While many schedule changes were made for the 2016-2017 school year, so far as the day-to-day schedules of students are concerned, none was so drastic as the removal of the double, in favor of an hour-long third period.
In years past, the double period before lunch was the anchor of every day: the eighty-six minute period allowed time for science labs to be completed, films to be watched, and (sadly) extra-long tests to be given.
According to Director of Scheduling Michael Omilian, “There were some people who felt that the double period for all classes had run its course.”
For some students, this was a welcome change, as the hour period provided relief from the fatiguing double period. When asked whether feedback on the new period was mostly positive or negative, Omilian replied, “Both, and that’s what you would expect. I think a lot of people value the idea of increasing the arts, technology, and religion.”
One positive for the teachers is that normal class periods are just a little bit longer. Omilian also stated he has heard people say that they like the idea of having an art/elective block during the period before Upper School Lunch. Omilian noted that students said having the two hours between the art/elective block followed by lunch towards the end of the day is stress relieving.
In terms of the new timing, Omilian said that, although the class times were revised, he wanted to keep the class length at around 43 minutes. As a result, the shift in the timing of the day opened up an opportunity for a new hour long block.
One issue that remains, however, is the absence of passing time between periods five and six. As the double block became the hour period, no time could be added because that would have entailed adding four more minutes to the school day. In the main building, most students have no trouble reaching their sixth period class within two minutes. Getting to Hartman Hall is a different story. According to Omilian, “It’s in Hartman Hall where you feel the crunch of time more [between periods five and six].”
Overall, there are many pros and cons to weigh when deciding if moving to the new Hour Period was a good decision. Sophomore Blake Wiener said, “The hour period is much more convenient that the double period.” One could see how it has expanded opportunities and reduced stress among students. Teachers are no doubt enjoying the little bit of extra class time in all other periods. As long as the teachers in Hartman Hall remain understanding as to why their sixth period students are a bit late, it should be a smooth ride.