Monastero argues that it’s a very far fetched idea with no sufficient evidence.

There is no specific schedule the school leaders want to change to, but they are evaluating the current scheduling and seeing how it can be improved.

Legan agrees with the revision of the schedule. He said, “I don’t necessarily have an opinion on the idea of a schedule change, but I believe we have a responsibility to make sure that we analyze the current schedule to make sure it’s as effective as it possible.”

The last time the schedule was looked at for possible changes was in 1996.

There is a wide variety of electives offered at MHS. Mulheman said, “The electives will definitely stay. Those are very important and we take a lot of pride in the amount of electives we provide.”

Kristen Surdy is a math teacher at MHS. In Surdy’s opinion, the current schedule is very fast paced, giving kids a short amount of time to process what they learn. She believes the school day is very rigid and follows strict patterns.

Mulheman said, “Giving kids flexibility in their schedule is always a good idea, and it gives them more choice on what their school day may look like.”

In Legan’s opinion, an important factor that needs to be changed is the use of our study halls. There should be a way to make kids more productive and use the free time to their advantage.

Some students just play on their phone or sleep during study hall. Mulheman believes there should be more support and structure in the study halls to provide students with the best environment for learning.

Legan said, “I don’t think that currently there is enough intervention time for students to get help from their teachers.”

Surdy had shadowed a student last year in a special experiment that allows teachers to experience the day in the life of a student.

Surdy said, “Last year when I shadowed Lizzie, [a current student at MHS] I thought it was very fast paced. We didn’t have time to go to the bathroom, and there was a lot of material being taught. By lunchtime, I was ready for a break.”

Because of such a fast paced schedule, Legan is looking into better ways to split up the day. The staff is looking into the idea of “Choice Time” as a way to give students a break in the middle of the day. During this time, students could go to intramurals, hold club meetings, or just take a break in the LMC.

History teacher Ryan Looman is a part of the committee that discusses and reviews the current schedule. Looman was very willing to join and wanted to learn more about it.

He said, “Mr. Legan sent out an email asking for volunteers and I thought it was something good to be a part of.”

Looman helps aid discussions and problems that arise with the schedule, while keeping an open mind.

In regards to the possible changes, Looman said, “A lot of it is looking at what benefits students, so we are taking feedback from our department and looking at the current needs.”

Another suggestion that is being analyzed is the possibility of starting classes later daily – just like the current delayed start Wednesday schedule.

Legan said, “We know what the research says about start times for teeneagers, and we want to see if we can make that happen.”

In regards to the amount of intervention and enrichment time, Surdy said, “I would like to see some important classes, like math and science, longer for labs and better practice.”

Legan agreed that a schedule change will improve the students academic and social life, and the goal would be to impact student achievement.

Of all the topics discussed, there could be longer periods, shorter passing time, a different format for lunches, or different ways to manage study halls. There has also been talk about the need for study halls and whether or not that’s necessary.

Mulheman said, “There’s a real possibility that what we are doing right now is going to stay, and we aren’t going to make any change at all.”

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