Scheduling committee proposes changes to start time

Drakes Proposed Schedule

Drake’s Proposed Schedule

Don’t look. What time does third period end on a Monday? It ends at 10:49 and not 50, but that’s just one of the idiosyncrasies of the current schedule.

As of now, there is a new schedule proposed for next year that if approved by staff on March 13 will be implemented next year.

In the new schedule school starts at 8:30 instead of 8 a.m. Next year, students will not be able to cram their faces with artery clogging nosh during advisory, or wander aimlessly for 15 minutes at break, to allow extra time to sleep in.

According to the National Center for Health Research, teens who start school just 30 minutes later can see performance and alertness skyrocket.

“I constantly hear students talking about how tired they are. I always have a few students every year who have a hard time getting to first period because they slept in too late.” math teach Richard Marshall, said.

The National Center for Health Research discovered that teens who don’t get enough sleep are more at risk for depression, obesity, injury in sports and substance abuse problems. According to the Los Angeles Times, when a school in Idaho changed their start time to 8:30, absences decreased by 15 percent.

“If the students are awake it always helps teaching the subject,” Marshall said.

The new schedule provides a 7-period Monday followed by all block periods. According to the paper “Block Scheduling Revisited” by Professor J. Allen Queen at the University of North Carolina, teachers are better able to connect with students in a block period.

“The original proposal was more radical, eliminating the Monday schedule. We received a lot of feedback from students that teachers weren’t using that period well and that students felt that Monday was a bit of a throw away day. So we wanted to do something bold for Drake by making it all block periods but that wasn’t very popular. We went back to a Monday schedule.” committee member Jeff Martz said.

Tuesday’s and Thursday’s will follow the format of periods 1st through 4th, and Wednesdays will cover 5th through 7th with an added tutorial at the end of the day.

Chad Stuart is working with eSchool to track student attendance at tutorial. Tutorial at the end of the day ensures that student athletes who have early release do not miss class.

“By just switching tutorial to the end of the day, it won’t impact kids who will leave early. Those who leave school now will leave school then. Those who want to use tutorial will use it. Tutorial needs other structural changes, like online to sign up and a roll sheet. There needs to be an actual consequence for those who leave,” Martz said.