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Out With the Old, In With the New

Luke Tyler, Co-Editor

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If you’re a New Milford High School student, your ears are just starting to adjust to the announcements every morning: “Today is an R1 day…” At first, all of the rotations in the schedule may seem confusing to most students, but it’s beginning to become more normal.

It’s the high school’s first year using a new rotating schedule and the way it works is each day, class fall under a category of R1, ODD, EVEN, R2 or R3. The system helps some students out by not allocating all their tardies into one class. But, the schedule also helps in others ways, such as the addition of blocks and flex periods. The new 90 minute activity period encourages students to utilize the extra free time to fit their needs and interests. The high school now offers spaces for independent study and collaborative work, as well as traditional extra help for those struggling in classes. The block periods take place on ODD and EVEN days and are now double the length of regular periods. Being in a class for 90 minutes may seem daunting at first, but the teachers are beginning to adjust their lessons to be more interactive in order to make the time go by faster.

Mr. Manuppelli, Principal of New Milford High School, discussed his reasoning behind the switch to the new schedule. He stated that “Number one, I wanted to bring variety to the students’ learning…we also wanted to incorporate a period of time for students to have for exploration. Hence, the flex period.” He then added that the reasoning behind the block periods was to allow students to engage in a deeper lesson with teachers and allow “flexibility” that comes with the new schedule. “This is one of the first times that we have the student’s ability to manage their own time…” was Mr. Manuppelli’s response when asked about how the schedule could combat issues plaguing college students who have difficulty adjusting when they graduate from high school. His belief is that if the school provides variety to the students, then they can adapt to what a college lifestyle will be like. When asked about areas he sees room for improvement in, he stated that “The flex period should be an opportunity for students to share what they know with other students…” It has been two months since the new schedule’s implementation and he agrees that there are a lot of ways it can improve upon the way the school operates.

One important aspect of the new schedule is how it interacts with other clubs and activities. Danielle Shanley, the Assistant Superintendent of Schools, spoke about utilizing the flex period for Academy students. She said that it’s a “unique” opportunity for the Academy students to create a year-long project that can help impact the community. Her vision for students is to have them lead a class on a subject they are passionate about and have them help students discover new interests. Ms. Shanley also added that the program even allows teachers to attend student-led classes which further creates a more cohesive bond between the faculty and students. Even though she has her own goals and ambitions for the flex period, Ms. Shanley believes that it will be the students that will define what it will become.

It’s hard to understand the impact of the new schedule as it is still in its infancy. However, most students agree when they say the change is for the better. Many will agree that the new system provides variety and new opportunities for students and faculty, however, we will just have to wait and see.

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The student news site of New Milford High School, New Milford, New Jersey
Out With the Old, In With the New