Alterations to the schedule strikes Staples

Alterations to the schedule strikes Staples

By Lili Romann ’19

Staples’ principal, James D’Amico, has approved a new scheduling system applicable for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years, implementing a system in which there is an ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C’ and ‘D’ day rotation. The Staples High School Scheduling Committee has been examining alternative schedules throughout this school year in neighboring districts and contrasted the various benefits and drawbacks, however the decision to officially make changes was ultimately up to D’Amico.

The official goals of the scheduling committee were to create “regular” time blocks in order to maximize efficiency for teacher planning, reduce “pull-out time” for school wide assemblies,  guidance sessions and to make the extended periods daily.  Opposed to solely on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Additionally, they have distributed periods one through four in the morning and five through eight in the afternoon to accommodate students who find themselves in specialized programs during a certain section in the day.

“Because our schedule rotates all over the place, there is a lot of irregularity,” D’Amico said. “Given that, what I was looking at was could we, to help more kids, have a schedule that still rotates, but where you have morning classes and afternoon classes.”

Members on the board were eager to explore the various schedules of other schools and how Staples could benefit from some schedule changes. English teacher Brian Tippy looks forward for the minimized disruptions in the newer schedule, as the letter method regularizes the schedule.

“I think this schedule solves some problems and makes my life easier for planning, so I’m all for it,” Tippy said. “I’d still like to see us look at a schedule that allows for even longer periods and some kind of advisory or flex time, but this is a nice improvement.”

Many students in the Staples community value the elaborate discussion their class indulges in during the extended period’s communication time and are content with the schedule changes as they allow more time for this talk.

“It is important to have an open and unplanned discussion about school or whatever the students want to talk about during communication time,” Maddie Baildon ’19 said. “In my English class, we discuss the things that are stressing us out, and our  teacher is able to better understand where us students are coming from.”

They look to alter more things in the schedule in the future that allows for specialized programs to better utilize their time and to potentially hold senior internships throughout the year, as opposed to solely after AP exams.

“We’re not going to change anything major for next year. We’re not ready to move to a whole new concept of scheduling. We need to take time, talk to students, talk to parents, and do some research,” D’Amico said. “Nevertheless, we have some short term needs that I feel like, as the principal, I need to address.”