For a long time, the possibility of a schedule change had been a focus in the staff meetings, though every year it was delayed a little bit longer. This year, though, the administration changed the schedule completely. Previously, BSGE had a rotating A-Day, B-Day schedule. Each day consisted of five 70-minute classes, one of which was split into lunch and advisory, which were only 35 minutes each.
Now, the school administration has changed the schedule to the form of eight 45-minute classes, with three minutes of break time between each period to travel to the next class.
This change was caused by multiple factors, though the main reason was the lack of funding the school has. After facing three years without funding, Ms. Johnson had to let go of two teachers, which caused a strain on the number of classes assigned to those who remained. They would have ended up teaching 5 or more classes in one day, which could not have been possible with the A/B day schedule. Consequently, changing the schedule became a necessity for our school. “The changes were influenced by the reality that BSGE is a public school and is funded like a public school. Therefore the school has to be structured like a public school unless we receive grant funding or major donations,” elaborated Ms. Johnson.
In addition, before the schedule change, the IB diploma classes were never able to meet the recommended amount of class time for the IB program. However, with the new 45-minute period schedule, IB diploma classes can now have the full number of instructional hours recommended by the IB.
With all of these compelling reasons, students may question why the schedule change was not implemented sooner. The reason is because of the school administration’s concern about how it will impact the learning and achievements of the students. Interviews with two BSGE studentsrevealed that there are mixed opinions about the changed schedule.
Claire Bergerson ‘17 thinks that although the shorter periods make it harder to cover all the material planned in one day, the schedule change has decreased her workload. Regarding how the implemented changes are affecting her grades, she said, “I don’t think the schedule will improve my grades. I think it ultimately still depends on how hard I work and I don’t think the periods time will change that.”
On the other hand, Ethan Yung ‘19 believes that the shorter periods do not provide enough time to do the same activities as before, including group work, presentations, and normal conversations with the teachers during the class. He also thinks that the schedule changes are increasing his workload and the changes made it so that sometimes, too much work is assigned at once. In regards to how he feels about having each class more often, he said, “I think that having more classes is a nightmare because it was so much easier to manage homework and tests and all that. When we had the A/B schedule, you knew your class and you can memorize it in like two days. I still don’t know my schedule because I have every class every day in a different order which is a nightmare and you have to do homework everyday. And then you have tests next to each other, back to back, like day after another.”
Although it may seem difficult now to get accustomed to the new changes, there are some beneficial aspects of this change; students have shown to thoroughly enjoy the longer lunch periods and advisory. The BSGE staff is now waiting to see the outcomes of the schedule change and is hoping for a positive result.