New high school schedule presents learning curve

Jennings County High School has practiced a block schedule for many years. This means that the students’ eight classes would be split into two different days, with periods 1 to 4 on “blue” days and periods 5 to 8 on “white” days.

This year, the high school made a major change to the class schedule for this school year with the addition of a “red” day, when students attend all eight classes in one day, as well as a homeroom. The change is intended to make the schedule more consistent and help students retain the material more easily, especially in their math courses since they will have more opportunity to ask questions involving unclear material covered in the course.

Jennings High has decided that Mondays and Wednesdays will be a blue days, Tuesdays and Thursdays will be white days, and Fridays will be a red days — assuming that school is in session for the full week.

Of course, such drastic changes after years of practicing one method would cause both students and staff members to struggle to adapt to the change. Many students complain that they don’t feel as if Fridays are beneficial anymore, and they don’t have enough time to complete the tasks assigned to them. Others say that they enjoy the change because it makes the day go by much faster.

The first red day turned out to be a bit chaotic when it came to the lunch period. It took too long to dismiss the students from the cafeteria and still allow enough time for the lunch staff to prepare for the next round. In order to fix this issue, administrators decided to pull just a few minutes from each morning class and put that time between the lunch periods so that there would be time to reset and clean the necessary elements of the cafeteria. The second red day went much more smoothly thanks to these corrections.

When asked about her feelings toward the red days, senior Mallory Matern said, “From my perspective as an AP student, having homework from both blue and white day classes due on Fridays is almost impossible.”

Mallory shares this perspective with many other JCHS students with similar class schedules. It’s a common complaint, especially among upperclassmen who take on the more challenging courses.

On the contrary, Eric Wernke, one of the math teachers at the high school, has a differing point of view.

“I like the opportunity to see all of my classes in one day; it’s nice to be able to touch base with them all before a weekend to refresh the students on lessons they may have forgotten,” Wernke said. “I like to do short tests or lessons, mostly to review or solidify the ideas they’ve learned.”

The inclusion of the red day will hopefully bring forth much more productivity for Jennings County High School’s staff and students in the future, once everyone gets themselves accustomed to the changes. Despite the varying viewpoints on the changes, these adjustments have been made with the better interest of the students in mind and are ultimately intended to benefit them in the long run. Hopefully, the future will hold much greater success for the students in their educational pursuits thanks to this schedule switch.