The new schedule will directly benefit the student body because it is more student-oriented.
When I first saw the schedule, I hated it: It seemed boring, and I didn’t appreciate the lower number of courses per day. But that was a gut reaction, and almost everyone, on some level, has a negative gut reaction to change.
This gut reaction certainly wasn’t helped by the fact that parents were sent the schedule before students. Sophomore Felicia Paul said, “I definitely think that the student body should have been much more informed about it.” This early confusion exacerbated negative responses.
In the end, the schedule is far more focused on the student body: It emphasizes a calmer day with more passing time between classes and fewer classes daily. The schedule also has an 8:45 start time every single day, which will allow students to get more sleep and better plan their daily commutes.
It also has lots of pleasant surprises. One example is that the first three blocks start on the forty-five of the hour: 8:45, 10:45 and 12:45. This is a blessing for many students who, like me, follow their hopper religiously and still remain uncertain about when their next class will start.
Another benefit is a longer lunch every day and longer, more regular community time, which replaces the current hodge-podge of periods dedicated to Monday Meeting, advisory and breaks. Currently, because Wednesday has the longest break, clubs often congregate around that time, forcing them to compete for student participation. Lunch, as it stands, never feels long enough to get any work done, and sometimes barely feels long enough to eat.
My original dislike of the new schedule didn’t change without reason. While writing this article, I happened to miss a single Monday—which is a heavy day for me, with four academic classes—and felt so overwhelmed by all the work I missed that I had to take most of Wednesday off, for the sake of my own mental health.
This is one of the main benefits of this new schedule: the even/odd structure allows for a more predictable week, even if the rotation seems strange at first. The longer breaks between classes will give you more time to breathe, and students won’t be as rushed in between them. A more relaxed day means a more relaxed student body, and a more relaxed student body means a less stressful school day. The regularity will allow students to fall into a routine that works and stay in that routine.
The only thing left that still troubles me is the 1.5-period classes, which will replace double periods next year. Regardless, the issue is not a headache that students need to worry about. By next year, the faculty will have to adapt, and it will be on the shoulders of administrators and individual teachers to work out those kinks.
Although it may take some getting used to, the schedule is here to stay for the next two years. It’s impossible to judge how you really feel about it until you live through it, and I think that it will be simpler, easier and better than the two GDS schedules that I have experienced.
If the schedule still bothers you, I recommend you talk to Jason Aigen. Aigen has three degrees in applied mathematics and before teaching at GDS he consulted businesses and schools on improving the flow of their day.
“I’m hoping people buy into it,” Aigen said. “When we hit about Thanksgiving of next year, let me know what you think.”