Principal: No schedule changes for second semester

Worland says changes could be made for ’17-’18; principal summarizes semester

Erin O'Neill, Reporter

According to Principal Mr. Dave Worland, the new schedule provided the biggest change he has seen in his 16 years on the Hill, and that schedule will not be changed second semester.

Until this school year, Worland said that the schedule was based on an eight- period rotation, where each class met every day, although the arrival and dismissal times varied over the years.

Although Worland said he is proud of the many successes of the semester, all of these new transitions haven’t gone perfectly. Worland said that while the semester has gone extremely well, as with any change, there is the potential for confusion, which can create a sense of anxiety for teachers and students. He added that one concern that has come along with his new schedule is that some teachers have expressed that they feel behind in certain classes.

Worland added that this new schedule was put into place for many reasons, a major one being that research shows a rotating schedule is better for students. He said that this research indicates varying lengths of classes at different times of the day can help students learn more effectively. Worland also said that the new schedule was designed with students in mind, as the administrators wanted to make sure that students could utilize some free time doing what they want to do.

This free time has not come without some bumps in the road.  Worland said, “Flex is a great concept, but getting 1200 students to get to where they can use that time really well, we can always do better.”

Another new concept for this year was a course, gateway, designed especially for freshman as an introduction. Worland said, “I have not heard good reviews on the gateway course.” He said much of the feedback has been freshmen saying that gateway has felt more like another class, and that it is something that will be reviewed.

In addition to this new course, seven new teachers were welcomed onto campus this semester. Worland stated that the majority of them were veteran teachers, and a good addition to the school.

With all the changes being made on campus, one of the most visible changes has been the addition of the sidewalk on Jen’s Way. Worland described how he was “very proud” of all the people who contributed to the completion of the walkway and not only was it a way to honor Jen, but a much needed safety measure for students. Worland also added that the sidewalk could possibly be extended to reach the bottom of 56th Street. “It was a design thing that wasn’t going to match up,” he said.

As for the semester, Worland said, “I’m most proud of students and how I have seen them lead.” He described that he wanted leaders to see an issue and seek information, and to see beyond personal issues. Worland also said that, “teachers are outstanding,” and that he receives frequent comments regarding teachers who have gone above and beyond what he termed the “call of duty.”

Worland noted that teachers’ flexibility was a key component of making the new schedule work, but that flexibility won’t necessarily be needed in the future.  Worland said, “I highly doubt there will be any change to the schedule next semester.” He added that he will review the results of the survey that students recently took, to see what students are thinking. Regarding next school year’s schedule, Worland said it is very likely that some adjustments will be made.