WMC’s New Schedule

WMCs New Schedule

Since the emergence of Covid-19, WMC had adopted a new schedule every year, changing the duration of class time and how long students have between each class. This school year will be the first time since lockdown that students and staff have a fully normal school year ahead of us, but this doesn’t mean things will stop changing. For the 2022-23 school year, West Morris Central decided to adopt a new schedule that adds an extra minute during passing periods. It will also eliminate lab during lunch and add ten extra minutes to the second and fifth blocks of each day.
Many students enjoy having more freedom with their time, and they appreciate not having science classes interfere with their lunch breaks. However, the teachers seem to be divided on the subject. Some teachers prefer the extra time during the middle block because it gives them more in-person time with their students. On the other hand, science teachers, like Mr. Lawrence, who worry that classes will feel rushed, as they are “losing instruction time”.
The new schedule mostly impacts the science department, who no longer have a designated lab period. With the changes made this year, students in science courses are losing 16 hours’ worth of class time. This has left both students and staff wondering if they have enough time to cover the necessary material for the AP tests. Mrs. Gizas, who teaches multiple science courses, thinks that although it may be too early to tell what the long-term effects of the new schedule will have on the classes, she worries about “covering the same amount of material with [students] in three and a half weeks less time.” So, while some teachers are gaining more time to go over the material with their students and are able to provide more enriching classes, others are losing valuable time. Some science teachers suggest that classes may feel more rushed in order to cover all the necessary material.
Teachers in other departments are seeing the positives in the change, like how now both teachers and students get a full lunch period. Mr. Togno enjoys the new schedule and reports, “the extra ten minutes that we get are critical in the fact that [teachers] can really develop depth in the lessons”, that will engage all learners. Other teachers are unaffected by the new schedule, choosing not to utilize the extended periods in any specific way. Rather, they are allowing their students to have extra time to finish classwork and ask questions about the material.

Students seem to be united about their feelings towards the new schedule. In previous years, students had to miss fifteen minutes of lunch once and sometimes twice a week. In many cases, if students didn’t have classes with their friends, lunch would be their only time to interact with them. Forcing students to leave lunch early meant forcing them to limit their in-person time with each other. This year students can enjoy their lunch in their own time and have a full period to interact with each other. Sophomore Abby Nasis says that she likes “not having to give up our free time to do more school work.” People also enjoy having extra time in classes that they enjoy, such as IRT, gym, and various art classes. The extra time during passing periods has also been useful to students who previously only had four minutes to walk through crowded halls to the opposite wings of the school.
It’s hard to tell this early in the school year whether this schedule will truly be beneficial for both students and teachers, or if WMC will be changing yet again for the 2023-24 school year.