New schedule, new problems

Thea Hoaken

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Imagine, it’s Sunday night at 11pm, and you are winding down for the night. As you pack your backpack for the next day, you glance over at your schedule, and notice you have a first period spare. The next day you come to school at 10:30am, feeling refreshed. As you enter the school, panic rises when you see your friend who asks you why you weren’t in first period English. All of a sudden it hits you that it is day 5, not day 3, and your spare is second period, not first. Unfortunately, since the introduction of the new schedule, this scenario isn’t so far fetched. As a student who has gotten used to the previous schedule, I believe that the switch to an eight day schedule is a mistake, and so does a large portion of the student body.

Firstly, one of the schedule’s biggest features is the new 40 minute lunch. Not only does the new schedule not allow time for students to eat properly, it also denies students the ability to socialize and catch up with their friends. An anonymous Grade 9 student said, “the new limited lunch makes it much harder for me to spend time with my friends and make memories with them. It’s hard because you feel rushed if you’re waiting in the student centre line or you get out of Period 2 class a little late.” We want our students to leave BSS with fond memories, but how can these be created if the schedule doesn’t allow time for them?

On top of a limited lunch, the new schedule includes a new eight-day pattern. This means that classes every other day rotate periods. Although this rotation is convenient for students with spares because this means at least once every eight days they will get to sleep in, this rotation causes more problems than conveniences for the majority of students. The new eight day system is a source of confusion and requires constant checking of MyBss, instead of being able to know off the top of their head what class they have next. Ali Furse, a Grade 11 student said, “I find it extremely complicated having to check MyBss four times a day just to know what class I have next. It is especially a hassle having to take my laptop out instead of being able to pull out my phone.” As you can see, this new schedule excessively preoccupies students. When they are constantly trying to remember what class they have next, how are they expected to concentrate on the task at hand? Not only does the new eight day pattern cause students stress, it also limits their ability to be involved in the school community. Since the introduction of the 40 minute lunch, club meetings no longer occur during this time. Instead, all club meetings are scheduled for the same time: Day 8 during Community Time. How are students supposed to be as involved in school life if they can’t participate in more than one club? BSS encourages girls to be as involved as possible, but the new schedule is making this extremely hard.

Life constantly challenges us with changes that make us feel like the world is ending. Unfortunately, this schedule is here to stay, at least for the time being. Change is always hard, especially when it comes at the beginning of a new and stressful school year. Although these concerns about the schedule are troublesome, they are manageable. Students can print out colour coded schedules and bring a lunch to school. Change is frightening, but we have to give it a chance, even if it takes a while to adapt.