By Amanda Potts
On the old, blocked schedule there was an instructional time of 212.5 minutes per class a week on average. Instructional time has now increased to 245 minutes per class a week, which is more than half an hour of added class time.
As you know, the Salem Keizer School District is having budget issues. 80 percent of our funding is spent on salaries, and so the most obvious solution is to have less staff. However, the question was, how can we reduce staff without cutting student instructional time?
This is what resulted in the new seven periods a day schedule, which reduced staff by 15-20 percent. This schedule also makes it much easier to form a master schedule.
“The only thing that would make us want to go back is a sense of empathy for teachers,” said Lieuallen, regarding the unfriendliness the new schedule has toward teachers.
Teachers are teaching more blocks a day with a diminished prep time, this calls for more planning time outside of school.
On the subject of teaching on this new schedule Lieuallen brings us back to his days as a teacher, “I taught on both and it didn’t really make a difference.”
Right now though, “the majority of teachers, almost all, are feeling rushed,” said Lieuallen, “though most are pretty optimistic.”
So far Lieuallen has had balanced reviews. “There is a concern out there about that has been brought to my attention about teachers still thinking on the blocked schedule. If homework isn’t getting done, hopefully, as a reflective teacher, they’ll make adjustments,” Lieuallen said.
What do students think about this change though?
Katrina Foster, a Junior, says, “It’s dumb. They’re still giving out the same amount of homework. I end up staying up until 11:30 at night doing it then the teachers complain that they have too much to do.”
Marisa Thomas, another Junior, said, “I like it because I see my teachers everyday and if I have a problem I can just ask.”
Jermaine Harris expresses mixed, but still negative feelings toward the schedule when he said, “I hate it because we have one less elective, and I like it because class is shorter. But I still hate it.”
“I like it,” said Junior, Justin Bliven, “I actually think it’s epically awesome.”
Junior, Josielyn Sannes, says, “I hate it. I don’t like it because we don’t have time for anything in class.”
Sophomore Shae Reece, says, “I hate the homework.”
On a teachers point of view, Ms. Marie Cramer says, “I taught on a seven period day before so it’s nothing new to me, but it reminds me of a time where you hit the ground running and break a sweat every period.”