Schedule change


Fremont High School

During the 2020-2021 school year, students at Fremont High School experienced a vastly different learning experience. The  bell schedule was changed so that students attended an advisory lesson on Wednesday, followed by various free study periods. This school year, teachers voted to make Wednesday the all-block day of the week. Before COVID, all-block days were delegated to Monday, and the change has been the cause of much discussion across campus. 

“I prefer the Monday schedule,” FHS Japanese teacher Erik Duus said. “I’d like to meet all the classes at the beginning of the week, where we make sure everybody is on track and focused on whatever we’re studying at that point.” 

Duus believes that having all periods on Monday would allow teachers to check in with students briefly and go over the week’s agenda before returning to the block schedule. Having them on Wednesdays appears to be putting extra pressure on students. 

“From what I understand, teachers just throw in quizzes and tests at everybody on Wednesday, and the students are stressed out as a result,” Duus said. “Because all of a sudden you have these assessments that should, in my opinion, happen during the block.” 

On the students’ side, opinions are a bit more divided. Sophomore Beth Biegel prefers all seven periods on Wednesday as opposed to Monday.

“I know a couple other people who have it on Monday [at other schools], they always complain about it,” Biegel said.

Some freshmen and sophomores, who were not able to experience the schedule before COVID, believe that having all periods on Mondays would have been a worse experience. Monday tends to be a tougher day for many students, and would not be improved by having to attend all classes. 

From the viewpoint of someone who is not affected by the schedule change in the same capacity, FHS principal Bryan Emmert believes the new schedule adds new planning issues. 

 “It’s also complicated from a holiday week schedule,” Emmert said. “Because it means we have to change schedules around. We have a lot of holidays that are on Mondays, and so it’s easy to just drop that day and do block the rest of the week. But, like this Labor Day, we have to drop the Wednesday schedule and then it gets shifted, so then people end up on days that are different than normal.” 

From an administrative perspective, the change seems to make scheduling for breaks more complicated. This is because having Wednesday be the all-blocks day disrupts the flow of the week by breaking up the block scheduling of the other four days. There are positive opinions from people who enjoy the breaking up of classes as well. 

“Some people like it because it’s a good day to just take a break,” Emmert said. “Get caught up, make sure the kids have what they need for the week, and then we reset. And that makes for a better start on Monday, because you have the block instead of all the different classes.”

Fremont’s community takes various stances on this change, and those views were reflected in the initial process of voting for this schedule. 

“It was by less than a hundred votes,” history teacher David Rognas said.

While there are plenty of pros and cons for both schedules, it is clear that the topic has been the common subject of many discussions. Hopefully, this increase in discussion will open up opportunities for communication between the members of our school, and allow for an environment that better suits the community as a whole.