Our New Schedule: How Students Feel
By Jackie Neice
Morning meeting, 80-minute blocks, science for half the year and social studies the other. These are some of the changes to our middle school schedule this year. Students have mostly positive reactions, but some can disagree.
What changes you might ask? Now, students in grades five through eight have double periods for social studies and science. This means that for the first two marking periods, half of each grade has two full periods of science every day, for 80 minutes, and the other half has social studies. Last year, students had science and social studies every day for 40 minutes each.
This greatly reduces the amount of homework that we used to have, and helps a lot for those of us who have sports. When questioned about the positive effects, eighth grader Keyli Ramirez stated, “It’s easier to do my homework even when I have after school sports.”
Another big change this year is the adoption of a 20-minute, school-wide morning meeting. Homeroom is now a place where we greet each other every morning, when last year it was a place of hurry. It overall helps calm and reassure those of who have tests or quizzes later in the day. This also helps those who feel left out, since most of our very fun morning activities have to do with talking and interacting with each other.
Some examples of things that we do in morning meetings are greetings in different languages, games such as human knot, two truths and a lie, and my personal favorite, stumper!
It all started last year, I learned from our principal, Dr.Wisniewski. We tested homeroom out on one classroom, and then learned by the end of the year that it would be a good change to make. This time for every class.
We first learned about the double periods from Neptune. “This helps with homework and extra time for science labs and social studies projects,” he mentioned, I and can’t agree more.
You might be wondering where the lower grades come in. When asked about this Dr. Wisniewski said,“In the lower grades they also have 20 minutes for morning meeting, and two homeroom teachers, just like every other class. It’s cool that every single teacher of every single grade is involved in this unique schedule.”
However, even though this idea does have many great qualities, some can disagree. And nothing is really perfect. Seventh-grader Ella Minsky was fully aware of this when saying “I’m not exactly a big fan of the schedule,” and “Sometimes, the double period can get boring with extra work in that class. We have to learn faster and might forget most of it by the end of the year.” I could agree with her, as most of the upper grades would, too. It’s true, we have to learn faster and work harder in that particular area of learning. But if you look at the pros and cons of this change, you can see how many good things come from it.
In the end, the new schedule does have some bad qualities, but has made drastically good changes to the students at BBES. We now have less homework, more homeroom, and extra time on our hands.