Salesianum’s New Schedule


William Prysock ‘18, Editor-in-Chief

Over the past two years, Father Beretta has been hiding away in the darkest corners of Salesianum working on a revamped schedule, and after feedback from teachers, he has finally unveiled it to the student body. Over the past week, he held presentations and Q+A sessions to showcase the benefits of his new creation.

Fr. Beretta’s new class rotation involves two 4 day cycles (A-D day), with an X and Y day following the two cycles. Classes will run similarly to how they do now on A-D days, but five minutes shorter. However, X and Y days bring a major change. Only four classes will meet per day, with each meeting for 75 minutes. The largest change to the day-to-day schedule is universal to all days, a 45 minute ‘flex’ period following first period. It is designed to be a discovery process for students to learn how to spend their free time in preparation for college. It will truly be a free period, with students permitted to go almost anywhere in the building, and allowing phone use is under strong consideration by school administrators. G6 will be eliminated under the new schedule, but it gives clubs the option to meet during flex period, however often they please. With more frequent meetings, and requiring students to stay on campus, the hope for the flex period is that more students will choose to be involved in clubs.

One of the main concerns among students is that X and Y days will bring excruciatingly long and boring lectures, but Fr. Beretta has already reassured students that it won’t work that way. He intends for these new days to be used creatively, and is considering banning extra long lectures and tests during the longer periods. Another concern around the building is that many students will not be productive and waste the flex period, which Fr. Beretta admits will be a learning process. He says that there will need to be constant evaluation on whether or not the flex period is being used as intended, and that he will personally be monitoring it closely. One final concern that many students have expressed is the new lack of early dismissals. It was recognized, and the flex period will be at the end of every Wednesday to give students the option to leave the building 45 minutes early.

Another change that is set to be implemented is a transition away from a quarter-based schedule, and towards a semester-only schedule, with the first semester ending immediately after midterm exams. The thinking behind the change is two-fold; it will do away with the test cramming before the end of a quarter, and make sports eligibility a more in-house process. Many teachers feel the need to squeeze in a final unit right before the end of each quarter to get one last grade in, but the new system will do away with the bottleneck. Classes will now flow normally and not be interrupted by an unnatural break for the end of the quarter. The other benefit to doing away with the quarters is that official eligibility only needs to be reported to the DIAA twice a year, as opposed to four times. This allows for more freedom when dealing with subpar grades mid-semester, but it’s something that the administration will still take seriously.

The final change Fr. Beretta hopes to implement, although far from confirmed, is a change to Spring Break. As it stands now, Spring Break 2019 will be the final week of April, which is extremely late. He hopes to move break to the middle of March, and give another mini-break for easter, running from Holy Thursday through the following Monday. Students would get a convenient week off of school without having to wait for late April for break, and will also have a 5 day weekend to celebrate Easter. More days off! Fr. Beretta recognizes that the major pitfall with changing Spring Break may have to due with parent’s scheduling. The change may force unnecessary hardships on parents to manage two different breaks for kids who go to different schools. To combat the potential issue, Fr. Beretta has shopped his new calendar around to various schools, and is hoping for universal adaptation.

On the surface, the changes to the schedule may seem hard to comprehend: why fix what isn’t broken? However, many of the changes benefit students, with perks such as extra open time, more days off, and fewer periods when most teachers cram tests. The schedule changes were proposed to make life as a student easier, and Salesianum students will reap the benefits sooner rather than later.