New schedule to pilot at BVNW and BVHS next year

BVNW is testing a new schedule next year. The schedule will allow an hour of free time for students daily and eliminate TCB.

New schedule to pilot at BVNW and BVHS next year

Natasha Vyhovsky, Editor-in-Chief

The Blue Valley school district approved a schedule change Monday for next year that would pilot in BVNW and BVHS. The change would do away with TCB and replace it with a flexible hour of work time every day combined with lunch.

The hour would be split, with half the teachers taking lunch the first half and half taking lunch the second half, leaving students half an hour with any teacher to get help.

The change, according to principal Amy Murphy, came because the current status of TCB was not regarded by the district as being long enough or frequent enough to be effective.

The goal of the daily, hour-long periods of free time is to provide students time to get academic help, make up tests and quizzes, get some help from teachers, hold club meetings or to relax if they need.

“Having it more often during the week will allow kids more opportunities to get some one-on-one, more opportunities for teachers to reteach,” Murphy said, “and also trying to take some of that pressure that you carry home with you, whether it be getting homework done or not understanding something.”

Similar to TCB, students have to maintain C’s or above in their classes, or they could be required to spend time with certain teachers.

Murphy said the idea for the schedule came from an article about a school in Florida that has the schedule in place. The BVHS principal, Scott Bacon, traveled to Florida to see it in action, and the BV district has been looking into the schedule option for three years since.

Murphy said the proposal started being lined out last year but got stalled around the time the district found out Tom Trigg, the superintendent at that time, was leaving.

“As soon as the new superintendent came, we were like, ‘OK, is this a possibility for next year?” Murphy said.

Murphy visited select classes April 9 to propose the idea to students and get their feedback, questions and concerns. She said the general response was very positive.

Junior Riley Dougan, a student in Bill Smithyman’s English class that participated in a discussion with Murphy, said he sees a schedule change as temporarily beneficial, although he does not think it is the final solution.

“I think it’s kind of just prolonging an issue that we just need to change to block day every day because that’s kind of the schedule change that would make the most sense,” Dougan said. “So the negative effects of [the new] schedule particularly don’t have anything to do with the school day rather than it just pushes the issue back a little bit more; I don’t think it’s the complete solution.”

Murphy said the new schedule poses a possibility for continued schedule changes over the years. She said it will be a big step transitioning to the new schedule change.

“So maybe this is the initial – we try this and see how it works and then maybe from there we morph in something even a little (more) different,” Murphy said.

Math teacher Jamie Finical said she had a positive initial reaction to the change. She said giving students more time to do things that they were previously doing at night would be good for the students.

“My biggest concern I guess initially is turning you guys all loose for an hour of the day,” Finical said.

Murphy said students will not be allowed to leave campus, and there will be expectations to keep trash under control.

The new schedule, including Husky Halftime, should begin Aug. 29, according to Murphy.