“School should be more flexible around the students’ schedule not so much just the school’s schedule,” sophomore Lauren Metzger said.
As summer is closing out the school year, students are flooded with plans of the beach, the never ending days under the sun, and staying up until two in the morning for no reason other than having no worry of waking up early in the morning.
But, on the other side of summer is a brand new year, a year that presents students and faculty with a lot of new changes.
“Next year your schedule will still be the same. It’s going to be an eight block pair of days,” assistant principal Frances Warnick said. “Students will just have the opportunity to take more classes because teachers will be teaching more classes.”
Even though it is an eight block plan, students’ schedules won’t be entirely the same. A 20-minute flex time will be added into the school day to accommodate travelers coming to Hanover and to the Hanover Center for Trades and Technology.
“We have to have time for them to be transported and not miss instructional time because they are coming from Patrick Henry, Lee Davis and Atlee,” Warnick said.
Flex Time also has another purpose; it can be used as a small study hall for students to finish some of their homework as well as a potential club time for students who are unable to stay after school.
“Right now, a lot of kids take study halls. The push is to take advantage of the eight blocks and take more electives,” Warnick said.
However, a lot of students are hesitant to abandon their study hall block for a full eight class schedule.
“Flex Time doesn’t give you enough time to do anything,” a sophomore student, who would like to remain nameless, said.
Though Flex Time gives more students time to come to Hanover’s Specialty Center, which accommodates about 200 kids from other schools per day, class sizes are projected to be smaller. With this added “homebase,” lunches will begin as early as 10:00 am. Seniors with senior release will therefore be allowed to leave at a later time than previous.
Classes now have an average of 26 students, according to Warnick. Though there is not yet an exact number of students per class it is expected to be smaller than this year. This is both a positive for student and faculty because it will be easier to learn in this environment.
“The teachers will have more of an individual approach,” Metzger said.
Next school year, teachers will be required to teach six classes instead of five. While this opens up more class blocks for students, it increases the work load for the teachers who will be fewer in number as budget cuts force layoffs.
“They had less classes last year and now they have more classes and they still have the same pay. That’s not right for them. And they cut more teachers so I don’t know how that’s going to work,” sophomore Alexis Anderson said.
As well as the increase in the classes teachers have, there aren’t going to be any early morning classes other than College Composition.
“Some people have work and it just works easier for some people to come to school early,” Anderson said.
The absence of early morning may be a hindrance for the students who have jobs and depend on early morning so they can get out early.
Starting with the class of 2015, senior release will no longer be offered. And, it will be harder for students to switch classes after the initial scheduling period.
Another change that has really hit home with students is the fact that they will no longer be reimbursed for making a 4 or 5 on an AP test or a 3 and up on the IB test. Junior IB students have raised a protest over the change, which forces them to pay nearly $1000 for their tests without a reimbursement or a guarantee of an IB diploma. Some worry of the future of the IB program as students may opt for the AP program instead, which does not require any exams to be taken at the end of the year, unless desired.
“It’s unfair that we have to pay for a test that public schools should provide to us,” junior Maya Shadoyan said.
Shadoyan isn’t the only one upset with this new policy. Metzger and Anderson both commented on how this is a major blunder.
“How are you going to encourage kids to take harder classes if they have to pay for it. It’s almost like a punishment for being smart,” Anderson said.
In the old rule, students were reimbursed if they passed. This incentive for passing is now naught.
“It also is a disadvantage for kids who can’t afford it. So what about those kids that can’t afford it but still want the credit? You should be able to get that in high school,” Anderson said.
When students come back from summer Hanover will almost be working under a brand new system. With a new Flex Time, larger classes, no early morning, and no reimbursements for the AP and IB tests, it is expected for this to be a very different school day for everyone.