The scoop on the new schedule

How is the new eight period schedule affecting students and staff at Larned High School?


Larned High school students are being hit by a big change this year. As of the beginning of this school year, the schedule was changed from a four block day to an eight period schedule. It has been said that the eight period day is better for students’ attention spans. Students only have to focus for 46 minutes in each subject as opposed to the previous schedule, where each class was 90 minutes long. Now students will take core classes all year long, instead of for just one semester. After these drastic changes, what do Larned High School students think of the new schedule? 

Walking down the halls of Larned High School, you’ll hear a never ending string of sayings: “This schedule is wearing me out,” “I wish we were still in block,” and “School seems never ending now.” How much of the school is really against the eight period schedule? A vote from Larned High School’s students shows 71.4% of them don’t support the change in the schedule. 

Student athlete, Carter Crosby, stated the new schedule “Increases stress for athletes especially.” Students are finding themselves in more classes each day with homework, and less class time to work on it. Student athlete, and sophomore, Carter Crosby, stated the new schedule “Increases stress for athletes especially.”

You might be wondering, were these changes the right move to make to help students learn better? On the topic, Mr. Butler stated that “For students that want to learn, the situation doesn’t matter.”

Some teachers are happy about shorter classes and agree that some of their classes are better taught at shorter intervals, such as Mrs. Fitzpatrick. She shared, “I think for some of my classes, such as anatomy and physiology, the amount of stuff they have to do everyday will not be near as bad because there is so much memorization. To stretch it out over a year rather than a semester is going to be a ton better.”

 The shorter classes help students be able to focus better. Now they focus on one subject for 46 minutes, and then switch gears to another subject, rather than trying to focus on one subject for 90 minutes. But what about other teachers? Some teachers are missing the longer class times that allowed students to start up their homework and ask questions before going home. 

The schedule change is hitting shop classes and art classes especially hard. Before they had 70 minutes to work on their projects, taking the other 20 to get things out and put them away. Now they have between 30 and 40 minutes each day to work on their projects, due to needing 10 to 20 minutes to get things out and put them away. Mrs. Fitzpatrick said “It’s going to be a struggle to get labs done in 46 minutes.” But some of the classes that are heavier on memorization are appreciating the new schedules. It allows students to be able to absorb the information over the course of a year, rather than one semester. 

As with all things in life, there are pros and cons to the new schedule. One of the cons being the toll that it’s taking on students. Some teachers are finding creative ways to help students cope with the new changes that have been sprung on them. Mr. Scheideman is giving his juniors and seniors four ‘brain break days’ to help them cope with the changes being brought upon them. Each individual  student gets to choose when they use their break days, so that they are able to use them when they need them most. Other teachers are routinely asking students how they’re doing, to make sure the teachers don’t accidentally overwhelm them. To know how much their teachers support them in these hard times has been a huge relief to students. 

 Another con for the new schedule is limited options for classes this year. With the schedule being in its infancy, there are understandably some troubles with how it has been set up. For example, senior Jacob Colglazier said on the topic, “It’s not allowing me to take some classes I should be able to take, even though I have seniority.” However, the administration hopes to have that problem fixed in the years to come. 

One of the pros to the new schedule is being able to share teachers between the middle school and high school. Mr. Wilson, when asked if it was a good decision considering the teacher shortage we’re going through, stated, “The teachers were already kind of teaching eight periods a day, so there wasn’t a lot of change there. They are down to half a class schedule, some class sizes are a little bigger but that’s also due to the fact we’re offering some CT (Career and Tech ed.) classes at the middle school. So at this point in time I don’t really think we’re really impacted by it because it wasn’t a drastic change in what we were doing so I’m hoping it won’t be an issue down the road.” 

So how has this affected Larned students?  In the sharing of teachers, the middle school teachers are coming to the high school solely to teach required courses. Whereas the high school teachers that are teaching middle-school classes are teaching only electives, which has resulted in the loss of 100 high school elective class spots and in return, middle school students are gaining these spots. This change may seem very one sided but the administration must prioritize core classes over electives in order to allow students to graduate. The administration hopes to get more high school electives in the coming years. 

20.7% of students have stated that they haven’t really been affected by the eight period day. Which is a complete win for the school! Larned High School hopes that these changes will be helpful and are trying to make them as smooth as possible. For so many students to say that it hasn’t affected them is great! 

So how many students completely agree with the new eight period day? 7.9% of the students at LHS have said that they enjoy the new schedule. Which is great, seeing as they are in fact stuck in the new schedule for the foreseeable future. It is great that so many students are happy about the new schedule and we hope that the support for the eight period day goes up as we get more used to the change!