With last year’s schedule, the time available for students to seek help lasted from 2:10-2:55; now, the new help period, called “Maker Time” goes from 2:53-3:20. Maker Time is also mandatory, unlike its predecessor.
Some teachers have made observations that the amendment to the old schedule making conference period mandatory has not gone over well with the student body. From a teacher’s standpoint, Charlotte Waters believes, “there’s something psychological for kids about having to stay at school [during Maker Time], that makes them less productive].”
“We’re trying to make sure that all students have access to support,” comments Dean of Students, Mr. Owen Sanford. If Maker Time is mandatory, “it’s an easier sell [for students to go get the help they need] if they are here anyway.” Sanford informs that even if there was no Maker Time at CHS, school would still get out at the same time as it does currently. Sanford explains that “if Maker Time took place during the middle of the day, or if we didn’t have it, school would still end at 3:20. If we didn’t have ‘Maker Time’, we’d just extend each period by three or four minutes and get out at 3:20 still.”
One of the bigger issues students have with Maker Time is the traffic; everybody (students, teachers, buses) now leaves school at the exact same time, resulting in a parking lot full of chaos. Nathan Loucks, a junior at CHS compares the parking lot at 3:20 to “what downtown Portland was like after Trump won the election.“ Another junior, Matthew Sturgeon recalls seeing “lots of people get into accidents and almost hitting [other students walking to their cars].“
According to Sanford, the goal was to “get buses to leave later,” to “spread things out a little.” however, the school wasn’t able to make it happen this year.
CHS decided to move the starting time from 7:40 to 8:40. This was partially due to the studies that show later school start times produce more heedful students. Sanford mentions that “Some teachers feel like their students in 1st Period are more attentive.”
Another animosity among students and teachers is the weird starting and ending times to class periods. 3rd Period as one example starts at 10:36 and ends at 11:29. Last year, 3rd Period started at 9:45 and ended at 10:40. Waters reasons that she likes “starting and ending [class periods] on 5s and 0s,” because she “constantly forgets when class starts and ends because the bells ring at such random times.”
It will take a couple of years to determine the overall effectiveness of the new schedule because “change is never easy,” concludes Sanford.