Half day schedule allows students flexibility to pursue interests By Seth McCoy '19

Erratic periods... Inconsistent start times... No more. This year Staples upgraded its schedule to create two distinct blocks, allowing students versatility in course registration.

Staples’ new schedule kept the same periods in the morning and in the afternoon everyday, as opposed to the more sporadic arrangement used in previous years. The new schedule provided students the opportunity to attend their core classes either in the morning or afternoon if unable to spend the entire day at school.

The administration originally received “a healthy dose of negativity” from students about the schedule, according to Staples High School Principal James D’Amico.

But since the new schedule’s debut, D'Amico said he hasn’t heard any student complaints. Instead, students have adapted to the more uniform way of life. “At the beginning of the year, I didn’t think I was going to like it,” Alex Didelot ’19 said. “But it actually kind of grew on me.”

Keeping the same periods in the morning and afternoon everyday allowed students with extenuating circumstances to come to school for part of the day and still attend their classes regularly. Some students may be unable to regularly attend school due to the need to travel to appointments far away on a regular basis or participation in alternative courses like the Regional Center for the Arts, a “part-time, public interdistrict magnet high school for Fairfield County students interested in the performing arts,” according to Cooperative Educational Services.

Students like Sam Whittle ’19 enjoy the new schedule because it changes the school-week’s structure.

However, teachers have had a different experience. Most teachers at Staples teach five classes everyday plus a duty. Due to the schedule change, teachers now face days that drop their free period(s) and duty, greatly cutting back class-prep time, according to D’Amico.

Still, there are some teachers who have not had a problem. Math teacher, Rob Papp, said the schedule changed worked well for him and that his concern lied in the loss of classdays. “Even though you may have the same number of minutes each year, you lose days,” Papp said.

D’Amico plans to continue resolving scheduling issues. “I view this schedule as a baby step,” D’Amico said, “into making larger schedule changes in the future.”


Photo Credit Westport Public Schools

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