by Amelie Rehbein and Jiji Kim
With Wednesday upon us, high school students are apprehensive about their second week with the new Wednesday schedule.
Complaints about the absence of a break between the first three periods and the delayed lunch, now happening at 1:40 pm, have come up in numerous conversations amongst hungry upperclassmen. With the change happening with little notice, it is no wonder that many students have been unsupportive of this abrupt change. Writers at the Warrior News shared this concern until we had the opportunity to interview Ms. Berntson, the highschool vice principal.
Ms. Berntson explained what sparked the need to implement a new schedule: “On the first Wednesday of the school year, we realised that due to a change in the elementary schedule, the elementary students were in the cafeteria at the time that all highschool students came to lunch.”
The administrators and the teachers quickly realised that the capacity of the cafeteria does not allow it to hold both elementary school students and all high school students at the same time.
After collaborating with the elementary school and the middle school principal on possible solutions, it became clear that the best way to avoid an overcrowded cafeteria was to change the high school schedule. As the elementary school had just adopted a new schedule at the end of last year, the administration thought it would be inconsiderate to ask the youngest students at ASW community to make a change.
Although all high school students have a new schedule, the delayed lunch does not pose as big a problem for grade 9 and 10 students, as they are given two breaks prior to lunch. The reason for this is that MYP students have 75 minute classes in contrast to DP classes which are 80 minutes, thus leaving room for a 20- and a 10-minute break between periods.
Ms. Berntson also explained the reasoning behind extending the class periods to 80 minutes for the DP students: “Higher Level classes are already limited and having 75 minutes for class time would worry teachers about losing those 5 minutes. As far as student voice goes, this could be a student-initiated proposal asking for breaks or extended passing times, knowing that that would come from class time. But, ultimately, this would put more pressure on teachers and students to make up the time lost due to the creation of breaks.”
“This will be the Wednesday schedule until the end of the year,” said Ms. Berntson. “There is no other alternative solution that we can currently think of. I understand the negative aspects of it. However, in the spirit of our core values: ‘we are all in this together’. This new change will only be affecting two grade levels instead of all of elementary. I am hoping that as the oldest students, upperclassmen can be considered and understanding of this change.”
The introduction of the new schedule was abrupt and unexpected mainly due to the time constraint to come up with an alternative schedule. Ms. Berntson also clarified that the inflexibility of the decision to implement this change unfortunately led to the student body being unable to have an input in this conversation.
Ms.Berntson adds that the lack of communication between the administration and the student body on the Wednesday schedule change touches upon a greater issue in our high school community: “It is difficult to share news in a timely way: not everyone reads the bulletin and by the time an assembly comes around, it’s too late. We would love feedback from students on the best way to communicate these types of things.”