By Tyler M.
Even with a new building and a new iConnect laptop system, Duxbury High School is still trying to make changes, as it is working hard to create a new schedule system for next year. The administration is confident that it will be beneficial for both students and teachers.
DHS is looking to increase the number of classes per day from five periods to six periods (with the time frame similar to an advisory day in our current schedule) and create an ‘iLab’ block. Assistant principal Mr. Donovan explained, “An iLab would be an eighth block, which would allow students [to go to guidance and take care of referrals] without coming out of class, or to collaborate with somebody else on a project [using our new tools and technology.]… [The block could] also be a time where students would be able to accomplish work, [such as] collaborative work, homework, or access to resources at the library…” In addition, teachers from each department would work together during the iLab block to monitor their progress and to better improve and plan instruction, and there is some consideration that students may be in advisory during that block on advisory days. The lunch would have to be slightly altered as well, but according to the administration, the change would be worth it due to the positive effects it would create for both teachers and students.
There seem to be possibilities that the current schedule does not allow. Said Mr. Donovan, “It’s very hard, for example, to have multiple AP classes when your class is a singleton class, meaning that there is only one section of it. If you have a bunch of singletons floating around in the schedule and you only have seven periods, they knock each other out. So, kids are not getting all the choices that they should, once they get to 11th and 12th grade… [Our current schedule] decreases the flexibility of when certain classes can be offered.” This has led many students to become angry at their guidance counselors and at the administration.
However, students are not the only members of Duxbury High School that have needed to deal with the negative effects of the schedule. Mr. Donovan acknowledges that students are stressed about getting their work done, especially when they have practices or games that cause them to get home at a late hour. These situations decrease the amount of time they have to work, making it difficult to succeed in demanding classes. Also, Mr. Donovan does not like that students currently need to be pulled out of class if they want to see Guidance or take care of Office Referrals, because this lost time disrupts the learning process.
The new schedule system would be the second that DHS has used since the current system began in 2004. There were similar complaints to the older system back then. However, there is a mystery of what the effects of the new system will turn out to be. Hopefully though, for the sake of teachers, administrators, and future students, the plan will be effective and efficient, and it will last longer than the previous one.