As seniors returned back to campus for their final year, they thought they would have it all figured out after three years. But then they were back at square one when they found out about a new schedule with “Gold” and “Blue” days and “flex time.” These were the changes that Presentation students met with when they returned back to school in August.
Starting this school year, students were introduced to the new “Gold” and “Blue” schedule, a plan to allow them to have more flexibility in their day and more free time in their week.
The new schedule maintains the basic idea of “A” and “B” days that students have been used to, but takes away five minutes from each class and adds “flex time,” a 35-minute period after third period on Gold days and after sixth on Blue days. This period is used for homeroom, mentoring, free time or a combination of these.
The schedule comes as a result of surveys sent to students and teachers at the end of last school year, as well as a note of the schedules of other schools, according to Vice Principal of Student Activities Tim Case.
“In thinking through what is homeroom and what is mentoring and how do those things function, we came up with the idea that homeroom doesn’t have to meet every day, and mentoring doesn’t have to meet every day,” says Case.
With homeroom and mentoring no longer meeting on a regular alternating schedule, free flex time, a sort of shorter collaboration in the middle of the day, allows students the freedom to accomplish whatever they need, whether that be academics, rest, or co-curriculars.
“It’s nice to have a little break in the middle,” says junior Saumya Patel. “You can take a nap or do your homework.”
Along with the benefits of quick rest or work time, extended flex period allows students to collaborate with teachers and each other, according to Case. He also adds that it minimizes the conflict between extracurricular activities, especially Student Council and athletics. With Student Council now being held during flex times, students no longer need to choose between playing a sport and being involved in student government.
Another facet of the new schedule is occasionally having mentoring or homeroom for 35 minutes in order to decrease the number of mandatory collaboration periods on Blue days. This allows for more Blue days where students are released at 12:40.
Although the majority of the student response to the new schedule and flex time has been positive, some students do not appreciate being released five or even 10 minutes later than they had been last year.
“I like the flex time, but I don’t like that we get out a few minutes later,” says senior Isabella Espinoza.
The main drawback as far as Case is concerned is that it does not solve the issue of later school start times. This comes as a result of much feedback from students in surveys last year, maintaining that earlier release times are more beneficial than later start times are.
“We are still looking at how we can become more in line with CDC recommendations on proper school start times,” says Case.
Flex time seems to be the thing students never knew they needed, allowing them extra time to work, rest, meet and most importantly, go out to lunch on 12:40 days.