Thoughts on New BHS Schedule


Greta Shaughnessy, Staff Writer

During my four years at Barnstable, the schedule has never changed, but a new schedule will be introduced in two years. Next year, BHS, will also offer semestered classes for the first time. Barnstable High School has been searching for a way to improve our learning. While I do see the benefit in the school creating a new schedule to optimize “bell-to-bell” learning, I do however find myself skeptical of how this new model will achieve this.

The new schedule proposes a seven period day, starting at 7:20 and ending at 2:05, with 50-minute classes, and a small 25-minute period before lunch block called “Raider block.”  Following this, is a 75 minute lunch block with 25-minute lunches, starting at 11:30, and ending at 1:10. Between classes, passing time will be cut from six minutes to five. A minute difference does not seem to be that big of an issue, but like many, I depend on that extra minute to scoot to class.

With the existing schedule now, six classes are stressful enough.  A part of me understands that administrators want students to be able to take internships and classes that will further their success in high school, but the other half wonders if they hear us in the hallways talking about how stressed we are, or how little sleep we’ve had because of the six classes we take now.

The new schedule is even more confusing than the current one. Proposed is an  “A through G” week, where it will take seven weeks for a letter’s first scheduled day to return. Say you start with an A schedule on a Monday, it will take seven weeks to have another A schedule Monday. The week ends on a certain lettered day, and that following week picks up where we left off. Looking at the schedule gives me anxiety and I won’t even be here when it is implemented.

The complete immersion into the newly-proposed schedule is not set until the 2018-2019 academic year, but starting next year, students may choose to take a class for a semester and then switch to a completely new class after midterms. This seems to be an interesting choice in trying to expand our learning experience, but I find it somewhat stressful to know you have to choose another set of classes halfway through the year, on top of choosing a new academic schedule for the following year.

I will never get to experience the new schedule since I am graduating next year, but I do have a younger sibling who, scarily enough, will be a junior when it is implemented. It will be very interesting to see how the new schedule pans out for students who are already accustomed to the schedule right now. The incoming eighth graders in the 2018-2019 academic year will know no difference.

I believe change could be an amazing thing, and a new schedule brings upon a change that is meant to better us as students, but this particular schedule may hinder students rather than help.