New Year, New Potential Schedule


The future looks bright for Ipswich High School. A new potential schedule appears to be set in place for next year. IHS is looking to change the layout of its current schedule from block to a type of waterfall schedule. The current block schedule consisting of four periods a day, has been enforced since the mid 1900. It was being practiced all over the area. Although some parents and faculty were first against the block scheduling update in ‘94 because it meant that classes only lasted a semester, the modified four by four block schedule allows for classes to run all year. Additionally, it allows for music opportunities on a daily basis. IHS is now ready to make a change in its schedule.  

“There is no such thing as a perfect schedule,” Ipswich High School’s principal, Dave Dalton, said. However, he believes the potential Five Day Rotation Schedule is the best option. If applied, a student would have five periods a day, with eight blocks of time over the course of the year. This means there would be five different classes which rotate before lunch daily, meeting three times a week. After lunch, a student would attend two more classes; these classes would be fixed. With this potential plan, each block would be seventy minutes long, not too long but not too short.

I believe that the new Five Day Rotation Schedule would be a perfect fit for Ipswich High School. The schedule was put together by a committee consisting of students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Their job was to research different schedules from surrounding schools and communities to get ideas for IHS’ possible schedule. After numerous hours of work, the committee believes they came up with the best feasible schedule to benefit faculty and students.

There are always pros and cons to everything, but the committee did their best to make sure the pros outnumbered the cons in the new schedule when making their decision. The three main goals the committee wanted to have in the new schedule were met. These goals made the final decision a no brainer to many; switching the schedule is the right thing to do. The three main points Mr. Dalton said need to be met are reserving long blocks, eliminating the gap between classes each year, and providing common planning time. The schedule will be one of the best decision IHS makes to better its education system.

Preserving the long blocks is obtained because each class is seventy minutes long. As a student who gets easily bored in class, I believe seventy minutes is the perfect length. It is enough time to take a test, listen to a lecture, take notes, or even work on a project. After seventy minutes in class, I find myself drifting off into space. With the new shorter classes, I believe students will be more focused.

Next, I want to address the gap between classes. Could you imagine taking Spanish first semester one year and then second semester the next? If you answered yes to this question, I can relate; It is hard! Trying to remember material from a whole year before is hard. Don’t worry you won’t have to do this with the new schedule! The gap is broken and no student will have to stress about the lengthy gaps between classes each year.

Additionally, teachers are at a disadvantage with the current schedule. Each department is lacking common planning time; teachers cannot collaborate on lesson plans and teaching strategies in their school day. They have to resort to after school meetings which can last for hours. The rotation schedule will allow for common prep periods for teachers in the same department. This is the perfect opportunity for teachers to improve their habits.

The Five Day Rotation Schedule is a benefit for the IHS community. The possibilities with this schedule are endless. Mr. Dalton and his team are going to present the potential new schedule on November 19th before the final word is said. Although I am confident, along with IHS senior Carli Hancock, that the new schedule is right for IHS in the upcoming school year, it is not up to us to decide. Carli said, “I think it is going to be hard for the current class to adjust to the change; however, it will help benefit students in the long run.”  In just a few short years, new kids will be in the high school, and they won’t even know of the current modified block schedule. To stay up to date and to continue to keep IHS at the top, the new schedule needs to be passed.