A new semester has just kicked off here at Ghidotti High School and with it has come a new change in scheduling for many Ghidotti students.
During the fall 2012 semester, freshmen students had a traditional class schedule, attending each of their enrolled classes every day. By contrast, sophomores, juniors and seniors were on a block schedule that established one set of classes Mondays and Wednesdays and another set of classes Tuesdays and Thursdays. Friday schedules for all students included all classes.
This schedule is designed to allow students to optimize their ability to take college classes, which are normally in a Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday time slot. As very few college classes take place Friday, students attend all of their high school classes that day.
Due to the challenge of fitting college classes in with high school classes during the school day, student schedules have to be extremely flexible. New semesters often require a new set of classes for both high school and college.
Ghidotti students must arrange their college schedules carefully when selecting classes each term to ensure that they will still be able to attend all necessary high school courses. For upperclassmen, this often requires a change in electives from one semester to another to secure all desired college courses.
As the spring 2013 semester begins, however, more schedule changes are going into effect than those of the individual students. Ghidotti itself has had to make some major changes in order to optimize the student and teacher schedules.
The first major change is the conversion of freshmen schedules from the traditional to the block scheduling system, matching them with the rest of the school. For the first time in years, freshmen are able to enroll in the same electives as upperclassmen because they can fit the classes into their schedules.
“I like it better. It gives me two more days to do my homework. It’s easier, and it makes my backpack lighter. I definitely like it much better,” said freshman Theo Baker.
Another scheduling change at Ghidotti is the adaptation of a school-wide lunch period, deemed “Phoenix Time” after Ghidotti’s mascot. This modification is not meeting the same level of student approval, however. With so many students trying to make the most of their out-of-class social time, noise levels can get pretty high.
“You walk into the cafeteria, and it’s just like a dull roar. It’s overwhelming,” said senior Tiffany Meyer.
Not all students are against the shared period, however.
“Phoenix Time is a great Place to network with upper- and lower-classmen,” said senior JP Solly.
The spring semester is only a few weeks in, and students are still adapting to their new agendas. Since the high school semester begins three weeks before the college semester, students will just be getting used to one new schedule when it changes again. But all these changes allow students to learn another important lesson: how to adapt.
That is a lesson that will carry them through life whatever their courses may be.
Macayla Jefferis is a senior at Ghidotti Early College High School.