BRHS Champions of Change

The need for a consistent master schedule at BRHS

Tue, 06/07/2022 - 7:30am

Three different schedules in the span of four years. Learning requires consistency, which has unfortunately not been my high school experience.

My name is Katerina Nein: I am a senior at the Boothbay Region High School, and am writing today as a Champion of Change in my AP Language class. In my high-school career, I have seen three entirely different master schedules, changing the amount of time spent on particular subjects, and creating academic inconsistency.

The best schedule I experienced was during my freshman and sophomore year. We had an alternating schedule where the first and fourth periods stayed the same for the duration of the semester, and the second and third periods alternate all year. This allowed the classes that required consistency throughout the year, such as AP courses, to have that spot, and the classes that can be completed in a semester to take the first or fourth period, which I prefer. Our guidance counselor, Ms. Burnham, agrees and says, “The hybrid schedule … allowed students to explore more electives and earn more credits each year.”

There is a barrier for some students who are taking multiple AP courses because as it stands now, those classes are every day all year. There are mixed opinions among students and staff about changing this set up. Calculus teacher Mr. Powell says, “I think it depends on the AP course. For AP Calculus AB, I am confident I would not be able to cover all my material adequately if it were every other day.” With an opposing view, STEAM teacher Mr. Schwehm says, “I do not think that AP courses should meet every day all year … [this schedule] prevents our best students from exploring other classes, raising the bar in those other classes, and expanding their horizons.”

In the 2020-2021 school year we piloted a semester schedule, essentially a standard college schedule, and currently have a schedule with most of the classes alternating every other day all year, with the exception of AP classes which meet every day all year. These schedule variations have impacted our curriculum and learning habits.

81% of students who responded to our survey agreed that they learn most effectively when consistency year to year is present. I must attribute some of this change to COVID in having to switch to a hybrid schedule last year in which only half of our students attended in person on any given day. Moving forward, we must create a stable schedule.

By bringing awareness to this issue, I hope to solidify a functional, stable schedule for the existing and future students of BRHS.