Editor-in-Chief, Justine Hong
Once again, our growing school has revamped its schedule and as the dawn of the year progresses, students have begun to wonder why. Responding to their questions, Principal Brown explains the purpose of the new homerooms and addresses several other common schedule-related concerns. Information reveals that while some changes may seem unfavorable at first sight, each adjustment serves to benefit our education and you–the students.
Common Student Question One: Why daily homerooms?
They’re practical, says Ms. Brown. And they promote school culture.
“Homerooms build healthy relationships for community engagement.” Principal Brown explained, “We want to nurture students academically, socially, and spiritually.”
Plus, these homerooms are healthy in the practical sense. Not only do they give students a chance to reboot from schoolwork, they give the administration a time to make announcements, counselors to share information, and clubs to have quick meetings.
Ms. Brown clarified how these homerooms fit into our schedule: “[Last year,] the first three blocks of the day lasted for 75 minutes; the administration took five minutes from that to form the homerooms; now each class is a 70-minute block.”
She also explained the surprising power of regular homerooms in building unity and keeping order: “Teachers will take ownership. If I have a group of ten kids that are assigned to me every day, those kids are going to be my kids. If these are my kids and they’re ‘messing up,’ they’d be representing our homeroom badly.”
Hence, she continued, homerooms alleviate discipline problems. “If I have a student who’s constantly wearing a hat in the building, then I have to keep taking his hat. But if a mentor like a homeroom teacher constantly reminds them of the school policy, the student will be much more likely to follow it.”
Students have mixed reactions to the new homerooms, but generally they’ve been positive. Junior Suzy Lee expressed her support. “It definitely lets the students cool down before heading to their next class. I wouldn’t mind having fifteen minutes of leeway during the school day. So I’m all for it.”
Senior Yerim Kim, on the other hand, believes there are pros and cons. “It’s good because we get more time to study. But if we get five minutes off the classes, then when we take tests, we’ll get five minutes less. So that would be bad.”
Common Question Two: Why is lunch so short?
A common complaint is that lunch is short that students could hardly relax. What they do not realize, however, is that a shorter lunch means leaving time for other breaks. Quicker, more frequent breaks promote a healthier learning environment, says the administration.
And hence the homerooms.
Through the homerooms, Ms. Brown explained, “students will be able to reorganize and prepare for the next three classes.”
She continued, “Combined with the break and the homeroom it’s about twenty-five minutes of additional downtime in the day that students can be focused on something else [other than schoolwork],” Ms. Brown said, “so students have lunch and fifteen minutes of air and relaxation, and they get another portion of the day where they get a break. Though they don’t come all at one time, we’ve provided more breaks this year.”
For some students, a shorter lunch is not inconvenient and they feel they have ample time to relax. However, the shortened lunch is not adequate for club meetings. Yerim complained, that we do not have enough time to study during lunch. She added, “if we had activities or practice, we would only get Friday chapel time to do it. Just waiting in the lunch line takes fifteen to twenty minutes. So we have to eat really quickly.”
Ms. Brown, in response, describes how the issue is addressed by working with the cafeteria and staff on duty to rotate students through the lines quickly. She explained, “There could be ample time in the thirty-five minutes to eat and enjoy yourself.”
Common Question Three: Why do the schedules change so much?
To further promote unity, which has been the prevailing theme and goal for our school these last few years.
Students gave feedback on having a separate schedule for a normal, chapel, and assembly day. Junior Hanna Nam remarked, “It’s good because we know the schedule; it’s in the planner. So you can follow the planner if you have any concerns. However, it’s also confusing because we don’t know if it’s assembly schedule or chapel schedule, especially on Fridays.”
Ms. Brown emphasized, “The creation of the eight-day bell schedule simplified a lot of our management where people are supposed to be, securing instructional time, and just the unification of the whole school.”
Unity. Community. Togetherness. Despite students’ mixed reactions or potential criticisms, hopefully the daily homerooms and organized eight-day rotation will contribute to the harmony and efficiency of the school. After all, unity is only part of the administration’s goal; Ms. Brown’s overarching goal is to improve the students’ learning experience and ultimately, help us grow and connect.
“Now we need to address our core. We need to address our community and make everybody a little healthier.” And with greater efficiency and organization, the new schedule will conceivably do just that.