FC implements schedule changes into the 2014-15 school year
For the first time in the history of FC, students and faculty face the potential challenge and promise that comes with the introduction of a new bell schedule. Differing from years prior, the weekly schedule for the ’14-’15 school year gives teachers the chance to instruct in block periods four out of five school days.
FC students will take all of their classes on Monday and then alternate between periods 1 through 4 and periods 5 through 7 depending on the day of the week. This has caused some disorder in the minds of students who do not always know what classes to go to and what time to arrive at. Eighth grader Kamryn Shultz, dislikes the schedule because the order of the classes is confusing to get used to.
“Sometimes it’s a little confusing,” Kamryn said. “Because periods one through seven get mixed up and you have certain periods on Tuesdays and Thursdays and others on Wednesdays and Fridays, it gets hard to keep track of what class you are supposed to be at and where.”
The need for the schedule, while challenging to some, was evident according to Mike Fenton, Director of Academics K-12 and creator of the new schedule, according to Fenton the benefits of the schedule will match what educators and administration have in store for the school in the future.
“The vision behind it started a couple years ago, some teachers started asking about it and suggesting it and wondering if it would be an advantage to the school,” Fenton said. “Those conversations led to some research and thinking about what we offer at the school and what we are trying to push at the school.”
Already a few weeks into the school year some students prefer the benefits that the new schedule has to offer. Andrew Moore, ’16, enjoys the opportunity the schedule allows him to learn about subjects he is studying in more detail.
“You get a lot more done,” Moore said. “In some classes you can’t get all the work done in forty five minutes, or really focus on the subject, like math classes and classes like that. It helps to have a longer period of time where the teacher can also instruct us more and answer any questions we might have.”
Some teachers also enjoy having the longer periods because it gives their students a greater exposure to what they are learning and hopefully helps them grasp the concepts more firmly.
Drama and choir teacher, Susan Ainley, also thinks that the schedule gives her more freedom to explore new concepts and it helps to encourage students to try harder in her classes.
“When I am planning lessons knowing that I have a block period allows me to explore each concept, trying new teaching strategies that I just didn’t have time to do before,” Ainley said. “I think it benefits students to really practice hard for a long period, then take a break from it the next day. I find the students are ready to come back and work again after the day off.”
Fenton said that this was the ultimate goal of bringing in the new order of classes, to help both educators and students take their time in teaching and learning the specific subject matter.
“Having a block schedule allows us to better accomplish some of the bigger picture things like bring your own device and moving towards project based learning,” said Fenton. “It also challenges us as a teaching staff to rely less on lecture and on more and varied teaching styles to better engage the students as we go throughout the day.”
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