Have you noticed people in the middle school walking around asking people what day it is? Or showing up in P.E. when they are supposed to be in math? Or feeling hangry before lunch–hungry enough to eat your own homework, because lunch is not until almost 1pm? Have you been baffled by the period switch? All of this is because GFS transitioned this year to an eight-day rotating schedule.
Last year, we had a two-week schedule, which was confusing at first, but we quickly got used to it. The change to a new eight-day schedule occurred to help with people missing the same class from early sports dismissals or missing Mondays and Fridays because of holidays and days off school. However, this problem has not been solved, instead classes before expo have taken the hit, as have our electives for clubs.
The eight-day schedule has been difficult for students to adjust to. There seems to be an awkward division of time, between period switches, community block, and lunch time. We have trouble figuring out which course meets when. The school provided an app for student schedules, but middle schoolers aren’t allowed to look at their phones to check it. Instead, we have screens on campus reminding us which “day” it is, which seem needless if the schedule was rational. In addition, what’s wrong with a normal, five-day week? It would align with the outside world and be easier for us to remember.
One of the biggest difficulties for middle school is the 12:55 P.M. lunch. Last year, the school day was split up nicely, with two periods before snack, two periods before lunch, and two periods before Flex. The mornings last too long, with a total of five periods, or four hours and 35 minutes of class(including community block), occurring before lunch. The lunch period was also shortened by five minutes, which is significant since there’s already a rush in the lunchroom.
Previously, snack was more of a recess period for talking to your friends and doing whatever you want to be doing. This year, snack is much more important than it should be. Lunch is very late, so we need snack to sustain our energy throughout the day. We are growing kids, and we get hungry (and acne). It’s hard to focus on whatever x is equal to when you’re counting minutes until lunch starts. However, someone has to come last for lunch, and it would make more sense for high schoolers, who have free periods where they can snack, to take this burden. Since not everyone brings snack in, we are provided a free snack by GFS, but what our bodies really need is food, Not salty cheez-its, stale pretzels, and neon orange goldfish.
The new schedule has many of the same flaws (if not more) as the five-day schedule. It needs to make more sense, and give more time for lunch. In the past, students expressed dislike for the A/B-week schedule, but we would prefer it to the eight-day schedule. Perhaps next year if or when the schedule is changed, we may long for the eight-day schedule.