As this school year has gotten underway, the high school has undergone a variety of changes. Students were given iPads, the district has a new Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent, and the high school has introduced a six day rotation.
“The six day rotation is the same rotation that happens in all of the other grade levels in the district so kindergarten all the way up through 12th grade, they are already on a six day rotation,” high school principal Dr. Timothy Royall said.
This six day rotation allows for students to take a gym class every other day and have a study hall every other day for a full year. Also, the rotation provides science classes with 1 extra lab in a two week period.
In the future, the high school plans to implement this schedule with elective classes so that students have the option to take an elective every other day for a full year rather than one elective everyday in a semester. For example, a student may have the ability to take wood tech 1 and metal tech 1, every other day for the entire year.
The schedule also gives students one extra science lab period over the span of two weeks. Although the new schedule may seem to be useful for the high school, there are some drawbacks with these new implementations.
“We have extra classes to teach which means there is more work. So that’s kind of the negative, but the positive is that I have more time to do things with students,” anatomy and physiology teacher Mr. Tim Taylor said.
Some view the extra lab as being beneficial for the students as they will have more time to learn material, but this in turn makes it increasingly difficult for teachers to prepare labs. Having more classes also takes away the free periods that a teacher would have to allow students to come in and make up work.
In previous years, a teacher would have an empty period available for any student from any of their classes to come into the classroom and complete any missed assignments, labs or tests without being surrounded by the chaos of a full room of students completing any work for their class.
“Last year I had a tutoring schedule where people from all of my classes would come in to do things, where now I don’t have that as much because the time is regimented and is scheduled for a class the whole time,” science department chairman Mr. Dennis Dudley said.
Teachers could still have students come in to work on things but it can be distracting for both the teacher and the students to have so many things happening at once in a lab. In some cases, it could even become dangerous in class where students are exposed to chemicals and open flames. With this, the teacher will be more focused on the students who are going through their labs and not so much focused on the students that come into their classes to make up work.
“I think it could be detrimental to student education in that (I don’t have as much) time to set up and clean up labs, making it harder for me to be focused on teaching because I don’t have that time like I did before,” Taylor said.
The six-day rotation has its pros and cons but it is far too early in the year for a final verdict to be reached on whether or not the schedule should remain.
“I’d have to go through the whole year trying to see what was good about it, what was bad about it. Individual people are going to have opinions about whether or not it’s good or bad but I think it’s going to take a while to see whether or not it works,” Dudley said.