Proposed schedule change sparks debate among stakeholders

Citing students options, academic gains, district considers reverting to traditional period schedule

Cade Skuse, Editor-In-Chief (Online)

Since the beginning of November, rumors have been spread about a potential change in the schedule for next year. The rumor states that rather than having a block schedule like there is currently, the schedule would instead be switching to a nine-period schedule. While this is partially true, this is not the whole story.

Right now at Freedom, the days are currently split up into two different days called Red days and White days. These days alternate and students have different classes each day depending on whether it is a Red day or a White day. Students have each class for 80 minutes along with five minutes between classes to get to their next class along with Personal Learning Time (PLT) at the end of the day, for 30 minutes.

Talks with the administration have taken place on whether or not the schedule should be changed for next year. These conversations have come about due to lower test scores in Freedom than previous years. The change to period scheduling is one of the ways that this problem can be fixed.

“The primary goal for the change is to provide more academic and remediation options to students in hopes that we will see improved academic gains,” principal William Deal said.

Rather than having a complete nine-period schedule with nine classes per day, one of the options would be to have a hybrid schedule. With this schedule, some classes are blocked and take up two periods while other classes for labs or other reasons, while other classes would just meet daily for one period.

With the rumors of a change in the schedule for next year, students, community members and alumni have voiced their opinions in opposition to the change next year. For example, junior Cole Skuse created a petition on for community members to sign to try and help keep block scheduling at Freedom. As of Nov. 20, the petition had almost 500 people supporting it.

“Block scheduling, in my opinion, is much easier than having 9 periods a day. It helps me and many other students to stay organized, and it also helps us to get our work done on time. Along with this, block scheduling has nothing to do with the keystone scores, it all depends upon how much the student pays attention and how much they actually care,” sophomore Christianna Mosconi said.

Besides students, many Freedom graduates have also spoken out about how block scheduling has helped them when they went to college.

“Block scheduling has helped me out tremendously. The 8 or 9 periods made me struggle in middle school, the days were slower and dragged on and it was just miserable for myself stressing about school work and not being organized. Block scheduling helps you prepare and be organized with your work and classes. It also helps prep for college. I graduated from college and was thankful for the block scheduling because I was always organized with my work and studying,” alumnus Ryan Edder said.

While this decision has not been finalized yet, there are plans to involve the community as well as students to try and make this plan work. The decision on what the final schedule for the high school is not planned to be made until January, as there still needs to be time for the administration to come up with a final plan. At the board meeting in January, the administration plans on holding a presentation with the new schedule.