Alan Cai, Business Manager
October 20, 2023
A major change in the new schedule greeted students coming back from summer break this year. Over the past few years, Nobles has worked hard to craft a schedule that will help improve the educational experience at school. While there has been a wealth of highly controversial opinions about the new schedule, the change has proven to be problematic for student learning and education.
Overall, the new schedule hurts the educational experience of teachers and students alike. With fewer class periods, teachers have to readjust to a new routine that offers less time for homework, therefore decreasing the amount of learning that students do at home. Thus, teachers must change their lesson plans to complete more classwork in a week, even with the same amount of class time. This forces teachers to adjust to a revised curriculum that covers less material due to the decrease in homework time for students. In some cases, this has even led to less learning and rigor in classes. For example, prior to the implementation of the new schedule, the AP Physics class, which used to cover two main topics, was reduced to only teaching a single topic over the entire year. This change was directly attributed to the new schedule. Overall, the new schedule has hurt the rigor and breadth of material covered in many classes and has put added pressure and stress on teachers, thus hurting the quality of learning. Many AP courses also have strict curriculum standards that are now more difficult for teachers to meet under the new schedule.
(Photo Credit: Zack Mittelstadt)
Secondly, the spacing of classes, with most classes meeting every other day instead of day-to-day, makes it difficult for smooth transitions between classes and the continuation of leftover work. We’ve all been in classes where an activity or a discussion has to be carried into the next class meeting. Yet, the extended period of time between classes makes it more difficult to neatly wrap up an engaging class discussion or to ask follow-up questions on a difficult worksheet during the next class. Under the new schedule, it is far more difficult to smoothly transition from previous classes without the assurance that students fully remember relevant class content from past lessons. This may also impact the quality of class discussions and learning, leaving students confused or forcing teachers to spend more time refreshing material learned in past classes, instead of focusing on new material. Additionally, being given the ability to complete their homework more than 24 hours after taking the class may also impact the amount that students struggle with their homework.
Finally, the revamped schedule may create a degree of inequity with both peer private and public schools. Though the tangible impact remains to be seen, there is a potential inequity that exists where students at Nobles find that their school operates in a drastically different format and class schedule than many other schools. For students starting anew, it may be a difficult transition that favors students matriculating from Pratt Middle School. Moreover, in college applications, AP courses, and other programs standardized outside of Nobles, differences caused by the new schedule may put students at a disadvantage to their peers at other schools. Even if it isn’t a disadvantage, it would still make it more difficult to compare Nobles students to students from many other schools that utilize a five-day schedule.
While benefits may exist with the introduction of an experimental new schedule, many questions remain to be answered. The uncertainty and issues that arise from this new schedule may present it as an unfavorable alternative to the schedule that was phased out. Perhaps the new schedule, with time, will evolve to ameliorate its flaws. Yet, it is vital that we are able to recognize the problems with the new schedule and work to improve it so that it can be more effective at promoting our core community standards. Continuing to revise the schedule will allow students to receive the rigorous and thoughtful education that Nobles has provided for so many decades.