Starting the school year via virtual learning and transitioning to a block schedule posed several scheduling challenges for counselors and students. The counselors and associate principal Teresa Dodson were tasked with creating the new schedule format and accommodating students’ needs.
“Our counselors are doing an incredible job, because [scheduling] is so complicated,” Dodson said. “There was one day that I talked to them, and I said ‘Oh my goodness. It’s like you’re doing a job with one hand tied behind your back,’ because of all the different constraints they have. Kudos to the counselors for the great work they have done.”
Before the counselors can put students in classes, Dodson has to make a master schedule. The master schedule lays out which classes are offered during each period, while also taking into consideration where students are learning (virtual, hybrid or hybrid+), and how teachers are teaching (virtual or in person).
“Although I know a lot of people had difficulties with getting their schedules correct and do not like online school, my schedule worked out for me,” junior Holly Xue said. “I actually prefer the block schedules that we have this year because of the flexibility it gives me on what I want to work on at certain times, and because I feel like the work is more manageable with only four classes each day.
Switching to block scheduling has resulted in students having their schedules divided into an A day and a B day. On each day, students attend four classes which are an hour and a half instead of the previous 45 minute time period.
“I like the block days because it gives us more time to work on each class’s homework; however, I wasn’t able to get all the classes I wanted,” senior Prachi Saxena said. “I think that if we had gotten our schedules a week before school started, then people’s schedules would’ve been a little better, but I know that the counselors were working their hardest. Schedules are a little crazy this year, but with the current situation, I think that they’re the best they can be.”
Dual credit classes are also structured differently this year. Seniors now have the opportunity to complete their coursework at their discretion since all dual credit classes are fully online.
“Thank you for everybody with their grace,” lead and senior counselor Mary Cabrera said. “Everyone has been so gracious, so patient and so understanding. I know it’s frustrating, and I can’t imagine being on [the students’] side.”