Big schedule changes for next year

And how it will affect students


It’s the first day of school, the excitement is real. After you’re done getting ready you decide to check Infinite Campus to see your classes for this year. But when you look, you’re shocked to see you have a release period and that block days are no more. This will be a reality for East High School students during the 2022-2023 school year, as several new changes and additions have been implemented, including turning Scarlet time into a period, a possible release period, and the discontinuation of block days.

East High administrators are already planning out schedules for next year, with the main differences being students would now have eight periods in the day instead of seven. However, students will still only take seven academic classes and the school day will still be from 8:25 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. with the eight periods consisting of Scarlet time and the other seven consisting of core and elective classes.

“Initial thoughts are that some students could have an open period. Other students might have a directed study hall to support academic progress and stay caught up,” principal Jill Versteeg said.

The initial plans right now are for upperclassmen who have good grades to have a release period. But who would also have a release period? Well as of right now, plans are for students who go to central would also have one or a directed study. But they would have to use that period for traveling to and from Central.

“Students who go to Central would have their open period for travel,” Versteeg said.

Another difference will be that everyone’s new period would be at a different time. This school year, everyone has Scarlet after third block. While with the new schedule, a student’s release, study hall, or intervention could be at a different period compared to another student.

“Everyone’s MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) time would be at a different time, and MTSS is what students know as Scarlet time,” counselor Michael Freund said.

There might be an opportunity for  some students who are on track to graduate with their class could have the opportunity to have a release. Using a combination of factors, such as the student’s grade, their marks in class, and how well the classes they need to take line up during the day, would determine if a student has release.

“Although some students may be able to have a release, others might have a study hall, it all depends on what classes they need to take and will be different between each person,” Freund said.

The last change for next year will be the end of block days. With what we know as block days now encompassing one 50-minute class, Scarlet time, and three 90-minute classes during Wednesdays and Thursdays. And with next year there will only be one eight period schedule used Monday through Friday.

“The district got rid of block days to create more consistency in the day-to-day schedule, this year block days created a lot of confusion with parents, students, and even teachers, I know I personally still get confused,” Freund said.

The schedule changes were suggested by district stakeholders (parents, community members, students, alumni), in order to give teachers more planning time. As of now, teachers only have one 45-minute planning period, and one 90-minute period during Wednesday or Thursday.

“Currently, teachers only have one planning period a day  and one day with no planning.  This schedule will increase the amount of time they have for planning and for PLCs substantially, teachers will be assigned a directed study time on a rotating basis but we are still exploring what that will look like for next year,” Versteeg said.