Editorial: The Central Digest Reviews the Period Schedule

STUDENTS ENJOYING THE PERIOD SCHEDULE  -- Mrs. Tina Staton is teaching her psychology class.

Shelby Campbell

STUDENTS ENJOYING THE PERIOD SCHEDULE — Mrs. Tina Staton is teaching her psychology class.

In the spring of 2014, Central’s principal Mr. Finley King decided to switch the upcoming school year to a period schedule. As students heard about the switch, they had mixed feelings about it. When the new school year began in August, students were given their schedules and directed to go to class. The classes were changed to all-year long and the lunches were cut down to three instead of four. Not only did students have to make adjustments, but teachers did as well.

Now that the first semester is over, Central’s faculty and students have voiced their opinions about the period schedule. During the first semester, several teachers left, some had to take on an extra class or two, new teachers arrived, and others had to keep up with the shorter amount of class time. Some students have enjoyed the change, but the majority feel frustrated and overwhelmed.

“I do not see anything positive that came from the schedule change,” Autumn Lloyd, a junior, remarked. “It has become stressful and my grades have dropped. I feel that it has been a disadvantage.”

The transition to the schedule change has its pros and cons. One thing that is commonly liked is the fact that students are with the same class all year long and do not have to adjust to a new classroom setting midyear. However, lesson plans have been altered to fit the cut-down class time. Students will learn a certain topic one day and move on to a new one the very next day; this gives them little time to review and understand exactly what they are learning. Teachers’ planning time was cut short as well, but some teachers are over-planning for a 50 minute class.

The block schedule allowed teachers more time to go over the day’s lesson and introduce what they will cover the next day. Homework and classwork have been an issue since the start. There is not enough time to finish the classwork and therefore it all becomes homework. This workload would not be a big deal if it occurred every now and then, but students are now stressing over how they will manage to turn in every class’s work on time every day.

“I liked last year’s schedule better – I feel that I am [more] behind in my classes than I was [last] year,” U.S. History teacher Mr. Shawn Seals opened up. “I feel that I have not gone in depth with each lesson. I would vote in for the block schedule.”

Mr. King thinks otherwise.

“It took some getting used to for teachers, students, and principals. I think it was still the right decision to be made,” he stated.

Mr. King believes that the schedule is less stressful now that semester one is over and it has become more adaptable. He looks forward to seeing how students will score on end-of-course tests. As for the grades in  the first semester, there has not been a significant-enough decrease that would lead Mr. King to believe it was caused by the schedule change.

“More Hamilton County Schools are moving away from the block schedule and are doing four classes one day and four classes the next, then they rotate those every other day and on Friday they have all eight classes,” Mr. King informed. “I like our schedule a lot better than an A-B schedule.”

“We always have to remember this – whatever we do at a school has to be what is best for the students, not what is best for the teachers, not what is most convenient for the principal, but at the end of the day what we’re responsible for is, did we make decisions that benefit the students academically across the board. I believe we did that,” he proudly stated.

Mr. King is always looking for and listening to new ways to help improve his students’ education and make their high school experience the best it can be. From a student’s point of view, he has demonstrated his commitment to see the best in all his students and faculty. Experience is the best teacher, and Central High School is most definitely headed down the path of success.