New schedule proposal: What’s different?

Josh Neronha, Staff Writer

Over the past few weeks, students have been meeting with their guidance counselors in order to plan their schedules for next year. However, earlier this year, the administration announced a new scheduling format that they hope to implement in the coming school year.

The new schedule, presented to the North Kingstown School Committee on March 28, includes a number of changes that Principal Denise Mancieri hopes will allow students to personalize their schedules and have greater flexibility. However, the new schedule proposal has not yet been approved. First, the School Department must reach a memorandum of agreement with the teacher’s union. Then, the School Committee would have to accept the proposal. Regardless of what happens, the Guidance Department is planning for both scenarios: it is creating schedules in both the current and proposed formats.

The most obvious change to the proposed schedule is the addition of an eighth period. To account for this additional period, each class lasts for eighty minutes, rather than ninety minutes. However, the school day would still start at 7:15 and end at 1:45, just like the current schedule.

The administration decided to propose an additional period for a variety of reasons. First, students enrolled in the College and Career Academies have limited schedules — they often do not have space in their schedules to take all the classes they want, such as band or a foreign language. Additionally, some students would relish the opportunity to take another elective, especially those in band or chorus classes. Other students are enrolled in a lab class, which also makes it difficult to take an elective.

However, the proposal also takes into account the fact that many students may not want to take an additional class, since many students are satisfied with their current course load of seven classes. If a student decides not to take an additional class, he or she will be placed in a Learning Center, of which there are two distinct types. Some students might work individually on homework or work on an online or Advanced Coursework Network class; other students might receive assistance from a teacher in a particular subject.

Another facet of the administration’s proposal incorporates additional flexibility for seniors. Instead of taking an eighth class or a Learning Center, seniors may be able to arrive at school late or leave school early as long as all of their graduation credits are in order. The former proposal is designed for seniors who are often up late finishing homework and would appreciate the opportunity to get an extra hour of sleep in the morning. Seniors may also have the opportunity to leave school early for an internship or work.

In summary, the proposed schedule seeks to increase students’ flexibility while choosing classes in order to further personalize education at the school. The administration hopes that the schedule will help students to receive the best possible education and make the most of their high school careers.