Proposed schedule for the 2016-17 school year.

Emilie Wipprecht, Reporter

Within the past few months the Woodland Park High School scheduling committee has presented a proposal to the school board, asking to redesign the schedule to better meet the needs of students and teachers for the upcoming school year. After many meetings, research and discussions, WPHS has confirmed the recent approval for the blended block schedule for 2016-2017. AS this decision is directly affecting the students of WPHS, our teachers and administration feels it is fair for us to have the benefit of knowing in advance.

Starting this April, our new schedule will consist of the regular 7 period schedule we have now, on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Tuesdays we will have period  1, 3, 5 and 7. Wednesdays we will have a late start, due to teacher collaboration meetings in the mornings. Even though the first bell will not ring till 8:45, buses will still pick up at normal times. Wednesday’s schedule consists of 2nd, 4th, 6th and Panther Period, and each period will last close to 95-97 minutes.

“As teachers we aren’t able to have enough collaboration time.” Assistant Principal Michael Dewall says. “With our new blended schedule we are able to produce a more affective and improved system to help students and teachers to the best of their abilities.”

With our new schedule teachers will be able to work more as a team and talk weekly about how they can develop a more productive learning environment for students. With our new schedule, administration is confident that we will be able to enhance and further the education of WPSH students.

“Having a blending block schedule gives students the opportunity to spend more time learning and getting their questions answered. Having such short time periods in class doesn’t give our students the chance to get everything done,” says Mr.Dewall.

Throughout this year Woodland Park teachers have visited and observed schools using the block system. Schools such as Battle Mountain and EngleWood have put the block schedule to use and have found it to be quite effective.  Throughout the observation process, teachers have described the students as engaged, involved, and absorbed in their learning.

After interviewing some students and staff at WPHS I was able to learn a little more about how the community throughout our school felt.

Tyler Damico, junior at WPHS, expresses his feelings towards the change. “It’s something different, and I usually like things that are different but I’m still a bit cautious about the whole situation. If it isn’t broken, you shouldn’t try and fix it. That’s what I’ve always held to.”

“It could be a good thing and it could be a bad thing. Students would have more time for extracurricular activities and more time to finish excessive amounts of work given to them.” Says junior, Brett Jackson.

After interviewing an anonymous staff member I was able to see how some of our teachers at WPHS feel about the change as well.

“This is a terrible idea,” the staff member spoke. “To switch the schedule in the middle of the year will not only be incredibly difficult for students, but teachers as well. What about the students who miss school days due to sports, or being sick? If you miss one day on the block schedule you’ll essentially be missing multiple days’ worth of work. Students will be under more pressure, and will be missing out on important concepts; therefore teachers will have to make time in their day to reteach lessons.”

However, how do we know the new schedule will be effective? How will students react and adjust? Even though there are multiple points of view about the upcoming change WPHS should stay optimistic. The only way we will know if this change will help us is to give it a shot.