Saved by the bell?

SHS introduces a new schedule for the 2022-2023 school year

When students walk into SHS’s doors this fall, they won’t be greeted by only bells and icebreakers, but also a new schedule.
This adjustment, however, won’t be changing much. The schedule will be staying the same structurally.
The seven period, or traditional, school day that currently takes place on Wednesday will be moved to Monday. So, the week will start off with all classes followed by Tuesday and Thursday with odd periods and Wednesday and Friday with even.
Students and staff will still get to keep the early dismissal on Wednesday with the 25 minutes of the day being taken out of iPass. This way, all of the blocks stay the same for that day. But, why is this change even happening?
According to Principal Brian Knight, the district asked both high schools, SHS and Perry Meridian, to get on the same schedule since the two schools are the only ones in the district that don’t run on the same bell schedule.
“They have three traditional days where they see all periods and two block days,” Knight said. “As opposed to one traditional day and four block days during the week.”
This schedule was a compromise between the two schools and was a fairly simple one. Not much will be changing for SHS, but, according to teachers, Perry Meridian will be met with different circumstances.
But, district administration pressure wasn’t the only factor at play.
With the change, both schools will be provided with more space, especially for the needed four lunches, to accommodate their growing student bodies.
Another benefit that this change brings is a longer schedule for traditional periods.
“Running that traditional day on Monday gives you a few extra minutes in those classes,” Knight said. “So, for instructional time purposes, they really wanted that short day to be on Monday.”
The schedule flip from Wednesday to Monday will allow for five-minute passing periods and will actually increase class period length from 38 to 42 minutes. This growth, when accumulated over time, can actually allow for a greater amount of time spent in those classes for instruction.

Complaints from many students have been brought to light about how they disliked the traditional schedule on Wednesday, and this change will bring more time to those classes.
Going into the 2022-2023 school year with the new schedule, current juniors will be finishing off their high school career with a different schedule every year, which some are unhappy about.
“I think that it’s very weird,” junior Eugene Airhiagbonkpa said. “It seems very irrational that they would want to change it like that. I don’t think it’s good.”
However, juniors aren’t the only class of students who will be facing yet another schedule this upcoming year. Some underclassmen have also been thinking about what may result from the change.
“I feel it’s going to be very similar to this year,” Kottlowski said. “Just in a different order.”
Sophomores, similar to juniors, will be going into their third year with their third schedule.
“It’s kind of confusing … ,” sophomore Britain Givens said. “Monday will be weird going to all seven periods for an hour or so. I don’t know how that will work. It’ll be interesting to see.”
Fellow sophomore Manprit Kaur shares a similar uneasy belief regarding the schedule.
“I feel like people just got used to things now after COVID-19,” Kaur said. “I think the huge change next year, moving seven periods to Monday, is a little bit overwhelming.
Another concern of both Kaur and Givens is that the traditional day on Monday would be more difficult than its previous one. They think that students and staff won’t like it as much, though he believes it will work, because the shorter Wednesday day allowed for the periods to be shortened anyways.
Wednesdays appear to be giving students and staff another part of the day to worry about, this one being iPass. With early dismissal and the even block schedule, Knight is unsure of how to approach the smaller amount of assisted learning time.
“With two consistent iPasses a week, I don’t know if that 25 minutes is going to be earth-shattering.“ Knight said. “We may look at, depending on what we do next year, … shortening the time before we allow students to change a little bit to give students that do need to make things up a little bit more time there.”
In contrast to their pupils, teachers seem to be responding more positively to the schedule flips.
“Off the cuff, I don’t think it affects me that much, but I think change is always something we constantly have to encourage kids (to do),” school librarian and English teacher Tara Foor said. “It will be an adjustment to do, but I think we’ll adapt.
English teacher Sara Kohne believes that everything has both benefits and drawbacks, and this schedule change is no different.
She also thinks that the change is not that drastic and that the school can “roll with it.”
“It might be nice to have the Monday to ease into the week and sort of preview what’s coming down the pike for the week … ,” Kohne said. “For me, it’s not that much difference. But, of course, it’s going to require some rearranging of plans.”
With negative opinions, intensity differing from person to person, another question is pondered: why are SHS and Perry getting on the same schedule?
A simple explanation is that it had been deemed necessary by the township.
Knight says that one of the reasons is consistency. A more telling cause for the compromise is the upcoming referendum in May.
“There’s always the challenge of if that referendum doesn’t pass, are we going to have to share some courses between the schools?” Knight said.
Growing populations among students also brings up the question of whether or not the two schools will need to share courses in the future.
Either way, this positive conversations and collaboration between SHS and Perry Meridian will provide the benefit of opportunities for the future.
“It was a little bit of compromise from both schools. I think it’s beneficial … in not just forcing one school to change to match our schedule,” Knight said. “So, it did create a scenario where both of us had to adjust a little bit, which I think, just from a human side of things, makes change a little bit easier for people.”