Schedule changes

Perry Albert

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When ringing in the new year, we often hear the phrase, “New year, new me.” And for BSS, there was no exception. After countless changes that came with the 2017-2018 school year (an 8-day schedule, shorter lunches, afternoon rec, community time, a new building, and a new Head of School), it was unlikely that anything else could be changed over the course of the year – we’ve been through it all, right? Well, new year, new me and 2018 brought even more changes to BSS. On the last night of winter break, as students tried to complete all of their assigned work and put on layers of self-tanner, an email was sent by Dr. Terpstra to all students and staff outlining the changes that would be seen the following day.

Firstly, the lunch would be extended to fifty-five minutes rather than forty-five, thus cutting our afternoon rec down by ten minutes.  Personally, I find this longer lunch period to be a great time to relax, catch up with friends, or even do some more work. After a hectic and stressful morning, it is important to take the time to rejuvenate, both physically and mentally, before heading back to class. Although it may not sound like a lot, the ten-minute increase makes a big difference – people are no longer waiting in the Student Center line until the last minute of lunch and conversations are rarely cut short. That being said, there are many students who feel differently. Although, this schedule change was meant to offer in order “extra help, and [allow students] to have one-on- one meetings,” some find that this lunch meeting time has completely taken away the option of having meetings before or after school or during rec. Granted, lunch is a convenient time to meet  but it takes away from the initial purpose of the shortened lunch – to provide students with a solid amount of time to relax.

Victoria Valentine, Head Girl, was initially excited for the schedule change. Not only would she now “have more time to eat and socialize, but also have the occasional meeting. Unfortunately, the Google Calendar invites quickly started to roll in and [she] had meetings booked for practically every lunch. Victoria says, “it has been really hectic running from class, to meeting, to class while still trying to find the time to eat.” The email continued to state that the Quiet Room and Student Life Room would now be open eating areas for all students. While this meant  nothing to more than half of the student body, the 123 members of the graduating class were floored. The Student Life Room, commonly known as the Grad Room, has been a place where Grade 12 students have been able to eat, study, chat and dance together. There was no secret password preventing students of other grades from entering, but it was a known fact that the bright-green, small room right out of the Student Centre was for Grads. For Grade 12 student, Rachel Levine, the Grad Room was more than just a space to hang out with her friends, but somewhere where the graduating class can bond like no year before. “Growing up at BSS, the Grad Room was always something [she]looked forward to. [She remembers] walking by seeing the older girls and thinking [she couldn’t] wait until [she was] a grad and can use that room. Every student wants to have a room for their grade to be together in their final year, and therefore respect the fact that it’s only a room for the grads. Even if it’s not called the “Grad Room” [she] always thinks it will be.” Although the room is now open as a space for all students to eat, and occasionally students from other grades will grab a table with their friends, the Student Life Room remains a safe and guaranteed spot for the Class of 2018.

BSS students have experienced an abundance of changes in the past few months, some being terrific and others causing trouble, but only time can truly tell what the 2018-2019 school year will look like, or even what is to come after March break.